Another data point.
The head of private security giant G4S admitted the company's failure to provide enough guards for the Olympics was "a humiliating shambles" as he faced a grilling from British lawmakers on Tuesday.
Chief executive Nick Buckles said he expected the company would eventually be able to supply 7000 of the 10,000 staff it had promised. An extra 3500 troops have already been drafted in by the British government to plug the gap.
Day by day we started to realise that the pipeline and the people we thought we were going to be able to deliver we couldn't.
But he insisted he would not resign over the scandal and said G4S, one of the world's biggest security firms, would still claim its £57 million ($86.5 million) management fee for the Olympics contract.
Frankly, I don't think he should be in the gun for this. He is doing what he is paid to do, maximise his company's profits by minimising his costs. If that includes being paid for work that is not done, so what? His ONLY interest is to maximise profits. Nothing else. Even better if he can do it at public expense rather than actually having to compete to actually deliver on his agreements.
The people who need to be in the gun are those who let and supposedly oversee the contract, and those politicians and "economists" who mindlessly, endlessly, relentlessly assert that private enterprise is more effective, efficient and smart than any publicly owned entity is or could be.
We have had the fiascos of NZ Rail and Air NZ being privatised and rescued at public expense, SERCO's running of our prisons is a crime in itself, British water supplies in a mess from privatisation, the insane cost overruns in any number of Military supply contracts from the US to Australia to fiascos with the latest NZ navy vessels. Boeing's Dreamliner is a nightmare of delays and inefficiencies, the Airbus 380 still a mess; everywhere you look, scams, incompetence, greed, corruption and stupidity masquerading as innovation and private enterprise superiority.
It has taken 3 bastions of private enterprise to repair my compouter. It failed in November 2011; I STILL don't have it back.
Are public entities any better? Difficult to tell since so many of them are now being run as "Business units" with financial goals rather than service goals, ACC for example. But running to the rescue in the UK are the cops and the military. Organsiations that, apparently, actually train people for service and have them available when needed.
It would be nice to think that, some day, far in the future perhaps, that the evidence might lead to a conclusion that Private enterprise is not only NOT the answer to all things, it is barely the answer to anything. But I'd settle for all the private enterprise boosters to just STFU
Time to do some actual work that produces something useful, edible and tasty. cape gooseberry jam for example.