Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hoosier profitization
With one out of every six Hoosiers receiving public assistance, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels made a bold decision: He cut a private contractor in on the action! In a $1.16 billion privatization deal dramatic enough to give any neocon a slight woody, Daniels signed a contract with IBM – the same people who brought the world DOS, the "sincere necktie" and that weird red nipple pointer thing that was supposed to replace the mouse – to administer the state's food-stamp, Medicaid and other welfare programs for the poor. Big Blue will modernize the current system by bringing applications online and establishing an efficient call center, which should be really sweet for poor people with, um, 'net-enabled computers and phones. Daniels, a republican, signed the contract despite vehement objections from democrats, social caseworkers, unions, and advocates for the needy, including Indiana House speaker Patrick Bauer, who charged that the scheme allows contractors to "profit from the poor." Daniels, however, claims the contract will save taxpayers money, streamline the application process for recipients and create 1000 new jobs for Indiana. Gee, if only Indiana had more poor people, the Hoosier state could turn a really sweet profit then!