Financial Infrastructure

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Government Efficiency 
Public Goods Post | November 2018

The public sector is often more efficient than the private sector. A recent, well-researched paper dispels the myth that the private sector is inherently more efficient than government. In fact, in most cases public provision is functionally more efficient and less costly for taxpayers. The study, “Economic Benefits of Public Services,” published in the Real-World Economics Review, is an analysis of multiple studies that compare direct government provision with privatized or outsourced services. There is no evidence that the private sector is more efficient. So, if the private sector does not have any efficiency advantage, then there is nothing to offset the higher cost of private capital, and it is always likely better value to use the public sector. – read more —


Freedom to Harm
Public Goods Post 
This Post is about the erasure of regulations that is taking place outside of the media spotlight. It takes its title from a 2013 book by Thomas McGarity, who wrote about the consequences of eliminating regulations that protect people and the planet, thereby giving corporations the “freedom to harm.”

Underway today, if out of sight, is the “deconstruction of the administrative state” promised by the Trump White House. This deconstruction is aggressive and violent: it means the demolition of the capacity of our government to protect the safety and health of Americans, to repair and maintain our basic physical infrastructure, to protect the environment and to provide myriad essential public goods and services. Read more…


The Quiet Revolution and a Submerged Para-state
Public Goods Post 
Under normal circumstance, it would be safe to assume that “public goods” are delivered by public agencies.  But current circumstances are far from normal.  Over the last several decades, more and more public goods have been delivered by a para-state, a privatized government virtually hidden from view. We taxpayers still pay, but our money goes to a growing army of corporations on the public payroll.

Private corporations operate programs, deliver services and even manage other contractors. Some citizens receiving public services encounter only private contract workers, so are unaware that they are receiving a government service. While some forms of contract procurement have been in place since the nation’s birth, the very nature of contracting has changed as it has grown in scope. Basic governmental functions are now outsourced to for-profit corporations. Read more…