19 July 2010

Public Sector Cuts

We keep hearing it. It's coming. Lots of public sector workers will soon be out of jobs.

Is it their own fault for being part of the Governments overspend? Is it the only way forward to get this country out of recession?

I read a great book about 18 months ago called "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power" by Joel Bakan. I may have mentioned it before but it just seems so apt with all of the current public sector cuts being seen as a necessity. It also had a great interview with Noam Chomsky at the end from 24th October 2000.

In the book they point out that whilst originally being useful organisations, Corporations grew in the late 19th centuary and wanted to administer themselves rather than face public control. Corporations were legally afforded the rights of a person but of course they have no moral conscience, are concerned only for the short term and their only purpose also stated in law is to make money for share holders above all else.

"Any tyrannical system is going to want to maximise it's control over the society. So anything that is under some public accountability it will want". They make people believe the systems are in crisis (my mind currently springs to schools which in the main are great), so people accept when they are privatised. The best way to improve schools is to do things like improve teachers salaries, increase the number of teachers to make class sizes smaller or improve school buildings. The last thing they need is cuts, followed by privatisation.

In any recession where people are loosing their jobs and more people relying on benefits, what you need is a proportion of the working age population in employment, doing useful jobs, paid for by the state to help others. This keeps unemployment lower and means that people still get the services they need and rely on. Cutting the public sector workforce is asking for high unemployment and a lower average standard of living.

Corporations must create profits for shareholders assuming limitless resources, no matter the costs and detrimental effects on society. Why don't we try and change it. We need more regulation and to keep our public sector, surely?


Anonymous said...

So why is the Green Party in Ireland cutting public sector jobs.

George said...

I'm doubtful about "more regulation". Why not better regulation?

There was plenty of regulation of the financial sector (Bank of England, HM Treasury, Financial Services Authority), but that didn't stop the banks from lending far too much.

You get what's called "regulatory capture" where the industry which is supposed to be regulated defining the culture of the regulatory body.

E.g. One example out of thousands. The oil companies controlling the arm of the US government supposedly regulating their drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

As for the public sector, who regulates that? Itself? Look where that led to in the USSR.

グリー said...