My new column is up at Forbes.com. A sample:
The most frequent argument I hear is that "its wrong to make a profit on public lands." Most recently, I heard this from a manager of a large campground and lakefront day use area who works for a federal agency. I was not normally in my usual diplomatic mood, and I snapped "so you work for free?"
If my company operated that park for the federal agency, a park that nets about $300,000 a year in visitor revenue, my company would probably make $15,000 or $20,000 a year in profit doing so, if all goes well, which it seldom does (this is a very low margin business). I have no idea what that park manager makes in salary and benefits, but I would be surprised if it were less than $55,000 plus benefits, and probably more. Why is his $55,000 "clean" but my $15,000 for the same task "dirty"? Particularly when the increase in his and his staff's salaries and their increases in benefits has left the park financially tottering and on the brink of closure?
Update: I have added some comments on privatization design on the Privatization blog