You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 03, 2016, 09:57:34 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?  (Read 4293 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #75 on: August 18, 2012, 10:15:39 AM »
It's true.  The comment about Microsoft.  If someone today tried half the business practices that Bill Gates and company did on the way up, they'd be sued out of existence. Why? Gates stole, bought, copied so many intellectual properties before the current IP protection structure was set in place.  Windows was all but cloned from an early version of the Mac OS remember?

As for the 'if there was no FDA, it would be settled in the courts' statement, sorry AndyZ...that wont float. Before the foundation  of it by the Whiley Act, the producers didn't have to even be truthful about what was in the product or commit to standards of quality.

 As for my statements on Reagan, let's see.. He expanded the scope of government several times and raise capital gains, estate and upper income taxes at least eight times in his first term. He could have privatized the air craft controllers when they went on strike.  He didn't.  Government jobs actually grew by 3% or more during his time in office. (President Obama's admin has shrunk them by 2.7% and for a fun note Bush II grew gov jobs by about 750,000 public sector jobs)

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/03/government-jobs-bouyed-bushs-economy-and-sunk-obamas-chart.php

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #76 on: August 19, 2012, 03:51:01 AM »
Just as a note, I would point out that eHow is probably a step below a Wiki as far as self-correction goes.  Anyone can write a page, and there is no way of submitting corrections to another page owner, except through the comments.

Fair point.

It's true.  The comment about Microsoft.  If someone today tried half the business practices that Bill Gates and company did on the way up, they'd be sued out of existence. Why? Gates stole, bought, copied so many intellectual properties before the current IP protection structure was set in place.  Windows was all but cloned from an early version of the Mac OS remember?

As for the 'if there was no FDA, it would be settled in the courts' statement, sorry AndyZ...that wont float. Before the foundation  of it by the Whiley Act, the producers didn't have to even be truthful about what was in the product or commit to standards of quality.

 As for my statements on Reagan, let's see.. He expanded the scope of government several times and raise capital gains, estate and upper income taxes at least eight times in his first term. He could have privatized the air craft controllers when they went on strike.  He didn't.  Government jobs actually grew by 3% or more during his time in office. (President Obama's admin has shrunk them by 2.7% and for a fun note Bush II grew gov jobs by about 750,000 public sector jobs)

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/03/government-jobs-bouyed-bushs-economy-and-sunk-obamas-chart.php


Yeah, your perspective actually feels a lot more concrete now.  What are Goldwater's views, anyway?


Incidentally, I wanted to give another real life example of things: http://mattfisher.tumblr.com/post/29338478278/my-sister-paid-progressive-insurance-to-defend-her

http://www.wikinvest.com/wikinvest/api.php?action=viewNews&aid=4212492&page=Stock%3AProgressive_Corporation_%28PGR%29&comments=0&format=html

Short version: this guy's sister was killed in an automobile accident.  She had Progressive insurance.  The other driver had some other insurance.  When court hearings were held to determine if the guy who killed the sister was negligent in his driving, Progressive sent over a lawyer to defend the man who killed her, so that they wouldn't have to pay on the insurance.  If they could prove that the sister was at fault for her own death, Progressive doesn't have to pay out.

Now, is this terrible?  Absolutely.  Now that you know this story, though, would you ever even think of buying Progressive insurance?  I know I wouldn't.  This story has already gone viral to the point where Progressive paid out in order to make the story go away.

Now, some would want a law that would keep an insurance company from doing something like that.  The way I see it, if a company would even want to do something like that, I want them to try it and prove to everyone what disgusting wretches they are.  Let them see how what happens.

It's just not profitable to be unethical unless you have a monopoly.  Companies that try to pull this crap don't last very long, because word gets out.

Now, I am for labels on stuff, but I think I already said that.  If something's untested but people want to try it, why not let them?  Then again, if something doesn't have a label, how many people would willingly drink it?  How about just that I'm against fraudulent labels?  I'll agree that producers should have to be truthful about what was in the product, but if they have you in the court under oath, or they subpoena you, don't you have to be truthful anyway?

Let me put things this way: what rule or regulation would you want to put down for the Progressive example?

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #77 on: August 19, 2012, 10:54:00 AM »
I would say there is no need. The policy between the deceased and Progressive is a contract, paid for and set in stone. Progressive is in breech of contract and only the fact that they have a HUGE amount of legal muscle kept them from paying. Irony being.. I'm willing to bet that it cost more to litigate, protect the other guy and now pay to spin the bad press than settling the policy would have cost them. The policy would have had a set amount..

I'd say AT most a reinforcement of current laws concerning legal contacts would be needed. Of course given the use of legal community by big business I dont' see that happening anytime soon. Contracts are being dismissed, rebutted and stalled in courts because it's easier to pay for a legal team till the aggrieved runs out of money.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #78 on: August 21, 2012, 01:08:45 AM »
We are in absolute agreement that the legal process is a complete shambles.  The only solution that I've heard for the "stalling in court" tactic would be the loser pays idea, though, where whoever loses a suit has to pay the costs on both sides.  Have there been any other methods suggested that you've heard of?

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #79 on: August 21, 2012, 09:58:24 AM »
We are in absolute agreement that the legal process is a complete shambles.  The only solution that I've heard for the "stalling in court" tactic would be the loser pays idea, though, where whoever loses a suit has to pay the costs on both sides.  Have there been any other methods suggested that you've heard of?

Actually, the loser usually has to pay court costs on both sides (I've watched quite a few sentencing hearings).  The trick is that the big corps (or the ultra-rich) try to delay long enough so that the little guy gives up before a ruling.  Hence, the big guy hasn't been found guilty/liable, and therefore hasn't been saddled with anything.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #80 on: August 21, 2012, 10:00:04 AM »
So we need to figure out a good solution for this.  Any suggestions?

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #81 on: August 21, 2012, 11:17:02 AM »
So we need to figure out a good solution for this.  Any suggestions?

Never happen. The parties involved are too invested in the current system. Right now it's even getting to the point where enforced arbitration is being put into force. IE.. you sign the wrong EULA.. you can't even go to court to sue them. You have to hope the arbitrator isn't completely bought off by the big money client.. or that even then that the company won't weasel out of their payments if they lose.

Too many loop holes at the moment in courts and in arbitration. You would need MASSIVE reform in legal procedural laws, the court system appeals process and arbitration law.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #82 on: August 21, 2012, 11:35:00 AM »
Quite possibly.  One of the things that I love about discussion, though, is that we can hypothesize on things which may not seem feasible at the present.

I'm well aware of how many lawyers work in government, and why it's messed up so badly.  I also realize that any new lawyers who come in would want to be rich and aren't very inclined to fix things.

However, that shouldn't dissuade an intelligent person from stepping in here and offering possibilities on how it can be done.

It occurred to me after I posted that even the loser pays thing wouldn't fix it because both sides would still be getting constantly paid by the hour.  I think the loser pays idea was supposed to be for frivolous lawsuits.  I also remember hearing the words Tort Reform from my Intro to Law class several years ago, but I can't remember what for.

A quick and dirty fix would be to change the payment plan of lawyers so that they're paid by the case instead of by the amount of work.  This would encourage quick solutions, settlements, and rapid court sessions because they're not getting overtime.  However, I'm not honestly sure this would solve more problems than it would cause.  Would lawyers then rush through everything without really doing research or caring?  I'd figure they'd still have to do the work if they wanted to keep their reputation.

This idea probably wouldn't affect corporate lawyers anyway, which are most likely paid a salary (I think) and are on the clock no matter what.

This is probably too off topic from the original thread, though, so Callie is free to call me back to the original discussion if he wants to.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #83 on: August 21, 2012, 11:56:12 AM »
Quite possibly.  One of the things that I love about discussion, though, is that we can hypothesize on things which may not seem feasible at the present.

I'm well aware of how many lawyers work in government, and why it's messed up so badly.  I also realize that any new lawyers who come in would want to be rich and aren't very inclined to fix things.

However, that shouldn't dissuade an intelligent person from stepping in here and offering possibilities on how it can be done.

It occurred to me after I posted that even the loser pays thing wouldn't fix it because both sides would still be getting constantly paid by the hour.  I think the loser pays idea was supposed to be for frivolous lawsuits.  I also remember hearing the words Tort Reform from my Intro to Law class several years ago, but I can't remember what for.

A quick and dirty fix would be to change the payment plan of lawyers so that they're paid by the case instead of by the amount of work.  This would encourage quick solutions, settlements, and rapid court sessions because they're not getting overtime.  However, I'm not honestly sure this would solve more problems than it would cause.  Would lawyers then rush through everything without really doing research or caring?  I'd figure they'd still have to do the work if they wanted to keep their reputation.

This idea probably wouldn't affect corporate lawyers anyway, which are most likely paid a salary (I think) and are on the clock no matter what.

This is probably too off topic from the original thread, though, so Callie is free to call me back to the original discussion if he wants to.

A little, but not too much. I would say that the 'Small government' argument could be countered by the fact that Tort Reform like what is needed in court cases like this has been steadily and constantly ignored. We got a MASSIVE court system and if we could reform some laws and change some procedures and actions you have to wonder how much money we'd save in government.

One of my favorite shows, The Closer.. just finished up and it's 'sequel' Major Crimes started up. The goal of the team is to get plea bargains done now rather than confessions, the argument is that each plea bargain saved the city MILLIONS in court costs and that each plea bargain excludes the chance of appeal.

A two year court case costs millions, what would a decade long drug out law suit cost the federal courts? Particularly when one side is pushing for delays, appeals, refilling, change of venue?

I find it astonishing that in the constant mill of 'reduce government' we don't see more calls to reduce court issues. Of course when you got Patent Trolls, RIAA, the MPAA and other massive corporate groups using the court system as their personal cudjget it shouldn't be a surprise that this area of 'downsizing' has been missed.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #84 on: August 21, 2012, 12:09:14 PM »
Remind me when I wake up to put up a thread about fixing the legal system.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #85 on: August 21, 2012, 12:12:08 PM »
Remind me when I wake up to put up a thread about fixing the legal system.

Don't.. you'll just get frustrated..there is a LOT of ground there. TRULY. I'm talking Epic Colossal amounts.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #86 on: August 22, 2012, 07:31:25 AM »
Appreciated, and not sure if I will yet, but I hope you don't consider it as ignoring you if I end up doing so.

So, next topic to discuss: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_phoenix_metro/central_phoenix/valley-woman-told-she-could-not-hand-out-free-bottled-water-in-summer-heat

Some lady was handing out free bottled water in the 112 degree heat of Phoenix, Arizona, and was told that she was violating city code because she didn't have a permit.

Should you have to have a permit in order to give someone a free bottled water?

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #87 on: August 22, 2012, 09:01:40 AM »
I'd think this would fall under Good Samaritan laws instead of permit laws.  We didn't have 112 degree heat here in PA this summer, but there was one time that Mr. Oniya saw a total stranger in heat-distress outside our house and did the exact same thing.  (He also asked and got permission to give her kid a freezy-pop).  When he was working the RenFaire, he'd get a case of water from the bulk store, and do the same thing.  Not advertising it, not selling it - just recognizing that Person A looked like they were in trouble and handing it over.

Offline js207

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #88 on: August 22, 2012, 10:00:23 AM »
Most people, whatever their political position, agree that the courts have a legitimate rôle to play in enforcing contracts between consenting parties - which covers both the dishonest labelling someone mentioned earlier (when I buy a bottle of stuff labelled as containing certain amounts of certain chemicals, it's a breach of contract if it doesn't) and the insurance company trying to weasel out of paying. Whiley Act or not, false labelling is illegal and could be remedied in court. (In some recent cases, the government has actually acted to limit truth in labelling, to suit its own ends!)

The thing is, though, enforcing a contract doesn't require significant - or indeed any - government resources: the two parties, or the losing party, can be required to pay the court costs. No need for some regulatory bureaucracy  with its own armed goons: just a courtroom, judge and clerk, funded by case filing fees.

There IS some need for regulation - for example, radio transmissions and cellphone networks: someone needs to ensure company A doesn't interfere with company X's frequencies and vice versa - but nothing requiring massive resources. Spending is higher than ever before: any agency claiming not to have "enough" resources for their core function now is either lying or criminally inefficient (or both!)

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #89 on: August 23, 2012, 12:02:06 AM »
I'll start this off saying that I really hope this is fake.  If anyone can get me evidence that it's untrue, please please let me know.  However, I've found it on quite a few sites.

http://www.freep.com/article/20120809/NEWS05/308090260/Detroit-water-department-cut-81-workers-under-new-proposal

http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/17404

My claim: since the Detroit water department does not have any horses, they do not need a horseshoer.  I mean, I'm sure there's other things you can cut, but...yeah.

Offline Chelemar

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #90 on: August 23, 2012, 12:17:55 AM »
Andy,

If you read the article it explains the position as being that of a current welder, former horseshoer (dyecaster, metal smith, smithy, blacksmith.)   XD
Edited to add:

Ooops my apologies, didn't see the 2nd article.  Thought it was all one.  Looks like they are worried about quantity not quality.

« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 12:23:52 AM by Chelemar »

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #91 on: August 23, 2012, 12:33:50 AM »
No worries ^_^

Some of the articles mention the explanation of what the guy actually does, which may be genuine in order to say that they need and have an actual welder.  That may be true and they just never bothered to actually put in that he's not a horseshoer, but it seems more likely that they ambushed some guy with questions and he talked about some of the things which the guy does which help out around the place.  However, that's speculation on my part.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #92 on: August 23, 2012, 08:24:55 AM »
Sounds like the horseshoer position turned into a general welder and metalsmith position.  As for the rest, I would DEFINITELY investigate a second opinion, a 80% reduction in labor sounds wild particularly when you see the words 'outsourced' put in.

For example, when I did ground maintenance or a training squadron we were told our billets would go away to civilian jobs to help downsizing and consolidation. Till we read the proposal.  Typically fr my rate it takes 4 of us to maintain ONE aircraft of our type and another 4 of another rate.  The civilian proposal had only 2 techs for each plane BUT only a tenth of the flight hours available and each tech was getting six times the base pay and would have overtime pay as well (military does gt over time)

Offline js207

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #93 on: August 23, 2012, 04:47:11 PM »
It is important to compare oranges to oranges, certainly - so rather than focussing on the one obsolete job title, ask why Detroit has double the staffing ratio of the Chicago counterpart doing the same job.

The much lower staffing level on that civilian maintenance contractor could well be alarming. On the other hand, in 2008 I was involved in a government contract where we had one team member analysing data in a spreadsheet - by hand. Literally, counting the rows. I replaced her with a small Perl script. How many person-hours were wasted, on that small project alone, by a simple lack of thought about efficient ways of working?

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #94 on: August 29, 2012, 01:16:57 PM »
Just caught this little gem, courtesy of Robert Reich.  You've probably heard all about how Paul Ryan plans to make all these sweeping cuts in government spending.  Cut this, reduce that, retool this other thing...  Projections from the Ryan camp look pretty good.

Well, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a non-partisan group, ran the numbers.  Folks, it doesn't look pretty.

You see, Ryan's budget also includes some massive tax cuts (particularly in the upper echelons), which then allows the deficit to actually increase - and rather substantially, too.  Yes, he's chopping all these things that the government spends money on (pesky things like CHIP, Medicare, and Social Security), but he's also chopping away at what the government takes in.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #95 on: August 29, 2012, 01:31:01 PM »
Paul Ryan responded to this on his website: http://roadmap.republicans.budget.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=175628

No clue who's telling the truth, but anyone looking into this may want to compare and contrast.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #96 on: August 29, 2012, 01:47:53 PM »
Paul Ryan responded to this on his website: http://roadmap.republicans.budget.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=175628

No clue who's telling the truth, but anyone looking into this may want to compare and contrast.

Still reading things through, but.. the vibe I get is they are saying 'not true' but not providing a lot of actual figures to refute the claims. I see a lot of cites towards research basis but not any concrete info to back the refutations. Not a single figure or percentage. Just a restatement of prior cliams and how they came to their plan.

Offline Trieste

  • Faerie Queen; Her Imperial Lubemajesty; Willing Victim
  • Dame
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: In the middle of Happily Ever After with a dark Prince Charming.
  • Gender: Female
  • I am many things - dull is not one of them.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 4
Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #97 on: August 29, 2012, 02:00:29 PM »
I'm not comparing or contrasting, but Mr. Ryan's version brings up several questions just reading through it.

Quote
Claim: CBO was directed not to score revenues for the Roadmap by staff.  (pg. 2)

Reality:  False. In fact, Congressman Ryan and his staff did ask CBO to analyze both the revenue and spending provisions in the Roadmap.  However, CBO declined to do a revenue analysis of the tax plan, citing that it did not want to infringe on the jurisdiction of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).  The JCT is responsible for providing the official revenue score of legislation before Congress.  JCT, however, does not have the capability at this time to provide longer-term revenue estimates (i.e. beyond 10 years) that Ryan’s long-term solution requires.

Given these functional constraints for an official JCT cost estimate, Ryan relied on its original work with U.S. Treasury Department tax experts to formulate a reasonable expected path for long-term revenues given the tax policies in the Roadmap combined with long-term expectations for economic growth.

Wait, so we won't see results from this plan until more than 10 years in the future? Why not have JCT do the first 10 years of analysis and then have the US Treasury Department tax experts pick up after that? This seems shady to me.

Also, I don't see on page 2 of the report anywhere stating that Ryan's staff instructed the CBO in such a manner. Straw man?

So in my experience with bureaucracy, when one committee says it does not want to infringe on another committee's turf, it's usually because they're being asked to stick their neck out and they're not comfortable with, or equipped to, provide a very good answer. So CBO redirecting them to JCT was probably due to the fact that JCT was better-equipped to handle the numbers. Good on them for not overreaching, as far as I'm concerned.

Quote
Claim: The Roadmap imposes no requirement that private insurers actually offer health coverage to Medicare beneficiaries at an affordable price. (pg. 10)

Reality:  Title III, Sec 301 of the Roadmap requires the Department of Health and Human Services to certify plans and publish an annual list of Medicare-approved plans, at least one of which must be targeted to the “special needs of Medicare’s highest cost seniors.”

Erm, that's not a requirement of private insurers - that's a requirement of the DHHS to publish a report. If there's nothing to report, what happens?



There are several statements that bring up similar questions. I don't really trust a fiscal plan that tries to outline spending and taxes for the next 60 or 80 years, for the same reason that it's hard to plan a household budget for the next, I dunno, 5 years. Lots can happen... I don't trust this roadmap thingie, I really don't.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #98 on: August 29, 2012, 02:25:43 PM »
Again, this is why 'smaller government' sounds like code speak to me.

Thieves Cant?   ;D

Offline Dovel

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #99 on: August 29, 2012, 03:12:12 PM »
lol I won't get you started because I'll admit I don't know enough about the intelligence community to discuss it intelligently myself. All I can say about it is that, from the little I've seen in the news and read about it etc. it seems that the various agencies don't communicate well.

I believe the government should be turned in an amusement park. A nonpartisan amusement park. With puppets.