The Daily Parker

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"A 2×2 Grid to Understanding Some of the Ideological Concerns of Privatization, Especially as it Pertains to Parking"

Via Sullivan, writer Mike Konczal reviews economist Donald Schoup's book about parking pricing with a clear enunciation of good and bad parking schemes:

We now have two ways to distinguish changes in the provisioning of government services. On one axis, there’s who controls the provisoning and the residual – is it in public hands or private hands? On the second axis there’s how much competition and market reforms are driving the reform versus how much there’s monopolies and single firms dictating the allocation and the real reform comes through private ownership itself. Graphing these for the parking debate:

[P]eople react strongly against privatization without market competition, and there’s three good reasons why they should. There’s the matter of who ultimately controls the residual, so if there are rents captured they go to private agents as opposed to the public. If monopolists provide too little of a good at too high a price, that surplus goes to private agents, instead of recycling to taxpayers. This has huge implications for whether the initial price tag is set right, for whether the government will get too little because of crony practices or because they are liquidity-constrained, and what mechanisms are in place for reevaluating the deal at points in the future. Chances are these will all be problems, as they were in Chicago.

And now the city has to pay Morgan Stanley for street only gets better.

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