Wednesday, February 8, 2012

City Of Ottawa - Free Market Fail?

The most violent, mean and malignant passions of the human breast, the Furies of private interest. 
Karl Marx, Das Kapital, Buch I, Author's prefaces to the First Edition

When the Oracle of Ottawa first heard of the story on the local vulgar media about the City of Ottawa all but contracting out parking ticket placement on private lots to some company, the Oracle of Ottawa was appalled. The first picture that went through my mind was that often covered story of Ottawa's biggest slumlord, you know the one, that has the appalling third world conditions right here in Ottawa, that not even a City work order can get repaired...I somehow immediately pictured those guys with a City of Ottawa parking ticket hand held! While their tenants were living in water soaked squalor, with the roaches fighting for the kids dinner, there would be a minimum wage minion of a real estate scum lord out ticketing their cars! Who ever in their wildest dreams thought it would all come to this?

The City of whored out souls?

This is all the result of "reinventing government". For all of us taxpayers of a certain age, that are now referred as "old school", traffic tickets and parking tickets were deterrents, now they are part of an ever increasing tax base! One of the end results of this is that all future "developments" are going to be designed on purpose as parking lot hells just to keep the revenue flowing, not to the City, but to the "contractor"! Who ever thought that the Next Big Thing in Ottawa was going to be owning a Bill Collection agency! I am just thinking about that bit that was in the Sun about Ken Hughes and the young lad with the dozen traffic tickets that added up to $117,000. (See earlier postings) Wouldn't it be most prudent and ethical for an entity as large as the City of Ottawa to collect its own bills? You know like it was in the old days, before "amalgamation"?

There is only one thing to call this present situation; market failure! Rest assured dear reader, you will start to hear of ever increasing horror stories in the days ahead. As sure as market failure is inefficient, once the concept of "countervailing power" is ditched it is all third world from now on. It is all but bad enough to have a Mayor with the nickname "Gentleman Jim", the only worse nickname is "One Termer Jim."

Of course it cost the City "nothing" of 2.5 million dollars? We have many public housing units that could use serious renovation. And that rub of a corporate entity, that can park itself right on the doorstep of the Municipal Government power, leaves me feeling very uneasy indeed. But I guess, that is the subliminal message of the present "burgers" of Ottawa to the world, we have our price, and it is not very high....

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