When future taxpayers look back to the moment they started taking back control of their schools, roads and services, they will look to 2013. From coast to coast, taxpayers rejected reckless outsourcing schemes. They held for-profit corporations accountable. And they said “no deal!” to CEOs who would put profits ahead of public health and safety.
These victories don’t always appear in the national media. But taken together they represent a real shift. Working together, I’m sure we will have many more in 2014.
Connecticut: Opponents of education privatization defeated three Bridgeport school board members who supported pro-charter schools superintendent Paul Vallas.
Idaho: Corrections Corporation of America left the state “after more than a decade marked by scandal and lawsuits surrounding its operation of the state’s largest prison.” Upon hearing the news, Spokesman Review columnist Shawn Vestal wrote,
“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):