By Robert Wenzel
The word privatization is used in two different ways.
One meaning of the word refers to when the government leaves a sector and leaves it up to free markets and free enterprise to fill any void---with no direction from government.
The other use of the term is dishonest. It is not about the government leaving a sector but rather the government still setting the rules for the sector, but the "services" provided are provided by non-government organizations and employees. It, in essence, is just a different government structure for payments to be made in the bureaucratic government run operation.
Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced the "privatization" of the air traffic controller system. He used the word in the dishonest sense.
The government remains in the sector as the ruling body.
Consider what the President said when he announced the privatization:
At its core, our new plan will dramatically improve America’s air traffic control system by turning it over to a self-financing, non-profit organization.
A real privatization wouldn't have any government plan or government-created non-profit organization. We have no idea what a private sector air traffic control system would look like. Private sector innovation always tends to surprise and provide creativity in ways that no individual person, or team, could imagine.
This is not going to happen under Trump's plan.
Under real privatization, the President would simply announce to the airlines and the world:
One-year from now the government is getting out of the air-traffic control business. Good luck with coming up with your own system(s). I look forward to seeing how creative and innovative you will get.
Trump did nothing like this. He is keeping the old shell bureaucratic system The tell is that the entire old bureaucratic system supports Trump's "privatization."
Read the rest of this article at EconomicPolicyJournal.com
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