From Marcy Wheeler
, whom I have not cited in ages:
POGO has a must-read report showing what actually happens when the Federal government outsources jobs: while the actual workers doing the jobs may make less than government (unionized) workers, the work costs more overall.
In other words, not only is the federal government spending a lot more by paying contractors, in the end it pays more even than the private sector for the same function.
And while limitations on the data prevented POGO from pinpointing where those costs came from, it did suggest two obvious sources: profit and executive compensation.
Let's not pretend to be shocked. We all saw what happened during the Katrina clean-up; there were even congressional hearings. The Bush administration decided not to hire clean-up crews directly: That would be socialism. Instead, if a block needed debris hauled away, a fat gummint contract went to a large corporation that had donated to the Republican party. That corporation took its (huge) cut and then subcontracted out the job to another firm. And so on. Somewhere down the food chain, someone might finally hire a truck and a dozen minimum-wage day laborers. What should have been a gig that cost a few thousand dollars would turn into a $50,000 bill (or higher) for the taxpayers.
All for fear of socialism.
Of course, crony capitalism isn't capitalism at all. Only competition keeps capitalism efficient (something we were all once taught in grade school, though perhaps no longer). In the Katrina clean-up situation, there was no competition involved -- unless you're talking about the competition to make the largest donations to the Republican party.