Over at Club Troppo, Nicholas Gruen has a thoughtful piece on the role of competition and choice in human services. He’s responding to the less-than-thoughtful boosterism of the Productivity Commission and the Harper Review on this topic. It’s well worth reading. Before doing so, though it’s important to take a look at the mounting evidence that for-profit provision of human services is almost invariably disastrous.
I’ll write a longer piece on this soon, I hope. But here are three recent examples from the United States, which has led the way in for-profit human services, and is now beginning to pull back
Shonky for-profit educator ITT closes down without notice, right at the beginning of a new semester.
Following a damning report, the US Department of Justice announces it will no longer use private prisons.
Charter schools (some openly for-profit, many others run as businesses) have been failing at a starting rate.