Apr 16, 2011

Sandy Springs, GA: Privatization of Government Services

A few days ago I posted a new Reason video on the city of Sandy Springs, GA. I have been following Sandy Springs since about 2008. If you don’t know the story, Sandy Springs was newly incorporated in 2005, and the committee chose to outsource the majority of services to private enterprises. If you know little about it, the video is here:

Long story, short: I posted the video on one of my County Commissioners FaceBook wall. Popular response was ok, mostly for the idea. One person, spoke out strongly against it, with a cautionary story about the potential problems implicit in outsourcing. A link which I hope will work to the whole thread is here: http://www.facebook.com/marksharpe/posts/208112665880192

The same individual posted an article that spoke of the theoretical flaws in ‘privatization’. See it here: http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/Privatization.htm

So, if you have watched the video, and read the above article, here is my response.

Interesting article. I do have a couple of problems with some of the arguments, however. They just don't seem to hold up. For example, the author tries to show that government and business are
substitutes for one another. That makes no sense: From the consumer perspective, if business offers

Apr 7, 2011

The Politicization of Civility

In the immediate aftermath of the Representative Gabrielle Giffords' shooting in Tucson, Arizona, the left predictably began pointing fingers at their normal targets on the right—Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin—claiming that they inspired the primary suspect, Jared Loughner, to attempt to kill her. After the facts began to emerge and seemed to indicated that Loughner had no real political orientation, the left quickly began to obfuscate their error by transitioning to generalities decrying the rising tide of incivility in our public discourse. With calls that echoed GHW Bush’s call for a ‘kinder and gentler nation,’ the left derided the right for its ‘lock and load rhetoric’. The right responded with historical examples of how uncivil political discourse has often been in the past.

The one thing both sides seem to miss is that the growth of government, itself, will cause a systemic increase in incivility in our public discourse.

Apr 6, 2011

Rick Scott: Bad poll numbers, Oh no!

This going to be more of a statement than an article, so don't expect any links. I figure you can find all the backup you want or need by simply going to the local 'news' reporting.

Today, the Florida press was gleefully reporting that their propaganda campaign against Rick Scott is finally supported by a poll. They have been working to erode the common sense of the Florida voter since Rick Scott announced his candidacy. The question for me remains whether the Florida press has been out to get Scott because of the well-deserved disdain he shows for them, or because of his rejection of their leftist agenda.

Don't get me wrong, Scott has not done everything right, but then, with all the problems created by government--local, state and federal--in Florida, who could do it all right? I will say that he is attempting to fix things as fast as he can, and his fixes tend to be more logical than any in recent history--including Jeb Bush's. He just does not cater to the press nearly as well. Bush 'played' the press; Scott doesn't. But is that his job? I don't think so.

The press apparently does.

Related to this ongoing propaganda campaign are the comments--better described as snipes--by lefties in response to positive comments on the various press posts regarding Scott's actions. The leftists all post a variant of the same concept: "How can you like what Scott is doing? Can't you see the harm he is doing to you?" It is amazing how many of these types of posts I have seen in the last few weeks. My answer has always been, "No, I can't. Tell me, how he is hurting me?"

Most of the vituperative answers I get to that query are not worth the time it takes to write them down, but they all tend to echo the idea of unfair reductions in services/compensation. Unfair is the operative word. Most include two basic concepts (usually in the same post):

a) Having to pay anything for government services is somehow 'unfair' and far too expensive for the average Floridian to afford.

b) Whatever Florida government employees are paid is somehow 'unfair,' and far too little for the valuable services they provide.

Maybe I am being too picky but it appears to be an argument for 'something for nothing'. Not very logically consistent--nor even possible--but this is the kool aid that the Florida press is peddling because Rick Scott ignores them. Wanna sip?