Privatize it all

I have not posted for a while. Between shift-work and my TV show and the duties of daily life, I have been a bit busy. There were a couple of news-worthy articles last week that I do have to share.

The big one is the discussion of privatizing and combining resources. If you are a Republican, these are key issues. If you are motivated by a blind obeisance to a political philosophy rather than to critical thought, your position on these issues is already decided. You need read no further.

Privatizing Garbage

The News of Cumberland County had an article describing the debate on two issue in particular; leasing the county landfill, and consolidating law enforcement in the county.

Freeholder Bill Whelan explained privatizing operations of the Cumberland County Improvement Authority (CCIA) landfill could come with an economic benefit to the county.

Okay – as a Tea-Bagger Party conservative, you will have the knee-jerk reaction that government has not business int he trash business. yeah, let’s leave waste collection and disposal to the mob – they are much more efficient. After all, we haven’t heard from Jimmy Hoffa in ages.

Arguments abound whether private industry or government can be more efficient in certain duties. Virtually everyone agree that it is the place of government to ensure the public well-being. In fact the constitution is quite clear on this matter.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

What most Tea Partiers miss is that part where the first sentence of the Constitution states unequivocally, promote the general Welfare. That encompasses a rather broad spectrum. Rather than ensuring that the pharmaceutical industry is able to reap huge profits and their CEOs take home multi-million dollar salaries, which both political parties seem to do very well, our elected officials at every level from local to federal have an obligation to promote the general welfare. First sentence of the Constitution.

If you know your history, you understand that the 10 amendments were hotly debated and not universally agreed upon,  However, this first sentence was unanimous. The general welfare (well, the promotion thereof) was THE overriding concern of the framers of the Constitution.

Okay, I have essential eviscerated the argument that government has no place participating in (or controlling via legislation) certain endeavors, in this case waste management.

Bill Whelan makes the argument that leasing the landfill to a private company can somehow save taxpayers money. All well and good. My only concern is the person that is providing this advice and the corresponding information – Don Rainear. Don is a life-long political hack that has hopped from one political appointment to another. He has no true experience in private industry. He is also  Lou Magazzu lackey, and we have broached this subject many times on this blog.

My question is this, (and you can apply it to the sale of The Manor as well) “If a private company can run the landfill at a profit, why can’t the county do it also? Doing so would pad the county coffers.”

The irksome issue is that the impetus behind this move is to use the proceeds “to trade operation of the landfill for cash to use for economic development in the county…”

When Steve Wymbs was director of the CCIA, there was quite a bit of cash surplus that was utilized for this purpose. The same Don Rainear that is proposing to lease the landfill portion of the CCIA obligations so that the money can be tapped by the county was the same person that cut off those funds, claiming the landfill was essentially not profitable. What gives?  I expect my friend Haystacks Calhoun to chime in here. There is definitely a logical disconnect somewhere.

Should the county study the issue? Certainly. However, trash collection certainly falls into the spectrum of general welfare. If a private company can hire people and take care of trash, why can’t the county do it, and pass the savings (the profit that the private company would be paying to CEO’s) on to the taxpayers? No matter who runs the operation, the costs will be the same. The ONLY difference is that a private company is doing it for profit – hence INCREASING costs to the taxpayer. Everybody in New jersey understands what an atrocity motor vehicle inspection became under the privatization that Christie Whitman shoved down our throats (for the sole purpose of benefiting her political contributors).

In short, any increase in monies dedicated for an “economic benefit” to the county would come at the cost of increased tipping fees – increased expenses for all county residents – if a for-profit company (surely a political contributor if history gives us any hint) takes over. CEO’s and Presidents and Vice Presidents  and 2nd Vice Presidents in charge of picking up old mattresses will all get a lovely income – Cumberland County residents will pick up the tab and be told they are supposed to feel good that the county is looking at all options to save money.


13 Responses to Privatize it all

  1. hail mary says:

    You miss the point. Private companies are experienced in recycling and distribution of materials. They aren’t hampered by the multi level rules and regulations of government. The county already sells to these private companies. The only question is will the long list of current patronage jobs be disturbed? Any long term deal would yield the county a sizable sum and render them landlords. At least the risk would be removed and they could concentrate on running the county instead of running a landfill.

  2. WuLi says:

    You miss the point – the landfill is not run by the county, but by a quasi-governmental agency whose sole purpose is to run the landfill, thus qualifying themselves (in theory) to do so in a professional manner without being hampered by the same rules and regulations (other than those rules imposed on all entities engaged in such endeavors) and not being burdened by the demand to put profit over the well-being of those being served.

  3. Hang 'em High says:

    Hey this seems relevant to this topic – CHECK it OUT

  4. Hang 'em High says:

    If somebody is smart enough to embed the link I just posted it would be great

  5. PoliticsSJ says:

    Talk to the Boro of Swedesboro, who signed a contract to have their garbage shipped to Pennsylvania because it was much cheaper than taking it to the Gloucester County landfill. Gloucester county sued the Boro and FORCED Swedesboro to bring their garbage to the county landfill. Not only did they have to pay higher tipping fees, they also had to pay all the legal costs.
    Now, Carl, you’re a free enterprise person. This was certainly a case of free markets dictating lower costs, but government got in the way and forced higher prices on the taxpayer. So your point here is to continue the government monopoly that can serve as a haven for more political appointees. Gotcha.

  6. PoliticsSJ says:

    Carl, I think you’re a little confused on what the general welfare clause actually promotes. It is also mentioned in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which is the enumerated powers Section. The general welfare clause you state is in the preamble, which holds no weight in law and establishes no rights or privileges. It merely states the mission of the Constitution.
    Also, the general welfare clause was meant to promote the general welfare of all member states, not individuals. It does not, and should not conflict with the 10th amendment, which devolves all functions not specifically outlined in Article 1, Section 8 to the States.

  7. jamesrsauro says:

    I’m not a fan of some of the people that are presently involved with the CCIA, but don’t throw this plan under the bus. There are advantages to this proposal if done properly. I believe it should be studied before anyone makes a decision either way.

    James R. Sauro

  8. Guess-Who says:

    It is really simple, Dissolve the C.C.I.A. & C.C.U.A.

    The REMOVAL of Political HACKS is just the beginning of RESOLVING the Problems here in Cumberland County, NJ. 🙂

  9. Guess-Who says:

    Dissolution or Dissolve, You decide which WORD fits best in the above comment 🙂

  10. WuLi says:

    Okay – a few comments. I suppose I could have structured my argument a little better, but some of the conclusion drawn by the readership bear little relationship to the intent of the post.

    Should the county investigate the benefits of privatization? Absolutely. Only somebody with a totally closed mind on the matter would be against exploring any avenue to save taxpayer money, and to run the county more efficiently.

    Politics SJ – if you have followed this site for any time, you know that we are opposed to blatant government interference so that political cronies (or in the instance you cited, their wallets) be protected.

    Saying that government is ALWAYS wrong simply because Stephen Sweeney and George Norcross henchmen acted in a purely improper manner doesn’t negate my argument that government actually IS able to work in the best interests of the constituency. Of course, this doesn’t happen too often, just as big business will NEVER act in the best interests of anything but their bottom line and insane CEO salaries when they are allowed to buy and own politicians (on either side of the political aisle).

    If you are truly in favor of free enterprise, then NO corporation should be “too big to fail” (GM, Chrysler, CitiBank, the tax law MUST BE THE TAX LAW – and GE and other criminal corporations should have to pay their FULL share of taxes. And if these corps want to move our jobs overseas to save money, they should be forced to pay a tariff on the cheap junk they are importing and not be allowed to call themselves an American company.

    But I digress…

    The logic I was trying to convey is that it IS the job of government to Promote the General Welfare. As exemplified in the preamble to the federal constitution, and often mimicked by state constitutions, promoting the general welfare in NO WAY opposes the 10th amendment clause.

    The bottom line – the move MUST guarantee a PERMANENT tax savings to the county. And it MUST provide the same level of professional service we see today, even under Don Rainear’s leadership.

  11. […] deadbeat dads arrested? I am no lawyer, but it seems to me we do imprison folks for debt . . . If only: the landfill is not run by the county, but by a quasi-governmental agency whose sole purpose is to […]

  12. […] deadbeat dads arrested? I am no lawyer, but it seems to me we do imprison folks for debt . . . If only: the landfill is not run by the county, but by a quasi-governmental agency whose sole purpose is to […]

  13. Calhoun says:

    Carl, if you want me to chime in, then don’t say so in the fourteenthth paragraph of your missive. By then I am usually into drink number four and Lucky Strike (“It’s Toasted”; “L.S.M.F.T., Luck Strike Means Fine Tobacco”) pack number three, and in no condition to respond. However, the recent assault by Big Bird et al. has me laid up, dried out, and Lucky Strike-less.

    Carl, you’re right, there is a logical disconnect here. Best I can tell, the county’s leasing/selling binge of of its assests (Manor, dump) is a classic case of selling short, the county unloading or leasing assets for a short-term payoff, even though the assests may actually present the county with long term benefits that potentially could far outweigh the short-term benefits the current freeholders stand to realize from the sale or lease (Note: before you flame me, the Manor’s finances are not as clear as has been presented in the media; I don’t think it is as big a loser as officials claim).

    Let’s say one owns a stock and he knows for sure that in twenty years it will be worth 1000X times it is worth today. He could never justify selling that stock could he? Actually he could. It would make sense to cash out if 1) the he desparately needed the money now and/or 2) he didn’t plan to be around in twenty years (let’s say he drank a lot and smoked three packs a day of Lucky Strikes unfiltered cigarettes)

    And that’s why the freeholders are doing what they are doing. They are 1) desperate for cash in hand (profits tomorrow be damned) and 2) they have no intention of being around in twenty years (at least not as freeholders).

    In a nutshell, our leaders are behaving like a bunch of chain-smoking drunks, worried only about the present and not the future, since they don’t figure much in the future. There, I have chimed in.

    And now as Cheswick (Sydney Lassick) asked Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: May I have my cigarettes please!…I want my cigarettes!…I ain’t no little kid…I want something done!…I want something done!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: