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News Link • Police State

Goldman Sachs Wants You to Pay-by-the-Mile to Drive on U.S. Roadways

• Mark Anderson

According to an independent British newspaper editor, in the not-so-distant future, English drivers will be charged based upon the number of miles they drive, as is being done step-by-step in America.

 

On January 12, AFP interviewed Mike Robinson, the editor of the UK Column, a liberty-minded newspaper not unlike AMERICAN FREE PRESS.

“Road charging,” as it is called in England, is widespread, he told AFP, as fiber optic cable has been laid along most English roads to help track vehicle travel by the mile so drivers can be charged.

 

“It has been on the European Union agenda for quite a long time,” he added.

 

His comments came amid recent news of a radical plan to raise $200 billion by privatizing “the motorway network,” as Brits call it. The plan was presented to the three main political parties by NM Rothschild, the influential investment bank, British news sources say.

The Rothschild bank, called “an architect of several privatizations,” reportedly made its pitch in the weeks running up to the summer recess back on July 21, 2009. Bankers told leading politicians that the sale of the roads overseen by the [public] Highways Agency—all motorways and most “big trunk roads”—could help revive battered public finances. This is the same story Americans have been told.

 

True to form, toll-road companies and “infrastructure funds” would compete to operate and maintain stretches of the British toll network.

In one version of this scheme, the British government would pay for upkeep through a system of “shadow” tolls. A more radical and less politically acceptable option would be for private companies to charge motorists directly through privately owned toll booths or electronic card readers.

And how did U.S. politicians get the idea that privatizing roads was an acceptable future? Two words: Goldman Sachs, according to noted Texas columnist Ed Wallace.

 

“Yes, large Wall Street investment banks, led by Goldman, started advising states across the nation on how to raise fast money by diverting the most necessary publicly owned assets—roads—into private ownership,” wrote Wallace. “You have to admit, it’s brilliant, because it’s a forced and guaranteed market: Americans can’t get out of driving.”

 

And as Daniel Schulman and James Ridgeway wrote in a scathing article, “The Highwaymen,” in January 2007, “Many similar deals are now on the horizon, and MIG and Cintra are often part of them. So is Goldman Sachs, the huge Wall Street firm that has played a remarkable role advising states on how to structure privatization deals—even while positioning itself to invest in the toll road market.”

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Sharon Jarvis
Entered on:

I believe it was Mother Jones Magazine that did an in-depth expose of road privatization.  It gives a state quick up-front money, which of course they spend quickly, but it leaves the toll road in the hands of private investors (who often are not Americans).  The investors jack up the tolls and keep the money for themselves.  Drivers, who don't want to or can't afford to pay, use smaller toll-free roads. Those roads deteriorate because of heavier traffic, and the state (translation 'taxpayers') spend more money to fix those roads.  The money they spend no longer comes from the original tolls, so the cost is passed onto the rest of the state or the toll-free roads will have to become toll roads.   

Whenever these bastards push for privatization you know they will be making money while you get screwed. 


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