Public service: It’s an honor
Who should build EV stations?
Going public: Long Island’s power utility

1) National: Lauren Jacobs, executive director of PowerSwitch Action, makes a call for “multiracial feminist democracy.” “Across the country, local movements and campaigns are demonstrating what it means to practice this framework of radical inclusion, self-determination, and an abundance of people power and material resources—and further revealing the governance structures we’ll need to truly realize it.” But “government spending, even generous government spending, isn’t enough. For public investment to truly benefit working people, their families, and our communities, we need to shift power so that we can collectively decide how public dollars are best used. That means shaping rules and growing institutions that advance multiracial feminist democracy, starting at the local level.”

2) National: “Public service is still an honorable calling,” writes Arthur Y. Webb, a veteran public official, in the Albany Times-Union. But “anti-government rhetoric not only breeds mistrust, it discredits the valuable work of public servants. (…) Widespread antipathy and distrust of government are not only a threat to democracy, these attitudes are also incredibly unfair to honest, hard-working public servants. (…) In today’s rancorous political climate, I am concerned that the dedicated people in government don’t feel valued, much less honored for the work they do for the people they serve. The thousands of people I have worked with in the public sector have met the challenges of their jobs with impressive skill and ethics. I remain optimistic about the role of government and the people who work in the public sector as a pillar for the well-being of our society.”

3) National: HEAL Together has created a new toolkit to “to help you to win the fight to save our public schools & our multi-racial democracy from extreme right-wing attacks.” Download it here.

The toolkit contains:

  • Background to help you understand how we got here
  • Steps to help you build a campaign in your school and community
  • Researched and tested messaging guidance to help you talk about these issues
  • Resources to help you take action, including templates, worksheets, and more
  • Examples from the field, to help you learn from other groups organizing for justice in their school districts just like you

4) National: The No Surprises Act, a new federal law to protect people from surprise bills for covered emergency out-of-network services, is already getting results. “The arrival of the No Surprises Act led to the unraveling of Envision’s ‘secret sauce’ business model, according to a prominent healthcare economist, and ultimately to the medical group’s bankruptcy earlier this year. After Envision, a physician staffing service and ambulatory surgery center operator, was acquired by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in 2018, KKR put in place a business model that included aggressive billing tactics and was driven by pressure to pay back enormous amounts of debt taken on during the acquisition period, explained economist Eileen Appelbaum, PhD, during the Take Medicine Back summit on Thursday.”

5) Florida: The College Board has rejected state requirements that it remove gender identity and sexual orientation as subjects in its AP-level college psychology courses. “‘Please know that we will not modify our courses to accommodate restrictions on teaching essential, college-level topics,’ the organization said in a letter to the state education department. ‘Doing so would break the fundamental promise of AP: colleges wouldn’t broadly accept that course for credit and that course wouldn’t prepare students for success in the discipline.’”

The back and forth suggested that conflict between the DeSantis administration and the College Board is intensifying, The Washington Post reports. “‘We don’t know if the state of Florida will ban this course,’ the organization said in a statementThursday to the AP community. ‘To AP teachers in Florida, we are heartbroken by the possibility of Florida students being denied the opportunity to participate in this or any other AP course. To AP teachers everywhere, please know we will not modify any of the 40 AP courses—from art to history to science—in response to regulations that would censor college-level standards for credit, placement, and career readiness.’ ‘We have learned from our mistakes in the recent rollout of AP African American Studies and know that we must be clear from the outset where we stand,’ the College Board said.”

6) Georgia/National: “The Atlanta Opera claimed that its hair and makeup stylists, who are in the process of organizing a union, are not employees but independent contractors. The NLRB disagreed, ruling that the stylists are employees with union rights under the National Labor Relations Act.”

 7) New podcast: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the best force on Capitol Hill exposing and battling the far-right takeover of our courts, has a new podcast, called Making the Case. It’s now live. “In our first episode, I’m joined by @RepHankJohnson, @DahliaLithwick and @TheLisaGraves to begin walking through the groundwork that was laid to eventually capture and control the Supreme Court.” Listen and follow now on Spotify.


8) National: In the Public Interest Executive Director Donald Cohen provides a brief rundown of the right’s attempted takeover of American education, drawing on the Network for Public Education’s new report. “Let’s see: approval of a publicly-funded Catholic charter school, a dramatic increase in Christian nationalist charter schools, more voucher money available to take to private—including parochial—schools, private and charters able to discriminate based on principles of “faith”–it’s not exactly the republic founded on the separation of church and state. Where are all of those strict constitutionalists, Founding Father fetishists, and back-to-basic education reformers when you need them? Oh, right—they’re founding and publicly funding religious education, banning books that fall outside the tenets of their religion, undermining democratically-elected school boards, and very carefully teaching hate to the next generation of Americans.”

9) National: Writing in The Hechinger Report, Jill Barshay, citing researchers, says charter schools have improved in the past 15 years, but many still fail students. “Still, many charter schools of poor quality continue to operate. The worst results were posted by online charter schools, also known as virtual schools, which enroll six percent of the nation’s 3.7 million charter school students. Students at these schools learned the equivalent of 58 fewer days in reading and 124 fewer days in math than their public school peers. That’s like missing one third of the school year in reading and two thirds of the school year in math. ‘The numbers are just really devastating for kids,’ said Raymond.”

10) Indiana: Who is using private school vouchers in the state? “White students are using the voucher program the most at 62%, while Hispanic students are the second most at 19% and Black students at 9.5%. (…) A majority of students that used vouchers this school year came from households that had an income of $50,000-$100,000, with 38% qualifying in that income range. The median household income for an Indiana family in 2021 was $61,944, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The largest increase from 2021-22 to 2022-23 came in household income of $100,000-$150,000 at roughly 8%. The largest decrease in the same time period came in the income range of up to $50,000 at roughly 9%.”

11) Montana: Montana teachers, parents and education advocates are challenging the constitutionality of charter school laws. “Opponents countered that HB 562 threatens to divert critical taxpayer dollars away from public schools — part of what the Montana Quality Education Coalition and other state associations characterized as a broader agenda to privatize education spearheaded by out-of-state interests. Wednesday’s lawsuit echoed those concerns with attorneys arguing that HB 562 would establish a ‘competing system of individual educational nonprofits made public only by their unchecked receipt of public funds.’ ‘The Legislature cannot funnel public money to private institutions,’ MQEC Executive Director Doug Reisig said in a statement accompanying the lawsuit’s announcement. ‘The health of our society depends on a free, high quality public education system. We vow to stand against school privatization activists’ incursions into Montana.’”

12) North Carolina: The superintendent of Pitt County (Greenville area) has joined more than a dozen northeastern North Carolina education leaders who sent a letter to state legislators to oppose bills that would expand school vouchers. “‘Most of the nineteen school districts in the northeast region are among the poorest in the state,’ reads the letter, dated May 31. ‘This expansion will most certainly redistribute tax dollars away from school districts already struggling to meet the needs of their current student membership. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the county governments have the means to make up for any shortfalls generated by this expansion.’ The letter, signed by NERESA Executive Director Chris Mansfield, was sent on behalf of 19 school districts, including those in Pitt and neighboring Beaufort and Martin counties.”

13) North Carolina: NC Newsline reports that “a Black charter schoolteacher in Charlotte has filed a lawsuit against his former employer claiming that he was fired after white parents complained about him teaching the novel ‘Dear Martin’ to middle school students. Markayle Gray, an English teacher, was fired by Charlotte Secondary School in February. More than 80% of the 6-12 school’s 175 students are Black, Hispanic or biracial. The school had twenty-three white students during the 2022-23 school year. Gray planned to teach the book to his 7th grade honors students as part of the class’s Black History Month activities. According to the lawsuit, the book was approved by school administrators and recommended by Principal Keisha Rock, who is also Black.”

Meanwhile, a bill to create a charter school approval board that “could open a path for dozens of new charter schools in the state” is on the move in the state Senate. Opponents see it as a Republican power grab. “Critics of the bill say it would give the state legislature too much control over charter school applications and reviews. ‘I think we should all question why they want that change,’ said Jennifer De La Jara, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education member. ‘Because there are reasons why. And I don’t have all the answers. But certainly, I think it’s incumbent upon us as the residents of North Carolina to ask why such a drastic shift, and wanting to get more and more power.’ The new review board would have 11 members, at least eight of whom would come from the Republican-controlled General Assembly.”

14) North Carolina: The Asheville City school board is privatizing its school lunch program. “In a special called meeting Thursday, June 15, the ACS Board of Education unanimously approved a one-year contract with Chartwells, a food service provider that currently partners with 665 districts and serves more than 2 million meals per school day.” Another vote will be needed at the end of June to finalize the contract.

The Cochran Law Firm says “Chartwells and its parent company, Compass Group USA, are no strangers to controversy.” In 2015, The Washington Post reported that Chartwells paid the DC school system more than $19 million “to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company overcharged the city and mismanaged the school meals programs, with food often arriving at schools late, spoiled or in short supply. The settlement agreement is the result of a whistleblower lawsuit by a former director of food services for D.C. Public Schools against Chartwells and Thompson Hospitality, which formed a joint venture that provided food services for schools in the District starting in 2008.”

15) Ohio: William L. Phillis, a former teacher and now executive director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, says the disingenuous charter school industry leaving kids in the lurch and taking our money. “For the record, local property tax revenue is raised for school district purposes, not privately-operated organizations. (…) The charter industry, by setting forth disingenuous promises, got its foot in the door. The for-profit entrepreneurs quickly capitalized on the lack of accountability and transparency brought on by deregulation. In this out-of-public- view environment, obscene profits on the backs of students is the charter standard. Of course, the charter industry contributes heavily to campaign coffers, which in turn produce more tax money for the charter industry. The insanity of this vicious cycle of pay-to-play will continue until the general public realizes that Article I, Section 2 of the Ohio Constitution provides that ‘all political power is inherent in the people.’ Current state officials will only exacerbate the current chaos.”

16) Texas: Houston is protesting against Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s undemocratic power grab in seizing control of the city’s schools. “The Teachers (AFT) local for the Houston Independent School District and the union for the school’s cafeteria workers and other support staffers, plus community backers, marched on school district headquarters for what became a bitter meeting of the new nine-member Board of Overseers which right-wing Republican Education Commissioner Mike Morath installed. In so many words, the unions, school system parents, the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, the League of United Latin American Citizens, Community Voices for Public Education and the Texas AFL-CIO protested how right-wing Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, using Morath’s agency, overthrew the elected school board in a state-engineered takeover, effective June 1…

“‘It’s not democracy. It sounds like some type of fascism,’ said the teacher and her spouse, a building trades union member. They asked not to be named to avoid possible retribution against her. Abbott’s takeover of Houston schools follows common right-wing Republican themes: Hatred of unionized teachers, takeovers by white state governments of majority-minority governments and school districts, and disenfranchising voters by superseding elected boards—and voter repression.”

17) Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) “is having a temper tantrum,” Diane Ravitch reports. “He called a special session to push for vouchers, which failed in the regular session. But now he’s feuding with his Lt. Governor Dan Patrick over what to do about property taxes. The state is sitting on a $33 billion surplus. Abbott has vowed to veto every bill until he gets vouchers and his own property tax plan. Abbott wants all property taxes reduced, while Patrick wants the biggest breaks to go to businesses.”

Meanwhile, Abbott has signed a law shutting diversity offices at public universities. “Paulette Granberry Russell, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, said in a statement that the bill’s signature marked a ‘sad occasion for all students at Texas’ public universities.’ ‘By dismantling diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and offices at these institutions, Texas lawmakers have chosen to prioritize a political agenda instead of the success of these students,’ Russell wrote. She said all students, regardless of race, benefit from having a diverse student body, and that her organization would not stop working for Texas universities to be increasingly accessible and inclusive.”

18) Wisconsin: Ruth Conniff, editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner, is not surprised that school privatizers are giddy about the prospect of public money going to private schools, but, she writes, “who would have thought the biggest transfer of money into private schools in state history would happen under Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, the former state schools superintendent and a champion of public education? Under the terms of the deal Evers negotiated last week with Republican legislative leaders negotiations from which Democratic legislators were conspicuously absent the Republicans agreed to stop holding Milwaukee hostage and allow local officials there to raise desperately needed revenue through a sales tax. In exchange, Republicans were delighted to announce, they won a transformational increase in public funding for private schools.”

“Still, says Heather DuBois Bourenane of the Wisconsin Public Education Network, it’s not too late. She and other public school advocates are waiting to see what the governor will do. Evers has not commented on the details of the bills the GOP just rushed through. If paving the way for massive school privatization is not what he thought he was agreeing to in his deal with legislators, Evers should say so, and get out his veto pen. After all, he won reelection in a race where his opponent, Tim Michels, made privatizing the entire Wisconsin public school system a key campaign issue. Evers, in contrast, told Wisconsin, I will always do what’s best for kids.”


19) National: A little over a month ago, we noted in these pages (item 19) that a renewed debate on the folly of public works privatization had broken out in the pages of the Financial Times, sparked by an April opinion piece on “the dangers of asset managers when it comes to long-term infrastructure” by Brett Christophers, a professor in the Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Uppsala University and author of ‘Our Lives in Their Portfolios: Why Asset Managers Own the World.’

Subsequently, Christophers weighed in with essentially the same argument in The New York Times, saying that the Inflation Reduction Act was laying the groundwork for massive infrastructure privatization. “Why Are We Allowing the Private Sector to Take Over Our Public Works?” Christophers asks. “A common belief about both the I.R.A. and 2021’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, President Biden’s other key legislation for infrastructure investment, is that they represent a renewal of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal infrastructure programs of the 1930s. This is wrong. The signature feature of the New Deal was public ownership: Even as private firms carried out many of the tens of thousands of construction projects, almost all of the new infrastructure was funded and owned publicly. These were public works. Public ownership of major infrastructure has been an American mainstay ever since. Mr. Biden’s laws will radically overhaul this culture. Informed by what Brian Alexander, a writer for The Atlantic, in 2017 described as a profound recent change in philosophy among U.S. policymakers about ‘how to build and maintain America’s stuff,’ the modus operandi of both statutes is principally to subsidize and catalyze private-sector infrastructure investment. Such a subsidy was explicitly factored into the aforementioned Brookfield investment in solar and wind power.”

All this has predictably caused the infrastructure privatization industry to blow a gasket, since Christophers basically says their banking, private equity and construction company emperors are wearing no clothes when it comes to the public interest. In the current issue of Public Works Financing [May 2023; sub required], one of the privatization industry’s nabobs, Reason’s Robert Poole, takes issue with Christophers’ argument by essentially asserting that since public pension plan managers are desperately chasing private equity then, ipso facto, P3s must be a good idea. It seems the privatization industry’s motto, “desperate government is our best customer,” has been augmented by “desperate pension plans are our P3 financial backers’ best customers.”

20) National: Should states preempt zoning laws to force local governments to build affordable housing? Bloomberg’s podcast The Big Take discusses the issue, but with a predictable twist: such preemption should supercharge developers. “America’s affordable housing shortage has been getting worse for decades. Now, some states are trying to ease this crisis by enacting what’s been called a ‘builder’s remedy.’ These are rules that override local zoning laws and allow developers to build housing in cities that fail to meet state targets. It’s one of several carrots and sticks governors are wielding to pressure cities into freeing up land for development.” [Audio, about a half hour]

21) National: Statehouses are debating who should build EV charging networks, the Idaho Capital Sun reports—public electric utilities or private businesses? The states are moving in opposite directions.

“McKinnon pointed to recent legislation in Oklahoma, Georgia and Texas that imposes limits on utilities using ratepayer money for charging networks. In Georgia, for example, legislation passed this year restricts utility ownership of charging stations to a single program that allows the dominant electric utility in the state, Georgia Power, to provide chargers in remote and rural areas, with private retailers offered a right of first refusal.”

“But other states, like Minnesota and Colorado, have taken or are considering steps in the other direction. Proposed budget language that would allow utilities to bill ratepayers for electric vehicle charging infrastructure has also come under fire in Ohio. And in Florida, the nation’s largest utility, Florida Power & Light, is building hundreds of chargers over the objection of critics like former Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, president of GATE Petroleum, which owns gas stations and convenience stores in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.”

22) Illinois/National: Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Fran Spielman reports new data on the disastrous Chicago parking meters privatization deal. “Parking meter deal keeps on giving—for private investors, not Chicago taxpayers. Results of the latest parking meter audit by accounting giant KPMG shows meter revenues reached a record $140.4 million last year—with 60 years left on a 75-year lease.” But the struggle continues. “Krislov said he would be more than happy to join forces with Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration to try again. ‘We challenged this deal once. I think there is yet another possibility. But we have seen no cooperation from the city to this point,’ Krislov said.”

23) Maryland: Baltimore residents, still smarting over having the proposed Red Line light transit line pulled out from under them, are demanding that new governor, Wes Moore, restart the project. The Purple Line in wealthy Montgomery County, a so-called public-private partnership, was kept alive and rescued at great cost to taxpayers by former governor Larry Hogan. American Prospect Senior Editor Gabrielle Gurley has a must-read article on the particular issues and the wider issues of project politics, regular politics, and a long suffering community trying to survive in an infrastructure desert. “Getting Across Baltimore: Gov. Wes Moore’s credibility in the largest city in Maryland rides on building a light-rail line long blocked by racist fears.”

24) New York/National: The last ditch effort by Wall Street to prevent the return of Long Island’s power utility to public hands (after a disastrous privatization some years ago) is meeting pushback. Newsday reports that “LIPA has repeatedly said the concept of privatization would ultimately hurt ratepayers by depriving it of savings through loss of its tax-exempt status and access to federal emergency funds. But the latest report from LIPA responds directly to an analysis by financial firm Lazard released earlier this year that indicated customers would see big benefits from a potential $16 billion buyout of LIPA, including payoff of its $10 billion debt and other cost-saving measures. (…) LIPA’s warning against privatization and its questions about the Lazard analysis are clear in a fact sheet released this month. It comes as a state legislative committee looking into LIPA’s future as a fully public entity was unable to finish its work and pass legislation to expedite the shift in this year’s session. The issue is expected to be taken up in January.”

25) Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico’s electricity privatizer has changed its president. “The president of LUMA Energy, Wayne Stensby, left this position in the privatization of Puerto Rico’s electricity system, position that will be occupied by the Salvadoran Juan Saca, with three decades’ experience in telecommunications, it was reported today. Stensby will return to direct the operations of ATCO Energy Systems, based in Canada, while together with the LUMA Energy team he intends to ‘ensure a smooth transition.’”

26) Texas: The Lone Star State has put a constitutional amendment to create a Texas Water Fund on the Nov. 7 ballot, The Bond Buyer reports. “If approved by voters, enabling legislation signed into law June 9 by Gov. Greg Abbott directs the water development board to use the fund to finance projects that will lead to 7 million acre-feet of new water supply by the end of 2033. Projects can include desalination, aquifer storage and recovery, and infrastructure to transport water. ‘They’re going to be large projects, requiring private, local, and state and probably national coordination of funding,’ State Sen. Charles Perry, the bill’s author, said at a March committee hearing on the legislation.’” [Sub required]

27) Think Tanks: Will artificial intelligence technology influence the marketing of private capital to decisionmakers on public works projects? Though discussed under the rubric of “alternative investing,” a recent email from the data providers Preqin notes that “a new book, How Data Happened” reports a “focus on the ‘persuasion architectures’ of advertising.”

Public Services

28) California: San Diego politicos are dangling a $1 million payoff to the private company—Transdev—that runs part of its transit system in an attempt to settle a month-long bus drivers strike. “The move comes on top of a $21 million bump to Transdev’s contract that MTS officials approved in January to give bus drivers a $2-an-hour wage increase. The company has seen significant turnover during the last year and a half. Supporters of the incentive payment pointed to the needs of bus riders who’ve suffered from major delays and canceled routes since mid-May. Those in opposition argued that MTS should explore ending its contract with Transdev to bring drivers in-house. The transit agency uses the staffing company for about 74 percent of its weekday bus routes.”

29) Georgia: The Jonesboro City Council has authorized a Request for Proposals process to privatize its sanitation services. “The vote was tied, with Mayor Donya Sarator casting the tiebreaker. Voting in favor were Alfred Dixon, Tracey Messick, and Ed Wise while voting against were Don Dixon, Bobby Lester, and Billy Powell.” This article in the Clayton News-Daily listed multiple arguments in favor of privatization but not one opposing argument. Did the three people who voted against the proposal say nothing at the meeting?

30) New York/National: New York Mayor Eric Adams is ramming through a plan to force retired city workers onto the privatized form of Medicare, Medicare Advantage, despite the fact that the City Comptroller is publicly opposing it. The Jewish Voice reports that “The New York City Organization of Public Service Retirees finds this irresponsible. The Mayor accuses the Comptroller of spreading ‘confusion and misinformation.’  The only ‘confusion and misinformation’ has come from City Hall, according to the organization.  For over a year, the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees has made repeated attempts to meet with the Mayor to come to a resolution to honor the decades of service selflessly rendered by retired public servants. The organization has said that the mayor has never agreed to discuss how this plan will harm the retired city employees. Doctors, physicians, and several healthcare treatment facilities have conveyed to the tens of thousands of retirees that they will not accept the Medicare Advantage Plan being forced upon them by the Mayor, which has subsequently led to them to initiating a recent lawsuit against the city and the rejection of the contract by City Comptroller Brad Lander.”

31) Tennessee: Nashville’s Alive Hospice will not be sold off to a private company. After pushback over rumors it would be sold off, its CEO stepped down. “Alive has been at the center of controversy in Nashville since news of the board’s plan to sell the nonprofit hospice center to a for-profit health company became public in April. Community members supporting Alive filed a complaint with Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and area celebrities, including singers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, urged Alive’s board not to sell.” The Tennessean reports that “the change in leadership follows weeks of speculation about the center’s future and rumors that it might be sold to the for-profit hospice provider, Amedisys. Ultimately, the Board of Directors announced earlier this month that the half-century-old hospice center would remain an independent not-for-profit.”

32) West Virginia: A huge battle has broken out over whether or not to commercialize Cacapon Resort State Park. “Although it caught Cacapon Resort State Park advocates by surprise, a move toward change at Cacapon that drew their ire also had been years in the making. In December 2022, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources released a request for proposals for a private developer to build and operate a “destination campground” at Cacapon. The request came more than a year after the DNR received a campground RV park concept plan on behalf of one of the respondents to that request, according to email correspondence obtained by the Gazette-Mail…”

“But as West Virginia officials eye privately developed recreational expansion at state parks and forests, many advocates fear financial profit will outweigh their input. ‘Saying a state park should be making money is like saying a high school cafeteria should be making a profit,’ said Robert Beanblossom, who retired as a district administrator in the Division of Natural Resources in 2015 after 42 years in the agency. ‘It’s a government service.’” [Sub required]

33) International: The privatization of care will make wait times longer and put strain on staff, Hamilton, Ontario hospital workers say. Jackie Walker, a registered practical nurse and president of the nursing division at the Service Employee International Union (SEIU), said “it’s going to make wait times longer, because we know nurses are going to leave the hospital and go work at those for profit, investor-led clinics.”

34) Think Tanks: The Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory has published a research article on “The Unequal Distribution of Consequences of Contracting Out: Female, Low-skilled, and Young Workers Pay the Highest Price.” The authors, Gustav Egede Hansen, Germà Bel, and Ole Helby Petersen, suggest some reforms. “Difference-in-difference estimation with coarsened exact matching suggests that workers overall experience a significant decline in work income and employment, albeit with major intergroup differences across gender, skills, and age. Our sub-group findings show that female, low-skilled, and younger workers pay the highest price for government contracting out, both in terms of salaries and employment. We discuss how economic theories of public‒private gaps in wage setting can be combined with public administration theories of contract design and monitoring to develop improved—and possibly more equitable—conditions for workers when governments contract out.”

Everything Else

35) National: The Congressional Research Service has a new report briefly examining union membership data. Among the items: “The union density for public-sector workers is greater than the union density for private-sector workers (not employed in the airline or railroad industries) for every occupational category in the Current Population Survey (CPS). The differences are statistically significant for each of the occupational categories.”

36) North Carolina: There seem to be moves afoot to privatize state liquor operations. Someone has paid for a poll showing public support for privatization. That someone turns out to be the right wing John Locke Foundation. This being North Carolina, we get a bit of history to spin this privatization campaign along the way: “North Carolina began prohibition against alcoholic beverages as early as 1908, some 11 years before the U.S. government passed the 18th Amendment. Once that amendment was eventually undone via the 21st Amendment in 1933, North Carolina’s Democrats worked tirelessly to set up a monopoly over alcoholic beverages with the help of the Anti-Saloon League, terroristic Red Shirts, and the KKK.” Ah yes, those antiracist activists in the John Locke Foundation.

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