15 December 2006

Privatizing Indiana...To What End?

OK, I'm sort of new to all this governmrent outsourcing crap (having worked for the government in several capacities in a past life), so maybe my assessments could be incorrect, but it's just how I *view* it. It's a wrong road to travel down, provisionally-speaking.

Granted there *might* be those instances where having a private company (read business) manage the running of a specific venue, but to wholesale the state over to private companies not only sets a bad precedent, but will make for strange bedfellows in the years to come. I may be wrong, but until someone shows me otherwise, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Take our school systems around Fort Wayne...ALL privately owned and run, which is a far cry from Philadelphia, where the schools come under the jurisdiction of the city (and county) OF Philadelphia. It's the FORT WAYNE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS "Corporation", and that leads me to believe that this business entity is IN business to not ONLY educate our children, BUT to turn SOME sort of PROFIT. Let's face facts...NO business is IN business to LOSE money (or break even for that matter). And if you're NOT turning a profit, what happens? You (usually) "go under", as in file for bankruptcy, close your doors, move to Mexico, or (my favorite)..."restructuring", and I take the latter to mean (nothing short of) the CEO still wants that yacht he's got a down payment on.

Here in Indiana (The GIVE-A-WAY state...our newest motto), we've already privatized the TOLL ROAD system, and now our governor wishes to do the same with the LOTTERY system. Wouldn't that be like inviting BALLY'S (casino) to take over? I mean THEY have the resources, AND the knowledge to make it viable (if you can say that about ANY lottery system).

The BMV is another facet iof state government that is being looked at for privatization, along with the welfare and human services agencies. I think this is the Daniel's way of "downsizing big government", and to be truthful, I don't think that's what is meant by that phrase. Selling off our "assets" for state revenue just doesn't make good business sense. If a trucking firm sold off it's fleet to a third party (who themselves wished to make some profits), what would happen to that trucking company, which has no fleet to call "it's own" any longer? That third party would be all over, using the fleet to feather THEIR nests, unless they LEASED the trucks back to the original first party, but to make more money, they'd have to CHARGE the first party more for the leasings....and that takes us back to "that" road I spoke of earlier.

On the flip side, there could be some benefits for privatizing the welfare system...fewer people "playing the system", and definitely more accountability, both by the workers AND the recipients. As to the BMV...well, almost anything is better than what's curently in place, although I will admit that I have personally never had any problem with this agency. One thing I would do to shore up revenues for the BMBV would be to bring back mandatory vehicle inspections, including emissions testing. If everyone were charged a flat $25 for inspections (pass or fail), THAT would bring some serious revenue into the coffers. And the side benefit from that would be fewer violations for inoperable vehicle lighting, ergo safer roads. And the police could get back to the real work of law-enforcement.

Privatizing the lottery..I don't know. I'm not all for anything that depletes finances from those that can ill-afford it. Granted, it's a personal CHOICE to gamble your life away, but how devastating is this on already cash-strapped families? Still, it *might* be doable, but I'm not holding my breath to find out.
That brings us to the toll roads....Now I thought the STATE got a $hitload of $$$ from the companies that are leasing our toll roads for the next 75 years....so...WHERE the HELL did all that MONEY GO ALREADY? Is this a case of spending it all before you even GET it? That makes no damn sense. Whatever happened to putting the money into INTEREST-BEARING SAVINGS...so your money could make MORE money? I thought I heard the interest ALONE was in the millions...and keeps growing. Now to me, THAT makes sense, right?

In the long run, it could work...or it could be the worst financial disaster this state could possibly ever see. Do we "just say no" NOW...and hope for something else to come along, or do we sit back, do nothing, and hope our butts off we're making the right decision. I can't say for sure what WILL happen. I can only speculate on what COULD happen.

Then again, we really don't want to kick that snowball down the mountain...or DO we?


Jana said...

geez, why are people *cough*politicians*cough* so STUPID?!

having corps run schools?! are they going to up the price of breakfast/lunch? are they going to charge a rent fee for the books the students use during the year? are they going to have the parents have to buy a bus pass for riding to and from school?


B.G. (Semper Paratus) said...

They don't charge the KIDS more for the lunches....they charge US more....And that doesn't EVEN cover ALL the "free" lunches (and breakfasts...yes breakfasts) they give to those who are "needy" (more like LAZY).

Turning over all these government "systems" for the sake of a fast buck turnaround doesn't seem like the universal long-term cure for ANY of the ills the states suffer from.

But hey, it's not like we KNOW anything about this crap...right?