Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Eating Cake

Neither a "Democratic" problem nor a "Republican" problem. The CEO of a public company spending what should be public money on private affairs? That's a local problem.

The President cannot help you here. Neither your Senators nor Congressmen will be involved. But your City Council, Mayor and Inspector General can do something about it.

There is a reason our roads are terrible, our schools are falling apart and we can't get a handle on crime. We live in a system more closely resembling feudalism, where we, the peasants, provide money and services so the Lords and Ladies of the Realm may get the full enjoyment out of their high-paying jobs. They are protected from scrutiny by thier knights and pages, who swear fealty to and serve at the pleasure of their leige.

And in the enduring repeat of history, it never seemed to occur to this particular Lord of the Realm that he was doing anything wrong. He probably thinks the rest of us eat cake.



patsbrother said...

I honestly don't understand the full hubbub on this one. I first read about this a while back in a long article, but unfortunately I can't find that right now.

If you're upset simply about the spending: fine. But don't wax pathetic on why schools aren't funded and roads aren't smooth.

As a stand-alone entity, the New Orleans railroad has to fund itself and--amazingly--it does. (Imagine if Amtrak could do that.) At least as far as that other article I read goes, when Briger took over, the railroad was in sad shape. (This appears to be uncontroverted here.) By generating profits, the railroad has been able to significantly re-invest in its infrastructure (which you ususally seem to be all for). As with any business, this allows it to provide a better service, and with it to generate more economic opportunities in New Orleans.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but that seems like a win-win to me.

And if I'm missing something, please spell it out for me.

Again, if you're miffed that the finer points of their business practices, fine. In that other article, Briger explained some things and admitted other things were bad ideas. But if you think actually making a government entity pay its own way, make a profit, and fund its own improvements, then I think you doth protest too much.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

No, I have no problem with a public entity supporting itself in its determined role. What I have a problem with is the idea that it takes $400,000 credit card bill for parties, lunches and dinners to do it.

The dude and his team are already rewarded for their good work with fine salaries and benefits. There is no need for such extravagant fringe benefits as this.

How does this relate to schools and roads? As De Berry opines, this isn't the only public entity where we have the problem with profligate spending on extracurricular items.

(And this is proof positive that a public railway like Amtrak could be profitable if managed properly. Things done right tend to work correctly, after all.)