Sunday, July 31, 2016


Hal Pepinsky,, “peacemaking” at

July 31, 2016


                                Thursday’s broadcast of WOSU radio’s “All Sides” program highlighted another instance of the problem of for-profit privatization of state services, this time as guardians of the property of foster children, and of collection and enforcement of child support ( ).  Guests on the interview program were Daniel L. Hatcher, author of The Poverty Industry: The exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens (NYU Press, 2016), and former Athens County, Ohio, family services director Jack Frech.  The focus of the program was Ohio, one of the states that has carried privatization furthest.  Here as in criminal justice, the state saves money on state personnel and services by private contracting to enterprises which supply spend less on services and pocket all child benefits (as from social security and for disabilities), independently of “services” they offer, for which of course they are not publicly accountable.  It is one thing for public services to be provided by not-for-profit organizations, but for businesses dedicated to growth and profit, as with criminal justice services, privatization of public services promotes irresponsibility and exploitation, against which there is practically no recourse or defense, out of public control.  May we in my state and country put public accountability back in social service.  Love and peace, hal

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