We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As noted in this Shrinkwrapped piece we recently linked the young, the immature and the foolish may harbor fantasies that a politician can have any positive effect on their lives.
They will learn...maybe - if they are able to learn and grow from experience. Truth is that only I can shape - or redeem - my gift of life.
Interesting piece by Goldsmith (former Mayor of Indianapolis and now Harvard Prof) in The American: What's Left for Government To Do? He asks what the core functions are of governments in the free world. It's a damn good question.
Functions such as law enforcement and public safety are typically considered inherently governmental. But as the mayor of Indianapolis for two terms (1992–1999), I outsourced the operation not only of a jail but also of an airport and a utility—with good results. It was hard not to be amused, as the GAO panel debated the definition of an inherently governmental function, by the fact that the federal building we were meeting in was under the protection of a private security firm. Even if we could agree on core government functions that had to be walled off from contractors, we would be left with a thorny question: what happens when government turns out not to be very good at inherently governmental work?
The reason the free market works better than government is *competition*. What is the benefit of outsourcing governmental functions where no competition is possible? Are they going to have two jails run by two different contractors and compare the results? The results as measured by what metric?
david- If you'd like to keep the contract you deliver a cost effective service. once the state takes the job the discussion is over. How do you measure competence? It's done everyday in the marketplace.
That Goldsmith piece is remarkable. I'll be forwarding it on to those I think can hear it.
Assistant Village Idiot
two points, totally unrelated;
- Here in Michigan, we nearly had the state government close down due to budget conflicts. As the deadline approached, road crews put barrels and barricades at the highway *rest areas*. Something clicked in me that these should; a) not be run by the State, and b) not get shut down. It just seemed like a violation of the compact between citizen and government.
- I have determined that one of my goals in life is to found and develop a network of schools in the US that serves as a replacement for the public school system of today. I see what is in use today as a form of brainwashing that provides little or no input for the parents. I've had enough. I'm going to find a way for American citizens to educate their children the way they want them educated - not the forces that do it today (and not very well). Ideally, it will be a completely non-profit venture that is supported by successful businesses (and people) who want the same.