Dwight Rettie: Privatizing ills

December 11, 2013 

Both Democrats and Republicans have for years, no, decades, been steering more and more government services to private companies. Saves money, we are told. Not!

The screw-up of the Affordable Care Act website was not done by federal government employees. It was “privatized,” turned over to private business(es) for which taxpayers paid handsomely. As a rule, privatizing very rarely saves money; it often costs more in both the short and long term. No magic there.

It does give politicians opportunity to show they have cut the number of government employees. Governments at every level have a terrible record of supervising private contracts. Even the concept of having important work or functions done by least-cost bidders is grounds for pause.

One of the astronauts was asked what he was thinking about as he awaited liftoff. “That this was put together by lowest bidders,” he was quoted as saying. Will we ever learn?

Dwight Rettie

Morehead City

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