Jul 19, 2021
President Joe Biden is proposing to pay much of the cost of his “Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan” through privatizing parts of the infrastructure—something the Democrats opposed when Donald Trump proposed it during his presidency.
Such schemes in the past have led to selling off expressways to private interests at fire-sale prices, for example, for which the population then ends up paying tolls. Another example is Chicago’s leasing of parking meters to a Wall Street firm for 75 years. The deal not only led to an increase in parking fees, but it obliges the city to guarantee profits by paying the company off when the city closes streets for events.
In fact, by guaranteeing investors a profit, privatization schemes always end up costing the population more than government-run services; and generally the service also gets worse, because companies providing it cut corners to increase profit.
But that’s exactly why politicians running the government at all levels, both Republican and Democrat, are such big fans of privatization, whether they admit it openly or not. It’s one of the ways in which they hand out big profits to the capitalist class.