October 3, 2012


TX: Poll results reflect a few surprises from a red state

The poll also measured whether Texans would be willing, or not, to pay more in taxes for a number of proposals. The majority responded that they would be willing to pay increased taxes for construction of new schools, additional art and music instruction, increased pay for school staff and teachers, and investing in physical education classes and high tech equipment. They also believe water rights should be public, instead of owned by individuals, and they would be willing to pay more in tap fees to ensure the state’s water needs are met.  Dallas Morning News

WI: Abele wants to ‘revolutionize’ county government, privatize more

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele unleashed his inner wonk Tuesday, touting his 2013 budget as preserving services and freezing property taxes and extolling his long-term aspirations for overhauling county government… He promised to aggressively pursue privatization ventures… “I’m not here just to run the ship, I want to revolutionize what government can be,” Abele told an audience at a Milwaukee Rotary Club luncheon. …He declined to say what services he’s considering for outsourcing. Gov. Scott Walker, Abele’s predecessor as county executive, pressed for privatizing food service, housekeeping, building security and even the airport. Each issue provoked strong opposition, but Walker eventually won on food service and housekeeping. Walker’s unilateral move to privatize courthouse security was reversed by an arbitrator. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (blog)

OH: Mark Kvamme Abandons Sinking JobsOhio Ship

…Kvamme moved to Kasich’s staff and quickly began developing what would become known as JobsOhio: a private development organization that would replace the Department of Development.  JobsOhio would be funded with state money but would not have any of the transparency or accountability requirements of a state agency.   Kvamme was eventually appointed to lead JobsOhio and, since taking over, has been fighting to get that state money in the form of liquor revenue, which he planned to bond out to pay the state a fee and keep the rest for operating JobsOhio. Again, the constitutionality of JobsOhio’s funding plan was challenged by ProgressOhio. …We wondered out loud what Kasich might possibly do next, but I don’t any of us guessed this:  Mark Kvamme, the guy who came up with the brilliant idea for a private development organization funded with state money,  just announced he’s leaving JobsOhio to start his own venture capital firm. This can not be good news for what the Dispatch called the ”centerpiece of the administration of Gov. John Kasich”. PlunderBund

FL: Lifeguards hired as public employees, Private Contractor fired

Remember when 18 year old lifeguard, Tomas Lopez, was fired by the private contractor, Jeff Ellis Management for rescuing a drowning man outside the Management companys contracted section of beach in the City of Hallendale Beach, FL?   Recently the role of the contractor and the Lifeguards have reversed themselves. Good paying full time lifeguard jobs and 3 part time jobs were filled by the City to patrol and protect beach goers. These are much better paying jobs the what the contractor offered.   Video Link portraying the new hires with short story availabe here.   Daily Kos

Postal Service privatization: New York magazine takes delivery into its own hands

News this week that the U.S. Postal Service has defaulted on a second $5.6 billion benefits payment — the second miss in two months — is sure to reawaken a debate among think tanks such as the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation that USPS should be privatized.  Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has blamed Congress for not taking action on the proposals USPS has put forth over the past year, as they recess until after the November elections, saying, “Absolutely, we would be profitable right now.” New York magazine, thanks to increased postage costs with declining service, has decided to experiment with its own kind of delivery privatization: door-to-door delivery by hand in Manhattan.  Washington Post Blog

Deconstructing the PMSC Frame

But privatization of military tasks is inextricably linked to our conception of the free enterprise system and over the past few decades we have been conditioned to accept, in Tarzan-like terms — you: big bureaucratic, wasteful, inefficient, free spending, government apparatchik; me: lean, mean, outsourced, cost-effective, fighting machine..So, most of us willingly drank the neoliberal Kool-Aid, at least until the economy started melting down. But since then people have been expressing doubts about both neoliberal economics and privatization. Are they right to do so? Possibly, according to an article published earlier this year.  Huffington Post