Saturday, February 10, 2007

What is it with Liberals and Haliburton?

Why is it, that whenever a Republican gets into a political debate with a Democrat, they always, at some point in the conversation, have to bring up Haliburton. "HALIBURTON!!" They throw it at you like a verbal stun grenade...a desperate attempt to shift the onus of the conversation back, like the mere mention of the devil Halliburton is going to stop his opponent in their verbal tracks, because it is an unassailable fact that Haliburton made money helping to clean up the mess in Iraq!

Oh, the humanity! The utter effrontery of any capitalist business wanting to turn a profit on what is arguably one of the riskiest construction sites in the world! So what? Somebody has to help clean up the mess in Iraq, and since most of the population of that country has no idea how to build infrastructure, to American standards, I might add, and God forbid such a company, which does business around the world, mind you, should make a tidy sum helping to do the backbraking, frustrating, hard work involved in putting Iraq back togther for the Iraqis. Disgusting! How incredibly......captialist!

I will be the first one to say that I don't approve of nobid contracts, and that each company involved should submit bids and go through the process, but at the end of the day, for whatever company that gets any federal contracts, they have to turn a profit on the business, because that's how capitalism works. And granted, it may be the worst of the "isms" but it's the one that works the best because it involves incentive, and rewards hard work.

Communism and Socialism remove the incentive to excel. Why should anybody work harder than the next guy if the government is going to take the fruits of MY hard work, and give it to my slacker neighbor? Life isn't fair. Get over it and get off your lazy ass and go to work. Get an education. Get motivated to do for yourself, and quit expecting "Daddy" to take care of you. Life is what you make for yourself, not what somebody's going to give you.

So what if Haliburton, Bechtel, Brown & Root and a hundred other American businesses are making a profit helping to put Iraq back together? What the screamers of "HALLIBURTON!" aren't taking into consideration is that behind the name there are thousands of actual people on the ground in Iraq, building schools, electricity grids and water treatment plants, getting shot at, risking their lives on a daily basis to help people who are depending on their product, and that despite the mainstream media's pointed lack of coverage of that progress, there IS progress being made. By actual people who happen to get a paycheck from Haliburton, Brown & Root, etc. These dedicated people should get paid well. They're leaving their families, risking their lives in a war what if their companies turn a profit as well?


Blogger linearthinker said...

I will be the first one to say that I don't approve of nobid contracts, and that each company involved should submit bids and go through the process...

The contract that Haliburton was working under was initiated under Clinton. Haliburton's contract was merely extended by the Bush administration. Think back to the first six months of the Bush administration, and the chaos left by, and further chaos created by, the damned democrats to obstruct everything the fledgling administration tried to accomplish. The sons of bitches even vandalized the White House offices. He couldn't get his administration rolling for five or six months. No damned wonder they extended Haliburton, then. And, even if they'd initiated the contract, you have to realize it's all within the FAR, Federal Acquisition Regulations. Their particular contract form is a maverick, but it's been around for a reasonably long time. It's called "Indefinite Quantities, Indefinite Delivery" in bureaucratic jargon. It's a peach for hiring people who are dumb enough to go into an active war zone and try to create the essentials of civilization. The closed bid, formal public works contract form, with the myriad of nitpicking administrators, inspectors, delays in accomplishing change orders, contract modifications, etc, ad nauseum, simply would not work. I applaud the Clinton crowd for doing one thing right in initiating the Haliburton contract in that form in the first place. Too often you need the services offered by competent contractors on the spur of the moment, and there is simply not enough qualified help in the federal bureaucracy to manage even domestic facilities maintenance contracts by the formal competitive bid process for every contingency that arises. The federal contracting bureaucrats are the ones who dreamed up the IQID (or IDIQ?), in the first place. DOD simply grabbed a good tool and went to work with it.

There are very few contractors in the world qualified to compete for the contract that was awarded to Haliburton. The government chose the best of the lot, and then extended them. If that gives them heartburn, they can take some pepto bismal. That a few folks on both sides of the contract got greedy and abused the working relationship is unfortunate. They should have known better and should be dealt with harshly if they're guilty. That particular contract form requires a lot to be done in trust, and therefore, it behoves the contractor not to abuse the form. I personally don't believe it was Haliburton manipulating the situation for their undue advantage, but some overly greedy managers on the ground. Let me know if I'm wrong. Thanks for this opportunity to vent.

2:16 PM  

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