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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old Feb 24th, 2004, 10:48 AM        Thank GOD theses guys didn't have to bid on the contract!!
Halliburton faces criminal probe

From Jamie McIntyre
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon's investigation into allegations a Halliburton subsidiary may have overcharged for gasoline delivered to Iraq last year is now a criminal probe, the Pentagon said Monday.

"The Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the criminal investigative arm of the Inspector General's office, is investigating allegations of fraud on the part of Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), including the potential overpricing of fuel delivered to Baghdad by a KBR subcontractor," a Pentagon statement said.


They got the contract without bidding AND they'll never get fired no matter what they do. Why? There's no other company that provids the same services they do.

So... Doesn't that rule out the whole argument for privatizing all the services the Military used to do? Wasn't the whole idea of Privitization Laissez faire, that if we privatize government services, industry will compete and drive costs down and efficiency up? Since Halliburton as it now exists was crafted by Chenney who was coincidentally one of the main architechts of privitization of the military, isn't it more like he gave a government function to his friends? And now these guys know they could screw your grandma of the tarmac at Iraq airport, cut her head off and make stew for the troops in full view of CNN because what are we gonna do, fire them?

Wait. If this current investigation has any success, we'll see Halliburton starting to threaten that their operations in Iraq are starting to represent too risky a business venture and they may have to think about dropping out.
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The One and Only... The One and Only... is offline
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Old Feb 24th, 2004, 07:46 PM       
No, it really doesn't. Maximum profits always grow from the point at which demand and supply interact, even when a monopoly exists. Competition merely increases our chances of finding that point and raises incentive to find cheaper methods of production and new product development.

If Halliburton overcharged relative to their contract, they could be criminally prosecuted. In addition, were there a bid in the contract, consistent overcharges would have allowed competition to form and undercut them.

I imagine that, even when considering these overcharges, we are still better off than we would be if the government was not outsourcing.
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 10:33 AM       
How could you possibly know that?

Criminal penalty, since it will never result in the loss of contract, can be factored in as a potential expense by Halliburton. Moreover, since Halliburton in it's current incarnation was designed to be a surrogate for profit branch of government, Tax dollars are funelled directly into speciffic owner and shareholder pockets and cannot end up anywhere else. War becomes a growth industry and war decisions are made by the folks who go in and out of the private comapany they created and funded through a revolving door. As a private entity, This company has rights of secrecy the government does not, making corruption MUCH easier. It's a much more efficient graft factory than the military can ever be, subject to far fewer investigatory rules. The Military Industrial complex was always bad enough (Eisenhouer warned against it) but at least it had two parts. Now the Milindustrial is a single industry.

Some Laissez Faire guy you are. You support a de facto monopoly to whom gigantic contracts are directly handed by the government.
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