We started our Privatization Study with an overview and discussion with current examples and proposals in the news. You can read the briefing with video links at www.lwvddh.org/privatization.pdf. Some personal experiences were shared along with well-studied ideas and strong opinions. Our president talked about her time as a school board member when the custodial staff counter-offered to keep their jobs instead of losing them to outsourcing. Our treasurer shared her expertise regarding the Social Security program as we considered how it differs from investments.
An important point that came out of our discussion is that the issue to privatize or not seems to get tangled up in corruption issues. While we agreed that corruption in the private and public sectors ought to be addressed directly, sometimes it seems too far gone to do anything but start over.
The need for strong oversight to ensure proper delivery of services or transfer of assets would ease concerns for some. In certain situations, the potential for harm if things went wrong was considered too risky. For example, with the police and military, a closer tie between them and the citizenry would hopefully mean loyalty to the public over their employer.
We will continue the discussion with ideas from many sources, pros and cons. If you find an interesting article, please pass it along.
Here is an article that warns against privatization from one of our roundtable attendees: