Thursday, December 27, 2012

ALEC Privatization Policies are FAILURES

Another example of privatization of government services that failed.  The only two major groups that push privatization are ALEC and their good buddies the Reason Foundation.

Dr.Adrian Moore, Vice President of Public Policy of the Reason Foundation, is an Advisor to the American Legislative Exchange Council's Commerce, Insurance & Economic Development Task Force.[6] Reason Foundation representatives have also advised ALEC Task Forces on issues such as state budgets [7], and health reform. [8]

The Reason Foundation's Director of Government Affairs, Mike Flynn, was previously policy director for ALEC. [9]

Anyway - now that I have made the link to the nasties - here's another story of privatization failure. 

Chicago parking meters will be US's most expensive

After the first of the year, the cost of parking in Chicago's downtown Loop area will rise to $6.50 an hour.

CHICAGO — Chicago soon will have the nation's most expensive downtown parking meters.

On New Year's Day, meters in the city's downtown Loop area will begin charging $6.50 an hour — up from $5.75.

A report from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency says the rate change will make Chicago the city with the most expensive metered parking.

The company that operates the meters plans to have all machines set to the new rates by the end of February.

Former Mayor Richard Daley got the City Council to approve the company's 75-year contract in 2008. In return, the city got a $1.1 billion payment — much of which has already been spent.

Current Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ordered an independent audit of the deal, which is now largely viewed as a financial disaster.
Mayor Daley may get the blame for it in the article but everyone knows – one person, all by themselves, does not make that type of decision..

The real blame
The real blame falls with the overall political opinion pushed by organizations and politicians from ALEC that everything should be privatized.

From a PFAW Report titled “Predatory Privatization” (my emphasis):
The American Legislative Exchange Council and its corporate and right-wing allies promote antidemocratic privatization of public assets and government services.

As the Huffington Post reported last June, “The finances of Harrisburg, Pa., are so desperate that local officials are considering a deal they fear will ultimately make the city more miserable.” Part of the plan involved leasing or selling the city’s parking garages, resulting in the long-range loss of valuable and leaving city residents vulnerable to the whims of a private corporation. One proposal would have given investors leasing garages the power to double parking rates twice a year. “This is a situation where Wall Street will get paid, and the little guys on Main Street, taxpayers, are going to get stuck holding the bag,” said City Council member Brad Koplinski in June.

To accomplish these initiatives, ALEC contends that “state governments can take an active role in determining which products and services should be privatized.” ALEC advocates three reforms: creating a “Private Enterprise Advisory Committee” to review if government agencies unfairly compete with the private sector; creating a special council that would contract with private vendors if they can “reduce the cost of government”; and creating legislation that would require government agencies to demonstrate “compelling public interest” in order to continue as public agencies.

In 2009, the city of Chicago sold the city’s parking meters to a group of companies led by Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley, which includes an investment fund owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.

The deal was, is and will continue to be a disaster for Chicagoans. It allowed the private investors to massively hike parking rates, which frustrated drivers and hurt downtown businesses by giving customers a reason to stay away. In addition, the deal prevents the city from providing any competition to the private investors – so decades from now, public officials will still be unable to decide, for example, that they should build new parking garages downtown. This is crony capitalism at its worst, creating endless revenue streams for for-profit businesses under terms that protect their profits from marketplace competition.

Privatization of government goods and services.

This is the ALEC way

This is a major ALEC policy failure

The corporations get all the power and all the money.
Taxpayers get screwed – twice 
– once with taxpayer money going to private industry and 
– THEN having to pay more to corporations for governmental goods and services that were reasonably priced before the corporate takeover of the governmental services.

ALEC pushed privatization of government goods and services is a failure
for ALEC profit sector members.

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