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Thu Jun 26, 2014, 10:19 PM

Just for fun . . an exchange with a Foxbot on Facebook

The names have been changed to protect the guilty. A = the original poster. B = Foxbot. C = third person. Me = Me.

A: Posts picture of snowplows clearing a road, with caption: Evil Socialism at Work

B: I suppose the real example would be to compare a private, toll road and a state-owned road come snow fall. I am willing to bet the private owned road would be maintained quicker and better than the latter. Also, lol @ Socialism.

A: So we should have to pay tolls to drive anywhere?

B: Socialism only works in theory. That's about it. Wasn't Detroit the picture of Socialism? How is that working for them? Municipal services are vastly overworked or pretty much non-existent. Socialism doesn't work and it never will.

Me: socialism rocks. Libraries, parks, fire departments, the armed forces . . . all great socialistic institutions.

C: European socialism works in practice. It's a balance.

B: Europe is in trouble as well. I just can't get on board the "More Gov is better" train. What is the Government doing that the private sector can't do cheaper and more efficiently?

Me: B, I got busy and didn't get a chance yet to write back about this, but I'll try to give some examples.
Providing and maintaining a federal currency.
The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines
Conducting international diplomacy. The National Parks system
Police departments. Fire departments. Funding scientific and academic research.
Providing direct health care for veterans. Providing health coverage for older Americans.
Maintaining a nationwide patent library and a system of courts where contracts are protected.
The CDC - tracking outbreaks of disease, monitoring private products for infectious agents.
The FAA, making sure airlines and airplanes are safe
The FDA, to make sure people aren't selling worthless snake oil as medicine, and that your hamburger isn't 100% E coli
Public libraries.
The Post Office. Ever try to send something to Bumblef*ck, Alaska with Fedex? The PO will do it for pennies.
Keeping people alive is a province that the government does quite well, and the private sector does hardly at all - FEMA, food stamps, hot lunch programs, heating programs, welfare, widows and orphan benefits through social security
Space exploration.
Emergency services. 911.
Interstate highways.
The FDIC, to protect your deposits against fraudulent bankers/banking practices.
the SEC, to make sure that the stock market isn't _totally_ controlled and run as a huge fraud.
Wetlands conservation. Public education.
Electrical grids in rural areas. Left to the private sector, much of America would still not have electricity.
Government research gave us both the internet and the global positioning system.
Sewers and waste treatment.
Anyway, that is just to name a few. Did i mention a court system that allows people standing with the most powerful forces in society?

The myth of private sector efficiency is one I don't understand, either. Anyone who has worked in the private sector has seen a never-ending list of foolish, costly, inefficient, stupid, redundant decisions that are every bit as inefficient and self-defeating as anything the government does. Just watching the pharma industry over the last 20 years - the lack of investment in basic research, the mergers and acquisitions, the opening and closing of sites, the waste - has broken that lie into a million pieces.

Even in sectors where the government and the private sector compete in doing the same task, like primary education or providing health coverage, the government version often beats the pants off of the private sector. For example, medicare administration only loses about 4 cents for every dollar in administrative costs. Compare that to 15-30 percent for private coverage. (And that is with government-imposed caps on what insurance companies are allowed to "lose" in administrative overhead). The government is clearly running that more efficiently (because no profit motive). And I see no proof that private schools are run more efficiently/cheaply than public schools, especially where the differences in their clientele are taken into account.

B: Currency - The Government stole from the people when they removed the silver content of U.S. coins decades ago. They did it again now that the dollar isn't backed by gold. New money being printed like Monopoly money means our dollars are worth less and less.
Armed forces - who are companies like Blackwater and Triple Canopy? Why is the private military contractor industry now a $100 billion a year industry?
Intl diplomacy - like running military weaponry and money to countries that hate us and groups that have known ties to Al-Qaeda?
Police/Fire - likewise, private security is booming in Detroit. Police can't or won't respond. Fire and rescue has ridiculous response times and the Gov has no money to hire more resources.
Research - do you really think the Gov is possible of more efficient research and innovation than the private sector? 3D printing technology has astounding potential. Almost immediately, the Gov rushed to create legislation to ban/regulate the budding industry.
Veterans medical care - have you talked to people that have to deal with the VA?
Postal service - how much money does the USPS lose every year? If the USPS is so great, why has UPS/Fedex/DHL grown like they have?
FEMA - remember the Superdome after Katrina? No thanks.
Food stamps - yeah, I am thrilled people can buy Redbull and Monster Energy on the taxpayer's dime. Because even when you need Gov assistance to put food on the table, sometimes you just need an energy boost.
Social Security - a good example of something else that the Gov has pillaged and destroyed. I do not plan on SS being around when I am able to retire in 20 years.

Me: that's a lot of Fox nonsense.
Your complaint about currency is nonsensical and has nothing to do with private/public sector inefficiency. most of the world's economists agree that decoupling currency from metals is an incredibly smart thing to do.
Blackwater and companies like it will feed on the government teat happily, but I've yet to see any analysis that shows that they provide more efficient (more service per dollar spent) service than the regular army. That's because in addition to having to do the services they are contracted for, they also have to provide a return to their owners, which makes them more costly than the regular army.

International diplomacy means talking to other governments.

when public services are starved of funding, as in Detroit, they fail. Big surprise. Fire departments and police departments work very well in 99.9% of American cities, and I'm guessing that includes yours.

Yes, I do think that government funds very efficient and excellent research. I have sat on NIH funding panels and read proposals and seen how that sausage is made. Not only do they fund excellent, important research, it is often research that won't necessarily turn a buck instantly, and so no private sector funding will touch it. Your very life probably depends upon research that has been supported by government spending.

B: I'll save you a lot of typing, PP. Let's agree to disagree and move on. Best wishes, man.

Me: Yes, I have talked to people who have used the VA, and also people who have worked within the VA. Like most other government services that actually help people, it is being systematically defunded by conservatives, and is unfortunately not as good today as it used to be. However, name me the private service which is providing better, more efficient healthcare to veterans than the VA. You cannot.

Ok, happy ignorance B

The Post Office is self-sufficient, and has only suffered a deficit in recent years because of Republican legislation that has required it to fund its pension for 75 years into the future. 75 years! Apart from this accounting trick, the Post Office is doing quite well for itself. Again, when I can send something to the other side of the country via Fedex for 60 cents, we can talk.

Yes, FEMA run by people who don't believe that government can or should help people (Bush and his cronies) did a terrible job in Katrina. I await your tales of all of the private sector businesses who rushed into New Orleans and did a great job with it. On the other hand, FEMA did an excellent job with hurricane Irene and many other instances.

Again, which private sector entities are keeping people alive by providing them food, and which are doing it more efficiently than that foodstamp program (which is one of the best ways that government spending stimulates the economy, by the way)

Social Security. I could go on and on about what a great (and very stable, and well-funded) program Social Security is, despite all of the ignorant propaganda around it. Rest assured that the rest of us won't let the plutocrats kill this program before you get to benefit from it. With the 401K disaster looming, SS is going to become more important than ever before. Another example of the public sector doing something important successfully with far less fraud, waste, and failure than the private sector.

31 replies, 4059 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Just for fun . . an exchange with a Foxbot on Facebook (Original post)
ProfessorPlum Jun 2014 OP
ellennelle Jun 2014 #1
lastlib Jun 2014 #2
ProfessorPlum Jun 2014 #5
Aerows Jun 2014 #7
Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2014 #20
Lochloosa Jun 2014 #29
freshwest Jun 2014 #3
Maedhros Jun 2014 #4
ChisolmTrailDem Jun 2014 #6
locks Jun 2014 #8
Uncle Joe Jun 2014 #9
lunasun Jun 2014 #10
ProfessorPlum Jun 2014 #11
ErikJ Jun 2014 #12
ProfessorPlum Jun 2014 #13
ErikJ Jun 2014 #16
woo me with science Jun 2014 #14
rickford66 Jun 2014 #15
ProfessorPlum Jun 2014 #23
6000eliot Jun 2014 #17
bluelagoon Jun 2014 #18
ProfessorPlum Jun 2014 #25
Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2014 #19
DesertDiamond Jun 2014 #21
raven mad Jun 2014 #22
TBF Jun 2014 #24
Laelth Jun 2014 #26
arcane1 Jun 2014 #27
kentauros Jun 2014 #28
MisterP Jun 2014 #30
kentauros Jun 2014 #31

Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 11:07 PM

1. most excellent!

though you don't emphasize the profit motive enough. it always fascinates me how anyone can logically justify a more "efficient" private sector when that by definition imposes a middle man and all those shareholders who expect their palms to be crossed, and amply. how is that efficient?

fascinating how B the foxbot exited the minute you started making indisputable points! haha; intellectual cowards, the lot o' them.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 11:36 PM

2. XLNT!! I will add one thing:

shortly after Katrina, my mother forwarded me an e-mail circulating about things that happened with volunteer relief efforts which, supposedly, government couldn't match. I replied to all the recipients about one thing I DIDN'T see happening after Katrina: millionaires rushing in to spend their tax cuts to rebuild the NOLA levee system to withstand the next Katrina.

< crickets >

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Response to lastlib (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 11:42 PM

5. Excellent point

and irrefutable.

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Response to lastlib (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 11:54 PM

7. I lived Katrina start to finish

 

Was here while I was afraid it was going to rip the roof off. I'd like to see the folks that WEREN'T here debate and discuss the ones that were.

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Response to lastlib (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 01:06 AM

20. Budweiser sent in water....

 

...the bastards....

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #20)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 08:59 PM

29. LOL BUzy. ( Brewzy)

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 11:39 PM

3. Oh, that was a joy to read! Thanks! Saving it...

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 11:42 PM

4. Q: Why is the private military contractor industry now a $100 billion a year industry?

 

A: Because of graft and corruption.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 11:50 PM

6. Shut his B ass right down, didn't you, lol? Jolly good show! nt

 

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 11:55 PM

8. Thanks!

I get so tired of the lies on Fox and from the corporations, business, banks and lobbyists extolling the glories of the free market and how we should privatize everything. The Forbes money show on Fox on weekends is especially bad. I've worked in private, non-profit and government; all have efficiency, bureaucratic problems but government can't touch the corruption, greed and profit in the private corporations, particularly in the military industrial complex which Ike warned us about more than 60 years ago. And Obama is asking for billions more to spend in Iraq while ISIL is killing Iraqis with the war machinery we left them from our privatized ten-year disastrour war.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 11:55 PM

9. Those were excellent rebuttals!

Thanks for the thread, ProfessorPlum.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 11:58 PM

10. Thanks great list

I usually do not play with idiots but if I am hammered with this crap by someone somewhere I have to endure I now have the equivalent of pest repellant via you great reply!
Hope you don't mind me using your list

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Response to lunasun (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 11:59 PM

11. Use away, and good luck fighting the good fight

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 12:02 AM

12. And everything in the IPhone came from government research, including the internet it uses.

 

I think u made a blooper when you said you can send something via Fedex for 60 cents. A letter would be more like $10. Excellent responses!

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #12)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 12:09 AM

13. thanks. I actually meant that you could _not_ send something

via Fedex for 60 cents. I meant, talk to me when that's possible. Sorry that wasn't clearer.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #13)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 12:22 AM

16. Ahh yes, I guess I read it wrong. I actually asked UPS how much it would be to send a letter to

 

a city in the US 1000 miles away and they said $12.50! I went back to the good ole USPS.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 12:10 AM

14. Beautiful job.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 12:18 AM

15. I want to make a point about the Post Office.

We live in a rural area. Six days a week, our mail lady comes by our mailbox to deliver mail. If she doesn't have any for us, she comes by anyway to see if we have any mail to go out or if I want some stamps. She also delivers some of the UPS and FedEx packages for them. Could UPS and FedEx survive if they had to come by our place 6 days a week? How much profit are they skimming off the top if they can make money by paying the Post Office to deliver some of their packages? If a package won't fit in our mailbox, our mail lady drives up to the house and knocks on the door to see if we're home to accept it. We've had UPS and FedEx packages dumped outside and once left in an unused vehicle for who knows how long.

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Response to rickford66 (Reply #15)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 05:29 AM

23. it's really an amazing and unparalleled service, isn't it?

and I can't believe how so many americans are so blase about it.

I'm glad you have such a great mail deliverer.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 12:24 AM

17. I would have pushed "B" to answer your initial question

rather than deflecting the way he or she did.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 12:41 AM

18. Wonderful response. I will save for using in as nice a way as possible

Long time DU lurker, rarely comment, but THIS was outstanding. Thank you for sharing.

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Response to bluelagoon (Reply #18)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 05:04 PM

25. thanks very much, that is kind

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 01:03 AM

19. I use "street lights" as an example of something "government run" that these idiots don't notice.

 

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 01:28 AM

21. ProfessorPlum, you ROCK! You are my new hero! This is such a well-written explanation of

every reason the Fox talking points are totally wrong that I am bookmarking it to refer back to later!

I love how as soon as you start presenting the real - and actually pertinent - facts, B suddenly decides the two of you can "agree to disagree"! The problem I see is that they are presented by Fox with this whole set of "facts" that are nothing to do with what's actually going on. The ones that aren't flat-out lies have nothing to do with anything. A dear friend of mine is always trying to engage me in "dialogue" - He thows at me the BS that he gets from Fox and from RW talk radio, things that even if true are of no consequence to how this country is run. When he claims President Obama spends X amount on pedicures, I have no idea if it's true, and it doesn't matter if it's true, because it's meaningless. They just can't discuss actual facts and issues because, of course, if they do, they'll lose.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 02:01 AM

22. This is so bookmarked............

at least, it will be when I quit giggling long enough to figure out how to do it!

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 11:01 AM

24. Good job PP! nt

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 05:14 PM

26. k&r for the truth. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 05:22 PM

27. LMAO! They think Blackwater mercenaries are "cheaper and more efficient?"

 

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 05:34 PM

28. The part about the US "stealing" the silver from our coinage

boggled my mind! Does the Foxbot truly think that we own the money in our pockets and wallets? They may be "legal tender" but they're really just place-holders for what they can do (buy products, pay for services, etc...)

If people were taking their coins and melting them down for the silver content, then they were wasting even more money than simply buying silver from a trader.

And paper money wears out in 18 months (or less.) If the government didn't print more, we wouldn't having any more paper bills in a couple of years. Just huge pockets of change.

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Response to kentauros (Reply #28)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 01:14 AM

30. that's why Econ 101 should be mandatory for everyone--it doesn't even matter if it's a buncha

nuts from the AEI, as long as students understand the simple concepts of overhead, capital, currency they'll have done their job--just teach the economistic way of looking at things, so the students at least know about this dimension of life

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Response to MisterP (Reply #30)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 01:29 AM

31. I've never had any kind of economics class

but would think any idiot would know that it's the Treasury that "owns" the currency. We just borrow it to use for our needs and wants. And that's also part of why you're not allowed to counterfeit it. Who cares what it's made out of? Hell, New Zealand and Australian bills of currency are made out of plastic!

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