Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"No. The real Black Swan Event is that people are not rioting against the banks in London and New York..."

The BBC's Paul Mason... rumbled


A few days ago, BBC reporter Paul Mason put up a well-written blog post on the demonstrations in Greece

It was so well written and vaguely truthy that I had the strangest sensation of having just read an actual piece of journalism after finishing it

A feeling I don't usually associate with reading anything from the BBC, or pretty much any other mainstream news outlet

An increasingly widespread opinion of mainstream news coverage that Mason himself acknowledges at the end of his piece...

And I will repeat the point about hostility to the media: it's not a problem for me and my colleagues to be hounded off demos as "representatives of big capital", "Zionists", "scum and police informers" etc. But to get this reaction from almost every demographic - from balaclava kids to pensioners - should be a warning sign to the policymaking elite. The "mainstream" - whether it's the media, politicians or business people - is beginning to seem illegitimate to large numbers of people.

As one old bloke put it to me, when I said: "Don't you want us to report what's happening to you?" - "No."


He was quite calm and rational as he waved his hand in my face: "It's too late for that."


Nicely put


Though a cynic might suggest that Mason and the BBC are simply
co-opting the tools of citizen journalism, such as blogs, to put out a minimal amount of truthiness in an attempt to scrape up some much needed credibility

Those would be the same tools of citizen journalism that mainstream media whores spend most of their time belittling and abusing

...and a small amount of their time trying to co-opt, covering their well paid arses, just in case

For an altogether much more informative example of citizen journalism on what is being done to Greece I recommend this article...




It opens with the lines...

"I have never been more desperate to explain and more hopeful for your understanding of any single fact than this: The protests in Greece concern all of you directly"

...and the author is absolutely right

The banks and the corporations that have grown up around the banks are out to deprive the Greek people of all property until their children wake-up homeless in their own land

The Greeks are to become neo-feudal, pay-as-you-go serfs


And then, after the Greeks, the rest of us

A future which neither Paul Mason nor any employee of the BBC or any other mainstream media outlet is going to warn us about; 100% guaranteed, absolutely no way, ever

They'll report it after it happens, sure enough, and explain that no-one saw such an unfortunate, accidental turn of events coming, and so on and so on. They'll do that because that's their job. They're paid to sell narratives. Narratives that are constructed to instill passivity and acceptance of what is being done

And that is why the old Greek bloke said to Mason 'It's too late for that'

And that is why I despise Mason and his kind as much as any Greek demonstrator


The Battle in Syntagma Square article ends with the following paragraph...

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the Lebanese-American philosopher who formulated the theory of “Black Swan Events” – unpredictable, unforeseen events which have a huge impact and can only be explained afterwards. Last week, on Newsnight, he was asked by Jeremy Paxman whether the people taking to the streets in Athens was a Black Swan Event. He replied: “No. The real Black Swan Event is that people are not rioting against the banks in London and New York.”

That wouldn't be as much to do with Black Swans as with a corrupt press and parliamentary system but, in spite of their efforts, I expect that there will be an upsurge in demonstrations and strikes in the UK later in the year. However, and this is where I may lose some of my leftist friends on top of any anti-Zionist friends I lost a few posts back, those strikes and demonstrations are likely to only make the situation worse

The only significant pockets of organised labour left in the UK are public sector unions and they have a poor track record of giving a toss about where their members' pay comes from. Any successes public sector workers have in maintaining their pay and conditons are, under the current system, simply passed onto ordinary private sector workers in the form of increased taxation and inflation. Many private sector workers I personally know are barely managing from week to week and they have biff all job security and pensions. If the cost of significant public sector settlements are dumped onto their laps they're screwed

Until strikers and demonstrators in the UK start talking about reforming the entire system for the benefit of
all ordinary people and not just the protestors own immediate self-interest all they will be doing is fighting with other plebs for a share of an increasingly smaller trickle of crumbs from their Masters' table

The Greeks seem to be switching onto this, as do the Irish, and the Icelanders


But they had to get fucked pretty severely first


.

63 comments:

Bridget said...

As a leftist and anti-Zionist friend Stef I'm not going to fall out with you over this! Just a flaw in this argument:

Any successes public sector workers have in maintaining their pay and conditons are, under the current system, simply passed onto ordinary private sector workers in the form of increased taxation and inflation.

Public sector workers will also be taxed to pay for their pensions, not just the private sector. Pitting public and private sector workers against each other is part of the strategy of this government anyway in their attempts to privatise as much of the State as they can. Teachers for instance are being told that their pension contributions will be doubled which is a tax increase in anyone's book.

We need to support all worker's who are going on strike - the system can't provide them and us with what is required therefore these demands become transitional demands:

Transitional demands differ from calls for reform (a minimum programme) in that they call for things that governments and corporations are unwilling or unable to offer, and therefore, any progress towards obtaining a transitional demand is likely to weaken capitalism and strengthen the hand of the working class.

The Antagonist said...

What Bridget said, and...

The distinction needs to be made, not as the ruling classes would have us make it (i.e between public and private sector workers) but more generally between "workers" and "the ruling class" and all that each grouping entails.

All of which was summed up quite succinctly by the phrase:

"Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose except your chains!"

Tom said...

What about the unemployed? They've got plenty of time on their hands to figure out that there aren't enough jobs to go round anyway yet they still get hungry like the rest of us.

Who's making any coherent demands to sort that out?

Stef said...

@Bridget/ Ant

One person's 'those strikes and demonstrations are likely to only make the situation worse' is another person's set of transitional demands

Stef said...

"Who's making any coherent demands to sort that out?"

No-one, certainly not the Loyal Opposition

Tom said...

If only there was a Redundant Labour movement, as opposed to a redundant Labour movement.

Bridget said...

Tom, there are a lot of unemployed worker's campaigns including welfare not workfare campaigns nationally:

welfare not workfare

paul said...

Any successes public sector workers have in maintaining their pay and conditons are, under the current system, simply passed onto ordinary private sector workers in the form of increased taxation and inflation.

Any losses public sector will experience will also be passed on the the private sector in increased competition for jobs, reduction in aggregate demand for private services and in provision of public services.

When you're reduced to fighting over scraps within a shrinking economy, it's not even a zero sum game.

I would say it's actually in everyone's interest to support the public sector strikes. What better point to start talking about the entire system?

As for Paul Mason, we'll run out of rope and lamposts long before we get to him for his failings.

The ghastly Curtis and his coffee table colour television is way ahead on my list.

Stef said...

"As for Paul Mason, we'll run out of rope and lamposts long before we get to him for his failings."

Mason strikes me as someone with more of a conscience than most of his ilk but there is no getting away from the fact that he is Newsnight's economics editor

Stef said...

and yes, I too have a special place in my heart for Adam Curtis

Richard too, come to think of it

paul said...

Mason strikes me as someone with more of a conscience than most of his ilk

In my limited experience of the institution and its employees that counts as a black swan event in itself.

Stef said...

"I would say it's actually in everyone's interest to support the public sector strikes. What better point to start talking about the entire system?"

What is to come will go a whole lot smoother, will have greater support and better chances of success if the protesters display empathy and present their case in a wider context

Otherwise we're going down a path which is being lovingly prepared as we type

Stef said...

"In my limited experience of the institution and its employees that counts as a black swan event in itself."

lol

paul said...

What is to come will go a whole lot smoother, will have greater support and better chances of success if the protesters display empathy and present their case in a wider context

No arguments there

Tom said...

Thanks for the link about organised unemployed, Bridget. Interesting manifesto, including this:

"We want the right not to work."

Which I used to be very much in favour of but was too lazy to protest about. People with jobs are going to be unlikely to see the wisdom of it.

There's some good ideas in it but there should be ways of organising to get more self-employment or co-operatives and not rely on benefits (which have always been grudged with various degrees of forced labour creeping in).

paul said...

Steady on there Tom, you're talking as if the government should have some sort of employment policy.

Tom said...

Gerrish the thought.

(wv: state)

Anonymous said...

"We want the right not to work."

sure, and you have the right to support yourself. Gets a bit hairy if people who opt not to 'work' ('work' here means taxable wages/sales whatever that go into public social funds to support other 'workers'). Since other labour (doing 'work') will ultimately foot the bill for benefits claimed by non-'workers', and in that case *they are as bad as the rentier class*.
You would need a something set up where you can get 'workers' welfare based on how much (labour) you put into the welfare.

Really this is all moot IMO. The system itself and the capitalist concept of getting something for nothing, you know, let someone else do the work, (rich as well as benefit scammers, both capitalists) needs to change to get parity.

paul said...

Fraud and Error across all benefits

The central estimate for the percentage of total benefit expenditure
overpaid in 2010/11 is 2.2% which is the same level as the estimate for
2009/10. Previous overpayment estimates for 2007/08 and 2008/09 were
2.0% and 2.2% respectively.


Fraud ('benefit scammers') accounts for 0.8%

Those that 'don't want to work' are a problem for a day when those that do, can.

paul said...

Tax gap has reached £42bn, says HMRC

from further down the article:

In the five years since HMRC was formed, 30,000 jobs have been cut, the majority of which were directly responsible for tax collection.

...and there's another 20,000 to go.

Which is a little odd considering we are told we have a 'fiscal crisis' ie not enough coming in to cover outgoings.

paul said...

Everything they do,
the way they pit the lifers against the newboys,
the old against the young,
the black against the white,
is meant to keep us in our place.


- endframe of 'Blue Collar' (1978)

The Antagonist said...

Anonymous writ: "The system itself and the capitalist concept of getting something for nothing, you know, let someone else do the work, (rich as well as benefit scammers, both capitalists) needs to change to get parity."

Good call! There is infinite parity betwixt the ruling class parasites and the jobless workers:

The Man Who Robbed a Bank for $1 to Get Health Care Coverage

The Antagonist said...

Paul said...

"Those that 'don't want to work' are a problem for a day when those that do, can."


That's definitely going in the manifesto!

Stef said...

I've said this before but, for many, the chance to do fulfilling, productive work is a luxury they can only afford if they are lucky enough to be able to retire

Most people want to look after other people, mentor kids, grow food, build things, make stuff with their hands...

but what gets in the way is the need to make a living

Bridget said...

^ Entirely possible in an economy that doesn't require selling the only thing most us own (and why anonymous 18.50 is so entirely wrong) - our labour. As we are witnessing and suffering the death throes of Capitalism time to start planning the alternative.

paul said...

change 'have' for 'want' and 'need' for lack of choice and you'll have one leftist (beccause i've yet to find a better category) sailing the jolly roger.

paul said...

for clarity that was referring to stef's
21 June 2011 23:44
post

paul said...

Most people want to look after other people, mentor kids, grow food, build things, make stuff with their hands...

I would push it from most to 99%

but what gets in the way is the need to make a living

The skylayer think they have managed it, but they have so long and so far to fall now, they'll be dead before they hit the ground we are left with.

Us and ours, private and public, will have to live on this earth despite any change in arrangements.

As we are presented with an endless set of (climatic/spiritual/economic) ultimatums, I say fuck them all.

It might not be pretty, but everything is getting less pretty.

And it was never that pretty, anyway.

paul said...

sorry for that last post, the blood was angried up.

Stef said...

and for clarity on my part I was attempting to be ironic

antipathy towards a lot of the 'work' on offer, on the part of the unemployed and the reluctantly employed, is a perfectly healthy immune response to the prospect of the shit, Sisyphean tasks that they're obliged to undertake to earn coupons to pay the coupon tax and avoid being hit on the head with magic wellness sticks

after all, you've got a find a way to destroy all those surpluses technology can deliver otherwise there'd be anarchy

Stef said...

imho 95% are capable (or whatever proportion of non socio non psycho paths there actually are out there)

a few of that 95% have lost their way, but not irredeemably

material conditions and all that

Stef said...

"the blood was angried up"

has anyone ever told you that you get quite lyrical when angried up?

I bet they have

paul said...

I'm forced to conclude I am more expresive than I am articulate, or effective, unfortunately.
hilarious dv: dismal

Bridget said...

Mark Steel: Pensions: no wonder firemen are on the rich lists - Mark Steel, Commentators - The Independent

Anonymous said...

Hi anon @21 June 2011 18:50 here.

I wholeheartedly agree that most people want to help others, and I think that 90+% people actually feel better emotionally & spiritually if they are less self-centered and care more for others.

Those who have kept the system going this long via ponzi trickery, and the wannabees are of course a much bigger drain than the benefit scammers. I was just critiquing your manifesto a little thats all, since...

...the power is in the actual energy of labour itself.

I think that the 'system' has delusion and subterfuge built into it. Since it needs it to get the 'free-range slave' workforce compliant, and those who live off it, delusional that they are worth more than the real workers.

As far as this resistance to work, I actually don't blame some people, since what crappy work there is left anymore hardly makes their lives any better or rewarding in the long run. The sense that there is no hope in the way things are going, so why bother. This nihilism is prevalent in parts of the population of the UK I know.

CanSpeccy said...

For the most part, and despite the evident good intentions of many civil servants, the public sector is a largely parasitic entity and its workforce is the beneficiary of what is largely non-functional income.

About this I speak with some authority having worked for three governments and held academic appointments at three universities, before seeing the light and spending 25 years happily self-employed.

In general, the function of the public service is threefold:

1. To provide the government with the coercive powers, including the power to extract money from the citizenry, with which to exercise its largely anti-democratic will.

2. To provide the bodyguard of lies that conceal from the public the crimes of the elite.

3. To propagandize and brainwash the public to accept whatever social arrangements best suit the ruling elite.

In the process, some useful functions are provided: traffic is directed, drinking water supplied, children learn the alphabet -- and much beside that is to their detriment, etc.

But at reasonable cost? Are you kidding? Good value for these largely Victorian services at the cost of 50% of the GDP plus massive debts?

So, yes, stef is correct in recognizing public sector workers as an interest group distinct from that of the population as a whole.

The public service serves the interests of the ruling elite, and is well taken care of as a result.

StefZ said...

@Canspeccy

I've learned to become no fan of the captured corporatised state and its monopolistic application of violence

which I guess, makes me a libertarian of sorts

my problem is that most of the committed libertarians I encounter are right wing libertarians and not very nice or empathic people

which I guess makes me a left libertarian, and quite lonely

Given that I've still got a mind to write another post on The Jewish Question and there's only so much 'lively' debate I can currently handle at a time, I will now tiptoe away from this thread and cover my eyes...

JT Gatto said...

"children learn the alphabet"

and, more importantly, obedience

gyg3s said...

"public sector unions and they have a poor track record of giving a toss about where their members' pay comes from"

There's something deeply immoral about state employees getting better pay and conditions compared to the rest of us.

I remember being in a lecture where finer points of EU law were being discussed. The case of Marshall v Southampton and South West Hampshire Health Authority came up. The upshot of the case was that for 18-months or so, state employees were given more rights than the rest of us simply because they were state employees. I and the rest of the lecture theatre were shocked; we couldn't believe that this situation could arise. After a short hiatus the lecture moved on, we were told that the law was adjusted such that now everyone had the same rights irrespective of nature of employer.

But that's not true. Although on paper we have the same rights, if our employers cannot afford to give us generous sick/maternity/paternity/redundancy measures, we don't have those rights.

Yet we see, time and time again the public sector enjoying those rights.

I'm not advocating a race to the bottom or some equality of misery ... but ... the current situation is wrong.

CanSpeccy said...

Absolutely agree about right wing libertarians. Mostly, self-serving bastards, buying gold expecting it to go to a million dollars an ounce while they wait for the second great crash/depression after which they expect to buy up everything for pennies on the dollar.

But you don't have to be a shit to see that the public service is a black hole that consumes far too much of the wealth of the nation.

As currently constituted, welfare programs primarily create jobs for bureaucrats, while teaching people how to scam the system and avoid work indefinitely.

But I am sure an intelligent libertarian with a social conscience could devise a system that provided everyone the opportunity to earn a living.

A reverse income tax, with the elimination of minimum wage laws would probably do it. This would bring everyone's income up to the subsistence level, however low their wage, at a cost that would be a small fraction of current welfare programs.

The only people who'd be out of work then would be former civil servants reluctant to accept the free market wage to which their talents entitle them.

Anonymous said...

Sure, the state applies some of its revenue to employ teachers and nurses

What leftists tend to overlook is that the state also uses its revenue to employ policemen, soldiers, intelligence operatives and tax collectors

paul said...

What leftists tend to overlook is that the state also uses its revenue to employ policemen, soldiers, intelligence operatives and tax collectors

Dang! I must have missed that

The Antagonist said...

"What leftists tend to overlook is that the state also uses its revenue to employ policemen, soldiers, intelligence operatives and tax collectors"

Where to begin with a blanket nonsense statement like that...?

Who exactly do your 'leftist' friends think pays the wages of soldiers, intelligence operatives and tax collectors (who only collect taxes from those unable to afford to avoid paying them), if not the State?

The Antagonist said...

CanSpeccy writ: "But you don't have to be a shit to see that the public service is a black hole that consumes far too much of the wealth of the nation.."

You might have missed it, but there's been a whole ten years of "public service" warmongering and mass-murder, raping, looting and pillaging that has consumed rather a lot "the wealth of the nation" in several 'nations'.

What, precisely, do you define as "the wealth of the nation" in the context of a fictional 'economy' that is based on fictional 'money' by which "the wealth of the nation" is traditionally defined?

The Antagonist said...

"There's something deeply immoral about state employees getting better pay and conditions compared to the rest of us."

That's as may be, but that is very much the product of a system that can only thrive when such inequalities exist.

As for solutions, should envy or a sense of inequality mean we drag everyone down to rock bottom, or that we aspire and organise to create a more equitable and fair society for all?

paul said...

Although on paper we have the same rights, if our employers cannot afford to give us generous sick/maternity/paternity/redundancy measures, we don't have those rights.

Well, according to price auction equilibrium and the fact that these conditions are universal, they should raise their prices or lower their profits.

The workplace has changed quite a lot over the last thirty years, more two earner households for instance.

Finding time and money for the exhausting and unremunerated process of replenishing the livestock must be done somehow.

The liberal demands for flexibility ought to apply to both sides of the contract.

The conservative yearning for a contented and ruly family unit must be addressed somehow.

Until we educate the population to do a full cost benefit analysis of their biological urges, this seems a reasonable stopgap.

Bridget said...

What leftists tend to overlook is that the state also uses its revenue to employ policemen, soldiers, intelligence operatives and tax collectors

I think a mistake is being made here of conflating the State with public sector workers.

Thatcher privatised all the nationalised industries, Blair dumped Clause IV and the 'Big Society ConDems' will do their best to privatise all further State functions.

For me the difference between Public sector and Private sector is that the Private has to make a profit.

None of which requires supporting the Capitalist State - as Engels said:

The society which organizes production anew on the basis of free and equal association of the producers will put the whole state machinery where it will then belong — into the museum of antiquities, next to the spinning wheel and the bronze ax.

Stef said...

/ tiptoes back for a second

"But you don't have to be a shit to see that the public service is a black hole that consumes far too much of the wealth of the nation"

I think it's more complicated than that. The people of ordinary means working in public service or in receipt of welfare don't sit on that money and generally pass it straight back into the system as soon as they receive it

The big 'wealth' sinks in our society are the money system and land

Without money or land reform it wouldn't matter if the public sector were pared down to a fraction of its existing size, wealth would continue to accumulate in the hands of the money printers and land owners

Stef said...

...there's also the question of how we deal with the issues associated with the productivity increases that new technologies have delivered. The private sector does not require as many people making stuff as it did in the past

What happens to the people 'liberated' from their jobs by new technology and who gets to pocket the surpluses generated by that new technology?

If the state doesn't act as a mechanism for spreading the increased yields around what would?

As discussed before, I currently favour some kind of land/ asset tax funding a citizen's income. I suspect that such as system could deliver something a little less Puritan than bare subsistence

Anonymous said...

Bridget

Public sector workers such as policemen, soldiers, intelligence operatives and tax collectors don't have to make a profit

Bridget said...

^ State workers rather than Public Sector workers afaic.

The Antagonist said...

"Public sector workers such as policemen, soldiers, intelligence operatives and tax collectors don't have to make a profit"

Yes they do, but it's a little more obscure than a glance at the immediate Profit & Loss sheets of each individual policeman would suggest.

Those specific groups, collectively, are like the fluffers of the profit world and are on hand to keep things warmed up and the constant churn of capital circulation rolling along unchallenged.

1. Police do it on a petty cash, small-scale, national street level.

2. Intelligence operatives do it on an international level, 'securing' through expropriation major land, natural and labour resources from which huge profits can then be extorted by other, mostly private, agencies.

3. Tax collectors are the fuckers that secure all the initial funding to support and sustain the activities of agencies 1 and 2.

Repeat ad nauseam....

paul said...

Public sector workers such as policemen, soldiers, intelligence operatives and tax collectors don't have to make a profit
Why should they?

paul said...

Tax collectors are the fuckers that secure all the initial funding to support and sustain the activities of agencies 1 and 2.

I'd be very suprised if that was their primary motivation.

Stef said...

"Yes they do, but it's a little more obscure than a glance at the immediate Profit & Loss sheets of each individual policeman would suggest."

But couldn't you apply the same reasoning, say, to schools and school teachers (private or public)? As someone has already hinted by way of a link above, our existing education system has roots in the Prussian System which was designed to produce obedient canon and factory fodder that knew its place, took orders and turned up on time

Bridget said...

I'll leave my last words on this to Engels who prior to the previous quote wrote:

The state, therefore, has not existed from all eternity. There have been societies which have managed without it, which had no notion of the state or state power. At a definite stage of economic development, which necessarily involved the cleavage of society into classes, the state became a necessity because of this cleavage. We are now rapidly approaching a stage in the development of production at which the existence of these classes has not only ceased to be a necessity, but becomes a positive hindrance to production. They will fall as inevitably as they once arose. The state inevitably falls with them.

Bridget said...

and:

On June 30, up to a million workers across the country will be striking in defense of their pensions. The Education Activist Network is calling upon all students, teachers and educationalists to strike the streets together, and turn J30 into a day of rage and anger against the Tory-led coalition.

Pensions are not some add-on benefit. They are a hard-won right that everyone should be entitled to. In France, the dispute over pensions saw thousands of school, FE and University students blockade their institutions, and raise the slogan ‘Today’s students are tomorrow’s pensioners’. Here, we need to make sure that June 30 is a step of escalation leading on from March 26 when half a million trade unionists, pensioners, unemployed and disabled activists took it to the streets.

The events in Spain and Greece show that this could be a year of European revolt. Play your part and strike the streets of London on June 30!

TOWN BY TOWN, CITY BY CITY – STRIKE THE STREETS ON JUNE 30 « Education Activist Network

Bridget said...

and:

YouTube - Education Cuts Protests On the 30th June 2011(National Anthem)

The Antagonist said...

"But couldn't you apply the same reasoning, say, to schools and school teachers (private or public)? As someone has already hinted by way of a link above, our existing education system has roots in the Prussian System which was designed to produce obedient canon and factory fodder that knew its place, took orders and turned up on time"

Yes, you could. That's where ideology enters the equation.

When the dominant ideologies are those of inherited wealth, aristocracy and privilege maintained by force, all combined to protect and service their own nefarious interests -- backed by the divine authority of the big invisible beardy man in the sky -- you end up with what we've got.

The Antagonist said...

"The state, therefore, has not existed from all eternity. There have been societies which have managed without it, which had no notion of the state or state power. At a definite stage of economic development, which necessarily involved the cleavage of society into classes, the state became a necessity because of this cleavage. We are now rapidly approaching a stage in the development of production at which the existence of these classes has not only ceased to be a necessity, but becomes a positive hindrance to production. They will fall as inevitably as they once arose. The state inevitably falls with them."

Engels' da man!

CanSpeccy said...

Antagonist said:

"You might have missed it, but there's been a whole ten years of "public service" warmongering and mass-murder, raping, looting and pillaging that has consumed rather a lot "the wealth of the nation" in several 'nations'."

True, but surprisingly, the mass of public servants drawing non-functional income in government offices spread over the length and breadth of the land consume far more than the military.

In 2010, UK "defense" spending totaled 36 billion pounds, whereas total UK government spending last year was 519 billion.

Look, if you never worked for government you simply can't have any conception of what real waste is.

I spent a total of four years of my one and only life employed by large units of three different governments. If it would not bore you, I could explain how virtually every dollar spent by each of those units was money entirely down the drain.

And I was not employed in departments concerned with administration, which is the off budget way that governments waste money by wasting citizens time with BS forms and regulations and licenses and reviews that for the most part serve merely to provide more jobs for more useless bureaucrats.

But don't take this as an attack on people who work for government. They are, for the most part, simpleminded, decent people, who do their best in a hopeless situation.

In addition, of course, they mostly believe that no one but the government will provide them with a better income for life. It is this last fact that makes the bureaucracy of such value to the elite.

When it comes to the crunch, very few civil servants will refuse to feel up your crotch as commanded by the US Government, for example, or do whatever else is required, if it means giving up their pension rights.

gyg3s said...

"Public sector workers such as policemen, soldiers, intelligence operatives and tax collectors don't have to make a profit "

The analysis of profit in the public sector is a very interesting question. Lots of people would say that there isn't such a thing as profit in the public sector; indeed, that it wasn't possible.

Nonsense.

Remember Paul Klebnikov's, Treating with Barbarians, where he described Berezovski's ascent to wealth and power. In the early days Berezovski took over state enterprises that were profitable. Their profits weren't obvious because either they ended up going on wages, plant or back to the State. In other words, just because these profits didn't show up on the balance sheet that doesn't mean that they weren't profitable: they were, in some cases massively so.

Compare that with the UK's NHS. Here the profits go to the employees, particularly those who are high up in the heirarchy. Unison and such will trot out how poorly paid NHS cleaners and porters are but they don't say how well paid those are who are higher in the hierarchy.

To re-iterate, a cooperative may share its profits with its workers but that doesn't mean that it isn't profitable.

Just imagine if every company could simply extract money from its customers with the threat of jail, like the BBC does and just imagine how profitable they would be.

Stef said...

Why rely on one's powers of imagination when entities such as Crapita and Serco already exist

To paraphrase another Loon, if that ain't proper fascism it'll do for now