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Old 03-17-2016, 12:14 AM   #31
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Yeah, I know this started as a joke, but if it is going to evolve into a rant, I want to pile on too. I've always wanted to be a Knight erRANT.
It is pretty clear that free enterprise can claim a lot of the credit for making this country as rich as it is.
But I get a little irritated when it is assumed that government is necessarily inefficient with lazy employees, and private companies are efficient with motivated employees.
A couple of anecdotes: (1) A quarter century ago our church built a new sanctuary for about $1M; a year or two later, we received a large check (about $5k to $10k as best I can remember) from the city because some 'faceless' bureaucrat discovered that the city had overcharged us for one of our building permits, and this person made the extra effort to correct the error. We had no idea that we had been overcharged, so never would have thought of requesting a refund. (2) In the last month, we have upgraded our home cable TV, phone, and internet service. As in every previous dealing with this large, private company it has taken several calls to correct errors they made along the way, even though every person I dealt with was pleasant and sounded competent.
I think that most people want to feel useful and helpful to others, whether they work for government or the private sector. I personally think it is only a small minority who grab any opportunity to behave as a parasite on the rest of us.
[Full disclosure: I spent my entire career employed at a Federal Laboratory, where most of the people I knew were enthusiastic about their work, and put in well over the 40 hours a week they were paid for and expected to work. Work on the "Cathedral of Fusion Energy" continues, I hope, to completion. I'm optimistic that a few of the 'bricks' that I installed may survive in the final structure.]
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Old 03-17-2016, 02:56 AM   #32
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Hi: All... Had a guber mint job of sorts. Drove a transit bus for near 20 yrs. Our rule was "There's a 1000 reasons for being late... but none for being early". Only twice got to leave work early. Once taken off the bus for a kidney stone attack, and once the bus broke down just before my shift finished. Alf
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:52 PM   #33
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I'd say it has to do more with bureaucracy than it has to do with government vs private sector. Bureaucracy kills innovation, creates inefficiency and waste, and frustrates end users. It's just that government is known for bureaucracy perhaps more than the private sector is. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly in both worlds.
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Old 03-18-2016, 01:26 AM   #34
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Might be that the most visible parts give a bad rep to all the parts. Think of the town road crews seen by all, 6 people standing around while 1 or 2 are working. The lines at the DMV waiting for indifferent workers. The call to the IRS help line. We hear all the time about the stalemate in Washington while seeing scenes on the news of an almost empty House of Representatives or the Senate discussing or voting.

My impressions are formed by what I experience and by what the news reports.
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Old 03-18-2016, 01:35 AM   #35
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Might be that the most visible parts give a bad rep to all the parts. Think of the town road crews seen by all, 6 people standing around while 1 or 2 are working. The lines at the DMV waiting for indifferent workers. The call to the IRS help line. We hear all the time about the stalemate in Washington while seeing scenes on the news of an almost empty House of Representatives or the Senate discussing or voting.

My impressions are formed by what I experience and by what the news reports.
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Old 03-18-2016, 08:49 AM   #36
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My impressions are formed by what I experience and by what the news reports.
Yep, and in this age of instant information and poorly researched media reports....
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