It's funny, how we Americans argue back and forth about the merits of government v private enterprise. Do we ever consider that either way, things are being run by flawed human beings? Could it perhaps be true that the human race is terminally incompetent? A sobering thought indeed...
Take, for instance, Mary Alice's dilemma - a military wife, in quasi-military housing. You see, a number of years ago, some people decided that military housing might be more efficiently managed if it were privately run. This made sense to many of us who have resided in military housing, in a system that could be, let's say, unresponsive - dilatory - inefficient. "Hey," we thought, "it couldn't be worse! Let's give that profit motive idea a try!"
As a result, many housing areas were essentially auctioned off to the highest bidder who agreed to maintain the houses to a certain standard. In turn, that bidder would receive the occupant's housing allowance as rent. So long, Soviet-style bureaucrats managing repairs! Hello, profit-oriented efficient businessmen!
Only, not. Check out this post of Mary Alice's. Things are the same (if not worse) for military members residing in these domiciles - poor customer service, lackluster repairs, no cosmetic upkeep. And, worst of all, when she complained about the situation on her blog, her husband's commander asked her to please be quiet.
(Actually, he told her husband to tell her to please pipe down. Those of us who know Mary Alice can only imagine with what trepidation her poor husband passed on this message to his beloved. Poor guy...)
In my view, the military should be outraged about this situation and should be yanking the housing contract from whoever currently holds it. What could be worse for a deployed soldier/airman/etc than to have to worry (while in a war zone) that his family is without a fridge? Or that his pregnant wife is having to mow the lawn? Or that an unrepaired leak is now causing mold to grow within the walls of his home?
Talk about a morale-buster, eh?
Yo! Military! You want the rest of America to treat our soldiers right - how's about setting a good example?