Privatize It: Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey, Ep. 3


Should cities be in the business of running businesses ranging from convention centers to farmers markets? Selling off golf courses, contracting out parking concessions, and all manner of public-private partnerships are generating billions of dollars in revenue and dramatically improving city services in places such as Chicago and Indianapolis. Will Cleveland's elected officials learn the right lessons in time?

Reason Saves Cleveland with Drew Carey is written and produced by Paul Feine; camera and editing by Roger Richards and Alex Manning; narrated by Nick Gillespie; music by the Cleveland band Cats on Holiday. This is the third of six episodes that will air March 15-19, 2010.

Approximately 10 minutes long. Go to for iPod, HD, and audio versions of this video.

For a full episode guide and more links, go here.

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NEXT: Bull's Eye

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  1. Poor George: A bloated, inefficient, unhappy time-server. Did he know he was being used as a human metaphor?

  2. Good stuff, but once the lawyer came on to argue in favor I instantly became more skeptical. Would also like to hear the opposing viewpoint particularly regarding Indianapolis and their efforts. Things still hunkydory there?

  3. Overall, I’m disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high. Parts of this are good and parts are not good.

    Reason to high school student: “Do you like Cleveland schools?”
    Student: “No. They don’t care about us”. [cut]
    – Not helpful.

    I suppose I was expecting a more serious/academic analysis. To do that, Reason needs to completely drop the snark for a second. Snark is great for UPS whiteboards and Worst Decade Ever. Not for seriously analyzing the problems of a screwed up city.

    The snark is reduced, but still very perceptible.

    If you’re actually serious about convincing people, you need to make some effort to obtain views from critics, and to respond to them effectively. Maybe like a proper interview. Not a 2 second cut of the North Market manager. Or even ask the guy why it’s only open 4 days a week and let him respond – that would be more effective than the snarky 2 second cutaways.

    And plus, either Drew Carey’s the host, or he’s an expert who is being interviewed. Not both. It’s utterly unserious to ask him questions as if his expertise were equivalent to a school principal, transactional lawyer, or education expert.

    Lots of room for improvement, guys.

    1. Agree with much of what you said. The editing is really atrocious. The sound bites are jarring, almost superfluous. Carey is nothing more than a prop. The jazzy intro seems wholly inappropriate. Previous pieces have been quite good, however. What happened?

      1. The editing is pretty rough. Incomplete thoughts or statements don’t make a compelling point.

        Also a little heavy on the faux film look in post-production.

        Still a cool series. Looking forward to the rest of it.

    2. Well, Drew Carey does know a bit about the place as it was – and is. I’m not sure why you’d object to him being asked for his opinions, even if he is the “host”.

      1. He isn’t the “host.” He’s the celebrity hook.

  4. Oh come on, Pendulum. This isn’t snarky, this is jaunty and upbeat. And it’s directed at a mainstream audience, not a bunch of policy wonks. I find it very entertaining and “real” so basically I can’t disagree with you more.

    1. Let’s hope I’m as out of touch with the mainstream as I usually am! 🙂

      1. Pendulum

        You sound like a kid just trying to be difficult. Take the chip off your shoulder. This Doc. is meant to offer information. Not trying to win Oscars. what’s your beef with Drew.

  5. I just hope they use Frank Zappa’s song “Let’s move to Cleveland” somewhere in the series.

    1. Probably can’t afford the royalties.

      1. Oh, right. I’m used to watching YouTube videos produced by people living in their parents’ basements, not by professional organizations. It takes some getting used to.

  6. Cleveland is easy. What should we do with Detroit, besides nuking it and starting over?

    1. Whoa, big fella – let’s not boil the ocean right off the bat! Cleveland’s a pan of water compared to Detroit.

      My guess is no one in govt in either city listens to any of this anyway (esp. Detroit). I was going to say “one can hope”, but I can’t even generate hope for Detroit.

      Cleveland? Maybe one could hope…

    2. PS I do admire your moxie!

  7. This is entertaining, but if Reason really wants to make a point, they need to have a follow up plan. It would be nice to see some real attempt made to work with the city to implement these changes. Otherwise it’s just grandstanding. C’mon Reason, what’s the plan?

  8. Here in DC, there are plenty of private contractors doing everything, from the lottery to street construction to childcare for city employees. All it means is more crony-coporatism as the mayor doles the contracts out to frat buddies and the like. Every morning I see the same slow-ass construction crew plodding their way up the same streets, paving, tearing up, repaving. Yes, it’s a private company, but I’m under no illusion that they were chosen in a truly competitive bidding process.

  9. Privatization doesn’t solve everything. Chicago privatized parking meters: it resulted in doubled parking fees and meters that don’t work when it gets cold

    1. Take the L then… few cars downtown… less demand… lower prices. Even further, no revenue for the companies contracted to run the meters go out of business and a company that can operate more efficiently with more competitive pricing.


    2. Oops.

      …and a company that can operate more efficiently with more competitive pricing can take over.

      1. Yeah I guess that’ll be nice when a more competitive company can take over, in 75 years when the lease is up

        1. Okay… see the first four words of my comment.

    3. Well they should only privatize out real services, not extortion.

      1. I will give you that one.

  10. But the purpose of the West Side market is not the same as a supermarket. A great deal of its value lies in its link to the past and its clout as a tourist attraction.

    Perhaps the best way to manage the market would be to run it through a not-for-profit organization, as the quite profitable North Market in Columbus is managed. That way, you take the market off of the city’s books, but you protect private interests from just bulldozing it and building a Walgreens.

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