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Thread: New Jersey Mayor Wants to Eliminate Public Works Department

  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
    Sounds like the local government handled the contracting of services to outside companies rather badly. That does not equate to a blanket position that privatization is, by nature, always going to be more expensive.
    Local govt often applies poor oversight to in house works, the level of oversight diminishes when work is outsourced.

  2. #32
    the internet is serious business! Ought Six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Gently Benevolent View Post
    Local govt often applies poor oversight to in house works, the level of oversight diminishes when work is outsourced.
    Another blanket statement about a situation that in reality varies widely from place to place.

  3. #33
    Milo Drinker of Death Flagg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laconian View Post
    I tell my people this all the time. We have to retire at 57, and most of my folks got married later in life; so when we go out we'll still have a kid or 2 in HS or college. You need to develop a skill set now that can be converted to a paying gig when they take your stuff away.
    The thing I want to clarify is that I do NOT think there is issue with federal employee pensions....my ire is directed at the dodgy local/city and some state pension plans.

    They're not all dodgy.....far from it....but there's some really insane ones out there.

    I reckon the way the big accounting firms(dot com and Enron scandals) and rating agencies(mortgage CDI scandals) received a huge black eye to their public perceptions the same will happen to the actuaries who have to sign off on the pension plans that had insanely dangerous investment return assumptions built into them.

    57 is incredibly young.....I can see how it helps to cycle through to give the younger generations the opportunity to plug the gap, but all that institutional knowledge walking in and out the door everyday, never to return after a mere 57 years old.

  4. #34
    Milo Drinker of Death Flagg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HK in AK View Post
    Flagg,

    I was sitting in a meeting with Mohamed El-Erian, who is the CEO of PIMCO, and Co-Chief Investment Officer with Bill Gross. One of the comments he made was that because of the failure of state pensions and Social Security everyone should become morbidly obese and take up chain smoking and drinking in order to cut their life expectancy to preserve the solvency of those programs. It was a good laugh, but it's true.
    Very interesting.......and I couldn't agree more.

    I just got back from another trip to the US.....I didn't notice as many people smoking(there seems to be some anecdotal progress there)......but the meal sizes and people sizes seem to keep getting bigger...

    I know Russian life expectancy took a hit after the fall of the Soviet Union....I suspect that if life expectancy doesn't take a shallow drop in the US over the next decade or two, I seriously doubt we see the same life expectancy increases we've seen in the past for most outside of the upper middle class to wealthy.

    What with all the other full spectrum drama going on, I just don't think most people have local/city/state pension problems on their radar......

    One parallel stat I've been watching is median starting salary for new college grads:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/bu...y/19grads.html

    It's bad enough that it's going backwards.....what's far worse is that it's LOWER than what it was when I graduated nearly 20 years ago.

    That's not just in REAL terms, but NOMINAL terms as well......with far higher student debt levels.

    I can imagine a similar-ish pattern for bankrupt local/city/state pension beneficiaries developing as well.

  5. #35
    Μολὼν λαβέ Hollis's Avatar
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    I think the junk food outlets are doing their part to lower life expectancy in the US. Also they are setting some of the salary limits that might become the norm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis View Post
    I think the junk food outlets are doing their part to lower life expectancy in the US. Also they are setting some of the salary limits that might become the norm.
    Get rid of corn and pork belly subsidies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Gently Benevolent View Post
    Local govt often applies poor oversight to in house works, the level of oversight diminishes when work is outsourced.
    Wish you were around in 2002 to tell the NYC Parks Department that. An Inspector was on our ass daily to the letter of the contract and more while we built 3 Soccer Fields w/ Bleachers, drainage, and fixed sidewalks, benches, etc. purchased an SUV for the City along with computers, software for their main office as that was also thrown in. We never did get paid for the excess foundation removal even though the inspector signed off that it must be removed.

    Soil brought in had to pass testing for contaminents(and that was a Joke considering it was cleaner soil than the park was built on originally) and digging the drainage was fun with all the old foundations of the 1939 and 1964 Worlds Fairs just under the surface. NYC estimated 400' of old foundation needing removal and thats all they paid for. We had to remove 2350' to get the drainage pipes in to their spec and we had to eat that . Then there were the work stoppages caused by the Coalitions and the guy we found hanging from a branch one morning and waiting for NYPD to cut him down.

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    the internet is serious business! Ought Six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ordie View Post
    Get rid of corn and pork belly subsidies.
    Pork bellies are BACON. If there is any food good enough to be subsidized, it is BACON. Do not mess with my BACON, or I will peel your face off your skill and feed it to you. BACON! Hell, yeah!

  9. #39
    Senior Member Chiptox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ordie View Post
    Get rid of corn and pork belly subsidies.
    Making corn and bacon slightly more expensive isn't going to stop the overconsumption. We can afford to pay $.50 more for a Big Mac and will.

    Lack of excercize and overconsumption are the real causes of modern American obesity full stop. The average American eats ~425 more calories per day than they did back in 1950! That's enough extra food to make anyone except an anorexic overweight.


    What cutting subsidies will do is increase prices in places where many cannot afford to pay more, like India and Africa, increasing food insecurity globally. The US is far and away the worlds largest food exporter and if we make it more expensive here by discouraging farmers the effects on commodities markets around the globe will also feel the pain but we will not feel much, if any, of the pain ourselves and continue to gorge ourselves on cheap (for us!) food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
    Pork bellies are BACON. If there is any food good enough to be subsidized, it is BACON. Do not mess with my BACON, or I will peel your face off your skill and feed it to you. BACON! Hell, yeah!
    No wonder they are pushing bacon into burgers.
    Push the obesity, increase the health care costs and pre-mmature death rates.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ordie View Post
    No wonder they are pushing bacon into burgers.
    Push the obesity, increase the health care costs and pre-mmature death rates.
    Ordie are you baconphobic?

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