The Inflation Reduction Act—Another Case of Public Utilities Gone Private
Let me tell you a story about Chicago and its experience with a public utility gone private.
It was December 1, 2008, the first time the Chicago City Council heard that Mayor Richard Daley had struck a deal with Morgan Stanley to lease all of Chicago's parking meters for seventy-five years. A little over $1 billion was paid in a lump sum to the city of Chicago for seventy-five years' worth of parking meter revenue. A typical back-alley Daley move. Chicago is (and was) a grifter city and the mayor needed cash, as mayors always need cash.
One thousand million dollars. The Middle East nation of Abu Dhabi controlled the lease, Morgan Stanley controlled the commission. The commission of a crime, but that was nothing new to Chicago politics.
Before the sale, most Chicago parking was a relatively reasonable 25 cents per hour, no matter where in town you were. Within a week after the sale, parking at Chicago’s 36,000 meters jumped to at least $2 an hour, an eightfold increase. In some busier are…