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If The Public Sector Went On Strike...


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What I want to know is this: what happens when the public sector workers who took 2 weeks off this summer for "swine flu" actually catch it this winter? Do they simply pretend it's another flu? Do they all give a secret wink to their boss who has had it twice already? Assuming swine flu actually exists, which tbh, I find hard to actually believe. And if it did, why would it have gotten so much media coverage when hospital superbugs kills 2 or 3 orders of magnitude more people and is ignored by the media? Hogwash.

Speaking as someone who is self employed and no VI in being off for a week (lost a week's pay), I had a week off this summer with 'swine flu', although I will never know... Cough, raised temperature, chronic shits... off colour, definitely not dying. But how do you tell? Some online site tells you, it could have easily been a bout of gastric flu but I was terrified of going out and spreading it to the chronically ill, newborns or very old...

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ex-fukin-zacterly

What a bunch of miserable philestines are the whiners on this thread. For gods' sake, do you value nothing and decry and villify any attempts to actually try to make the world a slightly less grim place ? A dormouse officer looks like one of the better uses of cash - far better than some slimy twunt of a banker's bonus, and more useful to the world in general than the pay of a McD's operative

So bankers' bonuses are being used a a trump card by the public sector now to justify all the other criminal uses of taxpayer money. Brilliant.

Those that work at Mcd's pay their way through the free market, which is more than can be said for the doormouse celebration officer.

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Personally I can't wait to the Dormouse Preservation Officer having to fend for themselves. I'm sure some neighbours can get together to preserve their own dormice if the mean so much to them. If we used to pay these people 25k, (as I remember from the job advert), then we can put them on jobseekers allowance and save a bundle. Who knows, they might get a job in pet shop or something!

I preserve mine in vinegar - they last for ages! :P

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So bankers' bonuses are being used a a trump card by the public sector now to justify all the other criminal uses of taxpayer money. Brilliant.

are they ? I think perhaps your making the mistake of the unsure and defensive in assuming that the person you are attacking can be dismissed as "other" to you and therefore their opinions are of less inherent value than your own.

I'm not in the public sector. I'm willing to bet I'm as private sector as anyone on this forum.

Those that work at Mcd's pay their way through the free market, which is more than can be said for the doormouse celebration officer.

Thank goodness, eh ? I mean, far more important to life that some fat minger gets a faceful of deathburger served to them by an educational failure in a crimpelene uniform than that some fragile, beautiful ephemera part of the glorious nature we're lucky to inhabit might be in with a chance of being preserved...

Here's a thought experiment for you: someone works for Qinetic doing a certain job. On day they're owned by the taxpayer, nest day they're owned by their own management. Same contracts in place, same pay structure, everything. In what way are they paying their way more or less than before ?

Here's another question: who do you think pays the wages of the private sector ? And here's the answer: we all do. Just like I pay the bonus of some advertising twunt at boogle bartle hegarty who gets a cut of everything i buy in the supermarket to feed my family.

edited for extra bile ;)

Edited by Mal Volio
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are they ? I think perhaps your making the mistake of the unsure and defensive in assuming that the person you are attacking can be dismissed as "other" to you and therefore their opinions are of less inherent value than your own.

I'm not in the public sector. I'm willing to bet I'm as private sector as anyone on this forum.

Ok so you're not public sector, but your argument is one thats being used by the public sector to justify their own worthlessness. Just because somebody may be a bigger parasite than you it doesn't make your own burden on others acceptable.

Here's a thought experiment for you: someone works for Qinetic doing a certain job. On day they're owned by the taxpayer, nest day they're owned by their own management. Same contracts in place, same pay structure, everything. In what way are they paying their way more or less than before ?

Here's another question: who do you think pays the wages of the private sector ? And here's the answer: we all do. Just like I pay the bonus of some advertising twunt at boogle bartle hegarty who gets a cut of everything i buy in the supermarket to feed my family.

Fair enough, but the important difference is choice. If I choose to use the Qinetic's services when they're in the private sector then they've offered a product that I've found attractive. Under the public sector however I'm forced to pay whether I like their services or not, and more importantly whether I use those services or not.

Governments use this power all the time and trample all over individual freedoms and liberties in doing so. Take all their bailouts and stimulus packages, whats the ultimate aim of it all? To increase demand, theirs. So money is flowing back into the banking sector to be used for mortgages -proping up house prices - and all these gov't non jobs find a new lease of life due to the miracle of public credit. Well I would like mine (and your) individual demands and economic choices to influence the state of the economy. For you this may include employing a doormouse protection officer, for me it may be just going out for a meal or down the pub. The point is the more gov't grows itself and increases its take of GDP the less their is for everyone else, IMO this leads to a gross misallocation of resources because: nobody knows your interests and has your own considerations at heart more than you. You can allocate your own resources more efficently than any government employee.

Gov't has a place, but they need boundaries.

Edited by chefdave
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I must try working in the public sector, because you description sounds exactly like every private sector job I have had (Software Engineer/Programmer)

the corporate software business is a parallel universe of inefficiency and politics all to itself...

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13.387 billion on NHS pensions!!!!!!! Surely this must be stopped? Make them pay into their own pensions like I have to!!

I do. 8% of pay. Worked many Christmas days on 1/3 of normal time. Paid about £100,000 last year in direct taxation and Lord knows how much in vat, fuel duty etc.

I think I pay my way thanks.

Edited by uro_who
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Private health care is a parasite on the NHS at present - the NHS trains the consultants, then they go and use these skills on private patients, often in NHS time.

I take it Phil you're not a doctor?

This is a common misapprehension. The 1948 contract gave doctors a right to practice private medicine, or in fact maintained their ability to practice private medicine. I work more than 48 hours a week for the NHS, but also do a further 8 hours a week privately. My 8 hours private practice are however on a Monday, during the day. You might think therefore that I was bunking off. But then you would have not considered the fact that most of my NHS days are 8 till 8 and in addition to doing that every day I also work on calls during the night and at weekends. That's how it adds up to 48 hours.

As for the NHS training me, it did not. I left university with debts of £20k in 1990. As a clinical student and junior doctor I have been trained by other doctors whilst they and I were working - providing care, its an apprenticeship. How do you think doctors were trained prior to the NHS? During the time that I was a junior doctor for many of my shifts I was literally the lowest paid person in the hospital. I owe the NHS nothing. If it closed down tomorrow I'd train junior doctors in my private practice.

As for the private sector being a parasite I have an international private practice and I bring some of that work into my NHS hospital with the permission of my employer. That private practice is one afternoon per week. From that single afternoon of work that I fill with people from around the world who are paying directly from their own pocket my hospital makes more money than my and my secretaries salary. We are both free to the NHS.

Despite this the nurses on the ward cannot get their thoughts away from this 'private practice is a parasite' nonsense.

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To say YOU wouldnt notice is ludicrous, to say I wouldnt notice is a fact. But Im glad you appreciate all the services I pay for and never wanted or use. <_<

So you had a private primary school education, did you? And yet you still don't know how to use apostrophes! Typical private-sector incompetence, I suppose.

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Ok so you're not public sector, but your argument is one thats being used by the public sector to justify their own worthlessness. Just because somebody may be a bigger parasite than you it doesn't make your own burden on others acceptable.

Really ? as I say, I'd suggest that looking after dormice is actually far more worthwhile than frying burgers. And such comparisons are useful - like anything, there's both a cost and a value to these activities and there's a balance. Cost and value aren't the same and its not unreasonable to weight the costs and values of one set of activities against others.

Fair enough, but the important difference is choice.

ah. So the argument now isn't economics or productivity, but choice. Good, we're progressing :)

OK, choice: there is a difference, but the difference is the level at which that choice operates. We of course chose the level of public services we have, and the way they are delivered, and by whom. The people concerned can choose whether or not they want a dormouse conservation worker.

The difference is that with the public sector that choice is operated at the community of societal level via the process of elected representatives. You may have an objection to the concept of community or society, but you'd be in a tiny minority (cue Injinn et al)

You can allocate your own resources more efficently than any government employee.

Well, in general that argument has flaws. I terms of provision of national defence or policing or fire fighting, you kind of need to club together one way or the other to make it work. Other stuff seems to be more efficient when the economies of scale kick in and the private sector profits don't - for example the NHS. We spend less per head than the private system of he US and the UK gets a better healthcare score.

spelling edit

Edited by Mal Volio
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So you had a private primary school education, did you? And yet you still don't know how to use apostrophes! Typical private-sector incompetence, I suppose.

Oh I know how to use all those, I dont waste them on typing in a chat style forum. Lets decide who pays for what. Do parents pay for their childs education, or do people pay for their own?

I dream of a self sufficient life, where I pay for me. And others who cant pay?? Let them die or beg, which ever they prefer. (Or you can pay for them of course if thats your bag.) But dont involve me.

To finally answer the question.

If The Public Sector Went On Strike...

No one would notice. (Except snowflux)

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Really ? as I say, I'd suggest that looking after dormice is actually far more worthwhile than frying burgers. And such comparisons are useful - like anything, there's both a cost and a value to these activities and there's a balance. Cost and value aren't the same and its not unreasonable to weight the costs and values of one set of activities against others.

Of course, we do need to seperate cost and value they're seperate entities and should be treated as such. I would like to see the public sector get to grips with the costs of the services that they impose/offer on the general public and leave value to the individual concerned as much as possible. So because you value the humble doormouse you should be able to act on your instincts and celebrate them in any way that pleases you. To have this value forced down onto me as a cost though is an unnacceptable state of affairs. What if our elected representatives suddenly decided that they valued pink walls and chose to paint every public space available pink because some people valued it. Would that be ok?

OK, choice: there is a difference, but the difference is the level at which that choice operates. We of course chose the level of public services we have, and the way they are delivered, and by whom. The people concerned can choose whether or not they want a dormouse conservation worker.

The difference is that with the public sector that choice is operated at the community of societal level via the process of elected representatives. You may have an objection to the concept of community or society, but you'd be in a tiny minority (cue Injinn et al)

Thats the theory but in practice it works like this: gov't chooses how much it taxes you and then it chooses how to spend the money. Whether that means they decide to spend it all on doormouse conservation officers that work only in the South East or spread it evenly across the country makes no difference to your levels of taxation. You'll pay the same where ever you live; even if the services that are accessible to you are few and far between.

Well, in general that argument has flaws. I terms of provision of national defence or policing or fire fighting, you kind of need to club together one way or the other to make it work. Other stuff seems to be more efficient when the economies of scale kick in and the private sector profits don't - for example the NHS. We spend less per head than the private system of he US and the UK gets a better healthcare score.

Well in that case my argument doesn't have the flaws that you assert because you've just told me how you want your money spent, but once you hand it over your say ends there. Our resources are limited so I would prefer that individuals have as much control over their productive output as possible, that doesn't mean the abolision useful public sector roles because many are of value to the public. But in general I would like people to become far more possessive over their incomes because the tendency of gov't is to waste money, and my productive capabilities are finite. :rolleyes:

Edited by chefdave
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ble. So because you value the humble doormouse you should be able to act on your instincts and celebrate them in any way that pleases you. To have this value forced down onto me as a cost though is an unnacceptable state of affairs. What if our elected representatives suddenly decided that they valued pink walls and chose to paint every public space available pink because some people valued it. Would that be ok?

You'd be able to go to a council meeting and get the decision overturned. Failing that you can vote them out. What yu're raving against is democracy, and the making of decisions at community level. And quite possibly the entire concept of community itself.

Thats the theory but in practice it works like this: gov't chooses how much it taxes you and then it chooses how to spend the money. Whether that means they decide to spend it all on doormouse conservation officers that work only in the South East or spread it evenly across the country makes no difference to your levels of taxation. You'll pay the same where ever you live; even if the services that are accessible to you are few and far between.

well, no, given that the dormouse thing is a local authority initiative. But it's a fair argument, and one that favours decentralisation and more democratic power wielded at the local level and less at national level. That I'd support, but I'd suggest that it's a different argument.

Well in that case my argument doesn't have the flaws that you assert because you've just told me how you want your money spent, but once you hand it over your say ends there.

Whereas when you pay Vodafone for your phone contract you have detailed control over the network planning ? The extent and manner of public service provision is far more open to direct involvement, and involvement via elected representatives, than is the detailed operation of private companies.

Our resources are limited so I would prefer that individuals have as much control over their productive output as possible

Sure. And the societal consensus is to have a degree of public services.

the tendency of gov't is to waste money,

and yet the evidence seems not - in general if you look at the cost of eg health care, it's cheaper and better done through the NHS than done privately.

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I was a trade union activist in the public sector many years ago in the education sector.

Strikes were pointless. We didn't get paid for the day of action. The students had a 'holiday'. And being the consumate professionals we were, we made sure that the syllabus was still fully covered, all assessments still undertaken and marked. No student really lost out at all.

We lost a day's pay. The college I worked for actually came in within budget that year. It still had the same income, but it's wages bill was about 0.5% lower.

There's not a lot of point really. However, in private sector manufacturing strike action has a role to play because the capital investment in plant isn't being fully utilised whilst the strike is in place leading to lower profits for the capitalist owners.

I found trying to explain this to the trots amongst us particularly difficult. Marx understood capitalism, but I could never work out why some of the people who called themselves Marxists found it so difficult to follow.

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There's not a lot of point really. However, in private sector manufacturing strike action has a role to play because the capital investment in plant isn't being fully utilised whilst the strike is in place leading to lower profits for the capitalist owners.

Which is partly why so much manufacturing has been offshored to China etc.

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You'd be able to go to a council meeting and get the decision overturned. Failing that you can vote them out. What yu're raving against is democracy, and the making of decisions at community level. And quite possibly the entire concept of community itself.

Ok but thats going to be very costly and time consuming on my behalf if I have to turn up to a gov't meeting everytime I disagreed with their spending plans. It would be better if public agencies had an effective feedback mechanism so that when they spent public money they were only able to tax back the value that they create. The same process operates throughout the economy so I don't see why the public sphere should be any different.

Whereas when you pay Vodafone for your phone contract you have detailed control over the network planning ? The extent and manner of public service provision is far more open to direct involvement, and involvement via elected representatives, than is the detailed operation of private companies.

With phone companies and anyone else in the free market you only pay for the services that you receive. If I want more calls and texts then I have to pay more, the same should apply when people pay tax. If they want to live in an area that has great schools, hospitals etc ect then they should pay more than people who live in areas with very few facilities. This would be the most direct approach of all.

Sure. And the societal consensus is to have a degree of public services.

Agreed.

and yet the evidence seems not - in general if you look at the cost of eg health care, it's cheaper and better done through the NHS than done privately.

Its difficult to weigh up because the NHS has a virtual monopoly on health care in this country, they also have access to the public credit card something that the private sector have to do without.

If we were going to compare like for like then we should get the info for the amount of money spent on both public and private sector healthcare vs operations received. But I'm not going to hunt around for stuff like that :rolleyes:

Edited by chefdave
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If the public sector closed down, what would happen to all the people? There aren't enough private sector jobs to cover everyone in the country...who would pay for them and how would they be paid for?

In the NHS, medics (doctors and nurses) grab the lions share of the cash, they had massive pay rises. Under Agenda for Change everyone else in the NHS got diddly squat.

Don't forget the front line staff couldn't / wouldn't do their jobs if they weren't supported by the backroom boys n gals.

On the private NHS treatment side, they only do the simple stuff because the rest isn't profitable. They are also very limited in equipment they have available. Whilst you're on the slab in a private hospital, if something goes wrong, you're in a serious world of hurt because they can't deal with it, they call an ambulance. In an NHS setting you'll be looked after and possibly be in critical care within minutes!

Neither the public or the private sector is perfect, both are key and very much needed.

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Oh I know how to use all those, I dont waste them on typing in a chat style forum. Lets decide who pays for what. Do parents pay for their childs education, or do people pay for their own?

I dream of a self sufficient life, where I pay for me. And others who cant pay?? Let them die or beg, which ever they prefer. (Or you can pay for them of course if thats your bag.) But dont involve me.

To finally answer the question.

If The Public Sector Went On Strike...

No one would notice. (Except snowflux)

Did you have a private primary school education, or did my taxes pay for your primary school education?

Edit: Just to add that a 5-year-old is hardly in a position to pay for his own education or, indeed, take out a loan to cover it.

Edited by snowflux
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Which is partly why so much manufacturing has been offshored to China etc.

Yes indeed. The time for international socialism has never been stronger. If they can't exploit the workers here, then why not exploit them in developing countries with lax labour laws, no democracy, a tough domestic paramilitary police able to imprison and torture dissenters, and hordes of desperately poor people prepared to work for less per day than it costs live decently.

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As mentioned previously - only a tiny fraction of the true cost - 8% of salary paid, 28% would be more realistic cost.

take a look at the Price Coopers Waterhouse story at www.thebleedingtime.blogspot.com

In essence a consultant is in the top 4% of the NHS. A Partner at PwC is in the top 4% of PwC. Doctors salary £100k, PwC Partner in 2006 £720k. Educationally they are similar. I'd happily swap salary and pay a further 20% toward my pension. Pensions are deferred salary and if my deferred salary is stolen I'll be leaving immediately, hiding my cash in gold offshore and claiming housing benefit, whilst I happily plant my acres with veg. You can find some other sucker to work weekends and nights.

If the government doesn't put aside some spare cash from the £100k per year I pay in taxes then I fail to see why I should suffer. Maybe they should spend it more wisely, but I signed up more than a quarter of a century ago and to change the rules now because the giant squid has sucked the patient dry is somewhat cheeky.

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As mentioned previously - only a tiny fraction of the true cost - 8% of salary paid, 28% would be more realistic cost.

Same scheme in private sector costs the same as the public sector, they're no different.

Back in the day, people chose between public and private sector thinking public sector = more money and public sector = less money but more stability. You pay your money, you take you chances!

The old pension schemes aren't open to new employees in the public sector.

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Ok but thats going to be very costly and time consuming on my behalf if I have to turn up to a gov't meeting everytime I disagreed with their spending plans.

Sure, that's why you elect representatives to do it for you. But if they're not doing what tou elected them yo, you have the chance to wade in.

It would be better if public agencies had an effective feedback mechanism so that when they spent public money they were only able to tax back the value that they create.

But again you're equating value with cost. People can opt to have schemes in place to eg protect dormice that have very little overt economic value.

With phone companies and anyone else in the free market you only pay for the services that you receive. If I want more calls and texts then I have to pay more, the same should apply when people pay tax. If they want to live in an area that has great schools, hospitals etc ect then they should pay more than people who live in areas with very few facilities. This would be the most direct approach of all.

But again decisions of that magnitude are made at societal level. if there were votes in it, there's be a party advocating it you could vote for. There isn't. What does that tell you ?

Its difficult to weigh up because the NHS has a virtual monopoly on health care in this country, they also have access to the public credit card something that the private sector have to do without.

No, it's remarkably easy. There are league tables of health care that allow you to compare the rankings of different countries and compare them with the extent of public vs private health provision. It shows that eg the UK has far better health care at lower cost than does the US with its totally private system.

If we were going to compare like for like then we should get the info for the amount of money spent on both public and private sector healthcare vs operations received. But I'm not going to hunt around for stuff like that :rolleyes:

That wouldn't work as an intra-UK comparison because the types of operations are not comparable. Anyone with any sense has something major done in the NHS.

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