The history of privatization ...is not more efficiency, but more ways to transfer wealth from working people and citizens to business owners and investors.
A failed policy that just won’t go away
When it comes to value for money, no government policy of the last 20 years has a worse track record than privatization.
Yet in Ontario, both PC and Liberal politicians have turned, time and time again, to the private sector to deliver public services. These politicians say that competition will drive efficiency, giving citizens better quality at a lower price.
That’s the theory. The facts say otherwise.
We’ve seen how privatization works. From the contracting out of highway maintenance to the 2011 gas plant scandal, we now know that when it comes to private involvement in the public sector, something else besides competition is at work.
That something else is the profit motive. Without profit, private operators, or financiers, aren’t interested in public service for its own sake. Giving someone’s mother a bath, or guarding an accused murderer awaiting trial, or restarting your heart isn’t something that the people I represent do for money. Sure, we get paid – everybody has to feed their family – but making money isn’t the point. Public service is.
But as soon as the profit motive enters the picture, something changes. The history of privatization ... chronicled here in several examples, shows that what has happened is not more efficiency, but more ways to transfer wealth from working people and citizens to business owners and investors.