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June 12, 2014

Comments

Joe

Here is the example that the book reviewer quotes from Schuck's book on the six things

Incentives
Instruments
Information
Adaptability
Credibility
Management

"Take Medicare, a popular program. By paying a set fee for each service, it creates perverse incentives for doctors to perform more of them. Then, by using the instrument of price controls to limit costs, it creates shortages. By setting those prices administratively, it denies itself the information that only the interplay of supply and demand can offer. By imposing a mid-1960s insurance model on American medicine, it makes the health-care system inflexible. By relying on payment cuts that Congress routinely puts off, it makes a joke of its own fiscal projections. And by abiding billions in fraud, it invites waste and abuse. The sum of it all is a colossal mess at the heart of American health care."

Interesting stuff that I think can be translated to high-cost rail quite easily and hopefully before we end of with a colossal mess at the heart of the California budget for a couple of generations.

AK

Interesting topic.

Check out my fraternity brother / college roommate's NY Times Best Selling Book (currently #5), called Leadocracy...

http://www.geoffsmart.com/government.html

Bruce Dickinson

Thanks for the post, Joe. Listen, when I saw the term "thinking pieces" I would be remiss if I didn't feel the need chime in, because….well, I don't really need to tell you the rest.

Bruce Dickinson also believes that there should be a 7th "thing" to get right, which is probably more important than the other 6, and that is the issue of trust. Unlike Joe B, the other Joe, Joe G, who lost the controllers election by committing a mortal sin (how ya like that one, Pete G?) and breaching the public's trust in him. Everyone questioned his motivation for challenging his opponent's credibility and competence. This is for the controllers office, the Chief Accounting Officer, if you will. And what do you remember from Prof Dickinson's last lecture? Well let me remind you: Accounting = Trust. Running for office not on your merits, but with nefarious motivations, attempting to discredit the credentials and ethics of an obviously competent challenger by suing him?!?. All for a position/office needs to exhibit trust first and foremost. This guy really does not appear to be the sharpest tool in the shed and makes Gilligan from Gilligan's Island look like a genius (would also put Palin in that camp, what a piece of work she is). And when you need to resort to lawyers to do all your fighting in the absence of a true miscarriage of justice, it basically means that you don't have the competence to stand on your own merits.

Now let's examine all the trust issues that we see in our local and state government :

Do we trust that our City Council and Planning Commission members make decisions without financial or personal conflict, real or perceived?

Do we trust that the City of Burlingame will give completely objective advice on what the real needs are of this City relative to its limited resources?

Do we trust that we need high density infill housing for a "transportation corridor" before that transportation actually exists?

Do we trust that the funds for transportation will be there for HSR or an electrified Caltrain?

Do we trust the projections for HSR passenger ridership, its costs, benefits, financial projections, and that all the HSR Authority employees are giving the most complete and objective advice irrespective of job security implications?

Do we trust that Cal-Trans has Burlingame's best interests in mind?

Do we trust that ABAG brokering various deals between cities and obtaining more power is good for Burlingame?

Do we trust that government agencies, such as the BSD, follow the letter of the law in planning and development and act in the best interests of its population while allocating resources efficiently?

Do you trust that all government agencies, such as the City of Burlingame or BSD conduct transactions with the private sector on an arms-length basis with no favoritism?

Take a hard look at these questions and try to answer them to the best of your ability, with supporting evidence either way. Bruce Dickinson has asked himself and many others these questions and pondered them way more than I need to at this stage of my life, but it does demonstrate that I do care, yes, really care about Burlingame and the well-being of its citizens. Maybe then you can understand Bruce Dickinson has been so vocal in expressing my opinions.

Joe

Thanks, Bruce Dickinson. I agree for the most part. I might quibble that trust emanates from either credibility or perhaps is a summation of all six, but that is just semantics.

Now you've gone and started to write the HSR follow-up to this piece for me--so impatient :-)

WOWowow

WOW, I can't believe Bruce Dickinson digs our town.

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