Proposals to privatize E-ZPass and toll collection on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway (“Toll collectors fear impact of Turnpike’s privatization plan,” Jan. 29, NJ.com) are to be presented to the Turnpike Authority this month. As the debate regarding privatization heats up, it’s important to remain grounded in fact-based analysis and not respond to emotional pleas from defenders of the failing and costly status quo.
Tom Feeney, spokesman for the Turnpike Authority, said that privatization “could produce significant savings without compromising quality in any way.” Plus, the Christie administration’s task force estimates $35 million to $42 million would be saved annually by privatizing toll collection.
New Jersey is among the highest-taxed states in the nation. By reducing the government’s role in toll collection, the state saves much-needed money. These savings can result in a more efficient use of taxpayer funds for vital government services such as law enforcement and could even result in lower tax burdens.
Saving $35 million or more per year for New Jersey is a serious plus. If services can be privatized, millions in savings can be produced and quality will not be compromised, then it’s time to move past our current system.
There are major changes ahead for food labeling, and it isn’t just for GMOs. The latest push is for antibiotic-free meat, with consumers citing concerns about overuse. Chick-fil-A has pledged that their chicken will be antibiotic free within five years, and both Purdue and Tyson have already released drug-free versions of the meat. So why the new push?
With almost 80 percent of all antibiotics in the United States being used for meat production, large-scale animal farms are huge contributors to the problem of antibiotics losing their effectiveness. While farmers do use antibiotics to treat disease in animals, they also use the medicine to prevent disease and, more controversially, to promote growth. The consistent overdosing of antibiotics to grow bigger livestock is a big part of the problem, with 685 current antibiotics approved for the use in animal feed.