Feeling What Gov. Galt Is Teaching

Gov. Scott visits the Port of Jacksonville - V

Rick Scott visits the port of Jacksonville

As I suspected, Gov. Medicare Fraud is proving quite the object lesson.

A new poll, overly weighted to 2008 McCain voters, by the way, has the good guv at 32-55 approval-disapproval. In hypothetical rematch with Alex Sink, he would lose 56-37.

And he hasn’t even done anything yet, really. That’s what funny. He may well become my favorite governor ever. He makes my arguments better than I ever could. As I told y’all a long time ago, my favorite aphorism is those who will not learn will be made to feel.

I wonder how many times this conversation has happened in the last month:

“Hold on, Mabel, he wants to do what?”

“Yes, that.”

“But we’re not leeches. I didn’t think he’s come after us.”

“I know, it’s so unfair.”

Probation officers and corrections workers may be the next batch of folks confronting the realities of class war conservatism. Mass privatization coming your way, fueled by J.D.

Here’s the key lesson: In Gov. Galt’s particular brand of Randism, there are few Dagny Taggarts. And you ain’t one of them. Trust me, you’re just a looter like me.

Creative Commons License image credit: Jaxport

18 thoughts on “Feeling What Gov. Galt Is Teaching

  1. Just yesterday I was walking my dog and happened to overhear a firefighter who lives in my neighborhood complaining to another individual that “we’re not getting the overtime we used to…”

    Why do we need these jobs to be government jobs? How does that add to the efficiency of the service that they provide? Private workers can’t be heroic or diligent?

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in this report (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf) only one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs is a common government job, sanitation worker. If dangerous jobs warrant the generous nature of government pensions and benefits, perhaps we should bring fishermen, loggers, and roofers into the government payroll.

    It’s high time we stopped looking at government jobs as somehow providing something special. They’re just services like any other and deserve the Darwinian competition of the free market to ensure that hard won resources are spent as efficiently as possible.

    Now, before anyone runs off with it, I’m not knocking the people who currently perform these services as government workers. Firefighting and policing in particular require an acceptance of danger and a willingness to be of service, however I attribute that spirit to the individuals rather than their employer.

  2. Uhhhh, because the loyalty of private company running your fire department or jail or whatever is to its owners/shareholders getting paid. While the loyalty of the government, ultimately, is to voters.

    Privatization of most government functions has been a resounding, corrupt failure: see private prisons, see Blackwater, see Jeb Bush’s failed child protective services efforts. It’s a license to steal no matter what your unobservant fantasies about what the private sector can do can tell you.

  3. 200 years ago we had private fire departments and they watched houses burn if the owner couldn’t afford to pay them to put the fire out. That’s why we went to public services. Of course those like Gov Felon who refuse to understand history are doomed to repeat it — and screw us in the bargain!

    Certain functions are inherently governmental and shouldn’t be privatized — period! In almost all other cases, saving money by privatizing turns out to be a sick joke that’s VERY expensive to fix.

  4. Ha! Government fire departments never do that??

    http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/local/Firefighters-watch-as-home-burns-to-the-ground-104052668.html

    Check out the California hills where residents have turned to private fire departments to protect their property because the government workers can’t do it all.

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-07-27/news/17173631_1_private-firefighters-forest-service-firefighter-wildfires

    At least you could SUE the private fire department that didn’t live up to their contract. If your city or county firemen watch it burn, oh well, I hope your homeowner’s coverage is complete.

  5. For any example you care to share of private failures, I can likey show you two government failures. If failure is the option, I’d opt to save 20-30% on the same failed service, but I don’t believe it has to come to that. Many states are privatizing many different services and as you should know, the devil is in the contracting details. Most are doing it quite successfully and admittedly others are struggling. I’d also bet a fair penny that failures in the private sector are handled faster than in the public sector.

    Governments and their bureaucracies are by their very nature inneficient and wasteful. Look at how great Japan’s doing with their recovery! You’d think with all those smart people planning away, things would be moving right along. Unfortunately, little things like gasoline management seem to be beyond them and people are waiting DAYS for gasoline when there’s millions of gallons of the stuff just a few hundred miles away in the same country and pleny of trucks to transport it. Go figure, eh?

    BTW, my wife was part of that HRS transition period as a child abuse investigator so I know a bit about it from her. It’s a largely thankless job that is mostely only noted for its failures.

  6. “Governments and their bureaucracies are by their very nature inneficient and wasteful.”

    I don’t know what your qualifications to much an outlandish statement are — but I can tell you from first-hand experience that you’re dead wrong. Unfortunately, it recent years, we’ve had some pretty bad examples at all levels of government. And government gets of public scrutiny that private companies don’t — so we tend to see the bad governmental things disproportionately in comparison to the private sector. There are probably limited cases where it makes sense to contract rather than perform a function in-house. But I’d bet most of those are in areas where the gov’t overextended it’s reach into non-governmental functions in the first place — at least that was my experience for over 30 years.

  7. Check out some economists who aren’t name “Krugman”…

  8. “Check out some economists who aren’t name “Krugman”… ”

    I read Krugman frequently and agree with a lot of what he has to say. But, my personal experience and observation in government and private sectors over a good many years still affirms that your contention that ” Governments are … wasteful” is dead wrong.

    Unfortunately words have consequences — and one of the consequences of politicians hammering the public with how bad the government is for the last 30 or so years is that it’s become somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. We elect idiots, thieves, and scoundrels — but expect them govern wisely and in our best interests. Insane! Current governor is a case in point. Remember, in this country, we are the government. So if you don’t trust it, like, or believe in; look in the mirror. We have seen the enemy and he is us!

  9. If “we are the government” why then does government so frequently work against us? I’m part of the majority that didn’t want government healthcare, but we got it anyway.

    Anyway Al, it’s been fun but I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Just remember this at some future point when they’re asking for more money to solve another problem that they’ve created…

  10. Yep, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    Last word: I already told you what they problem is — us! We elect sleaze bags and then act surprised by what we get (look at Tallahassee). We can only turn out a minority of people to vote even though you don’t even have to go to the polls in FL. And worse, we’ve become so lazy that we listen to dogma instead of critically examining the facts and making rational decisions about who/what to vote for or against. So, now we’re headed for an era of undoing all the public services and consumer protections put in place over the last century or so in favor of “privatization” so our kids (or grand kids) can re-fight the same battles to restore what used to be to be best standard of living on the planet. I’ve lived in third-world countries and it scalds me to see us headed that way while cheerfully digging the hole deeper and chanting meaning slogans like “smaller gov’t.” and ” “The private sector can do it better …” while the same people vote for gov’t inference in the most personal of life’s events — like end of life decision and whether or not to become parents. We’ve become a nation of frustrated lemmings rushing for the cliff!

  11. Waaaah. She only got noted for her failures. Amazing how quickly the skeptically enlightened can drop into skeptical enlightenment when it’s their wife whose ox is being gored. As far your Randian ilk is concerned, she was just another incompetent, lazy, government or government-funded employee. No reason for her job to even exist. So don’t complain when it gets turned on you.

  12. So maybe if the sleaze we elected had less power over us, might that not be a good thing?

    (really, this is the last I’ll say on this) :-)

  13. If all you have left are insults, I guess I win this round.

  14. What would be a good thing is for us to start acting like the kinds of responsible citizens that the Founders depended on when they set our form of government — and if the children in the legislature and the governor’s office understood what “checks and balances” means and quit screwing with the court system.

    And why we start “less power over us” with elimination of gov’t interference in medical and moral issues over end of life and abortion decisions best left to the people involved. Or we could start by eliminating compulsory prayer at public gov’t meetings. So yes, let’s limit the gov’t’s power over things it has no place in –by all means. :-)

    Yep we’ll agree to disagree.

  15. I’m curious what you regard as an insult in what I wrote.

    Now, if I called you a troll, who responds to arguments no one one makes with faux libertarian platitudes and non-sequitors, who displays no capability or inclination to distinguish between silly abstraction and the actual world around him and yet calls himself “Skeptical Enlightenment” in wondrous burst of obliviousness, that might be an insult.

    As it was, I simply accurately described the way people of your moral and ideological suasion look at your wife when they are not married to her.

  16. Are you OK Billy? You don’t sound like you’re in a happy place right now.

    As for the other, “Objection your Honor, the prosecution is presuming facts not in evidence!”

    Who mentioned any failures on the part of my wife? I was referring to the news stories about lost and abused children who were in the care of DCF. Child abuse investigations has got to be the worst job ever. You really get introduced to evil when you meet a child for the first time with cigarette burns or sexual trauma. Children that nobody outside the home could have helped because no one outside knew what was going on. To have to live the knowledge that bad things happen to innocents and there’s nothing you can do to stop it before it happens. Thankless job indeed. You wind up removing kids from their familiar, though seriously deranged, environments and the child wants to return to the familiarity of the abuse rather than deal with the unknowns of a new, but non-abusive placement situation. Can you even imagine that? “No honey, you can’t go home to mommy and daddy. You have to go live with these new people who will care for you now.”

    I’ve got family who work in county and state government jobs. I hear their stories at family gatherings of what goes on inside the various agencies where they work. I have personal experience with the inner workings of State Attorney’s offices, Clerk’s of the Court, Child Support Enforcement, and other agencies. I can’t honestly say MOST government workers are lazy and incompetent, I can only vouch for the many I’ve personally met and experienced who were incompetent or were performing needless jobs competently. Maybe they were all statistical outliers, unrepresentative of the workforce as a whole. Maybe… Combine that with the plethora of stories that even the left-leaning press is willing to print and it has led me to the view that government workers are indeed inefficient. Factor in pay and benefits now by and large greater than that for private workers and I think you have a great tragedy for taxpayers.

    As a libertarian, I don’t believe in the anarchist ideal of a stateless society. I believe there are proper sphere’s for government in defense, the courts, and maybe even policing. We can have great and riotous arguments over where to draw those lines, but I believe that when government has grown to the point were it consumes half or more of GDP we have an absolute problem that will only get worse.

    “Who’s that tripping over my bridge?”

  17. See, can’t even answer my question. I asked you how I insulted you — and then told you how I might insult you if I actually had. For rugged individualists, libertarians sure are quick to go the fainting chair when somebody treats them mean.

    Anyway, “as a libertarian,” you mostly believe in outsized sense of your own importance–as evidenced by the ridiculous pseudonym you give yourself–and the lousiness of everyone else who is breathing air you might be breathing. You don’t bother to learn anything, you just spout things things that have no meaning, like: “I don’t believe in the anarchist ideal of a stateless society”. Whatever.

    Go ahead and see if you can get Al to feed you. I’m done.

  18. I didn’t feel insulted Billy, I just pointed out you were trying to be insulting.

    I’ll leave it to others to judge the tone and content of your posts rather than pointing out the obvious.

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