How many people believe in magic potions. A concoction which remedies all ills. I would imagine that there are not a lot of people in western industrialized countries that would answer in the affirmative. So it is another paradox of our times that many people do believe in cure-all elixirs of sorts. That so many people believe in free market solutions to every problem is like saying they believe in magic potions of public policy. Private Prisons Found to Offer Little in Savings
The conviction that private prisons save money helped drive more than 30 states to turn to them for housing inmates. But Arizona shows that popular wisdom might be wrong: Data there suggest that privately operated prisons can cost more to operate than state-run prisons — even though they often steer clear of the sickest, costliest inmates.
The state’s experience has particular relevance now, as many politicians have promised to ease budget problems by trimming state agencies. Florida and Ohio are planning major shifts toward private prisons, and Arizona is expected to sign deals doubling its private-inmate population.
The measures would be a shot in the arm for an industry that has struggled, in some places, to fill prison beds as the number of inmates nationwide has leveled off. But hopes of big taxpayer benefits might end in disappointment, independent experts say.
“There’s a perception that the private sector is always going to do it more efficiently and less costly,” said Russ Van Vleet, a former co-director of the University of Utah Criminal Justice Center. “But there really isn’t much out there that says that’s correct.”
Such has been the case lately in Arizona. Despite a state law stipulating that private prisons must create “cost savings,” the state’s own data indicate that inmates in private prisons can cost as much as $1,600 more per year, while many cost about the same as they do in state-run prisons.
Hold on there. Aren’t some corporate prisons actually proving to be cost-effective. One of the dirty little secrets of cost effectiveness found in this study is that prisons-for-profits are only taking healthy inmates. They not only refuse prisoners who have an illness, but also prisoners who have physical disabilities. This does not mean that all privatization of prions is wrong or not cost-effective, only that privatization is not the one size fits all solution that proponents claim.
I had an introduction to this, but read it first and see if you can tell when it was written, Anti-Monopoly
“Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any other controlling private power.
“The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living. Both lessons hit home. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.”
A speech to the nation by President Obama? I wish. Or even Ron Paul? No this from an address to the nation by President Roosevelt on Monday, May. 09, 1938.
Not so much as it turns out, Bob Dylan – Times They are a-Changin. Happy birthday to Bob, who turned 70 this month.