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Old Oct 29, 2007, 06:09 PM
"Will crash for food."
PLA0242's Avatar
California
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How Do You Feel About Privatization

In recent years the current Administration has been encouraging more and more privatization. You’ll recall Bush’s attempt at privatizing Social Security. Rightfully, the American people rejected that idea hands down.

As I mentioned in a related thread, more and more cities are selling off sections of their roads, bridges, etc. etc. to private interests. In this way, the local government doesn’t have to pay for upkeep and improvements to their infrastructure. Does this seem like a way to go...letting private interests maintain our infrastructure? I think it’s sort of scary.

Consider if fire departments were privately owned. It seems to me that you would have to have some sort of marking (like a badge) on your house that tells the fire department that it is okay to put the fire out.

Some in the Bush Administration wouldn’t mind seeing the Department of Education terminated and that all children would either be home-schooled or attend private schools.

What are your thoughts?

-P
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 06:29 PM
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Lyle, WA
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If fire departments were privately owned there would be more of them and they would be liable for damages they didn't prevent. Insurance companies would probably compete on the basis of whose fire systems worked the best. Of course, the idea of competition on things like this is anathema for many, as not making a single decision for everyone seems like anarchy. They talk a lot about diversity and then spend a lot of time working on suppressing it.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 07:16 PM
All under control, Grommit!
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United Kingdom, Aberdeen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnGoat
If fire departments were privately owned there would be more of them and they would be liable for damages they didn't prevent. Insurance companies would probably compete on the basis of whose fire systems worked the best. Of course, the idea of competition on things like this is anathema for many, as not making a single decision for everyone seems like anarchy. They talk a lot about diversity and then spend a lot of time working on suppressing it.
Yeah because the system as described, which IIRC was in use at one time, was undoubtedly much better than what replaced it
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 07:22 PM
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The system as described was in use at one time? How did firefighters of old get access to fire fighting equipment, safety gear, and technology infrastructure from the current time? How are we supposed to conclude what someone did some time ago is the same thing they'd do now?

Existing now is not the gold standard for what is possible. All it shows it it exists now.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 07:25 PM
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Central California
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Babble

Private corporations must generate a profit, which would be added on to the actual costs.

Privatization would generate income for the owners of the private entities now owning your fire station, at your expense.

Insist on honest government instead.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 07:33 PM
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Lyle, WA
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It's all done at our expense. Privitization only puts money in owners pockets when they can deliver service, and customers simply choose to pay someone else, or not pay anyone, at will and whim. Taxes put money in pockets regardless of performance. Honest govt doesn't fix that.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 07:34 PM
Build/Fly/Crash/Repeat
United States, HI, Kapalua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnGoat
If fire departments were privately owned there would be more of them and they would be liable for damages they didn't prevent.
What an absurd statement. And you know this how?

As it is response times can be measured in minutes. The cost to build, outfit and staff a fire station is astronomical. Attempting to add more would in many cases be redundant and prohibitively expensive. How do you plan to pay for that?

How would more stay in business if you claiming that they would be liable for damages? Would that not then put them out of business?

Why would they be liable for damages they didn't "prevent"? Who is going to decide that - a court? Are they also responsible for creating the situations they are in place to help prevent?
Just what we need - more lawsuits and even higher liability insurance costs.

Are you claiming there is a problem now? That those who currently man our firehouses aren't doing the job? Especially considering the incredibly brave efforts just exhibited during the current fire crisis in Calif., not to mention that the FDNY did during 911.

I retract my statement that your comments are absurd - they are asinine.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 07:34 PM
All under control, Grommit!
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United Kingdom, Aberdeen
Joined Sep 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnGoat
The system as described was in use at one time? How did firefighters of old get access to fire fighting equipment, safety gear, and technology infrastructure from the current time? How are we supposed to conclude what someone did some time ago is the same thing they'd do now?

Existing now is not the gold standard for what is possible. All it shows it it exists now.
C,mon- surely you've seen the old pictures of fire companies with their individual building ID plates and fire fighting only for those residences and businesses that paid for their own particular company's coverage? If it worked so well why was it replaced?
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CoastalFlyer
What an absurd statement. And you know this how?

As it is response times can be measured in minutes. The cost to build, outfit and staff a fire station is astronomical. Attempting to add more would in many cases be redundant and prohibitively expensive. How do you plan to pay for that?

How would more stay in business if you claiming that they would be liable for damages? Would that not then put them out of business?

Why would they be liable for damages they didn't "prevent"? Who is going to decide that - a court? Are they also responsible for creating the situations they are in place to help prevent?
Just what we need - more lawsuits and even higher liability insurance costs.

Are you claiming there is a problem now? That those who currently man our firehouses aren't doing the job? Especially considering the incredibly brave efforts just exhibited during the current fire crisis in Calif., not to mention that the FDNY did during 911.

I retract my statement that your comments are absurd - they are asinine.
I'm sure everyone is doing the best job they can under the circumstances. Dangerous and difficult, yes. But the amount of lather you generate attacking what is simply a comment that other systems are possible, and perhaps would be superior, is incredible.

I don't need to plan how to pay for things like this. This is the point of private industry and your tirade shows you completely miss this point....it's their job to figure out how to pay for things that are expensive but that people might want, not mine. All consumers do is decide if they want what is being offered, and if they can or will pay for it. The person selling the goods decides what and how much they'll offer.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 07:44 PM
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Tucker, Georgia, United States
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Atlanta privatized its water system for a number of years. After two folks were killed in one sinkhole and another sinkhole closed one of the main thoroughfares in the high rent district for a two weeks, high rent for business that is, and numerous other cost cutting features of not doing testing and maintenance, it was reacquired by the city.

I remember how nice it was to fly before Carter deregulated the airlines. Steak and lobster in coach on Frontier airlines. Sure it cost a bit more but it was rather luxurious, rather than cattle car-ish. Delta had the youngest fleet in the air, including several L-1011s. Born was a new generation of cost cutting airlines that pushed the rules, like transporting material on passenger planes that was illegal. Then they go out of business, change the name and go right back at it. Value Jet?

Privatization of some things might be OK, but I have yet to find one that actually makes the product or service less expensive without giving up something, such as regular water coming from your faucet when you turn it on.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leccyflyer
C,mon- surely you've seen the old pictures of fire companies with their individual building ID plates and fire fighting only for those residences and businesses that paid for their own particular company's coverage? If it worked so well why was it replaced?
Perhaps it was made illegal. I'm not sure.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 07:48 PM
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Tucker, Georgia, United States
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Privatization requires someone get a chunk of money that didn't exist before, such as the hospitals, resulting in our paying double for the health care in the US.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 07:51 PM
Build/Fly/Crash/Repeat
United States, HI, Kapalua
Joined Jan 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnGoat
Privitization only puts money in owners pockets when they can deliver service, and customers simply choose to pay someone else, or not pay anyone, at will and whim.
Under your "plan", some would undoubtedly choose to not participate - potentially placing their neighbors at great risk.

Since a profit would have to be built-in, costs would go up. Thus we would all pay more.
Quote:
Existing now is not the gold standard for what is possible. All it shows it it exists now.
You don't know that. We may well indeed have the gold standard as it is currently implemented. You have no evidence to prove differently. There is, in fact, a great deal of history to indicate the current system is much better than the past.

Having had my life saved by the quick response of a fire department paramedic team while we waited for the "privatized" ambulance to arrive, I'll vote to stick with what we've got. It works very well, IMO.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 08:00 PM
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Fayetteville, NC
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Originally Posted by Treetop
Privatization requires someone get a chunk of money that didn't exist before, such as the hospitals, resulting in our paying double for the health care in the US.
Not always. It is entirely possible to generate profit, provide better service and a better product than the goverment can provide, and do it at lower cost. I even have a real life example.

It is entirely appropriate for the goverment to provide some services - but almost never for reasons of efficiency.
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Old Oct 29, 2007, 08:10 PM
All under control, Grommit!
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United Kingdom, Aberdeen
Joined Sep 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarge
Not always. It is entirely possible to generate profit, provide better service and a better product than the goverment can provide, and do it at lower cost. I even have a real life example.

It is entirely appropriate for the goverment to provide some services - but almost never for reasons of efficiency.
This particular example - that of fire fighting - would seem to be one of the clearer examples where the state provision of the service will be both more efficient (no mechanism needed to permit easy differentiation between those buildings which are or are not covered, no unecessary replication of fire-fighting facilities to name but two reasons), more effective - (you simply can't leave an unsubscribed building to burn because of the danger to it;s neighbours) - and pragmatically more logical ( not much use for competitition in this particular arena- what are you gonna do, select one of four possible fire departments to handle your fire based on their published perfomance or price plan?).
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