NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Comparing Privatization Efforts

August 31, 1995

The United States is lagging much of the rest of the world in privatizing basic infrastructure. Some examples:

  • In private ownership of water and wastewater treatment facilities, Britain is 100% privatized and France is at 75% while the U.S. lags at only 15%.
  • In Britain, some 70% of airports are private while none is in the U.S.
  • Gas and electric utilities have been 100% privatized in Britain, but the U.S. still has over 2,000 municipal electric utilities and 800 municipal gas utilities..

America's private sector has a lot to offer in rebuilding the country's infrastructure, such as:

  • A huge pool of capital.
  • Streamlined procurement methods allowing it to build in one-third to one-half the time it would take government.
  • The ability to build more cost-effective facilities than could be done politically and bureaucratically.
  • Commitment to building facilities with lower life-cycle maintenance costs.

Source: Robert W. Poole, "Guest Editorial: The Privatization Gap," Investor's Business Daily, August 31, 1995.


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