Saturday, June 11, 2011

Privatizing Wisconsin

Wisconsin is open for business...if you happen to be an influential corporation who make big campaign donations. If you are, then you get to write your own legislation too.

The GOP and the Fitzwalker's like privatization a lot. They would like you to think it's because they are just so damn business friendly...but only for friends with very specific benefits.

Take this road construction legislation they shoved in the budget. Local communities can't complete road work that costs over $100k using their own workers and companies. They will be required by law to bid it out to the very same construction firms that contributed handsomely to the Walker campaign.

We heard this last week about a strange provision that has been included to protect the distribution territory of MillerCoors against Budweiser and also manages to make it impossible for small boutique brewers to distribute their own brands in the wholesale market. It is understood by nearly everyone that MillerCoors wrote this legislation and since Walker cashed their checks, the small business owners got sold out.

The list goes on and on...in fact if you want the depressing synopsis of all the Wisconsin headlines go to Privatization Watch and the Siren has prepared a list for Wisconsin.

The one however that is one of the most egregious and under reported is the dismantling of Wiscnet. Wiscnet is the broadband service developed for the UW system that also services libraries with fast and reasonably priced service. Wiscnet is in competition with BadgerNet who was developed by...can you guess? AT&T. Of course.

BadgerNet by all accounts is crappy and slow and expensive. Far too expensive for greedy entities like schools and libraries. AT&T hates Wiscnet and now that their guy is Governor they are not gonna sit idly by and lose business to a better, cheaper and faster product.

Not only is Madison looking to destroy Wiscnet their actions will force the UW system to give back over $30 million in federal funds given to expand and improve internet service in Wisconsin.

Schools and libraries will be subject to contract with private internet providers at market price and your tax dollars help to subsidize shitty service brought to you by AT&T. Priceless.