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Corbyn Trains
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 8640
Location: south east England

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnhemming2 wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
johnhemming2 wrote:
Catweazle wrote:
A company is efficient, or not, due to the quality of management.

People behave differently depending upon the pressures on them. Hence you can take the same people and put them in different circumstances and they will behave differently.


Right. So the job of the politicians is to make sure that the people at the top of publicly-owned enterprises are doing a good job. If they aren't, then they need to be got rid of.

It's not really that hard, is it?

The problem here is that in fact that is a hard decision to make.


Why is it a hard decision to make?

Quote:

It is far better to have the politicians set the rules and have an independent judiciary to determine whether they are followed or not.


OK. Is that a suggestion how it might be better to run state-owned industries/enterprises?

Quote:

Furthermore the issues that matter tend not to be ones which can be answered with "fire or not".


What issues matter, in your opinion?

Quote:

They need to be more subtle.


??? Who? Not sure what you mean.
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
johnhemming2 wrote:
I am of the view that the state generally is an inefficient manager, that does not, however, mean that I believe that everything should be run by private organisations.

The economy, foreign relations, the armed forces, the social services and other such minor things things we can leave in the hands of state management, but trains? Nooo. Much to tricky.


If this board had a "like" button, I'd have liked that post. Smile
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are presently largely (but often notionally - the economy isn't really in a government's control) in state management; increasingly less so. America has already provided us with the negative results of the experiment.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnhemming2 wrote:
I am of the view that the state generally is an inefficient manager, that does not, however, mean that I believe that everything should be run by private organisations.

If you think that the state is an inefficient manager of railways, how come you seem to support their sale to the German, French and Netherlands state owned railways?

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/08/18/foreign-state-owned-railway-british-train-companies-revenue_n_8003970.html

Quote:
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to make Britains railways entirely state-owned and run by a citizens' corporation - dubbed the "People's Railway".

Yet many of Britains rail franchises are already owned and operated by state-owned companies from Germany, the Netherlands and France.

Through a complex web of international subsidiaries, both state-owned and majority state-owned railway companies are operating millions of rail journeys across Britain.

And the profits are flowing back to their countries, funding public transport and spending across Europe.

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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyway, services run by 'the state' is a red herring. We need non-profit-making bodies who are required by law to run these natural monopolies in the public interest and are answerable to that public, their real shareholders.
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outstanding couple of posts Biff Vernon. I have logged those ones to memory for future use
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
Anyway, services run by 'the state' is a red herring. We need non-profit-making bodies who are required by law to run these natural monopolies in the public interest and are answerable to that public, their real shareholders.
Exactly
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If companies didn't make a profit you and I would have no pension, or at least very little pension and mine's small enough already. We are all, leastways those of us with a private pension, parasites in that case.

Those who have advocated a fully funded state pension scheme on various threads here also require your parasitism to help fund those pensions.

When we get onto the no growth economy though retirement will go out of the window for most people as they simply won't be able to afford to save enough to last more than a few years as those savings would be all that could finance the retirement. There could be no interest on the savings to increase their value. Hopefully there would be no inflation to lower the value of the pot either.
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Catweazle



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
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Location: Little England, over the hills

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
If you think that the state is an inefficient manager of railways, how come you seem to support their sale to the German, French and Netherlands state owned railways?


Exactly, and not just trains either, take EDF (lectricit de France) for example.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken, whether the economy can afford pensions (whether they are public of private is a detail) depends on what proportion of the population are needed to work in the economy. It seems likely that we are able to run an economy in which people who are younger than about 20 and older than about 60 don't need to work much and the people between those ages only work about 30 hours per week.

Or do you think those numbers are significantly wrong?
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Little John



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
If companies didn't make a profit you and I would have no pension, or at least very little pension and mine's small enough already. We are all, leastways those of us with a private pension, parasites in that case.

Those who have advocated a fully funded state pension scheme on various threads here also require your parasitism to help fund those pensions.

When we get onto the no growth economy though retirement will go out of the window for most people as they simply won't be able to afford to save enough to last more than a few years as those savings would be all that could finance the retirement. There could be no interest on the savings to increase their value. Hopefully there would be no inflation to lower the value of the pot either.
Ken

Whatever the adequacy or otherwise of the pension pot of the country as a whole, it is demonstrably true that if there is not the middle man of a pension company with all of its shareholders requiring a profit, standing between the money going into that pot and the pensions coming out, then there will be, all other things being equal, more money available than was otherwise the case. Of course, this also requires a state not to raid the pot either!

Or, are you simply objecting to a state-run pension system because, given that there is not much money available, systemically, you are afraid that if it were state-run, pensions such as yours would be worse off in order to fund the inadequate pensions of those people below you? If you are, then that argument be applied to every thing else. Why pay your taxes towards an NHS or public school system? After all, a good portion of your tax is paying for people who have not adequately set money aside for their health or educational needs, right?
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johnhemming2



Joined: 30 Jun 2015
Posts: 1976

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Little John wrote:
Whatever the adequacy or otherwise of the pension pot of the country as a whole, it is demonstrably true that if there is not the middle man of a pension company with all of its shareholders requiring a profit, standing between the money going into that pot and the pensions coming out, then there will be, all other things being equal, more money available than was otherwise the case. Of course, this also requires a state not to raid the pot either!

There needs to be someone or something managing the pension pot. Your argument is that a state managed pension fund would be better than a privately managed pension fund. The profit is only part of the costs. The point about private bodies is that they are more efficient and produce better quality than the state for many things. (there are some things that must be run by the state).

It is quite possible that the additional administrative costs for a state managed fund would be greater than the profit.

In any event if everything is run by the state people cannot have equity based pension funds or even necessarily any bonds other than in the state.
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Little John



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, there are only some things that should be run by the state are there? Would those be only the things that are not potentially profitable eh? Because, of course, profitable activities are far too complicated for the state. Oh no, we need the financial wizardry and Germanic efficiency of the private sector, as exemplified by the wonder to behold that is our financial sector, for that don't we. Oh no, the state should only be given the easy bits like the NHS, foreign relations, economic policy and education...right? The fact that all of these things are a net cost to the taxpayers and generate no immediate profit is merely a coincidence...right? Well, apart from the NHS of course, and we all know what this government would like to do with that.

You do make me laugh Mr Hemming

You keep making the bald assertion that privately run companies are more efficient than the state. This, despite the fact of the monstrous bailouts of the entire banking industry, the massively higher state funding of the railways that was ever the case under national ownership and the subsidisation of the entire private sector in the forms of various working age social payments due to low wages that are insufficient to pay for the basic necessities of life.

To be honest, you sound like you are reciting some kind of religious intonement.

It's pathetic.
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pensions in this country (and, I suspect all Western countries) are just part of the Ponzi scheme that is modern capitalism.

Whilst there was economic and population growth, both state and private pensions could be funded.

State pensions come out of general taxation, and since first introduced, funded by taxation of the current workforce. As the population of pensioners has grown faster than the working population (and the years spent working have fallen as children stay in education longer and some people retired earlier) the tax burden has steadily grown, and now pension age is increasing to balance it. Also, the level of pension received is at the whim of the government of the day.

Private pensions have either been big company schemes with guaranteed payouts, which were very lucrative as long as the company thrived and they managed their investments well, or money purchase schemes were what you got depended on the state of stock market at the date you retired. The latter is all that is available now, and it is increasingly clear that they are a money spinner for the pension companies, who collect your contributions , take their cut, and leave you to the fate of the market. And given the limits to growth, the market is not going to pay out.

As a result, a lot of people (among those with enough income to be worth investing) realised that they needed something more tangible in the pension line, and have been investing in hard assets (eg. property) which provided both an income and protected their capital for their descendants to inherit. Hence the hideously broken housing market.

This situation happened once before, in the early 20th century. My previous semi was built in 1939, half of it the retirement home of the owner of the other half, which was rented out as a retirement income.

This badly went wrong after the world wars, and the depression, as we ended up with a lot of badly built rented accommodation owned by absentee war widow landladies which descended into slum conditions.

Given the impending end to growth, I would not be surprised to see similar conditions in the coming decades.

(I have a modest money purchase pension pot, but I entirely discount it as part of my future income. That will come from property).
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point that I was trying, unsuccessfully it seems, to make was that a major investor, if not the major investor, in companies are the pension schemes of ordinary people. For us to have pensions the companies that the pension schemes invest in have to make a profit. If we are to get away from unfunded pension schemes there have to be profitable companies to invest in. Insurance is the same.

Agree with Ralph.
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