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The Difference Between The Private And Public Sectors

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Take 20 people and divide them into two groups. One group is told they will get the average wage for sticking stamps on letters. The other is told they will be paid per stamped letter......guess which group is more productive...........

It's amazing how many times Americans tell this kind of story when you chat to them in bars or at work. For them contracting the 'State' and reducing taxes is a mantra. I hate to admit they are right, but it is starting to look like the pigs have taken over UK farm.

My reponse to some points is burried somewhere below!!

Edited by bpw

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Take 20 people and divide them into two groups. One group is told they will get the average wage for sticking stamps on letters. The other is told they will be paid per stamped letter......guess which group is more productive...........

It's amazing how many times Americans tell this kind of story when you chat to them in bars or at work. For them contracting the 'State' and reducing taxes is a mantra. I hate to admit they are right, but it is starting to look like the pigs have taken over UK farm.

Without being boring, too simple a view.

But you know that .

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Take 20 people and divide them into two groups. One group is told they will get the average wage for sticking stamps on letters. The other is told they will be paid per stamped letter......guess which group is more productive...........

It's amazing how many times Americans tell this kind of story when you chat to them in bars or at work. For them contracting the 'State' and reducing taxes is a mantra. I hate to admit they are right, but it is starting to look like the pigs have taken over UK farm.

Take 20 people tell them that they are paid per stamp and the going rate is 1p a stamp on a letter. They all work at a reasonable rate and make a living wage. Tell them that the company has run into financial problems and that the rate has been cut to 1p per 10 stamps on letters. They all get RSI of the tounge. Then you have a major health problem. Ah. But thats right, the USA doesn't have any free health care for those who are on starvation wages.

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Without being boring, too simple a view.

But you know that .

Simple, yes. You can make the point hugely complex. But apply occam's razor (or Ockham's Razor for anglophiles) and you will see the germ of truth.

Of course, it's also good to tease those who work for the public sector. Maybe I should join them I hear you cry, well to be honest I did for 5 glorious, stress free and fun years. For some odd reason they were the happiest time of my life - could it have been the lack of accountability, competition, absence of clear deliverables and freedom from clock pressure?

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Opinions have become very polarised here of late.

Despite all of uk plc's problems I'd rather be a resident here than in most other countries.

Neither public nor private sector are inherently bad, there needs to be a balance, and despite working in the public sector myself, it is apparent that the public sector has grown too much of late, also the regulatory burden is becoming excessive and each new round of legislation seems to be less thought through - draws breath.

Why has the public sector become so large, is it a reaction to failings in the private sector business cycle?

( I honestly don't know so am open to reasoned arguments - reasoned that is)

Anecdotally I here that in the NE of the country that the public sector makes up the bulk of the employment - how do we move forward and away from that as a situation - I presume that we don't want another Thatcherite throw em on the dole scenario?

Obviously manufacturing has contracted.

I have often seen it argued on here that all of the population should be entrepreners (is that the correct spelling?) - but is that a realistic option at all?

PO

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Simple, yes. You can make the point hugely complex. But apply occam's razor (or Ockham's Razor for anglophiles) and you will see the germ of truth.

Of course, it's also good to tease those who work for the public sector. Maybe I should join them I hear you cry, well to be honest I did for 5 glorious, stress free and fun years. For some odd reason they were the happiest time of my life - could it have been the lack of accountability, competition, absence of clear deliverables and freedom from clock pressure?

Well weren't you lucky. When you were having stress filled fun free years in the public sector I was working in a factory glue little cardboad boxes together (not stamps, but the principle is the same - I got sacked anyway for only being able to glue 87 per minute without getting my fingers caught under the trap, not 110 as was required). By the time I reached the public sector we are forced to work with accountability, competition, clear deliverables and deadlines? So what I see is you hammering those of us whose economic timing is not so great based on your own luck??? No worries. Sounds fair to me.

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The Difference Between The Private And Public Sectors, simple analogy

one creates wealth and the other consumes wealth

well you did say simple

Edited by Catch22

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How do they create wealth, these private sector stamp lickers?

Most people are employed - myself included - creating, making, supplying, selling, advertising, administrating, marketing, accounting, or transporting utterly pointless widgets that are exactly the same as 100 other widgets on the market.

Seems the widget people spend most of their time working out out to but the other widget people out of business by finding the lowest slave-wage labour overseas and making the home workforce as small and overworked as possible, seeking the crappest least durable materials, providind the worst aftersales service they can muster, and then finding ways to dumpthe whole sorry lot all onto the enivironment without being penalised.

Wealth creators indeed.

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And what is wealth?

I am presuming what is meant in the context of this thread, is the profits created in the private sector going into the public sector. Marx would argue that these profits or capital are the result of surplus labour.

That is the workers were sold short of their labour in the first place.

This money going into the public sector say going into health or education is necessary to create labour

which then creates the profits/wealth.

It is a chicken and egg situation.

Without schools looking after children all day how can the parents go to work.

Without hospitals to administer medical help how do you keep people capable of work.

As a machine needs to maintained so do people.

These are hidden costs for labour that private companies dont want to pay for so they externalise as they like to put it.

Why does 90% of the total wealth represented by money eventually end up in the hands of 10% of the people?

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How do they create wealth, these private sector stamp lickers?

Most people are employed - myself included - creating, making, supplying, selling, advertising, administrating, marketing, accounting, or transporting utterly pointless widgets that are exactly the same as 100 other widgets on the market.

Seems the widget people spend most of their time working out out to but the other widget people out of business by finding the lowest slave-wage labour overseas and making the home workforce as small and overworked as possible, seeking the crappest least durable materials, providind the worst aftersales service they can muster, and then finding ways to dumpthe whole sorry lot all onto the enivironment without being penalised.

Wealth creators indeed.

If that is the way you feel about what you are doing 8 hours a day I suggest that you look for another job...

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I would - but in a debt-based economy that's the name of the game. Even carey-sharey/ethical occupations often exist in large part to pour ointment on the process, so no one can really detach themselves.

What I take issue with, is calling a process that seems to largely reduce rather than enhance quality of life 'wealth creation' rather odd, the idea that a public sector worker providing a valuable service is a drain, while someone handing cancer-food as a fast food place is a valid 'wealth creator'.

Less wage dependency, more interesting work, more family time, fresher air, stronger communities, abundance, less pointless stress, abundance - this sounds more like wealth to me. Working longer hours in more congested towns with longer commutes for ever-reduced purchasing power, amassing throwaway 'stuff' merely as a consolation prize doesn't seem like progress.

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If that is the way you feel about what you are doing 8 hours a day I suggest that you look for another job...

I can see where he's coming from. So much of the economy is simply an engine to supply our pointless and unnecessary overconsumption.

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I can see where he's coming from. So much of the economy is simply an engine to supply our pointless and unnecessary overconsumption.

Yes but don't you find that's normaly down to women and their insatiable desire to shop.

Mine buys deoderants for her for me for the Grandson for when he stops over, toothpaste for her for me for him. Cut flowers and room fresheners, I mean the later needs little motors and fans to work. Carbolic soap, pine disinfectant and some soot of the fire back to clean your teeth was all we fellas ever needed. I'm not against flowers in the house mind, a nice vase of dandilions when they are in season can certainly brighten up an otherwise dull room. :rolleyes:

Edited by Catch22

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working in the public sector is bad. it blunts peoples skills and they work in a fashion which would be totally unacceptable in a private company. the public sector is mechanistic and politically correct. It would be very difficult for people to have a career by traditional means as hard work and incentive are not rewarded.

I think we do require thatcher type reform for one simple reason we can't afford what we have. The waste , duplication and lack of productivity needs changing. I think public sector workers are treated like morons , so, they act like morons. Get rid of the silly management and release the potential of the people.

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I have often seen it argued on here that all of the population should be entrepreners (is that the correct spelling?) - but is that a realistic option at all?

It's actually spelt entepreneur (but I had to use a dictionary!) -- I wonder if the French know what this means... :P

As to 90% of the wealth going to 10% of the people, surely that's what governments are for -- to use fiscal policy to redistribute back into the economy. After all, what is the point of generating all this wealth if the economy can't benefit and be used to create more wealth, with the proceeds filtering down to the 90%.

But then, what would you do if you had all that money? Would you see fit to help the underprivileged and less well off? Or would you follow the Clarkson advice of fast, super flashy, £800k wonders that can do 0-60 in less time than it takes granny to get out of her chair; would you buy that second house in the Med; would you have that £5k wide-screen flat TV?

Hmm. I can guess what most of us would do -- so governments are there to protect us all from the greed of ourselves.

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working in the public sector is bad. it blunts peoples skills and they work in a fashion which would be totally unacceptable in a private company. the public sector is mechanistic and politically correct. It would be very difficult for people to have a career by traditional means as hard work and incentive are not rewarded.

I think we do require thatcher type reform for one simple reason we can't afford what we have. The waste , duplication and lack of productivity needs changing. I think public sector workers are treated like morons , so, they act like morons. Get rid of the silly management and release the potential of the people.

I am all for making the public sector more efficient and cutting out waste but I dont think privatisation

is the answer, I can image what a mess of health and education that would make, I would seriously think about leaving the country.

For example the crises of dirty hospitals came about when they got private cleaning contractors in.

I know because my mum was a hospitals cleaner, when she started it was a well organised

effective service which was taken for granted and then under Thatchers rule it was contracted out resulting

in half the cleaning staff being sacked and the other half was conned into working for an agency which

cut their wages and removed working benefits such as holidays etc.

My mum was given a jay cloth and left to clean a ward, she often used to buy cleaning materials

to bring in to work because she just couldnt do the job otherise.

Dont talk to me about Thatcher she done more damage to this country than the Luftwaffe!

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As I posted ealier - its all a question of balance - we need both - the private sector and the public sector (to curb the worst excesses of the private sector if nothing else) - which is lucky for me because my niche is a technical role in regulation (after a period of seeing the other side of the fence from the private sector side) and to be frank I don't think I have an entepreneurial bone in my body (probably can't even spell it) and I know I am certainly not alone in that !

We can't all be high risk takers and high fliers - that said we do need them and good luck to them.

I fully agree with the reference to Thatcher and the Luftwaffe - in the north east in stead of having subsidised coal and steel we had a generation on the dole, drugs excessive policing costs etc - but of course these didn't show on the bottom line of the balance sheet - more externalities.

Some of the industries certainly needed reform but it would have been nice for all concerned to have put something in place prior to closing the exisiting heavy industreies almost overnight.

What I forgot to say was for all those who think privatisation is always the best way forward - there is a one word answer - RAILTRACK -

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It's actually spelt entepreneur (but I had to use a dictionary!) -- I wonder if the French know what this means... :P

As to 90% of the wealth going to 10% of the people, surely that's what governments are for -- to use fiscal policy to redistribute back into the economy. After all, what is the point of generating all this wealth if the economy can't benefit and be used to create more wealth, with the proceeds filtering down to the 90%.

But then, what would you do if you had all that money? Would you see fit to help the underprivileged and less well off? Or would you follow the Clarkson advice of fast, super flashy, £800k wonders that can do 0-60 in less time than it takes granny to get out of her chair; would you buy that second house in the Med; would you have that £5k wide-screen flat TV?

Hmm. I can guess what most of us would do -- so governments are there to protect us all from the greed of ourselves.

Goverment "is the shadow cast by business over society" John Dewey

Its purpose is to protect the wealthy minority against the majority.

The trickle down theory doesnt work as the minority will horde their wealth.

Just look at the real world for proof.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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