Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where the Cuts are Felt

Powerline has an article referencing another poor care scandal in the government run hospitals in England. One part hit on a thought floating in my head:
An independent inquiry found that managers at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust stopped providing safe care because they were preoccupied with government targets and cutting costs. ...
Out here in California we voted down a series of tax increase initiatives disguised as budget controls. Since then it feels as if the state government is determined to punish the voters for denying the funding. In one Case, when the idea of furloughs was just being mentioned, some state beaches closed their showers, claiming lack of personnel to do the labor. If I recall correctly, that didn't fly because the cleaning was done by people doing Community Services terms.

That drove home what is the biggest ground level difference between the public and private sectors. Government agencies tend to resort to service cuts at the first sign of budget shortfalls. Meanwhile, a company in a competitive market would try to conceal those cuts from their customers for fear of losing them to the competition.

I will grant that not all corporations follow that logical path. Cable and insurance companies have the worst reputations. So my issue is not against the public sector as much as toward monopoly. The British story from their single payer (by definition monopolistic) system is classic.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Intriguing Thought, But...

Meg Witman is running for governor of California on the premise that she has been successful at establishing a large corporation efficiently and profitably. I think that she is setting herself for one hell of a culture shock.

I would question the capacity for a successful executive to manage a government. My view is that a large corporation starts its slide and loses efficiency in direct proportion to the degree that it begins to act like a government. For said large corporation then, it would follow that an executive is successful in how she prevents that type of culture from developing.

So if there is was to be an executive that I would particularly feel good about voting for would be one who has taken an ossified, hidebound corporation and turning it back into an innovator. For instance, taking Microsoft and developing a consistent slate of products that would generate buzz on the level of Apple.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Creepiest Ad From the Super Bowl

Granted there is a minute plus left, but I don't think this one will be topped:

Are there any paranoid fantasies about environmentalism that they didn't use in this commercial? The worst part is that people are supposed to feel good about these scofflaws being punished. *shiver*

Friday, February 05, 2010

Starting the Cycle

The government is making noises that a sub $250,000 per year tax cut would lead to new jobs being created. How I see it is the cycle working like this:

Step 1: Consumers have more money to spend.
Step 2: Consumers purchase goods from corporations.
Step 3: Corporations have more money.
Step 4: Corporations hire more people.
Step 5: Return to Step 1.

Not too bad on the face of it, but there is one assumption that does not fit into the history of some of the actors involved. At the moment when Step 3 comes into effect the usual suspects will take offense and demand a remedy. In short "Tax Them!"