11/23/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The World's First Privatized City

"American-style capitalism" is having its worst public relations month ever. But as the world questions the excesses of free-market orthodoxy in the wake of financial meltdown, a group of Republican Atlanta suburbs is swimming against the tide.

When the government of the city of Sandy Springs in Georgia decided to bring in a multinational corporation to run all of the city's services - with the exception of police and firefighting - it effectively became the first fully privatized city in the world.

It's a trend that is already spreading fast, with four new cities launched in the last three years. They are all run by the same company, one associated with huge government contracts from FEMA trailers in New Orleans to reconstruction in Iraq: engineering giant CH2M Hill.

Here's a story I did for my weekly show, Inside USA on Al Jazeera English:

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