Monday, November 1, 2010

The Lean Efficiency (And Persistence) Of Private Sector Lies

More of the government is the problem meme from the Journal Sentinel in Saying 'yes' to change. As usual, more government bashing and the often parroted call for more efficiency in the public sector.

I've written before on this false idea that the private sector functions perfectly while the public sector is inept. It's an endless loop among the business-worshiping press about private efficiency and government waste. Somehow the S&L scandal, the stock bubble, the real estate bubble, AIG, Enron, WorldCom, Lehman, etc. seem to slip the media's memory. The corruption and inefficiency of the private sector is evident to anyone with their eyes open. All except the media and business leaders whom want to perpetuate the myth of private sector efficiency and know-how.

The Journal article starts off with Medicare and Social Security as two examples of ticking fiscal time bombs. First, put the Medicare issue into context. It's solvency, or lack thereof, is the result of runaway health care costs in America: twice as much per person than the next closest developed country (and those countries have universal care). Social Security is fiscally fine for decades. And, after that, if nothing in the program was changed, it would still be able to fund 80 percent of benefits. Simply removing the cap (on taxed earnings) from Social Security would resolve any possible issue from the program for the next century.

The Journal then flippantly states, "It's not difficult to understand why taxpayers are unhappy. Many believe they aren't getting their money's worth." But, yes, it is hard to understand. Taxes have not increased. They've actually gone down for 98 percent. The size of government has not grown. And, spending, even during our second worst economic catastrophe, has not exploded. If a good media were reporting the actual facts and providing truthful insight and information to the readers and viewers, citizens would understand and they wouldn't be unhappy. Well, they may still be unhappy, but they would see the Obama administration was doing good things, they would know their taxes were lower, and they would feel slightly more hopeful about the future. Rather than thinking the constitution was being shredded, taxes and spending are increasing, and the country was being run by a Muslim communist.

It takes time to turn around a near second Great Depression. The Obama administration has had success turning this around. We're not back at full employment, but getting there from over 10 percent unemployment in eighteen months is a pipe dream. More time, more stimulus, and the path we're on now will get us back on the road to prosperity.

The Journal ponders, "Tax increases may be necessary as well. But, let's reimagine government." We've been reimaging government for the last four decades. All we've accomplished is crumbling infrastructure, volatility for workers, increasing inequality, and a lower quality of life.

Listen, people, this isn't hard. Taxes must go up on the wealthiest among us. Enough of all the disincentive bullshit talk from the greedy hucksters! When taxes in this country were at their highest on the wealthiest, our middle class was created, one breadwinner could maintain family, our economy grew at its highest rate, and inequality was shrinking.

The knee-slapper of the article claims, "...applying 'lean' principles to government. They've worked in business." Ha, Ha! they haven't. Again, the evidence of financial chicanery, cooked books, corruption, incompetency, and profligacy of the past few decades by some of America's largest private sector companies is well documented. The efficiency of the private sector has been completely discredited. If we could just remove this paradigm from our thought- and decision-making processes, we could achieve more and better outcomes for everyone rather than a select few.

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