Privatization refers to the transfer of functions of public services from government-owned programs and firms to firms in the private sector. One of the primary arguments for privatization is that the best minds for solving the issues associated with fundamental rights are often found in the business sector as opposed to the government sector. Few individuals actually have a favorable opinion of their government. While local governments tend to perform better in polls, the outlook is still bleak. Simply put, individuals do not trust their governments to establish programs that will actually ensure their fundamental rights.
The Economics of It All
There are many reasons for the privatization of public services, one of which is the economics of the entire setup. Funding for public services often comes from taxes as well as whatever other revenue can be allotted to the various projects. Many times, transferring a program to the private sector can result in the services that are cheaper and the government realizes tremendous savings. Additionally, private companies receive far less criticism over how they run such programs as opposed to when the government ran the program.
While corruption is typically reserved for the politics of the developing world, the truth of the matter is that it is alive and well worldwide. Government programs often see billions of dollars in funding. Many times politicians will succumb to greed, making sure certain companies get government contracts in return for campaign funding, votes, and personal riches. This issue is especially problematic as public services transition to the private sector.
Shift in Liability
Another reason the government is willing to shift public services to the private sector is that it allows the government to shirk liability for not achieving goals. Every public service is designed with a goal in mind. With privatization, these goals remain but are often mixed with goals of profitability. If the goals associated with providing the fundamental right to a certain population are not met, privatization means the government is no longer to blame.
Those that advocate in favor of privatization often argues that it will help with the efficiency of providing services to those that need them. Many times government agencies are bogged down with rules and regulations, affecting how they are able to operate and their overall efficiency. When services are shifted to the private sector, they are often less expensive and offer better (or equal) service.