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The Perils of Privatization


The Perils of Privatization

Diane Ravitch

Make no mistake: The purpose of privatization is to make a profit. The promise of privatization is efficiency. But in its pursuit of both profits and efficiency, privatization creates perverse incentives. It encourages privately managed charter schools to avoid or get rid of “expensive” students” (unless the reimbursement formula makes them profitable to keep); it encourages for-profit hospitals to over diagnose patients and perform unnecessary surgeries; it encourages private preschool providers of special education to misdiagnose children as in need of services to produce profits.


Hyper-financialization of the capitalism component of our economy (there is a remnant of socialism, for now) has wrought such a perverse economic order that inefficiency is the goal of capital in complete disagreement with the original stated goal of capitalism: efficient use of resources (the definition of economy). "Economic" activity, whether measured by GDP or the "velocity" of money has no intrinsic human value in and of itself. It does, however, serve as the means by which usurious components of the system thrive. Privatization is but one component of this cancerous hyper-financialization plaguing the people and the planet.


Privatizations mean to make private. Why the "f" does it always come with taxpayer subsidies, that is not private it is public.


Not a word that rolls off the tongue, but something more like leechification.


All of the public fleecing happens because we the under paid overworked working class are dutifully paying our taxes whilst the rich take tax credits in the tune of billions. Is there something wrong with us paying taxes that every rich son of a bitch finds a way to steal? Why is there not a tax revolt? We should all stop paying taxes until the people's congress fixes the taxation system.


The lobbyists and the prisons they manage to see built, the funneling of a guaranteed stream of bodies into detention centers, and the criminalization of "illegal" aliens all reinforce the muscular system I term Mars Rules.

So much money has been thrown at the gargantuan hydra known as Homeland Security.

So much money has been thrown at a border fence and guards to man it.

So much money has been funneled into prison-building, itself predicated on the criminalization of recreational drug use. (The result is a giant cheap labor market, a/k/a the new prison industrial PLANTATION movement).

So much money is funneled into weapons' development, deployment, sales, and global trafficking to unstable places like Saudi Arabia.

So much money is thrown away on a justice system that makes a mockery of the word justice. (Chris Hedges wrote an amazing piece 2 weeks ago on how this works and how many feel forced to plead guilty for crimes never enacted due to the fact that the entire criminal injustice system is so thoroughly overburdened).

So much money is tossed at repairing Veterans who should have never been sent to illegal foreign wars of aggression.

And on and on.

The net result is that there's never any money left in the coffers for things like ensuring that citizens (in cities like Flint) consume SAFE drinking water. (Margaret Kimberley makes the dangerous link between the $ spent on foreign wars and the dearth of it to protect real citizens' lives and needs. I believe that when Dr. King made THAT connection, it signaled his death warrant).

All of the things mentioned demonstrate what happens when the warrior-violence-aggression-dominator societal view comes into prominence. I call it Mars Rules.

There's always $ to lock 'em up or kill, bully, or brutalize those seen as "less than." But there's so little for Head Start, Women's reproductive care, Clean water, and good schools.

Crimes against decency are the rule when Mars, god of war, holds primacy in any given society. Ultimately, all citizens end up paying on levels that can't all be measured...


Privatization is corruption! The melding and subversion of government ostensibly Of, By and FOR the People, with interests dedicated to profits above all else, regardless the human or environmental consequences (as seen all too clearly in Flint and countless other examples).

"Privatization" is another of the many heads of the Hydra of usury and millions maintained as wage and interest slaves; the ability of those who control vast wealth to control our collective future. Other heads of the Hydra include corporate subversion of our nation, for profit public education, militarism as a for-profit "business" thriving on endless war, police and incarceration, the health care/insurance/pharmaceutical cabal putting profits before people's lives, banker/Wall St and other financial parasites corrupting government, and the subversion via "revolving door" corruption of US "regulatory" agencies - there are many more examples of the many-headed Hydra of greed, profits, and self-interest, all serving the vast wealth of the 1% that dominates our nation and the entire world.

The linkage between government/politicians/big-money fosters "privatization" and IS corruption!



Yes, while efficiency is the promise made by those profiting from privatization, efficiency is really only an afterthought at best. The prevailing mentality is that resources are to be exploited, not used efficiently. The profit plan drives planning and decision making from start to finish.


Just like outsourcing jobs to low paying slave labor countries, privatizing is sucking the life blood out of this country.

I wish there was a report on the actual costs of privatization versus what we used to pay. I've heard that after a few years it is much more. Having the highest incarceration numbers of any other country should be a clue? Like private corporations feeding and cleaning prisons, providing the guards et al. Even in what is left of public schools the janitors have been privatized along with school buses and food? How much more is the cost?

Feel the Bern and let's get the change and show we deserve it by? How do we stand with a President? We have to clean house in Congress and in state houses. Rid states of ALEC.


I am just baffled by these so-called "private" companies our govt. keeps funding and signing off on. If they are funded by our tax dollars, then they are not private. All these charter schools, prison-for profit take federal money and would not exist without it. The GOP keeps talking about big govt., cutting it down to size, getting it out of everyone's life, but they all take state and federal money--Hell, they are funded by corporations since they use all the politicians to do their bidding to change the law(s) in their favor. Once these corporations do away with the govt., there will be no need for these fools and idiots: Bye bye career and what will they do then as they have no other skills? On the street, that's what. Unemployable. Private means profiting and means austerity--Money for those at the top, nothing left for all below.


The purpose of privatization is the transfer of power from the people to corporations. Once the transfer is complete the corporations will ratchet up the price until only the rich parasites can live.

Corporations are now AI beings, they have been given person-hood by the traitors on the unSupreme court and now they want to start their build of power and rule completely.


Be careful of the wording and directions of your [rants?].
How does a factory outside the country employing workers for lower wages differ from those workers immigrating to here, and working harder and at lower wages than 'native-born' Americans in factories here ? Certainly this forum stands up for the rights of foreigners to come here, even it they are taking jobs from American workers.
¿ The highest incarceration rates of any country (looking past countries like East Germany, where the entire nation was a prison...) ? True enough. Ask yourself and your fellow citizens why they want to punish so many offenses by imprisoning people.
We have heard before that there are clerical desk jobs at the police and fire departments that don't recall police or fire academy training. So why shouldn't less skilled workers be hired at lower pay [than policemen] for those jobs?
It is easy to look and see that in Japan, Korea and China the students are expected to do some of the cleaning work. Besides saving costs, this trains students in working, a useful skill.
I am not completely arguing against jujudahl. I am saying one can go too far in that direction.


You are describing, or almost so, Russian style privatization. Although that was transfer of ownership, responsibility and reward from the Peoples-Communist-Party & State to corporate oligarchs. Because the Party had proven itself the past few decades to be incompetent. There are other ways to privatize.

When done another way, such as Vaclav Klaus did in the Czech Republic, the nation gets several independent companies competing against each other to attract customers. As described by Adam Smith, it takes providing a good (better) product at a good (usually lower) price to get customers, thus increasing the wealth of the community and of nations.
It is no surprise that very talented persons like Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey get rich and even very rich. The number who are 'rich parasites' is much smaller.