The Core Dump

It updates the blog, or it gets the hose again.

By Nic Lindh | Thursday, 23 January 2014 | FacebookTwitter

How to privatize a public good

The standard right-wing approach to privatizing public goods like education and health care.

It’s an article of faith among the right that public goods like schools, health care and defense should be privatized as much as possible: Government is by definition bad and private actors will always deliver services and goods in a more efficient and cost effective manner.

No matter what reality says.

So you see the same play enacted over and over again. And for good reason: It works. (The current Swedish right-wing government is quite busy these days following the lead of their colleagues in the UK by dismantling as much as possible of the welfare state.)

Let’s use education as an example, but you can substitute with any public good. Here’s how it works:

  1. Cut funding to schools as much as possible. Important: Explain that this is fiscal responsibility.
  2. Be publicly aghast that the quality of education delivered by the schools is dropping. This is proof government can not deliver this service efficiently.
  3. Open up the market for private actors. They will surely solve this crisis.
  4. Cut funding for public schools even more and suggest caring (read: wealthy enough) parents send their children to the new private schools, which are clearly superior.
  5. Ignore all reports that the new schools cost just as much as the public schools did and are not delivering more value for the tax payer.
  6. (Optional but recommended) Snicker at the poor, dumb people who clearly don’t care enough about their children to send them to the new, better, private schools.

After that, find another public good to privatize and step and repeat. Success!

« The iPhone, devourer of technologies

 »


Enjoy the ten latest posts:

Digital hygiene for online security and safety

Nic provides some basic not-too-paranoid tips for securing your digital life.

Closing loops

It’s not how much you have to do, it’s how many things you’re doing at the same time.

Jade Helm and the fever swamps of patriotism

Did you know the U.S. government is planning to invade Texas? Well, it’s not. Nic attempts to explain.

How to install Jekyll on Amazon Linux

Installing Jekyll on an EC2 Amazon Linux AMI is easy. Here are the steps.

Will the Apple Watch be a success?

After wearing the watch for over a month, Nic has thoughts on its future. Spoiler: Depends on how you define success.

Book roundup, part 19

Lots of fantasy and sci-fi in this installment plus a book about sports! Includes Boy on Ice, Difficult Men, Restaurant Man, The Red Line, Cunning Plans, Seveneves, Nemesis Games, Bitter Seeds, The Mechanical, Angles of Attack, and City of Stairs.

Let’s all chill out about the iPad sales numbers

Turns out “it's just a big iPhone” is a stroke of genius.

Tech terms you might be misusing

Some technical terms still confuse people who should know better, like journalists.

Book roundup, part 18

Nic is sad about Terry Pratchett's passing. Includes No Land’s Man, Idiot America, Something Coming Through, The Burning Room, Foxglove Summer, and The Dark Defiles.

BlueBuds X and Jabra Revo Bluetooth headsets review

Bluetooth headsets are maturing rapidly and these are both good in their own ways and for different purposes.