Privatization & Procurement
Media corporations give millions, receive billions. The cost for two weeks of ad-driven debate on Kerry's military record cost almost $1 million. Political advertising will bring over $1.5 billion to media corporations this election season. In turn they will invest millions in campaign contributions and lobbying. Meanwhile, substantive political coverage continues to decline.
Underfunded schools, desperate for resources, are increasingly receptive to corporate-sponsored educational materials and programs, and are ever more accepting of the associated commercialism and product promotion. ''We are paying for educational deficits by selling kids to advertisers,'' says Peggy Charren, president of the advocacy group Action for Children's Television
Jordan is selling its stake in the flagship Arab Potash Company to the Canadian potash giant PCS as part of privatization efforts spearheaded by USAID.
A new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan will be unveiled by President Barack Obama this week. It plans to ramp up the training of the Afghan army and police at a cost of some $2 billion a year. Private contractor DynCorp is already lining up to bid for some of the lucrative contracts. This article provides an overview of key reports assessing the training of the Afghan police, and DynCorp's role, to date.
Nowhere is the system for buying and selling water more permissive than in Chile, where water rights are private property, not a public resource, and can be traded like commodities with little government oversight or safeguards for the environment. The small town of Quillaga is being swallowed up in the country's intensifying water wars.
The U.S. Congress saw no progresses toward corporate accountability and reining in corporate influence over public institutions in 2013, according to the newly released Corporate Accountability Coalition (CAC) Congressional Report Card.
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."
In a secluded valley a few miles from Kabul's international airport, $285 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars have flowed into a Black & Veatch-built power plant outside Tarakhil village. But, far from the public relations coup the project was intended to supply, the plant has run into problems with planning, cost over-runs and alleged corruption.