Cultural, Historic and Heritage Preservation


Corporations Could Soon Advertise in Our National Parks
In The Public Interest | May 26, 2016
“The Grand Canyon, brought to you by Budweiser. Verizon signs throughout Yellowstone. The thought of advertising in our national parks is nauseating. But it could happen … Anything from sponsoring a bench to designing, building, and even operating a park building would be allowed.”

Yosemite, sponsored by Starbucks? National Parks to start selling some naming rights
Washington Post | May 9, 2016
The policy says park superintendents must perform a number of fundraising duties, said John Garder, budget and appropriations director for the National Parks Conservation Association, the nonprofit advocacy group that lobbies for the parks.

“Does that become a major part of the job?” Garder asked. “Can the Park Service say, ‘This person’s doing an awesome job protecting bison, but they’re not raising enough money?’ ”

Losing Our Libraries
Public Goods Post | September 2017

Public libraries are one of our most easily recognizable public goods. Most everyone knows that local public libraries are free to all, and most understand that this is because these libraries are supported collectively, by our taxes. But until citizens voted in the 1800’s in the U.S. to support the first public libraries, access to collections of books depended upon one’s wealth.

This Post is prompted by the potential loss or degradation of yet one more public library in the United States – in this case the one in Escondido, California, which may be privatized.

Privatizing public libraries does not mean that taxpayers stop paying the cost. No. What it means is that the operation of the library is contracted out to a private, for-profit corporation. Taxpayers keep paying —  but in order to meet the profit requirements of the newly engaged private operator, one of two things must happen: either the cost to taxpayers must go up or the quality of services must go down. Read More …

The Quiet Revolution and a Submerged Para-state
Public Goods Post 
Under normal circumstance, it would be safe to assume that “public goods” are delivered by public agencies.  But current circumstances are far from normal.  Over the last several decades, more and more public goods have been delivered by a para-state, a privatized government virtually hidden from view. We taxpayers still pay, but our money goes to a growing army of corporations on the public payroll.

Private corporations operate programs, deliver services and even manage other contractors. Some citizens receiving public services encounter only private contract workers, so are unaware that they are receiving a government service. While some forms of contract procurement have been in place since the nation’s birth, the very nature of contracting has changed as it has grown in scope. Basic governmental functions are now outsourced to for-profit corporations. Read more…