Wednesday, March 16, 2011

pray for the thousands lost in Japan

interesting photos here of Japan tsunami aftermath
its possible another quake & more tsunamis might come
or nuclear disaster... but let's hope that doesn't happen

Victor Davis Hansen points out the Fragility of Complex Societies

NY Times has satellite before & after photos here...
please say a prayer for the thousands lost...
In response to Mr. Hansen's article, commenter Praetorian says: "I totally disagree. This is yet another example why private sector, for-profit companies should NOT be allowed to do work that can poison the public and planet. Because of profit incentive, they are bound to cut corners by lowering safety standards, using too few workers, and all the other things everyone sees being done in their own place of work today. The private sector is a complete failure in this area and danger to the environment and humankind. They are also misinforming the public at disasters such as this, the gulf spill, and on and on.

The government, without profit incentive and with verifiable oversight from a publicly elected official, should handle this area. The private sector is fine for making a profit on such things as ice cream cones and widgets but nuclear power, something that impacts us all, is just too much responsibility for them to handle."

But I liked what ETAB had to say in response: "I totally disagree with your view, Praetorian. You start with several unexamined and I believe, totally false, assumptions.

Your first assumption is that the private sector operates ‘for profit’ and that this is, somehow, a bad thing. This unexamined assumption, with its overtone that profit is akin to ‘a sin’ ignores that all societies and all production MUST create wealth or profit. Production in a ‘growth-economy’ must produce more than is consumed. This wealth then returns to the economy in the form of investment: updated machines, research in new methods, more jobs. A society that rejects profit becomes stagnant and even, moves into a depressed and failing economy.

If your production system creates no profit but is simply ‘break-even’ then, the economy cannot invest in growth.

Your declaration that all private companies: ignore safety, cut corners, use ‘too few workers’ (??) is yet another unverified opinion. You are ignoring both govt safety regulations – and – the market. The value of the private market is that the consumer gets to choose between producers. If a private company gets the reputation for shoddy work, poor quality – then, he’ll rapidly find himself out of business. This doesn’t happen in the public service area – where the company or service has no competition!

Your next false and unexamined assumption is that public production is both less costly and safer. As I noted, the key problem with public production of goods and services is the lack of competition. This means that there are no limits to costs; the taxpayer is an open bank – and this is why we see, almost always, that public services overrun stated costs. Indeed, costs always rise when the public service moves in because there are no restrictions to money needs; just get more from the taxpayer!

Then, there is the monopoly effect. Since the consumer has no choice in a market of producers but simply has to accept, and pay for the public service there are no constraints on work quality, work standards, number of workers. The costs explode. And, since the work is not privately owned where the owners/shareholders must balance their budget, then, waste, inefficiency and outright theft increase exponentially. The waste in govt services costs the taxpayer billions every year. I’m sure you are aware of this waste and even, theft.

And we can’t forget the public service unions. These have transformed a focus on the quality of service, to a focus on an elite set of employees. These employees – which must always increase in number, as the union wants to increase its dues and its profits – focus on their own salaries, benefits and pensions. The public service ignores ‘service’ and moves to a focus only on the well-being of these employees. And the union’s profit motive becomes a top priority.

These problems: the problems of increasing costs by public service providers; the issue of waste and theft; the problems of lack of accountability in the quality of these services; the profit motive of the public service unions – has moved more and more governments to privatize services.

ETAB gives me hope America will survive the current socialist attempts at take over...
Let's hope Japan survives their onslaught by mother nature and they avoid a horrible nuclear disaster (even if it might make environmentalists happy by helping future wildlife!)...

I'll be praying for the dead, America and Japan tonight ... better get to it.

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