First, the Good News

1) National: In the Public Interest has produced a new report on the much underreported subject of school support services and the people who provide them. The report contains information on who are school support staff and why are they important, how privatization impacts school services provision, why privatizers are going after school services, and on insourcing and preventing privatization. School Support Services Outsourcing: The Original Privatization of Education, explores, among other things, why support services are critical to student success.

Every day, more than two million school support staff, also known as education support professionals, ensure that schools can operate and students can learn. Unfortunately, these critical positions are being threatened. Important school support services, including food service, custodial and building maintenance, transportation, clerical staff, school nurses and counselors, and paraeducators are being contracted out to private for-profit corporations. This often means that dedicated and experienced professionals are replaced with a less qualified and lower compensated workforce—and students lose trusted adults who routinely go above and beyond to ensure a safe, healthy, and high-quality learning environment inside and outside the school.

2) National: Paul Rosenberg, writing in Salon, has reviewed Corporate Bullsh*t: Exposing the Lies and Half-Truths That Protect Profit, Power, and Wealth in America by Nick Hanauer, Joan Walsh and Donald Cohen. You can order the book here. Rosenberg also interviews Cohen:

  1. You end the book with some recommendations about how to fight back. Can you briefly describe them?
  2. The first thing is I would say is that the purpose of the book is to be a vaccine. Like I said earlier, these arguments often have a patina of possibility, they sound good. They’ve been processed by PR professionals. So the first thing is to identify that the argument you’re hearing is one of those six. That’s the first thing we set out to do. Part of the way to do that is to figure out who’s saying it. Is this coming from industry, is this coming from a PR company, a think tank, or Chamber of Commerce, or industry association, is it coming from a politician who is close to the business community or is a free market fundamentalist? That’s the first thing.

David Dayen, editor of The American Prospect, also has reviewed the book. “The authors pull together an impressive amount of evidence of hundreds of years of the same claptrap put in service of business elites acquiring and maintaining untrammeled wealth and power. There is a lot of merit in seeing these strategies repeat themselves over and over. And it’s a great reference book to reach for to show your conservative uncle that, yes, even unequal pay was seen as the fault of women. Does identifying the patterns truly disarm them? I think to some extent, and it’s certainly good to anticipate these claims to better debate them. But it’s not going to stop the shamelessness with which these shopworn arguments are thrown around.”

3) National: Let’s hear it for Jack Schneider and Jennifer C. Berkshire’s outstanding article in The Nation exposing not only the corrupting influence of reactionary cultural propagandist Dennis Prager on democracy and the common good, but the right wing extremist strike force of which he is just one part. “In other words, if the goal of right-wing politicians is to push PragerU into K-12 classrooms, they’re failing miserably. But PragerU is only one small part of a much larger political project. Conservative leaders aren’t trying to force students into PragerU courses; instead, they’re prying open the gates for an entire army of partisan curriculum developers to come marching through our public schools. (…) Presently, decisions about curriculum are made on the basis of shared interests; public schools are recognized as common ground. For right-wing ideologues like Oklahoma’s Ryan Walters or New Hampshire Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut, that’s a problem. As they see it, education shouldn’t be about shared interests at all—it should be about individual preferences. In their view, asking people to come to a collective agreement about what to teach in the schools is a form of tyranny; families should be free to raise their children believing whatever they’d like them to believe.”

4) National: Madeline Janis, co-executive director of Jobs to Move America, points us to “a very important webinar with prominent legal academics on a new law review article that calls out a historical misinterpretation of federal procurement law that has squashed progressive policies and local innovation. Please circulate widely. The backdrop for this is the Administration’s new proposal to update the OMB Uniform Guidance, which is the set of rules that guide the expenditure of federal funds by tribal, state, and local governments. (That’s where the local hire ban lives.) The WH and OMB have issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on a truly excellent and comprehensive rewrite. The deadline for comments is December 4th. The target audience for this webinar is lawyers especially lawyers from the different public agencies responsible for getting out and advising on the rules for the expenditure of BIL, IRA and CHIPS funding. Here is a link to the federal register with the draft rules. Here is the link to the White House announcement of the proposed updates. This law review article, and the webinar are intended to counteract the decades of ‘can’t do’ from the entrenched conservative lawyers who assert that any local innovation/progressive policies could hurt competition by causing companies to not bid on contracts.”

Here’s the link to the November 8 public procurement law teach-in. For more on procurement and responsible contracting see In the Public Interest’s new report, “Harnessing the Power of Procurement: Issues, Considerations, and Best Practices to Advance Equity in the Contracting of Public Goods and Services.”

5) National: Route Fifty’s Molly Bolan reports that the White House has launched “a multi-agency effort to encourage states and cities to convert more empty office buildings into housing units. It is putting billions of federal dollars behind the announcement. (…) They aim to alleviate the country’s affordable housing crisis through commercial-to-residential conversions by transferring underutilized public land to local governments for housing and building more homes near public transit. Office vacancy nationwide recently hit a 30-year high of 18.2%, presenting an ‘opportunity to both increase housing supply while revitalizing main streets,’ said White House National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard on a press call Thursday. ‘It’s a win-win.’”

6) National: As the result of a successful lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Labor, the DOL “stands to recover more than $3.2 million in overtime back wages for more than 700 sales representatives of a Bedford, Massachusetts, plumbing supply company after a federal court agreed with the department and concluded on summary judgment that the employer misclassified the employees as exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The parties then agreed to resolve the remainder of the case via a consent judgment, which also forbids the company from retaliating unlawfully against employees who exercise their rights to raise wage complaints with the department. F.W. Webb Co. has appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.”

7) National: The administration has released final rules to protect student borrowers. “In particular, the rules address the Department’s concerns about the substantial number of colleges that have closed abruptly, the largest of which were private for-profit institutions, leaving students in the lurch with few if any options to complete their programs elsewhere and taxpayers on the hook for student loan discharges. (…) The final rules cover four areas. (1) Financial responsibility, which relates to situations where the Department can more swiftly obtain financial protection like a letter of credit when a college exhibits warning signs. (2) Administrative capability, which lays out additional areas where institutions must show they have sufficient resources and procedures in place for areas like career services and financial aid communication to participate in the Federal student aid programs. (3) Certification procedures, which addresses the conditions the Department can place in the written agreements it has with colleges to participate in the Federal student aid programs, and (4) Ability to benefit, which lays out a process for States to approve postsecondary programs that serve students who do not have a high school diploma.”

8) Kansas: Rebecca Lyn Phillips has some warm words of praise and thanks for a Kansas public television station and all who work there. “For about a year, I worked as receptionist at KTWU Channel 11, a Kansas public television station on the Washburn University campus in Topeka. KTWU has been broadcasting local public television in eastern Kansas and parts of Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska since 1965. It is licensed to Washburn University, and the studios are located on the Washburn campus. I loved my time at KTWU. The wonderful individuals who used to work there when I worked there were inspirational and loved their jobs, their careers. They gave it their all, and they had passion for public television.”

9) New York: Community members in Mitchell-Lama United are fighting to preserve and expand the Mitchell Lama cooperative housing model, which is threatened by privatization. “MLU is alarmed at the loss of affordable housing under Mitchell-Lama. Of the original Mitchell-Lama developments (69,673 units of ML rentals and 69,755 units of ML co-ops) over 65% of the rentals and slightly less than 10% of the co-ops have been removed from the program. Mitchell-Lama co-ops work as a model for not-for-profit housing.”

10) Texas: Grassroots Texas is not all about book bans. It’s also about the public interest. Under concerted public pressure, an oil baron has withdrawn his permit application to build a private dam on his ranch in Edwards County. “‘The dam is dead, the dam is dead,’ said Linda Fawcett, president of the Llano River Watershed Alliance and a resident of Junction who lives about 60 miles southwest of Gregg’s property. Fawcett and others along the river had expressed concerns about the proposed construction of a private dam along the South Llano River. They said it would start a domino effect of property owners building more private dams, which could alter the river’s natural flow and send less water into the Highland Lakes. Up and down the Llano River, local officials also had spoke out against the possible privatization of a section of a public river.”

11) Wyoming: EMS workers in the Equality State (yeah, that’s one of its nicknames) have signed their first union contract. “The workers unionized with the United Steelworkers (USW) in February and began negotiations shortly thereafter. The union members threatened to strike if they weren’t offered a fair contract by October, and the company finally offered a contract the members could support. The contract includes up to 15% wage increases for all employees, recruitment and retention bonuses, paid vacation leave, paid sick leave, paid union leave, improved safety measures, and other gains.”

12) International/United Kingdom: We know the bad privatization news, but the good news is that as a result of these disasters we’re finally getting a peek at how the privatization industry itself looks at the risks of privatization. “Water companies need to raise big money, but we’ll all pay in the end,” says The Sunday Times (UK)’s Dominic O’Connell. “So they are putting the best possible gloss on the outlook. They recently submitted their bids to the regulator, Ofwat, for how much they will spend over the five years from 2025, and how much they want bills to increase to pay for the work. I don’t want to put words in their mouths but the overall pitch goes like this: we understand public anger, we admit we may have fallen down in the past, but put your faith in us, let us borrow the money and put up bills, and we will put all the cash to work to make it better. The PR falls away when the risks are explained to professional investors. Water companies issue a prospectus before selling bonds (most water companies raise debt by selling bonds, IOUs offered to the market in an auction, rather than by borrowing directly from banks). The prospectus must spell out all the dangers that lie ahead. If it doesn’t, and if for any reason the bond doesn’t pay out, the investors who bought it will almost certainly sue the company for not telling the truth. With fortuitous timing, Thames Water put out a prospectus a fortnight ago. The risk factors take up 54 pages and spell out in excruciating detail the many challenges—reputational, regulatory, financial—water companies face. Let’s start with reputational…” [Sub required].

Want to go to school on project risk? Read the 369-page Thames Water prospectus and all the risk factors.


13) National: Writing in Jacobin, Nora De La Cour surveys the political landscape on religious charter schools, and calls for a tough response to their undermining of public education. “The big picture is that Democrats have changed their tune on charters, and that‘s a good thing. Now they need to back up their pro–public school rhetoric with stronger efforts to halt charter growth, as well as reforms shoring up the publicness of existing charters (since charter schools are a statutory creation, state legislatures have the power to redefine them). And remaining Democratic charter boosters like Jared Polis and Elena Parent? They need to get on board and recognize that the bipartisan ‘equity and opportunity’ charter movement was always a trojan horse for school vouchers and rightwing ideology. Fighting the rising tide of illiberalism means fighting all the forms of privatization that eat away at democracy. We simply cannot have it both ways.”

14) National: Education Week has a story on the difficulties charter schools are having on construction and building maintenance, and on the conflicts that are growing about them. “Should charter schools get to use public funds for construction and building maintenance? Can traditional public schools refuse to allow charter schools into their buildings? How much should states invest in charter facilities? These are among the questions education policymakers and advocates have been pondering in recent years as the number of charter schools continues to grow and the number of states that prohibit them continues to drop. Debates have recently sprung up over how to ensure that existing charter schools can keep up with the kinds of maintenance needs that also plague traditional public school buildings nationwide—leaky roofs, faulty HVAC units, crumbling structures. The core question, in many cases, is who’s responsible for covering costs.” [Sub required]

15) National: Texas AFT and the Network for Public Education are sounding the alarm about a new piece of legislation introduced by eight senators, including John Cornyn (R-TX), that would turbocharge federal funds for charter schools and their operators. “The Empower Charter School Educators to Lead Act would allow billionaire-funded nonprofits operating as “state entities” to keep more of a cut when dispersing Charter School Program (CSP) grants. The bill would also allow these “state entities” to award up to $100,000 to would-be charter entrepreneurs, including religious organizations, to pre-plan a charter school before they have even submitted an application to an authorizer. (…) There’s more. This bill would also increase the funding “state entities” can keep for themselves when they disperse grants. That cut is already at 10%, and this bill would raise it to a whopping 15%. Contact Sen. Cornyn today. Stop the charter school lobby’s new attempts to fleece American taxpayers and undermine public schools.”

The Network for Public Education held its NPE2023DC conference this weekend in Washington. Be on the lookout for videos on social media of some great panels. Check out their resolution on community-based public education.

16) Colorado: With the Denver school board elections taking place a week from tomorrow, it’s important to follow the money. See Mike DeGuire’s excellent exposé on the right wing dark money behind pro-charter school endorsements. “Reed Hastings has called for the elimination of democratically elected school boards, he serves on the national KIPP charter school board, and he built a training center in Bailey, Colorado, to house the Pahara Institute, an education advocacy and networking group that supports the expansion of charter schools. In December, 2020, he spelled out his vision. ‘Let’s year by year expand the nonprofit school sector … for the low-performing school district public school—let’s have a nonprofit public school take it over.’ The City Fund set up its own political group, a PAC, called Campaign for Great Public Schools (also called City Fund Action), to give money to organizations that promote charter schools and lobby to privatize education. Since its formation, the Campaign for Great Public Schools has given millions to Education Reform Now, which is the political arm of Democrats for Education Reform. DFER is a ‘New York-based political action committee which focuses on encouraging the Democratic Party to support public education reform and charter schools.’”

17) District of Columbia: Workers at Unity Health Care, the District’s largest federally-qualified health center that serves tens of thousands of the city’s most vulnerable patients, are trying to form a union. The vote took place on Thursday, and the NLRB counting is scheduled for November 17. “Doctor involvement in the drive is also notable. Nationwide, unionization amongst physicians is low (5.9% as of 2021). But more and more are turning to labor unions in the hope of addressing worsening working conditions. In D.C., medical residents and fellows at George Washington University voted to unionize in the spring. ‘It’s getting more and more commonplace where people are not being heard in their workplace,’ says Stuart Bussey, president of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD), which Unity workers are looking to join. ‘It’s become an industry where the physician is becoming increasingly a pawn in the economic plans where profits are over patients.’”

18) Kentucky: Attorney and author John Schaaf says school privatization leaves the state with greater education deficiency. “If you’re tired of endless political ads on television, radio and social media, just wait until next year when corporate lobbyists try to grab Kentucky tax dollars for privately run charter schools. After years of defeats in the Kentucky Supreme Court, lobbyists and private school operators will attempt to push a radical constitutional amendment onto the 2024 ballot. For more than 100 years, the Kentucky Constitution has protected taxpayers by prohibiting state government from spending public money on private schools. Unfortunately, foreign corporations and dark money political organizations are spending big bucks on campaign contributions and lobbyists to push for a change in the state Constitution to allow billions of tax dollars to flow into private schools operated by those corporations.” Schaaf is co-author of Hidden History of Kentucky Political Scandals (2020).

19) New Jersey/National: KPFA Against the Grain’s host, Sasha Lilley, spoke with sociologist John Arena about his new book on the privatization of schools in Newark. [Audio, about 53 minutes] “Public schools in cities across the U.S., cities like Newark, New Jersey, have been the targets of privatization campaigns over the last two decades. Sociologist John Arena asks why rising star and Mayor Cory Booker was unsuccessful at forcing through corporate school reform in Newark, while his rival and successor Mayor Ras Baraka—the one time leader of a grassroots movement for local control of schools—brought charters in.” Arena’s book is Expelling Public Schools: How Antiracist Politics Enable School Privatization in Newark.

20) Texas: So what’s the latest on the special legislative session where Republican extremists are trying to push school privatization policies? Texas AFT has an update. Vouchers seem to be going nowhere. “Since it was filed, Buckley’s bill has been quietly gathering dust. Legislators on either side of the voucher debate seem thoroughly uninterested in Buckley’s voucher. Gov. Greg Abbott, the public ringleader of the astroturf campaign to bring taxpayer-funded vouchers to Texas, declared Buckley’s plan as “insufficient.” Additionally, none of Buckley’s House colleagues have signed on as co-authors or joint authors. HB 1 has not been scheduled for a committee hearing; as yet, it hasn’t even been referred to one.”


21) National: Writing in Route Fifty, Daniel C. Vock reports on a new study that “finds that federal agencies have heeded one of President Joe Biden’s top promises for infrastructure spending: that it be directed to help communities of color. But that success has largely been limited to the few areas where federal agencies get to choose projects, not to the vast majority of infrastructure spending that Congress allocates with decades-old formulas that automatically give states and localities a predetermined share, according to the Urban Institute.

The report is one of the most extensive looks yet at how well federal agencies are living up to the promises of bringing infrastructure improvements where they are needed most.”

22) Louisiana: State lawmakers have scuttled a $2.3 billion bridge ‘public-private partnership.’ “Potential alternatives listed by Kalivoda included a design-build pay-as-you-go option to rehabilitate the bridge instead of replacing it, which could extend its life by 30 years, or the establishment of a public tolling authority with work drastically extended over the original seven-year timetable,” The Bond Buyer reports. “Kalivoda said that while his office had aggressively pursued federal funding, the tolls were necessary to carry out the project in a timely manner. The rates selected were in line with other similar development projects across the country, he added. Lawmakers rejected the proposal, however, with the committee vote falling largely along party lines as Republicans objected to the costs of the project and plans for the use of tolls on motorists to pay construction fees back over a 50-year period.” [Sub required]

23) New Jersey: The Department of Environmental Protection has finalized the controversial task force that will advise on Liberty State Park’s future. For years now citizens of the Garden State and would-be commercial developers have battled over the unique space. The question is whether the new 23-member task force, which is heavy with officials and political appointees, will have the gumption and public spirit to resist privatization.

24) New York: How did 100,000 apartments in New York disappear? The New York Times has an answer. “The city’s evolution is often measured by watching luxury apartments rise or older buildings crumble. Less apparent are the changes taking place behind the facades and how those changes may be affecting one of the city’s biggest challenges—its housing shortage. Through apartment combinations like Mr. Malloy’s, and conversions of buildings with several units into single-family homes, the city has lost more than 100,000 apartments since 1950, according to a new analysis of building records shared with The New York Times. Overall, the number of apartments in the city has grown since then, but the pace of new construction has not kept up with the growth in population and demand.”

25) Wyoming: Privatized parking enforcement may be coming to Cheyenne, the Tribune Eagle reports. “Parking is currently enforced and controlled by the Cheyenne Police Department. With its resources spread thin, department officials says the priority isn’t always on enforcing parking violations or collecting fines. To address these concerns and alleviate the burden on CPD, the city is once again considering privatizing the system. Monday night, council members approved a resolution that will begin a study to analyze the options and best ways to transition to a parking system enforced by a private contractor. ‘I’m at wit’s end,’ Aldrich said. ‘If we can’t do it, and can’t do it well, then maybe we need to look at privatization. At this point, if we just did nothing, we would save money.’”

26) International/Brazil: The privatized prison industry is making big inroads in Brazil. “On October 6 in Rio Grande do Sul, the government of Brazil held the first auction for a public-private partnership where the winning company would not just manage a federal prison, but build it from scratch. Previously, the government would build a new prison and then auction off its operations to different vendors. Now, the government will pay a single company to build a prison, manage all of its operations, and maintain it for the next 30 years. The winner would receive $20 million USD to support construction of a 1,200-bed prison and manage it on a 30-year contract. There was only one bidder, Soluções Serviços Terceirizados, which won the contract with an offer to charge the government $46 per incarcerated person per day. Soluções Serviços Terceirizados contracts with several Brazilian states as a food vendor, and is known for cutting costs. In 2021, a couple of years after the company was reported for warehouses filled with rats, Rio de Janeiro suspended its contract for ‘inadequate hygienic and sanitary conditions, including flies circulating in the area.’”

27) International/Kenya: After a 10-year effort, privatization has not solved Nigeria’s acute electricity distribution and generation problems. Now the privatization scheme is set to lapse. “However, a decade later, the problems of the power industry have remained unsolved, becoming a persistent clog in the wheel of progress for Nigeria’s economy. The electricity distribution companies are battling with liquidity issues and low remittance compounded by the metering gap; still, the generation companies struggle with poor investment and transmission inadequacies, leading to incessant grid collapses.” The next hope is for “decentralization of the power sector with proper regulatory institutions at the state and the federal levels.”

Public Services

28) National: Writing in Capital & Main, Jesse Baum asks why the Biden administration is giving a multibillion-dollar contract to Maximus, a low-road employer. “Workers told Capital & Main that they regularly help people sign up for better, cheaper health care plans than those Maximus provides—a charge supported by union researchers in 2021. Today, Maximus workers’ basic insurance plan doesn’t have a monthly premium—but workers say they can’t afford its $2,000 deductible and copays on their wages. Multiple workers reported forgoing screenings and medication; Flemmings said she’s juggling roughly $11,000 of medical debt from cataract surgeries and a pacemaker.”

29) National/New York: In a letter to the editor of Riverdale Press, New York health care advocates Judy Fletcher, Deborah Swiderski & Helen Krim tell Congress, please save Medicare. “As we receive our yearly bombardment of aggressive, deceptive marketing from Medicare Advantage providers, we write with an urgent request that all your readers contact President Biden and our members of Congress (senators and representatives) to protect Medicare from privatization. We understand that Liz Fowler, the chair of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, has the stated goal of fully privatizing Medicare by 2030.  We strongly urge your readers to oppose this, as well as the nomination of Demetrios L. Kouzoukas, a board member of Clover, a company whose profits derive from providing Medicare Advantage plans, to serve as the public trustee of the Medicare and Social Security Trust funds.”

30) National/Ohio: Communities are looking to end the prison-to-homelessness pipeline, Route Fifty reports. “[Cuyahoga County’s] housing justice plan outlines eight steps that can reduce the incarceration-to-homelessness pipeline, including developing 105 housing units that are available to individuals with criminal backgrounds, providing short-term funding to subsidize housing costs for those leaving prison and piloting a program to provide down-payment assistance or lease-to-own opportunities. The plan will be passed to the county’s newly established Department of Housing and Community Development and incorporated into a  broader housing plan that is under development. Best acknowledged that financing a $37 million initiative is no small feat, but incarceration is also expensive.”

31) National: The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) opposes efforts to revive Trump’s failed 2017 VA Accountability Act. “If reinstated, the Restore Act would override collective bargaining agreements for VA healthcare providers, and even those who do not treat veterans, like VA police officers, firefighters, plumbers, electricians, and other staff. The legislation also lowers the burden of proof when reviewing employee misconduct allegations, required only ‘substantial evidence,’ as opposed to the widely used ‘preponderance of the evidence,’ allowing for VA employees to be wrongly disciplined or terminated.” A hearing was held last Wednesday on the issue. The hearing “addressed other bills which NFFE opposes in their current forms, including the VA CAREERS Act. In addition, NFFE opposes the Veterans HEALTH Act and the Veterans Community Care Act, which encourage the outsourcing and privatization of VA care.”

32) Colorado: Aurora may privatize its public defender’s office. “But the attorneys in the public defender’s office fear privatizing the public defense will hurt their marginalized clients who need the most help. ‘This feels like it’s a war on the poor,’ said Chief Public Defender Elizabeth Cadiz. ‘It’s a war on people I represent who can’t afford their own attorney.’ Her team defends people who can’t afford their own attorney and who are facing jail time on charges including domestic violence and car theft, which now comes with a mandatory minimum 60 days in jail in Aurora, she said. Under a contract system, she worries defendants won’t get adequate legal assistance. ‘The level and the quality of the representation will not be the same. It will be less.’”

33) Florida: Profit-hungry middlemen are restricting vital Medicaid care to children in the state. “Now, in an arrangement that likely saves insurers money, the health insurer is turning around and paying Health Network One a set amount per patient each month for the specific services it covers, like children’s speech therapy, and leaving the rest up to Health Network One. But instead of paying for each child’s treatment session, Health Network One’s business model is to pay individual therapists a lump sum for each child’s care over a set period of time, requiring them to figure out how many sessions the amount would cover. This means that the company is effectively placing a limit on how much care each patient receives, one that might not correspond to the patients’ needs. And because neither Health Network One nor the insurer are issuing notices of reduced care, children and their families have nothing to appeal.”

All the Rest

34) National/International: The editors of the Financial Times have weighed in with a warning about “Elon Musk and the Privatisation of Defence.” They say “this is not just an American phenomenon. Other countries have billionaires whose technological, industrial and media assets give them enormous clout. Yet governments, even as they juggle ever greater spending pressures, should continue to invest and avoid becoming too reliant on private businesses in sectors such as defence, security and space. (…) Mechanisms or laws are also needed to ensure governments have oversight of services or infrastructure with military applications when required (Musk would not have faced his Starlink dilemma had the Pentagon had control from the outset of how the system was used in Ukraine, as later happened). And transformative technologies such as AI require intelligent regulation.

No one wishes to stifle the animal spirits that delivered the innovations we enjoy today. But it is the responsibility of elected leaders with their advisers, not private businesspeople, to take life-and-death decisions in times of war.” [Sub required]

35) International/Canada: Are we ready for the winter weather? To Gerald Thomas, privatization has made things worse. “Alberta Winter Highway Road Conditions: Yes the winter weather has created bad road conditions. Prior to the privatization of highway maintenance, it is my view we had much better winter maintenance. The highway between Leduc and Edmonton was always sanded and melted well before the morning commute. Public safety should be the top priority.”

36) International/Kenya: Kenya is going through a battle over whether parliamentary approval is required to privatize state companies. “Presently, the West keeps pushing the privatisation agenda down Kenya’s throat. This is despite the fact that it has not worked as expected in the West. The question, therefore, is: how will privatization benefit Kenyans?  Will it not lead to Kenya suffering the same fate as the West has?”