Privatization Isn’t Always “Better”

Unlike a lot of people, I don’t fear my government.

Sure, they make some really bone-headed mistakes from time to time, but who doesn’t?! Republicans often like to use these examples to cite why many government functions, from prisons to the post office to other random administrative functions, should be relegated to private businesses, which always seems comical to me because I think I can probably count on one hand the number of businesses I know that put consumers ahead of making a fat profit for their investors.

Here’s a fun example – I sat down today to order Christopher’s birth certificate.

The State of Florida gives us a few options … you can mail in a form, you can show up in person, or you can order a copy online. Naturally I figured the quickest and easiest would be to order online, but here’s the catch – you’re not ordering online from the state, you’re ordering from their approved vendor, VitalChek.

The difference?

  • Order a copy through the mail or in person? $9 for a basic, computer-generated birth certificate
  • Order a copy via VitalChek? $26 for the same thing!

So why, pray tell, is it that a government agency can do the work for a third of the price that its one and only approved vendor charges for the same service???

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