The Problem With Privatization

By on June 6, 2017

After managing to offend the United Kingdom and embarrass his fellow Americans by mocking London’s mayor Sadiq Khan via Twitter just hours after Sunday’s deadly terror attack, President Trump has succeeded in bringing both Democrats and Republicans together in joint opposition to his plans for repairing America’s crumbling infrastructure.

The White House intends to execute a $1 trillion program to overhaul America’s infrastructure by privatizing the rebuilding of roads, bridges, and even air traffic control.

Trump’s so called “Infrastructure Week,” commenced on Monday with Trump decrying the faults he finds in the current standards of U.S. air travel while broadly outlining his plans to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system by separating its operations from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“We live in a modern age yet our air traffic control system is stuck, painfully, in the past,” said Trump, who described the current system as ancient, broken, and antiquated.

The President’s insistence on privatization was immediately shot down by politicians on both sides of the ideological aisle.

As the Associated Press reports, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, found Trump’s plan lacking in vision regarding the nation’s smaller or mid-sized airports. “All but our largest airports nationwide stand to be hurt by this proposal,” said Sen. Moran.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer voiced his skepticism and dismay over Trump’s plans to attempt a sweeping privatization of public works.  As quoted in The Washington Examiner Schumer said, “It means Trump tolls from one end of America to the other, and huge profits for financiers who, when they put up the money, want to be repaid by the average driver, worker and citizen.”

The privatization of public works will place much needed national repairs at the mercy of a volatile market place.

Pat Garofalo elucidates the problem with this strategy in an opinion piece for U.S. News and World Report, writing:  “Part of the whole rationale behind publicly funded infrastructure, after all, is that one can’t make a ton of money building new water pipes in Flint, Michigan, but it’s a desperately needed public good, so the government should step in and do it.”

The blunt danger of Trump’s privatization plans is that large sections of what both the Right and Left can agree is a crumpling infrastructure will remain in a state of dangerous disrepair.