Thursday, December 4, 2008

Seling off the Family Silver

Chicago has sold off rights to its parking meters - for 75-years.  In return, it will receive 1.2 billion Usd, which it will use to balance the city budget until 2012, a grand total of 4 years.  This is on top of other assets, which have been sold to raise money in the past few years, such as the Chicago Skyway motorway.

It would seem that Chicago needs to raise taxes or cut services, since there's only so much family silver left to be sold. Making up for a chronic budget shortage, by selling assets is not a solution. What's next?  Sell the right to the sales tax?  The property tax?  

I would have hoped that the economic crisis had damaged the idea that the private sector has an added value compared to the government, and would stymie the march to offload government operations onto the private sector.   Apparently not.

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