As Mayor W. Wilson Goode of Philadelphia sifted through his notes last month, preparing to address a key state hearing on the fate of his city, a page marked "privatization" caught his attention and kept it.

The handwritten document listed ways in which the mayor's advisers believe the private sector can help him rescue Philadelphia from looming bankruptcy. Selling city-run enterprises like Veteran's Stadium or Philadelphia International Airport to private investors would offer one-shot revenues to the cash-starved general fund. And the free-enterprise system would be able to run them more efficiently, the theory goes.

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