Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Ohio
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-11-2013, 07:18 PM
 
1,066 posts, read 2,415,471 times
Reputation: 643

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Ok, so what I'm getting from this is that you're of the opinion that private companies can and should take control of building infrastructure?
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Forgive me, but what guarantees would there be that they would be run with greater efficiency than government?
Simple: the profit and loss system guarantees that private firms are more efficient than government run organizations. Private firms succeed or fail based upon their ability to cater to the consumer. Take for example a bakery. Let’s say bakery “A” is selling poor quality bread. In a free market, consumers would flock to a different bakery [bakery “B”] which is selling higher quality bread. In this situation, only those firms which best satisfy the people are rewarded. Therefore, wealth accumulation is the result of most efficiently benefiting your fellow man [i.e. satisfying the wants of the consumer]. Profit and loss are the signals by which business owners gauge how successful their operation is.

Compare this to government ownership. In this case, there is no bakery “B”. In this situation, government force ensures that the government owned bakery is the only bakery. Without competition, there is no need to ensure high quality. In this situation, the consumer is stuck with whatever the state gives them. There is no reason the bakery should worry about satisfying the consumer. Also, without profit and loss signals, there is no sure way to make important decisions about expansion, efficiency, etc. It’s not hard to see how bureaucracy and inefficiency seem to plague every government body on earth.

It’s obvious that government ownership of bakeries would be a terrible idea. In fact, I’m fairly certain that anyone who had the gall to suggest such a thing would be laughed out of the room by every sane individual on earth.

Well, I’m merely applying the same logic to transportation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
What oversight would there be on say, building a new bridge? How would it be maintained? Where would the money come from? I assume that all forms of transit, including roads, would be heavily tolled in some way. How would that effect the overall economy when suburban moms have to pay a toll every time they had to leave the house to run an errand? What about infrastructure within cities?
There are private firms in existence today which ensure the safety of other firms[BBB, etc]. It’s safe to say that private, third party firms would pop up everywhere to ensure the safety and reliability of everything. Furthermore, you have to remember that the firms building the bridges and roads have a lot to lose if their structure isn’t safe. There is almost no instance I could think of where it would be to the benefit of a company to build a faulty bridge. The longer their bridge survives, the more profits they would see. Furthermore, if any mishap were to occur, think of all the law suits which would inevitably follow. Even more importantly, the reputation of that company would be ruined. I’m fairly confident that private transportation and construction firms would be far more cognizant of the risks involved than their government counterparts. Governments merely claim to care for their citizens; a private firms’ livelihood depends upon it!

The needed capital for these projects would come even more quickly than it currently does. Wealth would be free to go wherever there is the most demand [i.e. wherever it’s most profitable]. Without government interference, there would be a huge increase in investment in trains and other alternative forms of transportation. As far tolls and other forms of payment: it’s impossible to say. Who could have predicted how the different tech companies would have priced their laptops/desktops/etc? No one can predict for certain how things would be paid for in the market. Perhaps tolls would be likely in some less commonly traveled roads. It’s more likely that some type of digitized monthly payment system would be put in place[not unlike subway passes which already exist], with different rates for different travel times. Traffic jams are one of most overlooked examples of what some call the “tragedy of the commons”. The notion that everyone can hit the road at 5:30 PM on a Friday afternoon for whatever errand is probably part of the reason we see so many traffic jams at that time. If firms charge a premium for driving at certain peak times, it’s likely that only those who absolutely need it would pay for the service. If you need to travel in an emergency I’m sure there would be some time of emergency plan which would charge accordingly. Private hospitals and police departments could easily set up contracts with the transportation firms. Just be creative. Just because things are one way today, doesn’t mean that they have to be that way tomorrow, if you follow…

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
You keep suggesting that government is "bought and paid for" by special interests, the majority of which come directly from private business.
I’m not merely suggesting it. That’s the truth. Do you think government has been subsidizing the hell out of roads because they thinks it’s a good idea? If so, I’ve got some news for you…

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
If private business is supposed to do everything better, where exactly have they been shown to actually be in the business of doing something that may go against their own interests but benefit the general population?
See above. In the free market, their interest is to benefit the general population. do ut des

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
An example of the government doing this is the National Weather Service. Do you think it would be more beneficial to the population if they had to pay every time they needed information on potentially life-threatening weather? I bring up this example because Rick Santorum tried to gut the NWS in order to specifically help for-profit competing businesses.
Once again, just because the government supplies it now, does not mean that it’s the only viable provider of that service. BTW, Rick Santorum is a douche.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Is there an example anywhere at any time in history where private business existed solely without a national government? If it can be done, why has it never been done?
Nope, it is you who missed my point completely. Even if I couldn’t find an example, what would that prove? Correlation does not equal causation, my friend. The state is not necessary for civilization.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Like it or not, you can't privatize rule of law.
You most certainly can. It depends upon what they population supports. Your response sounds a lot like what I would expect the contemporaries of monarchical Europe to sound like when approached about the possibility of representative government. Of course that wouldn’t work! All civilized nations are monarchies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Considering Somalian refugees still flood into Columbus every year, it still has a long way to go. 1 going to 2 is a 100% increase. When you start at the bottom, it's easy to rise. Somalia strives to shake off failed state tag | Reuters This article just came out yesterday. Improvement, but not exactly a place I'd want to open a business.
Once again, you have to compare Somalia to its peers. It’s improving compared to other poor, capital-less, African nations. Would I move there? Of course not! I wouldn’t move to North Korea either, which is a totalitarian nation which is decades behind its peer, neighbor nations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
how do you propose eliminating government from the equation?
I don’t. At least, I don’t plan on seeing it happen overnight. The monarchies of Europe and the aristocratic power structure was not overthrown overnight. There was a long, deliberate process. It’s a battle of ideas, and I may never live to see these ideas come to fruition. That doesn’t bother me though, because the truth always has a way of winning out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Is the private sector more interested in mass transit than the government is? Based on what?
The private sector is more interested in what consumers demand. So if you are correct when you claim that the government is over-subsidizing roads at the expense of rail(and I think you are) then there is no question that the private sector would provide more mass transit options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
I guess I don't understand how you can say that private interest lobbyists are keeping the government from investing in mass transit at the same time you're saying the government blocks private interests from investing in mass transit.
Because private interests are very diverse. Yes, the oil industry does a lot to make sure that mass transit is prevented. BUT, without the government, these large oil interests would have no way to circumvent the market. In other words, if the oil industry is spending money to stop mass transit projects, it means that they understand there is a demand for it. If it were left to the market, that demand would be fulfilled.

Last edited by Townes Van Zandt; 04-11-2013 at 07:29 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-11-2013, 07:21 PM
 
1,066 posts, read 2,415,471 times
Reputation: 643
Just so we can cut to the chase-- I do realize that what I'm talking about is radical. I understand if you think I'm a nut. But I feel this is the truth, so I can't hide it!

I guess we will have to check back in a few centuries to see if I was a genius or a maniac.

Either way, thanks for the discussion. It was unexpectedly fruitful.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2013, 09:16 PM
 
16,345 posts, read 18,058,402 times
Reputation: 7879
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksu sucks View Post
Just so we can cut to the chase-- I do realize that what I'm talking about is radical. I understand if you think I'm a nut. But I feel this is the truth, so I can't hide it!

I guess we will have to check back in a few centuries to see if I was a genius or a maniac.

Either way, thanks for the discussion. It was unexpectedly fruitful.
Not so much a nut, but certainly kind of naïve. I guess I don't see any particular reason to trust private for-profit business for everything when the evidence suggests that they can just as easily be corrupt, poorly run and inefficient. If we put these companies in charge of services, say infrastructure, I realize that companies can be replaced with others, but that takes time. Meanwhile, what happens to the services they were providing in the meantime? What happens to road maintenance? What happens if a company becomes a monopoly? Who breaks them up? Another private, for-profit company? What prevents them being bought off as much as you say the government is? I'm not sure I trust that there would be true, neutral parties when making money is the first objective.

And you kind of skimmed over my NWS point. When time is critical, how is forcing people to pay each time for potentially life-saving information really in the best interest of the public? If I have a health emergency or a house fire, what happens if I didn't pay my monthly/weekly/daily fee? Will I be allowed to die? Will my house be allowed to burn down? What about neighboring houses? What if they use different companies and the fire spreads? Would it be like with health companies and "pre-existing conditions"?

I don't know, there just seems to be far too many issues that get glossed over or ignored in the rush to paint private companies as the superior.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2013, 07:27 AM
 
1,066 posts, read 2,415,471 times
Reputation: 643
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Not so much a nut, but certainly kind of naïve. I guess I don't see any particular reason to trust private for-profit business for everything when the evidence suggests that they can just as easily be corrupt, poorly run and inefficient. If we put these companies in charge of services, say infrastructure, I realize that companies can be replaced with others, but that takes time. Meanwhile, what happens to the services they were providing in the meantime? What happens to road maintenance? What happens if a company becomes a monopoly? Who breaks them up? Another private, for-profit company? What prevents them being bought off as much as you say the government is? I'm not sure I trust that there would be true, neutral parties when making money is the first objective.
I've tried to be patient, but reading a post like this following an accusation of my supposed naivety...sheesh! Pot, meet kettle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
And you kind of skimmed over my NWS point. When time is critical, how is forcing people to pay each time for potentially life-saving information really in the best interest of the public?
I don't know, why don't you ask the government? Do you think government defies the laws of economics? They still charge for their services. It's just that they can better mask the price of their services via inflation and by taxing certain groups at inordinate levels. I guarantee that a private firm would provide more efficient and cheaper emergency services than government. If you ask how--just look at my earlier post. The market increases efficiency and decreases price. There is so much empirical evidence to support this that it's dumbfounding that this is even a debate.

At least with private emergency providers, you can guarantee your money will be going towards exactly what you want. With the current taxation system, much of your taxed income is going to things you don't use, and you have no way of preventing that from happening. It's funny that you use the word "forcing". There is no private entity which can "force" you to pay for something. You always have the option of choosing a competitor. The only entity associated with "force" is government. With government, there is no second option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
I don't know, there just seems to be far too many issues that get glossed over or ignored in the rush to paint private companies as the superior.
Well if our brief discussion on an internet forum isn't substantial enough(which would not surprise me), I'd be more than happy to DM some book titles. After all: "It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."

Now, to answer your original complaints.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
the evidence suggests that they[private firms] can just as easily be corrupt, poorly run and inefficient.
The only situation where a "private" firm can sustainably exhibit any of the three traits you mentioned is if it's somehow receiving a steady flow of government money. A good example of this would be defense contractors. These companies are essentially private in name only. They depend upon government funds for their survival, and as a result they're extremely corrupt, poorly run, and inefficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
I realize that companies can be replaced with others, but that takes time. Meanwhile, what happens to the services they were providing in the meantime? What happens to road maintenance?

Actually, the process is surprisingly fast. It isn’t as if these large companies go under and the consumer is forced to go without that good in the meantime. The bankruptcy and debt liquidation process typically involves the sale of the failed firms ‘good’ assets. Thus, it’s often the case that competing firms will be able to pick up wherever the failed firm left off. A good example of this is the Twinkies brand. As everyone knows, Hostess filed for bankruptcy last year. It’s been announced since then that another firm has purchased the Twinkies brand and will be bringing them back to supermarkets. Furthermore, there were plenty of “off brand” Twinkies which filled the gap in the meantime. A similar situation would occur in any other market activity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
What happens if a company becomes a monopoly?

Here’s what’s funny about monopolies: you’re essentially asking me what happens if a private firm has a similar position as government. Government is the ultimate monopoly. If you’re anti-monopoly, the last thing you should support is government ownership.


Regardless, monopolies are a non-issue. That’s because there is one major difference between private firms and the government: private firms cannot legislate competition out of existence. If the monopoly creates inefficiencies and begins to charge higher prices/provide lower quality, then another firm would simply enter the market and undercut them. So long as a monopoly is charging reasonable prices [and in the process not providing competitors with an opportunity to undercut them], there is nothing inherently wrong with a monopoly. At any rate, monopolies are exceedingly rare in the free market. Most instances of monopolies occur due to some type of government favoring. Be it subsidies that competitors don’t receive, government contracts, etc. In a free market devoid of government, such a situation would not occur.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
What prevents them being bought off as much as you say the government is?

The same thing which prevents most monopolies in the first place: competition. No private firm can afford to provide terrible services and be “bought off”. If it isn’t satisfying the consumer, it will fail. Period.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2013, 12:18 PM
 
16,345 posts, read 18,058,402 times
Reputation: 7879
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksu sucks View Post
I've tried to be patient, but reading a post like this following an accusation of my supposed naivety...sheesh! Pot, meet kettle.

I don't know, why don't you ask the government? Do you think government defies the laws of economics? They still charge for their services. It's just that they can better mask the price of their services via inflation and by taxing certain groups at inordinate levels. I guarantee that a private firm would provide more efficient and cheaper emergency services than government. If you ask how--just look at my earlier post. The market increases efficiency and decreases price. There is so much empirical evidence to support this that it's dumbfounding that this is even a debate.

At least with private emergency providers, you can guarantee your money will be going towards exactly what you want. With the current taxation system, much of your taxed income is going to things you don't use, and you have no way of preventing that from happening. It's funny that you use the word "forcing". There is no private entity which can "force" you to pay for something. You always have the option of choosing a competitor. The only entity associated with "force" is government. With government, there is no second option.

Well if our brief discussion on an internet forum isn't substantial enough(which would not surprise me), I'd be more than happy to DM some book titles. After all: "It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."

Now, to answer your original complaints.

The only situation where a "private" firm can sustainably exhibit any of the three traits you mentioned is if it's somehow receiving a steady flow of government money. A good example of this would be defense contractors. These companies are essentially private in name only. They depend upon government funds for their survival, and as a result they're extremely corrupt, poorly run, and inefficient.

Actually, the process is surprisingly fast. It isn’t as if these large companies go under and the consumer is forced to go without that good in the meantime. The bankruptcy and debt liquidation process typically involves the sale of the failed firms ‘good’ assets. Thus, it’s often the case that competing firms will be able to pick up wherever the failed firm left off. A good example of this is the Twinkies brand. As everyone knows, Hostess filed for bankruptcy last year. It’s been announced since then that another firm has purchased the Twinkies brand and will be bringing them back to supermarkets. Furthermore, there were plenty of “off brand” Twinkies which filled the gap in the meantime. A similar situation would occur in any other market activity.

Here’s what’s funny about monopolies: you’re essentially asking me what happens if a private firm has a similar position as government. Government is the ultimate monopoly. If you’re anti-monopoly, the last thing you should support is government ownership.

Regardless, monopolies are a non-issue. That’s because there is one major difference between private firms and the government: private firms cannot legislate competition out of existence. If the monopoly creates inefficiencies and begins to charge higher prices/provide lower quality, then another firm would simply enter the market and undercut them. So long as a monopoly is charging reasonable prices [and in the process not providing competitors with an opportunity to undercut them], there is nothing inherently wrong with a monopoly. At any rate, monopolies are exceedingly rare in the free market. Most instances of monopolies occur due to some type of government favoring. Be it subsidies that competitors don’t receive, government contracts, etc. In a free market devoid of government, such a situation would not occur.

The same thing which prevents most monopolies in the first place: competition. No private firm can afford to provide terrible services and be “bought off”. If it isn’t satisfying the consumer, it will fail. Period.
I love Libertarians. Disagreement is ignorance, corporations are perfect and people always do the right thing in the most efficient way possible. Except when they don't, and then it's government's fault.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2013, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Cleveland and Columbus OH
11,052 posts, read 12,445,509 times
Reputation: 10385
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
I love Libertarians. Disagreement is ignorance, corporations are perfect and people always do the right thing in the most efficient way possible. Except when they don't, and then it's government's fault.
Basically what I gleaned from this conversation as well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2013, 01:03 PM
 
1,066 posts, read 2,415,471 times
Reputation: 643
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
I love Libertarians. Disagreement is ignorance, corporations are perfect and people always do the right thing in the most efficient way possible. Except when they don't, and then it's government's fault.
So far, I've provided fairly substantial responses to your rebuttals. You've responded by calling me "naive". I will let the unbiased onlooker make their own judgement.

By the way, you seem to have your causation very mixed up(once again). Even if I believed the following...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcmh81 View Post
Disagreement is ignorance, corporations are perfect and people always do the right thing in the most efficient way possible. Except when they don't, and then it's government's fault.
...It would have nothing to do with libertarianism. If I believed any of the above, that would make me an imbecile, not a libertarian.

And since you seem so obsessed with labels, I should point out that I agree with many "liberals" and progressives on a host of topics. One of my favorite columnists is Glenn Greenwald. I understand that some people disagree with me. Rather than calling them names, I simply embrace our common ground. Perhaps you could benefit from that approach...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2013, 01:09 PM
 
1,066 posts, read 2,415,471 times
Reputation: 643
Anyway, getting back on topic:

I would be interested in seeing some more recent feasibility studies on train systems in Ohio. I would especially like to see something from a private, third party source.

Sadly, at this point the bigger issue isn't economic feasibility but rather whether or not this would be politically feasible. I'm skeptical.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2013, 03:14 PM
 
1,295 posts, read 1,908,177 times
Reputation: 693
There are a number of feasibility studies on the Cincinnati streetcar, if that interests you.

Essentially no feasibility studies are used to determine whether new highway projects are worth doing. There is an assumption that the roads are "needed" since they are used. I'm certain if the government started handing out free supercomputer gaming rigs, those would be used, too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2013, 05:48 PM
 
1,066 posts, read 2,415,471 times
Reputation: 643
Quote:
Originally Posted by natininja View Post
There are a number of feasibility studies on the Cincinnati streetcar, if that interests you.
Thanks for the heads up. Found one.

I think municipal rail systems are much more likely than a state-wide train system. Cincinnati's new street car proves that they are a political possibility for other cities as well.

I believe Columbus is now the only one of the 3 C's without some form of municipal rail. That isn't surprising.


Quote:
Originally Posted by natininja View Post
I'm certain if the government started handing out free supercomputer gaming rigs, those would be used, too.
That's sadly probably true.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Ohio

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:19 PM.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top