Private Competition with the Public

The Denver Depressing Newspaper had a column by Ed Quillan about the recent Town Hall held here in Colorado by King Barry I and a comment that was made by one of the questioners of His Messiahness:

“How in the world can a private corporation providing insurance compete with an entity that does not have to worry about making a profit, does not have to pay local property taxes . . . ? How can a company compete with that?”

Of course The Teleprompter-in-Chief had already given his example of Federal Express and UPS competing profitably with the Post Office – except the law is set that they cannot compete with the Post Office in delivering regular type mail directly to the public.  Does anybody think that a) the Post Office will give up this monopoly in order to level the playing field? or b) that the Post Office would stand a chance if Fed Ex and UPS could really compete completely.

What you have with Fed Ex and UPS is a private company that can compete by offering a superior product (actual on-time delivery with the ability to track your packages, etc) which people will pay for in order to get the service they want.  I’m sure Ed can remember the time when you were prevented (not that an option didn’t exist, it was against the law) from sending anything other than with the Post Office.  And it was a drop off and pray that it might show up sometime and maybe would only be slightly crushed.  Track your package? – hear the postal employees laugh at you.

Which is not to say the government can’t learn from competition.  The Post Office does give you tracking and delivery times (well, within a day or two – not up to the level of a FedEx or UPS).  Ed, do you think the PO would have done this on its own?  <gales of laughter>

Then we move on to other examples from Ed:

Water: The cheapest bottled water I saw at the supermarket was the house brand at 99 cents per gallon. The Salida Municipal Utility Department delivers potable water to my kitchen for about 1/6 of a cent per gallon. Private water costs at least 600 times more than public.

So the public was taxed to put in place all the pipelines and infrastructure to deliver water to each house.  And after all that fleecing is done, they can deliver water for 1/6 cent per gallon.  Is the cost of all the infrastructure included in that price?  No – its already paid for.  Would any other water provider be given the right of way to install their own infrastructure to compete with what was already in place?  Of course not.

So instead they compete on a different playing field – bottling the water, marketing it, transporting it, selling it, and making a profit.  The fact that its water in both cases is not really comparing apples to apples.  Now, if the Salida Water Department was willing to compete in bottling and marketing and selling their water – then you would be able to see if the public and private can co-exist.  Again, my money would be on the private company wiping out the public one should that happen.

Education: Private schools (and home schooling) seem to compete just fine these days, despite all the tax support provided to public schools. Even my backwater county has two, one K-8 and the other K-12.

Here we start getting a little closer to a regular comparison,  but there is one little issue.  All those people sending their children to private school or doing it at home are FORCED to pay for the public schools that they don’t even use.  How about rebating back all the property taxes that they must pay – or be sent to jail – and then see how the public and private areas compete?  The public schools would go down the chute – or they would actually have to start educating their students instead of indoctrinating them in ecoNazism and Obama Worship.  But I would expect that most of them would simply go out of business if they had to compete on a level playing field.

Transportation: In cities, private taxis, limousines and shuttle vans co-exist with public buses, subways and streetcars.

Again, the public buses, subways, and streetcars (I guess this means Denver light rail) forcibly extract money from everyone – even those who don’t use the buses, subways or streetcars.  And then they provide horrible service, at inconvenient times, with an ever rising cost, and are continually complaining about how their budget is insufficient and even more must be beaten out of taxpayers.  Most of these “services” are really just pension boondoggles that are run for the convenience of the unions and employees.  Again, want to compete on a level playing field?  Actually have the people who use these systems pay the full cost of what it would take to transport them back and forth?

Again, the private option if it could compete on a truely level playing field would wipe out “public” transportation.  Which is why the government makes sure that a) the costs are hidden by spreading them to the huge number of people who don’t use the service and b) sets monopoly power to ensure there is not competition.

Electricity: Over the years, I have preferred dealing with private providers like Xcel, as opposed to municipal or co-op suppliers. Despite all those scary Reddy Kilowatt ads that I saw in my youth, warning that public power was Bolshevism or worse, the private electrical utilities appear to be thriving.

Can people in Salida actually choose between two different power providers?  Can anybody in America?  It would be interesting if people actually could choose between a government provider which was mandated to have 25% renewables and all the crap that keeps getting piled on electricity generators and a private company that just worked hard to get your electricity at the lowest price they could make a profit on.  Again, want to be who wins?

But the whole false dicotomy set up here, is that in none of these examples mail, transportation, water, electricity is there the government mandate (i.e. do this or go to jail) that is in the health care bills.  You MUST have health insurance or the IRS will deduct it out of your bank account.  Your employer MUST provide health insurance that meets the standards of some government twit or they will be fined 8% of payroll costs.

The fact that they want to stack the deck so that almost all small businesses will just dump their private insurance and pay the 8% fine and have to leave their employees to the tender mercies of the benevolent government bureaucrats.  And that they will then (later of course, the details always come later) tax the crap out of anybody who still has private insurance and force them into the public plan too.

We know that all of the “government” services couldn’t compete with the private sector without the playing field being stacked in the government’s favor.  And we also know that the public health option will be exactly the same thing.

And putting the actual control of life and death in the hands of a government–any government–isn’t freedom.  Its serfdom.

P.S.  Being a good liberal Ed had to snark at the start and end of his article about the guy who asked the question:

The student, Zach Lahn, was an aide to state Sen. Greg Brophy, a Wray Republican, although he did not so identify himself.

Apparently only Democrat aides and plants and ACORN members get to identify themselves as they wish (and he is a college student), not Republicans.  And then the lovely hit at religion:

To address Zach Lahn’s question, private companies do find profitable ways to compete with public options. Now here’s a question for him. On Twitter, he identifies himself as a “determined Christian conservative.” So where in the Bible does the Gospel-writer Luke, a physician, criticize Jesus for unfairly competing by healing a woman who “had suffered under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse,” as well as the blind, lame and leprous, all at no charge?

Jesus also didn’t demand that 50% of your money which is what we know “free” healthcare will cost us through the government.  You know they are down to the bottom of the barrel when liberals start talking about Jesus.  I mean as a positive thing.

Trojan House: New poster-child of solar failure

Yeah, but shouldn’t the first clue of failure have been the very idea of building an 800 square-foot house in Troy, MI that cost $900,000 — that is, $1,125 per square foot? The median price of homes in Troy is about $159,000 and that’s for an 1,800 sq. ft home — about $88 per square foot.

Even if the solar system hadn’t malfunctioned, who in their right mind would consider the house a success?

I suppose it’s fitting that this tragi-comedy occurred in a place called Troy — the greens are trying to deceive us in adopting their nutty policies and goofy technologies with a Trojan House.

Beware of greens bearing grifts.

clipped from greenhellblog.wordpress.com
It was supposed to be a shining example of the green movement — a completely independent solar-powered house with no gas or electrical hookups.
Seven months ago, officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the $900,000 house owned by the city of Troy that was to be used as an educational tool and meeting spot.
But it never opened to the public. And it remains closed.
Frozen pipes during the winter caused $16,000 in damage to floors, and city officials aren’t sure when the house at the Troy Community Center will open…
“The system was designed to kick a heater on to keep water from freezing,” [the superintendent of parks for the city] said. “The heater drew all reserve power out of the battery causing the system to back down and the pipes froze.”

blog it

Failed President-Elect

Although everyone knows that President-elect Barack Obama walks on water, heals the sick, and raises the dead – it really must be said.  The Obama Presidential-elect administration is the most failed President-electiony in our nation’s history.

Just to recap a few of the lowlights:

  • Obama resigned his Senate seat without paying off that little hair-thug Blago to appoint someone who he has officially blessed.  And now that whole situation has run so far out of control some un-approved black man has been turned away at the Senate doors.  What is Harry Reid – the reincarnation of George Wallace?  And what is up with Fitzgerald?  I mean where are the indictments you dummy?

    Hey Barry - A mill for a Senate seat isn't that much

    Hey Barry - A mill for a Senate seat isn't that much

  • The one Hispanic upon whom the Blessed Gaze has been bestowed ends up with dirty hands and heaven knows what other money from a bunch of municipal bond underwriters.  Why in the world Richardson thought he could brazen through to a Cabinet position with that kind of sin upon his soul is something that he will have to Answer For!  But now it seems that all those 65 page questionnaires are just so much tissue paper.  Everybody who filled one out now knows that all they did was put all their dirt into the hands of politicians who will use it to their personal advantage.  Can you see this is why the cabinet is just Clinton retreads?  Their souls are already sold and in the testicticular lockboxes.

    Sorry - I don't know this person

    Sorry - I don't know this person

  • And now it turns out that this municipal bond turd who messed up Richardson gave the President-elect campaign $30,000.  Of course, this is only another distraction and The Most Holy and Chosen One has absolutely no knowledge that this contribution was from somebody who might have the audacity to give bribes to people who would send him business. Well, He could have found this out if He wanted to, but for a measly 30K?  Come on – that’s peanuts in a $1 billion operation.

    money_dollar_bricks

    Money Makes Presidents

  • And the choice of Leon Peanuts as CIA director is being questioned?  By Democrats?  The Wrath of the Holy One will soon be coming to those with the temerity to question His judgement.

    obama-christ

    Behold The Word Of The Chosen One

How can all these issues be just swept under the rug?  We simply have to pass judgement and call this Presidency-elect thingy failed.

Talking About Hunting Is Verboten

Just when you think the weenie factor of Vermont couldn’t get any higher, there is this:

BENNINGTON — Saying their son was “silenced” by his teacher for talking about hunting in the classroom, the parents of a fourth-grade student at North Bennington Graded School took their son out of school and have taken their case to the local school board.

Jared Harrington’s mother, Wendy Bordwell, and his father, Martin Harrington, removed their son from school with 10 days left in the school year and home-schooled the 10-year-old boy.

I think they might be on to something about their kid being singled out by the teacher:
Bordwell said in a telephone interview that she believed her son was “singled out” by Kathleen Backus, Jared’s teacher, while talking about hunting with a schoolmate.

Bordwell said that, during snack time, Jared was discussing the recent spring turkey hunting season with a classmate when Backus interrupted the conversation, insisting that there be no talk of “killing” in her classroom.

“The breaking point for us, his parents, came when Jared was sharing a conversation during his free period snack time at school. He was talking with a friend about the recent spring 2008 turkey season. Both boys had been out hunting with their dads and Jared was asking his friend where he had gotten his first turkey.
“Jared’s teacher covered her ears, trying to block the conversation, and singing ‘la la la la.’ When asked by another school employee about her odd behavior, the teacher claimed she did not want to hear about the boys and their ‘killing.’ The boys were left feeling that they were not legitimate hunters, but ‘killers’ in the eyes of an important authority figure in their lives,” Bordwell said.

What?  I can't hear you.  La La La La La

What? I can't hear you. La La La La La

What a wonderful and adult thing for a teacher to do.  Standing around with her fingers in her ears.  It seems like his parents made a good choice to home school their child.  After all, this supposed adult only retaliated against an 11 year old boy by:


After Jared’s parents decided to take up the matter with the school board, Backus assigned 137 pages of homework for the boy.
Especially with this little zinger from the school principal:

School Principal Thomas Martin said he is confident the administration and the school board “can reach a reasonable understanding” among the parties involved in the matter.
“It’s not a huge issue,” Martin said in an interview. “Marty is a good kid and Kathleen is a good teacher. The focus is on the kid. We want to try to meet his needs. Kathy cares a great deal about kids. She’s troubled a great deal about this.”

Martin said the issue is neither “black and white or right and wrong. It’s more complicated than that. It’s brushing up against a number of things that are important to a lot of people and issues relating to the classroom. Emotions start to feed into it when people’s belief systems come into play,” he said.

Defending this teacher by saying this issue isn’t right or wrong?  There’s the American education system bringing down our civilization.

Gaming the System

Here’s how the educrats in Sacramento make it look like they are actually doing their jobs:

Will C. Wood Middle School faced a vexing situation when last year’s test results came out in August. Most students had met the mark set by No Child Left Behind. But African American students’ math scores fell far short of it, bringing the school into failing status in the eyes of the federal law.

One hundred students were categorized as black when they took the test last spring. But if the school had fewer than 100 students in that group, their low scores wouldn’t count. So Principal Jim Wong reviewed the files of all the students classified as African American on the test, he said, and found that four of them had indicated no race or mixed race on their enrollment paperwork. Wong sent his staff to talk to the four families to ask permission to put the kids in a different racial group.

“You get a kid that’s half black, half white. What are you going to put him down as?” Wong said. “If one kid makes the difference and I can go white, that gets me out of trouble.”

Over the past two years, 80 California schools got “out of trouble” with No Child Left Behind after changing the way they classify their students, a Bee analysis has found. The changes nudged their status from failing to passing under the federal law.

Of course, the obvious solution of actually teaching these children how to count and multiply and divide is not even considered. And apparently the families of these poor ignorant students have no problems with the whole process either. Instead of the outrage of “why aren’t you actually correcting the problem and making sure my son/daughter can perform to standards” they shrug their shoulders. Which is also why their kids are destined to be the garbage workers of tomorrow.

the point of No Child Left Behind lies in separating test scores by race – then demanding educators bring all children to the same level. The law says all major demographic groups – categorized by race, income, English fluency and disability status – must meet test score targets that increase over time. If one group doesn’t meet the target, the entire school faces the stigma of low performance and a series of consequences.

Advocates see the consequences as extra help for struggling students – from after-school tutoring to more time in the classroom to a change in teachers. Many educators, however, view them as punishment.

Yeah, that whole actually doing your job thing interferes with summer holiday doesn’t it? Because the story notes that before NCLB schools could pass their overall test levels and let the blacks and Latinos stew in their stupidity. But the punishment (their word not mine) of working to bring their students up to standard is a lot harder than just calling them something they are not and then not having to do anything about it.

Just when will black parents start demanding something better? About the time that they quit having children at 13 and start actually being families again – instead of serial wombs for the next drug-dealing punk.

Hard Work

I think you can just about characterize anyone’s views and outlook depending on how they respond to this statement from Bookwormroom:

America is far from perfect, but it does a better job than any society ever created at ensuring that everyone who works hard has a chance to succeed.

If you get some horrified look at the very suggestion that America is good or if you start getting hemming and hawing about the wonders of Cuba and its free medical care – in either case you know that you are dealing with someone who has been successful in America but doesn’t want anybody else to have that opportunity.  Someone who hates the freedom that America represents to the world.  Somebody who believes that what some twit in Germany or France thinks about our country is more important than what we ourselves believe.

Why does hard work contribute to success in America?  For one thing we try to make sure everybody has the tools to succeed.  Take education as an example:

The goal of the conservative is to ensure that even those who do not start out with many advantages can succeed if they work hard.  For example, free public schools are a conservative invention.   They are a statement that every child, no matter how poor, will have access to the basic tools of success.  Granted, some schools are better than others, but the biggest difference between school isn’t funding, or materials, or the quality of teachers.  The biggest difference is the students.  Students in successful schools work harder than students in unsuccessful schools.  They arrive at school every day, ready to work hard and learn.  Compare absenteeism and drop-out rates in successful schools and unsuccessful schools and you’ll see what I mean.  Even in our worst public schools, the student who works hard and tries to learn will learn and will obtain the tools necessary to succeed in life.

Now we are not talking about equality of outcome – merely equality of opportunity.  It is up to the individual to take advantage of the freedom in America.

Conservatives teach to the test.  Liberals teach, uh, unearned self-esteem.  Conservatives reward accomplishment.  Liberals reward, uh, breathing.  Conservatives reward hard work.  Liberals denigrate hard work.  Conservatives believe you earn the right to move on to the next grade by passing the test.  Liberals beliieve in social promotion and would rather eliminate the test.  Conservatives don’t give a hoot about things like skin color, religion, and gender that have nothing to do with accomplishment.  Liberals are obcessed with skin color, religion, gender, etc.  Conservatives abhor discrimination.  Liberals eagerly discriminate against white males (God help the person who by unhappy circumstance is born a poor white male in American — he has all of the handicaps that accompany poverty but lives in a society that assumes he is rich and punishes him for being white and male).

And in the end, rewarding hard work is only practical:

Conservativism is more practical than liberalism, too.  Societies that reward hard work have always been more successful than societies that do not.  Why?  Because most people simply will not work all that hard if they see the rewards for their labor taken from them and given to someone who did not work at all.  They recognize the unfairness of this at a gut level, and ultimately, rebel by not working so hard.

As real-world examples like Russia and Cuba and Maoist China have shown.

So do you believe in Hard Work?