October 22, 2013


Privatization Benefits the 1%; Public Services Benefit Everyone.  Private systems are focused on making profits for a few well-positioned people. Public systems, when sufficiently supported by taxes, work for everyone in a generally equitable manner. The following are six specific reasons why privatization simply doesn’t work. Truthout

Here’s why privatizing food inspection might not be the greatest idea. In 2010, Primus Group food auditors visited a Colorado melon farm run by brothers Ryan and Eric Jensen. The company told the farming brothers how to install a new cooling system. In 2011, the inspectors returned and gave the flawed new system, which violated federal guidelines, a “superior” safety report. Within a year, 33 cantaloupe consumers had died painful deaths after being infected with Listeria monocytogenes, a type of bacteria that was harbored by the brothers’ fruit. Federal investigators concluded that the installation of the new cooling system was a fatal flaw. Grist

TX: Texas toll road could be headed for default. Toll road opponents have been warning for years that public-private partnerships are not the silver bullet to solving transportation funding issues. A toll road in the Austin, Texas, region has recently provided those opponents with some more fodder.  Land Line Magazine           

IN: Lawmakers repudiate annuity privatization for retired government  workers. A legislative panel recommended Monday that state pension officials halt their plan to privatize annuity payments for retired state and local employees. nwitimes.com

LA: Louisiana treasurer says hospital privatization plan won’t save any money. Louisiana’s treasurer has condemned the state’s plan to privatize its publicly-operated hospitals, saying it will never realize the savings advertised by the Jindal Administration. FierceHealthFinance

VA: Delegate Ramadan files public testimony against Dulles Greenway operators…. In a legal memorandum filed Tuesday, Ramadan and his team of legal and economics advisers say that Toll Road Investors Partnership II, the operators of the greenway, fail to comply with three relevant portions of the state code: requiring that the toll rates be reasonable to users, that they do not discourage use of the road and that the operator doesn’t make more than a reasonable profit. Washington Post

TX:$325000 Fort Worth water study recommends no major changes. The city budgeted more than $325,000 for the review. The primary goal was to identify possible ways the city could save money by privatizing some water services. The large cost is something Pete Talleos, the president of the North Texas Association of Public Employees, says could have been better spent elsewhere. WFAA

CA: San Bernardino considers outsourcing fire services. The city of San Bernardino, which recently filed for bankruptcy, is again considering outsourcing its fire protection services. San Jose Mercury News