Thursday, June 17, 2010

What is the REAL cost of rescue?

Having just read the news story about the young American , stranded in the  Southern Ocean,  I applaud the Australians.   They did “ the right thing”  You know ,the intangible  that we are all aware of, but sometimes  we let get over shadowed by realities?

And now the story is what it cost.   The numbers are huge.  Chartered jets, Orion planes, ships,  personnell.   Everything must be accounted for, properly assigned cost codes.  The bean counters must be satisfied.

If it sounds like I’m being derisive, I’m not.  This proceedure is standard in any military or government in the world.   It’s necessarry.   It’s just not necessarily correct.
Costing of assests in a business helps keep the business profitable.   Militaries and governments are not designed to be profitable. 

With the exception of fuel and the “chartered” jet,  these assests were already on the books , so to speak.  The ships, Orions and all the personnell are already being paid  and paid for.   They don’t just sit , without cost, waiting to go on the clock.   Even the fuel would have been disbursed for normal costings and training etc,  in the normal course of events.   So, on a basic level,  there was no real cost.  Very general , I know.

Why don’t the Austrailian’s look at  it this way.   Look at all the money they saved on planning a realistic training exercise for themselves.   They could take the next exercise out of the schedule and be in the black.

To be clear, the Austrailan government  isn’t complaining.  They just “ did the right thing”.  No excuses, no explanations.  I applaud them.

To the people who are screaming about the taxpayers,  I sure your country is no different that ours in this regard.  There are many  ways the government wastes taxpayer ‘s money.  Scream about them.   Here the real cost was just our humanity.

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