I have never had much interaction with ASU’s Morrison Institute, a public policy school that seems to be held in fairly high esteem. But I was unbelievably disappointed to read their report on revitalizing Arizona State Parks. The document seems to be just a slick collection of all the State Parks organization’s talking points credibility stamped with the imprimatur of the Morrison Institute.
I am obviously not happy that the report is dismissive of private management options as a partial solution, but it is the way they were dismissive that irritates me. They do not appear to have interviewed or studied a single private recreation operator, nor do they seem to have interviewed or studied a single government agency (like the Forest Service) that uses private operators. All they include are a series of five or six highly negative quotes from Arizona State Parks employees that privatization is the worst idea ever. These quotes are full of misconceptions that could have been reversed with, oh say, thirty seconds of actual, you know, scholarship. It is roughly equivalent to doing a research project on Microsoft Windows by solely interviewing Apple employees.