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Greece is thinking of selling off the lottery, for instance.

At the end of last year the Spanish government announced their intention to partially privatize the national lotteries. The suggested price was ridiculously low. Basically, the government was reacting to "the markets" demanding 5%-7% for long-term lending by selling the lotteries at a 15%+ implied yield. A lot of people made the same back-of-the-envelope yield calculation and were wondering how one would go about buying some stock when this is privatised...

DiagonalPeriodico.net: El coste de la privatización de la lotería

En diciembre, el Gobierno anunció la privatización del 30% de Loterías y Apuestas del Estado. El motivo, según confesó la ministra de Economía, Elena Salgado, a un medio extranjero, era "hacer caja". Sin embargo, los números no cuadran: el Ejecutivo anunció que con ese 30% preveía ingresar unos 5.000 millones de euros, cuando la entidad permite ingresar a las arcas públicas casi 3.000 millones de euros al año. El PP, que se opone a esta venta "de saldo", cifra en 20.000 millones la operación para que esta sea rentable.
In December, the Government announced the privatisation of 30% of the State Lotteries and Bets. The motive the economy minister Elena Salgado's confessed to a foreign media outlet was "to cash in". However, the numbers don't add up. The government announced that with this 30% they intended to raise €5bn, when the public entity produces an income of €3bn a year for the public treasury. The PP, opposing this "firesale", values the operation at €20bn for it to be profitable

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 11:38:28 AM EST
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Who wouldn't want to extend the bailouts until 2013 when you can buy things this cheaply?
by Upstate NY on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 11:53:05 AM EST
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There's a word for this sort of thing, and it's one of the things that's helped keeping neoliberalism running this long: Asset stripping.

Short term tax cuts which screw the country in the long term.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 12:10:51 PM EST
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Asset stripping is the rage in a great many bureaucracies these days. Our university keeps cutting its productive programs, selling the assets to the altar of the budget cut god. No one seems to mind that the revenues these programs produced is also gone because, of course, students are stupid, and if you take away their options, they will keep giving you money anyway even if your herd them into less appealing (though of course productive) programs.
by Upstate NY on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 12:33:34 PM EST
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Yes.  I thought that you were supposed to get more conservative as you got older, but for me aging seems to be a process of getting franker about my distaste for these people. I've always been standoffish about being real activisty, but anymore I just say do it.  

If you think universities are real messed up right now, check this out.

I've recently had the idea that sit-ins wouldn't work at the university.  So I thought to myself why not shit-ins. They piss you off, you all go in, pop a squat in their office, and then leave.

Seriously though, asset stripping is a huge problem, and we should start to refer to "privatization" schemes that have this effect as such.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 12:53:26 PM EST
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Oh I remember your diary. Breathtaking.
by Upstate NY on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 01:25:00 PM EST
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 She: I know!  We'll sell the silverware, dear!

 He:  We sold it--- last year.

 She: Oh, yes.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Wed May 18th, 2011 at 02:39:02 PM EST
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