The failure of the Very Light Jet model makes me question privatization.
The Dot-com bubble and the housing market collapse makes EVERYONE question privatization. That doesn't mean that private companies shouldn't be involved in information technology or consumer finance, it simply means those industries need to be properly regulated to prevent weird things like this from happening.
I'm unquestioningly in favor of the private route. It's true that without privatization there wouldn't have been a housing crash, but only because nobody would've owned houses in the first place.
Likewise, without private venture capital there wouldn't have been any dot coms to bust. The very light jet just illustrates how the free market won't long tolerate a bad business idea (thought up in part by NASA), whereas Amtrack will trundle along its loss-making way forever.
They key to making the very light jet model work is to cut the costs of having a pilot by not even paying them, and the best and largest untapped forcable labor supply for that is our prisons. Training convicts to fly planes shouldn't be all that hard (they all want to escape anyway), so I'm thinking of floating an IPO called "JetCon."
But more seriously, the key advantage of the private sector is that bad or inefficient ideas get weeded out much more quickly and efficiently than they would in a public funded bureaucracy, and when they don't get weeded out quickly the firm starts bleeding money until everyone
realizes what a bad idea it is.
The Space Shuttle was so bad, from a financial perspective, that they actually banned
(so to speak) launching government payloads on other rockets just to keep their flight rate up.