November 10, 2014


The Risks of Privatizing Social Security. . . Privatization does not reform Social Security. Privatization changes the role that Social Security plays in our lives. Privatization would transform Social Security from conceptually old-age insurance to a system of forced savings. These are very different things.

KS: After privatizing, some Kansas child support performance measures fall. . . Last year a wave of privatization swept across the state’s child support system. Kansas’ child support services, previously a function of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, were handed over to a handful of companies in contracts worth millions. More than a hundred state employee positions were eliminated as officials promised more aggressive collection and greater efficiency. But data obtained by The Topeka Capital-Journal through an open records request shows Kansas now does a worse job collecting current child support than before privatization — and the percentage of current support collected stands at a 14-year low. Topeka Capital Journal

NJ: Privatization of public water, sewer systems could be fast-tracked under NJ bill. Trenton voters were given the opportunity to sell the city’s water system to a private company in 2010. The $80 million sale was defeated in a 4-to-1 landslide. At Tuesday’s polls, hundreds of voters in tiny Sussex Borough overwhelmingly rejected a similar sale of their public system to private hands, while Haddonfield in Camden County solidly approved selling its deteriorating system to New Jersey American Water. But such direct public mandate on water and sewer sales may become a thing of the past, as a bill in the Legislatures allowing public entities to fast-track selling water and sewer systems that serve millions advances this fall. The Star-Ledger

PA: The drama over Philadelphia Gas Works. Last month, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s plan to privatize Philadelphia Gas Works came to a grinding halt. Listen as Radio Times breaks down the controversial plan. WHYY

PA: Business leaders see PGW sale as key to opening Philly as energy hub. Business leaders are calling on the Philadelphia City Council to reconsider spiking a deal to sell its city-owned utility, PGW. Meanwhile, some environmental groups are celebrating it as a small victory in their fight against plans for an energy-centric future for Philadelphia. . . . Business leaders pushing to turn the city into a regional energy hub see privatizing PGW as the best way to develop the utility’s other assets – including two major liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage units on the Delaware River.

PA: Postal Union Protests Perceived Privatization Push Outside Chestnut Hill Staples. Despite a persistent, chilly rain, more than 20 members and allies of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) marched outside the Germantown Avenue Staples on Thursday afternoon to protest plans to expand a recent retail agreement with the U.S. Postal Service.As part of the agreement, Staples employees will eventually staff USPS service windows at more than 1,500 supply-chain locations nationwide. NBC 10 Philadelphia

NC: North Carolina Tells Charter-School Chain It Can’t Keep Administrator Salaries Secret. The schools’ management company, which receives millions in public funds each year from the schools, says that the salaries paid to school administrators should be considered a trade secret. ProPublica