Robert M. Davis, MPA
Privatization of services such as infrastructure and utilities traditionally provided by local government has expanded in common use and application with the turn of the 21st century. There are many competing views in regard to whether privatization is good or bad; regardless, the application of privatization is more prevalent now than ever before.
Better, faster and cheaper; this is the motto of the modern era of business, and became the call under which all government should adopt in its operations with the beginning of the 1980’s. The idea falls under the assumption that for too long government has not been the solution to the problems faced by the polis, but rather it was government was the problem of the people’s ills.
The idea holds in belief of the free market, and that private enterprise can provide better services and goods to the people when government gets out of the way, and at a reduced costs along individuals in the polity to hold on to more of their money through reduced taxation.
The goal of this paper is to explore the existing literature on the adoption of privatization of services traditionally provided by government. A review of existing case studies where governments have adopted privatization and their related affects of doing so; what were the motivations to privatize? Were the promises of costs and efficiency realized? What is the future of privatization adoption among local governments? These questions will be the focal point throughout the research of this paper.