The situation should alert us more broadly to the foolishness of our rush to privatize services that would be better left to the public sector — not just nursing homes but health care, education and other areas where the public interest is at stake.
Privatization has become a kind of economic dogma in recent years, with business commentators and politicians routinely asserting that the private sector is more efficient and always does things better — an assertion that is rarely accompanied by any evidence.
In fact, the crucial difference separating the private and public sectors is that the private sector is focused on profit-making. Indeed, this is the only real purpose of a business enterprise.
So, regardless of what industry spokespeople say, a private company in the nursing home business is focused on maximizing profits, as its board of directors demands.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction