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Is Your Local Public Library Run by Wall Street?


Is Your Local Public Library Run by Wall Street?

Donald Cohen

What do 82 public libraries, a Texas beef processing company, and a string of Pizza Huts across Tennessee and Florida have in common?

They’re all managed by the same private equity firm.


Does Argosy Private Equity Inc. also determine what material is purchased for the library collection ?


The media would have us believe that all of the infrastructure that was built in Western nations somehow came about, like in some Ayn Rand world , wherein a bunch of investors pooled their Capital together and took tremendous risks on their Capital in order to build the same in the hopes they could generate profits in the future.

This is crap very much like the crap behind those free trade deals. Those free trade deals are advocated by industry and by Corporations that in their infancy were protected as they grew from foreign competition. As example The British Empire could out manufacture any nation on this planet in the 1800s and early 1900's so countries like the United States of America slapped huge tariffs on imports from the same so as to allow domestic industry to grow,

This the same thing with infrastructure. All of this was built with subsidies and direct grants from the Governments. Corporations lobbied Governments for incentives to put in power dams and railroads and oil fields. These Corporations are like leeches whereby once all of the big stuff done , they move in, claim it as their own, milk it dry of profits for the next decades than either abandon the "investment" as no longer profitable or insist the Government subsidize them to keep it running.

The Corporation could not exist without the Government yet pretends Government the enemy.


Privatization always costs more than social democracy does. I think the state of our healthcare system proves that one.

Why the hell are states and municipalities privatizing their libraries in the first place? Because their state's legislatures are defunding the public commons to give tax breaks to their wealthy contributors. Privatization is the avenue to bankruptcy for municipalities. Once that happens the emergency managers move in and presto, Detroit and Flint start happening everywhere. Modern fascism takes hold and democracy dies. Neoliberalism writ large.


Why would anyone expect a profit-making company to do things for the benefit of the client, except to get and keep the contract and reduce services? Does former experience have no impact? This is not new.


Not sure how we moved from privatization of the commons to the marketplace, related but different.

Actually it is new, in the course of human events. In my lifetime, merchants, retailers, insurance companies, you name it have completed eliminated real customer service. Said companies would compete for your business based on their service. The kind of service that says yes we want to do right by you; we want you to spend your money here; we will take care of you, and then they followed through.

In the 1980's along came the corporate self-created doctrine of maximizing shareholder value as the top priority, and here we are. I recognize that there's a whole generation of people out there who have never experienced customer service, without having to fight like hell for it or at all, but there are also many folks out there who do remember a balance between service and profit in the marketplace.

Further my former experience does have an impact; I still expect profit-making companies to provide me with service. I have to fight like to hell for what used to be freely offered. And if I don't get it, I take my business elsewhere. In fact, I own a profit-making company which provides customer service even if it does cut into our profits.