Economic experts, and the president of the United States, have been emphasizing stimulus spending, not austerity, to get us out of the Big Recession mess BushCo created. But Republicans have insisted on cut after cut after cut.
All those Big Bad Government Jobs that the GOP keeps wailing about? Those include police officers, the very men and women who, you know, protect us from the "bad guys with guns." So cities and towns all over America are slashing their police forces because of deep budget cuts, the ones that have proved disastrous time after time.
The result isn't pretty, but it's what Republicans strive for: Privatization. It's creeping up on us and that's just what those on the right want: They salivate over crushing unions (a major source of funding for Democrats) and before we realize what's been happening, they're transforming the valuable public services we treasure and so badly need and depend on into profit-making machines that cater only to those who can afford them.
Welcome to GOP CorporateWorld.
As police focus more on responding to crime rather than preventing it, private detectives and security firms are often taking on the roles that police once did, investigating robberies, checking out alibis, looking into threats.
Swell. Because of those pesky budget cuts, people are now turning to detectives, security firms and the *gasp!* Internet for protection, investigative talent, and more.
Of course, not everyone can afford private police help.
It's another facet of how income inequality is playing out in America — as cities are forced to cut their budgets, even police protection is more accessible to those with cash.
Samuel Walker, emeritus professor of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the author of 13 books on policing:
Inequality has always been present: Millionaires hire bodyguards, rich neighborhoods pay for private security patrols. But this budget crisis makes the difference even more pronounced...
[It is] currently the largest of the U.S. State Department's three private security contractors. Academi provided diplomatic security services in Iraq to the United States federal government on a contractual basis.
That uproar was for a reason. This is not to say that private security firms will become havens for Blackwater-type thugs, that isn't my point. Privatization is my point.
Remember the uproar by Republicans over any kind of federal oversight ever in the history of ever?
Can you afford $150 an hour? I can't. If trends like this continue, we the people, we the little guys, are screwed.
This cannot end well.