Successful Governement Run Projects?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by B_Alt33, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. B_Alt33

    B_Alt33 New Member

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    As our government intrudes more and more into the private lives of its citizens I'm curious "What has the government run successfully?" (excluding police, fire and military) Considering that Amtrak if a failure, the post office is a failure, social security if a failure, medicare is a failure. What are your thoughts?

    Measurement of success: Fiscally is the project able to operate within its defined budget or does it continually need additional money? Has it really benefited the people as a whole including the people that pay the taxes for it?

    If you feel like most do you wonder why if the government continues to fail we keep putting more faith into the same failures?
     
  2. Industrialsize

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    Social Security and Medicare have benefited MILLIONS of people............Senior citizens no longer have to eat cat food.
     
  3. vince

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    The post office is a failure? In the past it was a screaming success. If it isn't working well now, it doesn't necessarily follow that it couldn't be.

    FAA, FDA, TVA, USDA, FBI, Coast Guard, just to name a few, are essential.
     
    #3 vince, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  4. SilverTrain

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    How exactly do you see "the government" intruding into the lives of "its" citizens? Are you referring to legislators (who were elected by "citizens") passing laws against gay marriage or abortion? Are you referring to taxation of income, sales, etc.?

    Please explain.
     
  5. vince

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    Health Canada has really benefited the people and does it's job for a lower cost to the citizens than the citizens of some other countries pay for worse service.
     
    #5 vince, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  6. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Looks like some people equate "success" with "perfection"... and if that is the case, not even privately ran organizations are perfect. Most government ran projects operate without any major problems. To suggest otherwise either shows a lack of understanding just how many programs they run, or a willing ignorance to the millions upon millions of people who utilize their services with little to no dramas.
     
  7. houtx48

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    "As our government intrudes more and more into the private lives of its citizens" ......The government has always been part of the citizenry lives from the beginning as for intruding more it can not go where it is uninvited.
     
  8. Bbucko

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    First of all, it's spelled G O V E R N M E N T.

    Second, I'd say that zoning regulations are both intrusive, dictatorial in how private land owners can use their assets and absolutely necessary for the common good. How would you like it if someone could build a factory/warehouse or set up a lumber yard next door to your house? Building regulations are another onerous burden that save lives in hurricane and earthquake zones (and minimize shoddy construction everywhere). Historic districts preserve our architectural heritage at the expense of the landowners' liberty to maintain his/her property as s/he sees fit but raise property values within such districts.

    Without public transit, cities like Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Boston (to say nothing of Paris, London, Barcelona or Tokyo) simply could not exist, and makes places like Portland, OR infinitely more livable and civilized. The US also enjoys an exceptionally well-designed and -maintained system of public highways without which we simply couldn't function as a society.

    I also take exception to the "failures" listed in the OP: government does not operate on a profit motive. In fact, it provides services unavailable in the private sector specifically because they are both unprofitable and necessary. There is no other apparatus in existence to do such things.
     
  9. flame80

    flame80 New Member

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    Anything government does, private industry can do way better. private businesses have to run under the constraints of having to make a profit, which means things are ran more efficiently and way better at delivery of any product or service. The post office is a joke, their budgets keep blowing out (another words not under budget) the projections they make every year. quess who pays for it? Us, thats right, in higher postage stamp costs. Is there anyone that does not agree, that private business could do this way better? how about the DMV, we are standing in a line of about 40 people and theres only one person working the counter. The other six or so employees are standing back there, joking drinking coffee and eating donuts. If that was a private biz, those standing around would be fired and the private biz would hire more productive employees that took their breaks at different times, so as to best take care of clientele. Education shoiuld go back to being ran privately, getting rid of mediocre teachers and their unions costly benefits we cant afford any longer. We could go on and on with this all day and again the citizens of this country would be better served by private industry. Is there truly any doubt?
     
  10. Industrialsize

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    Yes there is doubt. One word. HALLIBURTON.
     
  11. Industrialsize

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    WASHINGTON -- The chairmen of the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting decried on Monday a federal system that has allowed contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan to commit fraud -- then get hired again and again.
    "For the 200,000 people employed by contractors to provide support and capability in Iraq and Afghanistan, accountability is too often absent, diluted, delayed, or avoided," Republican co-chair Chris Shays, formerly a longtime congressman from Connecticut, said while calling to order a hearing of the commission Monday.


    Report: Wartime Contractors Waste, Steal Tens Of Billions -- Then Come Back For More
     
  12. B_Alt33

    B_Alt33 New Member

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    So good points regarding FDA and some others. But should a government program be required to follow a budget and work within those guidelines or lose the funding?
     
  13. sargon20

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    I'm baffled why the police, the fire department and defense get a pass. Does not effective project management extend to those services the government does? Or are these just the parts of government alt33 approves of and don't mind throwing tax dollars at?
     
  14. Industrialsize

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    They already do. All money to run "government programs" must be appropriated and approved by the legislature. They can't spend a penny more than congress told them they could.
     
  15. Industrialsize

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    "
    "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things... Their number is negligible and they are stupid." - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954. The last great Republican.

    Presidential Papers, Doc#1147 Personal and confidential To Edgar Newton Eisenhower, 8 November 1954. In The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower
     
  16. Bbucko

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    If Eisenhower were alive today, he'd be drummed out of the GOP, as would Nelson Rockefeller, Barry Goldwater and, quite possibly, Richard Nixon: RINOs all.
     
  17. midlifebear

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    Obviously Flame80 hasn't taken a Greyhound Bus lately. People who believe the passenger service offered by AMTRAK is bad needs to climb aboard a intra-state Greyhound trip sometime. They'll never complain about trains again.

    And those so thrilled with private enterprise doing such a better job, especially in the transportation sector, need to educate themselves why there's been such a resurgence in public funded light rail service in cities such as San Diego, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Portland and "Theatle." General Motors, in league with paying off State and city politicians foisted diesel fueled busses on all of the US cities immediately after WWII making the dedicated rail systems that were working just fine, seem obsolete. And where is General Motors today? Yeah, they really know how to make an automobile we all want to buy and run what was one of the largest companies in the USA.

    And look at what a bargain Halliburton is to the USA. The military trains soldiers to fill its ranks. Then when the same soldiers can leave the military they hire out as mercenaries "defending" the USA for hundreds of thousands of dollars more as Halliburton goons. Yeah, the private sector is so good at doing so many things. Ever compared the comfort and safety of flying in an Airbus compared to a similar sized Boeing airplane? I'm still waiting for the "Dreamliner" to whisk me away inexpensively and long distance as promised. But I'm not holding my breath.
     
  18. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    Yes, I agree that some "repair" is needed, but let us take a closer examination of why the problems exist.

    Here are some examples:

    Los Angeles back in the 1950's began to remove all rail based public transportation. This was done because General Motors who manufactured buses wanted to sell more buses. There were always Internal Combustion Engine buses working from the outside areas towards downtown, but inside the downtown city limits there were electric streetcars, trollies and even electric buses. I remember because at age 58 I rode on them as a kid and I remember the newspaper headlines when the good stuff left to be replaced by then fuel guzzling high pollution vehicles. Soft money by major corporations took something that worked and made it into a disaster, and it was done for personal gain by the corporations represented. Remember it was General Motors and Flxible who did it.

    Funny you should bring up Greyhound: Greyhound and Continental Trailways were at one time two of the most efficient suppliers of transportation in the United States. Greyhound, then known as "G.L.I." to eliminate competition and fair marketing borrowed money in insane quantities to purchase Continental Trailways to eliminate the competition. This was done with full government approval and sanction. It took about a decade to happen, but, "G.L.I." ceased to exist when it was purchased by Laidlaw which is not American Owned and is the largest operator of School Buses in the world operating in many countries other than the United States. The bus fleet of Greyhound at it's peak was no more than 5,600 buses plus support vehicles. Laidlaw has always had an unofficial policy of poor maintenance of it's equipment and when one owns nearly 100,000 vehicles worldwide it is easy to see why. The first thing that Laidlaw did was to dump routes that did not have high ridership which is also one of their long term policies. They gutted the routes that Greyhound had kept because of customer relations and G.L.I. wrote the non profit making routes against the those that were money makers.

    For years, Laidlaw has had a practice of buying politicians to remove obstacles to more and more money. They are known for buying off school boards and other officials to eliminate well operated independent district owned school bus fleets. They then come in and bring in a bunch of old "junkers" for your kids to ride on.

    In the years after World War II, the United States was covered by multiple railroads and the ICC decreed that railroad tracks though owned by one railroad or another under their guidelines were able to be used by all. There were Santa Fe, Southern Pacific and Union Pacific as the major players with probably 20 or more smaller railroads such as Denver Rio Grande and Western and such. Representative interests for other passenger transportation resources particularly Greyhound, Ford, GM, and Chrysler sent money to Washington and all of a sudden funding for passenger service repeatedly became a casualty. There were multiple reasons. The first is that the railroads themselves did not like passenger trains. Passenger trains in stations had a negative impact on the speed of freight movement and it was this negative impact that they wanted to get rid of. Santa Fe and Southern Pacific were the two top passenger carriers originally with Union Pacific handling by percentage mainly freight. Amtrak has a poor reputation because these days they operate on a miniscule budget. The only reason that they are still going actually relates to national security. If this nation were faced with out and out war where troop movements would be necessary, something other than aircraft would be needed. Many of the fossils populating the offices of your government are aware of the heroic effort that was done for troop movement during WWII and for that reason a skeleton and framework to build on has been left in place.

    Medicare: Passed under Lyndon Johnson and the funds have been raided by politicians for pet projects ever since. If Medicare had been left alone by Republicans and Democrats alike it would be one of the best health care plans for Seniors around. It has failed because payroll funds taken for Medicare were borrowed by various politicians to do other things. The mismanagement was not from Medicare itself and came from forces outside Medicare.

    The FDA I will grant is a national disgrace. Yet again it is a disgrace because it is a revolving door for corporate executives to reward their own corporations. It is Corporate Welfare in it's worst and it comes from the way that these people are appointed and not from Government in general. Remember that the ones approving your drugs are former executives of the drug companies who will again employ them and reward them handsomely for their efforts to make profit from bad drugs and remove competition.

    The United States Post Office at one time was one of the most respected private organizations known. The problem is that it has always been privately owned and govenment funded. Woops there is the problem. Another place from where we can divert funds. Most postal workers are now underpaid, they work long hours and they have actually lost benefits repeatedly.

    Now with communication via electronic means most of the personal letters sent via the United States Postal Service are going via electronic mail. The problem is that the people within the organization are not understanding that they need to concentrate their efforts at competing with successful and more advanced methods. If the U.S.P.S. wants to get into the electronic mail business they have little to do but to buy equipment and to become a specialized ISP. If they provide good service they will make money and tons of it. Based on security issues the U.S.P.S. would probably gain many State and Federal mailing accounts very quickly. Nope, They want to walk in and charge for some other individuals work. . . . .

    We the people of the United States are to blame because it is we who tolerate incredible behavior from our elected officials. Clean up the general problems and you would very quicky clean up everything from the FDA to Greyhound and all the rest. Mismanagement comes not from the Government but from the elected officials on the payroll and receiving percs from private industry to make decisions favoring that private industry.

    There are ways that making a profit is good and there are ways that making a profit is not good. While private industry makes a profit in service to the people it represents government does not by necessity need to be a profit making organization. Right now it is not and it is not because what it is doing is serving private businesses and placing profit from taxpayers in private pockets that was destined to go to non profit endeavors as a government helped and watched for the health and welfare of the citizens of the country it represents.

    It is easy to criticize what is fed to you via news networks that want a certain opinion represented and that have business interests helped by your opinion. The problems relate to what you hear may only be part of a story and not based necessarily on fact.
     
  19. midlifebear

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    Although NASA is in decline, it was THE 'Mericuhn Space Administration that landed us on the moon several times and, until most recently, positioned the majority of satellites in stationary orbit that keep "eyes" on the world. But NASA is currently a favorite target of those wanting to cut the budget, despite the myriad of off-shoot technologies that sprang from space research. Although I could probably live without some of the cell phone technology.
     
  20. B_Alt33

    B_Alt33 New Member

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    But all of these programs continue to overrun their budgets and need additional money each year. If they were so successful then why can't they sustain themselves on their own. Or get private investment to funnel in some money. I guess its the same reason no private investor would put up any money for the expansion into the fast rail systems. They saw the plan, current ridership the revenue and overall there is no opportunity it to make money nor sustain itself without additional government funding.

    In the real world if a project or department can no longer sustain itself what happens? Its terminated pretty simple.
     
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