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.

Leftists Edwards Defenses

Just going to try and keep track of the stupidest that I find.

Let’s start with the “everybody in America is a cheat” theme:

You see, John Edwards may be unique in having had the opportunity to run for president of the United States, but his affair puts him on a par with the majority of the American public. The fact that we stop to gawk at him underscores our similarity to a herd of zebras, while our holier-than-thou looks of disdain uncover our propensity for self-forgiving double standards.

Yeah.  Right.  A majority of Americans have cheated on their spouses?  I call Barbra Striesand on that one.  And while we know that Democrat Presidents cheating on their wives is standard – its the whole “elect me President because my wife is dying of cancer” meme that he ran his whole campaign on that gives this a bit more of the hypocrite stink than normal.  As in high-diving into the cesspit and drinking deeply.

Of course there is the ‘nothing personal should be reported‘ theme:

Speaking only for myself- who cares? What people do in their personal lives is between them and the other people in their personal lives.

Wouldn’t it be better if we all stood together and said he never should have been asked about it in the first place? That it shouldn’t be a political factor? That it’s up to us to try to change that dynamic? As long as we are afraid of and submit to the politics of personal lives, we allow such politics to persist and prevail.

Unless the personal life is one that is of a conservative, of course.  But sure – why don’t you just go ahead and change all of humanity so nobody cares about other people’s personal lives.  Why don’t you get Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Paris Hilton working on that one?  But then, who would give a crap about these airheads if people didn’t obsess about other people’s personal lives.  Maybe one of those things that people do?

And knowing how you live your personal life does tend to give some insight in how you will conduct your professional one.  As in Clinton would throw anyone and anything over the side in order to further his personal power – whereas George W Bush has stuck to his view on Iraq regardlesss of how much you liars beat him up?

The ever-popular – its all HER fault defense:

Monday’s CBS Early Show, came up with a list of excuses for John Edwards cheating on his wife, including co-host Harry Smith suggesting that the woman Edwards had the affair with, Rielle Hunter, targeted the former Senator: “This woman in question has a very interesting history…knowing her as this kind of bar fly who had this kind of crazy past… From reading everything I read it seemed to me that she targeted Edwards.”

it was the fault of the cancer defense:

In the later segment, during the 7:30am half hour, Smith talked to psychologists Robi Ludwig, from Cookie magazine, and Frank Farley, from Temple University. Smith began by posing the question: “Why do politicians like John Edwards risk their careers by having extramarital affairs?” Ludwig decided to blame Elizabeth Edwards’s cancer: “What was the trigger? So I wonder if there was something about his wife’s illness that somehow got him to cheat or contributed at least.”

the “he was afraid of losing his wife” defense:

Ludwig replied: “Well, you know, I think that we get so caught up in good or bad, you know. Is somebody a good person or a bad person. Cheating is wrong…But I think that there are multiple factors. Was he doing it because he had a fear of losing his wife? I mean, there are lots of different reasons.” Smith then conceded: “No, I hear that…there may be legitimacy to that.”

the “he just couldn’t help himself” defense:

“It’s possible he couldn’t stop himself, in the sense. You know? The career of politics involves all sorts of change, variety, novelty, risk, uncertainty. They tend to be natural rule-breakers, these — the folks who go in there, you know. If they followed the strict rules, they’d have a 9:00 to 5:00 ordinary job.”

Then there is the “no big deal” defense:

you’d think JE was the first politician to have an affair, when they’ve been doing it for thousands of years.

Is it wrong? Yes. Does it erase all the good things about JE? No.

He’s not evil. He just made a huge mistake. It’s one he should have to pay consequences for, but it’s certainly not an unforgivable sin.

It’s just a mistake.  Like when you are driving down the road and you take the wrong turn.  And then you actively seek out some blonde bimbo, take off her clothes and have sex with her and create a baby and lie to your wife and family and country and pay her hush money and get your aide to say he’s the father and pay heaven knows how much money to this tart to get HER to refuse to take a DNA test so the lie on the child will not come back to you.  Just a mistake like that.