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These people seem to think (nuttily enough) that there's some kind of anti-government bias in the media, and thus a need for their web site. It's basically your one-stop fascism shop.

[Via you know who]


Well is already taken, though it doesn't seem to be a counterpart.

[Afternoon update]

"Government is good," eh? Yeah, government is great:

The problems first emerged in May 2007, when 1,400 handhelds were deployed for a "dress rehearsal." In the field, they proved to be slow and unreliable. The Bush Administration's official explanation is that the Census Bureau didn't get its requirements straight with the contractor, Florida-based Harris Corp. No doubt that's true - the Government Accountability Office warned all the way back in 2005 that Census did not have a good grasp of its technology needs or effective procurement. Even so, we doubt that "slow and unreliable" were part of the original specs in March 2006.

The Census Bureau decided as long ago as 2000 that handheld computers were the future, and spent four years trying to develop one in-house, with little to show for it. That earlier failure led to the contract with Harris in 2006. As usual in government, no one in particular seems to be taking responsibility for the serial failures - which of course is part of the problem. There is little incentive for getting it right, because no one below the level of a political appointee ever loses a job for getting it wrong. You can even lose your job for getting it right if it means more efficiency.

In the case of the botched handhelds, the result is that the Census will now have to deploy some 600,000 temporary workers to go door to door and get the forms filled out by hand. The handhelds will still be used for "address canvassing," although even at that they can't handle more than 700 addresses at a time. For this great leap backward, taxpayers will pay $3 billion more for the census than originally estimated.

This must be one of those awful articles "biased" against the government.


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Karl Hallowell wrote:

Here's their response to the "conservative criticism":

Government is inept and most government policies fail.

The response is:

A look at the record shows that most government programs work well and have helped considerably to mitigate society's problems and improve our lives.

That in turn links to about five pages of government programs that allegedly demonstrate their point. The arguments consistently talk about the benefits that the program provides, but not the costs nor a consideration of how efficiently the program provides that benefit.

For example, the first four things on the list are "Regulation of the Business Cycle", "Public Health Programs", "The Interstate Highway System", and "Social Security and Medicare". As I see it, public health is a pretty strong argument, but the other three are not. Regulation of business cycles sounds nice till you realize that government doesn't have the power to stop them, merely mitigate them and that some sort of downturn is necessary in order to weed out poorly performing businesses. The interstate highway system has indeed been a great success, but at the expense of other modes of transportation, for example, private bus and train systems. The extinction of the passenger train system was aided in part by the interstate system. I was unable to google for "Amtrak" anywhere on that site. I wonder why.

Then we get to Social Security and Medicare where we can read a lot of talk about saving grannies from eating catfood. No talk about what's going to happen to these programs and the participants in the near future as we cut back heavily on benefits (either directly or by gaming the CPI) to avoid enormous budget deficits. Nor do they consider the problems Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid in particular has caused for US competitivity, making the US workforce more expensive, health costs more expensive, and encouraging the elderly to drop out of the workforce.

Mike Combs wrote:

Yeah. Sometimes we hear liberals talk about how Europe is "so far ahead of us" in some area of social spending. But you can hardly say someone else is doing it better if in fact what they're doing is ultimately unsustainable.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on May 1, 2008 8:20 AM.

Et Tu, Alan? was the previous entry in this blog.

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