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Author Topic:   American Budget Cuts
Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 350 (605779)
02-22-2011 12:50 AM
Reply to: Message 44 by xongsmith
02-22-2011 12:45 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
xongsmith writes:

A corporation is nothing less than a dictatorship, dude.

You don't have to work for a corporation. Companies which treat their employees better tend to attract more employees so they can get the best pick. There is a strong incentive for corporations to keep their employees happy even disregarding hiring as disgruntled employees can give the company a bad image or even waste company resources through deliberate action.

This anti-company attitude makes me think you have never been meaningfully employed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by xongsmith, posted 02-22-2011 12:45 AM xongsmith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by xongsmith, posted 02-22-2011 12:58 AM Phage0070 has not yet responded

xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1871
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009


Message 47 of 350 (605780)
02-22-2011 12:58 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by Phage0070
02-22-2011 12:50 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
Phage0070 writes:

This anti-company attitude makes me think you have never been meaningfully employed.

Well, you would be wrong.


- xongsmith, 5.7d
This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 12:50 AM Phage0070 has not yet responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 48 of 350 (605781)
02-22-2011 1:08 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Phage0070
02-22-2011 12:07 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
Phage0070 writes:
Historically the public sector is significantly more wasteful than the private sector, due to the lack of any meaningful competition.

I am not convinced that is true.

The inefficiencies of government are in public, where they are reported on by the press. The inefficiencies of the private sector are hidden in back rooms.

I'm remembering back to when I was in Australia, before coming to the US for grad school. The political right in Australia used to say the same things about government inefficiency. And they pointed to the railroads as an example of this inefficiency. So I arrived in the US, where I got to ride on the bankrupt New Haven railroad. The railroads in the US were in the private sector, and they were in as much trouble (perhaps more trouble) as the railroads in Australia.

Here are three beliefs that we hear from the right:

  • Evolution is impossible. It requires intelligent design. (The say this when talking about biology);
  • Intelligent design is impossible. It can only work by evolutionary processes. (They say this about the economy);
  • Evolution is impossible. It requires intelligent design. (They say this when talking about open source software vs. commercial software).


Jesus was a liberal hippie
This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 12:07 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 1:44 AM nwr has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 49 of 350 (605783)
02-22-2011 1:44 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by nwr
02-22-2011 1:08 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
nwr writes:

The inefficiencies of government are in public, where they are reported on by the press. The inefficiencies of the private sector are hidden in back rooms.

Then you needed to pay more attention in economics.

Imagine two companies competing for the widget market, each making a widget that is roughly equivalent. These type of goods are called "commodities", examples being petroleum or copper, the significant factor being that they are fungible (buyers don't particularly care who produced it). The company which can produce the widget more efficiently can either sell at a lower cost thereby obtaining greater sales than their competition, or can obtain greater profits than their competition and thus attract more investors due to the greater rate of return. Or they can do both! Everyone continually competes against each other to be more efficient with the prospect of great reward to anyone who can improve their performance.

All of that is extremely open with publicly traded companies baring their books and providing up-to-the-minute reports on stock prices and rate of return. No press report is required, its all public knowledge used on a daily basis for investment decisions.

Now consider a city policeman. It the officer costs the city a certain amount of money to do his job, but could someone do it for less expense? Could the police department be less wasteful, maybe change some policies to be more efficient, or modify its compensation package? Maybe, but how would you ever know? Nobody else is even allowed to *try* to compete and do things better. Its the current government agency by force whether you like it or not. The ultimate monopoly, and it shows.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by nwr, posted 02-22-2011 1:08 AM nwr has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by nwr, posted 02-22-2011 2:07 AM Phage0070 has responded

nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 50 of 350 (605784)
02-22-2011 2:07 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Phage0070
02-22-2011 1:44 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
Phage0070 writes:
Imagine two companies competing for the widget market, each making a widget ...

That's a nice little theoretical model. However, I have worked in the private sector and seen gross inefficiencies. I have done business with the private sector (my ISP, for example) and I see gross inefficiencies.


Jesus was a liberal hippie
This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 1:44 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 2:27 AM nwr has acknowledged this reply

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 51 of 350 (605787)
02-22-2011 2:27 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by nwr
02-22-2011 2:07 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
nwr writes:

Phage0070 writes:
Imagine two companies competing for the widget market, each making a widget ...

That's a nice little theoretical model. However, I have worked in the private sector and seen gross inefficiencies. I have done business with the private sector (my ISP, for example) and I see gross inefficiencies.

And do you think if they or another company could remove those inefficiencies that they would see greater profits and more business? Do you have ideas of how to do that?

Keep in mind that just because a process tends to weed out inefficiencies and streamline operations, it doesn't guarantee that any given operation you look at is going to be perfect.

Edited by Phage0070, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by nwr, posted 02-22-2011 2:07 AM nwr has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Son, posted 02-22-2011 9:52 AM Phage0070 has not yet responded
 Message 55 by crashfrog, posted 02-22-2011 10:29 AM Phage0070 has responded

Son
Member (Idle past 1906 days)
Posts: 346
From: France,Paris
Joined: 03-11-2009


Message 52 of 350 (605808)
02-22-2011 9:52 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Phage0070
02-22-2011 2:27 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
Well, you can look at facts too, like the healthcare system in US compared to the public one in France.
The thing with privatised companies is that the main driver for efficiency is competition, but in some cases, there's just no competition depending on the sector (for various reasons). You often find this in the case the sector need really big corporations to work like railroad or electricity distribution (or insurance). Whether a sector must be public or private should depend on whether you can have meaningful competition or not.
There's also a problem if two corporations find that competition harms each other business and decide they would rather pass a deal to remove competition.
Finally, if the PDGs/workers salaries doesn't depend directly on the results because the company is too big (banks, car-manufacturers, etc...), those who work for this company will feel less concerned with it.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 2:27 AM Phage0070 has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 53 of 350 (605813)
02-22-2011 10:26 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Phage0070
02-22-2011 12:07 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
Historically the public sector is significantly more wasteful than the private sector, due to the lack of any meaningful competition.

The most profitable reaction to competition is rent-seeking and regulatory capture, not "efficiency." Businesses lose money off of inefficiency, but generally people make quite a bit of money off of it. And, of course, taking profits is about as inefficient as it gets.

Greed, as it turns out, is not consistent with free-market capitalism, contrary to popular perception. In a perfectly capitalistic and highly competitive market sector, the competition drives the price of a widget down to the marginal cost of producing a single widget, and nobody makes any profit.

Greed isn't what makes capitalism work. Greed is what makes it not work.

If a public sector job can be transferred to the private sector without compromising its execution then its always going to be a good idea.

The experience of history is that public sector jobs can only be successfully transfered to the private sector when the profit incentives line up with the successful performance of the job. But in most public sector jobs the profit incentives actually run the other way - it's more profitable to deny health care than to provide it, it's more profitable to run selective schools than effective ones, it's more profitable to run failing prisons than safe and secure ones, it's more profitable to let houses burn than to put out fires, it's more profitable to engage in criminality than to oppose it, and so on.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 12:07 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 11:17 AM crashfrog has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19756
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 54 of 350 (605814)
02-22-2011 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Phage0070
02-21-2011 11:58 PM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
Hi Phage0070

Thats because corporations *are* workers. Organized workers dedicated to a common goal, but its all just workers.

Nice try.

By this argument the "fat cat" queen bees are worker bees ... "dedicated to a common goal, but its all just workers" -- which is false, so your logic is false.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Phage0070, posted 02-21-2011 11:58 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 11:20 AM RAZD has responded

crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 55 of 350 (605815)
02-22-2011 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Phage0070
02-22-2011 2:27 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
Do you have ideas of how to do that?

Sure - have the "CEO" be paid a GS-14 salary instead of multi-million dollar salary plus bonuses.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 2:27 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 11:21 AM crashfrog has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 19756
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 56 of 350 (605818)
02-22-2011 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Phage0070
02-22-2011 12:07 AM


Waste & Reality
Hi Phagee0070, another propaganda try?

Historically the public sector is significantly more wasteful than the private sector ...

Curiously, when public sector jobs are transfered to the private sector, service deteriorates and costs go up. There may be less waste, but there is also significantly less service for the same cost.

Privatization of health care as an example: since the Reagan deregulation that allowed for HMOs to come into existence, they have increased costs and reduced service. When there are so many exclusions that the only people who can qualify for coverage are healthy people that don't need coverage, then there is a significant loss in general service.

If a public sector job can be transferred to the private sector without compromising its execution then its always going to be a good idea.

If a private sector job can be transferred to the public sector without compromising its execution then it is always going to be a good idea ... it's easy to make self-referential tautological statements when you include the conclusions in your premise.

A profit margin of 40% (typical in big business) is wasted to the consumer. That same margin in a public sector job would allow a lot of "wasted" work without jeopardizing the level and quality of service in any way. When that "wasted" work benefits people that otherwise would not be covered then there is a gain to the consumer.

However, we STILL have the obvious point that IF we are going to discuss budget cuts, that the PURE WASTAGE of funds on overblown private sector costs for military equipment (because private production is so much more efficient?) is a good place to start. Trim the military budget and take out these plumcakes for the "private" sector -- such as eliminating all single source contracts, unnecessary specification restrictions and other cozy arrangements that do not increase the level of service for the cost.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 12:07 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 11:34 AM RAZD has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 57 of 350 (605825)
02-22-2011 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by crashfrog
02-22-2011 10:26 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
crashfrog writes:

The most profitable reaction to competition is rent-seeking and regulatory capture, not "efficiency."

Which is why it should be the private sector which is generally not in control of laws and such rather than the public sector which happily and easily regulates and commandeers those things at their whim.

crashfrog writes:

In a perfectly capitalistic and highly competitive market sector, the competition drives the price of a widget down to the marginal cost of producing a single widget, and nobody makes any profit.

Except that everyone working at the company gets paid and all the investors get their expected return on investment. Again it seems you just don't "get" whats going on.

crashfrog writes:

But in most public sector jobs the profit incentives actually run the other way - it's more profitable to deny health care than to provide it,

This is complete and utter bullshit. Building a hospital and employing highly educated and trained medical professionals at great cost and then having them stand around doing fuck-all is the least profitable way to operate. The only time you would deny healthcare is if the cost of treating the ailment was greater than they were willing or able to pay, or if you simply didn't have the capacity to fill the need.

crashfrog writes:

it's more profitable to run selective schools than effective ones

You seem to be denying that there is a market for effective schools (bullshit), or that because a school is selective that it isn't effective (also bullshit).

crashfrog writes:

it's more profitable to run failing prisons than safe and secure ones,

"Failing" in what way? If they can't manage to keep prisoners in then the quality of their service should quickly lead customers to move to their competition; oh wait, if its a public sector job there *are* no competitors are there? Yet more bullshit.

crashfrog writes:

it's more profitable to let houses burn than to put out fires,

Bullshit. If you have a fire engine and crew sitting there you will want to put out fires even if you only break even. And if you can't manage to break even then putting out the fire would be the waste of resources. More bullshit!

crashfrog writes:

it's more profitable to engage in criminality than to oppose it, and so on.

Right, because the one organization that gets the largest chunk of your paycheck isn't a government. Bullshit.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by crashfrog, posted 02-22-2011 10:26 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by crashfrog, posted 02-22-2011 1:34 PM Phage0070 has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 58 of 350 (605826)
02-22-2011 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by RAZD
02-22-2011 10:27 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
RAZD writes:

By this argument the "fat cat" queen bees are worker bees ... "dedicated to a common goal, but its all just workers" -- which is false, so your logic is false.

Basically you are arguing that the CEO working to run a corporation isn't really "working".

So your argument is based on the logical fallacy of special pleading, rendering your logic and criticism false.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by RAZD, posted 02-22-2011 10:27 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Taq, posted 02-22-2011 3:53 PM Phage0070 has responded
 Message 109 by RAZD, posted 02-22-2011 10:37 PM Phage0070 has not yet responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 59 of 350 (605827)
02-22-2011 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by crashfrog
02-22-2011 10:29 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
crashfrog writes:

Do you have ideas of how to do that?

Sure - have the "CEO" be paid a GS-14 salary instead of multi-million dollar salary plus bonuses.

Great. But do you think this would effect the quality of the CEO your company can attract, considering the competition it faces in the market? I think it might...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by crashfrog, posted 02-22-2011 10:29 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by crashfrog, posted 02-22-2011 1:42 PM Phage0070 has not yet responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 60 of 350 (605831)
02-22-2011 11:34 AM
Reply to: Message 56 by RAZD
02-22-2011 10:50 AM


Re: Waste & Reality
RAZD writes:

Curiously, when public sector jobs are transfered to the private sector, service deteriorates and costs go up. There may be less waste, but there is also significantly less service for the same cost.

Two factors: They are almost certainly being transferred as monopolies which of course presents problems until meaningful competition can be developed. Second, the amount of service is certainly going to decrease because it was being held at a wastefully high level before.

RAZD writes:

Privatization of health care as an example: since the Reagan deregulation that allowed for HMOs to come into existence, they have increased costs and reduced service. When there are so many exclusions that the only people who can qualify for coverage are healthy people that don't need coverage, then there is a significant loss in general service.

So the answer is to regulate that doctors need to work for specific wages, or that medical equipment manufacturers can't sell their products above a certain price? How exactly are you going to game the system to make people provide goods and services below what they are willing to provide?

RAZD writes:

A profit margin of 40% (typical in big business) is wasted to the consumer.

So? Companies are not in business for the consumer, they are in business for themselves and their investors. This is the same for a mom-and-pop local store and a multinational corporation. Those profits either go into dividends for stockholders which attracts more investment, or is directly invested in expanding current operations. That could result in the improvement of the widget meaning more competitive advantage and increased market share, or the ability to produce more widgets to fill demand, et c.

And remember if they were perfectly capitalistic and competitive those profit margins would shrink drastically wouldn't they?

RAZD writes:

However, we STILL have the obvious point that IF we are going to discuss budget cuts, that the PURE WASTAGE of funds on overblown private sector costs for military equipment (because private production is so much more efficient?) is a good place to start.

Thats a different story. Your abject ignorance of economic issues coupled with your lacks in the field of international finance, diplomacy, and real-world critical thinking makes you a particularly poor judge of the amount of military might that is required to keep the USA safe and secure.

It is a monopoly. There is waste. You are staggeringly ill equipped to make proclamations about how to change it.

RAZD writes:

Trim the military budget and take out these plumcakes for the "private" sector -- such as eliminating all single source contracts, unnecessary specification restrictions and other cozy arrangements that do not increase the level of service for the cost.

Weren't you just criticizing making tautological statements a moment ago?

Edited by Phage0070, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by RAZD, posted 02-22-2011 10:50 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 221 by RAZD, posted 02-27-2011 7:57 PM Phage0070 has responded

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