Friday, July 02, 2004

Interesting: Public Ownership in the American City by Edward Glaeser argues that corruption was one of the the main reasons why cities moved to government ownership of utilities and public transportation. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, local governments often subcontracted the provision of water, street sweeping, transportation to private firms; but quite often the contracts went to firms owned by city bosses. It was also common for private firms to bribe officials to get the government to purchase/sell goods at an unreasonable price. Public opposition to this was one of the main reasons, Glaeser argues, why cities began to provide transportation/utilities services themselves.


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