September 20, 2013


Toll Roads Rising: Why There Will Be More Tolls Down the Road. We are living through what one transportation expert calls a “renaissance in tolling.” What that means for American drivers is that they’ll face higher and higher tolls on roads, and more toll roads period. TIME

Privatization fetishists resist reform, costing cities millions. Now a proposed law in Chicago, backed by a coalition of community groups and unions, could slow the selling off of everything city-owned not already nailed to the floor. The Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance (PTAO) is designed to help prevent abuses of privatization, and avoid the kinds of deals negotiated in the past that were intended to help close budget deficits but turned out to be massive boons for corporations and Wall Street while losing long-term revenue for the city. Salon

Privatization driven by corruption. The Chicago parking meter debacle. I want to just add this. Given the immensely favorable deals that governments — federal, state and local — give to their private “partners,” how can crony corruption and kickbacks not be a part of it. For example, consider just this via Rich Perlstein, on the sale of revenues from Chicago parking meters to a consortium led by Morgan Stanley and including the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Abu Dhabi.  AMERICAblog

Privatizing the Postal Service is a Bad Idea, and the UK Has Proof. If the United States were to privatize the postal service like Britain has done, the government would first have to invest billions of dollars into making the postal service appear as a viable, competitive business. This would likely be unpopular with both parties. PolicyMic

AZ: Governor Brewer, Personal SuperPAC Benefit From Company Privatizing Arizona Rest Stops. The week that a major Request for Proposals went out to privatize the state’s highway rest areas, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was hosted in Tennessee and her personal Super PAC received contributions and underwriting from the Tennessee company proposing the public-private partnership. Tucson Citizen

LA: Louisiana Governor Looks to Privatize all State Senior Care. Louisiana’s governor is making a push toward a complete privatization of health-care programs, including those that span senior care within the state. “Jindal’s administration has already transferred most of the state’s 1.4 million Medicaid recipients to six privately owned insurance companies,” the report states. “The administration also has moved people with behavioral health issues, such as mental distress and substance abuse, from state-run programs to care managed by a private company.” Senior Housing News

OR: Protesters on ropes dangle from Oregon Capitol dome. Protesters hung from ropes 100 feet off of the Oregon Capitol dome Thursday morning to protest the privatization of Oregon forest lands. Two protesters hanging on the west side of the dome held a sign that read, “Kitzhaber’s Legacy: Privatizing The Elliott Forest – Clearcutting For Profit.” The protesters are members of a group called Cascadia Forest Defenders.

VA: No to privatization – opinion. In the midst of dwindling state funding for Virginia’s public universities, a University of Virginia panel proposed that the school transition from public to private…. There was a time when Virginia funded 43 percent of the College’s operating budget. That time has long passed. And it’s easy to understand why: There is a broad national trend of decreasing state investment in public universities, and a weak economy means less tax revenue for states. However, we as a nation still believe that education is important, so much so that the number of college applications is skyrocketing. If we are serious about education, public funding for higher education ought to be a priority. The slow death of the “public” aspect of public universities does not bode well for the education of our populace. The Flat Hat