Analysis: N.J. shift to private services is uneven

Source: John Reitmeyer, The Record, August 5, 2012

The state’s recent decision to embrace privately run drug-treatment centers is just the latest in a growing string of moves to turn over public operations to private companies — all with an eye on the financial bottom line. So far this year, the Legislature agreed to have someone else run the state medical school’s teaching hospital in Newark, the largest provider of charity care in New Jersey. And state officials decided to close down two centers caring for the developmentally disabled and allow private non-profits to provide services.

Governor Christie has been on the leading edge of the so-called privatization trend since his first days in office in 2010, when revenues were drastically reduced by the weak economy….

These efforts echo increasing attempts by politicians across the country to contract with private operators to help cut spending and save money as a sputtering economy has stretched government resources thin.

It’s not just state government that’s moving forward with privatization efforts, either.
… But the overarching question remains: Does this move to replace government with private industry work?…

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