Public Private Partnership Government

The news this past week was of the partnership between the United Way (you know them) and LGS Staffing (a temporary labor provider). (Newark Advocate “Bus to New Albany jobs is possible for workers” 8-5-15) All the Grow Licking County success stories are having a bit of a challenge including those residents who reside in the Licking County seat of government. Newark City Government may collect part of the tax revenue from the industrial park workers’ wages in Etna but Newark residents certainly don’t reside there. Living in New Albany while working in their industrial park would be akin to having a champagne taste on a PBRB budget. So the subcontractor LGS Staffing (in partnership with the United Way) wants to sub subcontract public transportation (a bus) provided enough people sign up as temps with them. Quite a commitment, er? Will the bus have wi fi, individual cell phone battery chargers, and an on board restroom? Analysis finds this whole arrangement of precarious workers paying part of their precarious wages to their temporary job agency in order to get them to otherwise inaccessible employment to be rather regressive, to say the least. LGS could just as well have teamed up with some public housing coalition (or administration) to develop a village within the industrial park confines and an LGS company store from which the employee residents could buy all their needs. That would have required a permanent investment (and commitment) in the community, something a temporary agency is definitely not willing (or interested) in making. Besides, company housing and company store are so yesterday. Before the Great War (WWI), workers from Newark rode trains daily to mine coal in Perry County. If it was good enough for great, great grand dad, it’s good enough for me! Analysis finds the entire scheme, by the partnership of United Way/LGS, of charging for transportation to a minimum wage job while insisting that a minimum number of minimum wage workers be on board to be ludicrous. Not only is employment decided and designated by LGS (in terms of who works, when and where much as migrant farm laborers are “managed”) but the entire arrangement is about precarious work to begin with. In addition, although riding the same bus, solidarity between workers is already undermined by each rider continuously being apprehensive, and suspecting (blaming) the other if the arrangement falls through (how could you get pregnant and stop coming to work?). Analysis discovers this regressive (and oppressive) initiative to be not only indicative of the disingenuousness of its creators but also highlights the failure of the public private partnership government of Licking County. On the one hand, there is no end to the job creating success self-promoted by the private segment of the Chamber and its Grow Licking County – never within reach of any city residents. On the other hand, there is the abysmal failure of the public segment of this partnership, the county commissioners who prefer to remain silent partners and eschew any regional public transportation responsibility while actively cutting back on services – all in the name of fiscal prudence. Analysis has repeatedly emphasized the unsustainability of such a public private partnership government, one that favors the private profit at the expense of the public. Analysis doubts San Francisco Google employees contribute 12% of their pay back to Google for a bus ride to work.

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