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View Diary: Show Me This Contract I Signed, Dagnabit! (80 comments)

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  •  Most libertarians aren't hardcore libertarians (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samulayo

    We just don't want the government in business it has no business doing, and we recognize the accounting identity that every dollar spent on government services is a dollar unavailable for private services.

    Additionally, since government provides services, I want the option wherever it's possible to choose not to use the government's services and use private providers instead. Additionally, when the government provides services, it is obligated to provide them in as cost-effective a manner as possible.

    (-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 Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 04:02:17 PM PST

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    •  So when you end up in prison (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley, ColoTim

      Would you rather be in a profitized prison or a government run prison?

      One of the reasons that "private" SEEMS like it's more efficient than government is because it takes shortcuts in order to increase profits.

      The problem with libertarian-ism is that it assumes that people will not be stupid enough to slay the goose that lays the golden eggs.

      It also assumes that our legal system is completely just and logical. And that monetary reward/compensation for having a private entity poison us with carcinogens will keep that private entity from doing it in the first place.

      The last 12 years have completely cured me of my libertarian leanings. I still want a capitalistic economy, but one that is leavened by regulation (like in my father's day) and "socialism" (as in public schools are public schools) where it makes sense. I want the kind of capitalism where if my company does well, I, the lowly worker, do well too.

      If we degenerate into a "capitalistic" society where workers make the same as Chinese workers but our private prisons are a global horror and we can't eke out truly educated young people...then why would anyone think our -ism is better than the other -ism?

      •  Re (0+ / 0-)
        Would you rather be in a profitized prison or a government run prison?
        There is no such thing as a private prison. All prisons are government run.
        One of the reasons that "private" SEEMS like it's more efficient than government is because it takes shortcuts in order to increase profits.
        Or that it has better economies of scale: local governments buy computers from Dell, right? Because Dell takes shortcuts, or because they have an economy of scale?
        If we degenerate into a "capitalistic" society where workers make the same as Chinese workers
        Is it a law of the universe that we have to make more money than the Chinese? Why?

        (-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 Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:00:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He said "profitized" prison for a reason (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mungley
          There is no such thing as a private prison. All prisons are government run.
          And when I hire a contractor to build me a house, I have become a house builder.  The point is that prison privatization adds an economic incentive to increase incarceration rates --hey, that's an economy of scale-- and reduce humane treatment.
          Or that it has better economies of scale: local governments buy computers from Dell, right? Because Dell takes shortcuts, or because they have an economy of scale?
          The Tennessee Valley Authority built a dam...  It was not built in order to compete with private energy companies. The concept of utility has utility.
          Is it a law of the universe that we have to make more money than the Chinese? Why?
          I think this was shorthand for "widening income disparity"  which is a problem if a country is to be a stable democracy.  I think it is a common perception in the United States that Chinese workers are not benefiting from Chinese capitalism to the degree that, say, a US factory worker would have back when we had strong unions.  
          •  Re (0+ / 0-)
            And when I hire a contractor to build me a house, I have become a house builder.  The point is that prison privatization adds an economic incentive to increase incarceration rates --hey, that's an economy of scale-- and reduce humane treatment.
            Non-contracted prisons have the same problems. Police and prison guard organizations often release propaganda about keeping pot illegal so we don't end up laying off half of both organizations if it's ever legalized.
            The Tennessee Valley Authority built a dam...  It was not built in order to compete with private energy companies. The concept of utility has utility.
            The TVA is an example of good uses of government funds: to construct large infrastructure projects that it is impractical for the private sector to do. However, it does "compete with private energy companies" because it keeps the price of power down (a good thing, I might add).
            I think this was shorthand for "widening income disparity"  which is a problem if a country is to be a stable democracy.  I think it is a common perception in the United States that Chinese workers are not benefiting from Chinese capitalism to the degree that, say, a US factory worker would have back when we had strong unions.  
            Sure, it's a 'common perception', because Americans don't like the idea that poor Chinese workers benefit greatly from the current state of affairs, so the meme that Chinese workers are exploited is pushed relentlessly.

            It's sort of a moot point anyway, though, because robotics and automation are a far bigger threat to jobs both here and in China than outsourcing is. I do not know the solution here. Eventually the market will compensate with a lower population, but until then there might need to be some kind of stopgap.

            (-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 Feb 02, 2013 at 11:12:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can't wait for the big die-off (0+ / 0-)
              Eventually the market will compensate with a lower population, but until then there might need to be some kind of stopgap.

              Take back the House in 2014!!!! ( 50-state strategy needed)

              by mungley on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:49:57 PM PST

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              •  Re (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                soros
                I can't wait for the big die-off
                More likely, people just won't have kids. Just like what is happening now.

                (-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 Feb 02, 2013 at 04:15:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  There's no reason to have a big die-off. (0+ / 0-)

              If less work is needed, simply reduce the work week.  Also make sure that the remaining work still entitles the people working to the same share of the wealth they had before.  (Yes, I know it's not really that simple, but what else are you going to do?)

              Unfortunately, nobody's even thinking in such terms any more.  Why would that be?

              The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

              by Panurge on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 10:29:54 PM PST

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        •  You should read Sandel's (0+ / 0-)

          "What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets"

          Prisons run for-profit set up some really perverse incentives that are genuinely mitigated by running them not-for-profit.

          Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
          - Salvor Hardin, Foundation by Isaac Asimov
          Permissive Liberal: -7.62, -7.95

          by Zyx on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 06:11:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't need to read it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Zyx

            Already agree with it and if I read it I'll just get more pissed off.

            There was a time in this country when socialism (we didn't call it that but that is what it was) and capitalism stood side by side and everyone accepted it as the best of all possible worlds. After WWII they saw what unbridled capitalism could do (fascism) and most of Europe tended MORE toward the socialism side while America tended MORE toward the capitalism side. With a strong assist from unions.

            Between all the PR against socialism and against the unions, we have managed to make your average joe vote for people who make this into the same kind of "capitalism" as they now have in China.

            There's no reason to be FOR capitalism if I'm a worker bee who never gets a raise when my company does better. Not everyone is an entrepreneur...the "joy" of working harder has traditionally been because we would be rewarded when our company did better. That was why were all capitalists, right? Working hard led to innovation and higher profits that benefited everyone, top-down. If that isn't how it works anymore then remind me again why a career bus driver or a cop or a baker or a factory worker should think capitalism is so great? At least in a communist or a socialist state they get FREE FUCKING HEALTHCARE and a RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

            This is what people keep forgetting....the promise of capitalism has been broken. You can't drive a people like Americans into working for Chinese labor wages without someone eventually figuring out that it's better to be socialist or communist if capitalism never pans out for the average person.

            And this pisses me off because I AM a hard worker and I AM a capitalist and I'm 51 fucking years old and I've paid for my parent's retirement and my own and now they want to take it away from me. Tell me again why our system is better?

    •  Private entities do not offer equal treatment. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ginny in CO, ColoTim

      Any service from school, to prison to fire relief is better provided by the people collectively to the people.  Private companies always (by obligation) put themselves ahead of the people.

      What's worse, tax payer funded private entities like Charter schools kick out the kids they don't like, suck from the public trough, and leave us to educate the discarded kids as well.

      So, you always choose to take the private toll road instead of the public street?
      You always park in a private parking lot instead of parking on the street or in a public parking lot?

      If you suspect someone of casing your establishment to plan a robbery you automatically call a private security company instead of the police?

      When traveling in a large city you only take a taxi, you never take a bus or subway?

      You would pay for a private college even though a public college could provide you the same education for less money?

      Currently you use the FDA, the FAA, the CDC, NHTSA and the CPSC every single day.  Do you think there is any private organization that could possibly provide their services as well as they do?  

      Take back the House in 2014!!!! ( 50-state strategy needed)

      by mungley on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 11:41:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So you worship corporations? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, mungley

      You assume a "private provider" is, by definition, going to do a better job? Maybe you can clear this up for me a bit.

      "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

      by US Blues on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 08:20:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know what you mean (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep, soros

        All services any of us buy or consume, public or private, we hope they are done in a cost-effective manner.

        For private sector services (housekeeping, mining, and a billion other things like it) you can always go to another provider, so there is an innate pressure to keep costs low.

        With government services, you are pretty much forced to pay for them and there is little incentive to keep costs down. Additionally, organizations like government employee unions explicitly exist to keep costs up, and there is no counterforce since you can't just go to another provider (though this is starting to change now with small towns outsourcing policing to local sheriff's associations).

        So basically, I just want government services to be provided in as cost effective a manner as possible. If that means government employees doing it, great. If that means contracting out some aspects, that's good too. City Hall can be bustling with people, or it can just be a mayor and a contracts manager.

        (-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 Feb 02, 2013 at 12:32:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That explains why medicare is cheaper than (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          US Blues

          private insurance with better outcomes and an overhead below 4%.

          Oh wait. No it doesn't.

          For private sector services (housekeeping, mining, and a billion other things like it) you can always go to another provider, so there is an innate pressure to keep costs low
          Unless there is a monopoly or trust, in which case prices soar to unprecedented levels.

          As byzantium said above: There is a reason we define certain services as utilities.

          Your corporate competition and price suppression has been disproved by the Wal-Mart system on numerous occasions.
          They come into a small town, lower prices to drive the competition out of business, then raise prices to a level higher than the independent providers offered.

          While that might be perfectly legal, it completely destroys the fantasy that the market will create the lowest or best prices.

          Take back the House in 2014!!!! ( 50-state strategy needed)

          by mungley on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 02:58:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re (0+ / 0-)
            That explains why medicare is cheaper than (0+ / 0-)
            private insurance with better outcomes and an overhead below 4%.
            Insurance is one function I think the government generally does better than the private sector because of the economies of scale involved. Then again, you need some mechanism for forcing costs down.
            Your corporate competition and price suppression has been disproved by the Wal-Mart system on numerous occasions.
            They come into a small town, lower prices to drive the competition out of business, then raise prices to a level higher than the independent providers offered.
            I'm pretty sure that the behavior you describe is not legal, but in any case a town (as a whole) is generally better off with a Wal-Mart than without one. It's not a good thing for many local businesses, but everyone else gets to one-stop-shop and buy things for very low prices.

            In any case, it is part of the government's mandate to prevent anti-competitive behavior.

            (-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 Feb 02, 2013 at 04:22:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not quite (0+ / 0-)

          With government services, you are pretty much forced to pay for them and there is little incentive to keep costs down.

          Correctly stated it should be

          With government services, you are pretty much forced to pay for them and there is little financial incentive to keep costs down.

          There are plenty of other incentives in play that will keep costs down.

          Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
          - Salvor Hardin, Foundation by Isaac Asimov
          Permissive Liberal: -7.62, -7.95

          by Zyx on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 06:14:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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