What do people in poorer districts think of Ahmadinejad? *Ali Moazzami* finds out.
From the article:
Privatization and power
The concerns of these people may be mundane but they are extremely 'political' – and among the most political is the preoccupation with employment issues. Masoudi, who is approaching retirement, explains this further. He was laid off from work by his government employer as a result of his union activities. 'The state is the largest employer in the land and determines people's conditions of employment... But now we have talk of privatization and turning over state divisions to co-operatives. Just look at the way the state-run transport in Tehran is being turned over to co-operatives. The founders of these private co-operatives are the officials from the state-run transport organs.'
As a consequence of this sell-off, prices on the buses of several privatized lines have gone up by more than 500 per cent. Moreover, it is the irony of Iran's particular kind of privatization that not only is it a calamity for ordinary people – as is usually the case elsewhere – but it also reinforces the economic power of the ruling oligarchy.
Originally from on March 1, 2007, 3:17am