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Secular values are rooted in social policies

 
Thomas Orr
 
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Thomas Orr
Total Posts:  985
Joined  16-12-2005
 
 
 
28 March 2010 13:34
 

Mea culpa.

The common criticism I faced up to this point is that my ideas of “how to get there” are very vague. Well, they are. Even if I have a firm notion where I want to take us I am still analyzing and researching the specific “first steps” needed to start going. I have to admit that posts asking me difficult questions have been helpful and I am ready to make the next few posts better in providing the details everybody is waiting for.

Forget about medical coops. I gave this example because it was clean and easy. Independent and self sufficient business. Good expected results for the public. However, the scale and hence the significance of the coop solution are too small to justify creating a new movement to support and promote them.

Here is something bigger and more significant. I was lucky that in my state I had a chance to become a customer of two wonderful non-profits. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance company and Affinity Federal Credit Union. I think all American citizens deserve the opportunity to take their business to similar institutions when (and this is rather inevitable) their incorporated banks and insurance companies fail them.

Please, don’t bring up cases of inefficiencies and corruption in non-profits. This would be beside the point I want to make and the issue will be addressed when we start thinking how to make the non-profits better.

The insurance and banking non-profits are still not very significant. Here is something more ambitious. Mass Transit Authority in New York. Perfect opportunity to demonstrate how entrusting this business to a professional institution would provide solution everybody loves.

This is all for this post but before I end it one digression. In Poland before 1939 there was one very successful government institution I want to give as an example. The National Railroad system. It was profitable. Trains were running on time. Jobs in the National Railroad system even at the lowest level had good salaries, generous benefits and they were very much sought after. From what I know large part of the system success was that it was managed in a very professional manner. They had best engineers, advanced system of scheduling trains, elaborate support system ensuring that trains didn’t run out of coal. All train-roads intersections were protected with stop barriers and guarded/monitored by the railroad employees.

I know that the times and circumstances have changed. For many reasons governments cannot operate as well as it was possible some time ago. It is harder to compete for top professionals and attract them to government posts. Democracy brought ugly politics down to government institutions which are supposed to operate in a non-partisan fashion but don’t.

Here is a dilemma. Government departments cannot perform as well as they supposed to. Outsource the job to private business and you get even worse results. The solution I propose is to outsource the government job to institutions. However, we need to create the institutions we need first.

The process of creating institutions has many phases. The first phase is to find the right formula, the legal framework which will work, or at least will provide high probability of working. I don’t think we can say at this moment “let’s outsource government to non-profits”. It will not work. We need to transform the non-profit formula first.

[ Edited: 28 March 2010 18:30 by Thomas Orr]
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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Joined  20-07-2007
 
 
 
28 March 2010 14:39
 
Thomas Orr - 28 March 2010 11:34 AM
Dennis Campbell - 27 March 2010 11:51 PM

Caught that before.  Exactly what part or which of the various governments in Europe should we “catch up” to? 

Dennis

You ask me a difficult question. Here is my best shot at the answer.
It all (this thread in particular) started with the question why is America so religious while Europe is firmly secular.
I think that a lot can be explained by cultural differences and in particular by the fact that Europe embraced notions of common good, social stability and responsibility of government to actually do something for their citizens. As the result Europe provided a better safety net for their citizens than we did and managed to avoid excesses of income disparity. Think about the vicious persecution of drug related crimes, prison population, students not being able to repay their education loans and now people being thrown out of their houses due to the mortgage crisis. America is better than Europe in some respect but things I just described are unthinkable in Europe.
Also, their trains, subways and health care system, which seems to work better than ours are nice things to have.

Double post, it happens sometimes so not to worry.  Your position vis a vis Europe and Canada re health care, social and public services, and percentage of taxes required, will obviously elicit here the “Tea Party” reactions and even more moderate people as well.  I might like pigs to fly, but damned critters refuse to listen to me.

Dennis

 
 
Thomas Orr
 
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Thomas Orr
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28 March 2010 14:56
 
Dennis Campbell - 28 March 2010 12:39 PM

Double post, it happens sometimes so not to worry.  Your position vis a vis Europe and Canada re health care, social and public services, and percentage of taxes required, will obviously elicit here the “Tea Party” reactions and even more moderate people as well.  I might like pigs to fly, but damned critters refuse to listen to me.

Dennis

I corrected the double post by editing the second copy. Luckily, I needed two posts anyway.

I had to answer your question about Europe but that doesn’t mean I will be running around and scaring the public with “let’s tax ourselves like Europeans do” slogans. If Dick Cheney explained to American public why he wanted to outsource Iraq war to Haliburton Bush would not be elected for the second term. Why should I be more stupid than Cheney?

Besides, let me remind you again (for the third time I think) I am not seeking a political office. I want to build institutions and this has little to do with raising taxes.

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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28 March 2010 15:13
 
Thomas Orr - 28 March 2010 12:56 PM
Dennis Campbell - 28 March 2010 12:39 PM

Double post, it happens sometimes so not to worry.  Your position vis a vis Europe and Canada re health care, social and public services, and percentage of taxes required, will obviously elicit here the “Tea Party” reactions and even more moderate people as well.  I might like pigs to fly, but damned critters refuse to listen to me.

Dennis

I corrected the double post by editing the second copy. Luckily, I needed two posts anyway.

I had to answer your question about Europe but that doesn’t mean I will be running around and scaring the public with “let’s tax ourselves like Europeans do” slogans. If Dick Cheney explained to American public why he wanted to outsource Iraq war to Haliburton Bush would not be elected for the second term. Why should I be more stupid than Cheney?

Besides, let me remind you again (for the third time I think) I am not seeking a political office. I want to build institutions and this has little to do with raising taxes.

TO,

I’d not really care if you were seeking public office, might even vote for you.  As with some other posters here, all I’m seeking to do is explicate some of your propositions into terms and implications clearer to me.  Unlike some positions posted here, I am not attacking the premises, as much as I understand them, just seeking to get a clearer picture of them. 

Dennis

 
 
Athntk8
 
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Athntk8
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Joined  27-03-2010
 
 
 
28 March 2010 22:01
 

Unless I am entirely missing the point, the institutions you propose exist as committees, councils and other such organizations.  The issue is that these entities are not staffed with appropriately qualified people and/or have become either too politicized or financially biased.  Nor do these institutions don’t have any serious policy making influence unless they have a powerful lobby.  Backed by…the desire for financial or political gain.  Until the desire for money and power are no longer the primary influence, reason and compassion will struggle to gain a foothold.

Sorry to sound so doom and gloom, but until people and their values change…  I believe this is why the “how” of your proposal doesn’t come easily.

 
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