Sunday, August 08, 2010

About the Examiner

So, I thought I would begin the new dealybob at with an explanation of what I would write as a reference for any future readers who would happen by. That first post was rejected, probably appropriately, for being too much in the first person. But, just to share, here is what it would have said.



This will be my first article as an Examiner (and so, the oldest one in my eventual archive.) It's a good place to predict what this column will cover. Consider this half a promise and half a bet, if there are takers for either.

This column will cover events, trends and policies related to the provision of human and social services. Professional caregiving is often publicly funded and usually highly-regulated so public policy will be discussed extensively, but market forces and demographics will also be considered. Sporadically, we in the social services think about actual people, so expect occasional profiles of people with disabilities, policy-makers, caregivers, charlatans and reprobates.

About me: I work in the social services industry as the chief executive of a small for-profit company that assists adults with developmental disabilities to live independently, as a subcontractor to state contractors. We will soon offer companion services to the elderly and physically disabled.

There is a phrase in the paragraph just above to make anyone skeptical, so here are the biases I'll admit to up front-

  1. There are two principle purposes for having a social and human services system, to defend the threatened and to extend community participation beyond the barriers that nature and circumstance impose.
  2. Services provided through government tend to be both inefficient and underfunded for their missions. The former defect makes a bigger difference than the latter and is more fixable. Inefficient service delivery creates costs not only to the taxpayer but also to the people who depend on the support provided, through malarkey.
  3. Purely private services may (or may not) be more efficient, reliable and of higher quality but are also extremely rare. Very few of us will ever receive professional care not influenced by public policy.
  4. Ideology drives idiots crazy, madmen to folly and reasonable people to fake deafness. This column will be very interested in the granular details of what works and doesn't work in both regulation and the marketplace. Democrats, Republicans, vampires of both union and capitalist varieties, dithering managers and doddering staff all may receive attention here, some of which may be complimentary.
  5. I am a reformer, may heaven have pity and my neighbors patience.

Sounds fun, right? I welcome your comments.