Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Private vs Public sector.

Public transport is a fricking disaster.

(the above sentence applies equally for public health and education)

The latest doom and gloom comes in an Age article titled..

Hard-times just the ticket for public transport.

Most socialists need only glance at the above headline and immediately begin with their usual script full of the empty talking points which are easily demolished through logic, and repeatedly refuted through evidence and facts.

Those talking points are as follows:

  • Not enough funding ! The government has been and continues to deprive "the system" of sufficient resources (This talking point comes from public transport lobby groups, unions and the ABC )
  • Poor and dumb planning. (Usually the opposition political parties and media figures recite this one)
  • Unregulated free markets are to blame !! (From the ABC and the hard left)
Each of these arguments is vague and shallow. Not a single fan of public transport would care to tell us what sufficient funding is. Nor would they tell us what "good planning" is. And the 3rd falsheood is all too easy to trot out, by asserting that free markets exist everywhere and that no act of government played any role in creating or exacerbating the problems.

Yet ... history clearly and unambiguously reveals that each new decade brings about more and more funding for each public sector industry, more and more efforts placed into planning and regulation, and more pages of regulation and greater government ownership than before.

The exceptions are the success stories - when government privatised AND DEREGULATED industries like telecommunications, banking, transport, trade, commerce and hospitality.

The leftists cannot have their cake and eat it too. They cannot place thousands of regulations on a semi-privatised public transport sector, where only the train operator bids for the government contract to operate a monopoly, and then give their usual knee-jerk reaction of blaming free markets/privatisation when things go wrong.

Back to the story:

THE deteriorating economy is adding to Melbourne's public transport woes, with commuters boarding trains, trams and buses to save money.

A survey of 600 people by public transport marketing and information agency Metlink has found that 75 per cent of Melburnians are trying to save money because of worries over the economy. As a result, a third are looking to use public transport more to cut their budgets.

Read that paragraph. What is the actual news item being reported ?

More people are using public transport.

Why is this "bad" or "grim" news ? ?! Isn't this what the government wants us to do ? They tell us not to use our cars, they place stamp duty, registration, fuel taxes and parking restrictions everywhere, they tell us to catch more trains and do our bit for "the environment".

Could you imagine the same response for any single private industry out there ?
If more people buy televisions, or groceries, or go out to the movies, or go out to restaurants, would that particular industry complain ? No, they would be overjoyed and do their best to serve all these willing customers.

I think even the most hard-core statists, the advocates of socialised health, medicine, education and transport, realise deep-down some of the inherent problems in their huge plans to spend our money on their personal priorities for society, but fail to publicly acknowledge them.