Revue française d’études américaines | 112-129
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De l’incidence de la « financiarisation » sur les rapports sociaux
The New York City 1975 fiscal crisis ushered in a new political order. As the city was placed under the helm of a consortium of bankers, the city was left to operate an economic turnaround against the backdrop of fiscal retrenchment and a new conservatism. The shift to a post-industrial economy was accompanied by a drastic re-ordering of public policies. Municipal unions who had been at the forefront of social gains became the scapegoats of the near-bankruptcy of the city and were among the losers of the new political order. This case-study of mass transit in New York City is a rather unusual instance of the « municipalization » of a private service, and aims at observing the impact of financial capitalism on social relations, more specifically on collective bargaining. The already difficult MTA takeover of the last private bus companies was further complicated by the general transportation strike of December 2005. Beyond the case-study of public transportation in New York City, what is at stake is the deregulation of labor relations as a central component of an American model of a service economy. Already achieved in the private sector, it is now at work in the public sector. This research also demonstrates how public-private partnerships, by increasing the power of financial markets, tend to contribute to a degradation of public services through a process of financialization.
KeywordsNew York City, FIRE, financial capitalism, mass transit, municipal unions, public policies, public services, fiscal retrenchment, deficits, MTA, deregulation, social rights, labor, contracts, transit strike, service economy, financialization, public-private partnerships