Our Country’s Infrastructure Belongs in the Public Domain

November 2, 2015

Today a big watchword of the capitalists and their government is to increase “infrastructure investments.” Our issue with Obama and the other capitalist politicians isn’t over the need to “invest” in maintaining the roads, public schools, parks and other public property of the country. Such work is the basic responsibility of government. We demand that the government “STOP PAYING THE RICH” and insist that the government fulfill these responsibilities. So too, we oppose the entire campaign and “free market” propaganda used to justify monopoly reliance on the state to help them rob the wealth of the country.  

But the federal, as well as local and state governments claim to be “making an investment” when they take funds out of the public treasury and pass them on to private corporations for projects such as management of road construction, management of parks, prisons, garbage collection and so on. This is often the claim even in the case of charter schools and school services like busing, food and maintenance.

The corporations who receive these monies accumulated through taxation of the workers are completely free to “invest” their new capital as they see fit. In the first place in projects that are as profitable as possible. In the second place they may “invest” the profits in new projects, whether that be in making bombs or opening factories abroad or speculating in the international currency markets.  

These government “investments” in the rich, often called “public private partnerships,” are robbery of the whole people, of the whole country, and robbery on a grand scale. 

Just as in the period of primitive capitalist accumulation, when the capitalist class got started by robbing and plundering the entire continent and the indigenous peoples, so today, monopoly capitalism is reverting to this method by directly relying on the state to plunder our country of its public assets.

The capitalist class is literally falling over itself in the grab for public resources. The land speculators want our country’s stock of public housing turned over to them; the billions upon billions invested in the space program are already being put at the disposal of communications monopolies and others. The capitalists are drooling at the prospect of further getting their hands on the monies earmarked for Medicare and Medicaid, at the privatization of the $100 billion public school infrastructure. The mining capitalists, the oil monopolies and big timber companies are grabbing for more of the national lands and natural wealth of our country.

And this privatization strikes at the very hallmark of modern society by denying that such public assets as roads, parks, public housing and such things as public health, universal public education, income support for the poor and most vulnerable, and so forth are public responsibilities, matters which must be in the public domain and guaranteed by the government in the full view of the people.

Instead of being used to pay the rich, our country’s resources must be used to build the infrastructure needed to guarantee all the economic rights of the people.  For example, improving and expanding a stock of high quality public housing for seniors or investing in a comprehensive, nation-wide system of public health care would equip our country with the means needed to provide for the well-being of the people. 

Obviously the issue is not an issue of resources. It is a political issue. The workers and people must assert themselves by coming out as an independent political force to challenge the political power and prerogatives of capital and win victories for the political economy of the working class. The working class must rally the whole people around the political economy which places working and oppressed humanity, not the capitalist exploiters, at the center.

This means bringing to the fore a number of fundamental questions. “Will economic life be organized to guarantee the livelihoods of the people or will our very lives remain dependent on the ‘blind hand’ of the ‘free market’ and capitalist profit-making?” “Will government make the vital social investments needed to guarantee the rights of the people or will the entire economy be put at disposal of big business?” “Will the means of production created by humanity be put at the disposal of humanity and utilized to create conditions for the all-around emancipation of people or will these means of production remain monopolized by a few and used to enslave the majority?”