Remember public service restructuring?
We needed it because the public sector was inefficient and the private sector was super efficient. It was the mantra of the 80’s
Public enterprise = bad – private enterprise = good
The facts, as usual, were different. Some private enterprise whizz kids turned out to be criminals and went to jail in the 80’s. Dodgy investments and lost savings.
I worked for the Railways in the 80’s when the public owned it. The public actually built up the railways system and used it as a tool of national development for a few generations. But something went wrong in our thinking. Apparently we Railwaymen and women were in fact useless and all needed to be sacked. But we still needed a railways, so private enterprise bought it. They completely stuffed it up in about 5 years and the taxpayer bailed them out. A couple of times.
We knew this would happen. We even warned people of it. But the public had bought into the myth of the lazy good for nothing railway bludger. And the public got well and truly shafted.
It wasn’t just the railways that got wrecked by this kind if thinking… every public service that could be opened up to private enterprise had the vultures come in for a feed.
The slogan was always “efficiency”.
“It’s more efficient if it’s run as a private enterprise”
Except it wasn’t true. It was a lie. It was a lie told by people who wanted to make a profit providing those services.
With regard to the railways the multinational corporations wanted to scrap the freight limit so that instead of carrying goods by rail they could be carried by 18 wheelers. We had to rebuild our roading network to accommodate this demand. People are still paying for that at the pump.
Sadly when it comes to transporting heavy goods road is the most inefficient method of doing it, but that efficiency argument lost it’s favor when there were profits to be made by private enterprise. Apparently using the taxpayer to subsidize a rail system was bad, but subsidizing road transport was good.
This has been duplicated everywhere there is a dollar to be made. Vultures have moved in to every aspect of the infrastructure of our economy and are milking billions of dollars that used to be spent on services and are now being spent on huge corporate salaries and bonuses.
Take a look at something as essential as mental health. Big corporations are now providing care services for people in need. The big institutions are gone and community care is practiced. The administration takes a huge amount of the money and the staff are left with the crumbs. Somewhere in between that is the patient. While the top heavy administration finds ways to make bigger profits the staff are left to deal with the problems of underfunded caregiving.
It’s not that there isn’t enough money.
We get told all the time that ‘the country can’t afford’ this or that. But the country can afford hundreds of corporate executives in the infrastructure earning a million dollars plus a year before bonuses.
Pennies for the troubled minds of people who find the craziness of this modern world a little too much to take in and make sense of, but millions for a bloke in a suit getting blood from a spreadsheet.
Back in the olden days people had to work really hard to make a million dollars a year. Have you got any idea how many banks you would have to rob to steal that much money?
Thankfully nowadays there is a restrustured infrastructure, less regulation and bank robbery is left to petty crooks.
The gravy train departs from Platform 1 in 10 minutes. Tickets by invite only.