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  • PiedPiper (1160 posts)
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    Crumbling Infrastructure and the NeoLiberal Agenda

    Crumbling Infrastructure = “opportunity” for private contractors

    Think we’ll have a jobs program to rebuild America? In my experience that is not

    how the ptb (with a free market, privatization, neoliberal agenda) function. Every disaster (be it New Orleans, Twin Towers, Collapsing dams, etc) poses an ‘opportunity’ for profit by private contractors. They will either knock it down themselves in order to build it back at a profit or like ambulance chasers, wait for it to collapse.

    There won’t be any significant jobs programs initiated by government like the WPA.

    A study of NY and New Orleans:

    https://ccrec.ucsc.edu/sites/default/files/gothamgreenberg_social_forces.pdf

     

    Here’s a study about this subject and the effects on New York after 9/11 and New Orleans after Katrina.

    The move to privatize disaster relief is a Neoliberal agenda and a lot like sending private soldiers (mercenaries) in to fight wars.  Sure some folks are getting those jobs but is that a valid sane argument considering all the negatives?

    Here are some excerpts:

    This article examines the process of post-disaster recovery and rebuilding in New York City since 9/11 and in New Orleans since the Hurricane Katrina disaster (8/29). As destabilizing events, 9/11 and 8/29 forced a rethinking of the major categories, concepts and theories that long dominated disaster research. We analyze the form, trajectory and problems of reconstruction in the two cities with special emphasis on the implementation of the Community Development Block Grant program, the Liberty Zone and the Gulf Opportunity Zone, and tax-exempt private activity bonds to nance and promote reinvestment. Drawing on a variety of data sources, we show that New York and New Orleans have become important laboratories for entrepreneurial city and state governments seeking to use post-disaster rebuilding as an opportunity to push through far-reaching neoliberal policy reforms. e emphasis on using market-centered approaches for urban recovery and rebuilding in New York and New Orleans should be seen not as coherent or sustainable responses to urban disaster but rather as deeply contradictory restructuring strategies that are intensifying the problems they seek to remedy.

    //

    Using a comparative approach and a variety of data sources, our response.

    First, we argue that the reliance on private sector subsidies to implement disaster aid removes public spending from the realm of democratic accountability and oversight and thereby enables a misallocation of funds that fails to solve the problems caused by the disaster. The fails to address the needs of low-income people but actually exacerbates inequalities by allowing corporations to use public resources and policy by themselves do not promote sustainable post-disaster development because they reinforce and perpetuate the social problems of inter-urban competition and uneven spatial development. As such, the use of market- centered policies in New York and New Orleans should be seen not as long-term and coherent responses to urban disaster, but rather as deeply contradictory restructuring strategies that are intensifying the problems they seek to remedy.

    //

    Hence, in the present context, urban recovery and rebuilding in New York and New Orleans should be seen as a contradictory process of market- driven, socio-spatial transformation that is aggravating inequalities and impeding community recovery efforts. Neoliberalism champions the free market and decries state regulation, yet proponents often employ direct state intervention on behalf of entrepreneurs and corporations to bolster markets, an orientation that may reward parochial interests at the expense of the public good.

    A major assumption of PABs, EZs and CDBGs is that these economic development tools will promote new investment and have found that tax incentives and subsidies are awarded in an inequitable fashion, going disproportionately to large firms and high income residents, with little to no benefits for moderate to low income residents.

    https://ccrec.ucsc.edu/sites/default/files/gothamgreenberg_social_forces.pdf

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