When the Sacramento Bee publishes a sympathetic front-page news story about the city's efforts to contract out lawn maintenance and other services, we can guess that this obvious answer to the municipal budget crunch might be gaining traction. At least with contractors, there are no unfunded liabilities for employees. I worked for a contractor that handled the operations for an Air Force base years ago, and of course many of the problems found in government are found in privatized services. But at least there is a better bidding process and the chance to dump the contract and correct wayward employees and even fix poorly provided services. Unions lose power, so this is a move in the right direction. The best approach, however, is to cut back on the size of government and let the true, competitive private sector take over many of the services the public has come to depend upon.
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