Define privatization, and discuss its impact on the role and size of the government.

UNIT VI: Privatization (3 pages)

1. Define privatization, and discuss its impact on the role and size of the government.

2. Discuss the pros and cons of privatization in general and with respect to human services. 3. Privatization is spreading rapidly in the human services and remains highly controversial.

3. Discuss the arguments for and against privatization in one of the policy areas listed on the syllabus (prisons, education, social services).

4. Discuss how you think the current trend toward privatization is affecting your agency. Ask both new and long-term staff for their views. Identify two points to mention, to help them understand the rise of privatization, as well its pros and/or cons, and discuss how that changed or enhanced their views.



A. Background on Privatization

Cohen, D. (nd). The History of Privatization.

Lewis, M. (nd). What Is Privatization of Public Services – Definition, Pros & Cons.

B. Privatization Debate

1. PRO

The Reason Foundation (2010). Ten Principles of Privatization.

Edwards, C. (2009). Downsizing the Federal Government: Privatization. Cato Institute.

McEnany, K. (2011). A Case for Privatizing the Welfare State, Int’l business Times.

Tanner, M. & Dehaven, T. (2010). TANF and Federal Welfare.

2. CON Abramovitz, M. (1998). The Perils of Privatization, MS Magazine (Jan/Feb), p. 29 (ER)

Wilson, R. (2012). The Private Sector Does Not Always Deliver Better Value in Public Services. The Guardian. services-outsourcing

Tarnoff, B. (2017). How Privatization Could Spell the End of Democracy. The Guardian.

Frances, A. (2016). Privatization Has Been a Colossal Flop. Huffington Post flop_b_7046140.html

Kuttner, R. (2013). When Public is Better. Demos.

C. Specific Policy Examples: Privatizing Prisons, Education and Social Services

1. Privatizing Prisons

Sanders, B. (2015). We Must End For-Profit Prisons. Huffington Post.

American Civil Liberties Union (2017). Selling Off Our Freedom. (Read executive summary, pp. 1-8)

The Huge Problem With For-Profit Prisons (video – 3.5 min.)

Eisen, L. B., (2015). Charging Inmates for Mass Incarceration. Brennan Center.

Gilroy, L. & Moore, A. (2015). Why Bernie Sanders Is Wrong About Private Prisons: Closing Private Correctional Facilities Would Make Life Worse for Prisoners and Taxpayers.

Letter to the Editor of NYT (2016). Benefits of Private Prisons. The New York Times.

2. Privatizing Education

Ravitch, D. (2016) Education in Crisis: The Threat of Privatization Around the World.

National Education Association. (2004). Higher Education and Privatization. NEA Research Center 10(2), 1-5.

Weiner, L. (2012). Privatizing Public Education: The Neoliberal Model.

Walker, B. (2012). An Argument for Privatizing Public Schools. New American. school2

3. Privatizing Social Services

Dehaven, T. (2010). Head Start and Other Subsidies.

William Waldman – Privatization of Health and Human Services (video – 5 min)\

Surgey, N, & Lorenze, K. (2013). Profiting from the Poor: Outsourcing Social Services Puts Most Vulnerable at Risk. most-vulnerable-risk

In The Public Interest (2018). Privatizing the VA: Lessons from Privatized Medicaid in Kansas and Iowa. AMedicaid_March2018.pdf

Phaneuf, K. (2017). Nonprofits Say Privatizing Social Services Could Save CT $1.3Billion.

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