Monday, June 12, 2017

Selling Back to the Public What It Already Owned: “Public-Private Partnership” Shark Bait | deutsch29

Selling Back to the Public What It Already Owned: “Public-Private Partnership” Shark 

 | deutsch29:

Selling Back to the Public What It Already Owned: “Public-Private Partnership” Shark Bait

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I find myself increasingly encountering the term, “public-private partnership.”
Today, I read two articles centered on this idea, both of which concerned Vice President Mike Pence– and one that concerned Pence’s role in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
One article also included a sprinkling of US secretary of [privatized] education, Betsy DeVos.
A major goal of corporate education reform is to hand over public education to private entities (corporations, or even nonprofits, but don’t think that an entity termed “nonprofit” cannot be a handsome money dispenser for those running the nonprofit and doling out contracts). However, the extreme-right-Republican aim does not end with public education but with handing over the operation of the entire American infrastructure to private entities.
In the end, what this entails is having private corporations front money to state and local governments in order to lease back to the public what the public already owns.
It’s similar what already happens in the case of some charter schools. The school owns property, which it “sells” to a private corporation or third-party nonprofit and then leases back from that entity– often at extreme rates– thereby milking public funds to pay the lease, which was the point. (I wrote about this practice in my book, School Choice: The End of Public Education?.)
The third-party landlord is the one who can really make some money by throwing an initial, tempting sum of cash at the would-be former owner (in the case of public works, the tempting cash is given to a public board, for example) in exchange for major– often ridiculous, balloon-payment-styled– future profits.
Think predatory loans. I saw a commercial years ago for one of those quick-cash businesses that preys on lower-income individuals, and I was able to read the minuscule fine print at the bottom of the screen as I was hearing how I deserved to give myself a break by getting cash when I needed it.
The interest exceeded 300 percent. So, on the back end of the deal, the one who sells his birthright for a bowl of stew feels the sting.
Think of Chicago’s parking meter fiasco. From the May 23, 2016, Chicago Sun-Times:
Chicago’s parking-meter system took in $121.7 million last year, while four underground city-owned garages reaped another $34.7 million — with not a penny of that money going to the cash-strapped city government.
Instead, the $156.3 million pot of parking cash went to private investors who
Selling Back to the Public What It Already Owned: “Public-Private Partnership” Shark Bait | deutsch29:
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