Must. Make. Gubmint. Smaller.

Hard Pressed, Cities Take Ax to Once-Sacrosanct Firehouses –







4 responses to “Must. Make. Gubmint. Smaller.”

  1. Steve Broback Avatar

    Straw man. Find me a right-winger who advocates tearing down core infrastructure like this and Ill find you 100 that want firehouses retained. This is more like it.:

  2. Asymptosis Avatar

    Every organization screws up — private and public. I recently ordered $200 in discount fliers (with expiration dates) that we barely used. Live and learn.

    Carl Icahn:

    “I have observed first-hand the sheer amount of waste and inefficiency at a few companies that I have taken over.

    For instance, when I took over a rail freight car company called ACF during the 1980s, they had 12 floors in a Manhattan office building which was filled with workers. I couldn’t figure out what they did. I really tried to find out what these people did and even went so far as to pay $500,000 to a consultant to study the issue and get back to me. After weeks of research, even the consultant couldn’t figure it out. So I shut down the division and it had no discernable impact on the performance of the company, which I own to this day.”

    Fact is, “starve the beast” is trashing good programs right along with the bad. cf. American infrastructure and Washington State higher ed.

    It’s the political/economic/ideological/intellectual equivalent of bloodletting.

    But it is easy to understand, doesn’t require one to get involved in all those messy, problematic policy details. Yuck. Just complain, and one’s virtue and wisdom is demonstrated — to others, but even more importantly, to one’s self.

  3. Ted K Avatar

    Look at the pay package of the HP board and the compensation of the Sysco food distributing company recently broken down on Also Oshkosh the children’s clothing maker. Everyday (or at least every other day has examples of these stories like Icahn is talking about. And that’s a lot of what Icahn is scooping up. Badly managed assets. If you look at the lack of corporate governance and the way shareholders proxy votes are thrown away if they don’t vote for the proposed board members chosen by the board members. It’s not to hard to figure out what is going on. IN fact when you look at how many companies don’t currently pay dividends it’s almost the same as “taxation without representation”, in that they might have the use of a large amount of your cash which they get interest on, but you get nothing. And this is just if you own the stock DIRECTLY. When you get into mutual funds and ETFs and the cozy relationship there with the discount brokerages (a certain Canadian brokerage located in Omaha Nebraska comes to mind) “cold calling” customers with excess cash in their account to put them in low yielding ETFs with fees that eat 90% of the ETF yield, also cozy with Hedge funds, and family mutual funds ON KICKBACKS, the shareholder has almost zero say anymore—you can read about it in this academic paper by Jennifer Taub which I highly recommend:

  4. Asymptosis Avatar

    Thanks, Ted. Reminds me to get around to posting my own hair-brained scheme: Make it illegal for executives/managers of publicly held corporations to sit on their own board of directors. I flew this by John Bogle when he was on a call-in radio show a while back, and he agreed: it’s outrageous that it’s allowed. They’re their own bosses!