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View Diary: AZ review shows private prisons cost more. So legislature ends the study. (103 comments)

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  •  Just today, in SW WA, I spoke with a woman I've (6+ / 0-)

    known for about 20 years. She owns and runs a used paperback book store.

    Her husband owns and runs a small business with four employees.

    She is, I am fairly sure, a person who thinks of herself as an Independent. She voted for Obama but that was because she felt worried about Sarah Palin in the end.

    Today we were talking about what's wrong, in general, with government.

    She had been watching a Bloomberg show and came away with:

    We need to run the government like a business
    &
    Government programs waste too much money
    &
    There a lot of government services that should be privatized to save the taxpayers money
    &
    Poor folks on welfare "sit around and do nothing" and they create a lifestyle where they teach that to their kids (who they don't take very good care of either, by the by) - and she's glancing out her bookstore window towards the run-down trailer park across the highway, where some of the poorest of the poor people in Clark County, WA live.
    So after I stood there, sort of stunned by the wide variety of conservative pap which she had managed to suck up during that single Bloomberg show, for a moment or two and tried to re-orient myself to the universe...

    and my last bit to her was about how somethings just shouldn't be privatized, we need the government do some stuff, like, well Healthcare because it would take a big burden off of business - and she was all for that - and then I said, plus, we have lots of services now that are privatized and I don't think they should be, like police, right, we wouldn't want our local police forces privatized, but private prisons? They are booming, and in some of them even minors are being raped and mistreated horribly.

    She was stunned. She said, "What do you mean? There are prisons that are private? Really? I... I have never heard that..." She reads the local paper (The Columbian), she watches the local broadcast news (not Fox) in the evenings with her husband. She was quite literally stunned into silence, and I could just see her brain working away...

    thinking about some of the other stuff I'd told her, and wondering if she was wrong about a lot of other stuff, too.

    I'll be back to visit her soon, and I'll engage her in conversation again, and I'll find out what she's learned and how much truthiness there is in it - and what I can, I'll help her lop off and toss in the nearest trash can.

    * * *
    I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
    -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr.
    * * *
    "A Better World is Possible"
    -- #Occupy

    by Angie in WA State on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:59:43 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Private prisons are generally a huge scam (0+ / 0-)

      ...and I generally agree with some of your blockquoted items.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sat May 05, 2012 at 06:54:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've know for some time that you are hardly the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        basket, a2nite

        most liberal or progressive Kossack, but which of those blockquoted items appeal to you, if you don't mind telling me?

        * * *
        I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
        -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr.
        * * *
        "A Better World is Possible"
        -- #Occupy

        by Angie in WA State on Sat May 05, 2012 at 10:05:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re (0+ / 0-)

          "Gov't like a business." This is generally true (though Repubs do not know how to do this). All services should be gotten in as cost-effective manner as possible. If outsourcing something is cheaper for similar quality, it should simply be done. I do not see evidence that this model works for prisons, but (for example) see little reason why the state hires its own janitors when there are private cleaning firms.

          "Govt wastes too much money" This is a value judgment, probably true in some cases, not in others.  In any case, it's clear that we are currently on a federal level overspending or undertaxing by 30% or so.

          "Privatization" we covered this before. A lot of people have a reflexive dislike for privatization, but private companies outsource and 'privatize' parts of their business every day, successfully and profitably. The key is to know what to do yourself and what not to do so.

          From my point of view (and understanding this is key to understanding the conservative economic mentality, though I would not call myself a conservative) the government exists to serve the people and taxpayers, and must do so in the most cost effective way possible. Inefficiencies and non-value-add activities must be ruthlessly eliminated to make room for either more services or so I can spend my money how I feel like it.

          Think of the government like a homeowners association. That's the mentality: keep costs low, try to keep headcount low and contract where you can, and keep the organization as unobtrusive as possible so you can go on living your life.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sat May 05, 2012 at 10:33:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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