June 13, 2006

tax money at work

Public sector 'workers' get better pay, better perks, and better pensions than people that actually create wealth. Some may say that you cannot compare these with the private sector as what the jobs entail is uncomparible. Well maybe they are, since no private sector employer would ever pay their staff to spend their time leaping naked from filing cabinets and planting cups of vomit to putrify in cupboards when they should be working. Likewise no employer would tolerate the level of service given to Misty or Gary Harris by the last bastion of Socialism.


Blogger tomdg said...

Your concept of the private sector seems rather idealised. In my first private sector job, all the senior managers went off for a conference for three days, and everyone else spent the time playing Quake.

As for levels of service, in the private sector you get the minimum that the company feels they can get away with. You can talk about competition, but the fact is that competition is the last thing any private company wants and they to go great lengths to ensure they don't have to. I'm sure everyone could tell you horror stories of bad service in shops, utilities, etc.

One of the arguments for a public NHS etc. is that some things are too important to leave to the whims of private companies, and need to be done in the interests of users rather than shareholders. The examples you point out are tragic precisely because the public body in question has ceased to put the interests of "users" first, and are therefore behaving no better than private companies. I blame creeping privatisation and the internal market myself.

As for creating wealth - the NHS creates wealth by making people healthy. The education system creates wealth by making people educated. The Department of Transport creates wealth by making the infrastructure which allows people and goods to move and trade to happen. The DTI creates wealth by supporting growing businesses, promoting exports to allow companies access to a larger market, and by working to correct market failures in particular sectors. You clearly see the state as a parasite on the private sector; it would be far more accurate to describe the relationship as symbiotic.

8:32 am  
Blogger chris said...

Both public and private (but possibly not the voluntary) sectors will always give the minimum that they can get away with to their customers. However since you cannot deny the public sector your cash the minimum that they can get away with is far less than a private company.

A private company that consistently messes around with it's customers will lose them and go bust. A public sector institution might lose customers as they go elsewhere (that is if the state's regulatory or monopoly power has not destroyed all the competition), but it can never go bust.

Some services are too important for state provision. Since the rationing by whatever is the most telegenic that will happen will always leave the more unfashionable areas starved of funding even if they need it more. If the state, or charities, or friendly societies, or private insurance companies, or family members, or individuals themselves simply provided a chunk of funding (e.g. as in a multi-payer multi-provider system) then the funding will get to where it is needed, not just what makes the best photo shoot.

And yes I do see the Welfare State as a parasite. It drains resources out of where they can be best and most efficiently used, to be redirected to where ever will make the best headline.

7:45 pm  
Blogger tomdg said...

I should probably have said this up front, but much as I disagreed with your post and the point behind it, I actually thought it was a great post and very funny :)

And I agree with you about rationing by what's telegenic too. It does happen, more now than ever, and it's bad. That's a dysfunction of democracy. I just don't share your belief in the "ideal" market, because it doesn't exist and can't exist without ridiculous amounts of legislation and government intervention.

7:10 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home