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DaretothREdux (42.17)

I Lost a Bet about Gov't Efficiency...

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July 08, 2009 – Comments (79) | RELATED TICKERS: L , ES.DL

So, I often challenge anyone who is willing to listen to me talk politics to name one thing that the Gov’t can do better or more efficient than private industry…

 

I lost the other day. I was talking to a local police officer, formerly an Alaskan State Trooper, and Air Force before that. I issued my normal challenge to him and the other’s present:

 

“If any of you can name one thing, one single thing, which the Government can do cheaper and more efficient than private business or industry then I’ll give you $10.”

 

Officer B---- thought for a moment and said, “Lie. The government can lie better than anyone or any business or any private organization.”

 

I stopped, mouth agape, reached for my wallet and handed him $10.

 

So, now from now on I’ll clarify:

 

Can anyone name one thing that the gov’t can do better than if it were privatized besides hurting the American people through lies, murder, war, and deceit?

 

Dare

 

P.S. As fun as it is for me to watch people insult each other (and occasionally join in on the proceedings) I would really appreciate it if we would keep the following discussion civil and intelligent. Let’s try to reach logical conclusions instead of regurgitating emotional banter.

 

Thanks! Now have at it.

79 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 08, 2009 at 12:42 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

I am also making a prediction here and now because I have heard it spoken about from major news sources in the last two days, I PREDICT STIMULUS II will be coming soon.

I also predict that many people will be outraged and there will be vast public support in opposition, but it will pass anyways, and it will hurt us even more.

I put the odds of a second stimulus right now at 10-1.

Pray I'm wrong,

Dare

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#2) On July 08, 2009 at 12:44 PM, anticitrade (99.60) wrote:

Environmental Protection.

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#3) On July 08, 2009 at 12:50 PM, ChannelDunlap (< 20) wrote:

Has the postal service not been brought up yet?  They're apparently the only ones even willing to provide the service to rural areas.  Seriously though that is just about the only example I can think of... Somehow I doubt Fedex would be willing to deliver my letter to Bern, Kansas for $0.50.

I would also suspect that Healthcare would be one of those industries if we ever got around to properly socializing it (yeah, I said it).  All those insurance companies, poof-gone!  

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#4) On July 08, 2009 at 12:54 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

anticitrade,

You can't be serious? Care to back that up with some facts? The problem is that the Government does a terrible job with protecting property rights in this country and contracts. If I were able to sue quickly and easily when someone dumps onto my property and received proper compensation for the damages people would stop polluting practically overnight as it would bankrupt their company.

Not to mention you are completely ignoring the inefficiencies created by bureaucratic waste as well as the burden that will fall upon one business and strengthen another business.

Just because we can doesn't mean we should.

Dare

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#5) On July 08, 2009 at 12:55 PM, dividendhound (< 20) wrote:

Depends what you mean by efficiency.  Private groups might be great at law enforcement, but the people in areas that are not "efficient" to patrol wouldn't be very happy.  Morally, that is not a result we want to happen, although it obviously happens to some extent even in government.

Agreed with anticitrade.  Similar problem with environmental protection - the short term thinking would always win because people wear blinders.  If it generates income here and now then it must be good, huh? 

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#6) On July 08, 2009 at 12:58 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

ChannelDunlap,

The postal service loses money when they deliever your letter to Bern, Kansas for $0.50. You are correct in saying not smart business person would willingly lose money on a transaction, but that doesn't mean the Gov't is more efficient because they steal other people's money to deliever a letter for a loss.

Also, see this blog about privatizing the postal service and why it did work in the past until the gov't made it illegal to compete with them.

I will get to healthcare in a minute...

Dare

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#7) On July 08, 2009 at 12:59 PM, MrSucrose (< 20) wrote:

I work for the GSA, basically acting as the government's landlord.  Our internal research numbers suggest that we operate buildings at about 12% less per SF than private industry.  We are pretty cutthroat about contracting and do get an opportunity to take advantage of the lastest in technologies in energy efficeny. 

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#8) On July 08, 2009 at 1:03 PM, anticitrade (99.60) wrote:

I can be serious.  You think that environmental protection can be adequatly addressed by the private sector through law suits?  So who would provide the rules and regulation that would determine if a law suit has any basis?  Who would sue to protect the rights of the next generation?  Or the one after that?  Who would inspect CAFO's (concentrated animal feeding operations) and verify that they are disposing of their waste properly?  Who would pay for this policing if not the government?

My argument is not that the government does an awesome job,  but that the short term incentives to not exist for the private sector to perform this task.

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#9) On July 08, 2009 at 1:04 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

Ragingsamosa,

The gov't is possibly the least moral body on the face of the earth. People in more dangerous "high crime" areas would still have police forces if they wanted them, they would just have to pay more for them. What's more morally reprehensible: to send an underpaid police officer into a dangerous area where s/he could be killed or to send no police into an area because it is not worth the risk to their life?

Dare

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#10) On July 08, 2009 at 1:08 PM, whereaminow (21.85) wrote:

Dare,

You know how much I love these posts. I'm off tomorrow and I can't wait to introduce these poor souls to the Economic Calculation Problem of the Socialist Commonwealth, Political Capital vs. Profit, Market Anarchy, Human Action, and privatization scenarios for every government service, including environmental protection. Thanks for bringing this back up.

Oh, and I know the name-calling comment was directed at me :)  I'll try to play nice.

Till tomorrow!

David in Qatar

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#11) On July 08, 2009 at 1:09 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

anticitrade,

I assume that people like you and other environmentalists would pay for those practices and services...

Why should I be forced to pay for them?

And I didn't say throw out the court system! We need the courts to protect property rights and contracts. Polluting my property should be against the law! But instead of the Gov't fixing that problem they simply throw fines and taxes onto businesses which they pay by raising your prices.

Dare

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#12) On July 08, 2009 at 1:13 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

MrSucrose,

So...you're telling me that a Gov't organization did an internal study of themselves and found themselves to be more efficient?

Could you link the study or results please?

Have these results been checked by a private outside organization?

After all, I did concede that the Gov't can lie better than anyone else...

Dare

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#13) On July 08, 2009 at 1:13 PM, russiangambit (29.42) wrote:

There is nothing that govenrment can do better, since government is comprised out of people and the people are usually less motivated than in the private sector. But if you really question why we need a government just look at Iraq after the occupation / liberation. Look at Afganistan, which never really had a central government. Government is a bully that keeps all the parties scared enougth so that they play nicely and don't lapse into complete anarchy. And hopefully, you have a constituion acts as a leash for the beast.

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#14) On July 08, 2009 at 1:18 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

ChannelDunlap,

We already have "State" sponsored healthcare: VA, Medicare, and Medicade. Since the implemenation of these programs healthcare prices have risen faster than the rate of inflation. The same goes for education since the creation of the Dept of Education.

Healthcare did just fine on its on for years, making leaps and bounds, and I challenge you to find someone who was turned away by a "Church" sponsored hospital before the gov't made it too exspensive.

Would you prefer to have the gov't determine what care you can and cannot recieve based on cost?

Not that it matters cause you will probably get it anyways.

Dare

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#15) On July 08, 2009 at 1:21 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

russiangambit,

I always appreciate your insights as they come from someone who has seen first hand what out of control gov't leads to in the end.

Dare

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#16) On July 08, 2009 at 1:25 PM, outoffocus (23.22) wrote:

I work for the GSA, basically acting as the government's landlord.  Our internal research numbers suggest that we operate buildings at about 12% less per SF than private industry.  We are pretty cutthroat about contracting and do get an opportunity to take advantage of the lastest in technologies in energy efficeny.

If you want to see the true efficiencies with the GSA and government contracting I strongly suggest you read the GAO reports on the GSA and government contracting.  Government contracts bleed millions of tax dollars on a daily basis due to cost overruns, shoddy workmanship, lack of due diligence when writing the contract, and lack of effective contract oversight.  Its been the 800lb gorrilla in washington for years.  You want to know where all that deficit money went (which doubled the national debt) over the past 9 years? It all went to government contracts.

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#17) On July 08, 2009 at 1:27 PM, drgroup (68.91) wrote:

Acquire large masses of land by designating them as wildlife sanctuaries, through eminent domain or forcing native indians off their tribal lands. think Alaska...

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#18) On July 08, 2009 at 1:35 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

David,

I'll see you tomorrow (which is really tonight for us). The name-calling comment was not directed only at you...hehe, but playing nice is usually more helpful when you goal is to convince people of something.

Maybe I'll start a thread specifically for calling each other names and non-logical discussion based purely on emotion. Everyone needs to vent their frustration with a good round of name-calling every now and then.

Dare

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#19) On July 08, 2009 at 1:35 PM, wrparks (62.47) wrote:

If this GSA is the same as the GSA that ships packages to government offices/labs, GSA has to, and I mean has to, be getting some kind of kickback from fedex and UPS.  Seriously, only GSA sends a stack of 20 post it notes and ink pens in a box I could crawl into and walk around inside.  Every small order of pens and post it notes comes in 3 foot by 3 foot boxes, filled with those air pillows.

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#20) On July 08, 2009 at 1:37 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

drgroup,

I believe that falls into the "theft" category...which is just further proof that the gov't is good at harming the people it's supposed to protect.

Dare

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#21) On July 08, 2009 at 1:38 PM, MrSucrose (< 20) wrote:

Dare-

I think there is a watchdog group that has checked this.  I haven't seen the latest numbers, the numbers I am thinking of are a couple years old.  I will see if I can't find the link.

I am not sure we even meet your standard of "if we were privatized" as a good portion of our advantage comes from not servicing debt on our buildings.  Beyond that though it kinda makes some sense in that we are leveraging a huge invetory of buildings to buy very large service contracts for maintenance, janitorial, negotiated utilities, etc.  We are close to 10 times larger than the nearest developer in size.

Seriously I will try to find a link for you.

 

 

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#22) On July 08, 2009 at 1:41 PM, MrSucrose (< 20) wrote:

wrparks-

You are thinking of another division of GSA outside of property.  We have an office supply side that cannot nearly perform as well as private sector.  They are phasing out portions of it slowly.

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#23) On July 08, 2009 at 1:45 PM, devoish (98.24) wrote:

You should not have paid.

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#24) On July 08, 2009 at 1:47 PM, SNHamilton (99.97) wrote:

hire top management.  Look at the wages they pay top management, compared to what these people would (and often do later on) make in private business.  You can try to argue about the quality of these people, but remember, you must compare with the quality of top management at private companies (and take into account most top management leaving government jobs end up in private industry making much much more).

 

-Sam 

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#25) On July 08, 2009 at 1:49 PM, anticitrade (99.60) wrote:

Dare,

I suspect the reason that you are not bankrupt from your little "dare" is that for most people it's not worth the 10$ to argue with you.   I find myself falling into this catagory.

(Also it may be that you have no incentive to admit when you are wrong.)

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#26) On July 08, 2009 at 1:57 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

anticitrade,

There is another possiblity: I'm right.

I'm not saying for sure that I am right because more than anything my goal is to get people to discuss these issues and hash out better solutions than we currently have.

But what if I am right? How much of your money, time, and resources is being wasted that could be put to better use?

Dare

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#27) On July 08, 2009 at 2:01 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

SNHamilton,

Many people take gov't jobs for the experience before entering the private sector. I assume that they believe the less pay is made up for by benefits and pensions as well as the fact that they will be worth much more to the marketplace after they leave. At least, that was the case with my mother who was a State Civil Engineer for a number of years before leaving to enter the private sector. 

She is paid a pension now for doing nothing but breathing, it's not a small amount of money and she is still very young. And she makes even more on top of that because of the reputation she gained while working for the state.

Dare

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#28) On July 08, 2009 at 2:03 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

devoish,

You have a very dry sense of humor, almost southern. I love it.

Dare

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#29) On July 08, 2009 at 2:05 PM, wrparks (62.47) wrote:

"You are thinking of another division of GSA outside of property.  We have an office supply side that cannot nearly perform as well as private sector.  They are phasing out portions of it slowly."

 

Thanks Sucrose.  It will be no major loss when they are gone as far as I'm concerned.

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#30) On July 08, 2009 at 2:12 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.93) wrote:

As fun as it is for me to watch people insult each other (and occasionally join in on the proceedings) I would really appreciate it if we would keep the following discussion civil and intelligent.

 

Your blogs, by their very nature, are neither "civil" nor "intelligent" so expecting people to magically respond to your dogmatic bunk with a higher level of discourse is somewhat unrealistic.  

While I've done it before, I feel no need to challenge your beliefs, because you yourself have no desire to challenge them.  For you, this is your religion.  Your entire process is based on faith and self-reinforcing material that you refuse to question.  There is no logic or no pursuit of the truth behind your posts.  Just dogma and mindless ideology.  

 

P.S. The US government is vastly inefficient due to its convoluted bureaucratic structure and incoherent jurisdictional system, coupled with campaign finance policies that allow private interests to manipulate the proceedings greatly.  Despite this, the US gov't is still much more honest than companies like Enron, AOL, or even the big banks.

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#31) On July 08, 2009 at 2:15 PM, UKIAHED (36.52) wrote:

Would you prefer to have the gov't determine what care you can and cannot recieve based on cost?

Yes

The idea that every life must be saved/extended at any cost does not sit well with me. We are 7 billion strong - each of us has a worth to society that is much lower than we like to think.  Exceed that value in the use of any resource (heathcare, food, fuel, etc.) and you are taking from someone else.

I have no problem going first.  I have a chronic illness.  I have already refused numerous tests/procedures/treatments due to cost and redundancy.  I have insurance (our group is self-insured - similar to what a universal package would be - as in we are the insurer so no profit motive), I will not pass on the cost of what I believe are expensive and/or extranious medical expenses to the group - just because the doctor wants another MRI - just to "make sure" .

So yes, I believe that healthcare should be universal but limited.  If you think your life is worth more than "we" do - then get out your checkbook.

To get back to the basic question of the blog - could the goverment do better (be more efficient) at setting the price of a human life than a private company...? Hmm - I think they can...

Have a great day

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#32) On July 08, 2009 at 2:26 PM, synergize (30.17) wrote:

I thought that government interventions is necessary at certain times. It's like having a disease. For example, if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, the doctor will prescibe you a medicine. The medicine will help lower the pressure as fast as possible so as to prevent stroke or any related attacks in near term. This is a short-term solution. But at the same time the doctor will recommend you to exercise daily and eat healthy food regularly. This is a long-term solution and a fundamental solution. If we don't fix the problem with the fundamental solution, the problem will keep coming back and you go back with the short-term solution and as we know(medicine) can have long-term side effects.

In this analogy, if you look at the bigger picture, it is the society that is having a disease and not just the government. The society as a whole has lost some moral and fundamental values. Look at the trend on the number of divorces. Look at the trend of individual debt. The disease begins in the smallest unit in the society which is the family. It is like cancer which attacks a single cell and then spreads to other neighboring cells.

The government is doing what is suppose to be doing short-term but long-term it requires us to participate. That means we need to go back to the basics such as being frugal, exercise instead of watching TV or playing video games, eat healthy food by avoiding fast-food that contribute to obesity and high cholesterols, pay in cash if it helps so you don't overbuy when you use credit card, teach our kids the value of hardwork and saving instead of just buying them toys whenever they want to, etc.

History suggests that as a society we need a government. But as a person, we don't. There is really nothing that the government can make it cheap. If healthcare is expensive so is your life. So start exercising and eat healthy food.

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#33) On July 08, 2009 at 2:30 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

JakilaTheHun,

I don't mind the insults, but surely you could have waited until I started another thread where you could come out and insult me without messing with the integrity of this blog...

As to being dogmatic, that's just absurd. My views have changed on a number of subjects throughout the years, and I have only very recently become a libertarian mainly due to Ron Paul. That could change if I were presented with evidence to the contrary.

I strive to grow and learn constantly. I recently became an advocate for Industrial Hemp because of a man named Gatewood Galbraith.

But if it makes you feel better to throw me into a category with the fringe and assume that I only have evil intentions, and nothing to offer, then perhaps you are the close-minded one?

And it's your choice not to like my blogs, which are mostly for humor, a fairly subjective artform albeit and a dangerous one to endeavor upon unless you are will to take on the slings and arrows of the fools who will misunderstand or take offense.

But thanks for ignoring my very simple request. Maybe someday I will come and hi-jack your blog and insult you. Or maybe, just maybe, I'll refuse to waste my time.

Dare

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#34) On July 08, 2009 at 2:32 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

UKIAHED,

While your choices are very noble, at least you still have the choice and freedom to make them. Once the gov't is involved I doubt you and other like you will have such choices. Morally, that is worse than someone who takes an extra MRI just to be sure.

Dare

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#35) On July 08, 2009 at 2:34 PM, devoish (98.24) wrote:

Healthcare did just fine on its on for years, making leaps and bounds, and I challenge you to find someone who was turned away by a "Church" sponsored hospital before the gov't made it too exspensive

When do you believe Government made it to expensive? Give me the date and I'll meet the challenge.

I also take exception to the challenge of "turned away". Come in and die is not good.

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#36) On July 08, 2009 at 2:35 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

synergize,

While I agree that personal responsiblity has fallen to the wayside in this country, I don't see how the gov't is even the short-term solution to that problem?

Your reasoning doesn't seem to follow, unless I am missing something?

Could you please explain how the gov't is necessary for a return to personal responsibilty?

Dare

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#37) On July 08, 2009 at 2:43 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

devoish,

It's been going on for about 35-40 years since Nixon.

Ron Paul tackles the issue in 8 minutes.

Dare

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#38) On July 08, 2009 at 2:56 PM, andrewl85 (< 20) wrote:

The only thing the goverment is more efficient at doing is providing law enforcement and a robust military.  Private industry easily trumps everything else.

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#39) On July 08, 2009 at 3:12 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

andrewl85,

I believe the gov't should provide a defense as is allowed under the Constitution of the US, but it would difficult to argue against the killing efficiency of Blackwater...but then I'm against 99.9% of all military action not related directly to protecting the US and it's borders.

And private security forces are extremely efficient compare to most Police Forces.

Dare

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#40) On July 08, 2009 at 3:13 PM, farmnut1985 (35.34) wrote:

I think if I may expand on what Synergize has brought up.  We have lost a lot of responsibility over the years by allowing the government to do things for us.  For example, before the great depression and the new deal, Churches used to take care of the homeless and poor via donations, soup kitchens, and other means.  When the Great Depression (the first one ;) came along there were too many for the churches to take care of so the goverment stepped in and started welfare.  That was ok, but when we recovered the churches should have stepped back up and pushed for the removal of welfare, but they could keep more money if they did not have to take care of the poor and stayed out of it.  I am simply using churches for the example, I am sure there were other charitable organizations that carried on the same acts.

People became dependant on social security as a means of retirement rather than saving and investing, although most of us now are doing that on our own because we know we won't get much more than Bernie Madoff's victims out of social security.  The public has become reliant on the system rather than self reliant.  We are simply relying on a corrupt and failing system to bail us out time after time.  Sorry bit of a rant.

As for an area of government that is efficient at what they do, I would have to say it has been rather efficient in the rate of spending per minute of congress in session this year.............Oh wait you wanted positives.

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#41) On July 08, 2009 at 3:37 PM, devoish (98.24) wrote:

Here is a wiki list of NY area hospitals and when they were founded. The first on the list, Beth Israel says this, about itself;

Beth Israel was incorporated in 1890 by a group of 40 Orthodox Jews on the Lower East Side each of whom paid 25 cents to set up a hospital serving New York's Jewish immigrants, particularly newcomers. At the time New York Hospitals would not treat patients who had been in the city less than a year.

This excerpt is from Milton Lewis' book Medicine and care of the Dying

In the 1900's except for the Almhouse Hospital, all the general hospitals in NY refused to take cancer patients and most of them would not admit TB cases.

You can look at wiki's hospiotal list and see how many religious hospitals founded before 1900 that includes.

From the book "Missouri's Black Heritage"

White physicians often refused to treat black patientws and hospitals refused to admit them.

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#42) On July 08, 2009 at 3:56 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

devoish,

TB was a death sentence at that time. To bring a patient with TB into the hospital would have almost guranteed the spread and infection to other patients...it's hard to fault the hospitals for not wanting to kill other people.

As to the people being turned away for racism, I'm sure at that time you would have found the same amount of people turned away from Gov't services for the same racist reasons.

Dare

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#43) On July 08, 2009 at 4:12 PM, BlueBoomerHD (< 20) wrote:

If you get cancer maybe you could go to MD Anderson Cancer Center; part of the University of TX System -or- Scott & White Medical System; Texas A&M -or- UTSW -or- UTMB...

Drive on a road today?  Check Camino-Columbia Toll Road, TX 121 Toll; or ask why no one's signed up to maintain the street you live on for profit.

The Internet started as (D)ARPAnet.  WWW developed by a Brit working for the UK at the CERN High Energy Physics Research facility (multi-national govt. facility).

Seen the NASA equivalent?  The Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines equivalent?  

 Dare's driving with his eyes closed, but his mouth open!

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#44) On July 08, 2009 at 4:14 PM, Rehydrogenated (32.44) wrote:

My biggest fear is that GSA will get involved in a contract I'm working on... Hello random minority contractor from the opposite side of the country! Oh, your bid didn't include doing any work? You installed all chinese materials and they are already deteriorating? Your company doesn't actually do anything, and yet you won a $50 million design-build contract by bidding only $12 million? Gee wiz, that's a surpise! Here, you can have $65 million in change orders to make up for your gross incompetence!

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#45) On July 08, 2009 at 4:35 PM, outoffocus (23.22) wrote:

DaretothREdux

I'm a little hurt. I feel like the only commenter on this post that didnt get a personalized reply from you. *mopes*

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#46) On July 08, 2009 at 4:41 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

BlueBoomerHD,

Yay! More insults! You feel better now?

For roads see CIIC...weird look at that? Someone built a road because it was profitable to do so! Crazy thought...

For the internet see this blog...

Yes. You are corrent the gov't invented the internet to kill people and once the public got a hold of it they surpassed years of Gov't work in a matter of minutes.

However, the Internet as you see it today is the product of the free market.  The Internet under State control was a weapons system.  The State attempted to employ the inventions of private citizens as a system to kill other human beings.  The fact that these targets of State wrath may or may not have been "evil doers" is irrelevant.  To compare the DARPA-Net to the Internet is to compare nuclear weapons to nuclear power.  The fact that the State uses a technology for death, while private citizens use them to improve society, should not be a reason to applaud our masters.  I applaud them only for liberating this technology from their illiterate mandarins. -David in Qatar

Oh and look! A private version of NASA! Wait this can't be right...it seems the private version allocated capital more efficiently...that's crazy talk.

And finally....a private military now worth over $100 Billion dollars a year. Wonder how much Blackwater is worth?

Da*m! The state loses again...and I did all that driving with my eyes closed!

Dare

 

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#47) On July 08, 2009 at 4:44 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

outoffocus,

You know that you are and always will be one of my favorites! I felt that your reply required no futher response because it was better than anything I could add.

Dare

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#48) On July 08, 2009 at 4:45 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

Rehydrogenated,

I didn't give you a direct response either because I was laughing so hard at your comment I almost wet myself (just almost though).

Dare

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#49) On July 08, 2009 at 5:49 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

farmnut1985,

You are free to rant on my blog anytime you like! I agree that our gov't entitlement culture has created a group of people who believe that certain things are owed to them beyond what is protected by the constitution be that healthcare, social security, or welfare of any kind.

It is very sad that the gov't has continued practices which perpetuate the problem. The worst thing a gov't can create is a "temporary" program because its never temporary just look at social security...

But there has to be a way to restore personal responsibility without the gov't, the gov't is often the cause and rarely (if ever) the solution even if they would have you believe otherwise.

I've never wanted to throw anyone dependant on such programs out in the street, but I would like to be able to opt out myself. Why should I have to pay into programs that will never benefit my generation?

Dare

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#50) On July 08, 2009 at 6:00 PM, devoish (98.24) wrote:

Dare,

You asked if "church" hospitals turned people away before Gov involvment. They did, case closed.

First you load the question with exclusions, because you don't want to hear about private hospitals turning away people because they lack money, documentation or are asking for the morning after pill.

You use the phrase "turned away" so you would not have to hear about long waits.

You tried to sell us that healthcare without Gov is more efficient when in truth healthcare without insurers is more efficient and capable. 

Like I said, you should get your money back.

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#51) On July 08, 2009 at 6:04 PM, outoffocus (23.22) wrote:

 When the Great Depression (the first one ;) came along there were too many for the churches to take care of so the goverment stepped in and started welfare.

Churches can't step in to remove welfare because:

1.  They've chased so many Christians (or potential Christians) from the faith that they cant raise enough money

2. They've become too political (see Right Wing)

3. They've become too worldly, focusing more on having fancy buildings and choirs than helping people

4. They've become too judgemental of poor people to help them (see 1 and 2)

5. They too are up to their eyeballs in debt.

I agree with farmnut that it is not the government's job to take care of the poor, sick, and elderly.  Its the church's job. But the church is too busy being Pharisee to even notice.

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#52) On July 08, 2009 at 6:08 PM, FoolishChemist (96.96) wrote:

Printing money.  Name one company that can print trillions of dollars.

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#53) On July 08, 2009 at 6:14 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

outoffocus,

It's as easy to blame the Church as it is to blame the gov't when in truthfully its societies job to take care of the poor, sick, and dying i.e. all charity not just religious.

But sadly many people expect the gov't to do all the work. I say to themselves "I pay my taxes, and that goes to take care of those people." If the gov't didn't waste so much money we could easily take care of those people, but then no one can waste money quite so well as the gov't...

Dare

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#54) On July 08, 2009 at 6:20 PM, devoish (98.24) wrote:

It might not be the Governments job to take care of the sick,  but there is no better tool to do it. Charity is inadequate, free markets are designed not to. So in a Democracy, I vote to make it Governments job.

 

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#55) On July 08, 2009 at 6:27 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

devoish,

Then it's a good thing we are not in a democracy!

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for dinner. A republic is when the sheep is well armed." -Benjamin Franklin

 

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#56) On July 08, 2009 at 6:30 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

FoolishChemist,

LOL. Good answer! But again that's theft and I already conceded that the gov't can lie, cheat, murder, and steal better than the rest...

Course if it was legal for me to print....

Dare

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#57) On July 08, 2009 at 7:01 PM, BlueBoomerHD (< 20) wrote:

China Infrastructure Investment Corp. (CIIC) – a controlling interest is owned by the communist govt. of mainland China; some private company.

Creation of the Internet:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet

The Internet was initially a defensive means to have a data communications network that would survive a Soviet nuclear attack; like the circuit-switched, voice, telecommunications network (AT&T and your federal govt’s development).  

 

From the article you provided the link to, ‘bout “private” NASA:

…Blue Origin, a startup backed by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos that plans to launch a vertical takeoff and landing vehicle from a spaceport in West Texas, and Rocketplane Kistler (RpK), which already is one of two winners in NASA's $500-million Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) effort to spur a commercial ISS re-supply industry (AW&ST Oct. 9, pg. 66; Oct. 16, pg. 25)…

 

Again, from your link:

…contractors who use offensive force in a war zone could be considered unlawful combatants, thereby referring to the "concept" being implicitly mentioned in the Geneva Conventions and explicitly specified by the Military Commissions Act.[2]

 

As to Blackwater (a.k.a., Xe):

They no longer have a license to operate in Iraq: the new Iraqi government made multiple attempts to expel them from their country, and denied their application for an operating license in January 2009.

 

Da*m!

Is Damn!  Yes, you most certainly did that with your eyes closed.

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#58) On July 08, 2009 at 7:12 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

BlueBoomerHD,

You told me to give you examples, and I did. They exist, therefore you were wrong.

Just because they recieved gov't funding doesn't mean they are not private. After all, look how much gov't funding we have given to AIG and the big banks....

Does that funding make them more efficient? Possibly. Are they more efficient than the gov't even without funding. Definitely.

Your comments on Xe do not prove btw that they are less efficient than the US Military...after all, we are still in Iraq...

And you only repeated what I said about the internet. Great argument tactic.

Again, where was I wrong on my original thesis?

Dare

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#59) On July 08, 2009 at 7:19 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

BlueBoomerHD,

Oh and just because a company recieves gov't dollars and therefore becomes more efficient only once again proves that the gov't is good at stealing from one party (usually the poor and middle class) to help those with high powered lobbyists. The gov't really is good at all things immoral.

Dare

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#60) On July 08, 2009 at 7:22 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

And HR-6166 which you site is the worst piece of legislation to be created in the last 10 years with the exception of Patriot Act.

It allows the gov't to declare YOU a military combatant and arrested and held without habeous corpus or rights of any kind.

What a great example of the absurdity that has become the US gov't!

Dare

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#61) On July 08, 2009 at 7:23 PM, Persuter (42.76) wrote:

Dare,

Negotiating. Right now, Medicare is not allowed to negotiate in earnest with the pharmaceutical companies precisely because it will lower prices. This is something of a government-vs-government question here, but there is no question that the medical industry firmly believes that the government will be able to negotiate a lower price than private insurers. As such, the government is clearly more efficient. In general, what efficiencies are found in government take the simple form of economy of scale. For example, you keep noting Blackwater, but Blackwater only hires people out of the US military. If Blackwater had to hire a bunch of high school graduates, train them for years, and winnow them down to the kind of people who apply for Blackwater, they'd be WAY less efficient.

I'll be waiting for my $10. 

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#62) On July 08, 2009 at 7:37 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

Persuter,

Actually Blackwater did train people with no military experience. Medicare is already a gov't program and therefore ineffient due to gov't interference in the marketplace.

Watch the Ron Paul video I linked earlier. He talks about how insurance companies charged much less before Medicare and Medicade and he was a Doctor at that time.

Gov't wouldn't be negotiating lower costs, they would be mandating them, again they would be cheating people out of their money or out of better care...

The medical industry can believe whatever it wants to believe, but the idea that universal healthcare will LOWER costs is ridiculous and the exact opposite can be seen in every country that has allowed gov't into healthcare.

Dare

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#63) On July 09, 2009 at 12:10 AM, SNHamilton (99.97) wrote:

Dare,

Your reply reinforces my point.  The government leverages intangible aspects of the positions it offers to hire much cheaper (including benefits and pensions) and more efficiently than the private sector can.  Intangibles include prestige, the potential to affect important policy, and increased employability.  This effect is magnified for top level management, where they might hire someone for 85k that could make millions a year in private industry.  Since you and I seem to agree on this, I declare that I have successfully identified something the government can do cheaper and more efficiently than private industry (hire top management).  Therefore, I have won your challenge (no need to send money).

 

-Sam

 

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#64) On July 09, 2009 at 12:23 AM, whereaminow (21.85) wrote:

SNHamilton,

Hiring somebody cheaper than the next guy does not mean your service/product is more efficient.  If that was the case, then Walmart, Google, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, etc ad nauseum would be the least efficient entities in the world.

The bet still stands.

David in Qatar

 

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#65) On July 09, 2009 at 12:42 AM, scootsp8 (< 20) wrote:

Government  is prohibitted from competing with private industry.  If a job is cheaper and profitable, it MUST be hired out to private industry.  I know, I have been there.  When someone comes up with a cheaper, more profitable way of doing something, if there is a vendor for it, it must be hired out to a vender.  This is why government, if neceswsity, must do what is not profitable.

Scootsp8

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#66) On July 09, 2009 at 12:43 AM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

David,

Glad to see you back! It has been a tiresome day as you can plainly see. Did you notice anything I left out in my arguments? Or do you have any further to add?

I'm still new at this trying to convince through logic and reasoning aspect...humor still seems to be my forte.

Dare

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#67) On July 09, 2009 at 12:48 AM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

SNHamilton,

I think my point was that while the yearly wage was lower at the state for my mother, the benefits and pension and experience gained made up for the loss of yearly salary...this does not imply that gov't was more efficient at hiring, only that they will have more to offer as they can print money and steal from you via inflation and Lochner actually has to turn a profit from the market to pay its employees....again, the gov't is brilliant at stealing from people, but negative effects of that stealing have to be counted in when considering the cost of the hiring process.

Dare

 

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#68) On July 09, 2009 at 9:05 AM, farmnut1985 (35.34) wrote:

This has been a good article, too bad the government doesn't read this.  I'll step out with a joke on government efficiency.  Three contractors are called in to the white house to give bids on replacing the white house fence.  A contractor from Tennesee, Texas, and Illinois are called in and the head grounds keeper is out front of the white house to give their bids.  The grounds keeper asks the Tennesee contractor, " what is your bid," the contractor takes his tape measure and measures out all the fence, does a few calculations and says "$20,000, $15,000 for supplies, $3,000 for my workers, and $2,000 for me."  Grounds keeper then asks the Texas contractor, he measures a bit and says, "$18,000, $14,000 for supplies, $3,000 for my men, $1,000 for me."  Grounds keeper asks the Illinois contractor, he doesn't do any measuring just leans in and says "$50,000," the grounds keeper suprised says "What!!"  Illinois contractor leans in and says, "$16,000 for me $16,000 for you, and we'll pay the guy from Texas to do it."

Moral of the story, as long as the government employess are willing to take kickbacks, campaign contributions, and pork, we will never be efficient.

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#69) On July 09, 2009 at 9:09 AM, rofgile (99.25) wrote:

Daretooth:

 

 You asked this question to someone who was a member of the local police and the Airforce before that?

 And that person didn't answer two of the most obvious things that a government does better than a private company????

 A) Provide military protection against foreign countries.  

 B) Provide a domestic police force to catch murderers, thieves, etc.

 

 These are two areas that government is indeed the correct solution over private industry.  I happen to think that there will soon be another item on the list called "health insurance" - that the government will be cheaper and more efficient than private companies (who have incentive to charge the highest possible, while also pay the least claims).  A government would have neither of those incentives.

 -Rof 

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#70) On July 09, 2009 at 9:17 AM, rofgile (99.25) wrote:

Daretooth:

  Of all the industrialized, western nations, we are the only one without a public health care plan.  Coincidentally with this - we also pay the most of medicine as a percentage of GDP over all other industrialized nations.  How can you argue that socialized medicine is more expensive?  We are the most expensive!

 

In 2008, total national health expenditures were expected to rise 6.9 percent -- two times the rate of inflation.1 Total spending was $2.4 TRILLION in 2007, or $7900 per person1. Total health care spending represented 17 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

U.S. health care spending is expected to increase at similar levels for the next decade reaching $4.3 TRILLION in 2017, or 20 percent of GDP.1   (1 Keehan S, et al "Health Spending Projections through 2017")   

 ---

 And what do most people who HAVE private insurance get from it if they have a serious disease like cancer?  68% of US bankruptcies were from medical expenses - (and 3/4 of those bankruptcies had medical insurance).  

 

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#71) On July 09, 2009 at 12:33 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

rofgile,

Yes. I asked a police officer and former member of the military and even he believed that private contractors could do a better job at both of those things....not sure why that surprises you...ever heard of police corruption? I'm sure you heard of the corruption which exists in the military from the Military Industrial Complex and the joke that is "bidding" on gov't contracts....

I have immense respect for the men and women of our military and most police officers as many of them are my friends and family, but that doesn't mean that the gov't running those programs won't make them less efficient.

Dare

P.S. As to healthcare I wold once again say that we DO have public healthcare along with private. Guess which one drives up the costs of both?

Hint: It's not the free market one.

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#72) On July 09, 2009 at 6:23 PM, ReadEmAnWeep (81.91) wrote:

Sounds like  DaretothREdux just has is out for the government.

 Protect the environment, make laws to benifit people, and tax.

 Those are all things that the government can do more efficiently than if it were a company on the free market.

Bam! Give me $10!

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#73) On July 09, 2009 at 6:47 PM, smersche (71.05) wrote:

NASA was much more efficient when they did most of the work themselves.  What was the cost of going to the Moon the first time?  Adjust for inflation, and compare it to what they are proposing it will cost just to get back there.  As soon as NASA started contracting out work to the big Aerospace companies, any efficiency went out the window. 

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#74) On July 09, 2009 at 9:48 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

ReadEmAnWeep,

Environment = See above

Taxes = Theft (again see above)

Laws = Theft of Liberty...they may benefit some people but they will do so at the exspensive of others....

I'll keep my $10...

smersche,

Look up some numbers on NASA and link them. Also, please include the benefits to mankind from NASA and then tell me if a private industry could not have done the same things for cheaper...

Dare

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#75) On July 09, 2009 at 9:50 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

ReadEmAnWeep,

Also, anyone can makes laws...its enforcing them that counts. ;)

Dare

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#76) On July 10, 2009 at 1:54 PM, radoncer (28.29) wrote:

1) Preparing for a pandemic (stockpiling supplies etc.).  Private sector is not incentivized to have this capacity sitting idle in non-pandemic years.

2) Responding to natural disasters.

3) Running the military

4) Addressing externalities in general.

5) Spurring innovation across the private sector with appropriate mandates: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/06/business/energy-environment/06bulbs.html 

Only of few of many.  

Hard to evaluate all of these posts in an unbiased and objective way given your financial incentive and your a priori assumption that government is always less efficient.  

Anyway, you already lost the bet to Anticitrade in comment #8 

 

 

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#77) On July 10, 2009 at 4:47 PM, ReadEmAnWeep (81.91) wrote:

DaretothREdux ,

Okay, okay. Good point. I was thinking along other lines.

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#78) On July 15, 2009 at 2:27 PM, Imperial1964 (98.31) wrote:

Many of these arguments I see, claiming that the government is more "efficient" are actually inefficiencies. I'll take stockpiling supplies for a pandemic from radoncer.

Excess capacity is an inefficiency. Why would private industry want to have excess capacity sitting idle all those years, refreshing and updating it periodically when it is seldom ever used?

That said, there are areas such as these when we do want inefficiency. That example may be one of them. We probably do want an underutilized military sitting around waiting in case the need arises.

The debate arises around what these things are and to what extent we want them. I like limiting government as much as the next guy and contracting out where it is the best value, but occasionally you find something where we probably just don't want it in the hands of for-profit companies, regardless of the "efficiency".

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#79) On July 18, 2009 at 11:16 PM, DaretothREdux (42.17) wrote:

Imperial1964,

That is possibly the best argument I have ever seen explaining Government as a "neccesary evil."

That being said our main point stands: Government is too large and should be scaled back dramtically because its inefficent.

Dare

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