“If only they would run government like a business,” goes a familiar conservative lament, the gist of which equates “business” with the kind of furious efficiency that rewards honest, hard work in both industry and the animal kingdom. But now a new study shows what actually happens when elected officials hand over the keys to the private sector and ask it to run the services that society depends on.
Suddenly, according to Creating Scandals Instead of Jobs, the book of Ayn Rand fairy tales is shut and a dangerous reality asserts itself. The study, conducted by Good Jobs First, discovered an especially dizzying level of corruption in those enterprise and commerce agencies charged with expanding state economies and creating jobs. (Californians will remember how, until it was recently changed, their own Enterprise Zone program helped wreck the middle class by rewarding businesses for downsizing their work forces and lowering wages.)
Among Scandals/Jobs’ findings about so-called PPPs (public-private partnerships):