Yup. News that I consider very exciting is coming from the commissioners of the Rahway Valley Sewer Authority.

The commission is starting to at least study the pros and cons of privatization.

I personally think that is huge.

While it is easy to rank on elected officials regarding expenses and pork that drive up our taxes, the bulk of the damage comes from what I call “hidden gems”. Different quasi-government bodies that have the ability to affect the tax burden, but are not directly accountable to the voters.  Like the Rahway Valley Sewer Authority – which supports 11 municipalities.

Government has its plusses, but one area that it is not very strong is in providing tangible services.

Why? Because the incentives aren’t there. The ability to attract talent and root out bad apples isn’t there. Costs too high? No problem! Raise revenue! The revenue comes from our higher taxes. Because the Town Council doesn’t have any significant say in that expenditure, they are essentially powerless – from Jorn to Robinson…all of them.

And my favorite reason for privatizing? You can fire them. Put the contract out for bid. Bring them up on criminal charges if they cheat or steal. How often does that happen with government employees no matter how evil, stupid or incompetent they are?

Yeah, people always complain about private companies cutting corners or dumping or something that Hollywood always says private companies do since they’re evil. But think about it: Who has a greater incentive to avoid bad press? Who has any incentive at all to satisfy customers? Who has any incentive to control expenses? Think a government entity would?

Sure, some government entities are a good thing (think police, fire, national defense), but most of them are a mess that drag everything else down. If you want to start chipping away at property taxes, here is a great place to chip.

I may be alone in thinking it is great news. It may be even better news if it moves along to the next step.

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