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Has privatisation ever brought prices down in the UK


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156 replies to this topic

#61 Northern Sol

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:23 PM

Isn't it strange how nobody ever suggests privatising the armed forces? Curry's Digital Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, BUPA Army Medical Corps, anyone?


Look free rider issue and that will explain why.

http://en.wikipedia....e_rider_problem

Edited by Northern Sol, 21 October 2012 - 09:18 PM.


#62 Trojan

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:30 PM

No one's saying private business for private profit isn't important, but it isn't the be all and end all. Publicly owned industries did make losses, but take the railways, the bits that were making a profit and to some extent were subsidsing the rest, were sold off by Thatcher. The hotels, and ferries, all instituted in the days when the railways were privately owned were all sold off in the eighties leaving BR with the loss making bits.
And private industry can be wasteful. The canal system of this country was built for private profit, but unfortunately to two different lock gauges, so it couldn't universally used. The railways were also built to two different gauges, necessitating the expense of large sums of money by the GWR in order ot come into line with the rest of the country. Or look at the recording industry - two different speeds for vynyl. Or cassettes vs 8 track cartdidges, or VHS vs Betmax, bayonet cap vs Edison screw - there are loads of examples of this type of thing where the public have been inconvenienced by different systems for the same purpose. All for private profit.
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#63 Northern Sol

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:17 PM

Or an alternative way of looking at it, the private sector created and innovated different standards and the public chose which one survived.

Edited by Northern Sol, 21 October 2012 - 09:38 PM.


#64 Severus

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:27 PM

The problem with the conservative way of looking at things is that they do not see the value of things, only the cost.
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#65 Northern Sol

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:35 PM

The problem with the conservative way of looking at things is that they do not see the value of things, only the cost.


Actually conservatives are of the opinion that only the individual knows what the value of something is to them. Hence individuals should be left to make decisions for themselves rather than have nanny state do it for them.

#66 Severus

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:39 PM

Actually conservatives are of the opinion that only the individual knows what the value of something is to them. Hence individuals should be left to make decisions for themselves rather than have nanny state do it for them.

Therein lies the problem. Gestalt theory states that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Governance requires a holistic view.
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#67 WearyRhino

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:48 PM

Look free rider issue and that will explain why.

http://en.wikipedia....e_rider_problem


Lol! Or for the same reason that at times of war, natural disaster and national emergency we engage in collective/communal/national effort because it responds to actual needs, is better planned and is essentially more efficient.

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#68 Trojan

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:29 AM

Or an alternative way of looking at it, the private sector created and innovated different standards and the public chose which one survived.

No the company with the most money's system survived. BSB's system was technically better than Sky but Murdoch had deeper pockets. I'm told that Betamax was superior to VHS but VHS triumphed.
It comes down to money. The GWR had to conform to the technically inferior 4ft 8 1/2" gauge because that's what the rest of the country were using.
The disparity in canal lock gauges exists to this day.
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#69 Northern Sol

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:05 PM

Therein lies the problem. Gestalt theory states that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Governance requires a holistic view.


Gestalt theory isn't an economic theory. Economics has an equivalent but just because the whole is sometimes greater than its parts doesn't mean that it always is.

#70 Northern Sol

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:09 PM

No the company with the most money's system survived. BSB's system was technically better than Sky but Murdoch had deeper pockets. I'm told that Betamax was superior to VHS but VHS triumphed.
It comes down to money. The GWR had to conform to the technically inferior 4ft 8 1/2" gauge because that's what the rest of the country were using.
The disparity in canal lock gauges exists to this day.


VHS / Sky triumphed because consumers had little interest in "technically better". Consumer power trumped expert opinion.

Lock guages is pretty much an exception, everywhere you can see common standards, the Internet is a perfect example. We have one Internet not several different incompatable versions.

These common standards arose because they were quality products appreciated by the consumer.

#71 Northern Sol

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:11 PM

Lol! Or for the same reason that at times of war, natural disaster and national emergency we engage in collective/communal/national effort because it responds to actual needs, is better planned and is essentially more efficient.


No, we don't, we do so because of spillover effects and the free rider problem. These effects don't apply to industrial production and that's why "communal effort" belongs in the dustbin of (economic) history.

#72 RidingPie

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:45 PM

VHS / Sky triumphed because consumers had little interest in "technically better". Consumer power trumped expert opinion.

Lock guages is pretty much an exception, everywhere you can see common standards, the Internet is a perfect example. We have one Internet not several different incompatable versions.

These common standards arose because they were quality products appreciated by the consumer.


VHS actually won because it was backed by a very powerful industry (the porn industry).

Written tragically by someone who still has a betamax somewhere upstairs.

#73 Shadow

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:49 PM

VHS actually won because it was backed by a very powerful industry (the porn industry).

Written tragically by someone who still has a betamax somewhere upstairs.


Is that your way of pretending you don't have a porn collection? :D
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#74 Northern Sol

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:53 PM

VHS actually won because it was backed by a very powerful industry (the porn industry).

Written tragically by someone who still has a betamax somewhere upstairs.


And the customers bought videos to watch porn (or at least a lot of them did) - the result being that the consumers wanted something that the VHS high-ups had overlooked.

#75 RidingPie

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 01:13 PM

Is that your way of pretending you don't have a porn collection? :D


Nope... its just currently on HD-DVD as well not BluRay :(

#76 Severus

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 01:13 PM

And the customers bought videos to watch porn (or at least a lot of them did) - the result being that the consumers wanted something that the VHS high-ups had overlooked.

So private sector gives people substandard products/services. Righty-o.
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#77 RidingPie

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 01:15 PM

And the customers bought videos to watch porn (or at least a lot of them did) - the result being that the consumers wanted something that the VHS high-ups had overlooked.


Wasn't arguing that! The point I was making was that the markets can be bought back a significantly large company/ industry. I'm sure you wouldn't disagree with that.

#78 John Rhino

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:38 PM

In my view public services should be about providing services to the public, not about finding jobs for people to keep the unemployment figures down. I believe also that the case for the delivery of public services by the private sector is irrefutable, which is why the Labour Govt was so keen on it. What was missing was regulation. In my view, the real issue here is that regulation. the Govt. should be regulating transport, utilities the banks etc much more rigorously that it is.

See here for example :http://www.guardian....vices-authority

The Financial Services Authority could and should have intervened to block Royal Bank of Scotland taking over Dutch bank ABN Amro, the Treasury select committee has said, in a report that makes a "serious indictment" of the former management of the City regulator.The £49bn deal is one of the factors that led to the £45bn taxpayer bailout of RBS in October 2008, because it squeezed the bank's capital buffers to wafer-thin levels and exposed it to more troubled loans.




You mean the customers who benefited hugely from the share issue?


Of course they benefitted from the share issue - it was grossly underpriced!!

In other words something that I owned as a taxpayer was flogged off to fulfil an ideology at far, far less than it was worth.

Not everyone had the money or the inclination to buy shares. Anyone without the ready cah was quite simply robbed.

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#79 John Rhino

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:43 PM

VHS / Sky triumphed because consumers had little interest in "technically better". Consumer power trumped expert opinion.

Lock guages is pretty much an exception, everywhere you can see common standards, the Internet is a perfect example. We have one Internet not several different incompatable versions.

These common standards arose because they were quality products appreciated by the consumer.


VHS did not triumph through consumer preference. Most people rented their TVs at the time and did the same when video came out.

Because of the lower cost of a VHS machine and the willingness of the making company to subsidise them when bought in bulk the renting public had no choice at all.

When you examine most capitalist "facts" they usually turn out to be based on a false market.

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#80 John Rhino

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:51 PM

Another classic example of private companies taking all the rewards and the taxpayer paying the bills was reported in the press this morning.

No power company (all foreign now of course as we have flogged all ours to protected/nationalised companies in Europe) are willing to invest in the building of much needed nuclear capacity unless it is underwritten by the UK taxpayer.

In other words they can be as slapdash as they like with the cost overruns and I will foot the bill. The reurns and evermore expensive cost of electricity will ensure handsome returns for them for years to come.

Yet another win win situation for good old private enterprise.

Just like what happens everyday in private healthcare. They are happy to take their exorbitant fees but if it turns nasty you end up in an ambulance on your way to the NHS.

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