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View Diary: Foxed-up News: Abolish the National Weather Service! (163 comments)

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  •  I always ask that too (5+ / 0-)

    If it's an ongoing job, how the hell can paying somebody else to do it save money? They have to make a profit running it, that's why they're in business.

    And if THEY can make a profit, GOVERNMENT can. Or not. Because government doesn't HAVE to make a profit.

    Contracting should be reserved for unusual or non-core functions. Putting up a new building, that's a contract. Govt doesn't build buildings all the time. INSPECTING buildings, that's govt. Not only does it need to be done regularly, but it needs to be impartial and have some teeth behind it for the PUBLIC good.

    And there's the key - govt should do the things that are for the PUBLIC good. Making sure buildings don't fall down - public good. Setting goals for education - public good. Parks, recreation facilities that EVERYONE can use, roads - public good. Police, fire, emergency services - public good. Water, sewer, electrical infrastructure - I'd say that's public good, but not every place agrees.

    •  But... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      If it's an ongoing job, how the hell can paying somebody else to do it save money?
      There are some activities that are run very inefficiently.  It might be due to "past practices," or union contracts,* or civil service rules.  If the government operation is well run, what you say certainly is true.  And, sometimes the private outfit pays private workers starvation wages and no benefits.

      *I'm a retired 32-year union member with a very decent union pension.  I deplore labor-fakers abusing union contracts.

      •  Of course, if it's run (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cali Scribe, Calamity Jean

        inefficiently, it should be changed.

        But that calls for workflow/process analysis (which would be a contract job, since you're not going to do it all the time), and changes in processes, personnel, equipment, forms, etc.

        And you're right - very often the private outfit does pay crappy wages, or outsource to a totally different location (or overseas), or do a really crappy job. Then they change the contract or raise the price or decide they don't want it when it comes up for renewal.

        That doesn't save anything.

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