Public Service Recognition Weak


Did you know that last week was Public Service Recognition Week, which culminated in a giveaway of crap like patriotic frisbees and pins on the Mall in Washington, DC (providing a perfect in its own way counterpoint to last Monday's sick-out by illegal immigrants)? Yes, yes, I know, every week is public service recognition week.

Bureaucrash, an entertaining libertarian guerrilla theatre-ish group (I can't wait to see their street version of Conquest of the Tax Code of The Planet of the Apes), documented the event. Check out the photos here. And then buy one of the group's inspired T-shirts here.

NEXT: Ruff

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  1. It’s easy to scape-goat public servants, isn’t it? Just like Defense Attorneys or Tax Collectors, right? How’s about the ACLU? They’re fun to beat up on, right?

    It’s just so easy.

    Yet these are the very people whom, when we need them, we thank the friggin’ Lord they are there.



  2. Yes, and it’s also easy to shoot fish in a barrel. So what? Other than police, fire, or EMT services, I can’t think of ONE THING (INCLUDING national defense and intelligence) that dumb-ass government workers and bureaucrats are worthing defending for.

    (Pardon the participle ….)

    Just about everything is, or can be, done better by the private sector. Hell, if anything, we need MORE libertarian comedians. It’s not like the average clueless American (left or right) is going to pick up a copy of any book by Hayek, Von Mises, or Friedman, so if a comedy group can do the consciousness raising, more power to them!

  3. Pathetic.


    Speaking of pathetic…

  4. I’m glad that at least Mr. McJones respects me and my kind.

  5. we need public servants. the internet ain’t gonna surf itself.

  6. Iconoclast, people are people. The private sector is no more efficient than the public, in general, and the public sector, though it is ensconced in political power, it is not in profit power, and so there is a balancing.


    Not everything is profitable, nor should everything be.

    Anyone who doesn’t know that is a moron. Period.


  7. we need public servants. the internet ain’t gonna surf itself.

    Comment by: public surfant at May 8, 2006 09:23 AM

    Is that our tax dollars at lurk?

  8. thoreau, if you’re out there, you need to check out the Bureaucrash t-shirt link Nick included above. I think you’ll find a t-shirt apropos of your nom de plume 🙂

  9. “The private sector is no more efficient than the public,”

    Er. Hmm. So all this time I’ve been worried about monopoly product and service delivery being too expensive and under innovative, and I didn’t have to be! That is great news.

    Remember kiddies, competition yields nothing. I hope we’ve all learned something today.

  10. Jason, there is a time and place for public action and a time and place for private. Anyone who thinks it’s all one or the other is stupid.


  11. Firstly, Daniel, I’d love for you to show me an example of that. Secondly, when too much is socialized, there is a problem. And so with the opposite as well.

    You people are so friggin’ axiomatic. Thank God you’re not Muslims!


  12. Boy JMJ, you sure take the cake for lunacy.

    First of all, if you can show me how the public system rewards anything other than conformity, I’d be very grateful.

    Second of all, I’d really like to know when something like “over-privatization” occured and what were the consequences.

  13. “Jason, there is a time and place for public action and a time and place for private. Anyone who thinks it’s all one or the other is stupid.”

    I’m sorry, I thought you said that the public sector is no less EFFICIENT than the private. I’m curious what you meant by that. What is your model of efficiency that allows for noncompetitive delivery not to suffer for lack of competition? There is no way in any universe this is possible. The public sphere is nothing remotely like efficient.

    My $.02 is that you didn’t really mean efficient. What you meant is that in some cases you want to be able to guarantee 100% access regardless of how inefficient it is to do so, and in those cases public servants are the only answer we have.

  14. No fair! They owe the “Stormship Troopers” crew some cash for stealing this scene:

    More meat for the grinder!

  15. Jason, I was employing a generalization. You must’ve missed that somehow. What I meant was that people are people and that efficiencies depend on a variety of circumstances. Privately run schools, for example, that are non-exclusive, have shown to be no better than regular public schools. Same goes for hospitals. Same goes for lots of things. Also, the private sector is riddled with monopolies also. You have to do better than that.


  16. Hey Jersey McCOMUNNIST

    I’m still waiting for an example of “over-privatization” and its (presumably) dire consequences. And I’d really like to hear about the many incentives the public sector provides for innovation.

  17. What I meant was that people are people and that efficiencies depend on a variety of circumstances.

    Efficiencies are typically a function of incentives. The public sector lacks both the profit motive as a leading incentive and competition to keep things honest. The political incentives in the public sector are far weaker than the profit motive and rarely extend beyond the elected representatives who are most directly accountable.

  18. There are motives in life than profit, MP.

    Daniel, the War in Iraq. Open your f’n eyes, man.


  19. No-bid contracts =/= privatization.

    You have to do better than that.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  20. That Mickey-che shirt cracked me up. “Smoking is healthier than fascism” isn’t bad either.

  21. “Also, the private sector is riddled with monopolies also. You have to do better than that.”

    I don’t think I do. Are public monopolies as efficient as private monopolies, but not as efficient as private competitive markets? The possiblities are that monopoly adds to efficiency, is neutral towards it, or deducts from it. There is nothing in the structure of a creature being public that adds efficiency. Bureaucracy yes, universality yes, but efficiency no. It is either inefficient for the same reasons a private monopoly is or we don’t have to worry about private monopolies being inefficient.

    With regard to hospitals and schools and the like, there is nothing remotely private about either in the current structure of things. As I suggested earlier, once you have suggested that refusal of inefficient processes is illegal, you have placed an upper limit on efficiency, and that upper limit is being imposed by the public sphere.

    In clinics and schools that are exclusive, the client base served is served MUCH better than those same people would get at a public institution. What the public sphere does is trade universality for efficiency. It does not produce efficiency on par with The Private Sector at large.

  22. … and there is that little problem of redistribution in the public sphere. Even more than a private monopoly, public monopolies are insenstitive and unsophisticated about pricing. Those benefitting may have little to no relationship to those paying the bills. That is a huge public inefficiency all to itself. The counter argument is that it is subject to democracy, but that is very weak stuff. I can’t imagine a more fruitless exercise than polling people to find out how much healthcare they want at someone else’s expense.

  23. Okay Jason – the War. Show me where the efficiency of the private contractors is greater than what we had before, when we used service men and women. Funny how pride and honor produce better efficiency than that slob Smith’s “greed,” huh?


  24. JMJ

    I honestly don’t have a baseline comparison. I don’t know how well things would have gone had there been no contractors. There are certainly inefficiencies in the military.

    I would certainly concede that no bid contracts to the private sphere are inefficient. More inefficient than blank checks to the military? I dunno. It is probably possible to introduce more efficiency by way of market forces into the use of private contractors than what we’ve seen.

  25. Wow. Joisey McNoisy is in rare form today.

  26. Hey, everyone – JMJ is not a serious poster, he’s just having fun saying stupid things to get you all riled up. Come on, we’ve all done it. It’s one of the joys of the internet. But, you really shouldn’t take him seriously. I mean, it’s physically impossible to be both as stupid as he pretends, and to be able to type…

  27. re: “Yet these are the very people whom, when we need them, we thank the friggin’ Lord they are there.”

    I was following you, until you got to the part about thanking the Lord for tax collectors. I don’t know a whole heck of a lot of people, whatever their view of taxes, who have the warm fuzzies for tax collectors.

  28. Lemur, the sad thing is, if you look up some of the stuff he’s posted on left-wing websites, he’s just as much of a nut there as he is here.

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