Can for-profits and nonprofits really fill the voids created by governments with significantly reduced budgets?
First, the three-legged stool reminder: government's job is to meet the lowest common denominator of need; for-profits generate wealth (and serve as the engine that then supports government); and nonprofits fill the void between the two sectors.
So, when government is out of money, should the other two sectors step-in? I think the answer is partly yes, at least on the part of the for-profits where it would not surprise you to hear me say that I believe that the wealthiest need to step up and pay a larger percent of their wealth (like in the earlier history of the US) to taxes while also giving more to those causes that make a difference in the health of a community.
But what about what they are trying out in the U.K.? According to the Washington Post, even the police force is being partially staffed by volunteers. I guess it's akin to the Guardian Angels in the US filling-in when there are local police absences. But is this really what a society needs and wants? I believe we are all about to find out.