In a story most in the media missed, protestors gathered under the dome at the Mississippi state capitol earlier this year to oppose a bill that would allow the state Department of Human Services (DHS) to privatize everything from child protective services to nutrition programs for the elderly.
Outsourcing America Exposed
When the town of Sandy Springs, Georgia, spun-off from Fulton County and established a brand new government, it didn't sign a Declaration of Independence; it signed a contract.
This week CMD launched a new web resource, OutsourcingAmericaExposed, where we will detail the privatizers and profiteers selling out our democracy. The website will be populated with "rap sheets" or corporate profiles of America's top outsourcing companies.
CONTACT: Rebekah Wilce, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Center for Media and Democracy site will feature corporate profiles, local privatization deals gone bad, and "fine print follies" spotlighting outrageous contract giveaways
- New video accompanies launch, from Pulitzer-winner Mark Fiore, illustrating the corporate take over of schools, prisons, water, and other vital services
-- by Rebekah Wilce and Mary Bottari
Since the 2008 financial crisis, cash strapped states have accelerated the outsourcing of America in hopes of delivering the same services more cheaply. "Desperate government is our best customer," said one executive specializing in infrastructure purchases.
Earlier this year, DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy launched an investigation of the influence of the private prison industry on state policies. The review of public records this summer revealed a surprising connection between Arizona Department of Gaming Director Mark Brnovich and the Corrections Corporation of America. In the midst of this story being written, Brnovich announced he would be leaving his post in state gaming regulation, which paves the way for him to seek the post of state Attorney General.
For-profit prison companies like Corrections Corporation of American and GEO Group are no strangers to controversy. Their business model rests on incarceration, and their profits soared throughout the 1990s and 2000s as harsh sentencing laws, the War on Drugs, and tough immigration enforcement led to a dramatic rise in detention and incarceration.
My friend Jim, a farmer, jokes about bringing a bowl of manure and a spoon to the farmers' markets where he sells his beef. "My beef has no manure in it, but you can add some," he'd like to tell his customers.
I'm sure you'd pass on manure as a condiment. But unless you're a vegetarian or you slaughter your own meat, you may have eaten it. And if the USDA moves forward with its plan to make a pilot program for meat inspection more widespread, this problem can only get worse.