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Reason Foundation

Annual Privatization Report 2005

January 1, 2005

Letter from the Editor

Welcome to the 19th Annual Privatization Report, the world's longest running and most comprehensive report on privatization news, developments, and trends.

President Bush has continued to push his ambitious management agenda in Washington D.C.—achieving significant results including saving billions of taxpayer dollars. Read about new federal initiatives and Reason's role in implementing them.

Reason Foundation staff has been very active in the states again this year—working closely with several state officials in developing plans to improve government services and save taxpayer dollars. Read about those efforts and other exciting news in the "State Update."

This year's issue includes an expanded section on TABOR—taxpayers bill of rights—a tax and spending limitation measure. All eyes have been on Colorado for years—the first to fully enact a modern TABOR—as the poster child for successful implementation. TABOR saved Colorado from massive deficits akin to what California experienced just after the dot com bubble burst. Jon Berthoud, president of the National Taxpayers Union gives an update about the progress other states have made on enacting similar measures.

Our Emerging Issues section includes discussions about Social Security (Max Pappas, Freedom Works), the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and a distillation of a new Reason study on Offshore Outsourcing—hopefully Lou Dobbs will read APR.

Eminent domain abuse has been a hot button issue with the U.S. Supreme Court hearing the Kelo vs. City of New London case. Reason created a resource center with information on the debate, including a discussion of the case, recent developments, and possible policy alternatives. See "A Green Light for Eminent Domain" in this issue of APR.

Housing has long been one of the staples of American society and the United States' economic prowess has afforded its citizens an abundance of safe and decent housing. However, some Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to afford housing in their communities. Unfortunately, most of the political remedies aimed at making housing more affordable to these families don't consider the real world functioning of housing markets and wind up making the problem worse. The "Affordable Housing" section discusses some policy alternatives.

This year's Annual Privatization Report chronicles transportation developments, both domestically and internationally, and discusses the future of air, rail, surface, and space travel. By all accounts, more and more governments are seeking private-sector innovation, expertise, and resources to meet future needs.

In this issue we dive into private corrections and the school choice movement, both of which are gaining steam. In addition, for the first time APR includes a section on health care privatization featuring "Mandatory Health Insurance Now!" written by Reason's Science Correspondent Ron Bailey, as well as an article revisiting Michigan's State Accident Fund privatization ten years later.

In another first, APR includes pieces on privatization in developing nations. Has privatization led to Rwanda's rebirth? Developments in Zambia and Egypt are also included, as is a discussion about "Trade or Aid?"

Your comments are important to me. Please feel free to contact me with questions, suggestions, or for more information. If the 19th Annual Privatization Report doesn't fulfill your need for privatization news check out Privatization Watch now in its 28th year. For the most up-to-date information on the rapidly changing privatization world, visit our Weblog, Out of Control.

Geoffrey F. Segal, Editor




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