Read the passage below and summarize it using one sentence. You have 1 0 minutes to finish this task. Your response will be judged on the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the key points in the passage.
How do we measure efficiency? To economists – or to a certain type of economist – it is simply a question of profitability, even when it concerns what most people consider a social provision such as public transport. What is lost when railway lines and bus routes to small, out-of-the-way communities are cut in the name of efficiency? After all, if a line or a route is only used occasionally by a few people, it would be much cheaper to rip up the lines and let everyone use their cars.
For many governments, the way to turn inefficient national services into profitable businesses has been to sell off these services – and their responsibilities – to private enterprises. Cost, in terms of profit and loss, is of course an important factor, but other factors need to be considered when dealing with the livelihoods of whole communities, however small. Among these are the social, environmental, human and cultural costs incurred by cutting off more remote communities from greater opportunities, including economic activities that benefit society as a whole.
Taking away such links – the usual result of privatization – may well lead to economic benefits in the short term, but, as the last twenty to thirty years have shown, also leads to long-term social and cultural damage. Of course, no business with its eye on profits is going to “waste” money supporting underused services. Only large collective bodies such as national and local governments can do that. These services are, after all, a social provision, not businesses.
Closure or privatization of inefficient national services may have short-term economic benefits, but can cause long-term damage both socially and culturally because some services are social provisions, not businesses.