Occasionally I have read stuff which seems so timely and apposite to work on which I am then engaged, that I’ve been motivated to provide an aide memoire of the text. This posting provides such a review of one 2015 text; it is not a summary and includes some personal interpretation; it is more a personal aide memoire of the opening chapter.
The book starts off with two rivetingly relevant-to-today quotes, one from 1936, the other from 1885.
Reading Review: What a waste: outsourcing and how it goes wrong, Bowman et al, 2015, Manchester University Press
Chapter 1 Outsourcing: organised money and disabled government
“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that government by organised money is just as dangerous as Government by organised mob.” F D Roosevelt, announcing the Second New Deal, October, 1936.
“The common rights of ownership have disappeared. Some of them have been sold; some of them have been given away by people who had no right to dispose of them; some of them have been lost through apathy and ignorance; some have been stolen by fraud; and some have been acquired by violence. Private ownership has taken the place of these communal rights, and this system has become so interwoven with our habits and usages, it has been sanctioned by law and protected by custom, that it might be very difficult and perhaps impossible to reverse it. But then, I ask, what ransom will property pay for the security which it enjoys?” Joseph Chamberlain, Birmingham Town Hall speech, January, 1885.
1.1 Introduction: The text addresses new problems created by outsourcing public services to private contractors. It considers the gap between efficiency rhetoric and delivery reality and between public service and the outsourcers’ profit maximising and tax manipulation.