Re: Political Slant
>The assumption is that the private sector will always be more efficient than any public agency
There is a confusion, which may be deliberate between efficiency of operation and efficiency of capital.
I can run a service into the ground, which may grant me capital efficiencies and senior management bonuses but that doesn't mean the operation of the service is efficient - I may just be able to sidestep the downsides of inefficiencies because customers have no alternatives in the short-term. I may be piling up the costs through massive inefficiencies, but deferring them. Or I may simply not both depreciating assets properly, leaving that problem for other people (perhaps the taxman) to fund after I'm gone.
Efficient service operation usually involves higher costs - regular maintenance, greater redundancy, replacement of functional stock which has manual doors, with new stock with automatic doors, enabling trains to leave on time, enabling better scheduling, reducing staff requirements, etc.
The upshot is, you can't really run any company by just looking at the numbers. You have to love the industry and the company and make balanced choices which may not be the most lucrative for yourself or make you look like the most efficient manager. This goes for public and private sectors.