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Muchas Gracias!

November 10, 2020

We Americans take our roads and bridges for granted assuming they are “ours” and they will somehow be there when we use them. But roads and bridges wear down with age and repairing them is neglected. A bridge in downtown Minneapolis collapsed killing 13 people. The water in Flint, Michigan and the District of Columbia has deadly high lead content, and water fountains throughout US government buildings in DC are shut down.

In France water is privatized and sold to users by companies that own access to water and maintain it. Here in the United States water, airports, roads and bridges are publicly owned.

Occasionally a mayor will see opportunity in selling a road (the “Dan Ryan” in Chicago) but seldom are the proceeds used to maintain other roads and bridges. Since there are not enough tax dollars available, nor are our elected officials interested in expanding the private sector, nor skilled in the nuances of privatization, we continue to suffer on ill-maintained roads and bridges and travel from dilapidated airports.

I know a lot about privatization of airports and how public officials think they should stay in public hands. So I was astonished to learn today that a major bridge and tunnel in Norfolk, Virginia has been sold to a private company for $2.4 billion!

The main player in this deal is Albertis, a Spanish toll road company!

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