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My Little Communist Country

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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 Jul 2010 at 11:39

In a coffee break from work at my government agency today I realised that virtually all the industry partners my agency deals with are either government owned companies or companies that the government has privatised in the last 15 years. The only non-government company worthy of note is owned by the Singapore Government. The new major entrant into the industry is a new government owned Corporation and even the coffee shop I was sitting in was government owned (and probably making a good profit from government employees). Even my pay check goes to an ex-government owned bank - the largest in the country, before I spend it on a holiday flying with our national, government owned, airline.

Just like our Asian neighbours, state owned companies are a huge bulk of the Australian economy. But unlike our Asian neighbours, we don't realise it. We talk about private industry like Americans, and then turn around and act asian (without the innovation). What on earth happened to the private sector in Australia? Why has it never grown to dominate the economy?
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Kruska View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kruska Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2010 at 12:11
Hello Omar al Hashim,
 
in regards to this economic constellation in Australia - could that be simply due to the former colonial status? Meaning that it was the British government that brought in the largest investments and later those investments aka government-companies were handed over to the Australian government?
 
Regards
Kruska
 
Men who goes to bed with itchy bumb, wake's up with smelly finger - Confucius?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2010 at 13:08
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

In a coffee break from work at my government agency today I realised that virtually all the industry partners my agency deals with are either government owned companies or companies that the government has privatised in the last 15 years. The only non-government company worthy of note is owned by the Singapore Government. The new major entrant into the industry is a new government owned Corporation and even the coffee shop I was sitting in was government owned (and probably making a good profit from government employees). Even my pay check goes to an ex-government owned bank - the largest in the country, before I spend it on a holiday flying with our national, government owned, airline.

Just like our Asian neighbours, state owned companies are a huge bulk of the Australian economy. But unlike our Asian neighbours, we don't realise it. We talk about private industry like Americans, and then turn around and act asian (without the innovation). What on earth happened to the private sector in Australia? Why has it never grown to dominate the economy?


Mining, agriculture, education and tourism are our four biggest exports. These are all almost entirely owned by the private sector (even the vast bulk of universities are private entities).

Prior to 25 years ago, Australia was characterised by high union membership (in the 50s we had the highest in the world with nearly 60% of the workforce unionised) and vast government domination of almost all major industrial enterprises. Since then a vast number of government bodies have either been privatised, or corporatised (remaining goverment owned but operating modeled on private sector success stories. Universities, railways, ombudsmen offices, the postal service, military contractors etc are all prominent cases.


Edited by Constantine XI - 30 Jul 2010 at 13:10
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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2010 at 14:22
Since privatisation/corporatisation are the services provided better for the consumer than they were before, or, like in most places, worse and more expensive?
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jul 2010 at 01:50
Originally posted by Kruska Kruska wrote:

in regards to this economic constellation in Australia - could that be simply due to the former colonial status? Meaning that it was the British government that brought in the largest investments and later those investments aka government-companies were handed over to the Australian government?

Not really. For one thing, its difficult to define what 'former colonial' is. Direct monetary investment from London and Calcutta, as far as I know, became of minor importance after the 1860s-1870s when self-governing states became wealthy enough to fund any projects themselves. The only coorperation that I was referring to that still exists from that period is Westpac Bank (the Bank of NSW, setup by Governor Macquarie in 1817). Oh, and the Post Office of course.
Most of the others were setup in the early-mid 20th century. At the stage Australians considered themselves a colony, but London never exercised any power. A few gradual amendments to the constitution meant Australia is now technically independent, and thinks of itself as a differenc country, but at no point can you say there was a transfer of power. Modern Aus, IMO, was created by Whitlam in 1972-75. Australia's a colony that was left to its own devices.
Originally posted by CXI CXI wrote:

Mining, agriculture, education and tourism are our four biggest exports. These are all almost entirely owned by the private sector (even the vast bulk of universities are private entities).

Mining and agriculture are following the same basic principles established in the 1860s and 70s, but yes, are private. There are big government fingers in Education and Tourism. I don't know how private universities really are. Nearly 60% of uni funding is from government, only 25% is from "exports".
Originally posted by gcle gcle wrote:

Since privatisation/corporatisation are the services provided better for the consumer than they were before, or, like in most places, worse and more expensive?

Corporatisation doesn't seem to have been a problem (not that I am aware of anyway), but privatisation is worse and more expensive. Plus, once privatised, they don't feel obliged to do what the government tells them too, which future governments don't like (but that hasn't stopped them selling other stuff)
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drgonzaga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jul 2010 at 04:12
Take heart, Omar, the notion of private universities is a global fiction! With the exception of rather small institutions, even the purportedly private American universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale would go belly up were they not suckling heavy from the public purse. As for agriculture... get real the symbiosis of the grand corporations with their "kindred" in government within the US itself makes the blather over "private" ownership jus so much hot air. Just think of it as "welfare" writ large...so things are not that different be it stateside or down among the roos.

Edited by drgonzaga - 31 Jul 2010 at 04:13
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toyomotor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2014 at 16:43
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

In a coffee break from work at my government agency today I realised that virtually all the industry partners my agency deals with are either government owned companies or companies that the government has privatised in the last 15 years. The only non-government company worthy of note is owned by the Singapore Government. The new major entrant into the industry is a new government owned Corporation and even the coffee shop I was sitting in was government owned (and probably making a good profit from government employees). Even my pay check goes to an ex-government owned bank - the largest in the country, before I spend it on a holiday flying with our national, government owned, airline.

Just like our Asian neighbours, state owned companies are a huge bulk of the Australian economy. But unlike our Asian neighbours, we don't realise it. We talk about private industry like Americans, and then turn around and act asian (without the innovation). What on earth happened to the private sector in Australia? Why has it never grown to dominate the economy?
 
Once again you misrepresent the facts by referring to Australia as your "Little Communist Country.
 
Australia is not now, nor has ever been a communist state.
 
Why would the government deal on a daily basis with other banks, and have to pay the exhorbitant fees?
 
And the "state owned companies" are dwindling in favour of private enterprise.
 
And you are not forced to fly with Qantas, there are other airlines.
 
 
It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.
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