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Book Summary

Savas, E. S., ed. 1992. Privatization for New York: Competing for a Better Future. The Lauder Report; A report of the NYS Senate Advisory Commission on Privatization. New York.

The report provides a review of privatization experience in New York State, from a proponent's perspective. The report argues privatization leads to greater productivity that enables governments to provide the same level of services at lower cost, or to improve services without raising taxes. The report addresses the biggest budget services in NYS including New York City. It also introduces the experience of other states and cities, and the special experiences gained in Britain. The report has an excellent executive summary.

Chapter 1: Introduction (E. S. Savas)
Privatization is a proven, successful approach being adopted throughout the world. However, New York is lagging badly. Forms of privatization are discussed, evidence presented, and recommendations drawn.

Chapter 2: What Other States are Doing (Keon S. Chi)
More and more states are privatizing their services; health, human services, prison, transportation, etc. NYS has a lot of legal and administrative impediments to privatization.

Chapter 3: Medicaid (Edwin S. Rubenstein)
Medicaid is NY's premier "budget buster." Less regulation, co-payment, competitive contracting, and prevention of fraud, are recommended.

Chapter 4: Airports (Robert W. Poole, Jr)
Airports are undervalued assets of state and local governments. Passengers and taxpayers would benefit from privatization.

Chapter 5: Education (John E. Chubb and Terry M. Moe)
Despite high education expenditure, NY's public schools are performing poorly. The authors recommend school choice.

Chapter 6: Bus Services (Wendell Cox and Jean Love)
The cost of local public bus services in NY has been increasing. Mandatory competitive contracting is recommended costs savings.

Chapter 7: Infrastructure (Steve Steckler and Lavinia Payson)
Privatization in infrastructure is appealing because it provides new capital, can be built more rapidly and efficiently, and brings in new sources of tax revenue.

Chapter 8: Solid Waste Management (Barbara J.Stevens)
Compared with other communities, NY uses contracts or franchises much less in solid waste collection. Competitive bidding is necessary to ensure gains from privatization.

Chapter 9: Housing in New York City (Jack Richman)
New Yorkers are suffering from a shortage of decent, affordable housing. Housing vouchers are recommended as the most cost-effective form of housing subsidy.

Chapter 10: Off-Track Betting in New York City (Ann E. Kaplan)
NY is the only state with government-operated betting parlors. It is best handled by private business. Off-tract betting should be sold at auction to the highest bidder.

Chapter 11: The Privatization Experience in Britain (Peter Young)
Mandatory competitive bidding for local services in Britain went into effect in 1988, even though the political and ideological climate was hostile. Bus service, airport, and infrastructure were privatized to save costs.