Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our Politicians Are Selling Off Pieces Of America To Foreign Investors. That includes Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico politicians are no different from those of the several states. One of our main highways has been given to Spanish investors with the help of Goldman Sachs and greedy local attorneys.
Considering the fact that Puerto Rico is 100 X 35 miles, and this is one of our very few mayor highways, this is of greater concern. This is almost the only route that people can use to go to work in the mornings and that joins San Juan to Arecibo, a city towards the west,  going through many towns. (See map) 

There is no acceptable alternate route. PR tax payers and US Federal funds were used to construct this highway and people paid tolls for decades with the promise that one day it was going to be paid in full.

Related Article on how this affects Puerto Rico:

The American Dream

Our Politicians Are Selling Off Pieces Of America To Foreign Investors – And Goldman Sachs Is Helping Them Do It 
 All over the United States, politicians are selling off key pieces of infrastructure to foreign investors and big Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs are helping them do it.  State and local governments across the country that are drowning in debt and that are desperate for cash are increasingly turning to the "privatization" of public assets as the solution to their problems.  
Pieces of infrastructure that taxpayers have already paid for such as highways, water treatment plants, libraries, parking meters, airports and power plants are being auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Most of the time what happens is that the state or local government receives a huge lump sum of cash up front for a long-term lease (usually 75 years or longer) and the foreign investors come in and soak as much revenue out of the piece of infrastructure that they possibly can. 
The losers in these deals are almost always the taxpayers.  Pieces of America are literally being auctioned off just to help state and local governments minimize their debt problems for a year or two, but the consequences of these deals will be felt for decades.
Sadly, this trend continues to accelerat.  Just this week, a bill that will allow the state government of Ohio to proceed with plans to lease the Ohio Turnpike to investors was approved.  The state government of Ohio will soon receive a one-time injection of cash and everyone in the area that uses the Ohio Turnpike will end up paying much higher tolls for decades to come.
Highways have also been auctioned off (most of the time to foreign investors) in Indiana, the city of Chicago, Florida, Virginia and Texas.
Amazingly, many politicians continue to insist that selling off pieces of infrastructure that have already been fully paid for by taxpayers is a wonderful thing.  In fact, there are actually some politicians that have the gall to call it a "conservative" thing to do.