Privatization Works: Just ask the US Senate

By and large, left-wing Democrats dislike privatization. After all, nothing illustrates the superiority of free markets and limited government like comparing the ability of free markets and the government to provide particular services. Government is so incompetent, however, that sometimes even those who are philosophically opposed to letting the free market work are forced to do so.
Consider the case of the US Senate’s dining services. According to the Washington Post, “the U.S. Senate’s network of restaurants has lost staggering amounts of money — more than $18 million since 1993…Come lunchtime, many Senate staffers trudge across the Capitol and down into the basement cafeteria on the House side,” (a 15 minute walk, yet, “House staffers almost never cross the Capitol to eat in the Senate cafeterias.” (The House cafeterias have been privatized for many years)
Because the situation had gotten so bad, the Senate recently voted to let a private company manage its food services. While a majority of both parties supported the decision (albeit quietly), some on the hard left dissented. In typical left-wing fashion, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), speaking for the group of senators who opposed privatizing the restaurants, said that “you cannot stand on the Senate floor and condemn the privatization of workers, and then turn around and privatize the workers here in the Senate and leave them out on their own.”
Jonah Goldberg, writing in National Review Online, who will be speaking at Rio Grande Foundation events in Albuquerque and Santa Fe on September 19, covered the story recently as well.