Continuing my ill-informed rant about privatisation

There are some instances where privatisation has worked; the obvious example is telephones. There is effective competition in telephony, particularly mobiles, as you can make a reasonably informed choice and it's easy to change provider, particularly if you're on pay as you go.

However, there were still ridiculous charges for using your mobile in a different country, which might not be a huge issue for people who don't cross country borders often, but I do and I should think it's pretty bloody common in Belgium; in any case, I want to be able to use my phone on holiday. As it's a technology-based thing, the workforce is probably relatively small, but I would not want to work in a call centre.

Medicine is a different one. Firstly, it's not something that you use so often that you can make a choice; you don't have the experience. Secondly, a rich person can pay to use their phone more often; a rich person doesn't need better healthcare than a poor person (the opposite, in fact). Thirdly, I fail to see the case for the amount of money you have being able to justify better health care. We have a lack of doctors in this country. If you were to walk into a hospital and, on the basis of having more money, take the patient off the table and insist you have a less immediate need for surgery but you're bloody well going to have it anyway.

I also wonder why it is, though, that those who argue that the state is oppressive and should be cut back are always arguing in favour of the most oppressive parts of the state - the police and the armed forces.



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