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Re: OT: Politics [Was:Social Contract]

On Mon, May 01, 2006 at 02:34:04PM -0700, Steve Lamb wrote:
> Matthias Julius wrote:
> > Why is that so?  Just because it is a public school?  Why is a public
> > school by definition so different from a private school?  Is there no
> > way of making a public school more (cost-)efficient?
>     Yes.  We're discussing it right now.  :P
>     Seriously though which is the general rule; a cost-efficient government
> program or a cost-inefficient government program?  Generally it's the latter
> by a wide margin.
>     I boils down to incentives.  In a business there is a drive to be
> cost-efficient because there is competition.  If they do the job better and
> cheaper they get more business you lose out.  In government there is a drive
> to be cost-inefficient.  The more you overrun your budget the greater a chance
> the budget is increased to cover "much needed expenses."  The government, in
> turn, doesn't demand cost-efficiency because it doesn't have to sell itself to
> anyone based on that criteria.  It sells itself on how much it "does for the
> voter", cost be damned.

my father used to see this in the military. If he didn't spend his
whole budget then they'd cut it the next year, regardless of what the
normal fluctuations in needed expenses were. He did civil engineering
in the USAF and they'd do all kinds of crazy things like repaint
building for the second year in a row because he knew they had other
expenses coming up the following year, so they'd waste the money now
so they'dhave it for needed stuff the next year. (my example is made
up based on my childhood memories). He hated it, but it was the way it
worked. You'd couldn't responsibly plan your expenses over the coming
years because if your requirements dipped one year for whatever
reason, then rolling forward from there you had less
money. Stupid. The problem is that its all (govt in general) such a
big heavy bureaucray that its pretty much impossible to plan
effectively and efficiently. And there was no incentive to behave
well. If you control your spending one year and get everything done
for less money, there was no "good job soldier" just less money to do
what was required and maybe higher-ups bitching because their budget
was going to get cut.



> -- 
>          Steve C. Lamb         | But who decides what they dream?
>        PGP Key: 8B6E99C5       |   And dream I do...
> -------------------------------+---------------------------------------------

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