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Rebuilding America
A Test for the Democratic Party
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  • ——————————

    “if the government can’t afford to maintain public roads, what is it good for?”

    I have absolutely no idea….

    • M Snow

      Police, fire, health, building, military, courts….

      • ——————————

        Private business could do it better and more efficiently….

        • M Snow

          I’m not quite ready to turn over either police or the military over to private interests. Would consider them for some other functions currently done by government.

          • f1b0nacc1

            While I share your concerns, let me point out that without a major change in the way that government operates, it will become increasingly less capable of performing these essential functions, and as it does they *will* be taken over by private interests. This might happen as a result of deliberate choice by a government that fails to function in any other way, or it may happen by default, as private interests step in to fill a void, but it will happen. Should we wish to forestall this process (and I state again that I agree with you that for at least some functions, this would be a very bad outcome), it is vital to reform government.

          • M Snow

            We could start by banning public sector unions. Or at the very least, mandatory membership as a condition of employment.

          • f1b0nacc1

            We entirely agree. Undoing the damage done by that horrifically bad bit of judgement by Kennedy is an essential beginning.

          • ——————————

            ” for at least some functions, this would be a very bad outcome)”

            Maybe f1b…but maybe not….

          • f1b0nacc1

            Perhaps, but while I lean strongly libertarian, I do not believe that we would be well-served by an entirely libertarian conception of government, which is in effect what you are proposing here. National defense, for instance, is hardly something where private initiative is desirable, even if we simply look at the inability to scale as our basis for analysis. In a similar fashion, criminal justice would be problematic at best, and what little regulatory regime I do support would require something other than private agreements to be useful. And to tie all of this together, private courts have a chequered history at best….

            None of this means that I go for the full welfare model of state schtuppers like FG, but their are intermediate positions….

          • ——————————

            Military is the one branch I am conflicted about in my thoughts of a privately run society.
            It may be possible for some things to be mostly private run but a degree of government control, not exactly like utilities, but something in that direction for example.
            I had read a terrific article online written by someone who explained at length and in detail how a system like this could work. I wish I had saved the link. Unfortunately I am not much of a ‘splainer-man…plus I really hate to type….

          • ——————————

            I hear ya. There is a good argument on both sides of this issue – private vs public.
            But I am an anti government guy in the extreme (extreme Libertarian?…mixed with anarchist/revolutionist), however I am a bit conflicted regarding full private military.
            I think for many who are against private running things, it is often because it has not been done much and so people are afraid of what they don’t know.

            There are just too many examples of poor judgement when government runs anything.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Forgive the intrusion (I realize that you were replying to someone else), but let me interject with one point here….you say that there are too many examples of poor judgement when government runs anything, which is unquestionably true, and is in fact an excellent reason to strongly limit any government intrusion that isn’t absolutely vital. With that said, governments fail largely because they are human institutions, and humans are fallible in the extreme. A careful limited government has some (limited) role, in the same way that private enterprises do….and it has dangers associated with it, in the same way that private enterpises do….

  • Boritz

    The localities where this kind of reform could be implemented by Democrats are few and populated by few conservatives who would be affected, and Donald Trump “isn’t their president” anyway. They should do whatever is best for unions as usual.

  • LarryD

    I understand why the federal government needs (military) engineering and construction groups, what is the justification for state for having this in-house?

    • Disappeared4x

      Very generally, government procurement is highly regulated to deter corruption. I imagine the state level, and in this Kosciuszko case, NYC, employs design engineers to develop credible specifications for low-bid-wins process for complex engineering projects, e.g., bridges.

      Not sure the author of this post understands the actual process, or why the analysis solely focusses on labor. The cost of a competent civil engineer saves a whole lot more than the cost. has insightful coverage of infrastructure. From Dec. 8, 2016:

      “…The infrastructure-permitting process is also broken, but the last year has seen progress. Between elaborate displays of pipeline caprice, Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which provides for an expedited interagency-review process for federal infrastructure projects. Only about 30 projects have been listed to date. The FAST Act deals with federal projects, but many projects face additional layers of regulatory review at the state level. Where state-infrastructure projects are funded by federal grants, the federal government should require comparable expedited review by state regulators. …”

      Gov. Cuomo used design-build and FAST Act on the Tappan Zee Bridge design-build project.
      I can not believe I can spell Kosciuszko from memory…

      • Jim__L

        Basically, government is a stand-in for a customer interest group (i.e., the public interest.) It’s one of the better ways to deal with an otherwise diffuse set of interests.

  • klgmac

    The Mother’s milk of the rump Democrat Party is drying up everywhere I look. It’s a beautiful thing.

    • MikePM

      The thing about corruption is that in the end, it’s always self-defeating (a lesson the Clintons just learned the hard way).

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