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Detroit, Officially Bankrupt, Braces for Pension Cuts

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The5thHorseman
The5thHorseman  
12/16/2013 2:10:02 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Depend on government?
Absolutely. Building and maintining roads, higways, bridges, etc, is the work of engineers and tradesmen, not politiicans. This is an excellent example; government's purpose here is oversight and management. It does not take any particular knowledge or skill to determine when a roadway is in disrepair. Big cracks and potholes are pretty obvious indicators that a road needs attention. A handful of inspectors would identify the needs, but the private company designs, plans, and executes the work. A major problem in America right now is the dilapidated condition of our bridges. Here again is a function appropriate to government; oversight of periodic inspections to ensure safety and  structural integrity. Government maintains schedules of planned inspections, at appropriate intervals, but the inspection is performed by engineers employed by private companies. Again, government governs, and private industry provides the service.  Ensuring that our roads are maintained, in both poor and affluent communities, IS a fucntion of effective government oversight, NOT a function for the company doing the work.  Could community centers be privatized?... Yes, they could. The best community centers all have something in common; community volunteers. The name itself implies this fundamental requirement for success. I have seen community centers built so local government can say they have one. No one uses it, and the people working there don't even live in the community. They missed the point entirely.  Community centers should always be operated by the residents of the community they serve. Further, they can be funded in the same manner that a home owners association would be. The services provided would be customized to the needs and interests of the particular community. But success here is a function of community involvement, people make it work because they want to, and are willing to contribute their time as volunteers to make it valuable the to the community. The underlying theme here again.... the people need to take responsibility for the service, not the government. 

Resurgent phoenix
Resurgent phoenix  
12/14/2013 4:21:39 PM
User Rank Burgher
Re: Depend on government?
Your post made some good points. Do you think roadwork should be done by private companies with no Government involvement? If yes, how can we insure continuous network of roads across the country? what will prevent roadwork from not being done in poor communities. Do you think recreation centers should be private business. Would this create more inequality in poor communities.?

Resurgent phoenix
Resurgent phoenix  
12/14/2013 4:21:39 PM
User Rank Burgher
Re: Depend on government?
Your post made some good points. Do you think roadwork should be done by private companies with no Government involvement? If yes, how can we insure continuous network of roads across the country? what will prevent roadwork from not being done in poor communities. Do you think recreation centers should be private business. Would this create more inequality in poor communities.?

The5thHorseman
The5thHorseman  
12/10/2013 2:07:39 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Depend on government?
Yes, private enterprise can be held accountable. The reason is simple; money talks. If you do not meet your contractual obligations, you don't get paid. This is effective because our society only values money, so in this case, payment is tied to performance. In contrast, government pays itself with your tax dollars, whether they meet their obligation to you or not. In fact, you need only look back a few years to review voting histories of virtually every politician in office. Despite dismal performance, reprehensible behavior and epic failures, our government continues to give themselves raises, improve their benefits packages, and destroy what little regulation remains. So the answer is yes... private enterprise can be held accountable, where state and federal government cannot because the people lost control a long time ago. However, the point of my post was that we need to stop relying on local, state and federal government to be service providers. That is not the purpose of government. Their purpose is to govern, and all other functions being provided by government should provided by private industry. We ask "What's wrong with the economy" and "Where are all the jobs"... I beleive that if we offloaded these functions to private companies, we could create whole industries to service these needs. Some ask, "what's the difference, the job gets done either way..." The difference is that having private companies provide services creates new business opportunities, encourages innovation through competition, and increases cash flow and velocity in the economy. Further, employees are paid by the company, not the government/taxpayer. A private company provides a service to citzens, and the citizens pay the company for the service. You have now dramatically reduced the monetary needs of your government, Their budget shrinks exponentially as more services are offloaded to industry. Government employees become employees of industry, and the government payroll dramatically shrinks. The taxes that are strangling the middle class can be cut to realistic rates, allowing them to invest their money in their own lives, not the government. The role of government would then become that of governance and oversight, which is what it should have been in the first place. Government is not a business, despite what those in office think. America will never thrive again until we change this and get our economy moving again, providing services for ourselves, building for ourselves, returning to local small businesses that feed the local economy, small local banks that service the local economy, not ship you money off to another state or country. Americans have relied on government to do everything for them, and we need to reverse that error and start taking responsibility for our own local communities and the service they need to maintain the lifestyle we have become so accustomed to.

Resurgent phoenix
Resurgent phoenix  
12/9/2013 11:54:14 PM
User Rank Burgher
Re: Depend on government?
Interesting post, do you think the apathy toward government worsen the situation? Do you think we can hold private enterprise accountable to provide what some call public services. In Detroit it seems the Government i s going toward private companies providing City services such as the contacting out of the Health Department, trash collection and many other services.

Resurgent phoenix
Resurgent phoenix  
12/9/2013 11:54:11 PM
User Rank Burgher
Re: Depend on government?
Interesting post, do you think the apathy toward government worsen the situation? Do you think we can hold private enterprise accountable to provide what some call public services. In Detroit it seems the Government i s going toward private companies providing City services such as the contacting out of the Health Department, trash collection and many other services.

Resurgent phoenix
Resurgent phoenix  
12/9/2013 11:46:49 PM
User Rank Burgher
Re: Role of new mayor
Thanks, I hope Duggan has success in turning around Detroit!

The5thHorseman
The5thHorseman  
12/5/2013 2:51:32 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Depend on government?
Depending on your government to help you is folly. The reason Detroit is in this situation can be reduced to two words; misplaced trust. Detroit and the rest of America has no one to blame but themselves. Americans have allowed local, state and federal government to become so enormous and so complex and so corrupt, that they, first, do not understand it, and second, are no longer in control of it. When Americans refer to government, the simply say "The Government"... largely because they can no longer differentiate between city, county, state or federal government, let alone determine which is responsible for any particular subject. We complain about the taxes we pay, but expect "the government" to provide you with electricity, water, sewer service, trash removal, streets, traffic control, police, firemen, public transportation, grounds keeping... I can go on all day. The point is that all of these services, except police and your court system, should be provided through contracts with civilian businesses, not public employees. American cities are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy because they are in the business of providing services that politicians are not qualified to provide, and should not be providing in the first place. A good example of this is California. Under Governor Gray Davis, the state entered into contracts for electricity, provided by out of state power companies. This was a knee jerk reaction to what he thought was a power crisis. Reality was that local power companies took too many plants off line for maintenance at once, creating the perceived crisis. Because Davis and his cronies are politicians and not electrical engineers, they failed to figure this out. Instead, the out of state power companies capitalized on his ignorance and desperation to secure power. The result nearly bankrupted the state, cost countless jobs and cost the California taxpayers tens of BILLIONS of dollars. We are still paying for this... "The Government" should not be in the utilities business because politicians are not engineers. The point is that the purpose of government is to govern... NOT to provide the public with every service that they can imagine. Why are the pensions of public employees at risk in Detroit? Over compensation may be part of the problem, but the real problem is the sheer number of public employees in any given city or state. When a city decides to own, operate and maintain its own public transportation system, for example, they are becoming their own light rail company, bus company, trolly company, etc. And that takes THOUSANDS of employees... all paid by the taxpayers, including benefits and pensions. All being managed by... Politicians???... Instead, the city should contract a private company to provide these services. This provides business opportunities for the public, real economic growth (not creating jobs by creating new public employees paid by an ever shrinking tax base), increases the real taxpayer base and drives innovation through competition (free enterprise?). Detroit made legal contracts with its employees and unions. They are responsible to honor those contracts. Like California, their public officials were elected by the people. And the people are responsible for the deals those officials make in your name. We are still paying for Gray Davis mistakes, and yes it hurts. But Californians did take action; Gray Davis was recalled and removed from office. This is the positive part, you can and should hold your elected officials accountable for their actions. When you don't, your city is named Detroit. If you are trusting your "Government" to provide for you, your trust is woefully misplaced.

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
12/5/2013 12:28:20 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: What an Outrage
@james, ive read the conspiracies and im not 100% sure about them but there is some truth to them.

James@SanDiego
James@SanDiego  
12/4/2013 8:14:14 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: What an Outrage
Hi Dave, do not be sorry man, this is an eyeopener for all of us.  Not sure if you are into theories and conspiracies and such, but the New World Order is afoot and silently sneaking in for the kill.  One of the rungs is the complete dependence on government after government has taken away and reduced society to a common class.  Financial failure will lead many to depend on the NWO and an elect few will make up the upper tier whilst the common man will be reduced to a bottom feeder so to speak.  It makes no sense at all for an Americain city to fall into backruptcy in the modern day and age, while Affordable Medical Care is being pushed down our throats.  No my good fellow, RANT and RAGE and don't take this lying down.

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