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Topic: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: RussianJet
Posted 2012-07-04 05:31:24 and read 2654 times.

I read this article in the NY Times and was, quite frankly, shocked.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/us...mpanies-profit.html?pagewanted=all

Here in the UK we have some private sector involvement in the penal system, but nothing like to this extent. The whole principle of a for profit, private enterprise having direct involvement in getting people jailed and piling on fees is abhorrent. I personally think that the private sector should have no involvement whatsoever in the judicial system, penal system, or any aspect of policing.

In Britain we are now seeing private companies being awarded contracts to fulfil some police functions, and we have had privately run jails for a long time. I fear that if this creeping rise of the private sector in state functions continues, we shall eventually end up with the same kinds of nightmares described in this article.

How on earth can anyone seriously think this is a good idea? I'm all for people paying for their crimes, but it should be proportionate, and definitely not influenced by profiteering scumbags.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: mham001
Posted 2012-07-04 06:38:41 and read 2611 times.

Beyond the private probation companies, this is nothing new. Cailifornia granted its DMV the legal right of thievery several years ago. My local county has a free-for-all should you desire a building permit. I once paid a fee to pay a fee. Fees are the new tax.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: WestJet747
Posted 2012-07-04 06:48:06 and read 2593 times.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
How on earth can anyone seriously think this is a good idea?

In my experience, cash-strapped, rural politicians see dollar signs before sense. They obviously care more about their bottomline than the people they're elected to serve. The system described in this article is horribly backwards.

Now for the devil's advocate side of me: "don't do the crime if you can't do the time". I can forgive a couple speeding tickets, but in the example given in the article (Gina), she knowingly drives without a license. In another (Hills McGee), he is charged with public drunkenness. These are not mistakes. It's so easy to keep your nose clean and avoid trouble with the law, but these people seem to have a problem with that.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 1):
I once paid a fee to pay a fee.

Did you happen to go to my university? They're pretty good at that.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: zkojq
Posted 2012-07-04 06:56:49 and read 2588 times.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
I personally think that the private sector should have no involvement whatsoever in the judicial system, penal system, or any aspect of policing.

Agreed, though in these rough economic times, governments seem to find favour with privately run jails and the like.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
How on earth can anyone seriously think this is a good idea? I'm all for people paying for their crimes, but it should be proportionate, and definitely not influenced by profiteering scumbags

Unfortunately lots of people on the right seem to want as many government activities as possible 'outsourced' to the private sector with little regard for the incentives that they create. As an example, you might want to have a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal. Sickening.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: Pyrex
Posted 2012-07-04 07:15:59 and read 2565 times.

Quoting zkojq (Reply 3):
Unfortunately lots of people on the right seem to want as many government activities as possible 'outsourced' to the private sector with little regard for the incentives that they create

It is funny to hear the left talk about incentives - I thought the whole premise in which your ideology was based on was that incentives don't work. Let's raise taxes, people will keep working their asses off anyway, let's give people free money not to work, they will keep looking for a job anyway, let's give people money for having children off of wedlock, they will be responsible and try not to have them anyway, let's give teachers and other public employees tenure, they will keep doing their best at work anyway, etc. etc. etc.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: fr8mech
Posted 2012-07-04 07:45:10 and read 2539 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 2):
They obviously care more about their bottomline than the people they're elected to serve.


Think one step further...a positive bottom line does what? It enables the municipality to provide the services, essential and non-essential, it has promised its citizens.

I skimmed the article, but I didn't see why these municipalities were so far in the hole. But, I can guess.

I'm mixed on a privately run penal system. A private system (with adequate governmental oversight) and with competition should be able to provide service at a lower cost than the government doing it. But, the penal system is the province of the State. Like I said, mixed.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: ltbewr
Posted 2012-07-04 07:58:39 and read 2519 times.

Four reasons for privatized judicial detention and jails (as well as many other government functions):
One, is to get the state out of the short and long tail money costs of employees from base pay, health insurance, pensions/retirement savings, sick pay, easier to hire/fire workers, etc.;
Two, is to use the tax policies as to private companies to cover capital investments costs;
Third, is to limit liability costs; and
Four, to give potentially very profitable contracts to campaign contributors and friends.

Taxpayers either out of need to reduce taxes as their incomes decline and for the wealthy out of greed, governments have been pushing the envelope to privitize many government functions. Many privitized functions cut pay, don't offer much in beneifts to remaining employees, no job security, yet owners, managers and executives may make several times more than the governement bosses did.
I don't like privatization beyond certain levels it as there are certain jobs that should be for security, privacy, worker rights and other factors to be the sole responsibilities of governments and not in private hands with no options.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: WestJet747
Posted 2012-07-04 08:18:40 and read 2502 times.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 5):
Think one step further...a positive bottom line does what? It enables the municipality to provide the services, essential and non-essential, it has promised its citizens.

I totally agree. Government should always try to operate above water so that it can provide additional services, but services that benefit the collective. I can't see how this money-saving initiative justifies the cost to those being burdened by it. Government (at this level) should be profit-seeking, but not profit-driven.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: Pyrex
Posted 2012-07-04 08:34:08 and read 2481 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 8):
Government (at this level) should be profit-seeking, but not profit-driven.

Government is never non-profit - government is for loss. There are many areas where government operates and loses gobs of money in while providing unfair competition to actual non-profits.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: flipdewaf
Posted 2012-07-04 08:57:09 and read 2460 times.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 9):
Government is never non-profit - government is for loss.

Interesting way of looking at it and I suppose you are correct but its very similar to management or human resources in a manufacturing business they don't add to the bottom line but they very much can facilitate those who do.

Look at somalia, not much govenment there so they should be rolling in it   

Fred

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: fr8mech
Posted 2012-07-04 09:04:03 and read 2456 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 8):
Government should always try to operate above water so that it can provide additional services, but services that benefit the collective.


No, not additional services...essential services. When government starts to provide 'additional services' we start to see budgetary problems that necessitate additional revenue raising measures.

It's my thought that the criminal justice system, including penal, is an essential government function. Some governments have chosen to outsource it in order to save money. So long as they retain stringent oversight, I see this only as a minor deferment of power to the private sector.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: Ken777
Posted 2012-07-04 09:08:38 and read 2451 times.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 4):
It is funny to hear the left talk about incentives

Like the GOP's Socialist $1,000.00 per child per year cash handout. Now that is a stimulus (to certain body parts) as well as an incentive.

As far as the programs go, it is basically a rip off. Not a surprise in a backward state like Alabama. Hopefully there will be sufficient legal actions against the localities and the companies to make it financially undesirable.

It is also important that organizations like AAA and sites like Google Maps identify these locations for speed traps and kangaroo courts. It used to be that when you got a Trip Kit from AAA the locations with the shady cops & courts were not only identified, but you were routed around them when possible.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: WestJet747
Posted 2012-07-04 16:13:37 and read 2298 times.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 8):
There are many areas where government operates and loses gobs of money in while providing unfair competition to actual non-profits.

There are many areas where the government should be effective enough so that the non-profits aren't even necessary...but that probably won't happen in our lifetime.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
No, not additional services...essential services. When government starts to provide 'additional services' we start to see budgetary problems that necessitate additional revenue raising measures.

Perhaps you misunderstood what I said. Governments are going operate, whether with a surplus or deficit, and provide the essential services. But when a government enjoys a surplus, it can provide additional services on top of the essential services.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
So long as they retain stringent oversight, I see this only as a minor deferment of power to the private sector.

Apparently oversight is lacking in this case. The private company in the article seems to be over-stepping their bounds.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-07-04 16:37:04 and read 2282 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 12):
But when a government enjoys a surplus, it can provide additional services on top of the essential services.

When the government enjoys a surplus the money should be returned to the taxpayers, end of story.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: WestJet747
Posted 2012-07-04 16:41:17 and read 2280 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
When the government enjoys a surplus the money should be returned to the taxpayers, end of story.

Who do you think the services are for?

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: Mir
Posted 2012-07-04 17:21:27 and read 2259 times.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
So long as they retain stringent oversight, I see this only as a minor deferment of power to the private sector.

I have a big problem with giving private companies an incentive to get the government to take away people's freedom.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
When the government enjoys a surplus the money should be returned to the taxpayers, end of story.

It should be put into a rainy day fund, actually.

-Mir

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: darksnowynight
Posted 2012-07-04 17:56:36 and read 2231 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):

It should be put into a rainy day fund, actually.

I'd see no problem with that.

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):

I have a big problem with giving private companies an incentive to get the government to take away people's freedom.

I think it's appalling that there are folks who even pretend to disagree with this, let alone support such things. When we're jailing people for nothing other than profit, we can't be far from the political systems we used to fight wars against.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
Some governments have chosen to outsource it in order to save money. So long as they retain stringent oversight, I see this only as a minor deferment of power to the private sector.

By definition, it is impossible to oversee this correctly, so this is clearly not an option. Secondly, going from a democracy to a Fascistic state happens, without exception, with as you say "minor deferments of power." Capitalism works only when vigorously regulated and when its wrongs (which this unmistakably is) are severely and quickly punished. Since we effectively do not do this, accustom yourself to having your rights removed in incremental and minor deferments...

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: Ken777
Posted 2012-07-04 17:59:56 and read 2230 times.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
No, not additional services...essential services.

When you get down to it, there are a lot of "additional services" that most people would support.

Start with the Interstate System. It was not essential, but it was smart and it has been a major factor in the growth of this nation.

ATC? We could cut that in half and limit air traffic. Just keep enough capacity available to handle military fights in an emergency. Only the really essential stuff.  
Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
Some governments have chosen to outsource it in order to save money.

I think a lot of that outsourcing has been functions taken over by political friends, who are pulling in big profits.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
o long as they retain stringent oversight

That is the last thing I exact to find in outsourcing. The funding for oversight will be one of the first things cut.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 12):
There are many areas where the government should be effective enough so that the non-profits aren't even necessary...but that probably won't happen in our lifetime.

It is already here. Called Medicare.

Medicare competes with Medicare Advantage - the private Medicare program that was supposed to prove that private industry could do a better job and do it cheaper.

Needless to say the private Medicare Advantage is more expensive than Medicare. 15% more expensive.

Not a big surprise when you get down to it.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
When the government enjoys a surplus the money should be returned to the taxpayers, end of story.

That is what Bush was talking about with his "Tax Cuts" - a refund of the surplus.

Unfortunately we have continued to refund the surplus long after it was gone.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: fr8mech
Posted 2012-07-04 18:41:45 and read 2213 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 12):
But when a government enjoys a surplus, it can provide additional services on top of the essential services.

And when the funds aren't there, how is easy is it to take those additional services away? No, you provide the essential services and return the surplus, after building an emergency fund, to the tax payer.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
When the government enjoys a surplus the money should be returned to the taxpayers, end of story

  

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 16):
By definition, it is impossible to oversee this correctly, so this is clearly not an option.

By definition? No, done properly, through adequate regulation and/or legislation, oversight is easy and comprehensive. I point to the air transport industry. Part 121 carriers basically run their operations and audit themselves, within the framework of the FAR's. The FAA provides oversight through periodic audits, inspections, visits, etc.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 17):
When you get down to it, there are a lot of "additional services" that most people would support.

Please stop getting melodramatic. I can easily make constitutional case that the interstate system is essential to country, along with ATC.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 12):
Apparently oversight is lacking in this case. The private company in the article seems to be over-stepping their bounds.

Absolutely. If the state can not imprison someone for an offense, no private company should be able to. In fact, a private entity should never be able to imprison anyone.

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 16):
Capitalism works only when vigorously regulated

We call that Socialism.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-07-04 19:35:36 and read 2188 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 14):
Who do you think the services are for?

Whose money do you think that is? Tax money is not the government's money per se. It's a necessary contribution to the government to provide me services that I need. The process needs to be "I need these services and it will cost X dollars" not "I'm paying the government X dollars, let's see how many services can be squeezed out of that."

The government should provide essential services: defense, infrastructure, law enforcement, and a few other things. The government should therefore do its best to collect only what money it needs to provide those things. If there's extra, it should go back to the taxpayers. Spending more just because you have it is about the dumbest possible thing you could do.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: WestJet747
Posted 2012-07-04 20:54:34 and read 2158 times.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 18):
And when the funds aren't there, how is easy is it to take those additional services away?

Incredibly easy! They are non-essential services after all. Most cities hold budget meetings every year in which the mayor and city councilors debate which services to keep, which to roll back, and which to dissolve completely.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 18):
along with ATC.

Reagan seemed to think so  
Quoting fr8mech (Reply 18):
In fact, a private entity should never be able to imprison anyone.

   To add to that: a private entity shouldn't have a say in the imprisonment of anyone who hasn't committed a direct crime against that entity.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
The government should provide essential services: defense

I'm going to have to stop you right there. We're talking about local government here, not provincial/state or federal. I believe local governments should hold onto the surplus and provide additional services (or use them for other growth initiatives).

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: Mir
Posted 2012-07-04 21:40:08 and read 2135 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 20):
I believe local governments should hold onto the surplus and provide additional services (or use them for other growth initiatives).

Or stockpile it, since you have to figure you're not going to run a surplus every year, and it would be really nice to have a reserve on hand to dip into so you don't have to start cutting essential services in the bad times.

-Mir

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: zkojq
Posted 2012-07-04 22:43:00 and read 2118 times.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 4):
It is funny to hear the left talk about incentives

Well actually I'm centre-right (much more centre than right though), not that this is relevant here.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 4):
It is funny to hear the left talk about incentives - I thought the whole premise in which your ideology was based on was that incentives don't work. Let's raise taxes, people will keep working their asses off anyway, let's give people free money not to work, they will keep looking for a job anyway, let's give people money for having children off of wedlock, they will be responsible and try not to have them anyway, let's give teachers and other public employees tenure, they will keep doing their best at work anyway, etc. etc. etc.

Please show me evidence of where I have 1) said that incentives don't work, 2) supported any of those points you have mentioned above.

The fact is that when correctional facilities are privately run there is an incentive for the company to maximize the utility of their prisons i.e. to get more people arrested and sentenced. As an example, Corrections Corporation of America spent more than $2.7 million from 2006 through September 2008 on lobbying for stricter laws. In 2011 their total lobbying expenditure was $1,070,000. There is no incentive to actually rehabilitate those in prison, but rather to keep them there for as long as possible. Infact from a Private-Prision's perspective there is an incentive to make sure that the prisoner does re-offend so that after being released, they can get arrested again (and jailed) as soon as possible. Obviously this is converse to public good.

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000021940&year=2011
http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/73...-Jailhouse-bloc/?page=3#TOPCONTENT

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 7):
Taxpayers either out of need to reduce taxes as their incomes decline and for the wealthy out of greed, governments have been pushing the envelope to privitize many government functions. Many privitized functions cut pay, don't offer much in beneifts to remaining employees, no job security, yet owners, managers and executives may make several times more than the governement bosses did.
I don't like privatization beyond certain levels it as there are certain jobs that should be for security, privacy, worker rights and other factors to be the sole responsibilities of governments and not in private hands with no options.
Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 7):

  

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
So long as they retain stringent oversight, I see this only as a minor deferment of power to the private sector.

Problem is that when governments are trying to save money, its cheaper not to have oversight at all and trust the private sector to self-regulate.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
When the government enjoys a surplus the money should be returned to the taxpayers, end of story.

Or more likely get spent on one politician or another's pet projects. That's just how things seem to work.

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
It should be put into a rainy day fund, actually.

  . Sovereign wealth funds are great. Singapore's Temasek Holdings could potentially return the Singaporean Government 22bil SGD each year (if they decided not to reinvest any of their profits) - that is 22bil SGD that doesn't need to be paid in taxes.


Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
I have a big problem with giving private companies an incentive to get the government to take away people's freedom.
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 17):
I think a lot of that outsourcing has been functions taken over by political friends, who are pulling in big profits.

  

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 17):
That is the last thing I exact to find in outsourcing. The funding for oversight will be one of the first things cut.

Or not there to begin with, as I mentioned above.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 18):
We call that Socialism.

Socialism is when the government takes over all business and thus doesn't need to regulate.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-07-04 23:10:42 and read 2114 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 20):
I believe local governments should hold onto the surplus and provide additional services (or use them for other growth initiatives).

Even local governments should give the money back to the people (who quite possibly will put it into the local economy anyway) and if they really need the growth initiatives the government can put it on the table and on the budget and collect more money when it's needed. When you start keeping money and then spending money just because you have money you start a vicious cycle.

The bottom line is that the government works for the people not the other way around. The government needs some money to provide the essential services it exists to provide, but as much money as possible should remain in private hands. The government doesn't know how to manage my money better than I do.

If a new house comes in under the estimate the homeowner won't tell the contractor to keep adding rooms until they meet the original cost. The homeowner will take the house he commissioned and keep the change. Allowing governmental mission creep is how you end up like Illinois and California.

Quoting Mir (Reply 21):
Or stockpile it, since you have to figure you're not going to run a surplus every year, and it would be really nice to have a reserve on hand to dip into so you don't have to start cutting essential services in the bad times.

One must be ruthless in cutting and not adding non-essential services to ensure that essential services can be fully funded even in bad times, without undue tax burden.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: CompensateMe
Posted 2012-07-04 23:36:08 and read 2103 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):

When the government enjoys a surplus the money should be returned to the taxpayers, end of story.


Or perhaps pay off the deficits (debts) its incurred.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: MD11Engineer
Posted 2012-07-05 02:31:52 and read 2088 times.

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 16):
Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
Some governments have chosen to outsource it in order to save money. So long as they retain stringent oversight, I see this only as a minor deferment of power to the private sector.

By definition, it is impossible to oversee this correctly, so this is clearly not an option. Secondly, going from a democracy to a Fascistic state happens, without exception, with as you say "minor deferments of power." Capitalism works only when vigorously regulated and when its wrongs (which this unmistakably is) are severely and quickly punished. Since we effectively do not do this, accustom yourself to having your rights removed in incremental and minor deferments...

The problem is that a democratic society built on individual freedoms needs economic freedom (best brought throuzgh capitalsm), but capitalism doesn´t necessarily need individual freedom. This is why capitalism thrieved in systems, which did not provide for individual frredoms (at least not for those who are not of the governing / capitalist class):
Victorian England, 19th cen tury Prussia, Nazi Germany, today´s China and Dubai and Pinochet´s Chile.
I think most capitalists would like a society which allows them to move their capital around as they please and which allows them to invest it wherever they like to, but where there are no worker´s rights, where unions are repressed and where there exists a large pool of Lumpenproletariat to keep wages down or a force to work (e.g. Nazi Germany, where anybody without a job was considered "associal" and lazy and likely to end up in a concentration camp, not to forget then large pool of slaves from the camps whno were rented out by the government to the companies).
Compasny profits skyrocketed during this time.

Jan

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: greasespot
Posted 2012-07-05 04:49:26 and read 2065 times.

I like how it is here. Most. High way traffic tickets are not arrest able and are sent away with a ticket
If they do not pay the ticket their dl gets suspended which is arrestable.
However only in the worst cases can we bring them before a judges such as three previous charges. They are always released with a court date

This way the true baddies we get we can search them as they arrested and find other criminal stuff. It works espially good with gang members.

The soccer moms or dads who are not good with paperwork do not get taken to jail.

If they refuse to pay the fines it goes to cleft ion agency and their dl stays suspended until they pay.

After three times convicted driving under suspension they get 45 days jail and escalates with each conviction Usually it is habitual baddies who get to this point.

They baddies usually never show up in court so because it is a traffic ticket the case proceeds anyways in absentia. Nothing like tracking them down later for a committal warrant and taking the directly to jail.

As much as I would like. No one should be jailed because they cannot pay the service fee to a private company. Jailed on the fine amount is ok.

Gs
Sent from my phone booth

[Edited 2012-07-05 04:51:52]

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: Pyrex
Posted 2012-07-05 05:24:11 and read 2055 times.

Quoting zkojq (Reply 22):
The fact is that when correctional facilities are privately run there is an incentive for the company to maximize the utility of their prisons i.e. to get more people arrested and sentenced.

California Prison Guard Unions do exactly the same... if you want to talk about perverse incentives you need to talk about the ones in the Public sector as well (rule number one of working for the government - do not do anything until you absolutely have to. Initiative is bad - if it works you get nothing for it, if it fails your career could suffer some hiccup).

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: WestJet747
Posted 2012-07-05 06:47:11 and read 2020 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):
Even local governments should give the money back to the people (who quite possibly will put it into the local economy anyway) and if they really need the growth initiatives the government can put it on the table and on the budget and collect more money when it's needed.

What you are describing is raising taxes. I'd prefer my city use the surplus they received this year rather than hiking up taxes on me next year.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 23):
If a new house comes in under the estimate the homeowner won't tell the contractor to keep adding rooms until they meet the original cost. The homeowner will take the house he commissioned and keep the change. Allowing governmental mission creep is how you end up like Illinois and California.

I see the comparison you are trying to make, but there's a big difference between personal expenditures and tax funds.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 27):
if you want to talk about perverse incentives you need to talk about the ones in the Public sector as well (rule number one of working for the government - do not do anything until you absolutely have to. Initiative is bad - if it works you get nothing for it, if it fails your career could suffer some hiccup).

Too true. My best friend has worked in various capacities within the prison system up here over the past few years and it angers me to hear how things are run. There's absolutely no incentive for these people to come in under-budget, they over-hire, and to top it all off, my buddy gets paid MORE than me for doing a FRACTION of the work!   

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: fr8mech
Posted 2012-07-05 07:47:15 and read 1995 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 20):
Incredibly easy! They are non-essential services after all. Most cities hold budget meetings every year in which the mayor and city councilors debate which services to keep, which to roll back, and which to dissolve completely.


Much easier said than done. Take for instance, trash pickup. There are some communities that provide pickup through taxation and some communities where the homeowner pays for the pickup. Now, whether this is an essential service or not is up for debate. It's clear that private sector can do it as well or better than the public sector.

Now, what kind of uproar do you think will occur if the municipality says they want to eliminate, due to budgetary reasons, trash pickup as a service and shift the burden to the homeowner?

What about street beautification projects? Hardly essential services, but try to take a way a council person's pet project because of revenue shortfalls and there will be screaming in the streets.

Once a governmental service is provided, it is near impossible to dismantle.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: Flighty
Posted 2012-07-05 07:52:01 and read 1990 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 14):
Who do you think the services are for?

I was thinking of starting my own municipality. That way, I could keep all of my money tax-free, and furnish the mayor (me) with a nice house, car, etc totally tax-free. Paid for by taxpayers (my clan). Neat huh? Then you could keep 100 pct of your gross income.

Being a church also allows that.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: WestJet747
Posted 2012-07-05 08:37:21 and read 1972 times.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 29):
Much easier said than done.

Nobody said it was easy, but it's necessary to strategically review the feasability of provided services on a frequent basis.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 29):
Once a governmental service is provided, it is near impossible to dismantle.

Tell that to Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto. He cut "nice to have" services last year to the tune of $18M.

I should also note that Toronto has a surplus of around $270M, a good portion of which will be used for improving transit, as opposed to being returned directly to the taxpayers as some here have suggested.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 30):
Then you could keep 100 pct of your gross income.

...except for those pesky state and federal taxes.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 30):
Being a church also allows that.

I'll save that one for a different thread!

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: StuckInCA
Posted 2012-07-05 10:47:59 and read 1938 times.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 1):
Cailifornia granted its DMV the legal right of thievery several years ago.

I don't know exactly what happened that you're referring to, but I'm guessing it's what caused me lots of hassle.

I moved to WA several years ago. When moving, I filed the form with the CA DMV stating that I was moving my vehicles out of state.

Surprise, surprise. A few years pass and CA garnishes my federal income tax refund claiming that, hey, since I had registered a vehicle in CA for a few years, they would presume that I should have continued to do so for those following years. Since I didn't - they took my money. They had never contacted me prior to the garnishment. Now imagine trying to deal with the CA DMV from out of state. Sigh.

Then, last year, they claim the SAME thing with my second vehicle - 6 years after I left the state. They sent a letter claiming they would be getting a lien on my home if I didn't pay within 5 business days. It took multiple rounds of mail (certified express mail) and, finally, an attorney, to get them to back off.

Insanity.

Anyway, it would be easy to say that private enterprise should not be involved in the penal system, but the California Prison Guards and their union are a problem too. They need to eliminate three strikes, stop incarcerating people for non-violent drug offenses and seriously overhaul or eliminate the pensions for prison guards.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-07-05 12:14:59 and read 1911 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 28):
What you are describing is raising taxes.

When the government is adamant about providing only essential services and returning surpluses to their rightful owners, you can raise taxes a bit to cover shortfalls in lean times without causing too much trouble.

What you're advocating is what happened in Illinois and California: collect a lot of tax revenue and spend it because you have it. Then things go south a bit and not only do the essential services need more funding, but so does all the crap you just piled on top of it. So you have to collect more money, but you already have relatively high taxes. It ends up being a situation where the bloated government is not adequately funded, but taxes are already as high as can be tolerated or higher. The situation can be referred to as being up a creek without a paddle.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 28):
I see the comparison you are trying to make, but there's a big difference between personal expenditures and tax funds.

Yeah, when the government does it, it's even dumber.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: flipdewaf
Posted 2012-07-06 01:07:43 and read 1822 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
When the government is adamant about providing only essential services and returning surpluses to their rightful owners, you can raise taxes a bit to cover shortfalls in lean times without causing too much trouble.

The problem is though people have to budget just like a goverment does and in times when the government isn't getting as much money in as normal then it is likely because earnings are going down and the economy is slowing. This means that when the government needs to tax people more they are already likely being squeezed already.

Fred

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: Flighty
Posted 2012-07-06 07:47:47 and read 1771 times.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 31):
...except for those pesky state and federal taxes.

I believe your your state and federal income would be zero, after adjusting for local taxes already paid.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: zkojq
Posted 2012-07-06 08:37:44 and read 1758 times.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 27):
California Prison Guard Unions do exactly the same...

which is crazy, particularly how they have become so powerful.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: DocLightning
Posted 2012-07-06 16:30:46 and read 1717 times.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 5):
I'm mixed on a privately run penal system. A private system (with adequate governmental oversight) and with competition should be able to provide service at a lower cost than the government doing it.

The evidence is that this is not true. The evidence as collected shows that generally private contractors cost more than direct public administration.

Furthermore, there have been huge abuses in private systems. Private systems have bribed more than one judge to hand out inappropriately severe sentences and even instruct jurors so as to find innocents guilty. There is also an incentive to treat prisoners inhumanely in the name of cost-cutting, since the prisoners are not the customers and thus have no recourse.

Privitization works well in situations where there is competition and where the results of that privitization can feed back on elected officials. There is no inherent incentive to check for abuses in a privatized prison system without increasing regulation and oversight that winds up making it more expensive than just having a publicly-run system.

Is it any wonder that we have the highest per-capita prison population in the world (by far)?

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: MD11Engineer
Posted 2012-07-07 02:32:39 and read 1673 times.

One problem I often see here as well is that public sector employees think that, because they are employed by the state with it´s "limitless" funds, they should get better pay and working conditions (e.g. number of paid vacation days) than employees of the private sector.

Jan

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: RussianJet
Posted 2012-07-07 05:32:06 and read 1645 times.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 37):
The evidence is that this is not true

Indeed. In the UK we end up with all manner of absurdly costly government groups and mechanisms having to oversee all aspects of privatisation, regulators, government 'watchdogs' etc, and all on top of contracts that often already provide poor value for money.

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: PPVRA
Posted 2012-07-07 06:50:21 and read 1630 times.

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 9):
Look at somalia, not much govenment there so they should be rolling in it   

They have been fighting a war for decades. According to the left's dearest economist, John Maynard Keynes, they should indeed be rolling in it. Alas they are not.

And before this war, they were communist.

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 16):
Capitalism works only when vigorously regulated

It ONLY works properly when NOT REGULATED OR OTHERWISE UNDULY INFLUENCED BY THE GOVERNMENT AT ALL. The idea that there was laissez faire capitalism in 2007/8, the 1930s, and even crisis before that, is factually incorrect. It's as simple as that.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):
The problem is that a democratic society built on individual freedoms needs economic freedom (best brought throuzgh capitalsm), but capitalism doesn´t necessarily need individual freedom.

That's a logical impossibility. The exact opposite is true: every government regulation out there restricts individual liberty.

And these regulations are not based on sound policy, but on the ignorance of the electorate. It is the populist thing to do - to regulate the rich, to tax them, vilify them, to screw them every way you can to (supposedly, anyway) benefit 51% of the electorate in the name of getting reelected. Makes me sick to my stomach.

[Edited 2012-07-07 07:12:01]

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: PPVRA
Posted 2012-07-07 06:56:22 and read 1625 times.

Please delete



The ability to edit your message is only available for 60 minutes after posting.

[Edited 2012-07-07 06:57:53]

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: Mir
Posted 2012-07-07 07:10:40 and read 1609 times.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 40):
It ONLY works properly when NOT REGULATED OR OTHERWISE UNDULY INFLUENCED BY THE GOVERNMENT AT ALL.

If that were true, the term "market failure" wouldn't exist.

-Mir

Topic: RE: US Private Probation Companies Jailing The Poor
Username: PPVRA
Posted 2012-07-07 07:12:51 and read 1610 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 42):
If that were true, the term "market failure" wouldn't exist.

LOL, anyone can put two words together.

Every "market failure" you can read about has been addressed and dismissed on the premises of poor logic and myopia. But of course, not by those who do not benefit from it politically and even, yes, economically! All those construction contractors are not interested in privatizing roads and bridges - they want massive subsides of roads and bridges!

[Edited 2012-07-07 07:23:21]


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