May 19, 2014


Heavy hauling shifts to taxpayers in privatizations. . . One recession and eight years later, privatizations are again the rage in the region. But the tables have turned, with most of the risk in the deals shifting to government and windfall payments becoming a thing of the past. Nationally, that trend has played out most predominately on road-building projects. Investment teams are demanding states guarantee them fixed annual payments, known as availability payments, before they will build anything.

Privatization Is the Problem, Not the Solution. Canadians are forever being informed, explicitly or implicitly, that the solution to the crisis of the day, or decade, is a freedom-sounding word called “privatization.” This, the free-marketeers tell us, will solve our problems. The reality is invariably the opposite. “Privatization” — also known as bailed-out, highly subsidized corporatism — is in fact the problem, not the solution. Furthermore, the crises being addressed are often manufactured for the express purpose of rolling out a parasitical regime of corporatization that profits from calamity, even as its “host,” the public, is fleeced.  Common Dreams

LA: State Police proposing outsourcing driver’s license test. A new initiative by Louisiana State Police could lead to shorter lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Outsourcing driving tests may be on the horizon. . . . “If we have an accredited school that a parent has paid for as a state agency and motor vehicle has accredited that school then we should accept their test,” Edmonson says.  “If they’ve passed the test then why do they have to go to motor vehicle and pass another test?” WBXH

LA: To save time and money, let’s privatize the Louisiana Legislature. . .Why waste hundreds of millions of dollars each year to support an institution that simply takes orders from the governor and the corporate and private interests that contribute to its members’ campaign funds? Times Picayune

MT: Our Readers Speak: State land should not be privatized. The recent guest editorials by Terry Anderson of PERC advocating privatization of our public lands demand a response. I have read Anderson’s columns in the Montana Standard for many years, and his fundamental argument is that privatization of these lands will result in better management. Of course, “better” is in the eye of the beholder. Privatization would certainly be better for the moneyed newcomers, since those are the folks who will be in the best position to buy that land — and we already know their views on access. Most of us have our hands full just making a living. Montana Standard