“Unlike the public sector, the private sector is bred for efficiency. Left to its own devices, it will always find the means to provide services faster, cheaper, and more effectively than will governments,” said James Jay Carafano. I suspect the vast majority of Americans would agree with Mr. Carafano. They probably consider the statement self-evident. The facts, however, lead to the opposite conclusion. When not handicapped by regulations designed to subsidize the private sector, the public sector often provides services faster, cheaper and more effectively. Continue reading
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“The word “public” has been removed from the name of the Fort Worth Library. Why? Simply put, to keep up with the times.“From the Media release on the rebranding of the Fort Worth Library Fort Worth, you leave me speechless. You’re certainly correct about one thing. The public library is indeed an institution that has… Continue reading
Forinstance, in major cities facades of buildings as well as whole buildings are plastered with a single ad. The Gap and other stores project advertisements from lamps onto sidewalks at night. Public beaches are imprinted with adveretisements for iced tea and television shows.
Recently, the New York Public Library announced it would rename its main library the Stephen A. Schwarzman Library in return for his contribution of $100 million to its $1 billion capital fund drive. As a born and bred New Yorker, I recoiled at the news and the message it sends to future generations of New Yorkers.
The 42nd Street library is by all accounts the jewel in the crown of the New York Public Library system. In both form and function, it honors the word"public." Henry Hope Reed has accurately described the library as "a people’s palace of triumphant glory." Continue reading
Efforts to privatize government services in cities and states do not always save the city money, replace well paid and benefited largely unionized public workers with low paid, lesser benefited and non-unionized private workers, and reduce or even eliminate effective control over this public service by the public. A number of states and cities have… Continue reading
Who gets fruits of public R&D? by David Morris Originally published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 28, 2004 In 1980, Congress allowed universities to own federally supported research and grant exclusive licenses to businesses to commercialize that research. Since then, the landscape of America’s research universities has changed dramatically. Before 1980, U.S. universities applied… Continue reading
Business Forum: Beware of private solutions to public problems By David Morris Originally Published on Alternet, April 24, 2003 The words we use reflect the values we hold and the times in which we live. At the birth of the American Republic the word “private ” had a sinister connotation. Derived from the Latin privare,… Continue reading
Privatizing Prisons is Dangerous to Our Health by David Morris Institute for Local Self-Reliance January 13, 1998 – published in St. Paul Pioneer Press “If it has a payroll, privatize it”. So goes the reigning doctrine of the day. The urge to privatize invades all sectors, all services, even when common sense screams out for… Continue reading
What’s In a Name? by David Morris April 9, 1996 In full page ads in five major U.S. newspapers, Taco Bell recently made a dramatic announcement. “In an effort to help the national debt, Taco Bell is pleased to announce that we have agreed to purchase the Liberty Bell…It will now be called the Taco… Continue reading
The Dark Side of Privatization by David Morris January 30, 1996 From Virginia to California, privatization is in. Roads, prisons, fire departments, water departments, emergency medical services, health services, parks, landfills, schools. Virtually every institution and service in America is being handed over to private firms. We used to walk down a public sidewalk to… Continue reading