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Distinguished Bibliophile
bobstro
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Re: Website Complaint

I enjoy discussions, but merely stating positions gets dull once repetition kicks in. Heck, we really could wite a small python script to do that. Hmm... In other words, more last, but with more words! :smileyhappy:
DeanGibson
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Re: Website Complaint


patgolfneb wrote:
... When you hear a politician saying you can save enough by eliminating waste and fraud they are lying and they know it. ...

I remember a private construction contractor who did work for me, tell me that when he used to work AS AN EMPLOYEE for a local gov't, the job would take two weeks, which he now does in 1/2 day.

 

Now, that may be an extreme example, but the fact remains, there is a lot of waste.

 

Recently my city lowered the speed limit on a local road from 30 MPH to 23.  Since I often bicycled that road, I certainly appreciate the reduction, but it was not done for safety.  It was done because some "twiddler" lived near the road and didn't like the road noise, so he petitioned the city to lower the limit.  The city spent $70K for a study, that showed there would be no benefit (like, slower noisy vehicles make noise LONGER driving slower speeds!).  Nevertheless, the city reduced the speed.

 

I worked with the "twiddler" on the local police advisory board, and all he wanted to do was "twiddle" local regulations, apparently thinking that was the role and function of local government.  He keeps trying to get on the city council, but so far, cannot get elected or even appointed when there is a vacancy (thank God).

 

Then there was the University of Washington, which, due to the impending Y2K "crisis", replaced every personal computer on the campus in order to not have Y2K "problems".  Never mind that simply resetting the year and then rebooting PCs, would have cured the problem at a tiny fraction of the cost.

 

Some people complain about the cost of governmental regulations to private businesses.  A very real cost of those regulations is to other government agencies who also have to comply with them.  However, unlike businesses, who usually try to comply in the least expensive way feasible, government agencies view them as funding opportunities:  "You must increase our funding, because we have to comply with these regulations just like you do."

 

Well, not quite ...

 

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flyingtoastr
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Re: Website Complaint

[ Edited ]

Yep, businesses never do anything wasteful.

 

Come off it, Ayn Rand. Look at how BN has been operating for the last few years - the company has been bleeding red ink but they need to change the company bylaws because they gave the CEO too large of a bonus. How on earth is that any more efficient than the government? Or Health Insurance providers, who spend huge amounts of money on administrative bureaucracy. Or razor blade producers, who spend $17 out of every $20 they make on hiring athletes to stand in their commercials for little effect?

 

Government isn't inherently more wasteful than private enterprise. Both have the same exact problem - people are selfish and greedy. The difference is that the government is responsible to you as a voter, while businesses are only responsible to the spectre of "profit".

Distinguished Correspondent
sparky_80
Posts: 89
Registered: ‎06-30-2012

Re: Website Complaint


flyingtoastr wrote:

Government isn't inherently more wasteful than private enterprise. 


Maybe not 'inherently'.  But they are.

 

I worked in state gov't for eight years, and have been in the private sector for twelve.  It isn't even close.

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kamas716
Posts: 1,467
Registered: ‎09-28-2011
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OT: my experiences

Having worked in both public and private sectors (and so have many in my family), the major differences I've seen are that public agencies have many more regulations to follow which cost time and money. 

 

Example 1: Where my grandfather's company could just go fix a problem it found, the city has to write a proposal, solicit bids and award a contract, then wait for the winner to have the time to come do it. 

 

Example 2: At the University I currently work at, certain funds can only be used for certain things.  One position (not department, but a position filled by one single person) I'm aware of gets funding from 4 different accounts.  Equipment purchased from one fund for the position can't be used to support other duties of the position funded through other accounts.  So, that position has multiple computers even though one could do the job perfectly well.  This was set up because the "public" felt it was necessary for more accountability.

http://www.goodreads.com/kamas716
DeanGibson
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Re: OT: my experiences

Then there are regulations that contractors have to abide by.

 

A number of years ago, before PCs were common, those working on the Internet used what were called "dumb terminals".  At one place I worked, we used a number of these dumb terminals (those blue things made by ADM), and we leased them from a separate company for $70/month for years.  Once I asked, "those terminals only cost $700 new, why don't we just buy them and save a lot of money?"  I was told:

 

"You don't understand.  Since we lease them for use on the Air Force contract, we can recover the leasing cost in the expense portion of the contract, and we can add 15% for processing.  If we buy them, we can only charge the exact price we pay, we have to amortize them over the life of the contract (which could be canceled at the government's whim), and we have to show that we use them for no other (eg, internal) purpose.  There is no downside to leasing them."

 

Ah yes, the old days of the Internet, when connecting to London at 100 BAUD (intermittent, not sustained) was really exciting.

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DeanGibson
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Registered: ‎04-12-2011

Focused whining


flyingtoastr wrote:

Yep, businesses never do anything wasteful.

 

...

 

Government isn't inherently more wasteful than private enterprise. Both have the same exact problem - people are selfish and greedy. The difference is that the government is responsible to you as a voter, while businesses are only responsible to the spectre of "profit".


There is a bit more motivation in businesses to not be wasteful:  You can lose your job and/or your company can go bankrupt.  Having worked for an established (20+ years), international, NASDAQ-traded company with 250+ employees that went bankrupt in 2001-2002, it wasn't a pretty site.  Everyone lost their jobs, including the CEO, who I understand has not been rehired by another company in the ensuing decade.

 

Tell me of a government organization that has gone bankrupt.  You can mention California if you wish, and who paid for that.

 

And, I have about as much disdain for some companies as I do for government, so I really appreciate the label.  Thanks for another broad swipe.

 

Oh, by the way, getting an advanced degree in the humanities is a complete waste of time, unless you plan a career in that field (or plan to work in a university, where you will find others that believe exactly as you do).  Your discarding of math, physics, and computers in your degree pursuit is a serious error, in my opinion.  It doesn't matter if you don't want to do that for the rest of your life.  What matters is that you can show that you have the intelligence, education, and skills to do it, that will get you jobs.  Remember the average person changes careers (not jobs) seven times in their lifetime, but being able to be at least somewhat successful in one of those careers, is really helpful.  Plus, even within a career, most successful people move out of the nuts and bolts of the early skill-set, into other jobs.

 

Whomever has been giving you career advice has been doing you a disservice, in my opinion.

 

There is no evidence that cavemen who wanted to start flower shops, survived.  You have to be realistic for the economy that you are in.  The Asian cultures are not stupid about this;  their educational systems are emphasizing technical skills.  Meanwhile, we are babysitting our kids.

 

I remember a few years ago, when the Los Angeles school system gave to its teachers the high school graduation test.  25% of the teachers flunked.

 

You can't do anything about that, but you can at least break out of the mold, and readjust your educational goals.

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flyingtoastr
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Re: Didn't Jesus say something about being judgmental?

Has it ever occured to you, Dean, that some people measure success differently?

 

For me, "success" is being happy, doing something I enjoy, and making enough money to live on.

 

So I don't need to push for some career ladder I'm not interested in. I don't need to go into fields I don't like because the money is better. I don't care if I could be making 150 grand a year as a software engineer, because making huge wads of cash isn't a huge goal for me. Some people don't buy into the whole "must make more money at any cost" dogma, and have other goals in life.

 


DeanGibson wrote:

Your discarding of math, physics, and computers in your degree pursuit is a serious error, in my opinion.  


I take exception that because I'm on a career path in liberal arts I've somehow lost control of my mental faculties in other areas. I'm willing to bet I can still integrate better than most everyone you know (by hand, because my Calc teachers were all very anti-calculator). I still have quite a depth of knowledge in all sorts of web markup languages that the average person doesn't even know exists. I probably know more about astrophysics than everyone else in this thread put together. Just because I've changed career paths doesn't mean I'm suddenly unable to demonstrate that I have a wide range of knowledge in what you consider "successful" fields.

 

You need to stop being so judgmental on people who have different priorities in life.

Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,552
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Didn't Jesus say something about being judgmental?

[ Edited ]

Money, politics, and now religion.  This thread has hit the trifecta of things not to be discussed in polite company.  Impressive.

 

Dean - FT did say upthread that he does plan a career in his major, and as one can't major in EVERYTHING, majoring in what you want to do for a living does make sense.  As far changing careers goes, often way leads on to way and the further you get from school, the less the major matters.  And there's always the option to go back to school.

 

While it's true that right now the money is in technical degrees, that doesn't mean it's going to stay that way.  Following a trend is not a great way to plan a life.

Distinguished Bibliophile
patgolfneb
Posts: 1,757
Registered: ‎09-10-2011

Re: Website Complaint

Dean gave some anecdotal examples. The problem is that those examples tell us more about the character of the people who abused their positions, and who were possibly less than honest in the retelling. That is why my examples tend to rely on  statistics and data.

 

 

When I left the public sector for the private sector I was shocked at how much harder my previous coworkers worked. I can't prove it is the same outside of social services, but it hasn't been even close. Not to mention I am no longer subjected to constant abuse by advocacy groups, belittlement by politicians, reporters, people on facebook who wouldn't have lasted 30 days doing what I did.

 

My mother was a teacher, at different times in her life everything from elementary to college english and creative writing. She always felt teaching was the easy part of her profession. Social work was similar, the people you were there to help were often a challenge, dealing with everyone from next door neighbors, judges who want to play social worker, counterproductive rules passed by various political factions trying to micro manage, family members and advocacy  groups  calling several times a day to push something to get done, lying about your response to manipulate the process was a daily event.

 

So yes I tend to take government bashing a bit personally. Equating legislative actions and day to day government as equivalent is much like saying the atrocities in Viet Nam are representative of how soldiers serve this country. It is time some fairness and balance return to our view of government.