Friday, April 24, 2015

Waiting for the sunrise

It's foolproof! Someone claims (in this case a certified economics expert from The Show Me State) the government has lower overhead than the private sector, and the next day the disproof arrives and shows me that's wrong (in this case from Jeffrey Mayor of the Tacoma News Tribune);
[There is] more than $298.3 million in deferred maintenance at Mount Rainier. Olympic National Park has $133.2 million in delayed work. In total, there is almost $507.2 million in unfunded repair projects at eight National Park Service units in Washington [state].
Nationwide, the Park Service puts the total for 2014 at $11.49 billion for 407 locations.
You can keep your overhead down, if you just don't care about results. A luxury that private sector, profit seeking entities can't avoid (not for very long, anyway). Because, contrary to the nation's Accountant in Chief, profits don't eat up overhead (made to a joint session of congress on September 9, 2009). It's actually the other way around.

Deferred maintenance is not overhead avoided. Far from it, avoiding timely maintenance and repair only increases the costs down the road. As the old saying has it, a stitch in time, saves nine. But, you'd have to use accrual accounting to know that, we guess.
Each year, the park [Mt. Rainier]  has $6 million to $8 million to spend on maintenance but would need another $4 million to $5 million to cut into the backlog of deferred maintenance, King said.
The estimate to replace the park’s infrastructure is $1.3 billion, according to the report.
With the money available, the park is working to reduce the backlog.
For instance, a few years ago, you could see daylight streaming through cracks in the wall of the Sunrise Day Lodge. The park has worked to resolve those “daylight issues,” King said.
Yeah, by ceding the responsibility to those evil capitalists;
In addition to using money from its own budget to cut into the backlog, the park is working with one of its partners to tackle projects at the Paradise Inn and elsewhere.
When the park signed a new contract in 2014 with Rainier Guest Services, the concessionaire agreed to take on deferred maintenance projects. The estimated value of the work is $2 million, said Mary Wysong, the park’s concessions manager.
“The park had 75 deferred maintenance items we’ve committed to fixing, such as replacing windows in the annex,” said David Wilde, chief operating office of Rainier Guest Services.
The concessionaire taking on more maintenance work will allow the park to spend its money on other projects, “of which there are myriads at Mount Rainier,” King said.
Markets to the rescue!

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