Think we’re becoming a cold Mississippi? Expand that thought, think further out, Bolivia… Ecuador… Tanzania, anywhere where World Bank and IMF policies have raided infrastructure assets and held the people hostage… we’re headed that way.

There’s a great editorial in the STrib today, Barbara Garson exposes the tip of the iceberg, remininding us of the devestation of World Bank and IMF privatization policies:

Wrong World Bank Doctrine Can Be Deadly

In the McNamara era, the bank began to make loans on the condition that nations privatize public services and allow foreign money to move in and out of the country with little regulation. The idea was to create a climate in which private investment would lift people out of poverty. For the next 30 years, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund followed this market-oriented strategy, which came to be known as “the Washington Consensus.”

Before the McNamara years, the poorest people didn’t get much richer. But during the Washington Consensus years, they got poorer and poorer.

Greg Palast, in The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, has a chapter that gets into enough detail to scare the most ardent capitalist toady. Check out Chapter 3, Sell the Lexus, Burn the Olive Tree: Globalization and Its Discontents for a brief snippet.

Who cares? We should, if only because those tactics are being used here, as Barbara Garson notes in today’s Op-Ed:

Even in the First World, it’s often more profitable to siphon off than to “develop.” For a few years, the Suez Co. also owned the water system in Bergen County, N.J. During its stewardship, it sold off land around the reservoir to private builders. Then it turned around and sold the whole water system to another company. We shareholders took the money and ran. Technically that’s called “asset stripping.” And it’s perfectly legal.

Shouldn’t we be a little concerned when Julie Jorgenson, the wife of “Two Lobbyists and a Wife” Excelsior Energy and Mesaba power plant, cut her legal teeth advising on IMF and World Bank policies and brags about it in her resume handed out at the legislature??? (she doesn’t provide those details here) (and whatever happened to the 2nd lobbyist, Tom Weaver?)

Let’s see… Mesaba presents unrealistic inflation of load growth, building power plants and utility infrastructure we don’t need, mandated power purchase agreement because there’s no market, privatization of essential services, paid for by we ratepayers and taxpayers and not those who benefit… what’s wrong with this picture? Isn’t there a less onerous way to fund Tom Micheletti’s retirement?

As Palast notes in The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, “the solution to world poverty and crisis is simple: Remove the bloodsuckers.”

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