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City for sale: The politics of privatizing infrastructure

Our first episode of Need to Know’s new format begins with a question being heard in this year’s campaign: What is the role of government? Are there things that citizens, or even private companies can do instead of government?


Our story comes from Chicago and Harrisburg, Pa.: two of the many cities that face urgent budget problems despite deep spending cuts and tax increases. Now you remember that old joke about selling the Brooklyn Bridge to an unsuspecting tourist? Well these days, there are private companies who’ve said they’d like to at least lease your city’s bridges, roads, and other infrastructure. It would save cities the headache of running and repairing them, and raise money immediately. Chicago is among those places that said, “sounds like a deal.” and some in Harrisburg think it is too. Correspondent Rick Karr reports.

Watch the rest of the segments from this episode.

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