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A small town cooperative bid and won contract to run public transport. No multi-million CEOs and billion advertising budgets. Flat three-level organization: novice; specialist; coordinator. Coordinators regularly rotate in operational positions to stay in touch with the reality. Use of advanced technology in highly efficient operation. Decent pay and full benefits. All profit, after taxes, shared between the owners (not Google-style "owners" with microscopic shares but actual owners with share determined only by the time with the company). Part of profit invested into a recreational facility for the owners. Opened to public, run more efficiently than private competition and with better value for the patrons. Expand, open whole new branch, attract more associates and workers and so on. Invest more in the owners well-being and pay more taxes.

Taxes aren't thrown to pay for oversized and lazy bureaucracy but open, lean and efficient public service with real and measurable value to the owners, the citizens. No multi-million... , you get it. Same flat, lean and agile organization. Focus on openness, quality and value to the public. Full transparency. Taxes from private and cooperative economies finance free, dynamic and efficient continuous education for all citizens.

Free essential healthcare with pharmacare for all citizens. Effective coordination and cooperation of public, private and cooperative providers. No artificial barriers to professions, and artificially inflated wages. Elimination of outdated barriers and practices that create and recreate inefficiencies and disbalances in the system.

Citizens are free to move between jobs and sectors sharing the best practices to maximum satisfaction. Upgrade skills or acquire new ones at any time in life and career. No overpaid bureaucracies in PS. Competition abroad and in private sector? Higher pay etc, sure free to go and have someone young and upcoming take the turn. Decent, modest pay, full benefits, fun and meaningful contribution. Raises every X months aren't guaranteed though the service must be affordable to the owners. It's the best recipe for productivity, efficiency and enjoyment, better than fat and lazy bureaucracies. See the Phoenix system, "travel from Wuhan", the return on the billions invested in "rapid response" consumed, silently vanished with no visible response and so on.

A different kind of democracy, certainly. Any chance? ... just dreaming.

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3 hours ago, myata said:

.. , you get it. Same flat, lean and agile organization.

A different kind of democracy, certainly. Any chance? ... just dreaming.

What are you going to do with the existing bureaucracy ??  If you can ship them out to China or some place in Africa, it will work.

Otherwise they will be demanding fat severance package, unemployment, damages for pain and suffering...you get the picture.

 

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@myata

Not understanding what those 3 positions in an organization dedicated to public transit MEAN.  You are proposing a cooperative, but also a new kind of management structure.  Very unclear to me who funds this to start up, and lots of other questions.

@cougar 

What existing bureaucracy ?  How do you even know what this organization looks like - it sounds like something brand new.

I'm interested in this topic but so far very confused by both posts.

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3 hours ago, cougar said:

What are you going to do with the existing bureaucracy ??  If you can ship them out to China or some place in Africa, it will work.

Otherwise they will be demanding fat severance package, unemployment, damages for pain and suffering...you get the picture.

 

What if one beautiful morning it woke up and decided to go build flourishing democracies in China and Africa? We could even arrange for a ticket (one way).

But jokes aside, you're right of course. In 160 years the system that was built became entrenched and non-modifiable. Not only it is averse to any change, but it, change isn't possible practically. This is the only way it can run, and one way only.

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3 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

@myata

Not understanding what those 3 positions in an organization dedicated to public transit MEAN. 

If you were flying any time recently, you may have noticed that you may only speak to an employee of Canada once, on entry to the country (and on an internal flight, possibly never). All security people are private subcontractors. Mostly young folks, college age what pay? benefits? etc for a hard, stressful work of staring at a screen several hours daily. Someone certainly made an effort to run this service more efficiently. But who's actually gained?

We, public, are paying more see e.g. "airport tax" that's become a regular fixture. Are we getting better quality though from subcontractors than full-time employees with stable jobs and benefits?

We have several layers of public bureaucracy writing / procuring reports on outsourcing, running bids etc, managers with five-digit salaries and generous pension plans. They are doing great.

And there's management of the private security firm also doing not too bad out of the situation. So we, public, are still paying a lot, first for the bureaucracy that isn't doing any useful work for us, only writes and shuffles papers; secondly to the private firm complete with CEO and the board; and then yet again in the form of a new tax. So who wins here, expensive public bureaucrats and private CEO? Are we sure it's such a great deal, after all?

Could we have had a cooperative doing the same work? Without expensive management, on both sides. With stable hours, full benefits and annual redistribution of profit based on the time with the company. It doesn't need to run as a huge corporation with a huge management hierarchy; it can be lean and efficient. A win-win for the public and the employees, aka citizens. And why should it not be a possibility?

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49 minutes ago, myata said:

1.If you were flying any time recently, you may have noticed that you may only speak to an employee of Canada once, on entry to the country (and on an internal flight, possibly never). All security people are private subcontractors. Mostly young folks, college age what pay? benefits? etc for a hard, stressful work of staring at a screen several hours daily. Someone certainly made an effort to run this service more efficiently. But who's actually gained?

2. We, public, are paying more see e.g. "airport tax" that's become a regular fixture. Are we getting better quality though from subcontractors than full-time employees with stable jobs and benefits?

3. We have several layers of public bureaucracy writing / procuring reports on outsourcing, running bids etc, managers with five-digit salaries and generous pension plans. They are doing great.

 

1. 2. What does this have to do with the previous line of discussion ?
3. Five digits is $10,000 - $99,000 per year.  Not excessive.  

I left the rest of your post - I get it, the government is inefficient.  I agree with that.

But your initial post talked about 3-levels ... operating / management ... too unclear.  I think I will give up actually.
 

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13 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

3. Five digits is $10,000 - $99,000 per year.  Not excessive.  
But your initial post talked about 3-levels ... operating / management ... too unclear.  I think I will give up actually.
 

It was supposed to be six (or seven) of course, my mistake.

What I was trying to say is that there is any number of areas where exist well-known processes that would not require large investment or sophisticated development (like car industry, rocket science etc) but still of high, very high or critical importance for the society: public and student transportation; long-term care, hospital, school maintenance; certain sectors of food industry; possibly, certain areas of healthcare and education and so on, as in the example that was given. And all those invariably slide down the slope to the standard corporate model: tall management hierarchies; huge disparity in return, with overpaid management and underpaid employees often at near minimum wage and no benefits. That seems to developing into a de facto standard in these areas and it's not a given that it should be so. It is not some standard "free market" adage but a question of the economic environment and (wrong and skewed) incentives that encourage and favor this model that produces mediocre and at times substandard and poor results (e.g. long term care including hospitals) over other possible options.

P.S. I long gave up on the chance to find good and inexpensive home-style food in this country. It just doesn't exist as an entity. Ether outrageously expensive ($100 and over a meal) or a bland sandwich, fast food etc., all options. Just an illustration, easily transferred to pretty much any area. Corporate model produces just-so quality at an outrageous cost (and exorbitant management compensation) but never fails to position itself as "saving costs". And now it's entrenched in the public service, probably forever.

There's much that can be added here but you'll give up and I can't care enough to spend more of my time and effort on something that can't happen because change isn't possible so let's just leave it at that.

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6 minutes ago, myata said:

1. It was supposed to be six (or seven) of course, my mistake.

2. What I was trying to say is that there is any number of areas where exist well-known processes that would not require large investment or sophisticated development (like car industry, rocket science etc) but still of high, very high or critical importance for the society: public and student transportation; long-term care, hospital, school maintenance; certain sectors of food industry; possibly, certain areas of healthcare and education and so on, as in the example that was given. And all those invariably slide down the slope to the standard corporate model: tall management hierarchies; huge disparity in return, with overpaid management and underpaid employees often at near minimum wage and no benefits.

3. That seems to developing into a de facto standard in these areas and it's not a given that it should be so. It is not some standard "free market" adage but the question of the economic environment and (wrong and skewed) incentives that encourage and favour this model that produces mediocre and at times substandard (e.g. long term care including hospitals) over other possible options.

4. There's much that can be added here but you'll give up and I can't care enough to spend more of my time and effort on something that can't happen because change isn't possible so let's just leave it at that.

1. It could be two, eight, or a thousand.  
2. That's a function of them generally copying the top-down management model that has been with us since forever, and the fact that there's no transparency, no identified public with their own feedback process to keep things in check.  You don't know if management is overpaid, or underpaid because of this structure.  I have heard of federal government managers with large departments making less salary than I would expect as well as line workers making comfortable livings for doing rote work.   I'm convinced you could restructure without onerous cuts.
3. What exactly are you looking for ?  Forget about "free market" and describe what specifically you want instead.  I can't tell from 2.
4. Well you started the discussion on this tack... you started the whole thread.  Are you bored or do you just tire easily ?

 

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21 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

3. What exactly are you looking for ?  Forget about "free market" and describe what specifically you want instead.  I can't tell from 2.

Public service at all levels needs to run: effectively and cost efficiently for the public that is, the owner; transparently; open for all citizens that is, based on need and without bureaucratic barriers to employment making it into an entrenched corporation; and to the satisfaction of all employees. In my view, it would require reorganization in essence and in purpose, not just in the form.

An economic environment created fostering cooperative sector of the economy that can run everyday services with high quality and efficiently also with adequate return to all workers.

Free healthcare to the public provided by an organic mix of economic entities of all types with clear criteria of quality and efficiency, not ideology. I can't care less whether multi-bazzilion CEO is "public" or otherwise, from here it looks exactly the same.

Free education at any level as and when needed. No artificial barriers to professions.

Private economy and free market are not affected in any essential way pay taxes and observe the law.

This is "what". And "how" someone would need to figure out, because otherwise we will end up, by default and definition, with the same status quo from which started 160 years back.

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45 minutes ago, myata said:

1. Public service at all levels needs to run: effectively and cost efficiently for the public that is, the owner; transparently; open for all citizens that is, based on need and without bureaucratic barriers to employment making it into an entrenched corporation; and to the satisfaction of all employees. In my view, it would require reorganization in essence and in purpose, not just in the form.

2. An economic environment created fostering cooperative sector of the economy that can run everyday services with high quality and efficiently also with adequate return to all workers.

3. Free healthcare to the public provided by an organic mix of economic entities of all types with clear criteria of quality and efficiency, not ideology. I can't care less whether multi-bazzilion CEO is "public" or otherwise, from here it looks exactly the same.

4. Free education at any level as and when needed. No artificial barriers to professions.

5. This is "what". And "how" someone would need to figure out, because otherwise we will end up, by default and definition, with the same status quo from which started 160 years back.

1. Agreed.  And other countries do this far better than Canada does.
2. Also agreed.  This could also be accomplished without any changes to.... anything.  Other than people pushing for it, that is.
3. We have this today but 'efficiency' is debatable.
4. This would require changes, but not a bad idea.
5. Yes, agree.

And the amazing thing is we almost need to give this a name, or something to give it momentum... call it 'organizational renewal' or 'zimzam'.... 

 

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Great. And today we learn that in Ontario (doubt that it would much different elsewhere) the Govt allocated some millions to hire 370 additional PSW when the need is for the thousands. For every worker hired at near minimum starting wage there's such an enormous overhead elsewhere in the system that it simply cannot accomplish anything meaningful anymore. Take the Phoenix system. Take the early Covid response. Take vaccine rollout. The writing is clear: chaos mode is here. To stay?

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