Candidate Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp,” but as President-elect Trump he’s already flooding it with more of the same.
“We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks.” That’s what Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist and cofounder of the website Breitbart, said a few weeks ago about Trump’s plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure.
If you thought Wells Fargo’s fake account scandal was bad, get a load of this. Wells Fargo is one of six banks keeping the private prison industry in business.
The future is coming into view. Donald Trump’s victory strengthened the decades-long attack on the role of government. But we’ve got the tools to fight back, and we’re not alone.
“No whining, no griping, pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” That’s how Susan Story describes the hard lessons she learned growing up in rural Alabama. Then why is the corporation she leads as chief executive officer, American Water, complaining about opposition to its plans in West Virginia?
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, whose family owns the Pilot Flying J chain of truck stops, has refused to release his tax returns since running and being elected in 2010. It wouldn’t matter so much if Haslam were your run-of-the-mill governor. But he’s the country’s richest politician, with a net worth of $2 billion.
Did you know that one speeding ticket in Kansas could land you in jail? That’s what happened to David Jackson in 2011 after he couldn’t afford a $100 fine for speeding. Collection had been outsourced to a private contractor, and his bill quickly ballooned to $2,200 with court costs, jail fines and the contractor’s extra fees.
Last Wednesday was a big day for In the Public Interest. We released one of our longest and most wide-ranging reports, How Privatization Is Increasing Inequality. The report describes how the privatization of public goods and services disproportionately impacts poor individuals and families, and people of color.
Two weeks ago, D.C.’s transit agency began taking bids from private companies to operate its parking facilities. In exchange for a big up-front payment, the winning company would collect fees from people parked at train stations for the next 50 years. Privatization would be foolish for a number of reasons.
In April, when Iowa governor Terry Branstad handed over the state’s Medicaid program to private insurance companies, many questioned his motives. Recent large-scale transitions to privatized Medicaid in states like Florida and Kansas haven’t fared well.
Sometimes knowing where someone stands on an issue is pretty straightforward. We can be sure about this: the private prison industry doesn’t share our goal of ending mass incarceration.
Transportation is the backbone of a thriving and sustainable economy. Therefore, a public transit system should be judged by how it treats those that need it most, especially people with disabilities and our most marginalized communities.
Talking Points Memo recently launched a series called The Hidden History of the Privatization of Everything, focusing on what TPM calls “one of the most significant and pervasive politico-economic trends in the United States in the last half century.”
Eight years ago the world changed. The financial crisis kicked off a recession that left deep scars on the U.S. economy, including making it tougher for many cities and counties to pay for basic public goods like infrastructure and emergency services.
Private prison companies are extremely secretive, but in the last few weeks we’ve gotten two powerful glimpses of how these companies harm prisoners and the people that work for them.
House Speaker Paul Ryan recently released a new “anti-poverty” plan that would only make it tougher for poor and working families to get by.
What do 82 public libraries, a Texas beef-processing company and a string of Pizza Huts across Tennessee and Florida have in common?
One thing I’ve learned from decades of fighting for the public good is that winning comes in different forms.
Today is Earth Day, and it’s sure to be historic. More than one hundred world leaders plan to sign the Paris Agreement, the first global pact that commits nearly every nation to take action on climate change.
Remember when maggots were found in potatoes about to be served at a Michigan prison? That was just the tip of the iceberg. A new report released this week details widespread cost-cutting by the food service company Aramark, whose contract was terminated by that state last year. Kitchens were not only unsanitary but dangerous. The company hired inexperienced […]
Last Monday the U.S. Department of Justice announced a powerful new effort to stop local practices that unfairly target poor people by trapping them in “cycles of poverty that can be nearly impossible to escape.” Courts across the country are requiring people arrested with minor misdemeanor charges—like driving with a suspended license—to pay fines before […]
Last week, the country’s two largest private prison operators, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, released their annual financial reports. The numbers were what we’ve come to expect — staggering. Combined, the two publicly traded companies collected $361 million in profits last year. That’s profit — taxpayer money that could be going to […]
With the lead poisoning tragedy in Flint, Michigan still playing out in the national headlines, we’ve been due for good news about our nation’s water—and Wisconsin just delivered it. Yesterday, state leaders scrapped a bill that would have made it easier for private corporations to buy municipal water and sewer utilities across the state. The bill, introduced at […]
As many as five million undocumented immigrants are waiting in limbo as the Supreme Court reviews challenges to President Obama’s 2014 executive actions, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). But there’s one group that’s more than happy with the status quo. A new look under the hood of the nation’s […]
By now, many are familiar with the tragic details of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. But a key chapter in the story is being overlooked. In February 2015, almost a full year before the news of widespread lead poisoning gained headlines, the world’s largest private water corporation, Veolia, deemed Flint’s water safe. It was hired by […]
In the Public Interest is happy to be kicking off 2016 with good news. Pushed by students and workers, the University of California has announced it will divest from private prison companies such as Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group. This is yet another win for criminal justice reform—Columbia University divested from CCA last […]
Get this. In some states, charter school operators can purchase school buildings from public school districts — using taxpayer money. That’s right. The public pays twice for a building it no longer owns. This scheme and many others are detailed in the National Education Policy Center’s new research brief on charter school policies. Through a study of […]
It’s unusual for a private contractor to terminate its own contract, especially a contract for $1.2 billion. But that just happened in Florida. After two years of controversy, Corizon, America’s largest for-profit prison health care provider, just decided to end its care of 74,000 prisoners in the state. The company—which is owned by a private equity firm—says […]
In the Public Interest has made exciting progress over the past few years. Our team has worked incredibly hard, so I’d like to take a step back and share what we’ve been up to. Even I was surprised by how much we’ve accomplished. We get calls every week from organizations around the country asking for […]
Chicago just took a huge step towards closing the door on irresponsible sales of public assets and reckless outsourcing of public services. Last week, the city council passed an ordinance that mandates real public review of large privatization deals and increases transparency and contractor accountability. The Privatization Transparency, Accountability and Performance Ordinance (PTAPO) is a significant move by […]