Monday, August 13, 2012

Five Ways Privatization Degrades America | Common Dreams

Five Ways Privatization Degrades America | Common Dreams: "A grand delusion has been planted in the minds of Americans, that privately run systems are more efficient and less costly than those in the public sector. Most of the evidence points the other way. Private initiatives generally produce mediocre or substandard results while experiencing the usual travails of unregulated capitalism -- higher prices, limited services, and lower wages for all but a few 'entrepreneurs.'"
And corruption of various types.  Chicago is a great example.  The "Hired Trucks Program," the parking meter lease, privatization of the parking garages, the Chicago Skyway deal--all the public got were higher prices and more corruption.

Of course, there are situations where privatization does produce savings on functions that don't need to be done by public employees.  The problem is that once the door is opened to privatization, all sorts of unsavory characters start thinking about ways they can cash in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Private Justice: How Hollywood Money Put A Brit Behind Bars
Industry-funded prosecution leads to 4-year sentence for SurfTheChannel owner.
by Timothy B. Lee - Aug 17, 2012 12:30 am UTC

Anton Vickerman, 38-year old owner of the once popular link site (STC), was sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday by a British judge. But the prosecutors sitting across the courtroom from him didn't work for the Crown—they were lawyers for the movie studio trade group Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).

FACT, not public officials in the UK, was the driving force behind Vickerman's prosecution. Indeed, FACT effectively took on the role of a private law enforcement agency. Private investigators hired by FACT first identified Vickerman as the administrator of STC and built the case against him. His assets were frozen at FACT's request by a government agency—which was itself funded by FACT. And when the UK's public prosecutors decided not to press charges against Vickerman at all, FACT initiated a criminal prosecution on its own dime.

This is a new development for anti-piracy efforts. Organizations like the MPAA, RIAA, IFPA, and FACT have long lobbied law enforcement officials to prosecute "rogue sites" and have provided them with information and logistical support to do so. But public prosecutors generally have the final say on who will be indicted. In the Vickerman case, the public prosecutors concluded that there wasn't enough evidence to merit prosecution. FACT disagreed and invoked what one lawyer told us is an "archaic right" for a private organization to bring criminal prosecutions against other private parties.