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Wednesday, July 25, 20071185395619

Steve DeAngelis on the Sysadmin-Industrial-Complex

Stephen DeAngelis, CEO of Enterra Solutions, says that the government should expand the safety net for contractors in Iraq. I agree completely. Besides being the morally right thing to do, such an expansion would strengthen the sysadmin-industrial complex, that iron triangle of contractors, congress, and government workers needed to keep shrinking the gap.

Outside the Beltway isn't so happy with the scheme. OTB's argument is just as honorable as those who argued we should not care for Vietnam veterans, because they opposed that war. Opponents of shrinking the gap naturally oppose real care for veterans (public-service or private-service), because they correctly recognize that care institutionally supports the broader mission. (Read the comments at Outside the Beltway for less polite formulations of the anti-veteran line.)

Comments

Oh come on, that's just silly. The question is not whether or not veterans or contractors should receive health care, but whether or not the taxpayers should assume the debts and responsibilities of private firms.

Posted by: Steve French | Thursday, July 26, 2007

Steve,

The paragraph in Outside the Beltway's post, immediately below the Broder piece, reads as follows:

"I’m not so sure. People who undertake risky work are owed what they were promised when they signed on. It’s unclear why they should get “a hell of a lot more.”"

Or were you calling OTB "just silly"?

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Thursday, July 26, 2007

I was refering to the taxpayer assuming the obligations of private firms. I haven't read the Outside the Beltway piece.

Posted by: Steve French | Friday, July 27, 2007

Steve,

Do you oppose social security as well, as pensions are traditionally the province of work contractors? (Or, more specifically, would you have opposed it at the time if this would amount to "the taxpayer assuming the obligations of private firms"?)

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Friday, July 27, 2007

They're apples and oranges (to answer your question I would have, and do, oppose social security).

It's not a matter of the government crowding out the private market, it's a matter of pointless corporate welfare. The firm has already made it's commitment to the contractor. The government is just taking over the commitment.

Posted by: Steve French | Sunday, July 29, 2007

I think one fallacy is the belief that the costs can be avoided by not having a system to address them. In part, maybe they can, but you do not see bodies piling up outside hospital emergency rooms. We simply are not quite that cruel, so the fantasy of avoiding paying for disease or injury is impossible.

It all comes out of our national hide in some way.

In many cases, the costs just shift to another system, including charity, which is, of course, no more free than any other system for addressing costs.

In terms of insurance paid for by an employer, I do not think there is an equivalent to the VA, which is a basic model for what is required to cover the injuries of soldiers, which can be incredibly expensive. So I somewhat doubt the employers of these people can buy a health insurance policy that truly covers the common hazards of a combat theater.

Posted by: sonofsamphm1c | Sunday, July 29, 2007

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