Gerald Ortbals: Up in the Air — a sequel

Guest columnists | stltoday.com

Nor is it a record of success elsewhere. Not a single U.S. airport has privatized. In Chicago, acknowledged to be especially hospitable to privatization, it was rejected not once but twice as proposed for Midway. Even cities in dire financial straits, such as Detroit, have shown no interest. An ongoing partial privatization project in Denver is a disaster. It is being tried in San Juan, Puerto Rico, only because the governor admitted they had no other options, and the jury is still out.

But the truth is that this initiative is not about privatization; it’s about monetization. The City of St. Louis is in desperate need of funds to service its debt and deal with pressing infrastructure issues, to say nothing of public safety demands. As by far the city’s most valuable asset, Lambert is virtually the only source likely to produce those funds. Enter privatization.

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