August 14, 2012


The fallacy of privatization: anti-government screeds and the Romney agenda. For Romney, efficiency and competition are gods that only the private marketplace can worship and therefore all government functions would be better handled by private rather than public forces…Here’s the most relevant language from Romney on the idea that private is always better than public:  MITT ROMNEY: Well, clearly you don’t like to hear [about] anyone losing a job. At the same time, government is the least productive—the federal government is the least productive of our economic sectors. The most productive is the private sector. The next most productive is the not-for-profit sector, then comes state and local governments, and finally the federal government. And so moving responsibilities from the federal government to the states or to the private sector will increase productivity. But that’s simply wrong.  It is empirically wrong.  It is theoretically wrong.  And it is wrong-headed policy for America.  Business Insider

Toll road rates rising in Indiana, Pennsylvania: Road Rant. The cost of driving keeps going up on toll roads. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission recently approved higher rates for 2013 on its roadway. Tolls will rise 10 percent for those paying cash and 2 percent for those using E-ZPass…Going west, meanwhile, the cost to drive a car the full length of the Indiana Toll Road increased by nearly 4.5 percent last month for cash-paying customers. The 157-mile trip now runs $9.40, up from $9. This marks the fourth price bump since 2008 for those using dollars and coins. The Plain Dealer

CT: Female inmates sue state over disparities. The state is currently considering privatizing the state’s prisons, and as part of that had asked bidders to contemplate building a stand-alone women’s prison or a hybrid version that kept female and male inmates on the same site.  Concord Monitor

NJ: New Jersey considers privatizing lottery. New Jersey is asking lottery companies to bid for the right to run the state’s massive game of chance… Gov. Jon Corzine’s administration explored the idea of letting a private company run the lottery, which is the nation’s 8th largest. A task force recommended the change to Gov. Chris Christie last year.  Sacramento Bee

FL: Prison Privatization Issue Produces Outpouring of HD 7 Candidates. A crowded race in what is essentially a new House district in North Florida is in some ways serving as an outlet for the area’s frustration over its diminishing influence and the GOP’s continuing interest in privatizing prisons.  All seven candidates running for House District 7 — which spans nine counties from Calhoun in the Panhandle to Lafayette in the Big Bend and also takes in a piece of Leon — are opposed to handing prisons over to for-profit companies. They also knock changes that would ask existing state employees to contribute to their own retirements — though most keep the door open on changes for future employees. While those views are common among legislative Democrats, they would be maverick positions if one of the four Republicans wins the seat — which covers at least a share of what used to be six different House seats.  SunshineStatesNews

TX: Advocacy Groups Don’t Want GEO to Run State Hospital. A coalition of influential Texas organizations is pushing back against the proposed privatization of a state psychiatric hospital by GEO Care, a subsidiary of a prison operations group that has a troubled history in Texas. …”The GEO Group has a long and troubled history in Texas,” said Bob Libal, whose organization, Grassroots Leadership, signed the letter along with groups like the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the Center for Public Policy Priorities, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and the United Methodist Church. The Texas Tribune