Fears for Detroit's treasures as bankruptcy looms

Discussion in 'Markets & Economies' started by sammysilver, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. AngloSaxon

    AngloSaxon Active Member

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    And it's gotten to the stage where the soldiers aren't deemed safe or trained enough to change light bulbs, so contractors need to come and do that too. But even if your example were true, and it's typical enough to be true, I don't think you're proving your point.
     
  2. dollars

    dollars Active Member Silver Stacker

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    "By the way, private security is already used extensively in South Africa. Do you know why?"

    NO!

    Interesting subject

    Why?
     
  3. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    +1

    And why? (Bolded below)



    Duplication of services (at twice at least the original cost to the taxpayer). The contractor's profit line was protected by the government, no economic accountability by either party (civilian contractor or British Defence Force) because it was a manipulated market.
     
  4. Newtosilver

    Newtosilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I made up the story ref the recovery Mecahnic? Fairy tale? That was relayed to me by a CPL who was British Army in Australia on exchange around the mid 90's over lunch, he was there when it happened. He told us a heap of things that happened. Are you calling me a liar? Easy question.

    That link shiney put up, I am qualified to instruct students and also the instructors for those type of companies (not the driving stuff or the sniping stuff) as well as the next level up from what they do and am working in a related industry and have for the last 23 years.

    You have absolutely no understanding of even basic concepts of how this stuff works, you talk about free market and how the free market can do anything.

    There will always be problems with govt run police or military or whatever that is a no brainer, what I am saying is it is worse with contractors because of the lack of over site. I have worked with these people on numerous occasions in the Middle East, I have seen and heard of some crazy stuff, some of it is actually funny (to me it is to other people probably not) and nothing happens to them (Russians do some stuff you could not even make up) no-one working for Govt could get away with what contractors do because Govts follow rules and set higher standards.

    @ anglosaxon, agreed there are a lot of restrictions that are placed on people that need to be removed or relaxed, with you 100% on that no argument from me.

    You said have different contractors for a police force, you need one contractor if you do not it that creates problems for command and control. You have absolutely no understanding of how these institutions work and it is obvious. You would need a contractor per state for example or maybe a maximum of two per state. Then as they do you would get one contractor buying out another, these firms can not be small companies they would need massive amounts of capital. What happens if one or more of them went broke? What are the effects of that? The Govt could not allow that to happen..... Bailouts? Then the people who reckon it should be done by contractors would criticise the govt.

    As for South Africa the private security they are used by the rich because of the police not providing appropriate response times. Compounds and "estates" and business areas mainly, they also will "clean out" apartment buildings or a whole block. Have been know to be very heavy handed and extra judicial killing has been a concern with them. There have also been concerns about "gangs" using them to get rid of rivals (killing them), not sure if there have been any prosecutions.

    Basically used by people who can afford them, as I said they fulfil a specific role, they are not a general "police force or police unit" they only look after those who can afford to pay. As I said before very specific role and that role is a some what "heavy" role. They do not do general policing.

    @ shiney, the contractor still gets paid because they needed him to stay and do the jobs he would do, you could not just say your not being paid and leave or else you would totally loose an asset (even if it is not a great asset to have it is an asset). If you are in a war or warlike environment theory is great as is principle but reality sort of takes precedence. You make do with what you have and you do the job as best you can. Not right in theory but what are you going to do "ok everyone stop the war we have a problem with a contractor, the war will be on hold for a week we will kick off next Monday at 2200 h. Everyone just have a rest till we get it sorted out"

    @ silver savior saying the scenario I mentioned is fantasy shows your level of thinking, it should not happen according to your theory so therefore it is ridiculous and not possible.

    My mistake I suppose in assuming people have a basic understanding of these matters.

    Edit Spelling.
     
  5. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Good comeback newtosilver ;)
     
  6. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Under a small government Libertarian model it would be the State government or national government organinsing the armed forces contracts, while with policing it would be preferable to have the State or local governments doing that work.

    bored silver would be able to explain better than me who would be in charge of the armed forces/police contractors under an Anarcho-Capitalist system.

    I'll take a different tack now newtosilver, basically you argue that a private company would lack the professionalism, ethics and economic capacity to operate such a unit.

    Are you suggesting that of all the people you know that work in this field - there are none that possess enough professionalism, ethics and the skills required in order to command or work in such a business? And, are you also suggesting that there would be no entrepreneurs with enough capital to finance such a business venture? Are you suggesting politicians and public servants provide the best armed forces and police forces?
     
  7. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Sticking with policing as it's more relevant to the issue of Detroit, broadly there are four areas for crime control: prevention, pursuit, prosecution and punishment. Any of these functions can be privatised and indeed already have very effective counterparts. When policymakers address the issue of crime control they typically ask "what can Government do to reduce crime?". A better question is "what is the most cost-effective way to reduce crime?". The two result in very different approaches and outcomes. Clearly a lot of the current efforts in these areas already come from private enterprise so it is nonsense to blithely dismiss their capabilities. They are already used instead of public police forces.

    The ultimate oversight is not some tenured bureaucrat and more committees, it is simply competition and the customers willingness to pay. Those that provide good security services with a good culture at good prices will win. Firms like Securitas are big enough to step into city level policing (assuming they aren't already doing it) so capital isn't an issue. The issue is simply time for the transition to take place smoothly.
     
  8. Newtosilver

    Newtosilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    There are people who could do the job that can be pulled from different areas, what I am saying is that private enterprise are more focused on making money, they will cut training, less focus on "doing the right thing" less spent on support, you need large pools of personnel to pull people for specific rolls, you need to train say 100 people but you may only pull the top 10 to fill a roll. Private industry will only train 10 people as it is cheaper but those 10 people are not going to be the best people to fill those rolls. Trying 100 people would cost to much money - big savings could be made. Therefore you do not have the best people for the specific roll. Individuals are not the problem it is the change of focus within the organisation, the focus moves from policing for example to making money from the business of policing.

    Private contractors "bend the rules" a hell of a lot more to achieve what they need to do (I have seen some pretty big examples of this) to get paid. Therefore they do not focus on achieving what should be done they focus on ticking boxes to get paid. Very basic stuff that should be done may not get done because it is not in the contract. Then if there is going to be a change in the contract it is going to cost big time.

    Basically you would be contracting out policing and National Security to the lowest bidder, there are massive issues. What happens if a 10 year contract is awarded and then a company from China for example buys 49% of the company that has the police contract for QLD and VIC? What happens if that company starts to go under? You can't just get another contractor in within a week.

    Issues with communications, policy and procedures within the organisation, security considerations in regards to background checks of personnel, interface of iT systems between govt and Contractors. How many companies would there be who could actually run contracts of that size? Very few.... Oligopolies become a problem, which type of company would most likely get contracts like that? Halliburton comes to mind, an American company. So you now have an overseas company responsible for policing, the justice system and Defence? A foreign company with access to Information on the defence of Australia. Crazy, crazy stuff.

    What happens if the contractor is not fulfilling a contract for example? You can not just get rid of them and shut down a police force, there are reasons why Govt keeps control of the police, justice system and the military. There are a lot of countries where the Military takes control and removes Govt. You control the military you can control a country or you can control govt. It happens all the time around the world even when the govt is running the show. Hand it over to private industry and watch what happens.
     
  9. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    So it is possible.

    Yep, money makes the world go around. You make money and your world goes around. You don't make money and it's because you provide a shit product or you are not meeting a need.

    Governments are above and beyond that. They don't have to make money and they don't have to provide a quality product and they don't have to meet everyone's need, as long as they are meeting enough needs to get 51% of the vote.

    This is becoming a bit ad nauseum. Your assumption that - because it is private enterprise it therefor focuses less on "doing the right thing" is a bit tedious. There are millions of companies in the world offering quality product and who's main goal is to make a profit.

    Really? You wouldn't consider for a moment that a private company would sift through a thousand applications, have a rigorous interview process and then select what they consider the best 10 applicants to be? Why employ 100 people to do the work of 10 when you can select 10 in the first place?

    This has been addressed by SilverSaviour, in a free market economy monumental cock-ups result in the contract becoming null and void and being awarded to another party. Perpetual stuff ups - as is the norm with government controlled agencies - becomes a rarity.

    Not necessarily, it would depend on the contractual obligations, but if price was a criteria then yes, it could be the case.

    I'm not sure. Do you think it would make a difference to the employees who owns the company? It would I guess if the Chinese company started shifting 200 Chinese police or Chinese defence personnel into Australia, but a contractual obligation could easily prevent that.

    Why not? It would be difficult but there would be say a dozen other private security firms capable of providing a stop gap measure at a market price and poach personnel from the other firms.

    If there is a market for it and the market is free there will be more than one entrepreneur willing to fill the void.

    That's a genuine issue, how would you solve this dilemna? Would it be sufficient to trust that it is in Halliburton's best interest to protect it's employer's information. If they breach that trust (which they have in the past), what would you do? In fact, would you even employ Halliburton in the first place knowing what you do about them? You could always look elsewhere. :/

    Another valid point newtosilver. On the other hand though, is this a valid reason enough reason to justify having a government control and manipulate a genuine need in the community?

    That is absolutely correct!!! And now we arrive at the crux of why Libertarians believe governments pursue their own self-interest through coercion at the expense of the liberty of the individual and why we think that a free market approach to law enforcement and defense gives us greater freedom. But then I don't necessarily speak on behalf of all Libertarians. :lol:

    Yep, and I'm sick of it. Let's add money supply to that as well. And education. Welfare is probably more effective in Australia than the military. The media? I tire, the list goes on.

    We've never had the chance yet to see what it would be like.
     
  10. Newtosilver

    Newtosilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Ok your not really picking up what I am putting down here and this is probably me looking at it from a point of view of having done it and you looking from the outside in.

    This is a huge issue you train 100 people in a skill set, within that 100 say 30 will use it but the other 70 have had an exposure to it and training. They have practical experience and they have been reported on. They can use those skills in the future and have a base level of knowledge. You also allow for wasteage and attrition. Those 70 who do not use the skill will have a broader range of experience and can offer advice to others on the subject.

    Out of that 100 you may need to pull 10 for very specialised rolls, instructors have seen their actual skills in action, they have results and can pull the best people. It is an expensive process but you get very good personnel. As an instructor you can also observe that spark some people have. Some people are great on paper, lots of theory and say the right thing but are useless you do not want them.

    If you try and pull 10 out of the 100 you will get 10 very good operators. If however you do as you suggest and pull 10 people from applications and a rigorous interview process you may end up with three very good operators, three pretty good and two average and one who is an oxygen thief. It has been tried a few years ago, actually more than a few maybe 8- 10 years ago. Direct entry into a very specific roll out of hundreds of people who applied and were accepted I think from memory one got through. It was a huge waste of money and a lot of people who were involved with it said "how the hell did people think that was going to work?" Wasted a lot of people's time and they went back to the old process.

    With the second group when you train them you may have a 30% failure rate or higher for example on the specialist course or you get a lot more retests which blows out the course that can have flow on effects.

    In theory you can do anything, in practice it just does not work. There are always going to be flow on effects and some of those effects can be huge.

    The other issue which is a big one, foreign owned contractors having big stakes in Companies doing policing or military contracts. Could information be passed to foreign Govts? You would have to be very naive to say no or probably not, that therefore creates issues with access to sensitive information. Information would definitely be passed on, Govt intelligence agencies pass and receive information to other agencies agencies - potentially huge problems.

    Having a private enterprise running a police force instead of govt? I really do not see that giving anyone more freedom. I see a huge loss of capability for no benefit.

    I am seeing a lot of people just bagging Govt no matter who they are here, I tell you what we could be a hell of a lot worse off. I think we are very lucky here in Australia. There are a lot of countries much, much worse off than what we are. Everyone loves to have a whinge as do I but looking at the big picture I would rather live here than anywhere else in the world.

    I am out of this one, no use discussing it anymore.
     
  11. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I understand what you are saying, it is immaterial though if I am on the outside or not, you have on the ground experience in defence I do not. You view it from your world, which is the world of a government has to be in control of armed forces and law enforcement and uses taxpayers money to hire, administer, train and send personnel into operations. It is a world where the government has a monopoly, it has no challengers in the market, therefore it is impossible to determine if we as taxpayers are actually getting value for money or if our defence forces and police forces are wasting our money.

    I on the other hand view it from the world of the free market and minimal government control. There are thousands of corporations in the world who hire, train and meet the needs of consumers on a daily basis in everyday and diverse situations. That is because entrepreneurs have seen a need, invested capital, provided employment to workers with the necessary skills, trained those who don't and as a result have provided a valued product at a price determined by the market and more importantly, made a profit which is the incentive for operating in the first place. Unlike the government's incentive which is to maintain political control, the free markets incentive is far more honest - to make money - and it can only do so by offering a valued product.

    There is absolutely no reason why a corporation cannot do what you are saying, and do it far better, at a better price than a government bureaucracy.

    The free market by it's very nature allows greater freedom as it is not manipulated by a monopoly.

    I am happy to be labelled a gov't bagger, there is very little that they do that does not have an ulterior motive and is designed to protect those currently in power. I'm not sure whether it is luck that we live in Australia, but if you want to call it that ok, but it is getting worse and our freedoms are slowly being eroded by the very same institution whose responsibility it is is to uphold our freedoms.
     
  12. sammysilver

    sammysilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Necessity is the mother of invention.

    No government -> the community pools together -> creates order out of chaos -> this good order leads to a new government.

    Simplistic but covers both scenarios. Lord of the fly stuff.
     
  13. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    No government -> the community pools together -> creates order out of chaos -> this good order leads to a new government -> government grows to such a size that it consumes far more resources than goods it provides -> governments and societies collapse ->........
     
  14. Newtosilver

    Newtosilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Like Somalia for example?
     
  15. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I've spoken to a lot of people in the private security industry over the years for work.

    Without going into which companies and where they operate, there is more than one private security company working in peaceful, Western nations that has an unofficial shoot-to-kill policy. Even if the guards themselves aren't in danger, if the thing or place they're meant to be protecting is threatened, they're encouraged to kill whoever presents the threat.

    This isn't written down in any contracts or operating manuals but if one of the guards does happen to kill someone, they get $100,000 in cash as compensation for "trauma" and a six month paid vacation overseas.

    Obviously there is the whole philosophical thing about being prepared to use a gun if you're carrying one and all that, but when you go out drinking with the account reps they'll tell you that the reason they do this is because it's cheaper: killing someone every once in a while sends a message that they mean business and that keeps their insurance premiums down.

    Now, I can certainly appreciate that, on a business level somebody has sat down and worked out the cost of shooting somebody versus not shooting them and made the most profitable decision on what to do. I'd expect a good manager to do their sums properly and go with the most cost effective course of action.

    On a personal level, I find it completely abhorrent and incredibly disturbing that there are people out there who can act as quasi-police but who have a totally different motivation to real police acting in the capacity of public servants.

    Ultimately it comes down to The Golden Rule - he who has the gold makes the rules - and as great as capitalism is and all that, having a police force provided by a property developer is never going to be as good as a police force provided by a government.
     
  16. SilverSaviour

    SilverSaviour New Member

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    So no sources or references....

    hmmm

    Interesting, sounds feasible. So why don't they just shoot everyone who walks past ? They would be making millions.
    So these killed people just go missing in the night and no one asks questions ?

    Even if they did get money for doing it, they don't go to jail for murder ? A peaceful western nation has security guards that are encouraged to shoot people.... interesting

    So you bring up an exceptional story with no sources of people getting paid to murder others in unnamed peaceful western nations, and use it as a general argument against privatization of security forces. Which of course are commonly used throughout the world, without such stories.

    You also seem to imply that this situation is the result of privatised security in general.

    I call BS
     
  17. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    You're welcome to believe whatever you like, but some of us have to deal with the pointy end of security in our real lives.

    It really isn't that hard to understand: these guards aren't given the objective of maximizing their body count because that isn't desirable or profitable. The business case is to reduce insurance premiums for the security company. If they shoot innocent bystanders, the insurance company has to pay out compensation and premiums go up. If they don't shoot people going after the stuff they're supposed to protect, they get a reputation as being pushovers and there are more robberies and insurance premiums go up.

    The idea is to kill enough people posing a plausible threat to get and maintain a reputation as badasses you don't f**k with. Badasses don't get robbed very often and therefore enjoy low insurance premiums.

    Seriously though, if you are shocked - shocked - to hear that private security contractors don't behave exactly like public police officers then you're not properly understanding the issue here.

    In places like Detroit, it could easily be a good selling point for a developer to say "Our guards have shot and killed more than n suspected burglars dangerous intruders who posed a threat to the people living in this beautifully renovated apartment complex. Here at XYZ Development Corp, we're committed to residents' safety".
     
  18. trew

    trew Active Member Silver Stacker

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    Yep

    Without you posting the libertarian gang has no-one to argue with and the thread dies.
     
  19. Newtosilver

    Newtosilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I was waiting for that, call bullshit? Obviously anything like that could never happen because it does not fit your idea of logic, you have led a sheltered life. To me very logical, I'ld happily take $100,000.00 if presented in that situation that is good money and there is bugger all chance of getting done for it, very easy money and a vast majority of people employed in that roll would think the same I thing I would say.

    Shit like that does not happen in your world of logic that is the point, you do not get it and to be honest I find it kind of annoying and also kind of funny at the same time. If you were placed in certain situations you would just not be able to comprehend it and function.

    Did you see a news report about a particular nation who had killed a combatant and the biometric scanner did not work so they cut off the dead fellas hand and took it back so they could finger print him? That is pretty bad to a lot of people but to some that people including me it is just logic and they see nothing wrong with it - they needed to finger print him and they could not take the body back - solution just take the hand.....

    There are people in this world who think a little differently to you, to me shooting someone as per the post above makes perfect sense. Me running a business as a contractor that would make perfect sense, saves money, less stuffing around, they should not have been there, as long as steps are taken to tick the boxes and it appears everything was done correctly. Play the odds if there is a 98% chance of getting away with it - play the odds, risk versus reward.

    Thailand had there war on drugs back in 2005 I think it was, around 2400 - 2500 people killed in three months by the police and security forces, people shot then delivered to the morgue with the bullets missing. They had been dug out of the bodies, I was there for a couple of months when it was happening and people were very nervous. People going missing from police stations then turning up dead, they escaped apparently then other drug dealers shot them to keep them quite. It was on the front page of the Bangkok Post every day, families where killed including kids.

    That has to be fantasy that could never happen no-one could ever get away with that could they? Especially the Govt of a very large country and fairly developed country like Thailand.

    Last week at the Anti Govt protests in Bangkok there was a fella selling baseball bats, knives, stun guns, batons and those white face masks about 200 meters from the Eastern end of the main protest area. I walked past saw it stopped and could not believe it. Something so crazy it should not happen, how was he not shut down by the police? Something so crazy, wrong on so many levels but it happens and becomes the normal and is openly acceptable.

    Just because you think it does not happen or should not happen does not mean it doesn't.
     
  20. SilverSaviour

    SilverSaviour New Member

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    Naturally making bold claims without sources is never the best way to get others to believe you, especially on the internet.

    It's not an understanding problem ;)
    Without sources providing more context, it is hard to actually have a decent conversation about it. "Just trust me man, its all true!" I'm sure you appreciate that. Your description of a "peaceful western nation" is also highly subjective.
    Anyway, worse stuff that this happens in some countries, and less worse in others.
    If all the people they shoot are actually stealing/attacking/whatever then shooting them might be justified.


    I'm not shocked, I just need more information. There is always more to a poorly detailed, completely un-sourced and un-verified story. So whether it is actually true or not, expect others to also call BS until you provide something solid.

    No offense intended, thats just the way it is.
    True, the flipside is also applicable. Security companies (in a free market) also do not want to shoot innocents. That's bad for business.
     

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