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Switch to Forum Live View replacing private companies with public workers to save money
4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2011 - 12:05AM #1
parkin
Posts: 490
New York is seeking to save 41 million dollars by replacing costly private contractors with public workers.

www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/04/03...
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2011 - 8:48AM #2
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

its counter-intuitive


increase competition drive down costs


public employees = less competition

Non Quis, Sed Quid
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2011 - 8:59AM #3
Bodean
Posts: 9,572

And Indiana is slashing cost by contracting services out to the private sector.


So .. which do you believe ... NY is "going to" .. Indiana "has".


Think I'll place my money on what "has" happened .. not what some liberal government "claims will happen.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2011 - 10:53AM #4
Father_Oblivion
Posts: 11,894

Apr 4, 2011 -- 8:48AM, davelaw40 wrote:


its counter-intuitive


increase competition drive down costs


public employees = less competition





Not really. Among utilities, the expense of proper maintenance isn't sacrificed resulting in lower long term operating costs. Privately run utilities commonly cut corners as much as possible. I know this from first hand experience. Publicly run utilities are directly accountable to the voters, while privately owned ones are not and are trying to turn a profit, while that is not one of the goals of a publicly held utility.


I have no reason to think that there is a large difference in other public/privatized fields.

The important thing to remember about American history is that it is fictional, a charcoal-sketched simplicity for the children or the easily bored. For the most part it is uninspected, unimagined, unthought, a representative of the thing and not the thing itself. It is a fine fiction...
Neil Gaiman
'American Gods'

‎"Ignorance of ignorance, then, is that self-satisfied state of unawareness in which man, knowing nothing outside the limited area of his physical senses, bumptiously declares there is nothing more to know! He who knows no life save the physical is merely ignorant; but he who declares physical life to be all-important and elevates it to the position of supreme reality--such a one is ignorant of his own ignorance."
- Manly Palmer Hall
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2011 - 11:01AM #5
Erey
Posts: 18,940

There was a move in my state to replace public workers with private ones.  So alot of the public departments were outsourced to private companies. 


Alot of the reason for this was because the public employees were often very incompetent but could not be fired- or at least could not be fired easily.  They had expensive pensions and their benefit packages were seen as very expensive.  So in that case you could hire a private company more cheaply for what public employees did. 


 


What I am guessing (but don't know for sure) the hiring of public employees to take back some of those functions that are now serviced on behalf of private companies is probably to address some of the politicaly motivated grift.    More and more lately I am seeing grift and private companies will win very lucrative public contracts that will make someone poltiicaly connected a ton of money.  And often it seems to me - especialy I am noticing this in education that politicaly conneted private companies will CREATE problems and of course solutions that the government will hire them to solve.   And of course one ois left to wonder if the governmenet official is getting a kick back. 


So we have this pendulem swing between private and public companies but people are still getting rich. 


Right now we have a higher percentage of public employees than ever before in the history of the US. 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2011 - 11:36AM #6
Fodaoson
Posts: 11,158

Labor, resources facilities equal costs   Labor resources facilities PLUS PROFIT equal higher costs.

“I seldom make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.” Edward Gibbon
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2011 - 11:36AM #7
Captainmarvel
Posts: 765

Its a hoot to see libs say Hooray for more Government workers replacing private workers...THEN complain about lack of Jobs!!! ding dong ding dong

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2011 - 12:41PM #8
vra
Posts: 6,403

Apr 4, 2011 -- 8:48AM, davelaw40 wrote:


its counter-intuitive


increase competition drive down costs


public employees = less competition




Sometimes yes, but sometimes no. Private health-care insurance companies operate at an average of 30% overhead whereas Medicare is roughly 2%, and it's the high private costs that makes our health-care system the most inefficient in the world, and we don't even have universal coverage that the rest of the industrialized world has. 


We have to remember that private companies are in business for profit whereas the public sector isn't.  Where they had saved money previously was because workers were mostly non-union and, therefore received generally less wages and less benefits, plus there was a couple of other factors as well.


Where I live in the Lower, our d.p.w. workers have been private for almost two decades now, but the city is considering going back to public services because of numerous problems we've had, plus there's a question as whether we're getting any cost benefits at all as compared to communities that stayed public.


Blanket statements rarely ever tell the real picture. 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2011 - 12:49PM #9
vra
Posts: 6,403

Apr 4, 2011 -- 11:01AM, Erey wrote:


There was a move in my state to replace public workers with private ones.  So alot of the public departments were outsourced to private companies. 


Alot of the reason for this was because the public employees were often very incompetent but could not be fired- or at least could not be fired easily.  They had expensive pensions and their benefit packages were seen as very expensive.  So in that case you could hire a private company more cheaply for what public employees did. 


 


What I am guessing (but don't know for sure) the hiring of public employees to take back some of those functions that are now serviced on behalf of private companies is probably to address some of the politicaly motivated grift.    More and more lately I am seeing grift and private companies will win very lucrative public contracts that will make someone poltiicaly connected a ton of money.  And often it seems to me - especialy I am noticing this in education that politicaly conneted private companies will CREATE problems and of course solutions that the government will hire them to solve.   And of course one ois left to wonder if the governmenet official is getting a kick back. 


So we have this pendulem swing between private and public companies but people are still getting rich. 


Right now we have a higher percentage of public employees than ever before in the history of the US. 




 


I agree with a great deal of what you wrote above.  Part of the problem in the past especially is that way too often unions forgot their role, and one role they weren't designed to do was to run companies by dictating the rules and making it almost impossible to fire someone.  Much of that has changed, but the change is by no means uniform from city to city.


But a major problem we're seeing repeated over and over again, as you pointed out, is government/business fraud whereas there's kickbacks and lobbying efforts that essentially buy politicians, plus there's sometimes less real supervision of what the companies are doing, and we're seeing that played out right where I'm at now as I mentioned in my last post.  And we've seen much the same with some of the charter schools here in the state whereas they've cheated on the state testing in order to get more government subsidies.   

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2011 - 1:15PM #10
Erey
Posts: 18,940

Thanks Vra,


Right now I am noticing some shaddy stuff in Education.  Last school year 2009-10 they had this district reading program where there were loads of books and there was a methodology to scoring the books and putting the books on a level.  So a simple very early reader book with just a couple of short words per page might be a level 1.  As you would grow in complexity you would add a level.  My child's kinder teacher said she wanted all her kids reading on a minimum level 8 before the end of the year.  Some kids would be much higher.  And this would go through out the grades, when you would get into say level 16 you would get your very simple chapter books - maybe 25 pages with several pictures and a few chapters.  I think the first Harry Potter book was somewhere in the 30's for a level. 


So a child always had several books to choose from and would always try to accomplish the next level up.  It seemed to work.  Granted when this was implemented there were consultants hired and manuals purchased to teach the masses of elementary school teachers how to do this program.  It cost I would think millions of dollars to implement this reading program.  And I am not even talking about the books the children read from.    This program went on for many years and worked well - I would have argued was worth the money to get it set up. 


This year seemingly out of the blue they scrapped that program and started a new program where the children in the same class read the same book.  And all the teachers had to be trained in this new program, consultants had to be hired, manuals had to be purchased, trainings had to be implemented.  Somebody got rich off of this, very, very rich.  I guarantee you the person who sold this new program to the district or to the state of Texas got tremendously rich, and was able to hire close friends and family members to work as advisors.    I think at one time the company that the state of Texas purchased it's text books from was the nephew of Barbara Bush.  And those Text books  going out to hundreds of thousands of students all across Texas and surrounding states (many states just piggy back on what Texas does) were very expensive - 50+ dollars each.   This nephew made a real fortune. 


This happens all the time and right now the state is looking to cut the amount of money spent per student.  I think right now 8K per student per year is spent and they are looking to cut up to 1K for each student.  Which frankly I don't have a problem with.  But they are looking to cut teachers and active student programs.  Not this BS overhead stuff.  


Now a high school I visited a public high school in the parking lot were assigned spaces.


Principal


Associate principal


6 different vice principals - more than one per grade


6 different counselor spaces - again more than one per grade


Get this:


A business manager (WTF) a Financial manager - I am not making this up.  I thought it was the principals job to do these things.


These were the named spaces.

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