The Galt and the Lame 0
One of the myths treasured by the rightwing is that private industry always does a better job than government “bureaucrats.”*
It just ain’t so, but it does funnel a lot of government money in private hands:
Consider the bomb-sniffing dogs: The Navy contracted out their training. The dogs failed the tests after training (they couldn’t sniff bombs); after thinking about it a while, the Navy decided to buy the dogs and train them itself:
The task probably seemed innocuous enough when a small team of U.S. Navy personnel accepted it last fall. They would trek out to a private security contractor in Chicago to pick up 49 dogs, then transport them to a nearby military base.
But what they found when they arrived was shocking, according to internal Navy e-mails: dirty, weak animals so thin that their ribs and hip bones jutted out.
In fact, the Navy said later, at least two of the dogs did not survive. Several others were deemed too sick to ever be of use. Nearly a year after they were supposed to have begun working, the remaining K-9s still are not patrolling Navy installations as intended.
The contractor says the Navy owes it $6,000,000.00.
I hope the guv’mint protected itself by including in the contract a performance bond.
*As if large private companies somehow do not qualify as “bureaucracies”; case in point: try calling Verizon for a telephone repair and see how long it takes to reach a real live human being.
It took me an hour and six phone calls–Verizon dropped two of them and three others ended up in Menu Hell. Once I got to them, the real live human beings were polite, knowledgeable, and efficient (afterthought: probably because they were hungry for human interaction), but Verizon’s 800-number horror show is one of the reasons I would not contract with Verizon for anything other than basic land line service.