December 2, 2009

SHOCKER: Government-operated sewage plants get away with a whole lot of polluting. “Modest proposal: privatize sewage treatment plants so that governments won’t hold back on going after polluters. It is politically much more acceptable to go after profit-making private sector polluters. Look at the USSR. The state let itself pollute on a massive scale. When the government doesn’t own the capital assets it has a much easier time imposing costs on the asset operators to make them clean up.”

UPDATE: A reader who requests anonymity emails: “Not shocking to me. I’ve seen it many times over. I consulted in the environmental engineering field for 15+ years. I have a BS in Chemistry and an MS in Industrial Engineering. I am a licensed wastewater operator. I have also been a member of a county environmental regulatory oversight committee. Not once have I ever seen a government run operation be more ‘green,’ more efficient, or more honest than a private enterprise. It all comes down to employees and their belief system in my humble opinion: gov’t employees are union members and believe they are ‘owed’ and private enterprise employees feel their paycheck is linked to the fulfillment of their duties.” And politicians know they can get more mileage out of attacking “greedy corporations” than unionized public employees.

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