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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Beware of Rick Scott's plan to run schools like a bussiness

From The Sun Sentinel

By|Stephen Goldstein,

Gov. Rick Scott is giving Florida "the business" by turning the state over to business. The first principle in Scottland is: Government can do no right; business can do no wrong. Under his leadership, with a lapdog, Republican-controlled Legislature, we'll become a corporate state — a catastrophe. Under the cover of creating jobs, they want to rewrite the framework and responsibilities of government in the name of cash-and-carry capitalism: You pay the cash; they carry it away.

Heads nod agreeing when Scott says he wants to run the state like a business. But what exactly does he mean by that? Quoting Florida Taxwatch, his 7-7-7 plan boasts that "using common sense business solutions can reduce the cost of government through operational efficiency saving upward of $500 million." But if business models work so well, why nationwide, in 2008, did 595,600 companies close and 43,546 go bankrupt?

By running the state like a business, does Scott mean he wants Florida government to commit fraud, like Columbia/HCA when he was CEO? Or will it scam the public like Enron? Or will all education be privatized — like for-profit colleges and universities, businesses which recently have been exposed for enrolling unqualified students with false promises and saddling them with debt? Or will government services be turned into 911 calls or fee-for-service? In rural Tennessee, firefighters let a house burn down because the owner hadn't paid a $75 fee. Is that the future in Scott's Florida?

Heads also shake yes when Scott says he wants to create an ideal climate for business. As soon as he became governor, he signed an executive order stopping all pending regulations from agencies that report to him. Now on hold are new standards like those to curb "pill mills" from dispensing mountains of painkillers to drug dealers and addicts. The governor guarantees corporate profits at the public expense of the public health, which he swore an oath to protect.

Nowhere does the Florida Constitution say the state is a venture capitalist and will finance the private sector by gutting regulations, giving grants of taxpayer money or providing tax exemptions — quite the contrary. The role of government is to protect "the people," all too often from the greedy grasp of businesses that serve mammon, not God.

The Florida economy is in bad shape, and too many Floridians are hurting. But state, national, and world economies almost toppled and remain fragile because government deregulated financial markets and gave businesses free reign. Letting businesses do anything they want in Florida will only lead to excesses and yet another cycle of boom and bust — not real job creation. Rick Scott needs to rise to the level of governor of "the people," not stoop to the level of a profiteering CEO.


  1. Those who voted for him knew what they were getting. He is a known fraud and criminal.

  2. He spent nearly $70,000,000 of his own money to get elected, you know he plans on getting a lot more than that in return from his big business buddies.

  3. why can't the people in Florida pull together and protest before it is too late?