FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What the UAE Seaports Deal Teaches Us

by DICK J. REAVIS

The proposal that the United States turn over management of its East Coast and Gulf seaports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates has thus far been handled as a call for demagogy, not for proposals to enhance a substantive innovation of far-reaching promise. America’s commercial genius, indeed its future efficiency and prosperity, have thereby been stopped short. Two important questions have not been entertained.

The first of them is that if, as almost all public parties to the dispute agree, privatizing seaport management to state-owned foreign companies is a good idea, why stop at the water’s edge?

The United States has more than a dozen “inland ports,” as government manuals call them-points of entry for people and cargo coming across our land borders. These, too, could be privatized to state-owned companies.

Mexico is capable of managing our land borders, and worthy of our trust. Its government has been an ally in the U.S.-led Drug War for more than 25 years, and it has historically discouraged its natives from illegally emigrating to the United States, for the most natural of reasons: it has paid the cost of birthing and educating them.

Mexicans have been big investors in the United States since World War II, and Mexican companies are today big players in the American auto, ceramics, steel, glass, and cement industries. They export telenovelas as well. The Mexican government has extensive experience in customs and immigration management, having operated inland ports on our southern border for more than 300 years.

Dozens of other inefficient government functions are crying to privatized too, and doing so would rid our government of deficits, making room in our budget for a new round of tax cuts. Among the money-losers are the following agencies, whose best chance for a return profitability lies with privatization to the following nations:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms-to Russia, which since 1991 has led the world in the sale of arms to non-state purchasers.

The Department of Defense-to China, whose Red Army, with its corps of real estate captains and joint venture colonels, has led the way in making military forces pay for themselves.

The Office of the Presidency-to Cuba, whose leadership has provided stability and continuity to its people for half a century.

These proposals have for some time been percolating in the hallways of Washington and break rooms of banking houses in New York, and thus far only one challenge has presented itself, an answer to the second of the important questions that the seaport controversy raises.

It is this: if our government should outsource the management of inefficient state-owned facilities and programs, as with our seaports, to foreign companies that are also state-owned, How Can Those Guys Make Them Profitable When We Can’t?

This paradox merits scholarly study and funding, as well as serious attention by policy makers.

DICK J. REAVIS is a Texas journalist who is an assistant professor of English at North Carolina State University. He can be reached at dickjreavis@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

Dick J. Reavis is a Texas journalist and the author of The Ashes of Waco.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 23, 2017
Chip Gibbons
Crusader-in-Chief: the Strange Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Michael J. Sainato
Cybersecurity Firm That Attributed DNC Hacks to Russia May Have Fabricated Russia Hacking in Ukraine
Chuck Collins
Underwater Nation: As the Rich Thrive, the Rest of Us Sink
CJ Hopkins
The United States of Cognitive Dissonance
Howard Lisnoff
BDS, Women’s Rights, Human Rights and the Failings of Security States
Mike Whitney
Will Washington Risk WW3 to Block an Emerging EU-Russia Superstate
John Wight
Martin McGuinness: Man of War who Fought for Peace in Ireland
Linn Washington Jr.
Ryancare Wreckage
Eileen Appelbaum
What We Learned From Just Two Pages of Trump’s Tax Returns
Mark Weisbrot
Ecuador’s Elections: Why National Sovereignty Matters
Thomas Knapp
It’s Time to End America’s Longest War
Chris Zinda
Aggregate Journalism at Salon
David Welsh
Bay Area Rallies Against Trump’s Muslim Ban II
March 22, 2017
Paul Street
Russiagate and the Democratic Party are for Chumps
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer, the Progressive Caucus and the Cuban Revolution
Gavin Lewis
McCarthyite Anti-Semitism Smears and Racism at the Guardian/Observer
Kathy Kelly
Reality and the U.S.-Made Famine in Yemen
Kim C. Domenico
Ending Our Secret Alliance with Victimhood: Toward an Adult Politics
L. Ali Khan
Profiling Islamophobes
Calvin Priest
May Day: Seattle Educators Moving Closer to Strike
David Swanson
Jimmy Breslin on How to Impeach Trump
Dave Lindorff
There Won’t Be Another Jimmy Breslin
Jonathan Latham
The Meaning of Life
Robert Fisk
Martin McGuinness: From “Super-Terrorist” to Super Statesman
Steve Horn
Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council
Binoy Kampmark
Grief, Loss and Losing a Father
Jim Tull
Will the Poor Always Be With Us?
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s “March Massacre” Budget
Joe Emersberger
Rafael Correa and the Future of Ecuador: a Response to James McEnteer
March 21, 2017
Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt
On Being the “Right Kind of Brown”
Kenneth Surin
God, Guns, Gays, Gummint: the Career of Rep. Bad Bob Goodlatte
David Rosen
Popular Insurgencies: Reshaping the Political Landscape
Ryan LaMothe
The Totalitarian Strain in American Democracy
Eric Sommer
The House Intelligence Committee: Evidence Not Required
Mike Hastie
My Lai Massacre, 49 Years Later
James McEnteer
An Era Ends in Ecuador: Forward or Back?
Evan Jones
Beyond the Pale
Stansfield Smith
First Two Months in Power: Hitler vs. Trump
Dulce Morales
A Movement for ‘Sanctuary Campuses’ Takes Shape
Pepe Escobar
Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?
Olivia Alperstein
Trump Could Start a Nuclear War, Right Now
David Macaray
Norwegians Are the Happiest People on Earth
March 20, 2017
Michael Schwalbe
Tears of Solidarity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit, Nationalism and the Damage Done
Peter Stone Brown
Chuck Berry: the First Poet of Rock and Roll
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail