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swansont
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When taxes are used for programs funded strictly publicly, I think taxpayers get a better price and more focus on the specific aims of the program. Infrastructure programs almost always involve private companies and cost us more than anywhere else in the world because of it. Education is still mostly publicly funded, but we see how they've privatized school lunch programs so profit is maximized rather than nutrition guidelines. As for security, we've all heard the stories of privatization in the military, where contractors are paid ludicrous sums so soldiers don't have to peel potatoes or work in the motor pool, the $75 disposable meal trays, and other examples where our publicly funded "security" is making money for private companies whose priority is making money. Armies run on a business model have no choice but to grow, and justify their need to ALWAYS get bigger.

Sometimes makes sense factoring in the cost of a soldier. Training, benefits, recruiting cost. The pay is low, but everything else adds up.

 

$75 dollar trays?

 

I've seen disposables used for water conservation. Not sure of cost though.

 

We could skimp on some of the training exercises or pay however much to bring water out there though.

 

 

I do agree, our government employing PMCs to be foolhardy. Think we would have learned from Pinkerton :/

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I think they are mainly a problem of the influence of donor money on the election system. You've privatized the institution, so it's no longer taxation involved. But there's still incentive to make the justice system feed the private prison system, independent of taxes.

I use to but no longer believe that. Between forums like this, Facebook, Twitter, and people I personally know I witnessed hundreds of people who voted for Donald Trump despite having acknowledged he should not be President for a long list of reasons. People who insisted prior to him winning the party nomination they'd never support him yet fell right in line once he did. Put who openly acknowledge every policy position he had was a lie. They Supported him not because they were misinformed or bought into his lies but for other more absurd and less excusable reasons.

 

Sure there is corporate media bias and all that but in my opinion uniformed people have themselves to blame. They abdicate there responsibility to society. In 2017 with the internet people have 24/7 access to facts and information. Society has never had more access to the truth than it does today. I can't blame corperations for people not taking things like climate change serious. Plenty of quality info is out there. Many people, at the individual level, simply do not care.

 

Yes, there are country in this world which do a better job servicing their people but those countries tend to be less diverse enthically and religiously. Societies that have things which divide identity tend to always have a punitive wing or group, typically calling themselves conservatitive, within their governments. The need to punish and cast out identities differfent from there own become top priorities for members of that wing. Whether is it Sunni vs Shiite, White vs Black, Muslim vs Jew, Christian vs Muslim, or etc those petty identity wedges take precedence in the hearts of millions. Create attitudes where people rather burn the whole place down than see it changed. And that spirit long pre-dates corporatism.

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$75 dollar trays?

 

I've seen disposables used for water conservation. Not sure of cost though.

 

We could skimp on some of the training exercises or pay however much to bring water out there though.

 

I remember the story during the Iraq war. KBR, Halliburton's division for military services, was charging the US $75 for each disposable plastic tray used by the troops. Because of desert conditions, they were encouraged to use two trays, one as a cover to protect from sand.

 

In 2005, Halliburton was found to have ripped off the US military for incredible sums. In 2007, they were given another $150B no-bid contract. Public money, spent on public defense, enriching the private sector.

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I remember the story during the Iraq war. KBR, Halliburton's division for military services, was charging the US $75 for each disposable plastic tray used by the troops. Because of desert conditions, they were encouraged to use two trays, one as a cover to protect from sand.

 

In 2005, Halliburton was found to have ripped off the US military for incredible sums. In 2007, they were given another $150B no-bid contract. Public money, spent on public defense, enriching the private sector.

Ah, okay.

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This isn't new.

I still remember the 1980s stories of Lockheed Martin charging the Air Force $300 for a 'specialty' adjustable wrench to use on their planes, and Boeing likewise charging the Air Force $600 for toilet seats in the AWACS ( E-3 Sentry aircraft ).

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This isn't new.

I still remember the 1980s stories of Lockheed Martin charging the Air Force $300 for a 'specialty' adjustable wrench to use on their planes, and Boeing likewise charging the Air Force $600 for toilet seats in the AWACS ( E-3 Sentry aircraft ).

 

So are you saying this is something bad that's been going on far too long and should be stopped, or are you saying it's all part of the normal market/public/military/industrial dynamic and will never change so why worry? Or did you have a different argument behind "This isn't new"?

 

Don't you agree that it's partly ripoff deals between public monies and private contractors that lead to people who dislike paying taxes? We have whittled things down to those who agree that taxes are necessary, I think. Do you think this old behavior helps people support paying their fair share of taxes?

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Definitely a rip-off that's been going on far too long, that unfortunately will never stop.

You see it in daily life also; a contractor will do private work for a certain price, but if doing similar/equivalent work for the municipality, they 'pad' the bill because the municipality has deeper pockets. Or the price a business pays for computers/office supplies as compared to a private person.

They do it because they can.

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Interesting, .

There's certainly evidence that a contractor working for "the government" will pad their bills- because "the government can afford it".
They do the same when working for large companies.

 

So, if there was a discussion about the efficiency of having some service- say road building, for a community - provided by a municipality or by a company on behalf of the community, the contractor would rip off both groups (because, as you say, "they can"), and it wouldn't really affect the outcome of the discussion.

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Don't you agree that it's partly ripoff deals between public monies and private contractors that lead to people who dislike paying taxes? We have whittled things down to those who agree that taxes are necessary, I think. Do you think this old behavior helps people support paying their fair share of taxes?

If freely elected officials make these deals is it still a rip-off? While I hating seeing govt money exploited by wealthy contractors other people hate seeing food stamps given to families in need. There are tens of millions of voters which would rather see govt money be spent on bloated arms deals than healthcare. Sadly enough people support the military industrial complex and our criminal justice industrial complex that their advocates successfully win elections. So popular are those institutions that no successful politician I can think of here in the U.S. campaigns outright on cutting either. The lanuage is a little different on each end of the spectrum but the common message is always bigger, stronger, and privatization will or could help accomplish X, Y, and Z.

 

We have the govt we elect. It is that simply. Trump bragged that not paying taxes makes him smart and that he planned to significantly increase military spending and wants to privatize many more prisons and schools. Not just Trump but Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, and etc. There is a segment of our (USA) population, a large segment, that simply doesn't care. They rather see contractors get rich than see a single person exploit a social program. Better to give billions to Academi (formerly known as Black Water) than see a single person exploit food stamps by using them to buy cigarettes or whatever. It is voters who must change. It is voters who are currently to blame for the govt they have.

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Many private companies bankrupted after having deal with government.

It goes f.e. this way: there is auction, who will give the smallest price for building something for government, is getting contract. Couple years contract.

If price is final, include labor cost, include cost of purchase of building materials f.e. concrete.

Many years later labor cost is going up (especially after pressure from strong trade unions, or unexpected inflation),

cost of construction materials, concrete is going up (because of higher demand for it in the country which is heavily investing and modernizing)

and initial bid is not even enough for returning costs. Add to it, bank loans and there is huge chance of bankruptcy..

Edited by Sensei
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Definitely a rip-off that's been going on far too long, that unfortunately will never stop.

You see it in daily life also; a contractor will do private work for a certain price, but if doing similar/equivalent work for the municipality, they 'pad' the bill because the municipality has deeper pockets. Or the price a business pays for computers/office supplies as compared to a private person.

They do it because they can.

 

 

Interesting, .

There's certainly evidence that a contractor working for "the government" will pad their bills- because "the government can afford it".

They do the same when working for large companies.

 

So, if there was a discussion about the efficiency of having some service- say road building, for a community - provided by a municipality or by a company on behalf of the community, the contractor would rip off both groups (because, as you say, "they can"), and it wouldn't really affect the outcome of the discussion.

 

There are certian projects that only the government is the customer for and as such no cost comparison for what those projects would have cost a private customer. No private customer has commissioned a nuclear aircraft carrier or multi thousand miles of interstate. Maybe costs would be less but that is purely theoretical. In my experience it is an exaggeration when people say everything costs the govt more. It all depends on the context. The govt is the only purchaser of various things. Separately private projects have cost overages and deadline failure too. A personal example, I purchase a condo during construction that was due to be completed and ready to live in by June of 2016 but that didn't happen. I wasn't able to move in till March of this year. The builders fell behind. If it was a govt build than we'd be calculating in the costs of housing everyone elsewhere for those 10 months and the whole project would be way over budget.

 

I am not saying waste doesn't happen, it does. My point is there is waste in everything. Countless private companies have failed to thrive or folded because of bad deals and waste too. Government spending is not somehow inferior or worse.

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If freely elected officials make these deals is it still a rip-off? While I hating seeing govt money exploited by wealthy contractors other people hate seeing food stamps given to families in need. There are tens of millions of voters which would rather see govt money be spent on bloated arms deals than healthcare. Sadly enough people support the military industrial complex and our criminal justice industrial complex that their advocates successfully win elections. So popular are those institutions that no successful politician I can think of here in the U.S. campaigns outright on cutting either. The lanuage is a little different on each end of the spectrum but the common message is always bigger, stronger, and privatization will or could help accomplish X, Y, and Z.

 

We have the govt we elect. It is that simply. Trump bragged that not paying taxes makes him smart and that he planned to significantly increase military spending and wants to privatize many more prisons and schools. Not just Trump but Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, and etc. There is a segment of our (USA) population, a large segment, that simply doesn't care. They rather see contractors get rich than see a single person exploit a social program. Better to give billions to Academi (formerly known as Black Water) than see a single person exploit food stamps by using them to buy cigarettes or whatever. It is voters who must change. It is voters who are currently to blame for the govt they have.

If I give you my cow to sell at market and you read it for a handful of beans that turn out to be decidedly not magical, the fact that I freely chose you to be my representative in the transaction doesn't make it not a rip-off.

 

And if the buy slipped you $50 on the side, I'm still getting ripped off.

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If I give you my cow to sell at market and you read it for a handful of beans that turn out to be decidedly not magical, the fact that I freely chose you to be my representative in the transaction doesn't make it not a rip-off.

 

And if the buy slipped you $50 on the side, I'm still getting ripped off.

And what if you chose to do this over and over and over? At what point is it your own fault for continuing to chose me to represent you?

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And what if you chose to do this over and over and over? At what point is it your own fault for continuing to chose me to represent you?

If you keep doing it, and I keep picking you to be my representative then it's my own fault that I'm being ripped off, but it's still a rip-off.

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If you keep doing it, and I keep picking you to be my representative then it's my own fault that I'm being ripped off, but it's still a rip-off.

Which is my point. The needed course correction here is with voters.

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If you keep doing it, and I keep picking you to be my representative then it's my own fault that I'm being ripped off, but it's still a rip-off.

 

What if the people behind the rip-off also control your ability to hear about a better representative? Is it still your fault?

 

There may be better choices the magic bean men are hiding from you. I don't think it's your fault entirely.

Which is my point. The needed course correction here is with voters.

 

But the ones who could effect change aren't being allowed. Isn't this a lot like the "Get a job if you're poor" argument?

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What if the people behind the rip-off also control your ability to hear about a better representative? Is it still your fault?

 

There may be better choices the magic bean men are hiding from you. I don't think it's your fault entirely.

 

But the ones who could effect change aren't being allowed. Isn't this a lot like the "Get a job if you're poor" argument?

People not being aware of their options isn't what is happening. People willfully elect liars. We just saw the clearest example of it. People in this very forum argued that Trump was a liar and incompetent then went out and voted for him anyway. You cannot tell me they were simply victims of misinformation. They weren't. And it is hardly just those who voted for Trump. The same is true for all the people we see, using this forum as an example, who acknowledge climate change but then still support politicians who don't. It simply isn't true that liars and fakes get elected because people don't know better. People do know better and do it anyway. It is a regular part of life. Only is a perfect world amongst perfect people can we really blame lack of knowledge for people bad choices. It is like when people down play horrors of history by excusing peoples behavior by saying that is just how things were then. People attempt to imply people just didn't know slavery of bad or abusing women was bad. People knew.

Edited by Ten oz
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!

Moderator Note

Please try and stick to the topic. There are plenty of other threads to discuss the many aspects of the Trump presidency and why he was elected in detail. I have split some of the recent threads here into the trash, as much of what was said has been covered elsewhere recently. If anyone particularly wants to revive the posts, let staff know via PM or report.

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  • 1 month later...

"These places that got flooded, like Texas, okay, they have a low tax base," Maher said on his show "Real Time" on Friday. "So, the federal government bails them out. Their governors, their legislators they don't believe in climate science.

"It seems like the responsible folks in this country, the people who pay a little more taxes and the people who believe in climate change are bailing out the people who hate government, except when they need government when they're in trouble," he continued. "That seems a little unfair.

- Bill Maher

 

I am all for federal assistance for Texas and Florida. I am pleased Democrats cut a deal with Trump to get the debt ceiling raised and money immediately available for federal relief in areas impacted by storms. That said Bill Maher makes a good point. Places like TX and FL have representatives who are against taxation. It is a bit ridiculous that states like TX and FL accept tens of billions in tax money while supporting policies to reduce taxes. Both states receive more than they contribute. Additionally their Representatives seek to cut funding for organizations like the EPA which will play a vital role in ensuring their safety moving forward during clean up. 

 

Not just taxes but Republicans also tend to be against mandated requirements for insurance, strict building codes, and industry practices. All things which protect tens of millions in TX and FL over these last few weeks. 

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They're also against aid funding only when it's for OTHER states. Fancy that.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/08/why_the_gop_flip_flops_on_federal_disaster_relief.html

Quote

Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, conservative members of Congress were reluctant to authorize funding for recovery efforts without corresponding budget cuts.

(snip)  

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which devastated parts of New York and New Jersey just before the 2012 presidential election, House conservatives launched a major effort to tie relief to large across-the-board cuts in domestic spending totaling $17 billion. Two-thirds of House Republicans backed an amendment to do just that, including now-Speaker Paul Ryan and a host of other high-ranking Republican lawmakers. The amendment failed, but the majority of Republicans in both chambers—including Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz—voted against the $50 billion aid package for Sandy and blasted Democrats for packing it with unneeded “pork.” (This was bogus; virtually every provision in the bill was related to hurricane damage and recovery.) Now, both lawmakers—along with most of the Texas Republican delegation that opposed the Sandy package—support federal aid for Hurricane Harvey relief.

(snip)

In 2015, massive rains caused historic floods in parts of coastal South Carolina, overwhelming its resources. The state’s congressional delegation, including Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, vowed to find federal aid for the recovery. Two years earlier, however, Scott and Graham voted against aid for Sandy. As did Mick Mulvaney, then a representative from South Carolina

(snip)

Yes there is hypocrisy and ideology at work, but there seems to be something even more elemental, a disdain for government assistance so instinctive that it’s only mitigated when the need hits close to home. Even then—as evident from Cruz and Meadows—there’s no attempt to obscure the flip-flop. The lawmakers don’t seem to care that it is inconsistent. That might even be the point.

Edited by iNow
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4 hours ago, iNow said:

They're also against aid funding only when it's for OTHER states. Fancy that.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/08/why_the_gop_flip_flops_on_federal_disaster_relief.html

I am all for states that need it receiving federal dollars. It just makes me sick to my stomach knowing that the representatives of these states will be screaming and stomping their feet for tax cuts in the next couple months. 

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"What do we want?"
"Unnecessary and unhelpful tax cuts for the uber-wealthy!"

"When do we want it?"
"At the same time we're about to massively increase outlays and expenditures for disaster relief!"

"Who will we blame for the deficits we enlarge?"
"Democrats and liberals!"

Edited by iNow
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When we elect people who are rich enough that effective public funding isn't perceived as affecting them (i.e., they don't see the benefits of having prosperous, well-educated employees with access to public services), it's not even a matter of wolves in charge of the henhouse. It's more like trying not to drown while the owners of the boat decide what to charge to fish you out after they tossed you overboard.

Our government needs to grow a pair and start demanding that public funds be more effectively used. Taxes aren't collected to benefit the private sector, and the public needs to be reminded of it. I really wish someone would explain socialism to the FOX News crowd, since they're the ones being ripped off both fiscally and intellectually.

And lobbying for less taxes has become more profitable for some companies than their best products. General Electric doesn't make any products that give them a ROI as high as their lobbying efforts do. 

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16 hours ago, Phi for All said:

When we elect people who are rich enough that effective public funding isn't perceived as affecting them (i.e., they don't see the benefits of having prosperous, well-educated employees with access to public services), it's not even a matter of wolves in charge of the henhouse. It's more like trying not to drown while the owners of the boat decide what to charge to fish you out after they tossed you overboard.

Our government needs to grow a pair and start demanding that public funds be more effectively used. Taxes aren't collected to benefit the private sector, and the public needs to be reminded of it. I really wish someone would explain socialism to the FOX News crowd, since they're the ones being ripped off both fiscally and intellectually.

And lobbying for less taxes has become more profitable for some companies than their best products. General Electric doesn't make any products that give them a ROI as high as their lobbying efforts do. 

It is also an example of how short sighted many industries are. Many people idolize the wealthy and assume the best of them. We assume it is their intellectual brilliance which empowered them to become successful yet many actually have a very limited imaginations which is why so many businesses fail and are replaced over time as technology changes. From the music industry to major retailers we've seen wildly successful companies fail to adapt to online sales. 

 

Industries benefit from federally provided infastruture (roads, fire dept, subsidizes utilities, schools, parks, etc). It enables their employees to get to and from work. Without communities to live in where child can attend school and families can feel safe numerous industries wouldn't exist. Without tax money keeping NYC's infastruture up Trump's real estate properties throughout the city would be worthless. NYC would be a flooded marsh without constant up keep. Private companies don't float the bill for that.

 

Less taxes and less services in the long run lead to less business. It is a fallacy to believe that private investigator put their longer term Interests over short term gains. Even Allen Greenspan acknowledged this after the economic collaspe in 2008. 

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13 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

It is also an example of how short sighted many industries are. Many people idolize the wealthy and assume the best of them. We assume it is their intellectual brilliance which empowered them to become successful yet many actually have a very limited imaginations

1

Never their intellectual brilliance, but they are empowered (many an intellectual genius falls by the wayside in a business environment) "to become successful" if we want 'our' world to succeed? we need us all...

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