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Old 11-26-2011, 06:44 AM
 
6,137 posts, read 4,860,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioIstheBest View Post
I'm saying the private sector can do it better. Fact is without a profit/loss system we can't tell how productive the police and firefighters are. Would crime drop if the criminal justice system were privatized? Would fewer people die in fires? That's not to say that public police/fire depts can't or don't do a decent job. We just can't tell how effective they really are.
I know, that's my point.

Some righties however take an absolutist position and dismiss any and all government employment as a complete waste. While not as generally efficient as the private sector, the public sector can be efficient and in some cases such as criminal justice may even be a better option. And in some other cases it may be worth a small loss in efficiency. A for profit criminal justice system would have its caveats.

But yes, on average, government sucks ass because it's not bound by a requirement to be efficient in order to survive.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
19,792 posts, read 13,947,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamBarrow View Post
I think he has a point with this one. You can't be an absolutist and say that the public sector does absolutely nothing productive. Police and firefighters do provide value to society. You can however say that the private sector is X% more efficient on average. And I'd substitute a pretty high number for X.
Wow, an open mind on CD. That's a new one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioIstheBest View Post
I'm saying the private sector can do it better. Fact is without a profit/loss system we can't tell how productive the police and firefighters are. Would crime drop if the criminal justice system were privatized? Would fewer people die in fires? That's not to say that public police/fire depts can't or don't do a decent job. We just can't tell how effective they really are.
It's assumed that the private sector is more efficient, but is it? Social Security operates on a 1% overhead rate -- better than any financial company or insurance company.

You brought up prisons but there isn't any overwhelming evidence that privately run prisons are less expensive:

Private Prisons Found to Offer Little in Savings
Quote:
PHOENIX — The conviction that private prisons save money helped drive more than 30 states to turn to them for housing inmates. But Arizona shows that popular wisdom might be wrong: Data there suggest that privately operated prisons can cost more to operate than state-run prisons — even though they often steer clear of the sickest, costliest inmates.
...
“There’s a perception that the private sector is always going to do it more efficiently and less costly,” said Russ Van Vleet, a former co-director of the University of Utah Criminal Justice Center. “But there really isn’t much out there that says that’s correct.”
...
The research, by the Arizona Department of Corrections, also reveals a murky aspect of private prisons that helps them appear less expensive: They often house only relatively healthy inmates.

“It’s cherry-picking,” said State Representative Chad Campbell, leader of the House Democrats. “They leave the most expensive prisoners with taxpayers and take the easy prisoners.”
...
But this is off-topic. The issue isn't whether the private sector is more efficient or not. The issue is whether the government can create aggregate demand by borrowing and either spending it on needed projects, giving it to states to avoid layoffs or building Navy ships. History has no doubt that it can.

In other words, if the objective is creating aggregate demand, it doesn't matter if money is spent productively or paying people to dig holes and fill them up. We know that war creates aggregate demand and war is less than doing nothing, it is destructive. We pay to build weapons to blow things up. Then we pay to rebuild what was blown up. In doing so, we get to full employment and higher demand.

In a depressed economy the broken windows fallacy ceases to be a fallacy: something that forces firms to replace capital, even if that something seemingly makes them poorer, can stimulate spending and raise employment.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:19 AM
 
6,137 posts, read 4,860,984 times
Reputation: 1517
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTAtech View Post
Wow, an open mind on CD. That's a new one.
I try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTAtech View Post
But this is off-topic. The issue isn't whether the private sector is more efficient or not. The issue is whether the government can create aggregate demand but borrowing and either spending it on needed projects, giving it to states to avoid layoffs or building Navy ships. History has no doubt that it can.

In other words, if the objective is creating aggregate demand, it doesn't matter if money is spent productively or paying people to dig holes and fill them up. We know that war creates aggregate demand and war is less than doing nothing, it is destructive. We pay to build weapons to blow things up. Then we pay to rebuild what was blown up. In doing so, we get to full employment and higher demand.

In a depressed economy the broken windows fallacy ceases to be a fallacy: something that forces firms to replace capital, even if that something seemingly makes them poorer, can stimulate spending and raise employment.
It doesn't cease to be a fallacy. There may be a different cost benefit ratio, but if you look at the big picture, we are less wealthy as a country afterwards. We have expended capital and labor, and for what? To make bombs that we subsequently blow up? All of that energy, labor, and material has been reduced to a nothing. A hole in the ground. That does us absolutely no good.

If I burn down my house and build a new one just so I can say I'm "staying busy" I am an idiot plain and simple. Shuffling money around does not create wealth. Wealth is the result of production, not destruction.

We'd be better off just mailing everyone a check, would we not?

As far as WW2 goes, one aspect of it is exempt from the broken window fallacy. Because we were breaking other people's windows. This resulted in increased demand and may have well been worth it, in the same way that blowing up one of your competitors may very well be worth the cost of the bomb.

But this is not war itself creating wealth, this is just taking out your competitors and making them subservient to you, essentially making yourself a monopoly. This is what benefits you. Blowing up bombs in the middle of the ocean would not achieve this. Which is why this scenario is actually more like anarchy + capitalism than keynesianism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTAtech View Post
It's assumed that the private sector is more efficient, but is it? Social Security operates on a 1% overhead rate -- better than any financial company or insurance company.
I would say that yes, it is. Government is exempt from the laws of nature. There is no survival of the fittest in government. Therefore, there is no incentive to be better, stronger, etc. And with no incentive...

As far as prisons etc go I would attribute that loss of efficiency to the fusion of the profit motive and government involvement. Government contractors are able to avoid these laws of nature based on the simple fact that they are feeding off of the government which does not have to abide by these laws. I've worked on government contracts. It's ridiculous

The fact that the profit motive is added to the equation can actually make efficiency worse because what it does is combine the worst of both worlds.

Last edited by rw47; 11-26-2011 at 07:34 AM..
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Columbus
4,877 posts, read 4,507,214 times
Reputation: 1450
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTAtech View Post
Wow, an open mind on CD. That's a new one.
It's assumed that the private sector is more efficient, but is it? Social Security operates on a 1% overhead rate -- better than any financial company or insurance company.

You brought up prisons but there isn't any overwhelming evidence that privately run prisons are less expensive:

Private Prisons Found to Offer Little in Savings
Social Security was 25 billion in the hole last year. And it doubtful they will ever make a "profit" again. I would rather have 95% overhead and make money than run on a 1% overhead and run a $25 billlion deficit.

I said we must privatize the ENTIRE criminal justice system. Not a few prisons here and there. Your point is moot.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
19,792 posts, read 13,947,200 times
Reputation: 5661
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamBarrow View Post
I try.

It doesn't cease to be a fallacy. There may be a different cost benefit ratio, but if you look at the big picture, we are less wealthy as a country afterwards. We have expended capital and labor, and for what? To make bombs that we subsequently blow up? All of that energy, labor, and material has been reduced to a nothing. A hole in the ground. That does us absolutely no good.

If I burn down my house and build a new one just so I can say I'm "staying busy" I am an idiot plain and simple. Shuffling money around does not create wealth. Wealth is the result of production, not destruction.

We'd be better off just mailing everyone a check, would we not?

As far as WW2 goes, one aspect of it is exempt from the broken window fallacy. Because we were breaking other people's windows. This resulted in increased demand and may have well been worth it, in the same way that blowing up one of your competitors may very well be worth the cost of the bomb.

But this is not war itself creating wealth, this is just taking out your competitors and making them subservient to you, essentially making yourself a monopoly. This is what benefits you. Blowing up bombs in the middle of the ocean would not achieve this. Which is why this scenario is actually more like anarchy + capitalism than keynesianism.



I would say that yes, it is. Government is exempt from the laws of nature. There is no survival of the fittest in government. Therefore, there is no incentive to be better, stronger, etc. And with no incentive...

As far as prisons etc go I would attribute that loss of efficiency to the fusion of the profit motive and government involvement. Government contractors are able to avoid these laws of nature based on the simple fact that they are feeding off of the government which does not have to abide by these laws. I've worked on government contracts. It's ridiculous

The fact that the profit motive is added to the equation can actually make efficiency worse because what it does is combine the worst of both worlds.
First, I would be amiss if I did not thank you for the kind words and the Rep point (what does one do with those? Can we trade them in for a gift card?)

Second, having the gov't write a check, which has been done, is poor stimulus. The multiplier effect is very low compared with actually paying people.

Third, sure, it's better to take money and use it to build something useful. The money spend in Iraq could have funded all the school districts in the nation or put solar panels on every American home.

The point I was making is from an aggregate demand perspective. Whether taking $1 million and paying 20 people to build something or paying one judge on "Dancing with the Stars," it really doesn't matter from an aggregate demand perspective -- while the former is more worthwhile than the latter. (Although paying 20 people will likely have a higher multiplier.)
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,297 posts, read 120,747,599 times
Reputation: 35920
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTAtech View Post
That's just false. If the government hired all the unemployed bringing unemployment to 0%, that would have ended the depression. Those millions of workers hired would have received pay tat they spent their pay to purchase items that created demand and multiplied through the economy. That demand would have brought idle factories to full capacity.

The problem is that while the WPA and CCC programs worked, their scale was limited but did help reverse unemployment.

I was silent on "command economies," which I interpret as government controlling the entire production of factory output, farm output, deciding what goods are made, etc. What the right argues is that using the government, at all, to improve anything in the economy amounts to a "command economies," which is false.

These facts are wrong.

There wasn't "robust growth" until FDR intervened. Unemployment was getting worse; GNP had halved since 1929 and the nation was experiencing deflation. Looking at graphs, like the ones below, and conclude that FDR made it worse requires a strong set of ideological blinders.


Wish I could rep you again. Don't confuse these RWs with the facts. It destroys their idea of some Ayn Rand-like dream economy.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:15 AM
 
6,137 posts, read 4,860,984 times
Reputation: 1517
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTAtech View Post
First, I would be amiss if I did not thank you for the kind words and the Rep point (what does one do with those? Can we trade them in for a gift card?)
Nah you just use them to declare yourself as one of the city-data elite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTAtech View Post
Second, having the gov't write a check, which has been done, is poor stimulus. The multiplier effect is very low compared with actually paying people.
I know this, I'm just saying that we'd be better of giving away money in some form than giving away money in some form while expending energy without creating anything of value, or worse, expending energy to destroy things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTAtech View Post
Third, sure, it's better to take money and use it to build something useful. The money spend in Iraq could have funded all the school districts in the nation or put solar panels on every American home.
My point exactly. While I may be somewhat wary of the concept of stimulus in general, if we do push stimulus, we might as well squeeze every bit of productivity out of it. Infrastructure spending is more worthwhile than bomb spending for obvious reasons.

But the broken window fallacy declares the opposite; let's not only be not productive, let's do the opposite and be destructive, then we can stay busy, with the end goal of winding up back where we started. That's just mind boggling to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTAtech View Post
The point I was making is from an aggregate demand perspective. Whether taking $1 million and paying 20 people to build something or paying one judge on "Dancing with the Stars," it really doesn't matter from an aggregate demand perspective -- while the former is more worthwhile than the latter. (Although paying 20 people will likely have a higher multiplier.)
I was responding to this statement: "In other words, if the objective is creating aggregate demand, it doesn't matter if money is spent productively or paying people to dig holes and fill them up. We know that war creates aggregate demand and war is less than doing nothing, it is destructive. We pay to build weapons to blow things up. Then we pay to rebuild what was blown up. In doing so, we get to full employment and higher demand."

Yes, from the perspective of aggregate demand it doesn't matter. But from the perspective of general wealth it does indeed matter. And that is the ultimate goal of any country.

The government can obviously create aggregate demand through stimulus, but when I step back and look at the big big picture, I just can't buy the idea that destroying and rebuilding things will make us more prosperous in the long run. What is wealth? Wealth is not dollars or employment, wealth is the possession of things, and destroying them decreases our wealth.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
19,792 posts, read 13,947,200 times
Reputation: 5661
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioIstheBest View Post
Social Security was 25 billion in the hole last year. And it doubtful they will ever make a "profit" again. I would rather have 95% overhead and make money than run on a 1% overhead and run a $25 billlion deficit.

I said we must privatize the ENTIRE criminal justice system. Not a few prisons here and there. Your point is moot.
1) SSA I guess you missed the payroll tax cut.

Quote:
The Social Security portion of payroll taxes, which will be levied on the first $110,100 of income in 2012, is split between employees and employers. Each side pays 6.2 percent of wages.

For 2011, the Social Security payroll tax for employees was lowered to 4.2 percent. A worker earning $50,000 a year who is paid biweekly has been saving $38.46 in each paycheck.

This year’s tax break cost the government $111.7 billion in forgone revenue, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.
Your narrative is that Social Security is insolvent but we see that SSA ran a deficit because of a rate cut from 6.2% to 4.2%.

Well, if you cut my income by a third, I'd run a deficit too.

Advocating to privatize the criminal justice system when it's not clear whether it saves money is just blind ideology at play.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,297 posts, read 120,747,599 times
Reputation: 35920
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamBarrow View Post
I know, that's my point.

Some righties however take an absolutist position and dismiss any and all government employment as a complete waste. While not as generally efficient as the private sector, the public sector can be efficient and in some cases such as criminal justice may even be a better option. And in some other cases it may be worth a small loss in efficiency. A for profit criminal justice system would have its caveats.

But yes, on average, government sucks ass because it's not bound by a requirement to be efficient in order to survive.
You have obviously never worked for a public agency, such as a health department. We always had to meet productivity guidlines, e.g. how many patients seen in a day, how many immunizations given, blah, blah, blah.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Columbus
4,877 posts, read 4,507,214 times
Reputation: 1450
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTAtech View Post
1) SSA I guess you missed the payroll tax cut.

Your narrative is that Social Security is insolvent but we see that SSA ran a deficit because of a rate cut from 6.2% to 4.2%.

Well, if you cut my income by a third, I'd run a deficit too.

Advocating to privatize the criminal justice system when it's not clear whether it saves money is just blind ideology at play.
I said last year. 2010.

And advocating the public criminal justice system when it's not clear whether it saves money is just blind ideology at play.
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