Should the private sector provide more private services?


All across the country, revenue-pinched governments are turning to private firms as a way of saving money without impairing the delivery of services like trash collection and street paving. Indeed, it is an article of faith among conservatives - and a growing number of liberals - that nearly all government programs operate more efficiently under private management. Some critics caution, however, that privatization is no panacea. They contend that contracting out public services to private interests often ends up costing taxpayers more, not less. In addition, labor leaders say any cost savings from privatization come from reduced wages and benefits for workers. Still, privatization is likely to remain a popular option for government officials as long as resistance to tax increases stays high.

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