VIEW: The UK’s PPPs Disaster: Lessons on Private Finance for the Rest of the World
VIEW: The Jubilee Debt Campaign
VIEW: Why Private Public Partnerships Don’t Work: The Many Advantages of the Public Alternative
In essence, the practice of implementing charter schools, or other forms of privatized education, is just another form of private-public partnership. Public tax dollars are used to fund private ‘for-profit’ business. My question is, “Where are our public dividends?”
The Jubilee Debt Campaign (Inspired by the ancient concept of ‘jubilee’) is a “campaign for a world where debt is no longer used as a form of power by which the rich exploit the poor. Freedom from debt slavery is a necessary step towards a world in which our common resources are used to realize equality, justice, and human dignity.”
The Jubilee Debt Campaign recently published a new report identifying the major problems and risks the United Kingdom has encountered through its expensive experiment with Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). The briefing warns that risks and costs involved in PPPs include: increased costs for the public budget, large profits for private companies at the public’s expense, declines in service standards, an eroded democratic accountability amongst many others – all of which we are currently experiencing in the United States.
Extracting large profits at public expense has led to increased debt in the United States at all levels of government.
Accumulating debt as a means of balancing the budget is unacceptable. In 2015, Lake County paid approximately $405M in expenses, collected $444M in revenue, and carried $247M in debt. The state of Illinois spent $75B on what should have been a $71B budget addressing $141B of debt. Our Federal government spent $4.3T while producing only $3.7T in revenue and making payments on $18.3T of debt. Education received 27% of State funding and merely 2% of Federal funding.
The College of Lake County‘s total outstanding debt increased from $17M in 2007 to $71M in 2016, an increase of $54M. In March of 2015, CLC began construction on a new $28.3M Science & Engineering Building. It was the first in a series of major upgrades taking place throughout CLC’s various campuses, totaling $163M
Even more infuriating is the disparity of wealth in America. An article in Reuters asserts the “Richest 1 percent will own more than the rest by 2016.” Education is one of the most powerful tools we have to improve our quality of life, yet it is currently in jeopardy due to mismanagement of public finances. This is a moral imperative that must be addressed, now.
Banks, corporations, and millionaires/billionaires seem to be making out quite nicely at public expense, primarily that of the bottom 95%. Therefore, 95% of our population shouldn’t find too much to disagree on when it comes to politics. We should have no problem voting ourselves into the top 95%!
VIEW: The Increasingly Unequal States of America: Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012
Latest Share of World Wealth Owned by Top 10%: U.S. 74%
Latest wealth data: U.S. 2010
Source: Paris School of Economics – The World Top Incomes Database, Credit Suisse – Global Wealth Databook 2013, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Data are as of 11/25/13
Latest income data: U.S. 2012. Income excludes capital gains.
Average family income, excluding capital gains, adjusted for inflation (2012):
Bottom 90%: $30,439 (down -10.7% from 2002)
Top 5-10%: $130,990 (up 2.6% from 2002)
Top 1-5%: $216,947 (up 6.1% from 2002)
Top 0.5-1%: $441,423 (up 11.3% from 2002)
Top 0.1-0.5%: $837,377 (up 18.2% from 2002)
Top 0.01-0.1%: $2,782,303 (up 29.5% from 2002)
Top 0.01%: $21,569,156 (up 76.2% from 2002)
Source: The Wall Street Journal