All About Privatization


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This presentation on privatization and TIFs was given to Theresa Amato's public interest law class at the Loyola Law School. The audio is 47 minutes long. If you'd like a copy, please email

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  • The amount of federal subsidies these states received OVER the amounts they PAID in taxes.
  • This map shows the amount of federal taxes states paid OVER the amount that received from the federal government.
  • All About Privatization

    1. 1. Connecting The Dots - Fighting Privatization. Serving the Public. Expanding the Public. October 10, 2013 Tom Tresser
    2. 2. Store front space at 114 N. Aberdeen in West Loop for activists & educators to co-work, collaborate, teach, build tools/apps that will help accelerate CIVIC ENGAGEMENT & COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT efforts.
    3. 3. “You’re next! You’re next!”
    4. 4. Bad deals bleed city.
    5. 5. 5% or 40%?
    6. 6. Richard Norment, Executive Director, The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships
    7. 7. Watch this 2 ½ minute video @
    8. 8. June 18, 2012 “Until the case is made that this trust is necessary and will operate on the behalf of the public, the entire enterprise should be scrapped.”
    9. 9. Richard Norment, Executive Director, The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships “You’re next!” “You’re next!”
    10. 10. The Frame for Privatization He who frames the argument wins the argument…
    11. 11. The Frame for Privatization 1.We are broke. 2.Government is stupid. Private sector is genius.
    12. 12. The Frame for Privatization Therefore… If you (Ms. Citizen) want anything new or improved from government, we need to turn to the private sector.
    13. 13. OOPS! Maybe private sector is NOT the best steward of the public good.
    14. 14. “The average private government contractor with a security clearance earns about $20,000 more each year than a government employee with the same clearance.”
    15. 15. So what’s the REAL reason...? Paul Krugman, Winner Nobel Prize in Economics, 2008 From his column in the New York Times, June 21, 2012….
    16. 16. “But the main answer, surely, is to follow the money. Never mind what privatization does or doesn’t do to state budgets; think instead of what it does for both the campaign coffers and the personal finances of politicians and their friends. As more and more government functions get privatized, states become pay-to-play paradises, in which both political contributions and contracts for friends and relatives become a quid pro quo for getting government business. Are the corporations capturing the politicians, or the politicians capturing the corporations? Does it matter?…The point, then, is that you shouldn’t imagine that what The Times discovered about prison privatization in New Jersey is an isolated instance of bad behavior. It is, instead, almost surely a glimpse of a pervasive and growing reality, of a corrupt nexus of privatization and patronage that is undermining government across much of our nation.”
    17. 17. “In short, debt funds have finally made their mark in the infrastructure fundraising landscape. In modern parlance, debt funds have arrived. This is not entirely surprising given that appetite for infrastructure debt is at an all-time high just as yields from gilts are hitting record lows. As many of you may have noticed, there’s a new catchphrase in town - “Infrastructure debt? It’s the new fixed income” - which is compounding a well-known trend: allocations to alternatives have increased by roughly 15 percent over the last 15 years largely at the expense of fixed interest.”
    18. 18. We are not broke!
    19. 19. Watch the first 6 minutes of this video @
    20. 20. New York State faces a budget deficit of $10 billion in 2011 ~ 1/13th of a total $132 billion operating budget
    21. 21. Public employees are blamed (for a crisis we did not create) Threatened with 9,800 layoffs WHAT’S HAPPENING? WHAT’S HAPPENING? WHAT’S HAPPENING?
    22. 22. A major assault upon public education, public health and public safety
    23. 23. An offensive against public workers, led by the nation’s Governors and lawmakers, state by state
    24. 24. ANTI-UNION LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN OVER 20 STATES RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWS INTRODUCED IN 14 STATES WISCONSIN AND OHIO HAVE PASSED SWEEPING ANTI- UNION LAWS TEACHERS’ UNIONS TARGETED… States with bills to limit or eliminate collective bargaining for teachers, or otherwise target teachers' unions include Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, Nebraska, Texas, New Hampshire, Michigan, Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Utah, Arizona, and others
    25. 25. Public employee union members 7.6 million. Private sector union members 7.1 million. Source: “(Government) workers of the world unite! Public-sector unions have had a good few decades. Has their luck run out?” The Economist, 1/6/11
    26. 26. A major assault upon organized labor, an offensive against all of the unions
    27. 27. We need to take our own pulse! Remember the adage: “the best defense is a good offense.” We should ask: Who are they defending?
    29. 29. In the universe there are 1,210 billionaires
    30. 30. 412 Billionaires in the USA!
    31. 31. How many Billionaires in New York? 68!
    32. 32. New York IS NOT BROKE! 68 Billionaires in New York
    33. 33. The wealthiest New Yorker is no longer Mayor Bloomberg… (he’s now the 2nd wealthiest)…
    34. 34. Today the richest New Yorker is David Koch, worth about $22 Billion!
    35. 35. During the heyday of America’s middle class (1950-1980) the top 1% had about 10% of total income. They now take 25%!
    36. 36. Top 1% Income Share 1914 to 2006 ^ ^ Eisenhower Reagan Growing income inequality James Parrott, Ph.D., Fiscal Policy Institute, “Grow Together or Pull Farther Apart? Income Concentration Trends in New York,”
    37. 37. We have the most unequal income concentration of any state in the nation. New York’s wealthiest 1% get more than 35% of all income in New York State.
    38. 38. Income shares and household incomes in New York 1980 compared with 2007 (2007 dollars) Shares of Total Income (AGI) % change 1980 -Top 5% - 22% 2007 - Top 5% - 49% 1980 - Bottom 95% - 78% 2007 - Bottom 95% - 51% James Parrott, Ph.D., Fiscal Policy Institute, “Grow Together or Pull Farther Apart? Income Concentration Trends in New York,”
    39. 39. Since 1990, the top 5% have GAINED. THE bottom 95% have LOST.
    40. 40. Income shares and household incomes in New York 1980 compared with 2007 (2007 dollars) Average Income (AGI) % change 1980 -Top 1% $446,507 2007 - Top 1% $2,730,973 +511.6% 1980 - Bottom 50% $16,074 2007 - Bottom 50% $14,045 -12.6% James Parrott, Ph.D., Fiscal Policy Institute, “Grow Together or Pull Farther Apart? Income Concentration Trends in New York,”
    41. 41. Top 0.01% Income Share 1913 to 2008 “Striking it Richer:The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States”Emmanuel Saez, July 17, 2010   The eve of the Depression
    42. 42. 0.01% of households That’s 1/10,000th! take more than 5% of total income This is UNSUSTAINABLE
    43. 43. The Wealthiest 1% (80,000 households) together pull in over $200 billion annually, more than 1/3rd of all income in NY. The state budget deficit is 5% of $200 billion ($10 billion). Source: James Parrott, Ph.D., “Grow Together or Pull Farther Apart? Income Concentration Trends in New York,” Dec. 13, 2010, Fiscal Policy Institute
    44. 44. Reinstituting the 1972 NYSincome tax structure would yield $8 billion more in income tax revenue for New York, while reducing income taxes for 95% of us!
    45. 45. Lost revenue: billions & billions & billions NY’s tax-cutting binge from 1994-2000, has lead to the current fiscal crisis. “Back on Track: Why Progressive Tax Reform is an Essential Part of New York’s Budget Solution,” March 2009, Fiscal Policy Institute
    46. 46. Tax wealth not work.
    47. 47. TIFS = Giant Slush Fund
    48. 48. Where are TIFs? All over Chicago and Cook County • 158 in city of Chicago • Additional 281 in suburban Cook County • 2012 = 439 TIF districts in Cook County
    49. 49. Where are TIFs?
    50. 50. How Many TIFs?
    51. 51. How Much Revenue Do TIFs Collect?
    52. 52. 2012 TOTAL TIF REVENUE FOR COOK COUNTY City of Chicago TIFs diverted $457 MILLION Suburban Cook County TIFs diverted $266 MILLION TOTAL FOR 2012 = $723 MILLION How Much Revenue Do TIFs Collect?
    53. 53. How Much Revenue Have Chicago TIFs Collected? Ouch!
    54. 54. Who Is Harmed By TIFs? In Chicago, The Board of Education is SUPPOSED to get almost 54% of your property taxes. But…
    55. 55. Who Is Harmed By TIFs?
    56. 56. Who Is Harmed By TIFs?
    57. 57. Who Is Harmed By TIFs?
    58. 58. CME 2011 revenues of $3.3 BILLION!
    59. 59. New Mayor is “Shocked”! The Chicago Sun-Times (5/25/11) reported that "Without criticizing Daley directly, Emanuel said he was ‘shocked’ to learn that TIF districts have been multiplying for more than two decades without any job creation standards."
    61. 61. These TIF transfers of property taxes to wealthy and successful companies divert public funds from vital units of government. They are yet more examples of the 99% being ripped off to enrich the 1%.
    62. 62. Stop giving away our stuff!
    63. 63. The Feds are wasting our money
    64. 64. Illinois net loss of $253 billion from 1991 – 2001
    66. 66. Stop wars now. Demilitarize USA.
    67. 67. To Sum Up – Connect The Dots • Tax wealth, not work • Don’t give away our stuff • Stop the wars • Take back our meters. Take back the city. • Protect & extend the public. Cut class size in half. • Organize new frame • More PUBLIC, not less. • We take care of our own!
    68. 68. @tomstee @civiclabchicago 312-804-3230