Sunday, December 18, 2011

One ALEC Goal is Privatization of Public Services

They claim it is more cost effective.  They claim limited government is good.

But here is an example what happens to the citizen that gets stuck with privatized public services.

by Jeremy Schwartz and Eric Dexheimer
PFLUGERVILLE — When Robert White opened his water bill last month, his jaw dropped: $250 for a month's worth of water and sewer service. The 63-year-old construction contractor, who shares a three-bedroom home with his wife in the bucolic Springbrook Centre subdivision, said he likes to keep his lawn green and expects hefty water bills. "I just don't want to be hijacked," he said.

Robert White says he has 'never felt so hopeless' about a proposed increase in his water bill. SouthWest Water Co. provides his water service, and his bill may nearly double soon if the company gets the rate increase it has requested.

White's water service is provided by a private utility owned by California-based SouthWest Water Co. LLC. Just across the four-lane
Pflugerville Parkway
, where White's neighbors in the Springbrook Glen subdivision — a nearly identical grid of neatly arranged brick-faced homes — get their water from Pflugerville, rates are on average about 60 percent less.

And White's bill for water service may nearly double soon, if SouthWest Water gets the latest rate increase it has requested. "I have never felt so helpless," he said.
What will happen when YOU can't afford to buy water - think about it!

And there are multiple articles about privatized prison being more expensive.
Here's only one example

By Suzy Khimm
Although private prisons have been sold on economic grounds, a study this year by Arizona's own Corrections Department questions whether such facilities can even deliver in terms of cost savings, reports the Arizona Republic. The state's cost study showed that it's often more expensive to incarcerate inmates in private prisons than in state-run facilities, despite the savings that private operators typically promise.

And privatizing foster care DOES NOT lead to lower cost.
Here is just one exzample of many you will find reported.

An Analysis and Comparison of Public and Private Service Delivery Systems
Given caseload size, direct labor costs for privatized foster care are approximately 60% higher than in the public sector. In addition, administrative costs are increased as private agencies require both internal supervision and monitoring services from DHS. Despite the significantly higher caseload sizes in the public sector, performance quality is generally higher at DHS. Private agencies, whose caseworkers carried caseloads less than half as large as public sector workers, were far less successful in reaching permanent placement. This problem is so serious that the ACLU initiated a lawsuit to protect the permanency rights of children who were spending up to 8 years in “temporary care”. If one element of the crisis in Milwaukee County DHS is defined as the length of time it takes to achieve a permanent placement for a child, privatization will not help.

These statements from the noted report should be considered very carefully

Demetra Smith Nightingale, Nancy M. Pindus
It is still too soon to know whether the most recent and highly-publicized privatization efforts will be effective or not. There are, however, many potential problem areas (e.g., profit motivation to cream and minimize costs) that, if unaddressed in the public contracts, could reduce service quality. There are many reasons for cautiously scrutinizing the process.

Unfortunately, there is very little empirical research on the relative effectiveness of the private sector versus the public or nonprofit sector in the delivery of services.

Wake up folks - the talk about limited government is not about providing you more cost effective services. 
It's about making more money for the corporations.

We must make sure that all ALEC legislators are not re-elected.
We must make sure that ALL ALEC Alumni in the US Congress are not re-elected.
We must make sure that we do not elect any more people who are ALEC members to the city, county, state or federal governments.

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