Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Epic Fail – A short history of government privatization

Privatization of government services has plagued the 21st century and it rarely goes well.

A new mini-documentary examines the dramatic and costly impacts of government  privatization in Ontario – a large Canadian province that borders several US states. Not only has privatization of services like water treatment and infrastructure development dramatically raised costs for taxpayers, it’s also led to disastrous and deadly breakdowns in public safety.

In the US, ultra-right groups like the Koch Brothers are pushing to privatize everything from K12 education to Social Security. Just like in Canada, privatization costs US taxpayers millions, worsens delivery of vital services and drives down workplace wages and benefits across the economy.

A growing body of evidence and industry wage data suggest an alarming trend: outsourcing public services sets off a downward spiral in which reduced worker wages and benefits can hurt the local economy and overall stability of middle and working class communities. By paying family-supporting wages and providing important benefits such as health insurance and sick leave, governments historically created intentional “ladders
of opportunity” to allow workers and their families to reach the middle class.

Our partners in the labor and progressive movement are pushing back to keep public services where they belong: in the public sector.

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