Monday, June 25, 2012

The Road Back to Proper Government

The ultimate goal in politics is to have government return to its proper role of exclusively protecting individual rights. That's what we have to fight for, and that's where the ideological battle lies. But in the name of buying some time to get the message out, I think the idea of farming out government tasks to the private sector, particularly at the state and municipal level, has value. The biggest benefit is that typically municipalities which do this do so without running deficits. (The same fiscal prudence that pushes for competition also wants to run a tight ship.) This means that services are paid for by the same people who use them, there is no shifting the burden on to future citizens and/or future generations. This NY times article provides some reporting on the issue, focusing on the town of Sandy Springs, GA.
To grasp how unusual this is, consider what Sandy Springs does not have. It does not have a fleet of vehicles for road repair, or a yard where the fleet is parked. It does not have long-term debt. It has no pension obligations. It does not have a city hall, for that matter, if your idea of a city hall is a building owned by the city. Sandy Springs rents.
The town does have a conventional police force and fire department, in part because the insurance premiums for a private company providing those services were deemed prohibitively high. But its 911 dispatch center is operated by a private company, iXP, with headquarters in Cranbury, N.J.

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