Guest Post: The Plan Is Not Working

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jeffrey Tucker of Laissez Faire Club blog,

You didn’t want to be the guy chosen to tell Stalin that the wheat crop failed or the production quotas on trucks and cars were not met. Why?

Because despots always blame people, not systems.

In the same way, you don’t want to be the guy chosen to tell Obama that his health care websites are a disaster. But that’s what they are, and he’s managed to blame everyone but himself.

At his hilarious and embarrassing press conference on Monday, the president first assured us that “no one is madder than me” about website failures. Then, of course, he lashed out at the critics and implicitly blamed them for technical failures.

“It’s time for folks to stop rooting for its failure, because hardworking, middle-class families are rooting for its success.”

Someone needs to explain to this guy that rooting one way or another does not cause a website to fail. Crop failures in Russia were not because of the enemies of communism, and the failure of Obama’s health care websites are not due to his political enemies, either. The problem is that government is a bad developer, even when it’s contracting out.

Then Obama said, “We did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a website. That’s not what this was about.”

There he goes again, defining his own reality. By plunging into direct provision of a commercial service and forcing people to cough up for it, Obamacare and its website must be prepared to be accessed just like any other private market service.

People don’t like it when websites are flaky and do not perform. By dismissing this feature — treating the website as if it is just a luxury feature that has nothing to do with the program itself — he reveals that he’s stuck in the past.

A website is not just a convenience. It is the heart and soul of a service that purports to serve everyone. In some ways, this is the most important website this government has ever produced. People don’t use the sites of the Pentagon or Housing and Urban Development. But this one people not only use, but are forced to use. Its failure is epic.

The president then made matters worse. He pointed out that people can download a form and mail it in. Also that people can go to centers where there are people who can help. Then he even rattled off an 800 number that people could call.

As The New York Times said with a funny blandness: “Several calls to the number immediately after he read it produced busy signals.”

Busy signals? I think the last time I heard one of those I was in seventh grade. No one under the age of 25 even knows what a “busy signal” is.

The terrifying thing is that all the troubles with HealthCare.gov foreshadow what’s coming with the new system of health care. Who can doubt it? It is going to be thrown back, inefficient, backward-looking, full of bureaucracy, insanely expensive, characterized by busy signals, and ultimately ending with a demand to come back another day.

Let’s talk about expenses. The website Digital Trends estimates costs between $500 million and perhaps as much as $2 billion before the end of 2014 just to operate the website. This is, quite frankly, unthinkably absurd:

“Facebook, which received its first investment in June 2004, operated for a full six years before surpassing the $500 million mark in June 2010. Twitter, created in 2006, managed to get by with only $360.17 million in total funding until a $400 million boost in 2011. Instagram ginned up just $57.5 million in funding before Facebook bought it for (a staggering) $1 billion last year. And LinkedIn and Spotify, meanwhile, have only raised, respectively, $200 million and $288 million.”

In short, this stuff redefines the word “boondoggle.” And it’s not like the typical Pentagon scandal because, again, this is a regular commercial webspace. Every business in America builds websites. The big difference is they do it with their own money. People know how much sites cost and how they are supposed to operate. That’s why this government website failure is so significant.

It is worth asking why a government with half a billion dollars and vast amounts of time and personnel to make a great site can’t actually manage to do it. It’s not as if the government didn’t have the incentive to do it right. The most powerful people on Earth wanted it to succeed — and in this respect, there is no question that Obama is telling truth. He really did wish upon a star.

The problem is that government is not the best means to do anything well. The problem is the absence of two crucial things: the knowledge to assemble the resources properly and the means to make the economic assessment of the value of competitive resources. This is what happens when you eliminate the profit-and-loss system. You can throw massive resources at a problem with the end result being disappointing.
You didn’t want to be the guy chosen to tell Stalin that the wheat crop failed or the production quotas on trucks and cars were not met. Why?

Because despots always blame people, not systems.

In the same way, you don’t want to be the guy chosen to tell Obama that his health care websites are a disaster. But that’s what they are, and he’s managed to blame everyone but himself.

At his hilarious and embarrassing press conference on Monday, the president first assured us that “no one is madder than me” about website failures. Then, of course, he lashed out at the critics and implicitly blamed them for technical failures.

“It’s time for folks to stop rooting for its failure, because hardworking, middle-class families are rooting for its success.”

Someone needs to explain to this guy that rooting one way or another does not cause a website to fail. Crop failures in Russia were not because of the enemies of communism, and the failure of Obama’s health care websites are not due to his political enemies, either. The problem is that government is a bad developer, even when it’s contracting out.

Then Obama said, “We did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a website. That’s not what this was about.”

There he goes again, defining his own reality. By plunging into direct provision of a commercial service and forcing people to cough up for it, Obamacare and its website must be prepared to be accessed just like any other private market service.

People don’t like it when websites are flaky and do not perform. By dismissing this feature — treating the website as if it is just a luxury feature that has nothing to do with the program itself — he reveals that he’s stuck in the past.

A website is not just a convenience. It is the heart and soul of a service that purports to serve everyone. In some ways, this is the most important website this government has ever produced. People don’t use the sites of the Pentagon or Housing and Urban Development. But this one people not only use, but are forced to use. Its failure is epic.

The president then made matters worse. He pointed out that people can download a form and mail it in. Also that people can go to centers where there are people who can help. Then he even rattled off an 800 number that people could call.

As The New York Times said with a funny blandness: “Several calls to the number immediately after he read it produced busy signals.”

Busy signals? I think the last time I heard one of those I was in seventh grade. No one under the age of 25 even knows what a “busy signal” is.

The terrifying thing is that all the troubles with HealthCare.gov foreshadow what’s coming with the new system of health care. Who can doubt it? It is going to be thrown back, inefficient, backward-looking, full of bureaucracy, insanely expensive, characterized by busy signals, and ultimately ending with a demand to come back another day.

Let’s talk about expenses. The website Digital Trends estimates costs between $500 million and perhaps as much as $2 billion before the end of 2014 just to operate the website. This is, quite frankly, unthinkably absurd:

    “Facebook, which received its first investment in June 2004, operated for a full six years before surpassing the $500 million mark in June 2010. Twitter, created in 2006, managed to get by with only $360.17 million in total funding until a $400 million boost in 2011. Instagram ginned up just $57.5 million in funding before Facebook bought it for (a staggering) $1 billion last year. And LinkedIn and Spotify, meanwhile, have only raised, respectively, $200 million and $288 million.”

In short, this stuff redefines the word “boondoggle.” And it’s not like the typical Pentagon scandal because, again, this is a regular commercial webspace. Every business in America builds websites. The big difference is they do it with their own money. People know how much sites cost and how they are supposed to operate. That’s why this government website failure is so significant.

It is worth asking why a government with half a billion dollars and vast amounts of time and personnel to make a great site can’t actually manage to do it. It’s not as if the government didn’t have the incentive to do it right. The most powerful people on Earth wanted it to succeed — and in this respect, there is no question that Obama is telling truth. He really did wish upon a star.

The problem is that government is not the best means to do anything well. The problem is the absence of two crucial things: the knowledge to assemble the resources properly and the means to make the economic assessment of the value of competitive resources. This is what happens when you eliminate the profit-and-loss system. You can throw massive resources at a problem with the end result being disappointing.

Again, it is not just about the website. It is about the whole system. The fools who imposed this system had all the expertise, all the arrogance, all the money, and all the power, and they still couldn’t do it. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of workable and useful websites go up every day.

Has there ever been in our times a better symbol of the failure of government? The truth is this: Government doesn’t work. Here’s the proof. It’s just the beginning. If you want health care in the future, you are going to have to look outside the system. And plenty of people right now are working on that solution, which, unlike that which the experts create, will actually serve human needs. The fools who imposed this system had all the expertise, all the arrogance, all the money, and all the power, and they still couldn’t do it. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of workable and useful websites go up every day.

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Ahmeexnal's picture

HANG THE AUTARCH!!!

SafelyGraze's picture

the problem with the roll-out, of course, is that we aimed Too Low.

if everyone, and I mean *everyone*, had been required to enroll, then there would have been no excuse for mistakes.

and every citizen would share the burden of making it be a success.

this is what teamwork is all about. 

making a positive change.

not merely sitting back and complaining.

let me be clear.

either you folks grow up and get the kinks smoothed out on your own, or else you don't get to see a doctor.

period.

Now get busy.

I'm waiting.

hugs,
H.I.M. Bhar'aqh I

So let it be written. So let it be done

Ahmeexnal's picture

Over 7 million americans murdered by the state during the Great Depresion.

Over 4 million have already been murdered during the last 5 years!

http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1718.htm

A shocking new report released today by the Federal Security Service (FSB) states that as many as 5 million Americans have been “disappeared” by the Obama regime during the past 4 ½ years and are presumed to be dead in the worst incident of mass genocide since the Cultural Revolution that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 to 1976 and claimed upwards of 20 million lives.

According to this report, a “gravely concerning statistical anomaly” in American death and missing persons records between the years of 2009-2013 was recently brought to the FSB’s attention by noted historian Boris Borisov who in 2008 revealed in his “American Holodomor” research paper that a similar genocide of these peoples took place during the Great Depression where upwards of 7 million of them were, likewise, killed.

 

 

http://rt.com/news/prime-time/millions-of-people-vanished-in-us-historian/

kaiserhoff's picture

As much as I hate Obama, and the DC Tyranny,

  this is a crock of shit.

knukles's picture

It's thoughts and talk like this that get you disappeared to Happiness Camps.

kaiserhoff's picture

Quite true, knuks, but you and I remember Vietnam.

68,000 American men, and 8 women died there.  Almost everyone in the country knew someone who died in Nam.  If an order of magnitude plus folks had already been "disappeared" there would be more evidence than hair ball conspiracy theory.  Some of this swill does us no honor.

Stackers's picture

So good Tyler had to cut and paste it twice !

macholatte's picture

Someone needs to explain to this guy that rooting one way or another does not cause a website to fail.

 

God forbid anyone should explain that to Barry’s audience of numb-skulls.

Nevertheless, well done Mr. Tucker.  I especially liked the part where you addressed the “cost” of this mess.  I wonder how much of the largess is going to line the pockets of Progressive cronies. Half?


SWRichmond's picture

don't know if this has been posted anywhere:

Surprise! Michelle Obama’s Princeton Buddy Is Exec at Company That Built Failed O-Care Website

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/10/michelle-obamas-princeton-buddy-...

FinalCollapse's picture

...You did build this website, sunshine.

wee-weed up's picture

 

 

Scapegoat Sebelius gets thrown under the bus...

in 3...  2...  1...

(will decide she wants to spend more time with her family)

TeamDepends's picture

No way!  The only way you get fired by the Barry regime is to tweet unflattering things about Valerie Jarrett or are a high-level US Military employee and believe in all things American....

NoDebt's picture

He should have blamed the private contractors that were hired and pointed out that it is just one more way that the private sector has failed the American people.  And that Eric Holder will be prosecuting them for inappropriate use of public funds.  Once he's done investigating himself, of course.

I think that would be more in line with how he really thinks anyway.  It would be good for him to just get it off his chest every now and then and speak his mind.

 

The Alarmist's picture

The website (and its failure) is nothing more that the distraction of the month from a host of other, bigger problems. A F'ing waste of breath that has expanded to fill nearly every minute of the MSM news reports.  Well done, Barry.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

The plan IS working, you just need to look at it from the right angle.

First Rule of Bankruptcy: When faced with certain Bankruptcy and subsequent Liquidation of assets, transfer all good assets and equity into a newly created entity, and hang the creditors with the toxic assets and debt of the old.

China’s Bretton coup d'état: http://twoshortplanksunplugged.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/chinas-bretton-coup-detat.html

 

doctor10's picture

Go  a little further down the rabbit hole...and SUPRISE SUPRISE-

Here apparently are Valerie Jarret kin bellyingup to the trough as well-

 

https://www.sodahead.com/united-states/getting-booted-from-facebook-vale...

 

 

 

Peter Pan's picture

I just wish tht the IRS would set up a similar website for the pyment of taxes.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Oh yeah? Well what if they disappeared you AND EVERYBODY THAT KNOWS YOU!? Who do you think is going to report you're missing? Answer that one, smart guy!

TeamDepends's picture

Yeah, wouldn't most of us here on ZH be

G-R-U-N-T's picture

Finally, people are realizing that Obama is as dumb as a fence post and those that don't, well...they must be his voting base.

Sadly, they may be the majority of the American electorate!

czardas's picture

 Obama could nominate Dick Cheney for Sec of Defense and true believers would support it.  "Well, he has experience...and he can talk to Congress...it could be a good choice."   Ideology makes "people of color" overwhelmingly support the candidate who gave them the worst economic drubbing in history. It makes the takers turn out en masse on Election Day.  It makes journalists pen puff pieces excusing the obvious empty suit in the Oval Office while failing to report any negative news. Has critical thinking vanished?

G-R-U-N-T's picture

"Has critical thinking vanished?"

Critical thinking is, indeed, vanishing. When you have decades of public schools and ideologic ivy league Universities downloading Marxist mush, and a complicit main stream media, you get Obama. This is tragic, in that, people that are weak and vurneable not having critical thinking skills and because they haven't any realized identity (not self acutalized) they will cling to other peoples images rather than their own basic freedoms.

There is nothing worse than people willing to prostitute themselves out to a historically failed ideological belief such as Statism (Marxism) that always ends in dictatorship and destruction.

The whole world is collapsing under Marxist unrestrained beliefs, while the idiot in the Whitehouse creats even more Socialistic policy, such as Obamacare. The residue of this insanity is causing economic and societal decay as we are witnessing.

Here's one for you. Check out what Diane Feinstein is trying to pass, which makes the Stasi of Nazi Germany look like a meek policing force:

"Sen. Feinstein’s Proposed Bill Would Incriminate Anyone Speaking Against NSA’s Spying and Courts"

http://thestateweekly.com/sen-feinsteins-proposed-bill-would-incriminate...

Feinstein and other politicians like her have it in their mind that they know better, when in reality what they are really doing is subjugating any vestige of Constitutional freedoms we have left. It's all about power, control and hunting down revenue for an unsustainable government parasitic largess. Quit frankly, these people are beyond contempt and pathological in their pursuit of having everyone under their Statist thumb. What's ironic is Feinstein is a Jew and it would appear she didn't learn a damn thing about the horrors of Nazi Germany and what they did to her own people! It is also ironic that she is an advocate of gun control, just another stab in the heart of our Great Constitution and an attempt to set her own people up to be slaves under the State! These are people that are agasp at allowing any individual to think for themselves. We are like ants to them, that need to be manipulated and controlled.

 

acetinker's picture

+1 from me, grunt.  IMHO, Feinstein and her ilk know exactly what they're doing.  She wants to avenge the crimes of Hitler.  Her own constituency boos her at "town hall meetings", which begs a question for another thread.

Hitler decided that if the Jews wouldn't self-identify their criminals, he'd just kill them all, and let God sort 'em out.  Napoleon went rogue, too, so most everyone thinks he was a despot.

Dianne is not setting up "her own people" to be slaves under the state, though.  Zionism (money) knows no country, Feinstein's "people" are not necessarily residents of California

granolageek's picture

I read the "American Holodomor" paper. It was a crock of shit. This is clearly another. His numbers are like the "missing children" numbers in the 90s. You need to take off a zero to pass the laugh test. After which you can still be confident that you have a greatest upper bound.

zhandax's picture

Agreed.  He bases this shit on comparing gubmint projections with reported numbers.  That's always good for a laugh.

roadhazard's picture

This post is typical of why wingers have zero credibility and are losers.

Promethus's picture

I think Ahmee is a progressive trying to discredit real opponents of Obama as Tin Foil Hat, birther nut jobs. No SALE!

Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

i know it's SHOCKING. luckily i know the mastermind behind the disappearances:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDgrktJyE2o

 

Jam Akin's picture

 

Politically Incorrect New Economic Math:

"Diversity" + Complexity - Accountability = Deficiency

 

Umh's picture

Go chew some poison ivy.

Mike in GA's picture

@SafelyGraze

Um, the problem with the rollout, of course, is that millions CANNOT enroll due to the many excellent and accurate points made in the article above, Your Aim-Too-Lowness, Bhar'aqh Hussein.

(This will fail.  Spectacularly.  Maybe even split the country even more, cause violence and mayhem along with fucking up the best health care delivery system the world has ever known.  But these idiots will be back.  Maybe 5 years, maybe 10, but they'll be back.  With another one-size-fits-all, taxpayer funded YallDoDis Health Care For Me.)

 

kaiserhoff's picture

This is a big fucked up deal.

   Or something thereabouts.

nmewn's picture

When ya got Sheriff Joe screaming the virtues of anything, you know its the exact opposite of what anyone thinks is a good deal.

Kinda like the amorphous "change" word...left hanging out there...undefined.

Change to what, from what?

It all sounded so positive, so Hopey-Changey ;-)

czardas's picture

Kinda like folks know how to invest by listening to Bernanke and doing the opposite.   "There is no housing bubble / liquidity problem / sub-prime problem / Wall Street is safe, blah blah blah"

tenpanhandle's picture

I am madder than obama....hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!

SWRichmond's picture

The problem is the absence of two crucial things: the knowledge to assemble the resources properly and the means to make the economic assessment of the value of competitive resources.

We call these "price signals".

insanelysane's picture

The plan is working.  Mrs O's friends got paid and now someone else's friends will get paid to fix the mess. (or at least paid for the first attempt at fixing but it may take many attempts)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2477403/Michelle-Os-Princeton-classmate-exec-company-built-Obamacare-website.html

GeezerGeek's picture

Perhaps directing bucket loads of money to friends, as done here, is what Obama meant by "spreading the wealth around". So he gave a no-bid contract to a Canadian firm that had other spectacular failures in their history. So what? So they used free open source software in their project but went to the trouble of stripping out the copyright information. So what? Fascism/cronyism at its finest. 

macholatte's picture

 

 

The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.

Michelle Obama

Crash Overide's picture

Read it once but felt like I read it twice, the repeating format is annoying just like Obamacare.

Pure Evil's picture

I thought I had double vision but then I realized I only have one eye.

stock trout's picture

They should have hired Apple's GIS/mapping team. 

LetThemEatRand's picture

"The truth is this:  Government doesn't work."

Yes, the truth is black and white and simple and easy and requires no complex thought.  The truth most certainly is not that government does some things well and other things terribly, so let's just put on our ideological blinders and go back to the good old days where there was no government and everyone played on a level playing field, there were no kings or lords or oligarchs, there was no forced tribute to the king or the church, etc.   We all know that Jamie Dimon will behave or magically disappear if we get rid of the government.

It would certainly suck to have an adult debate about how Obamacare sucks because it was written by private insurance companies and giant healthcare corporations who sought to profit from it, and how government occasionally does great things like build airports and interstates to facilitate commerce.

Ahmeexnal's picture

The state does not produce anything of value. EVER. It only transfers wealth from those who produce and hands it over to the top (looters) and also to the bottom who can vote them to stay in power (moochers).

Oh, and BTW, the building of airports, dams, and all major infrastructure is also outsourced to private giant multinational corporations.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Simple is as simple does.  Is the Constitution (a document forming a government) worthless and of no value?  How about public courthouses where private disputes can be resolved?  Never mind.  I am arguing with someone who sees the world in pure black and white.  Color is so much more interesting, such as understanding that the outsourcing of public works to private companies is (or can be) one of the things government does well.  You don't see the private companies building dams on their own, do you?  Collectivism includes pooling resources to build things that facilitate free commerce, using private companies to do it.  

Ahmeexnal's picture

It seems you are incapable of understanding basic facts. But then again the ancient adage "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" directly applies to statists like the one who glares back at you every single time you glance into a mirror.

And to answer your inquiry into the value of the Constitution, just take a look at how much your beloved government values and respects it. It is up to the people to uphold its value against the relentless assault of the state, whose only aim is to enslave the individual.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Funny how it always falls back to platitudes with the simple-minded who see things in such stark absolutes.

If believing in the Constitution makes me a statist (it does, since the Constitution by definition recognizes the value of an elected government or state), then you either believe it is a worthless document or you don't know what it stands for.  I suspect it is the latter and that you simply chose to hold on to simple values because that is all you can understand.  It's okay, really.   That is why you cannot  explain your broad statements such as that airports funded by the collective will of the People add no value to society.