Friday :: Apr 22, 2005

The Great American Auction

by Marie

I half jokingly suggested when Arnold was running for Governor of California that not to cut services and not to increase taxes that he could sell off assets of the state. To date he’s only auctioned off a warehouse of surplus property. But think about how much the state could fetch from selling and leasing back all government buildings. Then imagine the windfall the state could reap by auctioning off its parks, particularly the beachfront properties. And California public properties are only chump change compared to the holdings of the Feds.

Not talking about military base closings – mostly contaminated messes that nobody wants until the Fed cleans them up. Not talking about the days when public interest advocates could keep prime properties like the Presidio in San Francisco out of the hands of the developers (even if Lucas recently leased a chunk of it). The Fed is broke and GWB is working as fast as he can to bankrupt it. What to do then? Let the Japan and China foreclose on us? Not before BushCo has sold every tangible asset this country owns. If he can sell this country a war, how hard could it be to sell the country on the need to sell off our property?

So, it begins? With little parcels that almost nobody will miss?
Forest Service Looks to Close, Sell Sites

Forests, grazing land, parks, national monuments and on and on. Does the federal government even have an inventory of everything we own?

By the time they get to the Statue of Liberty, the “efficiency of the private sector” will have become our national mantra. NASA will be a trademark owned by a consortium or aerospace and weapons manufacturers. All hail the “free market fairy.” (That might make some of us nostalgic for the days of the Hammer of God.) Let the corporations and wealthy who bled our Federal Treasury dry come to the rescue and give back some of that cash. (They have so much now that they can’t figure out what to do with it. Microsoft was sitting on $45 billion almost a year ago and even Dell a couple of months ago had $5 billion and growing – no small task given Michael Dell’s passion for distributing the cash as fast as possible, mostly to himself). And they will promise to admit the public to all of these properties, at least a portion of them, maybe only a small portion. For a fee, of course; they do, after all, have to make a living.

No, that would be the way Cheney would do it – all done in secret backrooms. Bush and Rove like to do it before our very eyes. And they do owe Fox a favor or two. The sexiest properties will be reserved for The Great American Auction! Bids submitted in sealed envelopes. On live TV, the bidders will present their plans for the property. Americans will form attachments to the bidders and try to figure out from the clues they offer which one is offering the highest bid. Each week one bidder will be rejected. We’ll all be so happy when our favorite contestant becomes the winning bidder. We won’t even care if the winning bid was the lowest offer. Me? I’m hoping that the Embassy in Malta doesn’t hit the auctioneer’s block until long after the audience craze has disappeared and I can call on the readers of The Left Coaster to game the voting and let me have it for $10.99. You’ll all be welcome to come visit me anytime, for a nominal fee, of course.

Marie :: 10:34 PM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!