Another tollroad


The public is slowly waking to the fact that the Macquarie Bank model–private rent-seeking in the public’s assets via private/public partnerships (PPPs)–has had its day.  These letters and articles in the last couple of days suggest we’ve been used and abused by PPPs.

Toll Road debacle: royal commission a must – John L Goldberg

Widen concept of toll road beneficiaries – Gavin R Putland

Do PPPs have a future? – Stephen King

Outsider proves savant on toll road projects – Michael West

There is no doubt that natural monopolies are the natural purview of governments. By all means, call in private enterprise to assist in the building and maintenance of public infrastructure, but don’t give them carte blanche on their rents for thirty or more years. We need public, not private, capture of monopoly rents in order to pay for these projects.

By the way, easily the best way to establish whether a major infrastructure project is a goer is to do a “before and after” assessment on the widely-surrounding land values. If the conservatively-projected increase in land values is greater than the realistically-assessed cost of the project, it is workable and self-funding.

One of the more sickening aspects of PPP’s privatising the peoples’ highways and byways, airports, etc., has been the the big churches’ unholy scramble to secure sizable shareholdings in these private rent-seeking enterprises.  Apparently a case of “morality, shmorality”.

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