[OT] Google Fiber (probably) coming to Provo

Michael Torrie torriem at gmail.com
Wed Apr 17 20:59:58 MDT 2013


On 04/17/2013 05:07 PM, Lonnie Olson wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM, Steve Alligood
> <steve at betterlinux.com> wrote:
>> Many localities now outsource to private companies for trash
>> pickup, so your category has gotten me thinking about the potential
>> for outsourcing other things (like schools) as well, which is kind
>> of what the charter schools are doing, maybe, but could private do
>> it better, for less money?  probably.  This invites more thought,
>> way off topic, etc, etc, but the idea is interesting.
> 
> Agreed.  Lots of gov't/tax provided infrastructure is outsourced to
> a private company.  Like Rocky Mountain Power, BFI, UTA, etc.  Why
> not, if that private company can do it better?  That is exactly how
> Utopia is supposed to work.  Unfortunately sometimes it doesn't work
> out.

Except that private companies often (much of the time) don't work
cheaper than government, or more efficiently, for all of the same
reasons.  I grew up in Alberta, Canada, and I've seen first-hand how not
to do things.  You have to be very careful about outsourcing services to
private companies.  In Alberta we've privatized/outsourced everything
from road maintenance, drivers licenses and registrations, electrical,
gas, to telecommunications.  It has been an unmitigated disaster,
especially in areas that were natural monopolies to begin with.  In many
cases, like licensing and registration, it was a great deal for the
government.  They no longer had to pay for employees and buildings.  So
they could cut taxes a little bit.  Yay! Go republicans.  The problem is
now we pay for it in private fees several times over what the taxes used
to be, and service levels have declined.  As well the private companies
that run the power grid have lobbied hard and successfully eliminated
any functional oversight of their operation, and even have a
government-guaranteed 9% ROI a year (which is raised through the rates).
 They now have the power to build new power lines, charge us the tax
payers for them, and then get to own the lines outright.  What a deal.
At least with the government running it, the lines still belong to "we
the people" in the end.

I think the core problem, and America has this problem too, is crony
capitalism, which is a complete corruption of everything that can be
good about capitalism.  As long as this is the case, I'm completely
opposed to any and all privatization of services.


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