Dispatches from a Small Business
That is the subject of my post this week at the Privatization Blog
There is one model here where cost savings could be achived by privatization. Note: I am not suggesting that this either has been done or should be done, but it is at leat theorectially possible.
In the US or at least in the part of it that I live in, water utilities wether fully government operated or operated by a private entity on contract exist mostly at the municipality level although there are a few county wide systems as well.
It may be possible for several municipalities and or counties that are close together or spatially contigous to obtain cost savings through economies of scale by all privatizing to a single company.
Somebody did a sale-leaseback of a state capitol building? Seems like that takes a lot of trust. It's not like it would be easy to evict the state government for nonpayment. And any company moving in there might risk negative backlash (BigCo profits off the downfall of our state government). The sort of company willing to be hated is often not going to be the sort of company that needs to move into a prestige location (collection agents and telemarketers just need floor space and secured entry, not a fancy spot downtown near the lawyers and businesses).
I'd be afraid the government would get tempted to do an eminent domain and take the property back. I don't know if that's legally suspect or not, but if it worked then it seems like they could take liberties with the market value they pay you for it. How many state capitals have a liquid market in real estate equivalent to an aging but historic capitol building?
Am I being just crazy paranoid and skeptical?
Steve Horwitz had a good article on this last January: "The answer is that the call for privatization does not get at the real reason the private sector works better than the political sector. The great advantage of the private sector is not private ownership per se but that private owners compete with one another. Classical liberals would do better to contrast not the “private” and “public” sectors, but the “competitive” and “monopolistic” sectors" http://www.thefreemanonline.org/headline/the-problem-with-privatization/
Speaking of enforcing water monopolies: https://rt.com/usa/news/rain-water-harrington-oregon-439/
Also, probably less relevant, today I am thankful for some Republicans Senators (that is, until they shove some more "you weren't using your freedoms anyway" BS down my throat)