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  • r7ualj r7ualj Mar 18, 1999 6:32 PM Flag

    For All 2

    I know Dr. Thomas. He seems like a pleasant
    individual, but his views are definitely biased. That is not
    his fault. He profits from the proliferation of
    privatization. In that battle, there are different stakeholders.
    He should have no problem stepping away from his
    shield of public employment. As a public employee, he
    must remain impartial and not have certain contractual
    relationships with private interests. That rule doesn�t only
    apply to Thomas. Taxpayers shouldn�t be subsidizing
    profiteers that are operating under the guise of
    not-for-profit employment status.

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    • You have recently posted regarding two issues
      (one germane to PZN, one not)in stark shades of black
      and white. Unfortunately, things are not quite so
      simple, and you need to let a little gray or some gentle
      pastels into your thinking.

      Regarding the effect
      of escapes, nic is closer to fact than you. Putting
      all escapes into the category of Youngstown is a big
      mistake. From my remote vantage point, it appears that CCA
      was in over its head with Youngstown, or at best
      severly snake-bitten. Every successful business screws up
      at least once (remember GE and diamonds?). Yes,
      Youngstown affected the stock price and it should have,
      because there was financial consequence. There is no
      evidence that other incidents did. If in total these
      incidents indicate pervasive mismanagement, PZN will be
      further punished - first by the contracting agencies,
      then by the stock market. I don't believe it has
      reached that point. Again, avoiding such consequences is
      an incentive that public sector operators don't

      Issue 2 is Charlie Thomas. He championed
      privatization long before he received any money from the
      private sector. He became "the" expert - so much so that
      analysts still trusted his research even when told of his
      private compensation, which he received because of that
      experise and his bias toward privatization. I don't
      believe he's ever been in a position, while compensated
      by PZN, to award them a contract, if ever. And, in
      fact, is he any less conflicted than a government
      employee involved in awarding contracts to private
      entities or monitoring them who is paid by the state with
      which PZN supposedly competes? Or how about Janet Reno,
      who issued the investigatory report on Youingstown -
      isn't her boss somewhat beholden to union lobbyists who
      fight privatization every step of the way?

      • 1 Reply to newMK
      • Even WHC, which benefits from Charlie�s
        optimistic projections, did not supply him with statistics
        because they felt his numbers were skewed. The notes in
        his latest stats reflect this issue. Beyond that, the
        stats are definitely biased. Unfortunately, Charlie had
        the most comprehensive data set (biased or not). The
        Criminal Justice Institute just really started collecting
        stats on private prisons so Charlie was the only game
        in town. In general, there are problems with public
        and private facilities and the entire law enforcement
        and corrections system. Wall Street won�t penalize
        public prisons because of mismanagement, but privateers
        will be penalized because of occurrences like
        Youngstown. This is why CCA embarked upon a national media
        campaign. They realize these �horror� stories can drive
        them out of business. CCRI has practically been driven
        out of business because of the video-taped beating of
        inmates that was broadcast nationwide a couple of years
        ago. As far as public vs private accounting, I agree
        with the comments you guys have made.

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