* What should be privatized and what should be left in the public sector? Who decides and on what basis? * Presents worldwide examples from all sectors to show what’s worked, what hasn’t, and why--what the limits to privatization are * Major analysis of and challenge to the market shibboleth of our age: private sector good, public sector bad * A Report to the Club of Rome--like the hugely influential Limits to Growth and Factor Four
Driven by ideology, the IMF, the World Bank, and powerful business interests, governments all over the world have been privatizing services in a growing number of sectors. Not just industrial utilities like energy, water, and transport, but health, education, media, communications, pensions, even prisons, and defense. But what have been the results? Have private funds and management produced greater efficiency, better economic performance and higher levels of service everywhere? This book is the first thorough audit of privatizations around the world. It shows how and where they have worked well, and where they have defeated their own aims--with serious impacts on public health, environmental sustainability, democratic accountability, and the level of public service. It analyzes the factors behind success or failure to establish criteria for future sell-offs, and argues for the fundamental importance of democratic governance of the privatization of publicly owned goods. The result is a book of major importance, challenging one of the orthodoxies of our day--a benchmark for future debate.
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