The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, March 27, 2006

The power of the free market

It's the rallying cry of the corporatists in government and their reliable shills. Even in an apologia for disgraced, former WaPo blogger Ben Domenech, a friend of his claimed that Saint Benny was in fact a tireless freedom fighter, trying to protect the Bush administration from those who would overthrow our free market and try to erect a Marxist state. Hopelessly stupid in and of itself, as you're not going to find any political figure in the country touting the joys of Marxism, but what about the free market politics of the current crop of Republicans?

FEMA has broken its promise to reopen four multimillion-dollar no-bid contracts for Hurricane Katrina work, including three that federal auditors say wasted significant amounts of money.

Officials said they awarded the four contracts last October to speed recovery efforts that might have been slowed by competitive bidding. Some critics, however, suggested they were rewards for politically connected firms.

Acting FEMA Director R. David Paulison pledged last fall to rebid the contracts, which were awarded to Shaw Group Inc., Bechtel Corp., CH2M Hill Inc. and Fluor Corp. Later, the agency acknowledged the rebidding wouldn’t happen until February. (. . .)

An additional $1.5 billion in work promised to small businesses also has yet to be awarded.

A review by the Government Accountability Office of 13 major contracts said last week the government had wasted millions of dollars, due mostly to poor planning by FEMA. Among the 13 were three of the four no-bid contracts for temporary housing, worth up to $500 million each, that went to three major firms with extensive government ties.

Yes, the GOP establishment has chosen bureaucratic inefficiency over the hard-working little guy. Just as they did in Iraq, where billions have vanished and water/electricity access are still below pre-war levels. I guess a centralized, federally-controlled market is the price you pay for fighting communism, though, right boys? (Take your time, warriors of the right-- I'll give you a few months to let that sink in.)