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Thread: Riding in really bad weather....

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
    It can be just as much of a disaster if it's a lease. Read about the Chicago parking meter lease - possibly one of the worst financial decisions by a municipality in history.
    That does not mean that every public sector lease of property is necessarily a bad deal for the public though, done right there is no reason it cannot be a "win-win" situation. Of course, who wants to hear about a win-win situation in the press, far more entertaining to read about the disaster cases like in Chicago and us scofflaw bikers!

  2. #62
    mstone is online now I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffC View Post
    That does not mean that every public sector lease of property is necessarily a bad deal for the public though, done right there is no reason it cannot be a "win-win" situation. Of course, who wants to hear about a win-win situation in the press, far more entertaining to read about the disaster cases like in Chicago and us scofflaw bikers!
    And if we could tell ahead of time which were wins and which ones weren't, that would be a valid point (but we don't, which gets back to the risks to the taxpayers). And since we don't, it makes no sense for people now to screw their grandchildren just so they can kick a budget can down the road a bit. 75 and 100 year infrastructure deals are ridiculous. 75 years from now there's a good chance we won't even be using cars as we know them today, but our grandchildren won't be able to do what they want with that chunk of public land because it's been signed over to someone else (and would owe the company money for lost revenue if traffic declines). Consider that 75 years ago horses were still making deliveries in the area where the HOT lanes are, and most of urban DC was well served by public transit. There's this weird tendency these days to think that the last 40 years or so are THE WAY THINGS WILL ALWAYS BE, which is inexplicable given the changes we've seen over the past few generations and the lack of obvious reasons for changes to stop coming.

  3. #63
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    nothing requires a 75 or 100 year term

  4. #64
    mstone is online now I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffC View Post
    nothing requires a 75 or 100 year term
    Yup, you can use a short term, at which point it becomes a service contract rather than a generational burden. But then you don't have the appearance of free money which makes all this public/private partnership so rosy on the campaign brochures.

  5. #65
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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    The issue I have with private companies operating what should be a public function is the economics behind it: private companies are run to generate a profit. Public agencies are run to serve the public. While there may be some room for "savings" when private companies provide public services, such that the private company can generate profit, and the public can get the same benefit. But in practice, public agencies have a pretty good track record of providing services at low cost. The biggest "cost" driver is that public agencies bare all the risk (practically speaking, there's no bankruptcy option), so public agencies are often more risk adverse. But in the long run, the public basically pays the same cost (in expected value) because if the private company does go belly-up, the public agency is still on the hook.

    Anyway, hope some of that made sense. It's getting late on Friday...

  6. #66
    mstone is online now I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    The issue I have with private companies operating what should be a public function is the economics behind it: private companies are run to generate a profit. Public agencies are run to serve the public. While there may be some room for "savings" when private companies provide public services, such that the private company can generate profit, and the public can get the same benefit. But in practice, public agencies have a pretty good track record of providing services at low cost. The biggest "cost" driver is that public agencies bare all the risk (practically speaking, there's no bankruptcy option), so public agencies are often more risk adverse. But in the long run, the public basically pays the same cost (in expected value) because if the private company does go belly-up, the public agency is still on the hook.

    Anyway, hope some of that made sense. It's getting late on Friday...
    There's also the argument that private companies can be more efficient. Which may be true--but redundancy is a good thing sometimes, especially when it comes to critical services. Circling back to the thread topic, anyone who's been stuck in carmageddon traffic or a scary weather event can attest that having more than one way home is a good thing.

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