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Here’s this post on the In the Public Interest website.
- Guess who stands to benefit handsomely from the increase in interest rates while everyone else suffers? Well surprise, surprise, it’s the road privatization company Transurban, which operates toll roads around the U.S./DMV capital region.
- Are beleaguered Windy City residents about to be further soaked to help finance the up to $2.2 billion price tag on a high-end makeover of Soldier Field to keep the Bears?
- Battle lines have been drawn over the biggest proposed privatization deal in the country.
First, the good news…
1) National: PowerSwitch Action has a great new website. Check it out. “After two decades at the nerd table, we decided it’s time for our cool-kid makeover. Last summer, we changed our name to PowerSwitch Action to reflect our new long-term agenda. We’re wresting control over our local economies and democracy from wealthy corporations—switching governing power over to our communities where it belongs.” Executive Director Lauren Jacobs says “On our new website, you can:
- Find research, policy toolkits, and other resources to inform campaigns in your community(with new and much-improved filtering options).
- Dive into the four strategic imperatives that are guiding our long-term agenda, and explore the focus areas where we’re most active today.
- Learn about the hidden talents of our awesome team.Did you know Christina (our housing & land justice director) sews her own wardrobe?!
I particularly like the spotlight interviews on our new blog. From organizing tenant unionsto creating public banksto defending voting rights in the South, our affiliates are doing powerful work. In hard moments, these stories help keep me going.”
2) National: AFSCME President Lee Saunders says The Inflation Reduction Act is “a historic step towards a better, more secure future for millions. (…) Passing this bill will also help create a sustainable future by investing in new technologies to mitigate the impact of climate change. This will include creating thousands of jobs for energy projects right here in the United States and providing tax credits to encourage green investments. And this will all be paid for through a long-overdue increase in corporate taxes. All told, this sets a new standard that prioritizes working families and insists that billionaires and profitable corporations finally begin to pay their fair share if they want to do business here.”
3) National: Cities have hundreds of climate-related projects lined up, The Bond Buyer reports. “As environmental disclosure becomes increasingly important to municipal investors, a new snapshot of U.S. cities sheds light on hundreds of infrastructure projects planned by the cities to mitigate climate exposure. TheU.S. Infrastructure Snapshot Reportis produced by nonprofit CDP, which runs an annual environmental disclosure platform for companies, cities, states and regions. The report digs into the cities’ 2021 climate disclosures to highlight their infrastructure plans, examining the kind of projects, the financing status, and the development stage, among other things.” [Sub required]
4) California: The Center on Policy Initiatives has published the People’s Budget Alliance’s City of San Diego People’s Budget. Among the items: “Align existing City programs to create an Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) to uplift health and safety labor standards, effectively enforce labor laws, and protect workers and citizens. Programs such as the Minimum Wage Program, Earned Sick Days Program, Living Wage Program, Labor Compliance Program, and the Equal Opportunity Contracting Program can be combined to create the office. Fast-track hiring for the office to achieve full staffing of all budgeted positions. Cost Estimate: No additional revenue required—redirection of existing program funds.”
5) Missouri: Kansas City’s zero fare transit program is showing major success—and what still needs to be done. “Almost 90% of the riders surveyed said they rode the buses more as a result of Zero Fare. About 92% said it allowed them to shop for food more often; 88% said they could see their healthcare providers more easily or more often; 82% said it allowed them to get or keep a job; and 86% said it made them feel like city leadership is concerned about their needs — a sore subject for mostly-Black East Side residents, who often complain that the city pays more attention to its whiter and more affluent west side.”
6) Missouri: The Missouri Independent has been honored as a “Sunshine Hero” for its work covering state government. “The Independent is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization dedicated to relentless investigative journalism and daily reporting that sheds light on state government and its impact on the lives of Missourians. In its release announcing the award, the Missouri Sunshine Coalition praised The Independent as ‘an important addition to statehouse coverage.’ ‘From its earliest days, the staff has reported on looming threats to the Sunshine Law,’ the [Missouri Sunshine Coalition] said, ‘and used the law to assist in shedding light on official actions of government and the influences driving policies.’”
7) New York: New York City is planning to provide cellphone service throughout the subways. “The $600 million project will be paid for and built by Transit Wireless, a New York-based communications infrastructure company, which already provides access to cellphone and Wi-Fi service in all of the city’s 281 underground subway stations. The project will also expand Wi-Fi service to all 191 aboveground stations and to 21 Staten Island Railway stations. The authority’s board approved the proposal at a meeting [last] week. An agency official said the project was in a design phase. Danny Pearlstein, a spokesman for Riders Alliance, a grass-roots organization of transit riders, praised the decision and said there were no downsides to making the system fully connected to cellphone networks…”
“Transit Wireless expects to pay off the cost of the project by generating revenue through licensing fees, monetizing data analytics and leasing out fiber-optic cables for network providers, according to documents from the authority’s board. Once Transit Wireless has recouped its $600 million investment, it will share a portion of its revenue with the authority—20 percent for six years, before steadily increasing to 40 percent beginning in the 15th year after recoupment. The authority will also benefit from free Wi-Fi and dedicated access to fiber internet to support its operations.”
8) National: In a further effort to centralize and intensify the right wing assault on the American public education system, two key political operations-cum-think tanks are sponsoring a national conference to “examine the federal legal and policy issues surrounding American education.” The Federalist Society, the national right wing legal networking and activist organization that has attained hegemony over the American judiciary, and the Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies, Inc. (DFI), will hear from keynote speakers Betsy DeVos and William Barr, two veteran activists in the right wing assault on American education and democracy.
DFI’s co-founder and president is Robert S. Eitel, who, as Michelle Chen reported, “as counsel for Bridgepoint, the parent company of the now-tainted brands of Ashford University and University of the Rockies, was forced by the Obama administration [in 2016] to refund $24 million in tuition and debt costs to students, plus civil damages, after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that its heavy marketing scheme for its online programs, and ‘deceived its students into taking out loans that cost more than advertised.’”
Sessions at the September 20 meeting include:
- Education: What Role for the Federal Government?
- The Title IV Program: Time for a New Approach to Federal Student Loans?
- School Choice after Carson v. Makin
- Critical Race Theory and Gender Identity in the Classroom
- The Biden Administration’s Proposed Rule on Title IX.
9) National: Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post is doing her usual terrific job of keeping us posted on the organized efforts of the religious charter school industry to undermine public education. This conflict has been particularly fierce in Tennessee, where a huge battle broke out over whether Hillsdale College’s veteran Christian Right activist President Larry Arnn was going to be allowed to set up religiously-inflected charter schools around the state after he insulted Tennessee teachers.
Well the good news is that the privatizers have been routed—for now. “The pushback on one of his plans—to sprinkle charter schools throughout the state that will combat “leftist academics”—has sparked such an uproar over the past few weeks that it may redirect or even halt a major expansion of conservative schooling.”
Darcie Cimarusti of the Network for Public Education takes up the story in the Post. “What is playing out in [Colorado’s] Weld RE-4 district is part of a greater conflict in the state. A recent poll of Colorado voters showed a growing split in support for charter schools. Only 36 percent of Democrats polled expressed support, compared to 79 percent of Republicans. Perhaps most telling are the reasons. Among the reasons Republicans say in the poll that they favor charter schools is because they don’t teach a left-wing agenda while some Democrats and Independents oppose charter schools because they see them as religious.”
10) National: Writing in In These Times, Kalena Thomhave reports that dozens of states are facing education privatization bills backed by conservative think tanks that could potentially take funding away from already struggling schools. “Amy Frogge, a former Nashville school board member and a public education advocate, says she has never seen anything like it. ‘We’re looking at [about] 10 pro-privatization bills this year’ in Tennessee, she says. ‘“Usually, we’re fighting about one or two.’ Tennessee isn’t alone. In particular, at least a dozen states (including Tennessee) are looking to install a new form of vouchers, called ‘education savings accounts’ (ESAs). ESA programs aim to ‘remove local control of taxpayer dollars and redirect them to private interests with as little public oversight as possible,’ Frogge says. Privatization proponents herald ESAs as ‘the next generation of school choice.’”
11) National: Joshua Cowen, a professor of Education Policy at Michigan State University and former co-director of the Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) has thrown in the towel on school vouchers. “Vouchers are dangerous to American education. They promise an all-too-simple solution to tough problems like unequal access to high-quality schools, segregation and even school safety. In small doses, years ago, vouchers seemed like they might work, but as more states have created more and larger voucher programs, experts like me have learned enough to say that these programs on balance can severely hinder academic growth—especially for vulnerable kids.”
12) National: The charter school industry is taking a victory lap over its winning battle to get the Biden administration to direct $440 million to charter schools. Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA), Michael Bennet (CO) and Cory Booker (NJ) lined up to support the school privatization industry’s efforts.
13) National: Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali digs deep on Betsy DeVos’ crusade to undermine public education by privatizing schools or defunding them, and has a proposal. “I actually have a great idea that helps us out of this mess. If the right wing is indeed so concerned about our children’s education, perhaps the United States, the most powerful and wealthy country on Earth, could invest more funds in our public schools and give our teachers better wages. We can pay for this by taxing our religious institutions and churches. This will make American kids more competitive when they seek jobs in the global market, which in turn will help make America great again! Isn’t it pretty to think so? Alas, we know Republicans and Christian nationalists don’t care about our kids. They only care about power and control. All of their choices regarding our schools are simply a way to that end—by any means necessary.”
14) National: Online schooling is the bad idea that refuses to die, writes Bloomberg’s Andrea Gabor. “A new study shows that while young children, especially, are bouncing back from the pandemic-era academic doldrums, the gap between high-poverty and low-poverty schools remains greater than it was pre-pandemic. Research, where it exists, shows consistently worse educational outcomes for online schools than for traditional public schools.”
15) National: Writing in The Hill, Jennifer C. Berkshire and Jack Schneider say the GOP’s school board takeover strategy is falling flat. “As it turns out, GOP candidates running on scorched-earth education platforms have fared quite poorly in school board elections. In places like Georgia, Montana, New Hampshire and New York, voters have rejected culture warriors running for school board, often doing so by wide margins. A recent Ballotpedia review of more than 400 school board contests in Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin found that race, gender and COVID were indeed influential in determining election outcomes, but not in the way one might expect. As they found, candidates who ran in opposition to a “conflict issue”—sexual education curricula, for instance, or a focus on race in the district—were more likely to lose their races.”
16) New York: The Gothamist reports that “the founder of a Harlem-born network of nonprofit charter schools once lauded for his ‘compelling new vision’ for public education is headed to prison—for stealing from the very schools he helped launch.”
17) North Carolina: Buncombe County Schools and Asheville City Schools are now contracting out some jobs because of shortages of custodians, landscaping and HVAC workers, my40.TV reports. “A spokesperson for Henderson County Schools said that district has 113 vacancies. Some of the most needed positions are bus drivers, coaches and teacher assistants. A spokesperson for Asheville City Schools said that system has 58 vacancies.”
18) Pennsylvania: Shawgi Tell, author of Charter School Report Card, presents a look at the problems with charter funding in Pennsylvania. “Not surprisingly, while superintendents and public interest advocates in Pennsylvania are seeking broad reforms to the current defective school funding set-up, advocates of privately-operated charter schools are fighting tooth and nail for every single public cent they can seize. They have little sympathy for public schools and their students. To be sure, major problems caused by funneling public funds to privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit charter schools is a national problem and not unique to Pennsylvania. For more than 30 years, public schools in America have been undermined by these crisis-prone contract schools run by unelected private persons.”
19) Texas: The Dallas Morning News’ Emily Donaldson reports on what to know about Texas’ school choice movement and vouchers. “But school voucher proposals and similar initiatives that direct public dollars toward private school education have faced a tough path through the Texas Legislature. The Senate, led by Patrick, has traditionally supported voucher programs. But the Texas House has been the biggest obstacle, with rural Republicans and urban Democrats voting together to oppose the plans. Last session, 115 members from both parties voted in support of a bill amendment that would have prohibited the use of public funds for school choice programs. Rural Republicans tend to oppose the initiatives because students in their areas often lack alternatives to public schools.”
20) International: A court in the Indian state of Karnataka has criticized plans to outsource teacher jobs. “The High Court of Karnataka has suggested that the State government should not resort to contract system through outsourced agencies by a process of inviting tender to appoint school teachers but endeavor to continue its effort of recruitment of teachers in terms of the cadre and recruitment rules.”
21) National/Louisiana: U.S. Supreme Court decisions, in this case the Dobbs decision, can affect seemingly unrelated issues such as infrastructure financing. In Louisiana, the Dobbs decision is affecting public financing. The Louisiana State Bond Commissionhas weaponized the decision against New Orleans. “The Commission delayed a vote on a request for $32.7 million of bond authorization for next year to fund the Sewerage and Water Board’s planning and construction of a power plant costing $106 million. The U.S. Supreme Court recently overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the federal government’s role on abortion policy leaving the issue to the states. Louisiana moved quickly to tighten restrictions on the availability of the procedures, something that has yet to be decided by the state courts.” The New Orleans City Council has approved a resolution “to reiterate that equal access to abortion care is essential for social and economic equality and reproductive autonomy, and to condemn any action intended to abrogate the fundamental liberties of the people of the city of New Orleans while affirming the City Council’s commitment to protecting the rights of its residents to make reproductive health decisions, including abortion care. (…) ‘It is disappointing and appalling that the Louisiana Bond Commission decided to halt funding for one of the most vital and valuable infrastructure projects, despite the fact that the right to an abortion remains legal statewide,’ said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell in a statement. [Sub required]
22) National: Guess who’s on the hunt for public dollars to build out its massive business? Why it’s Tesla, which paid $0 in federal taxes. “The EV-market leader is bidding for a portion of billions in federal and state dollars that are up for grabs in coming years as the Biden administration, auto makers and many states try to accelerate a fast-charger build-out along highways to reassure drivers that they can travel without fear of losing power,” The Wall Street Journal reports. [Sub required]
23) National: Green, social, and sustainability bond issuesare gaining popularity as more issuers and borrowers incorporate socially and environmentally responsible factors into their capital planning and operations. Here are the basics. But some financial interests are attacking ESG by arguing that it shrinks the pool of potential investors in Muni bonds. They seem not to have noticed that severe climate events are battering their clients’ Muni portfolios.
24) National/International: Guess who stands to benefit handsomely from the increase in interest rates while everyone else suffers? Well surprise, surprise, it’s the road privatization company Transurban, which operates toll roads around the U.S./DMV capital region. “Atlas Funds Management chief investment officer Hugh Dive has named Transurban as one of three companies that could do quite well in a high interest rate environment. (…) Commenting on Transurban specifically, he noted the company will make more profit as inflation rises. He said: ‘With the utilities, you wouldn’t think that they would normally do well in a rising rate environment and their biggest cost is interest. But given that the debt is termed out on an average of about eight years, it’s not really moving. And every year with inflation, the tolls go up. For the next four years, Transurban has said that every 1% increase in inflation equals another US$50 million in profit.’”
25) Florida: Recent reporting by Florida newspapers has raised ethical questions about Florida Power & Light’s manipulation of the media. “The records, along with recent reporting by the Orlando Sentineland Florida Times-Unionon FPL setting up secret daisy chains of nonprofits to funnel money to candidates and hire private investigators to tail reporters, highlight the extremes to which FPL will go to play kingmaker in Florida. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating expenses—including Burgess’ $12,000-per-month paycheck—were funneled into the Capitolist through a network of shell companies backed by FPL, financial records and internal communications dated as early as January 2018 show.”
26) Illinois/National: Are beleaguered Windy City residents about to be further soaked to help finance the up to $2.2 billion price tag on a high-end makeover of Soldier Field to keep the Bears? But there’s more. “About $400 million remains outstanding from a 2001 bond issue that helped finance a $600 million renovation under a deal between the Bears and then Mayor Richard M. Daley that installed a saucer like seating bowl on top of the stadium’s historic colonnades. The bonds aren’t retired until 2032. The Bears lease runs through 2033. The debt is repaid primarily with hotel taxes which plummeted over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic leaving Chicago this year to cover the shortfall.” [Sub required]
27) Maryland: The state agency representing ratepayers says “a recent decision by Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC) allowing electric utility companies to access millions of dollars in federal grants without public oversight or input violates the Commission’s regulatory responsibilities. (…) In the petition, the OPC asked the Commission to direct electric utilities in the state to disclose the plans and projects they planned to submit for grants under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The petition said it is in the public interest that electric companies provide reports to the Commission on any funding they have applied for and explain how they intend to use the funds in relation to the state’s policy goals, as well as any conditions that must be met to obtain the grant.”
For a great overview of how the electricity market works in the U.S., and its history, check out this recent discussion by David Dayen, Lee Harris and Mark Nelson.
28) North Carolina/South Carolina: “Toll lanes on south I-77 would be unfair to SC residents like me,” says a motorist about a proposed ‘public-private partnership’ to create tolls. “Why is it that toll lanes on Interstate 85 never seem to come up? I commuted to my job in Charlotte for about 15 years. Placing tolls on I-77 from south Charlotte to South Carolina would basically be a tax on S.C. commuters without representation, which is unfair.”
29) Pennsylvania: Battle lines have been drawn over the biggest proposed privatization deal in the country. Last week public resistance to the $1.1 billion dealwas expressed in a pair of “open houses” by Bucks County officials. “Most of the members of the public who attended the Perkasie event appeared to be opposed to a sale. ‘I’m concerned about a corporate takeover of a public utility,’ said Kara Raymond of Doylestown, who held a ‘Stop the Sewer Sale’ pamphlet during an hour-long question-and answer-session. ‘People are here to ask questions and let their feelings be known. People aren’t here for a corporate presentation.’ (…) Customers who attended Tuesday’s event and criticized the sale said ratepayers would pay higher rates to allow Aqua to recover the purchase cost. BCWSA’s current residential sewer rate of about $48 a month compares to Aqua’s rate of $88. ‘I see no benefit to the customers of the authority,’ said Randy Scott, a retiree from Warrington. ‘There isn’t any benefit here. There is nothing they have proposed that they can’t do themselves without selling the system. And we lose local control.’” [Watch this great videoon the issues with activist and organizer David McMahon.About an hour and 17 minutes].
30) International: The new Australian Labor government has rejected broadband privatization. “The Australian government has told national broadband wholesaler NBN Co to go back to the drawing board on wholesale pricing. The Albanese Labor government, elected just two months ago, has also confirmed it intends to keep the state-owned business in public hands and that it aims to expand fiber access.”
31) National/Connecticut: As conservatives launch demagogic attacks on the elimination of cash bail, the Connecticut Mirror is stepping in with a serious examination of the issues. “Over the next three weeks, the CT Mirror will explore the effects and challenges of Connecticut’s cash bail system. This week: One man’s uphill struggle to stay out of prison illustrates the pitfalls of the system Next week: Why New Jersey got rid of most cash bail In two weeks: Financing freedom through GoFundMe”
32) National: A close look at the movement to dismantle the school to prison pipelinewas the topic on Jennifer Berkshire’s Have You Heard podcast. “The movement of students and parents to end harsh discipline and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline in their local schools made major gains. Then came the pandemic. Now, with calls for returning police to schools and ‘hardening’ them in response to shooting threats, the movement’s success may be in jeopardy. Special guests: Mark Warren, author of Willful Defiance, and Jonathan Stith, the national director of the Alliance for Educational Justice.” [Audio, about 40 minutes]
33) National: This week we get to hear how much money GEO Group and CoreCivic made from their private prison and immigration operations and what their plans are going forward. GEO Group’s call is on Tuesday, and CoreCivic’s is on Wednesday.
34) Arizona: Arizona Mirror columnist John Fabricius says Arizona needs prosecutors who seek justice instead of racking up ‘wins’. “It’s time we elect a county attorney that uses evidence-based best practices to make justice accessible to all, not just some, in our community. One who sets policies that maximize public safety while ensuring the system delivers justice – not merely cronyism, oppression and racism. One who won’t continue the office’s practice of over-sentencing non-violent offenders (unless they’re her friends), ignoring thousands of sexual assault victims, and illegally inventing fake charges to imprison peaceful protestors. It’s time we elect someone with new ideas, not someone who has spent decades as a member of the corrupt inner circle at MCAO.”
35) Florida: As he continues his hysterical campaigns against what he falsely calls Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ+ and other democratic rights, Gov. DeSantis (R) has offered a defense of corporations profiting from human incarnation. DeSantis, who harbors presidential ambitions, “called out financial institutions for blacklisting The GEO Group, a private prison corporation headquartered in Boca Raton.” Should he ever reach the White House, he would likely privatize every federal prison and immigration detention center in sight.
36) Tennessee: The Courier Journal and the Tennessean report that a deadly drug ring was allegedly run from a CoreCivic prison. “Yet, even as he was behind bar serving a 48-year prison sentence, Morales escalated his criminal network, records indicate. Security breaches inside state prisons operated by private company CoreCivic afforded Morales and his associates forbidden access to secret phones, according to documents obtained through Tennessee’s Open Records Act. CoreCivic also hired a prison guard married to one of Morales’ alleged co-conspirators. Those records also show the alarming frequency with which inmates throughout the prison system accessed or possessed illegal phones. (…) The drug ring is blamed for saturating Nashville and Middle Tennessee with tens of thousands of potentially deadly fentanyl-laced pills, several kilograms of fentanyl and heroin, more than 50 pounds of nearly pure methamphetamine and smaller amounts of cocaine and marijuana.”
37) National: Outrage spreads across the country as the Republicans, in a fit of pique over their obstructionist strategy failing in the Schumer-Manchin deal, sink a bill they had previously overwhelmingly supported to help veterans exposed to toxic burn pitsin Iraq and Afghanistan. Jon Stewart has the receipts.
38) National: Waste Management, the garbage and recycling hauler that has experienced widespread labor troubles over poor pay and working conditions, is raking it in.
39) National: The latest version of the much-negotiated Inflation Reduction Act that Senate Democrats hope to pass before the end of next week features a provision that’s key to the stability of the nonprofit health care sector, market participants said. “It’s the ACA subsidy extension that has attracted the attention of some municipal market participants,” The Bond Buyer reports. “If the subsidies are not extended, roughly 12 million Americans would be at risk of losing their insurance, a move that would likely drive up uncompensated care at nonprofit hospitals, who are major issuers of tax-exempt municipal bonds.” [Sub required].
40) National: On Friday there was a protest on the privatization of Medicare on the anniversary of Medicare.
41) Arizona/National: The Arizona Democratic Party is warning that Republican Senate candidates are plotting to privatize Social Security. “Despite the 1.35 million Arizona seniors who rely on Social Security, the field has repeatedly called to dismantle the overwhelmingly popular program.
Jim Lamon, an out of touch self-funder:
- Shamelessly advertises his plan to privatize Social Security and raise the retirement age on his campaign website; and
- Proudly stood by his plan to slash benefits because “that’s where the money is.”
42) Nebraska: Nebraska Appleseed has dropped its 3-year-old lawsuit challenging the state’s use of private contractorsto oversee Omaha-area child welfare cases, saying “it was no longer needed following the repeal of a state law allowing private management of child welfare cases in Douglas and Sarpy counties and the early termination of Nebraska’s contract with a Kansas-based nonprofit.”
43) Utah: Daily Utah Chronicle Opinion Writer Maggie Bringhurst says anti-abortion advocates neglect children. “Privatization of adoption agencies resulted in corruption, because agencies tend to value profit over humanity. The same thing happens in foster care, as states increasingly privatize the system. ‘I became a machine that cared about profits,’ admitted a former employee of one such foster care agency. ‘I didn’t care about kids.’ Some states provide no financial incentive to reunite the child with the parent. For private agencies, including faith-based, it is in their best financial interest to keep the child in foster care as long as possible.”
44) International: The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is criticizing a Saskatchewan government plan to outsource some knee and hip surgeries. “CUPE 5430, which represents over 13,000 healthcare workers in Saskatchewan, called the Ministry of Health’s move ‘unacceptable.’ ‘Contracting out surgeries is not a magic wand for wait times. In fact, there is little evidence to show that contracting out will result in shorter wait times. We point to Saskatchewan’s own MRI wait lists which have increased since the government implemented a two-tier system,’ said Bashir Jalloh, president of CUPE 5430, in a news release. ‘Even in the case of private surgeries, these patients end up coming back to the public system for follow up. Home care and therapies are just a couple of programs that are also experiencing backlogs.’”
45) National: Why do we keep falling for the same old corporate subsidy con?Asks In the Public Interest’s Jeremy Mohler. “When it comes to government contracts, we like to say that the devil is in the details. Well, the same can be said about corporate subsidies. Take Georgia’s new big, shiny $1.8 billion factory deal with South Korean automaker Hyundai. The state’s republican governor Brian Kemp is making it sound like a win-win for all involved. (…) But when you actually look at the terms of the deal—which is the largest subsidy package for an automotive plant ever in the U.S.—your head can’t help but hurt. There’s a reason Georgia officials wouldn’t reveal what incentives Hyundai had been promised until after the agreement was signed. Here they are.”
And it’s not just state governments that are gushing corporate pork. Economist Jack Rasmus tweeted“US Congress passed today $76 billion hand out to Intel, Qualcomm, & other US (super profitable) chip corps: $52B in direct subsidies + $24B in new tax cuts. To bribe them to return to US? Plus another $200B in slush funds for other tech corps to pay for their R&D.”
46) National: PowerSwitch Action’s Executive Director Lauren Jacobs and Legal Director Ben Beach discussed the implications of the Supreme Court’s efforts to drag us back for our movement. Ben: “The balance between reactive and proactive strategies is really important. I think in these moments of intense crisis, we very rightly feel untethered, scared, and desperate. With all due respect to the long history in America of incredible work to establish legal rights for oppressed people, I also think we have to abandon any attachment to the idea—for as long as this Court majority holds—that our federal constitutional framework is adequate to protect our communities and that federal litigation strategies by some very smart hardworking lawyers alone can save us.”
47) National/International: Krugman vs. Roubini redux. Roubini: “That leads directly to the third question: will monetary-policy tightening by the US Federal Reserve and other major central banks bring a hard or soft landing? Until recently, most central banks and most of Wall Street occupied ‘Team Soft Landing.’ But the consensus has rapidly shifted, with even the Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, recognizing that a recession is possible, and that a soft landing will be ‘very challenging.’”
48) Arizona/National: Blake Masters, a mini Trump, has a plan to privatize (almost) everything everywhere, says Jon Skolnik in Salon. “For one, Masters supports a generalized push to privatize the country’s water supply, according to audioprovided to Salon by American Bridge, a Democratic Super PAC. ‘Would you support the transferring of water resources to private ownership?’ a voter asked Masters two weeks ago during a campaign eventin Sedona, Arizona. ‘In general, yes,’ Masters responded, because ‘the state can’t do it and you don’t want the government doing a lot of this stuff.’”
49) Revolving Door News: Anti-antitrust shenanigans. From@leah_nylen: “Weil’s Mike Moiseyev is representing Meta in the case. Which is super interesting given that Moiseyev was a former FTC staffer, in fact the former staffer who led the agency’s probe into Instagram.” From @papscun: “The FTC’s Meta acquisition challenge focuses not on current harms to competition, but on potential competition in the future. It’s meant to counter Big Tech’s tactic of acquiring firms before they have the chance to become competitors.”
Photo by cheddar-.