June 21, 2013


How Privatizing Leads to Crony Corruption. The intelligence brouhaha and Snowden fiasco — how could this guy have been hired, given his high-level classification, paid $122,000 a year, and gain access to areas expressly off-limits for someone at his level? — should make us focus on the bigger issue, and bigger problem, here. We have vastly over-privatized, and in the process lost control over swaths of important policy areas while allowing unaccountable and even outlaw behavior to expand. And we have created areas where crony capitalism can meet crony government to create crony corruption that cheats all taxpayers. The Atlantic

Driving declines could challenge toll roads. Americans are driving less, and that means less revenue for toll road operators such as SH130 Concession Co., according to a study by Fitch Ratings. The conclusion could mean trouble for toll routes — including Central Texas’ State Highway 130 — which was built by Spanish company SH130 Concession and its parent company Cintra. The road reportedly cost $1.3 billion, and the company will maintain and operate it for the next 50 years to recoup the cost. Austin Business Journal

NE: City looks to privatize parking. For now, the job of writing parking tickets, running parking garages and emptying coins from meters belongs to city employees. But by September, at least some of those operations will likely be in the hands of a private company. Omaha World-Herald

LA: Questions continue over deals to privatize public hospitals. Four LSU hospitals, including those in New Orleans and Lafayette, change from public to private partner operations Monday, but details of those and other hospital agreements remain under question. Members of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget on Thursday pressed for information about budget commitments amid their complaints about incomplete documents and a sketchy bullet point presentation of “significant” changes to the New Orleans and Lafayette agreements.  The Advocate