The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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There are several practical differences. Government owned enterprises are often designed not to make profits but to provide services at cost or even below cost. Publicly funded hospitals and schools are good examples. In many areas the profit motive might interfere with the functions of certain services...for example the justice system. In such areas private for-profit businesses would be inappropriate or could not survive without some type of subsidy. Very often private enterprise cannot afford the costs of certain infrastructural elements necessary for its success. During some periods these elements such as roads, airports, canals, are provided by govts. If an infrastructural area becomes unprofitable then government may step in, as in purchasing railroads, the alternative being government bailouts and/or subsidies. However recently many infrastructural elements formerly govt. provided are contracted out to private enterprise but are paid for through public funds as with the growing private prison sector. In other areas such as utilities privatisation is encouraged. Often the result is huge price increases and social unrest as has been the case with water privatisation in Bolivia. These types of privatisations serve the practical purpose of generating new outlets for capital and new opportunities for making profit that government owned enterprises do not provide. By the way the US army is not privately run as yet. Certain support functions have been privatised. But the military always has fostered a huge private industry of arms and equipment suppliers, a military-industrial complex. This has simply been extended into more areas. Cheers, Ken Hanly ----- Original Message ----- From: "bluepilgrim" <firstname.lastname@example.org> > > > > >> I must admit confusion in this matter of SOE vs private enterprise. The US > army, and many domestic US services are now privately run, government > policiy and decision is made by corporate leaders, the election of > government is largely determined by campaign funding from > corporations, the media is increasingly controlled by huge corporations, > and people move freely from government to private business and back again > -- sometimes occupying both sectors at once. In such an atmosphere of > growing fascism I am hard pressed to know the practical differences between > government and business -- in Iraq or elswhere. > > > > _______________________________________________ > Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. > To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss > To contact the list manager, email email@example.com > All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk > _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk