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News (28)

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Municipal sanitation workers have struck against privatization

Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) municipal sanitation workers have struck against privatization. They are “demanding revocation of the order which allowed privatization of the sanitation maintenance work and gave the right of employing workers to contractors. With only a few permanent sanitation workers on hand, the VMC is struggling to clean up the city. Most of the dumper bins are overflowing with garbage and households are also feeling the heat with no door-to-door collection.”

“How to win a ‘Nobel’ in Economics?"

Paul Romer, the NYU economist who was just awarded a Nobel Prize, is the inventor of the concept of “charter cities”—fully privatized municipalities. Honduras was supposed to be one of the first targets. Mark Ames (a close-up observer of the disastrous Russian privatizations of the 1990s) explains: “How to win a ‘Nobel’ in Economics: find a Latin American country whose military just overthrew its elected leftist president, propose dystopian privatization experiment giving multinationals complete dictatorial control over their sweatshop labor.”

The Systemic Racism of Public Debt Collection in California

A new report by the California Reinvestment Coalition reveals that the privatized system of public debt collection is pervaded with systematic racism. Jeremy Mohler of In the Public Interest says, “In other words, California counties are imposing excessive fines and fees on their poorest residents not so much to fund government but to enrich a handful of corporations. (It’s important to note that two corporations, AllianceOne and GC Services, hold a majority of the contracts, and have been sued in other states for worker overtime violations and making unlawful collection calls).”

Source: The American Prospect

Documents (3)

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Diversifying Public Ownership. Constructing Institutions for Participation, Social Empowerment and Democratic Control (by Andrew Cumbers)

This paper advocates a form of economic democracy based around diverse forms of public ownership. It does not prioritize one particular scale but recognizes the importance of decentralized forms of public ownership, to encourage greater public participation and engagement, mixed with higher level state ownership, for strategic sectors and planning for key public policy goals (e.g. tackling climate change). It takes a deliberately pluralistic definition of public ownership, recognizing both state ownership and the role that cooperatives and employee ownership could play in a more democratic economy.

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Unholy Alliance: California Courts’ Use of Private Debt Collectors

A new report by the California Reinvestment Coalition reveals that the privatized system of public debt collection is pervaded with systematic racism. This research showed that the collection of fines and fees is a regressive form of income generation for municipalities. Private debt collectors profit from fines and fees assessed on poor people, facilitated by the state of California. However, the revenue to counties from collecting these fines and fees is miniscule; this system only benefits the private debt collectors.

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Asking the right questions: A guide for municipalities considering P3s

In this guide, economist John Loxley takes a critical look at the case for and against using public-private partnerships (P3s) for municipal infrastructure.His analysis goes beyond the claims made by P3 promoters to examine the costs and consequences of privatizing vital community assets. Through a series of questions, Dr. Loxley outlines the problems that accompany infrastructure and service privatization, and highlights the value of keeping vital assets and services public. With growing financial and political pressure on municipalities to use P3s, this guide is a timely resource that answers key questions about financing and delivering infrastructure projects. With this guide, municipal councillors and civic officials will be able to ask the right questions before considering entering into a P3.