Privatization, dubbed piratization by critics, refers to the sale of publicly owned assets to the private sector.
See the report "Can the private sector deliver public goods?" which comes jointly from the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme, World Bank, and the World Resources Institute for background information.
In The Public Interest, a resource center on privatization and responsible contracting, has many resources related to privatization in a variety of sectors on its website (www.inthepublicinterest.org). 
- 1 Examples
- 1.1 Privatization of airports, bridges and public roads
- 1.2 Airports
- 1.3 Bridges
- 1.4 State and federal highways
- 1.5 Privatization of correctional facilities
- 1.6 Privatization of education
- 1.7 Privatization of essential services
- 1.8 Privatization of government information
- 1.9 Privatization of health care
- 1.10 Privatization of Iraq
- 1.11 Privatization of Latin America
- 1.12 Privatization of police powers
- 1.13 Privatization of public air waves
- 1.14 Privatization of public policy by GOP, Inc.
- 1.15 Privatization of Social Security
- 1.16 Privatization of U.S. Government
- 1.17 Privatization of water resources
- 2 Resources and articles
Perhaps the most offensive form of privatization is that which involves natural resources to which the entire public has equal rights of enjoyment.
Another form of privatization is of "Public space, universal community services and their historic traditions which bind our nation together" (Post Offices, Libraries, National Parks)
Privatization of airports, bridges and public roads
- Ian Welsh, "Push to Privatize Public Roads, Airports, Bridges," The Huffington Post, April 30, 2007.
- Emily Thornton, "Roads To Riches. Why investors are clamoring to take over America's highways, bridges, and airports—and why the public should be nervous," BusinessWeek, May 7, 2007.
- The World Airport Privatization Study, Publisher: Euromoney Institutional Investor (Reference to the study).
- Jonathan Hoenig, "Opportunities in Infrastructure: Should We Privatize Bridges and Roads?" Fox News, 2007.
- Steven Malanga, "How to Keep Our Bridges Safe. Private investors can manage critical transportation infrastructure," Opinion Journal, August 5, 2007.
- Rob Kall, "Time To Privatize Bridges? Or Time to protect America from Privatizers with Federal Regulations?" OpEdNews.com, August 6, 2007.
State and federal highways
- On June 29, 2006, former Bush administration official and Indiana governor Mitch Daniels told a room full of reporters and state lawmakers that "Indiana had received $3.8 billion from a foreign consortium made up of the Spanish construction firm Cintra and the Macquarie Infrastructure Group (mig) of Australia, and in exchange the state would hand over operation of the 157-mile Indiana Toll Road for the next 75 years." In return, the consortium's contract yielded "hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks", "immunity from most local and state taxes", "all the tolls, which it was allowed to raise to levels far beyond what Hoosiers had been used to. By one calculation, the Toll Road would generate more than $11 billion over the 75-year life of the contract, a nice return on mig-Cintra's $3.8 billion investment."
Privatization of correctional facilities
- Bibliography of Correctional Privatization. Also see SourceWatch resources on the prison-industrial complex.
Privatization of education
- See Mackinac Center for Public Policy web articles on the privatization of public schools, particularly in Michigan (Fall 2001).
Privatization of essential services
- There is "no accountability or culpability for Bush fundraisers and lobbiests who spend nearly 4 million dollars lobbying Congress but can't afford to maintain their services." (CorpWatch regarding the August 2003 Northeast Blackout.)
Privatization of government information
- University of California, Davis, Law Library, January 1995: "Privatization of Government Information" message board.
Privatization of health care
- Discuss BC, British Columbia Discussion Forum on Privatization of Health Care.
- Peter J. Ferrara, Policy Brief: Privatization of Public Hospitals.
- Private for-profit clinics.
Privatization of Iraq
Privatization of Latin America
- IPS has put together a series of stories that provide an in-depth analysis of the process and the current state of privatised services in Latin America.
- Imperial terror in South America
Privatization of police powers
Privatization of public air waves
- "... the privatization of the airwaves, a public resource worth hundreds of billions of dollars in both market value and future federal revenue. The contemplated FCC action could result in the biggest special interest windfall at the expense of American taxpayers in history. ... These airwaves are owned by the public. For more than 75 years broadcasters, cellular phone companies and other commercial service providers have acquired exclusive access to scarce spectrum space only under temporary, renewable licenses; in return, they serve the public interest. But if the FCC has its way, that social contract will be voided. The Washington Post, August 11, 2003.
Privatization of public policy by GOP, Inc.
Privatization of Social Security
- Charles Siegel, Social Security Reform. A Liberal Approach to Privatization, Preservation Institute Policy Study, 1998.
- Also see U.S. Social Security privatization.
Privatization of U.S. Government
- "On November 19, 2002, the White House Office of Management and Budget placed a notice in the Federal Register proposing that 850,000 federal 'Full-Time Equivalents' could just as well be performed by private companies. As the notice points out, those 850,000 amount to half the current federal workforce. The Administration told The Washington Post that it has a goal of reaching the 15 percent mark by September 30, 2003.
- "All federal agencies must now 'justify, in writing, any designation of government personnel performing inherently government activities.' Other positions will then be considered potentially 'commercial,' or 'a recurring service that could be performed by the private sector.' These major changes took effect on May 29.
- "By 'inherently governmental,' the new policy means jobs that have 'substantial discretion' to 'commit the government to a course of action when . . . decision-making is not already limited or guided by existing policies, procedures, decisions, orders, or guidance.'" Progressive.org August 2003.
- Bob Watson, Senate approves study on government privitization, NewsTribune, April 8, 2003.
- Karen Jowers, Stephen Losey, and Dan Davidson, "DoD may outsource mail delivery", Federal Times, January 30, 2006: "The Defense Department is starting to move forward on a plan to outsource its billion-dollar-plus mail operation, which would be one of the government’s biggest privatization projects in recent years."
Privatization of water resources
- "The Water Barons: A Handful of Corporations Seek to Privatize the World's Water," Public-I.org, February 3-14, 2003 (series of articles).
- Kari Lydersen, "Lake Michigan danger: The Real Parasites," Conscious Choice, August 2003.
- "Profiteers Plunder California's Public Water Resources," Public Citizen, December 19, 2003.
- "Water for Life: the case for private sector investment and management in developing country water systems," Globalisation Institute, March 20, 2006.
Also see water wars.
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- free trade
- North American Union
- Ownership society
- Prison-industrial complex
- Stephen Goldsmith (Bush's privatization guru)
- Surveillance-industrial complex
- Think tanks
- Third world
- In the Public Interest
- "World Resources 2002-2004: Decisions for the Earth: Balance, voice, and power," World Resources Institute, 2003.
- "In The Public Interest,", February 16, 2011.
- Daniel Schulman with James Ridgeway, "The Highwaymen," MotherJones, January/February 2007: "Why you could soon be paying Wall Street investors, Australian bankers, and Spanish builders for the privilege of driving on American roads."
- Private Corrections Working Group website
- Beau Hodai, Publicopoly Exposed: How ALEC, the Koch brothers and their corporate allies plan to privatize government, In These Times, July 2011.
- Washington's Fondness for Privatisation and Deregulation is Creating Dangerous Problems at Home and Abroad, CorpWatch.
- Privitization, New Internationalist, April 2003. Theme of the month = Privitization; The Great Privitization Grab: "The worldwide sale of public assets to private interests is larceny on a grand scale, argues Wayne Ellwood. It's time to stop the privateers and revive the notion of the public good."; Privitization: The Facts: "The last two decades have seen a sea change in the provision of public services across the Western world and more recently, thanks to structural adjustment, across the Majority World too. The private ownership of public assets are at the core of economic globalization."
- Rosemarie Jackowski, Why August 19, 1953 is Relevant Now, Veterans For Peace, November 17, 2003.