Thursday, August 14, 2008

Palate Cleansing

McM blathers on the military & the DMV: They're awful, but the military not as much, or something.

Let me first note that in my most recent encounter w/ the State of California's DMV (a bit before Gov. Schwarzenegger's decision to make state employees suffer because the legislature can't pass a budget, & his decision to suspend Sat. hours @ the DMV). I made an online appointment to renew my ID card, arrived about three mins. late, filled out a form, waited for five or so mins., had a nice chat w/ the guy I paid & the customer at the next window about show bidness, had my picture & thumbprint taken, signed on the digital pad, & was out w/in about 30 mins. of entry, all employees were kind & pleasant, my new card showed up w/in a wk. No problem, no how. So the continuing whining about "The DMV" being the root of all gov't. evil is just a bit misplaced in my not at all humble opinion.

(Secret suspicion: White fools who have suckered themselves into being consumers, driving cars, working for a living & the like resent non-white people having what the sheep consider cushy gov't. jobs, & exercising any power whatsoever over their lives of white privilege. Were it a white person being "rude" to them [probably in reaction to original rudeness on the part of the sheep] they probably wouldn't whine nearly as much.)

But enough about me, let's talk about how I feel about Ms. McArdle.

One thing I feel is that she should identify her "former colleague." No name, & the only link provided is to one of her (Imagine that!) previous items. Granted, whoever the f. c. is, he, she or it was referring to said item, but...

At any of the tasks the military does which are comparable to a private organization, it performs worse than top-notch private organizations; it is not as good at logistics as Wal-Mart, as good at food service as McDonalds, etc. Military procurement is expensive and insanely inefficient. This is the nature of the beast; governments have all sorts of rules that are designed to achieve goals other than effectiveness.
Let's not confuse the "government" w/ the military. Most of the gov't. rules that impede "efficiency" are there to prevent "welfare queens" w/ the Cadillacs & multi-million dollar mansions that they get from defrauding the gov't. of that $50,000.00/mo. AFDC check. Rules w/o which the rat bastard Republicans wouldn't let one bill helping anyone who needs it pass, if they had to shoot themselves in the halls of Congrefs to keep humanitarians from getting in to pass the bills.

I'd love to see how efficient Wal*Mart logistics would be if they were delivering under fire, or threat of roadside IEDs. How, by the way, has that privatization of logistics worked out for KBR & Halliburton? Pretty well, huh? Their employees (Contractors, really, & how convenient is that for KBR?) may not think it's so swell. I am glad to see a vegan Megan sticking up for McDonalds & their "food service." Is that like feeding the troops? You want the soldiers & Marines to be all logy w/ a few double cheese-burgers & a petroleum-distillate shake when Jihad Jerry comes a knockin'.

Yes, military procurement is expensive/inefficient. Has something to do w/ not there not being a mass market for fighter aircraft, RPGs, or body armor, among many other things; therefore it's not quite like ordering paper clips or desktop computers. Nor does it help when people in military procurement ("Thanks for your service.") steer deals to certain corporate entities in exchange for a high-paying corporate job after they've jockeyed a desk in the Pentagon for 20 yrs. & retired at full pay. Usually a job offering post-military employment to their pals still serving (themselves) in the Pentagon. A few more prosecutions &/or (Dare we say it? ) stricter regulations & oversight might fix some of the procurement problems.

As far as gov't. health care, if Medicare were extended to everyone, putting the healthcare insurance conspiracies out of business, we would have complete & absolute free choice in drs., hospitals, you name it. As opposed to the current deal wherein the insurance cos. decide who they'll insure, for how much, which drs., etc. they'll let you see or use, & so on. Funny how the glibs forget how their choices are limited by insurance organizations, not increased.

Almost missed this piece of work (Very subtle Megan, but some of us can read.):
Healthcare spending, outside of a few categories such as vaccination, does not provide such a benefit; almost all of the benefit of modern healthcare spending is captured by the person to whom it is provided.
Why sure enough, w/ the possible exception of the zillionaire executives who've never applied a bandage or handed out an aspirin in their lives, & the parasite stockholders whose financial interests come before the well-being of the allegedly insured. And there's no benefit whatsoever to a healthy, productive, efficient (to use the cliches of make-the-trains-run-on-time-style fascism) workforce is there, little Miss I-have-a-horrible-cold-&-I'm going-to-the-doctor-so-I-can-bitch-about-how-sick-people-got-in-before-me?

When it comes to "innovation," let's just look at the example of Bill Gates & Paul Allen. They innovated this whole hideous mess of personal computing, blah, blah, blah (alright, not completely by themselves) not because they sat down one day to try to figure out what they could do to become the richest fucks in the world (That's never worked, & never will.) but because they enjoyed dicking around w/ computers, & were pretty good at it. (Maybe that's why they enjoyed it.) Eventually (after they stole MS-DOS from some guy whose name I forget) their interests, not their greed, led to me typing like a ninny here. Likewise, in a zillion other fields of endeavor, it's not greed that motivates people, it's simply the desire to work in a field that they enjoy. And if they're really good at, & really enjoy it, innovation occurs. Perhaps in healthcare people are motivated to find a cure for whatever killed Granny or Uncle Joe, or a treatment for what made Cousin Sid miserable for fifty yrs. w/o killing him. Few people decide to go into medical research to make a killing. How gov't. paid healthcare influences any innovation in medical research is beyond me.

But how about this:
On matters such as management of the nuclear arsenal, I'm not really lying awake at nights [sic]wondering whether we're spending too much or using too many personnel, or whether our warheads are really the very best they can be. But when something consumes 16% of our GDP and every innovation saves lives, you kind of have to start thinking about those things.
Uh, has Miss McA. heard the sad tale of the Secretary & Chief of Staff of the Air Force who were just fired by the Secretary of Defense BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T HANDLING THE NUCLEAR ARSENAL VERY WELL BUT WERE FLYING WARHEADS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY?! Dying in an atomic accident, not to worry, but 16% of the GDP? That's important!!! Stupid, shallow, ignorant. Big question to her: Are our warheads really the very best they can be? Try worrying about those warheads landing on your head, Megatron.

Elements of Style©: It's "soundbite," not "soundbyte." It is a bite of sound, & has nothing to do w/ Zeros & Ones, even if the sound has been digitally recorded. Even Blogger™ spell checking is aware of this.

M. B. Updates (15 August 2008 @ 1611): Uh, how did I miss the post below? And the comments? Some of which it seems I stole. Though I didn't, really...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"almost all of the benefit of modern healthcare spending is captured by the person to whom it is provided."

And not by the people who don't contract their contagious diseases.