Friday, November 14, 2014

Privatizing government-provided services

Local politicians are discussing whether to turn local ambulance service -- currently run by the Sheriff -- over to a private company. I support this proposal.

Wherever possible, services are best privatized.

Whether an ambulance service is provided by government employees or by a business, that service will be monitored by our elected officials. If such a business doesn't meet the standard of excellence expected, they will be replaced as soon as the contract allows. That provides the incentive to meet public expectations. The profit motive ensures that costs don't soar.

On the other hand, it is extremely rare to see a government employee dismissed when standards are not met. (That doesn't imply that current providers of emergency care aren't top-notch.)

For those who still think a business can't provide adequate ambulance services at a reasonable cost, they need to look into who provides air ambulance service in Iron County. It isn't government employees.

There are many other government functions in this community that need to be privatized: Heritage Center, library and bookmobile, aquatics center, Cross Hollow Arena, trash pickup, tumbling classes, swimming lessons, exercise classes, farmers' market, schools, etc. The assumption that only the government can provide these services is flawed and extremely dangerous to liberty in the long run -- especially when government (backed by the power to tax) is competing with private enterprise as it often does.

Some opponents of the change are worried about a privately-owned ambulance service having monopoly status. But, when only the government has ambulances, isn't that a monopoly too?

I cannot understand why so many complain about high taxes and about how poorly government does so many things with so much waste, then insist that only government is competent to do them.

We need smarter voters.

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