Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Privatize the Print Shop

Talifaitasi Satele

If the ASG plans to follow other local governments in the U.S., like Chicago, Illinois or Sandy Springs, Atlanta, in shoring up their budgets by privatizing certain governmental functions, they can start with the ASG Print Shop. If print production in the ASG is anything like its business licensing process, then we should all pray that the next storm does more than just flood the Print Shop building.

The fundamental idea behind outsourcing a function is whether doing so would be cheaper or be of more value than keeping it in house. ASPA based its justification for bringing its trash collection services back in house on its findings that it would save its customers money. But it seems the Fono is being asked to mandate all ASG printing to be done at the Print Shop in an effort to save jobs or maintain that department’s relevance.

Whether it comes to privatization, outsourcing or free trade for that matter, it should never be about saving jobs. It’s whether the customer (in this case, the ASG) has the freedom to choose where to best spend his money. Economically speaking, that often means the cheapest price or the best quality possible.

Seeing that it takes a million years for the ASG to get anything done, we shouldn’t be too hopeful that it will privatize anything anytime soon. But in the case of the Print Shop, the best way for the ASG to privatize that department is to continue to do what it has always done best:


Sunday, February 01, 2009

My One Complaint About 'Atlas Shrugged'

Stuart K. Hayashi

Writing this post has become an annual tradition for me. February 2, 2009, marks 104 years to the day of Ayn Rand's birth. Of course, the culture of the 48 contiguous United States associates the date of February 2 with yet another tradition. It is said that, on this day, if a politician crawls out of his hole -- and sees his shadow -- then we will have sixty more years of federal farm subsidies.

As for Miss Rand's magnum opus, I enjoyed every syllable on each of the 1,084 pages of the 1985 paperback edition I read. The prose sparked vivid images that made me feel as if I were gazing upon an exquisite painting.

I was so enthralled by the grandeur of it all that I was quite sad to finish it. It was as if I were a small child again, and summer was coming to an end, and I was parting with a dear friend and playmate whom I would not be able to see again for the rest of the year.

And so I have only one complaint about Atlas Shrugged:

It was too short. :'-)