A Primer on Chicago’s Infrastructure Trust

Mayor Emanuel, Mick Dumke, and others talk about the city’s experiment in public-private investment, the concerns about profit motive, the national infrastructure stalemate, and other facets of the debate.

PBS takes a look at the city’s planned Infrastructure Trust, speaking with the mayor, labor, and my former Reader colleague Mick Dumke. If you haven’t been following the debate, it’s a pretty good introduction to the different sides of it, covering the competing arguments—concerns over transparency and involving further private investment after the parking meter debacle; the mayor’s frustration with the state of infrastructure spending at the national level; the realization that, as always, behind the profit motive of private investment is yet more public money in the form of pension funds.*

* Worth remembering that when New York City was on the brink of full financial collapse, the massive investment that got it over came from pension funds. Even in their more beleaguered current state, municipal pension funds still represent a lot of money.

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