We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, March 12, 2017

PPPs lead to dangerous debts for developing countries

Click here to access article by María José Romero and Mathieu Vervynckt from Transnational Institute (TNI)

Although TNI is registered as a non-profit organization in the Netherlands, it was founded by the liberal think tank Institute for Policy Studies based in Washington DC. Because of its liberal origins TNI encourages the belief that capitalism can be modified to serve the public interest, and runs articles like this on their website that reflects this orientation.
For many years, public-private partnerships have been promoted by governments and financial institutions as a way to pay for development projects such as roads, schools and hospitals.
The World Bank is at the forefront of this push and advises governments on how to structure their PPPs. But it also ignores civil society campaigners’ concerns about the dangerous hidden debts that PPP projects can lead to.
The authors ignore the fact that the international financial organizations of the World Bank and the IMF were designed, shortly before the end of WWII, to serve the hegemonic interests of profit and power of US capitalists and other transnational capitalists (mostly the British) affiliated with the US-led Empire. Thus while explaining why such arrangements like PPPs are often exploitative of entire countries, they naively believe that once they inform the public such institutions and practices can be made to serve the public interest. In spite of this naiveté they do run useful articles like this that explain how policies promoted by the Empire's international financial institutions actually serve the interests of capitalists rather than the public.