backtop


Print 63 comment(s) - last by Visual.. on Jul 23 at 6:29 AM


  (Source: imgur.com)
It has been challenging for the engineers to find jobs that pay as well as NASA

Engineers that once earned six-figure incomes with NASA's space shuttle program are now looking for work or taking jobs that are far below their skill level due to the retirement of the Discovery, Endeavor, and Atlantis shuttles. 

Last year, NASA retired each of the three remaining spacecraft in the U.S. space shuttle program, which lasted nearly 30 years. In February 2011, Space Shuttle Discovery was the first of the three to launch on its final mission with Space Shuttle Endeavour following in May 2011. Space Shuttle Atlantis was the last to go in July 2011.

Since the space shuttle fleet's retirement, about 7,400 engineers from the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County, Florida (also known as the Space Coast) were laid off. Today, there are only 8,500 workers at the Kennedy Space Center total when there used to be around 15,000.

A majority of those laid off were individuals in their 50s and 60s who made in the realm of $80,000 to over $100,000 annually. But now, these engineers are finding it difficult to locate jobs at their skill level that pay as well as NASA did. In fact, local Brevard County employers have asked that the Brevard Workforce, which is an unemployment agency, stop sending ex-space employees to them because they want salaries that are comparable to what they made at the Kennedy Space Center.

"STOP sending former Space Center employees," wrote one local employer. "They have an unrealistic salary expectation."

Aside from money issues, another problem the former engineers are facing is age. Many have been working for the Kennedy Space Center for decades. Other engineering options mainly take in the younger generations.

"Nobody wants to hire the old guy," said Terry White, a 62-year-old ex-project manager for the space shuttle program who was laid off last summer. "There just isn't a lot of work around here. Or if so, the wages are really small."

NASA's space shuttle fleet is gone for good, but some saw hope in the private sector, such as SpaceX. SpaceX is a California-based space technology company that recently stepped in when NASA retired the space shuttle program. Its Dragon spacecraft made history recently when it made the first private spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS).

However, SpaceX didn't require nearly as many employees as NASA did for its space shuttle fleet.

To make up for the loss, many former engineers are stuck having to either retire early, take lower-paying jobs, or collect unemployment.

Source: MSNBC



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

And they wanted what?
By Dr of crap on 7/17/2012 8:17:16 AM , Rating: 2
I'd guess that NASA was the only game in town.
Now those engineers, who should be smart, should know they need to move to where the jobs are!

What other jobs are there for them to do and that salary at that location - NOTHING! Move along now - nothing to see here.




RE: And they wanted what?
By bug77 on 7/17/2012 8:22:21 AM , Rating: 2
That's the risk of specialization in any filed, I think.
It's also why these jobs tend to be paid more than an accountant thinks they're worth. And then the accountant concludes they're spending too much.
It's complicated, but I bet those that are sill unemployed chose not to work because they didn't have to, yet. It's impossible they couldn't find anything at Boeing, Lockheed-Martin et. al.


RE: And they wanted what?
By FITCamaro on 7/17/2012 10:32:06 AM , Rating: 3
I'll say that some of it likely is not wanting to take a job that pays less than their old one. Personally that's why I don't really look to push my pay as high as possible. I don't want to price myself out of the market. I'm comfortable with what I make.

$80,000 for a senior engineer though isn't that much. That's about average pay for engineers. Senior engineers are typically in the upper 80s or in the 90s. Don't get me wrong, $80,000 a year in Florida is very good due to the lack of a state income tax and the depressed housing market. But for a person of 20-30 years experience, it's fairly low.


RE: And they wanted what?
By bah12 on 7/17/2012 10:50:07 AM , Rating: 3
Well it is an employer's market down there now. 7400 engineers in a localized area is going to significantly drop the market price for an employee (as it should). That and I have no doubt they were over paid by market standards, just knowing how government pays it's people. I'm sure the $80K a year guys just torqued the same 3 bolts every launch and got paid for it.

Maybe I'm just being simple minded, but I cannot imagine a need for 7400 highly skilled engineers to service 3 shuttles. That's darn near 2500 per shuttle! To put that into perspective the shuttle is 184 feet. That is an engineer for about every inch of EACH of the shuttle's height.

Gravy train is over, time to step back into the real world where budgets are not endless, and businesses don't hire hordes of people of busy work.


RE: And they wanted what?
By bah12 on 7/17/2012 10:58:03 AM , Rating: 5
Just to clarify I know there is a lot more need for engineers other than the shuttle itself, I was merely illustrating that if anyone believes that NASA was ran efficiently they are a diluted at best. One of the worst managed agencies. I do truly hope they reinvent themselves to be great again, but for at least the last 2 decades they have been a bloated pig in need of slaughter. I hope they come out leaner at the end of the day, and I really hope that politicians realize what a great organization they utterly ruined by using it as a political pawn instead of giving it clear goals and leaving it the hell alone.


RE: And they wanted what?
By kattanna on 7/17/2012 11:04:44 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
I really hope that politicians realize what a great organization they utterly ruined by using it as a political pawn instead of giving it clear goals and leaving it the hell alone.


that is a pleasant dream, isnt it?


RE: And they wanted what?
By Spuke on 7/17/2012 12:26:55 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for clearing that up. You've just earned a spot on my "reasonable peoples" list. Not that being on that list is a big deal (cause I'm a nobody) but you've earned my respect all the same.


RE: And they wanted what?
By mmatis on 7/17/2012 5:06:55 PM , Rating: 1
YOu might want to note that the bulk of those engineers are NOT NASA employees, but were instead contractors employed by the United Space Alliance (USA), Boeing, and others. The shuttle was an EXTREMELY complex system, and errors in processing even the hold-down bolts would be catastrophic. And those hold-down bolts were explosively sheared at launch, so it wasn't the "same" 3 - really 8 - bolts in that particular system. But then I expect you don't really mind having a Mickey D's burger flipper do arthroscopic surgery on your knees, do you?


RE: And they wanted what?
By bah12 on 7/17/2012 5:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for proving my point. It needed to die BECAUSE it was so complex. NASA had a vested interest (if not political mandate) in keeping it going , even though it had loooooonng outlived its usefulness. I'd rather have them progressing to a next gen craft than employing hordes of engineers to keep an aging system flying.

I'm not denying the great value NASA brings, but clearly they were a bloated mess. They need to refocus on a newer system. Unfortunately a thinner leaner NASA means 7400 engineers looking for work. I hope NASA gets the funding back to start working on a productive project, the shuttle has not been one for quite some time.


RE: And they wanted what?
By knutjb on 7/18/2012 1:41:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not denying the great value NASA brings, but clearly they were a bloated mess. They need to refocus on a newer system. Unfortunately a thinner leaner NASA means 7400 engineers looking for work. I hope NASA gets the funding back to start working on a productive project, the shuttle has not been one for quite some time.
I think you fail to appreciate the complexity of flying a vintage spacecraft safely . So instead of funding creative engineers we are funding an expanded welfare system paying similar wages to the bureaucrats. Bang for the buck? The problem we have when this happens we loose the knowledge and experience. The same thing happened when the Apollo program was killed. Now we pay $50M for each astronaut launched by Russia. That wasn't too bright when you consider what the shuttle could do. Try fixing anything in space now. Nope we will just watch multi-billion dollar satellites shine bright in the sky, yeah.

quote:
Thanks for proving my point. It needed to die BECAUSE it was so complex. NASA had a vested interest (if not political mandate) in keeping it going , even though it had loooooonng outlived its usefulness.
Do you have any idea how complex it is to go to space? You don't go to the airport and hop on a spacecraft. NASA is usually the first agency to take a hit during economic downturns. They don't have that much clout in pushing their worth. As for its service life it was at its end. They didn't run it decades, or even years beyond its projected service life.

quote:
I'd rather have them progressing to a next gen craft than employing hordes of engineers to keep an aging system flying
Congress kept putting off a replacement vehicle and Obama killed it. He round-filed our exceptionalism. NASA's budget was relatively small. At least they produced something, unlike much of the federal government.


RE: And they wanted what?
By delphinus100 on 7/18/2012 9:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you have any idea how complex it is to go to space? You don't go to the airport and hop on a spacecraft.


Do you know how complex a wide-bodied jet is?

Yet they don't require the kind of 'standing army' of support per vehicle or flight that Shuttles did. But once you have that situation, a great deal of comfort grows around the status quo, and there's a lot of resistance to change, and a lot of pain when it inevitably happens.

No one wants to see good engineers and technicians lose their jobs, but the number of people employed to make it possible (and therefore, one of the reasons it was too expensive to continue to operate), should not be considered a figure of merit for government-operated space access, any more than for a private company...

I'm sorry that the next generation manned spacecraft was not a better RLV, but it was time. And even what's coming are not your father's capsules/lifting bodies...


RE: And they wanted what?
By Bubbacub on 7/19/2012 6:44:19 AM , Rating: 2
the in orbit repair argument is a crock of siht.

the extra ruinous cost of the shuttle compared to saturn or any other dumb booster would pay for 10 brand new hubble telescopes.

there is no benefit in terms of money or risk to astronauts in keeping the shuttle running to repair dud satellites.


RE: And they wanted what?
By MadMan007 on 7/17/2012 12:25:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't want to price myself out of the market.


That's such a silly thing to say. You don't 'price yourself out of the market' solely by making more money *now*. If you were to go ahead and spend all that additional money and come to rely on it then yeah, but if you ever need to work for 'market prices' again (which you ought to be happy to do given your economic philosophy) then you're just back where you are except you've made more money in the meantime.

It makes about as much sense to say that as people who say they don't want to increase their income because they'll be in a higher tax bracket.


RE: And they wanted what?
By Spuke on 7/17/2012 12:33:52 PM , Rating: 3
Rec77, don't limit yourself in the workplace. I make about $75k myself and could take a pay cut if I had to as about $10k of that goes into my retirement anyways. Also, if you're moving to an area where the cost of living is lower, you won't notice the pay cut. I don't know if these engineers have thought of that.


RE: And they wanted what?
By FITCamaro on 7/17/2012 12:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
Florida's cost of living is already pretty low.


RE: And they wanted what?
By FITCamaro on 7/17/2012 12:39:19 PM , Rating: 3
What I mean is there are some who constantly change jobs in order to push their salaries higher and higher. I don't do that.


RE: And they wanted what?
By Spuke on 7/17/2012 1:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
I see. I don't do that either.


RE: And they wanted what?
By Ammohunt on 7/17/2012 2:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
If you have skills that are in demand and have ambition whats wrong with that? Its foolish to work in a position for decades only to be spun out into a market where you dated skills are useless. Changing positions/jobs every 3-5 years ensures gainful employment and relevant skills. I worked at one place for 5 years switch jobs twice in a year as opportunities presented themselves gathered current in demand skills and tacked on over $15k a year not to mention the privileged of working for one of the top software/hardware companies in the world.


RE: And they wanted what?
By Spuke on 7/17/2012 3:42:28 PM , Rating: 2
I think he means changing jobs JUST to push your salary higher. Not doing it to keep skills relevant although in my field, you're always doing something new because of new tech so staying with a company doesn't always mean stagnation. In the last 10 years, I have worked for three different gov contractors and presently work as a civil service employee. I didn't switch because it was more money (when I switched the pay remained the same for the most part...I did get raises while in the jobs), I switched to do something new.


RE: And they wanted what?
By Jereb on 7/17/2012 5:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
$45,000.00 as an engineering student then on to a $65,000.00 Salary in the office, and the equivalent of around $200,000.00 whilst doing site work is pretty normal for engineering consultancies/contractors here in Australia. Problem is your working in the mining industry and there are some pretty 'unique' people out here.


RE: And they wanted what?
By drycrust3 on 7/17/2012 11:22:24 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
That's the risk of specialization in any filed, I think.

This problem isn't peculiar to NASA engineers, it happens to everyone that was in an industry that no longer exists.
In many ways life is like a buffet meal: you don't just eat the yummy stuff. My advice is for those guys to take lesser paid jobs and to keep their successes to themselves.
Yes, it isn't right, but life is filled with "it isn't right".


RE: And they wanted what?
By Fallen Kell on 7/20/2012 2:51:46 PM , Rating: 2
Except that Lockheed, Boeing, et. al., are all downsizing due to budget cuts. So not only are they not hiring new people, they are letting go of people they already have, and giving them first pick on any job opening that do occur. Just go read the industry news, I think Lockheed is doing a 10% labor force decrease this year alone, on top of decreases they have had over the last 2 years (ever since the group in Congress decided that it was better to stop paying their debt than increase the debt ceiling, the government contractors all saw this as a sign that they might not get paid on services rendered, let alone get new business).


Obama creating jobs....NOT
By GotThumbs on 7/17/12, Rating: 0
RE: Obama creating jobs....NOT
By Rukkian on 7/17/2012 10:23:15 AM , Rating: 3
So they wont get off their asses and move to where the work is, they expect a job equal to their old job to fall in their laps, and you think they will move to other countries?

There are plenty of jobs for these people if they were willing to move to another location Boeing, Northup, SpaceX I am sure would hire them if they were good at what they were doing.

I am not sure how you can be all over Obama, and then also claim that Newt was right to want a moon base. I do not like most of what obama does, but frivously spending money that we dont have on a moon base would be idiotic at this point. Lets figure out how to live within our means before we poor several trillion more to make a moon base.


RE: Obama creating jobs....NOT
By Reclaimer77 on 7/17/2012 3:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
What do you mean "where the work is"? The United States no longer has a space program. At all. We literally have none. Where exactly should these people move to get to "the work"? China?

quote:
but frivously spending money that we dont have on a moon base would be idiotic at this point. Lets figure out how to live within our means before we poor several trillion more to make a moon base.


Well step 1 of living within in our means is defeating Obama this election. Until that happens, we can forget any talk of fiscal responsibility.


RE: Obama creating jobs....NOT
By Ringold on 7/17/12, Rating: 0
RE: Obama creating jobs....NOT
By ilt24 on 7/17/2012 11:48:37 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
While I'm sure NASA was a huge expense. Proper budgeting and management could have created a smoother transition for the agency to move away from space shuttle to other innovative endeavors.


The decision to end the shuttle program and not have a NASA replacement ready at the time of the last shuttle flight was made way before Obama got in office...but that should not have matter as the people that did make the decision to end the space shuttle were sure private companies would swoop all these people up.


RE: Obama creating jobs....NOT
By BigT383 on 7/18/2012 10:34:30 AM , Rating: 2
I'd just like to point out that the Obama administration was that one that wanted to provide incentives for the private sector to get more involved in the menial tasks of space exploration, like resupplying the space station. SpaceX has received a ton of money from NASA because of this.

The administration's goal for NASA is to have them handle the cutting-edge exploration... which is why they're working on a new heavy lift rocket and the Orion capsule. Those saying that the US doesn't have a space program are incorrect- we just don't currently have the capability to launch people into orbit, but that doesn't mean we're not working on something to replace the shuttle in that capacity.

Personally, I love what SpaceX is doing and while I'd love to see NASA reach its former glory the fact that it a) relies on congress for its funding and b) gets a new administrator/direction at least every 8 years makes that unlikely. NASA needs money, direction, and enough time to follow through on a long-term plan.

Plus, they bring some of it on themselves by having big projects consistently run over budget and late.


Just watch ...
By johnnycanadian on 7/17/2012 8:12:05 AM , Rating: 2
... they'll move to Russia and become taxi drivers.




RE: Just watch ...
By Visual on 7/23/2012 6:29:09 AM , Rating: 2
Why become taxi drivers, if they can do nothing all day instead?
Can't really speak for Russia, but I don't expect it is much different than here in Bulgaria for example... Here they can easily live luxuriously 5 years or relatively comfortably even 10 years with a single of their previous early salaries. More if you consider interest they would get from that cash in a bank deposit. And if they already have a couple years' worth of savings, and invest it in real estate to rent out or something, they can live like kings forever.


By SAN-Man on 7/17/2012 5:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm from Florida and work in the technology sector. A few years ago I read a report where NASA projected that approximately 80,000 jobs would be lost in the State due to the shuttle program being retired - these are not all NASA direct reports, the article just speaks about those people. You have to understand that much of the logistics and operations is farmed out to defense and aerospace contractors, as well as manufacturing, parts suppliers, lots and lots of things. Most of these would have moved to the new Luna program but that has been canceled as well.

There are highly technical, highly skilled jobs which will be lost in Texas and Alabama which were supported by the shuttle program as well. People not in the technology field just don't understand.

I think Neil deGrasse Tyson says it best, we stopped dreaming.

http://youtu.be/lyU1N_mbn3c




Supply and Demand
By gnac on 7/18/2012 12:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
While each individual will probably not see the same salary they had at NASA, the country as a whole would benefit - when and if these individuals take on new positions (albiet at lower pay). Their expertise and abilities will eventually result in better more efficient processes, products, programs, etc. wherever they land.

I cannot cry over this - private companies getting into the space game - it is better and more cost effective than the government. Transitions in society are always tough - especially on those being displaced - but society as a whole will benefit.

I am one of the "old guys" 53+. My job is on the line everyday - and while it would be devastating to lose it - I would not be so proud that I would not accept employement at a lower rate of pay.




China
By JKflipflop98 on 7/22/2012 5:14:08 AM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised China hasn't offered them jobs yet. Their star is on the rise.




o rly
By MadMan007 on 7/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: o rly
By StevoLincolnite on 7/17/2012 8:52:26 AM , Rating: 2
Well. The government can and does create jobs via various schemes, be it nation building or the generation of new business's via reduced tax schemes, that's the theory anyway.

The problem however is that it's incredibly wasteful, the bureaucracy in most governments drives up costs, every person in the middle wants a fat piece of the pie regardless if it's you the tax payer paying for it, the money has to come somewhere after-all, so expect more taxes.

However, when the government doesn't poke it's nose and becomes a monopoly in a sector, even more jobs are created.

Take for example the decline at NASA, suddenly a massive demand was required to get stuff into space.
So... New Private Business's were formed to fill the void, thousands of new jobs were created and Billions/Trillions of the tax payers money was ultimately saved because those company's do it cheaper.

It's a prime example of Capitalism at work, whether it works out in the end remains to be seen, but if the Americans do privatize space it will be impressive.


RE: o rly
By mcnabney on 7/17/2012 9:37:03 AM , Rating: 2
Run your logic through the available broadband providers in this country - then realize that nothing you said is accurate.

Lobbyists are almost finished making municipal broadband illegal in many states because it is A) better performing than what private enterprise will provide and B) much cheaper for the consumer than private enterprise options. Oh, and don't forget that not a penny of tax dollars ever goes to start/operate them.

Government is no more or less likely to be efficient than the private sector, however the private sector will EXPLOIT a localized monopoly while the government will not. BOTH types can develop numerous layers of middle managers that do little besides file reports and draw a paycheck.


RE: o rly
By Kurz on 7/17/2012 10:11:17 AM , Rating: 2
How long will it take before said Government municipal falls behind in technology and doesn't have enough money to upgrade their lines and stations?


RE: o rly
By StevoLincolnite on 7/17/2012 10:21:38 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not fully aware of the broadband situation in the U.S.

However as I understand it... (Correct me if I'm wrong)
The American government had a large hand in building your current broadband infrastructure, the whole problem of cost comes down to competition where allot of your providers pretty much monopolized entire areas.

Most other countries Broadband can be served by multiple providers to each home, each with competing infrastructure making Broadband cheap and fast.


RE: o rly
By Solandri on 7/18/2012 1:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
In the U.S. there are strict limits (though not as strict before) on the government's power to nationalize private land for public use. Consequently, the easements needed to run power and utility lines aren't always the easiest thing for the government to get, and they're required by law to compensate the landowner. So the government tries to recoup some of that cost when private companies wish to use those easements.

For broadband in particular, most municipal governments had a long list of demands regarding coverage, availability, pricing, etc. if a company wanted the rights to lay down their lines in easements to provide cable/phone service. The cable/phone companies would only agree to these demands if they were guaranteed a monopoly in service. Consequently most locations only have a single cable company and a single phone company providing service.

So the government didn't have a large hand in building the current infrastructure - it was all privately built (sometimes with some public funding). But the government did have a hand in creating local utility monopolies. Basically, the government made it illegal for a second cable company or a second phone company to provide service in most areas.


RE: o rly
By WalksTheWalk on 7/17/2012 10:30:13 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Government is no more or less likely to be efficient than the private sector, however the private sector will EXPLOIT a localized monopoly while the government will not. BOTH types can develop numerous layers of middle managers that do little besides file reports and draw a paycheck.


This is hogwash. The government is almost always less efficient than private industry because they a monopoly position and, therefore, no incentive to keep costs down. Much of the time the government is also subject to other self-imposed rules such as: unionized labor, Cadillac heathcare plans, etc. They also aren't subject to taxes and other regulations that private industry is subject to.

The notion that governmental broadband can be cheaper is because it would subsidize it through other means and the true cost is not borne by the subscriber. In theory they could do it cheaper, but their inefficiencies don't allow it.

The fact that private companies are allowed to exploit a monopoly position isn't any better. Also keep in mind that government is allowing them to do it through a licensing agreement. (cough *bribe* cough)

All we need to do is require that the lines be leased at a fair market rate by any ISPs. Competition will ensue and prices will decrease. If cable companies elect to not install more lines, all the government needs to do if put bids out for other companies to install and maintain the lines. Again, competing for the business.


RE: o rly
By bah12 on 7/17/2012 10:38:16 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The government is almost always less efficient than private industry because they a monopoly position and, therefore, no incentive to keep costs down

Which is exactly the problem with this story. Of course they are having a hard time finding work. They had way more engineers than they needed, and they paid them too well. Typical government bloat. These guys milked the salary for years, with great benefits to boot, and now that the well is dried up they realize just how overpaid they were considering the rest of the market.


RE: o rly
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 7/17/2012 10:56:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course they are having a hard time finding work. They had way more engineers than they needed, and they paid them too well. Typical government bloat.


Ding! Postal Service is getting whacked next.. wait till [they] start applying for FedEx and UPS; will be the same story.


RE: o rly
By Chernobyl68 on 7/18/2012 2:10:27 PM , Rating: 2
Paid them too well? are you aware of the education and experience in most engineering fields, let alone aerospace and electrical engineering? $80,000 a year is not overpaid, even in Florida.


RE: o rly
By MadMan007 on 7/17/2012 12:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
At least for broadband, there are enough examples to counter this statement "In theory they could do it cheaper, but their inefficiencies don't allow it." Look up lusfiber.

Whoopsie. The only thing 'special' about municipal broadband is that the buildout is funded through muni bonds, but at the same time companies issue bonds to raise capital as well.

I think perhaps the balance is that while there is an assumed government inefficiency, government also isn't required to wring as much profit as possible out of the service. It appears that at least in the case of broadband, the latter is able to reduce prices more than the former increases them.


RE: o rly
By WalksTheWalk on 7/17/2012 1:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
This is where we differ on ideology. In my book, just because the government can do something doesn't mean it necessarily should do it. Government should not be competing with private business because they set the rules and the rules will always be in the government's favor.

If government can do it better, why shouldn't the government build computers, provide cellular service or make autos and compete with companies that do it? Because it's not the government's role.

Where we have a shared requirement for a modern society to operate such as roads, power or telecommunications infrastructure, by all means the government should take on the role of building out the infrastructure and taxing accordingly to cover its costs. When it comes to providing service over that infrastructure, the government needs to provide a level playing field for business to compete using the provided infrastructure.


RE: o rly
By MadMan007 on 7/17/2012 10:47:50 PM , Rating: 1
Well, this is the first problem
quote:
This is where we differ on ideology
.. starting from an ideological viewpoint and working backwards.

But then you go and say this, which is sort of half way toward government-run services.
quote:
the government should take on the role of building out the infrastructure and taxing accordingly
If the voters in a municipality support municipal communication service, shouldn't they be able to have it?

And I really wouldn't want private sector provided water, police, roads.


RE: o rly
By WalksTheWalk on 7/18/2012 9:23:31 AM , Rating: 2
In your argument you mention that the government is in the best position to provide internet access. Internet access is composed of the physical lines and the service that connects and routes your requests. Using your model, the government is in the best position to not only provide roads but also provide all shipping across those roads making it somehow cheaper.

What I'm saying is that in a modern society, the government should provide certain shared infrastructure which is required to advance society where the government is in the best position to do it due to certain logistical and legal problems. The infrastructure that makes sense to do this with (roads, power and telecommunications lines) crosses many legal boundaries such as various public and private properties. The Government entity (or government-sponsored entity) is the only entity that has the right of way and legal force to provide and maintain the infrastructure, so it makes sense for them to contract for its construction and maintenance. Government also has the ability to limit their liability so they cannot (typically) be liable if some hits a pothole then crashes, or a power line falls in a storm and injures someone. Private companies should then be able to use the infrastructure to provide services to the population such as telecommunications, leasing the lines from the government.

If the voters want to grant a local municipality a monopoly on certain services that's their business, but they do so at the mercy of their local government and the ultimate detriment of their municipality. All I'm saying is that it's typically a recipe for inefficiency, abuse and waste over time.

To your point about private water, police and roads, again the government is the only entity that can provide these since they need to cross many legal boundaries. If you think these items are provided and managed efficiently then I just can't help you.


RE: o rly
By gnac on 7/18/2012 12:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
Stay off the toll roads - many of them are NOT owned by the Government. As far as water goes - many people in the country are getting water from private companies - and police - get rid of all private security?


RE: o rly
By Rott3nHIppi3 on 7/17/2012 11:09:00 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Government is no more or less likely to be efficient than the private sector


LOL! NO.. they're definitely "less" efficient. Here's an excerpt from one of MANY examples out there on the inter-tubes!

Also soaring to the top of the Buzz: A homemade helium balloon and camera that captures images from the edge of space. Brit Robert Harrison's homemade device can soar 20 miles above the earth. The photos it takes are incredibly impressive. So impressive, in fact, that NASA reportedly got in touch with the father of three. They apparently told him that the space agency would have had to have spend millions of dollars to get similar results. Harrison's budget was a comparatively modest $815 .

Google NASA inefficiencies.... plenty more out there!!!


RE: o rly
By Ringold on 7/17/2012 3:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Government is no more or less likely to be efficient than the private sector


Ever read a book or anything on economics not penned by Marx? Ever? That single line pretty much discredits anything else you have to say, as even the left-wing neo-Marxist economists out there would laugh at that. They might be all for government control but they know their weaknesses as well; you only know what propaganda masters have spun to you, so you don't even know that much.


RE: o rly
By Reclaimer77 on 7/17/12, Rating: 0
Just wait...
By room200 on 7/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: Just wait...
By Schrag4 on 7/17/2012 9:25:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That used to be the beauty of America; everybody had the chance and people cared about America. Now a few want to control the rest.


Do you really think things have changed that much in recent history? Do you really believe that 200 years ago everyone in America had the same basic wealth?

Also, the only way the top 1% could "control the rest" would be if they colluded to keep wages down. That simply doesn't happen. There are many cases of skilled employees being stolen away from competitors, lured by higher wages, and in many of those instances, the original employer fights back with EVEN HIGHER wages.


RE: Just wait...
By mcnabney on 7/17/2012 9:31:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
they colluded to keep wages down


Happens all the time. In fact, I colluding right now.


RE: Just wait...
By Schrag4 on 7/17/2012 11:03:34 AM , Rating: 2
So you're an employer colluding with your competitors to keep wages low? That's what the discussion is about, after all. Help us out, we need some context here.


RE: Just wait...
By MrBlastman on 7/17/2012 11:28:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are many cases of skilled employees being stolen away from competitors, lured by higher wages, and in many of those instances, the original employer fights back with EVEN HIGHER wages


That happens less than you think, especially when there is an oversupply of labor right now. I know several people that have been told to get "effed" when they hoped their employer would do that after they turned in their resignation.


RE: Just wait...
By Ringold on 7/17/2012 9:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
Don't confuse the current state of things as normal, unless we refuse as a country to get off the European-style method of macroeconomic policy. Democrats thinking about voting Obama need to realize that our current level of unemployment would be described by France as normal, but is a few-times-a-century thing in our own history.

As recently as 2007, new college grads in a variety of fields would get counter-offer after counter-offer. Even today, in some very select fields, employers pick up undergrads long before graduation in order to try to lock in employees in hard-to-fill areas.


RE: Just wait...
By GotThumbs on 7/17/2012 9:45:01 AM , Rating: 3
Pathetic.

You Twits really think a real society could exist where everyone makes the same money and is equal in every way? The fact is that NOT everyone is equal. Everyone is unique and brings their own unique strengths and weaknesses. It's the people who have the drive and determination to succeed that do. The greatest thing about America in the past, is that if you truly want to succeed....you could. Success is like respect. Its NEVER handed to you...You have to earn it. It's puttz who don't want to work hard each day to better themselves that are the problem. Now Obama whats to say the government is the reason why all businesses succeed (either its arrogance or stupidity on his part). The decade of entitlement is killing this country. I'm not wealthy but I bought and paid for everything I own. I don't over spend and I don't buy what I can't pay for.

Its the weak and stupid who are ignorant in thinking they are owed by others. 100 or 200 years ago many of the people of today would NOT survive. They would be dead, because everyone had to put in a days work before you eat and there were no handouts Today's youth spend hours playing games and are undernourished because they have been allowed to be picky eaters. Now wait until they have to step up and care for themselves.....it won't happen. More and more of these twits will remain home as Obama and the Dems expect. Why else would they extend the age they can remain under their parents insurance. All this accomplished was put the burden back on the parents and avoid the need to drive the economy so these kids will have an opportunity to be self-sufficient and be a true adult. They just want to play and have someone else do the laundry and wipe their A$$.


RE: Just wait...
By web2dot0 on 7/17/2012 1:12:20 PM , Rating: 1
I'm tired of everyone here beating people when they are down.

You bought and paid everything on your own? No one helped you when you where growing up? So you just fed yourselves from the time you were born? Who taught you at school?
Some get help less than others, but don't be delusion to think that you never got help along the way. No one EVER does anything on their own.

Ok, so you are saying that leave those people who can't afford insurance go uninsured. Guess what wise guy, when they have a life threatening illness, they'll show up at the hospital and even without insurance, their cost will be paid by the government. At the end, you didn't prevent anything, but helped early deaths and burdening the society with astronomical hospital costs. Unless of course, you believe in throwing them out of the ditch and let them die. Classy.

I'm in complete agreement on issues pertaining to making sure everyone does hard work. Every citizen's main goal in life should be about how to be a productive citizen. It's almost like a unwritten moral code of ethics. Being a useless person is generally frown upon in every society. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't help people who needs to be helped from time to time.

According to your ridiculous logic, who needs charity or "government handout". If you can't afford it, work harder!!! Tornado destroyed your home? Get your ass off the couch (or a lack of one) and get back to work!!! Homeless shelter? Leave them all out on the street, those lazy asses. Social programs? That's for losers.


RE: Just wait...
By Spuke on 7/17/2012 1:43:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't help people who needs to be helped from time to time.
Not sure where the rant came from as the person you replied to was pretty clear what he meant. No one's talking about letting the helpless or those that got a bad deal (ie just got laid off) hang out to dry. But you and I know that there are people that are entirely capable but way too lazy. And here in the US (not sure where you're from) they take up a sizable portion of government handouts. Portions that could've gone to all of those people that got laid off during the economic crash. I'd rather see those people get bigger unemployment checks (or lower amounts for a longer period) to lessen the pain of losing a job during a severe recession than feeding some lazy f#$k.


RE: Just wait...
By Schrag4 on 7/17/2012 2:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No one EVER does anything on their own.

I have to take issue with this statement. Sure, we were all fed and clothed and sheltered and taught when we were young, but that's not the only side of the equation. Some people from disadvantaged homes turn out to be very productive members of society. Others from wealthy families, ones who had everything given to them including an expensive advanced education, end up being a drain on those around them. An individual is not necessarily limited by their circumstances, and also, an individual's desire to make something of his or herself can matter more than the circumstances that they grew up in. I don't feel that you give nearly enough credit to successful people for their own success, especially those that started with some disadvantage.


RE: Just wait...
By Ringold on 7/17/2012 9:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No one EVER does anything on their own.


Gotta wonder, do you people have a website where you go to where Obama's campaign team gives you the talking points for the following few days? That's almost a perfect spin on what Obama said a couple days ago about entrepreneurs not doing it on their own.

Of course, my family took care of me when I was young, but I can tell you this: After that point, in my working career, no one, not a damn soul, is responsible for my successes (or failures) except for me. The government and all its loopholes merely slow me down, and its taxes lop off chunks of every dollar I earn through my labor and my wit to support the exploding numbers of people on disability, welfare, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid.

There's also free-market equivalents to some of what you're talking about, like tornado's. If you live in an area where they're common, and don't have insurance.... That's like living on the Florida coast and not having insurance that'd cover hurricanes and flooding. We're supposed to shed a tear for the beach bums, but who sheds a tear for me, the poor fool that pays taxes to bail out those beach bums or residents in Tornado Alley that somehow get caught off guard when a tornado strikes?

And you can be about hard work all you want, but liberalism fails when liberal theory meets cold hard reality, and in reality you get welfare queens. Not that welfare queens would understand it, but they're making semi-rational economic choices; why work hard when they can take it easy and game the system?


RE: Just wait...
By gnac on 7/18/2012 12:53:55 PM , Rating: 2
Feel free to help others with your OWN money. Not mine. Families and friends can help each other if they want. I should not be forced to help others through the government. Even families will reject their own if they continue to make bad choices. Give me an example of the government using tough love?


"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki