Monday, February 09, 2015

Mr. Doctorow Says...We, The Public, Are The Angel Investors In Our Institutions.


Cory Doctorow writing about the rush to force public institutions to be 'profitable':

...We don’t invest in public service institutions because we want them to be profitable. We invest in them because we want them to be good. Galleries, museums, archives and libraries tell us who we are. Schools and hospitals tend our minds and bodies. They are not businesses. We are not shareholders...

So if we don't invest in these things to turn a profit, why are we being forced to make them do so?

Or, to put in more precisely...

Why must we be convinced that we must be forced to do so?


You know...

...In the story of market-driven public institutions, it’s we, the public, who are the angel investors. We paid to keep the archives growing, to put a roof over the museum, to amass and catalogue all of our nation’s cultural treasures (and the treasures of many other nations). The internet now makes it possible for those institutions to reach wider audiences than ever before, at lower costs than ever before – once their collections are digitised. When Siemens or another big company comes along to digitise our investments, they are the VCs putting in late-stage capital after we’ve borne all the risks, sometimes for centuries...

In other words, capitalists who love both ventures and vultures need a place to park their big piles of private cash, moral hazard- and risk-free, while our public investments are shrunken and dessicated to make said piles even bigger.




Anonymous said...

BC photo

Norm Farrell said...

The picture of Richard Rosenthal is timely in that gov't has opened another personal conduct "investigation" and he is a target. This comes after earlier leaks about conflicts within the Independent Investigations Office of BC between people who want to conduct real examinations and people who believe that whitewash is an effective cover for all defects.

Accountability? Pfft!

Police don't want it and neither does government. They just want to pretend it exists.

So, goodbye Mr. Rosenthal. That large pay package that brought you here will ease the flight back to the USA.

North Van's Grumps said...

Vancouver Courier Richard Rosenthal

“The only thing I’ll say on the record is thanks Canada [for hiring Rosenthal],” said Rogers, whose union represents 1,400 Denver cops.

Anonymous said...

Above HSE 1010 mark, near top.

It's telling that, while families are paying more and wages aren't keeping up and the issues that I have pointed out — failures to provide the funding for kids with special needs, failures to provide funding for seniors — the Premier has chosen to give a $230 million tax break to the top 2 percent of B.C. income earners. This is so out of touch with reality and the needs of the people of this province.

Anonymous said...

As it is apparantly not alllowed THANK YOU!!!!!

e.a.f. said...

If politicians can convince people that "public institutions" are businesses, then they are on the way to eliminating themand citizens will have helped destroy the very things which would have helped them. Museums, art galleries, hospitals, all make for a more civilized society, and in my opinion ought to be supported by the "public purse". Corporations aren't people and they don't need huge tax breaks. However, there are those who wish to see "public institutions" eliminated, it costs them taxes.

So first you convince the public, these institutions have to pay their own way. When they don't they are gotten rid of or sold to a "friend" of the governments.

Its like when el gordo some years ago decided that public lands had to pay "their own way". What did we see? Some really good land sold off at some really low prices? To who? Mostly friends of the government. I always thought it "peculiar" that he went and sold these lands right before he went to sit down and "negotiate" land claims.

Like first you sell of the really good stuff, so its not up for "settlement". Over in the Comox Valley, Crown Isle got a steal of a deal on land everybody else thought was a park.

Can hardly wait until Christy and the cabal start selling of more of our public institutions, because they have to pay their own way. By the time people wake up, the best of B.C. will be owned by private multinational, foreign corporations.

Hugh said...

BC privatized prison:

motorcycleguy said...

Google "plenary group macquarie capital".....just sayin'