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Garvinator
04-04-2006, 04:51 PM
Why did I think of the Commonwealth Bank when hearing of medibank private being privatised:rolleyes: :eek:

Spiny Norman
04-04-2006, 04:52 PM
Which bank?

Garvinator
04-04-2006, 04:54 PM
Which bank?
i was wondering which goose would be the first to make that joke;) :P :whistle:

bergil
04-04-2006, 05:43 PM
i was wondering which goose would be the first to make that joke;) :P :whistle:
Wonder no more! :P Not that I agree he is a goose.

Spiny Norman
05-04-2006, 07:09 AM
i was wondering which goose would be the first to make that joke;) :P :whistle:
Me ... ME ... Pick Me !!! :owned:

pballard
05-04-2006, 05:38 PM
Why did I think of the Commonwealth Bank when hearing of medibank private being privatised:rolleyes: :eek:

I don't believe in privatising natural monopolies (electricity, water etc.). But when there are a number of similar competitors in the marketplace - as is the case with banks and health insurers - I don't really see the problem.

Rincewind
05-04-2006, 05:40 PM
I don't believe in privatising natural monopolies (electricity, water etc.). But when there are a number of similar competitors in the marketplace - as is the case with banks and health insurers - I don't really see the problem.

How about privatising the ABC then?

pballard
05-04-2006, 06:00 PM
How about privatising the ABC then?

ABC provides a different type of service to the commercial stations. I don't think the same is true for government owned banks or health insurers.

Davidflude
05-04-2006, 06:46 PM
Medibank Private has large reserves which have been accumulated from premiums paid by the customers. There are many precedants thatn when such companies are privatised that existing customers should be issued with free shares or preferential access to the float.

Oepty
05-04-2006, 07:04 PM
ABC provides a different type of service to the commercial stations. I don't think the same is true for government owned banks or health insurers.

How does the ABC provide a different type of service?
Scott

pax
06-04-2006, 08:47 AM
How does the ABC provide a different type of service?
Scott

News and current affairs that isn't total sh*t.

Igor_Goldenberg
06-04-2006, 12:00 PM
How about privatising the ABC then?

Long overdue

bergil
06-04-2006, 01:08 PM
Long overdue
Can not agree with you on that, the ABC should always be an independent public broadcaster in both TV and Radio.

Igor_Goldenberg
06-04-2006, 02:03 PM
Can not agree with you on that, the ABC should always be an independent public broadcaster in both TV and Radio.

It could either be independent or public. The two are mutually exclusive.

On average public enterprises are less independent and a lot less accountable then private enterprise.

ABC is subsidised about a billion dollars a year. While it's not as big as other wasteful government spending, it is nevertheless is a waste of a taxpayer (mine!) money. I do not want to subsidise and listen/watch ABC, but the freedom of choice has been removed from me.

If it cannot survive in the open market, it means it does not have anything of value to offer. If it's not true, it does not have to fear privatisation.

Garvinator
06-04-2006, 02:20 PM
if you want to debate about the abc, make a new thread and split this one.

bergil
06-04-2006, 02:56 PM
It could either be independent or public. The two are mutually exclusive. No the public/government funds it, the ABC Board runs it without interference.

The duty of the Board is to ensure that the functions of the Corporation are performed efficiently with maximum benefit to the people of Australia, and to maintain the independence and integrity of the Corporation.



ABC is subsidised about a billion dollars a year. While it's not as big as other wasteful government spending, it is nevertheless is a waste of a taxpayer (mine!) money. I do not want to subsidise and listen/watch ABC, but the freedom of choice has been removed from me.You don't get a say in anything the government funds so you never had any freedom of choice to begin with. You do have the freedom of choosing not to watch or listen to the ABC and may freely exercise it at any time.


If it cannot survive in the open market, it means it does not have anything of value to offer. If it's not true, it does not have to fear privatisation.
Bullshit!! Read the Charter of the Corporation

(1)The functions of the Corporation are:

(a) to provide within Australia innovative and comprehensive broadcasting services of a high standard as part of the Australian broadcasting system consisting of national, commercial and public sectors and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, to provide:
(i) broadcasting programs that contribute to a sense of national identity and inform and entertain, and reflect the cultural diversity of, the Australian community; and
(ii) broadcasting programs of an educational nature;
(b) to transmit to countries outside Australia broadcasting programs of news, current affairs, entertainment and cultural enrichment that will:
(i) encourage awareness of Australia and an international understanding of Australian attitudes on world affairs; and
(ii) enable Australian citizens living or travelling outside Australia to obtain information about Australian affairs and Australian attitudes on world affairs; and
(c) to encourage and promote the musical, dramatic and other performing arts in Australia.
(2) In the provision by the Corporation of its broadcasting services within Australia:

(a) the Corporation shall take account of:
(i) the broadcasting services provided by the commercial and public sectors of the Australian broadcasting system;
(ii) the standards from time to time determined by the Australian Broadcasting Authority in respect of broadcasting services;
(iii) the responsibility of the Corporation as the provider of an independent national broadcasting service to provide a balance between broadcasting programs of wide appeal and specialized broadcasting programs;
(iv) the multicultural character of the Australian community; and
(v) in connection with the provision of broadcasting programs of an educational nature—the responsibilities of the States in relation to education

I cut it short a bit but it sounds like value to me. :hand:

bergil
06-04-2006, 02:59 PM
if you want to debate about the abc, make a new thread and split this one.
Your thread was crap, this is infinately more interesting and would have a profound effect on the nation. :hand:

Igor_Goldenberg
07-04-2006, 10:23 AM
No the public/government funds it, the ABC Board runs it without interference.

The duty of the Board is to ensure that the functions of the Corporation are performed efficiently with maximum benefit to the people of Australia, and to maintain the independence and integrity of the Corporation.

Bullshit!! Read the Charter of the Corporation

(1)The functions of the Corporation are:

(a) to provide within Australia innovative and comprehensive broadcasting services of a high standard as part of the Australian broadcasting system consisting of national, commercial and public sectors and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, to provide:
(i) broadcasting programs that contribute to a sense of national identity and inform and entertain, and reflect the cultural diversity of, the Australian community; and
(ii) broadcasting programs of an educational nature;
(b) to transmit to countries outside Australia broadcasting programs of news, current affairs, entertainment and cultural enrichment that will:
(i) encourage awareness of Australia and an international understanding of Australian attitudes on world affairs; and
(ii) enable Australian citizens living or travelling outside Australia to obtain information about Australian affairs and Australian attitudes on world affairs; and
(c) to encourage and promote the musical, dramatic and other performing arts in Australia.
(2) In the provision by the Corporation of its broadcasting services within Australia:

(a) the Corporation shall take account of:
(i) the broadcasting services provided by the commercial and public sectors of the Australian broadcasting system;
(ii) the standards from time to time determined by the Australian Broadcasting Authority in respect of broadcasting services;
(iii) the responsibility of the Corporation as the provider of an independent national broadcasting service to provide a balance between broadcasting programs of wide appeal and specialized broadcasting programs;
(iv) the multicultural character of the Australian community; and
(v) in connection with the provision of broadcasting programs of an educational nature—the responsibilities of the States in relation to education

I cut it short a bit but it sounds like value to me. :hand:

You should read the program of communist party. It sounds even better.
I am not talking about how it is supposed to be, but about the reality.

Communist society is supposed to be perfect, however the facts do not support the theory. I wonder why:doh:


You don't get a say in anything the government funds so you never had any freedom of choice to begin with. You do have the freedom of choosing not to watch or listen to the ABC and may freely exercise it at any time.

And why is it supposed to be good? Certainly the reduction of funds governemnt extorts (ooops - collects) and wastes (ooops - spend, or some even say, invest) has to be reduced.

If you want to debate it further, indeed start a new thread.

Oepty
10-04-2006, 04:24 PM
News and current affairs that isn't total sh*t.

Isn't that a quality issue, not a type of service issue?
Scott

Rincewind
10-04-2006, 05:01 PM
Isn't that a quality issue, not a type of service issue?
Scott

No if the quality is sufficently low on commercial networks (and I think that it is) then you simply argue that the ABC is offering a service which is not being offered elsewhere. The point is the quality would have to be of some sort of standard before you can say the service is genuinely available in the private sector.

Igor_Goldenberg
10-04-2006, 05:06 PM
No if the quality is sufficently low on commercial networks (and I think that it is) then you simply argue that the ABC is offering a service which is not being offered elsewhere. The point is the quality would have to be of some sort of standard before you can say the service is genuinely available in the private sector.

Would the service be offered has it not being provided by the government?

Rincewind
10-04-2006, 05:10 PM
Would the service be offered has it not being provided by the government?

Public owenership does not guarantee a decent quality of current affairs but the removal of market pressures and the interests of private media ownership certainly don't hurt.

Igor_Goldenberg
10-04-2006, 05:16 PM
Public owenership does not guarantee a decent quality of current affairs but the removal of market pressures and the interests of private media ownership certainly don't hurt.

Market pressure and interests of business ownership work very well in other industries. Certainly better then government provided, as the experience of 20th century clearly demonstrated.

bergil
10-04-2006, 05:31 PM
Market pressure and interests of business ownership work very well in other industries. Certainly better then government provided, as the experience of 20th century clearly demonstrated.
Yeah Fox News. We report you decide. :hand:

Rincewind
10-04-2006, 05:40 PM
Market pressure and interests of business ownership work very well in other industries. Certainly better then government provided, as the experience of 20th century clearly demonstrated.

Well we must have experienced a very different 20th century, is all I can say.

pax
10-04-2006, 06:19 PM
Isn't that a quality issue, not a type of service issue?
Scott

Thats the thing about a public broadcaster with a charter. The government/public has a say in content. The corporation is answerable to someone other than the advertisers.

We can see what happens to news and current affairs on a purely commercial basis. You get and endless stream of populist sensationalist tabloid crap.

Garvinator
10-04-2006, 06:25 PM
We can see what happens to news and current affairs on a purely commercial basis. You get and endless stream of populist sensationalist tabloid crap.
this is true and you see some evidence of it from A current affair and today tonight. While they are not strictly news stories per se, they usually have similar stories featured and really do look like they have consulted on what they are going to run:eek: :rolleyes:

Igor_Goldenberg
11-04-2006, 02:04 PM
Well we must have experienced a very different 20th century, is all I can say.

That's right. I experienced a society with close to 100% public ownership, as well as a society with much lower (even though still high to my standards) level of public ownership, and clearly prefer latter to the former.

As evidenced by migration streams, overwhelming majority of people make the same choice, voting with their feets against government ownership.

Rincewind
11-04-2006, 02:27 PM
That's right. I experienced a society with close to 100% public ownership, as well as a society with much lower (even though still high to my standards) level of public ownership, and clearly prefer latter to the former.

As evidenced by migration streams, overwhelming majority of people make the same choice, voting with their feets against government ownership.

Well that explains the rose-coloured glass with which you view the free-market. However the current trends towards globalisation with multinationals consuming local industries and off-shoring the services (and a therefore a sizable portion of the labour) should be warning enough that a free-market is not the nirvana it might have appeared from cold-war eastern europe.

I think in essense it does not help to think about this in terms of a false-dichotomy. The soviet system and the american system are not the only options available. I think there is wide acceptance that a totally free-market where people are able to exercise monopolies or effective monopolies is generally a bad thing so some regulation is necessary. The question is exactly how much reguation is a question of degree not an absolute.

Igor_Goldenberg
11-04-2006, 03:19 PM
One of the main problems of Western societies is that governments, using disguise of regulation and "protecting consumers", are , in fact, engaged in protectionism and pondering to lobbist group, effectively severely limiting free market in many areas, creating an unfair advantage for existing business and high entry barriers for ne entrants.

Then they use the problems in any industry (that naturally occur time to time) to create more regulations, thus perpertuating the problem. The cycle goes on and on.

For example, tight media regulation/licensing contributed a lot to a creation of de-facto oligarchy in that sector.

Then, because of a very limited number of players, more regulations are introduced to "keep those sharks in place", thus effectivle entrenching their exclusive positions.

Free market does have problems of its own, but an attemp to solve them by regulation usually creates more problem then solves.

Note on the side:

"Natural monopoly" is a myth. It can only be sustained if either:
a. Company produces quality product at a reasonable price
b. Very high barrier to entry, maintained by a government licensing/regulations.

When those conditions are not met, new entrants to the market quickly bring offender to an answer.

Rincewind
11-04-2006, 03:59 PM
"Natural monopoly" is a myth. It can only be sustained if either:
a. Company produces quality product at a reasonable price
b. Very high barrier to entry, maintained by a government licensing/regulations.

I'm no economist but it seems to me natural monopolies do occur and are most easily perpetuated by the monopoly holder using their accumulated resources to outcompete with new entrants over the start-up phase thereby killing off competition before it gets going. High entrance costs can assist this but is not a necessary condition. Once the competition has been ruthlessly dealt with the monopoly holder can go back to printing money at whatever rate the market will bear.

The larger the monopoly holder's reserves the easier it is for them to do this and large nationals have been in the press recently with Coles/Myer and Woolworths looking to shutdown small operators in the freash grocery and liquor sectors of their business.

pballard
11-04-2006, 04:13 PM
As the one who brought up natural monopolies in the first place... what I meant was a situation where it makes no sense and/or it is environmentally impractical to duplicate the service. Examples are entities which provide roads, water, sewerage removal, power distribution and (some aspects of) phone services. IMHO, these are all natural monopolies and it makes no sense to either duplicate them or privatise them.

Igor_Goldenberg
11-04-2006, 05:43 PM
I'm no economist but it seems to me natural monopolies do occur and are most easily perpetuated by the monopoly holder using their accumulated resources to outcompete with new entrants over the start-up phase thereby killing off competition before it gets going. High entrance costs can assist this but is not a necessary condition. Once the competition has been ruthlessly dealt with the monopoly holder can go back to printing money at whatever rate the market will bear.

That's the theory. In practise it is hard to achive, because monopolist has to expend a lot of resources to kill the competition. In this case, however, they won't be able to make money, especially if they are fighting this war all the time. And consumers benefit at that time :)


The larger the monopoly holder's reserves the easier it is for them to do this and large nationals have been in the press recently with Coles/Myer and Woolworths looking to shutdown small operators in the freash grocery and liquor sectors of their business.

Have they succeeded? Also they are duopoly, not monopoly, and other parties are still in business. They still supply good service at reasonable price and manage to do it more effectively then small grocery shops.

Where do you shop, at local grocery shop, Coles or Woolworth?

Igor_Goldenberg
11-04-2006, 05:48 PM
As the one who brought up natural monopolies in the first place... what I meant was a situation where it makes no sense and/or it is environmentally impractical to duplicate the service. Examples are entities which provide roads, water, sewerage removal, power distribution and (some aspects of) phone services. IMHO, these are all natural monopolies and it makes no sense to either duplicate them or privatise them.

There are very few areas where argument indeed can be made against free market, however, even in those areas some countires left it to the market quite successfully. I agree, though, that it might not be possible until technology develops.

It mostly happens in areas where the cost of collecting money for the service is comparable of the cost of the service itself, thus making an argument for providing those services for free.

The advancement of technology makes money collection easier, thus swaying the pendilum towards private enterprise.

Tomas Kessler
11-04-2006, 09:21 PM
I think you meant to say that the cost of providing the service is 'uneconomical'.
'Technology' has great limitations. Since many private companies in the U.S.A. are in the business of 'intelligence gathering' - LLL, CAI, VRNT etc this has not made it any more 'efficient'. There is no substitute for having 'men on the ground'.
Technology has not made it easier to collect speeding fines, for example, as motorists are able to argue the technology was faulty.
My opinion Medibank must be privatised as there is not substitute for the Free Market.
Feel free to dispute my views!

Igor_Goldenberg
11-04-2006, 10:04 PM
I think you meant to say that the cost of providing the service is 'uneconomical'.


No, I meant what I said. The service is uneconomical where it costs more then people willing to pay for it, which means that it is not needed at that cost. In this case it simple should not be provided.

Different situation arises when the cost of collecting payment has such a dramatic effect on a cost of the service that public provision of such service becomes more viable then private.

For example, charging of road usage (between each intersection?), especially in the absense of electronic toll is, probably, less effective then government charging a tax and providing them for "free"

Tomas Kessler
11-04-2006, 10:50 PM
This is a broad topic and some clarification of the particular industry needs to be made but say for example roads.
If the costs associated with a freeway for example cannot be adequately paid for then the (private) freeway operator needs to raise the costs to the consumer for using the freeway i.e.The principle of 'user pays'. If the raising the price to the consumer creates 'demand destruction' then it may be that the government needs to step in and provide funding to the operator (with conditions) to ensure the integrity of the service.
Here if you want to take the example of trains in Melbourne- Connex and M Trains.
Healthcare is adifferent 'kettle of fish' entirely but I still support a user pays system for Healthcare. I will explain why later.

Tomas Kessler
11-04-2006, 11:30 PM
Basically, in short the public health care system has a lot of inefficiencies. I personally have reports that the wastage is enormous!
Look at it this way- Person A smokes drinks gats bashed in pubs reports to a physician, lets ay 50 times a year.
Person B doesn't drink or smoke, plays golf, eats well looks after him/herself and goes to a doctor a few times a year.
Person B subsidises Person A
This is but one of many examples

PHAT
11-04-2006, 11:43 PM
...natural monopolies do occur and are most easily perpetuated by the monopoly holder using their accumulated resources to outcompete with new entrants over the start-up phase thereby killing off competition before it gets going. High entrance costs can assist this but is not a necessary condition. Once the competition has been ruthlessly dealt with the monopoly holder can go back to printing money at whatever rate the market will bear.

The ACF ?

pballard
12-04-2006, 01:01 PM
Taking the roads situation a bit further:

It makes no sense for my street to be privatised, and it's not just about payment technology. Say the technology extends so that I can't use by street without a smartcard. The service provider can charge me anything he wants (say, a $20 toll) and I have no choice but to pay it. But there is no alternative: to build a second, parallel street is impractical and environmentally destructive. Since it makes no sense to put in a second street, I would assert that roads are a "natural monopoly". In other words, it is only practical to have one set of roads, at least at the suburban street level. And because of the abuse possible with a private owner of a natural monopoly, I believe a natural monopoly should remain in public ownership.

Similar arguments hold for utilities (electricity distribution, water, sewerage), and possibly telecommunications.

Back to the original topic: the argument doesn't hold for health insurance, so privatisation there is OK.

Sunshine
12-04-2006, 01:37 PM
That's the theory. In practise it is hard to achive, because monopolist has to expend a lot of resources to kill the competition. In this case, however, they won't be able to make money, especially if they are fighting this war all the time. And consumers benefit at that time

I think you have the theory and the practice are the wrong way around.

Business is all about discouraging competition - and it is rarely to the advantage of the consumer.