Finally, a bit of great news: California Governor Jerry Brown is courageously bucking a national trend by refusing to sell off state buildings and then lease them back. This trend has been the budget subterfuge of choice among many of the nation's governors. Lease-backs of state assets are a backdoor way of getting a quick hit of money for troubled state budgets (in California's case, $1.2 billion) while saddling future taxpayers with huge additional expenditures (in California, $6 billion over 35 years).
Yes, welcome to the next frontier in the business campaign against government. First it was the fight against regulation and public-sector spending, both largely successful. Now business is vying to own the equity assets of government through arcane lease-back and securitization deals.
These strategies not only hurt us as taxpayers and citizens (through higher expenditures for less value, and through reduced public discretion over public assets). They fling open the doors to all sorts of other investor schemes to buy and privatize public assets. Next stop: the withering of the State and the arrival of the Total Market Order.