In Griftopia, Matt Taibbi tells how Mayor Daley sold the rights to Chicago’s parking meter revenues for 75 years for $1 billion when the estimate was that the revenue was worth $5 billion. Sara Paretsky, resident of Chicago and author of the V. I. Warshawski detective novels, has this to say about the deal in her novel Body Works:
“Parking has also become a source of bitterness in the city–the mayor suddenly sold street parking to a private firm, which had quadrupled the rates overnight. We all had to carry bags of quarters everywhere we went, as if we were heading for slot machines, which I guess the pay stations had become. Slot machines completely and permanently skewed in the house’s favor.”
Please keep this in mind when someone tells you that free enterprise is more efficient than government. Another target of potential profit that the corporate disciples of Adam Smith’s invisible hand have in their near-term sights is our drinking water. Not only will the big oil companies profit from fracking, their chemical discharges into the ground will eventually pollute our drinking water, driving up the price and their ultimate profits. Thus they will profit from supplying energy and decreasing the supply of potable water.
Please see Griftopia