Should service industries be nationalised?

  kplan 11:20 01 Aug 08
Locked

As the title says, should service industries and in this I include Water, Gas and Electricity pipes and substance be nationalised?

I would also include telecommunication pipes / wires.

The general question is should things that people consider necessities be subject to profit making?

Think how much better our telecoms infrastructure would be if the government was the company that installed the wires, we would already probably have fibre to the home. How much less tax would we pay if the profits from Water, Gas and Electricity supply and telecomms wires went to government.

Or am I being naïve?

Please ignore the politics of who, when and why industries were privatised in the first place. And also the politics of "They current / future government wouldn't use the profit to reduce taxes!!", I’m just interested to know peoples views on necessities being used to make profits for companies / shareholders.

KPlan.

  Cymro. 11:27 01 Aug 08

My quick and too short an answer would be that such industries would be better if nationalised. The problem is that as will be very quickly pointed out the record of some nationalised industries was not very good when they were government ran.

  kplan 11:38 01 Aug 08

Yes it will be pointed out quickly however I'm just interested in people opinions not on how the nationalised companies would be run, but just on whether necessities should be profitable for someone?

KPlan.

  Pine Man 11:39 01 Aug 08

I certainly believe that 'public' transport should be nationalised and made genuinely public. Only then can it be made more acceptable and accessible to the public and help to remove some of the unnecessary traffic from the roads.

  Belatucadrus 11:40 01 Aug 08

Considering the total lack of efficiency exhibited by extant and past nationalisations. Along with the amount of fuel duty already added by our caring sharing "socialist" ? government. Just who exactly would nationalisation benefit ?
Not us you can be sure.

  Cymro. 11:45 01 Aug 08

So who do you think has benefited from denationalisation then,
not me that is something you can be sure of.

  Cymro. 12:03 01 Aug 08

"I'm just interested in people opinions not on how the nationalised companies would be run, but just on whether necessities should be profitable for someone?"

Personally I would be very willing for all such service industries to be government owned and for the profits to be used as an addition to the national treasury for use on such projects as education, health etc.

The problem is that nationalised industries have an appalling record of being very badly ran and all too often having to be subsidised from taxation rather than helping to reduce the level of tax we pay.

So if we can be assured that a government can run an industry profitably and efficiently then by all means go ahead and nationalise it. I think it more moral for a government to run such things in our interest than for a multinational company to run it for the interest of it`s share holders and no one else.

  Cymro. 12:07 01 Aug 08

Sorry kplan I forgot to add
I don`t think it possible to debate the matter without bringing in the nationalised industries very bad past record of making more losses than profits.

  jack 12:16 01 Aug 08

In reality these industries are sort of nationalized.
Take Gas/Electricity distribution- working away through the maze of organizations the end of the line is National Grid.
National Grid owns the Pipe/Cable network and delivers the product.
It is a PLC with shareholders etc., but it is a single entity with division for this that and the other.
All the firm that 'Supply' to our homes and workplaces are no more than 'cash collectors'
and maintenance operators.
The same is true for the Railways.
Network Rail- a government sponsored - Not for Profit'[Though they do post profits -I have oft wondered about the one] organization to care for the rail network.
The train operators- lease rolling stock- hire staff to run it, sweep platform's,,sell tickets, and buy running slots on the track.
All that is complicated enough with out putting civil servant into another layer of administration
Nationalizing anything has as for as this country has been concerned an unmitgated disaster- I never prevented a strike,- I kept prices low[ish] by not investing into the infrastructure.

  Cymro. 12:23 01 Aug 08

"Nationalizing anything has as for as this country has been concerned an unmitgated disaster- I never prevented a strike,- I kept prices low[ish] by not investing into the infrastructure".

Absolutely true Jack,
but suppose, just suppose that a government could run any industry properly then surely it would be the most moral way of doing things. Running it for the people not for a load of probably foreign shareholders.

  kplan 12:24 01 Aug 08

There is no good reason why a company cannot be owned by the government and run well. Just because this has not happened in the past I think is not really the point.

We are as a modern civilisation reliant on certain necessities, in which I would include water, power, and increasingly tech infrastructure. Surely these things should not be profitable for a few individuals to the detriment of the civilisation?

Or maybe they should. Maybe this is the pinnacle of capitalisation? Where all things are done for profit.

I mean I'm an above average intelligent person, who has enough money to invest in these companies and therefore benefit from the profits, so why should I care if others cannot?

KPlan.

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