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Has privatisation ever brought prices down in the UK


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#101 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:01 PM

No, its a false market. The companies sold the product below cost to the companies that we rented them from.
The consumer had no choice in what type they could rent.
Thus the competition, Betamax, was destroyed.


There is no such thing as a "false market", a market is where goods or services are offered for sale - that describes the situation perfectly. It was a market.

Companies often sell things at or below cost, they are called "loss leaders". If every market that had loss leaders was a "false market" then no market would exist.

#102 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:02 PM

You seem to suppose that choice is free whereas it rarely, if ever, is.


Mankind is never totally free so what's your point?

Unless someone is holding a gun to your head, the choice of Betamax or VHS is as close to being totally free as is ever possible.

#103 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:11 PM

Porn fans who wanted Betamax had no choice and their lack of choice meant that eventually nobody else had any choice either.


Really?

I consider DVDs to be a choice and Blu-Ray for that matter.

Betamax got their product wrong and the consumer rejected them accordingly. You seem to see Betamax's failure as proof that the public didn't get a choice. In fact it is clear proof that there was a choice.

I'm given to understand - though feel free to correct - that the reason we have an entirely consistent global internet is because profit and the market were entirely and deliberately removed from its development. The people who would make money from it came late in the day.


Not quite true.

The Internet grew out of ARPAnet which was created for the US military. The point was that a diffuse network would survive a nuclear strike by the Soviets. Commercial interests were not deliberately kept out, they were never thought about since the point of the network was military.

The World Wide Web was created by Tim Berners-Lee as a specific use of the Internet although most people see the two as synonyms. The early use was by academia. It was something very primitive and proper HTML hadn't been invented so you couldn't show images let alone set up online stores. They came along later when the technology was developed (ironically much of techie stuff was developed by the porn industry).

#104 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:15 PM

I'm sad to say that on page 5 of the discussion and I've still not seen any evidence that privatisation lowers prices in the UK market. Though it has seemed to in the past.


The discussion is largely focused on the utilities such as gas and leccy. Prices have gone up because costs have gone up. We live in a world with rapidly growth in countries like China and India. This has created increased demand for all kinds of things (and thus price inflation). You can see this in the petrol market, for instance, which has never been nationalised.

#105 Severus

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:17 PM

The discussion is largely focused on the utilities such as gas and leccy. Prices have gone up because costs have gone up. We live in a world with rapidly growth in countries like China and India. This has created increased demand for all kinds of things (and thus price inflation). You can see this in the petrol market, for instance, which has never been nationalised.

What about rail travel?

Looking at the hypothetical situation again, how would a privatised service reduce costs compared to a nationalised service?

Edited by Severus, 23 October 2012 - 04:22 PM.

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#106 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:19 PM

What about rail travel?


I agree that the rail industry should be nationalised. It hasn't worked and I never thought it would.

#107 Severus

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:23 PM

I agree that the rail industry should be nationalised. It hasn't worked and I never thought it would.

What industries/service would you like to see privatised? Health, education, defence, fire and rescue, policing, social care?
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#108 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:27 PM

What industries/service would you like to see privatised? Health, education, defence, fire and rescue, policing, social care?


None of the above.

I think the Tories, by and large, did a decent job of privatising all the industries that needed privatising in the 80s. Then they privatised the rail network which was a disaster.

I don't think there is anything left that could sensibly be privatised.

#109 Ackroman

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 05:05 PM

None of the above.

I think the Tories, by and large, did a decent job of privatising all the industries that needed privatising in the 80s. Then they privatised the rail network which was a disaster.

I don't think there is anything left that could sensibly be privatised.


IMO Energy was far too strategic to sell off. The world resources are finite and are likely to be the source of conflict far more than religion ever will.

Already the Russians control mainland Europe with Gas, the Chinese have bought a number of African economies for their resources. The Americans are all over the Middle East, the Argies are making rumblings over the Falklands.

In this country we have the technology and energy resources to last for centuries and yet we've sold off or destroyed the infrastructure to make it economical or rewarding enough for the state to take advantage of them. The actions of the Tories were potentially catastrophic and may be far more impactful than selling off a few railway lines.

Edited by Ackroman, 23 October 2012 - 05:06 PM.


#110 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 05:16 PM

We do not really have enough energy to be worth hoarding.

We have nuclear power but that's no biggie these days. We have oil and gas but our costs are very high due to it all being under the sea. We have a lot of wind power but little is harvested and thus nothing significant has been sold off. Solar power is never going to be big for obvious reasons.

#111 Ackroman

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:04 PM

We do not really have enough energy to be worth hoarding.

We have nuclear power but that's no biggie these days. We have oil and gas but our costs are very high due to it all being under the sea. We have a lot of wind power but little is harvested and thus nothing significant has been sold off. Solar power is never going to be big for obvious reasons.


and 300 years worth of coal and technology to burn it clean and convert to gas?

#112 Severus

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:18 PM

None of the above.

I think the Tories, by and large, did a decent job of privatising all the industries that needed privatising in the 80s. Then they privatised the rail network which was a disaster.

I don't think there is anything left that could sensibly be privatised.

We're probably not that far off on this issue. I don't think I could ever be a Tory as I couldn't trust them not to privatise the NHS and education.
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#113 gingerjon

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:25 PM

I couldn't trust them not to privatise the NHS and education.


Education and the NHS have been moved out of state control through a process that every government since 1979 has supported wholeheartedly.
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#114 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:28 PM

and 300 years worth of coal and technology to burn it clean and convert to gas?


Too expensive.

#115 RidingPie

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:43 AM

Really?

I consider DVDs to be a choice and Blu-Ray for that matter.


But of course DVD's didn't come about for another 15/20 years and Blu-Ray even longer so there wasn't a choice (even the ill fated laser-disc wasn't out for another 10 years... now there was a product that fits with your arguement)

Betamax got their product wrong and the consumer rejected them accordingly. You seem to see Betamax's failure as proof that the public didn't get a choice. In fact it is clear proof that there was a choice.


You're aware that Betamax was a format not a company aren't you? The format was supported by many company's with products in every price bracket that VHS was in. The cassettes were smaller, containing the same running time of tape with better picture quality. It wasn't the product that was wrong, it was merely that it was pushed by a specific (and not particularly nice) industry. The consumer chose based on content fair enough, but where was the competition in this fight? It could only have been a fair (free market) fight had the porn industry released material on both, and that plays in to my implication in the original post that industry cartels are reducing consumer choice and not allowing true free market economics.

Now Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD was a more open consumer led selection. It could have gone very differently had Microsoft shipped the a HD-DVD drive in the original xbox 360.

#116 Ackroman

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:50 AM

Too expensive.


At the moment. And made that way through privatisation and a reliance on gas.

#117 Severus

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:02 AM

Education and the NHS have been moved out of state control through a process that every government since 1979 has supported wholeheartedly.

Would you say that they were privatised?
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#118 gingerjon

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:30 AM

Would you say that they were privatised?


I'd say that in regards to the health service we don't actually have the term yet. Commercialised? The Health Secretary effectively no longer controls it. Individual NHS parts can tender for work both inside and outside the NHS (our local NHS occupational therapy has just won the contract to provide OT services to the county schools, they beat the existing provider which is a private company) and commissioning boards and other bits of the revised NHS can prioritise and comission however they so please. Profit for providers is considered normal but for the rump NHS itself is not.

I don't know enough about education but you have private providers and semi-private providers within the state system but outside its control and they are linked, albeit not often directly, to profit making institutions and bodies who may provide other education/learning services as well, at a cost.
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#119 gingerjon

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:31 AM

(And, with regards to both of the above, these have all been approved by all three main parties).
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#120 gingerjon

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:31 AM

UKIP don't count as a main party yet.
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