Privatizing Government Services in the Era of ALEC and the Great Recession

43 Tol. L. Rev. 503 (2012)

In Max Barry’s 2003 novel, Jennifer Government,  there is no public sector:

The world is run by American corporations; there are no taxes; employees take the last names of the companies they work for; the Police and the NRA are publicly-traded security firms; the government can only investigate crimes it can bill for.
Hack Nike is a Merchandising Officer who discovers an all-new way to sell sneakers.  Buy Mitsui is a stockbroker with a death-wish.  Billy NRA is finding out that life in a private army isn’t all snappy uniforms and code names. And Jennifer Government, a legendary agent with a barcode tattoo, is a consumer watchdog with a gun.

Events in 2010 through 2012 suggest that Jennifer Government might accurately predict our national trajectory.  During that period, a number of states, including states with a long history of public sector collective bargaining—Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin—limited or proposed eliminating or limiting public sector collective bargaining rights.