Bill Keisling reports on a zany new idea that may be coming down the pike. This is a privatization plan that I would oppose completely. Unlike retail alcohol sales, where we know that private retailers know how to do it, delivery of honest-to-goodness public social services is not something private companies have experience doing. I have no idea why anybody would think outsourcing the administration of these programs would yield savings or better results.
That’s not to say there’s no room for changes at DPW. I might prefer a different mix of policies and programs to the current set. But the task for people like me who might want to see DPW try some different approaches to achieving its goals is to propose some alternative approaches. The areas ripe for reform are on the programmatic side, not so much the administration side. Are the programs they administer working or aren’t they? Would something else work better? Are they being delivered in a cost-effective way? All legitimate subjects of debate, but none of them likely to be addressed satisfactorily with lazy hand-waiving toward privatization. The public vs. private question just isn’t really interesting or relevant here.