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View Diary: Gov. Deval Patrick's bold plan to raise revenue and invest in Massachusetts' future (96 comments)

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    Thank you for your interest in this topic.

    Government is a) far more accountable overall, through direct popular elections of its top leaders and b) has an unparalleled economy of scale.

    In the private sector, there is the ultimate accountability because you can just stop paying for whatever and use a different vendor. Government is good in places where you can't do this because of economy-of-scale problems or "can't do it profitably" problems.

    Re your examples. There is no such thing as a "private" prison. All prisons are public prisons. They might be subcontracted by the state, but whether the state operates the prison or a private company does is not really relevant. Any problem with a private company is because the state government doesn't regulate it well enough (just like public prisons). The state writes the contract and enforces compliance.

    It's the same thing with other functions like cleaning government buildings. In some cases, hiring state cleaning employees would work. In others, just hire the same company that cleans all the other corporate buildings in the city. The private company actually has more of an economy of scale!

    Re schooling and hospitals, nextstep provides some context here. Suffice to say that there are arguments for both models.

    My general point is: public or private models need to be adopted with an eye to cost-benefit and need to serve the people by providing the most services for the lowest cost, and not providing services that are useless or are better provided by the private sector.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:58:49 PM PST

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