Little children with Big Boys' Toys

Cacatuoidea

New member
I just saw a paywalled article about the freight operations being sold.
That's probably it. The freight operations is a saleable thing, so almost certainly thought to be profitable in the new owner's hands.

Dunno how much the 'Ghan costs, but one weakness of passenger rail is low cost air transport. Air suits most folks getting from A to B 'cos it's fast and low cost (depending on the level of drinkies you need for entertainment) where things like the 'Ghan are aimed at tourists. Having said that, you are probably as aware as I am that many operators would fail kindergarten entry tests when it comes to making tourists feel welcome.

Setting up a Robust Rail System necessarily requires passenger transport, but most costing would be freight-oriented, that's where rail shines. Did you see the scandal in LA (from memory, can't be bothered to go back to YT at the moment) where disadvantaged youth could afford 1.8m bolt cutters and cracked open all the freight vans, scattering the goods along the rail line running past the "red-line" districts? That's the super-capitalist freight company "economising" on cuttable (pun intended) costs.

There's no way we'd get a rail system even up and running without a stiff dose of socialism. Like Perth with its MTT trading as Transperth, all the buses are owned by the MTT but operated by private sector management companies. This stems from the chaos in the '30s when there was often open warfare between competing bus lines servicing common routes. This left the WA government with very few options...
 

HBS Guy

Head Honcho ๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ’‰
Staff member
If I was going to Darwin on business or for a holiday I would, of course, fly. I would like to do the trip by train AS a holiday. Doubt it will happen.
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
I can't find anything about that in the search engines. Do you have better sauces?

OTOH, Oz (mis)governments have a habit of ignoring private sector transport management stuffups, see Ansett Airlines as a complete cock-up, so I would not be surprised to find a major rail sector going down the tube.
That's because the Ghan is still running from Alice Springs to Darwin. Although it would be 10 times cheaper to just fly there.

Unfortunately, and thankfully, the Australian government is not a business. It is not a profit-driven institution. It has failed many times when it tried to control private industries(privatization). However it still has a duty of care for its citizens.
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
Tell that to everyone who gets ripped off with privatised companies like power and water...
As I've said before, privatized companies(government assets sold to the private sector), are PROFIT DRIVEN. This is the purpose of all businesses.

Power and water are both essential services to the population. And, are both controlled, regulated and licensed by the government. Only 2 states that I know of, have partially privatized their electricity. And, no state has fully privatized their water(to my knowledge). In fact, there are plans to build more desalination plants across Australia.

Regarding getting ripped-off, you can make a complaint to the Australian Energy Regulators(for power and water). In most cases a phone call can fix most problems.
 

HBS Guy

Head Honcho ๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ’‰
Staff member
Oh fuck off you idiot!

When SA had its one day blackout a tower was shown blown over with the same amount of cement around one leg as you and I would put around a fence post! C H E A
P you stupid cunt!

Fuck off out of arguments you know NOTHING about!
 

johnsmith

Moderator
Staff member
Oh fuck off you idiot!

When SA had its one day blackout a tower was shown blown over with the same amount of cement around one leg as you and I would put around a fence post! C H E A
P you stupid cunt!

Fuck off out of arguments you know NOTHING about!

Am i missing something? Where'd that come from?
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
Oh fuck off you idiot!

When SA had its one day blackout a tower was shown blown over with the same amount of cement around one leg as you and I would put around a fence post! C H E A
P you stupid cunt!

Fuck off out of arguments you know NOTHING about!
What brought this on? What are you talking about? Are you talking to me, before I respond?? I was editorializing NOT arguing!
 

Cacatuoidea

New member
...
Only 2 states that I know of, have partially privatized their electricity.
...
Which would those be? And I assume the Territories all have Federal authorities for power and water, yes? I'm not sure how much self-management the Feds allow.

WA faffed around trying to privatise electricity, but it proved too monstrous so never happened, and the Libs have talked about privatising water but can't make it stick. Current electricity in WA is generated by Synergy and Horizon, and Western Power handles most trasmission needs. Rather stupidly, any profit made by Synergy/Horizon is... taxed... by the government, so there is very little room for upgrading generation or transmission. This results in Western Power taking massive hits every summer when the bushfires hit. Oddly enough, WA is beset by the same political problems as California: nobody wants to invest in better transmission systems because there's no profit in it. The dumbest part is that State Labor has absolutely no interest in ending the imbecility and allowing Western Power to return to the old ways of pro-active maintenance. So much for Socialism. Some of the power poles in the South West are up to 90 years old, and around 6 inches diameter. Anybody living too far from the roads in rural parts can elect to buy their own poles to carry the lines, but Western Power must do the work. The owners of the poles are responsible for maintenance costs, and must provide access. So some keep putting maintenance off for years, then blame Western Power for the inevitable failure, and the fire.

Much the same applies to Western Water. However, Water Corp is in the vice-like grip of ageing infrastructure and the government has no choice but to make funding available to replace distribution mains in practically every suburb. In every town. Adding to the disastrous Local Government policy of planting street trees directly over the water mains... This is a result of poor planning back in the 20s and 30s where utilities were being placed in road reserves with very generous clearances. Then later adding gas, underground comms, and underground power... And new sewers to replace ageing septics. (Most of our Sewer Infill is done now.) I never understood why some utilities could not be placed closer to each other, but I have seen especially power lines take up to a full meter side by side on busy streets.
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
Which would those be? And I assume the Territories all have Federal authorities for power and water, yes? I'm not sure how much self-management the Feds allow.

WA faffed around trying to privatise electricity, but it proved too monstrous so never happened, and the Libs have talked about privatising water but can't make it stick. Current electricity in WA is generated by Synergy and Horizon, and Western Power handles most trasmission needs. Rather stupidly, any profit made by Synergy/Horizon is... taxed... by the government, so there is very little room for upgrading generation or transmission. This results in Western Power taking massive hits every summer when the bushfires hit. Oddly enough, WA is beset by the same political problems as California: nobody wants to invest in better transmission systems because there's no profit in it. The dumbest part is that State Labor has absolutely no interest in ending the imbecility and allowing Western Power to return to the old ways of pro-active maintenance. So much for Socialism. Some of the power poles in the South West are up to 90 years old, and around 6 inches diameter. Anybody living too far from the roads in rural parts can elect to buy their own poles to carry the lines, but Western Power must do the work. The owners of the poles are responsible for maintenance costs, and must provide access. So some keep putting maintenance off for years, then blame Western Power for the inevitable failure, and the fire.

Much the same applies to Western Water. However, Water Corp is in the vice-like grip of ageing infrastructure and the government has no choice but to make funding available to replace distribution mains in practically every suburb. In every town. Adding to the disastrous Local Government policy of planting street trees directly over the water mains... This is a result of poor planning back in the 20s and 30s where utilities were being placed in road reserves with very generous clearances. Then later adding gas, underground comms, and underground power... And new sewers to replace ageing septics. (Most of our Sewer Infill is done now.) I never understood why some utilities could not be placed closer to each other, but I have seen especially power lines take up to a full meter side by side on busy streets.

Maybe this new government budget can address these infrastructure and utility issues.

 

Cacatuoidea

New member
OK, a quick and dirty survey shows that only WA and the Top End have socialist electricity. HOWEVER, that does not stop some folks getting behind on their power bills: all you need is to celebrate a bit hard on an underwhelming pension. I've heard some of those "smart meters" can be a bit quick on the uptake at times. Fortunately we don't have many here in the West, AFAIK it's an opt-in scheme and nobody has asked me to join.
 

hatty

cynical profane bastard
Tell that to everyone who gets ripped off with privatised companies like power and water...
also.... the prison system.... and the cops..... and healthcare.... health insurance..... resulting in debt,......medical debt recollection (reposition or bankruptcy, for sale..... environmental protections.... oops! weapons manufacture and their sale..... government from local to the white house..... neo-liberal fuckwittery at its best!..... usa.... usa!

the land of the free!.... just so long as you are not a: poor, b: coloured: c: gay, d: female, e: stupid
 
Last edited:

johnsmith

Moderator
Staff member
also.... the prison system.... and the cops..... and healthcare.... health insurance..... resulting in debt,......medical debt recollection (reposition or bankruptcy, for sale..... environmental protections.... oops! weapons manufacture and their sale..... government from local to the white house..... neo-liberal fuckwittery at its best!..... usa.... usa!

the land of the free!.... just so long as you are not a: poor, b: coloured: c: gay, d: female, e: stupid
they've even privatised care for kids in care. Companies profit from the desperation of others. Saw an story once where a company looking after kids in tassie is given an allowance at the start of every season so that the kids can buy whatever clothes they need to see them through the season. You can imagine somewhere like tassie you wouldn't want to be without several jumpers and thick socks etc. The comapny were only passing onto the kids, $3 each of this allowance. And all perfectly legal. In my opinion the
 

Cacatuoidea

New member
Whoa, we've wandered a bit far from the home paddock here...

It brings up the big question, does the electorate really care if the pollies fail to bribe them with empty promises of endless good fortune? Is it really okay that almost everything we own is Made Outside Australia so really we cannot have a decent transport system because it's too expensive to make it here?

A little secret about me... I had no say in being brought here. My Dad made the decision to come to Oz rather than to Canada because "It doesn't freeze in Australia." However, I was shocked to find Australia struggling to accept that the White Australia Policy was simply wrong on every level, that Japanese investors in the Nor'west iron mines had to be given "Honorary White" status by Federal Parliament so they could stay in Australia. And this while hating on South African Apartheid! Perhaps that's the reason we don't want reffos here, taking our jobs because they don't mind working for a living. I suggested once that all our problems would be solved if we simply told the reffos they could come in provided they had their papers (cutting out the People Smugglers), and if they accepted housing and employment in rural centers for five years they could apply for naturalisation. Of course, there's always more to it, the State governments would be supplying extra teachers to the rural schools for English language tuition, doctors and nurses to rural hospitals, etc, etc... There is a flow-on effect to immigration. But it seems according to Canberra that non-whites are somehow dirty and disease-ridden? Especially if they come by boat instead of buying an airline ticket.

I mean, at the end of the day I don't really care what the people of Oz are willing to settle for. I've got my pension and super, no government is about to take that away from us as they'll never get another seat in parliament, so I'm alright cobber. So far we show no desire to excel in anything except boozy sledging from the comfort of the spectator seats, but at least we don't -- yet -- go out in soccer-mobs beating up everyone who doesn't belong to our tribe. But it is disturbing that the vision of Australian quality is founded firmly on our willingness to venturesend our youth to far off lands to be shot at and blown up by the alleged enemies of our bestest friendally, the USA. At our expense, not theirs.

What do youse lot reckon? Give up silly thoughts, sit back, crack another lager and wait for Oz to go broke because there's nothing left to sell off? Or grow up and stop being spoilt brats?
 

Shellandshilo1956

Active member
OK, a quick and dirty survey shows that only WA and the Top End have socialist electricity. HOWEVER, that does not stop some folks getting behind on their power bills: all you need is to celebrate a bit hard on an underwhelming pension. I've heard some of those "smart meters" can be a bit quick on the uptake at times. Fortunately we don't have many here in the West, AFAIK it's an opt-in scheme and nobody has asked me to join.
Do you think that the government forcing people to vaccinate themselves, or to become ostracized from their own community, is an example of medical socialism(socialized health) in a mixed socialist/capitalist economy? Whenever the government intervenes for the public good, is this not an example of socialism?

I believe that the government privatizes their social programs, whenever these programs become politically divisive. Privatization simply takes away the burdensome political bickering over performance/responsibility issues. Political/party egos, pride, and legacies, will destroy any chance of social, and essential goods and services, from becoming successful. IMHO

Again, once a government program is privatized, it becomes profit-driven. So prices will go up.
 

Cacatuoidea

New member
Do you think that ...
It is possible I may not unpack this post properly. It may be better that I explain socialism vs communism vs capitalism.

Communism is a tool needed to quickly regulate a wrecked society and establish some basic services. It does not tolerate or recognise wealth ranking or acquisition. However, as an administrative tool, it is a complete catastrophe due to inherent human nature: the rulers, administrators, cannot let go when they need to.

Capitalism is the only tool needed in Utopian society. In a Utopian society it self-regulates according to the laws of supply and demand. But where the Utopian ideal is damaged, where there exist tiers of wealth, then Capitalism fails due to its inability to tolerate inefficiency in supply and demand which mandate lower prices which must be covered by lower wages.

Socialism is effective in tiered societies where wealth may be sequestered to alleviate poverty. Note that while capitalism can work well in a socialist environment, the reverse is not true: socialism does not take root in a capitalist environment.

So. A government forcing people to vaccinate themselves is not socialist, it is realistic. Government intervention for the public good is not socialism, it is realistic. There is an old saw: "There are those things the individual can not do, or must not do, or should not do, for lack of ability, authority, or training." Of course there is a corollary: the individual should so train himself that he can do, or may do, or be able to do. That is socialism: allowing popular access to or involvement in those facilities which enable the public good.

Western Australia has many socialist footprints. One was the regrettable Potato Marketing Board, which proclaimed that Western Australians were free to buy any type of potato they wanted, as long as it was of the Delaware variety which was the only variety good enough for West Australian market gardeners to grow. Another was the indentureships given to newly graduated teachers from the cost-free Teachers' Colleges. The graduates were required to take positions in rural centers at raised rates of pay for a period of years and earn the right to teach in the Cities -- Perth/Fremantle, Geraldton and Albany. This imposition was accompanied by an incentive giving preferential promotion in metropolitan schools to those teachers who stayed longest in the bush, thus ensuring their twilight years would be spent in civilised circumstances. It seems this system was socially unacceptable for some reason and it was phased out. Public Housing for Government employees, Aboriginals and low-paid workers is also a socialist measure.

All shops are capitalism defined. However, only Western Australia has managed to make Fuelwatch work. All other States and Territories found it too simple and managed to screw it over. It is compulsory, and all servos (capitalist) are required to define tomorrow's prices by 14:00 each day, which are to be enabled at 06:00 on the morrow and held for 24 hours. Tomorrow's prices are displayed late in the afternoon after notification, so motorists can make decisions today about whether to wait for tomorrow. Fuelwatch is a socialist program in WA, and does not set prices, only displays them to the public.

MediCare is a socialist program, but private medical practice is strictly capitalist. Australia has many well-equipped Public Hospitals (socialism) but also quite a few less well-equipped Private Hospitals (capitalism). Most patients are happy to wait for a place in a Public Hospital, but some are prepared to spend money to get accelerated treatment in a Private Hospital (because more available beds).

No government privatises social programs out of divisiveness. They are privatised when a government wishes to move away from a socialist outlook, toward a capitalist program. However, most capitalists fail to understand that Utopia is but a day-dream of unattainable perfection, not realised in real life. Privatisation does not "take away the burdensome political bickering over performance/responsibility issues", it is the cost of unbridled egos placed in positions of authority by electors who no longer care.

We note that Compulsory Voting should be placed under Communism, even though it is a symbol of Class Warfare, mandated by politicians worried that a too-low turnout would invalidate their elections under whichever Constitution was involved at the time.

No discussion of economic theory and practice should ignore consideration of personal freedumbs* and public responsibilities. Communism does not permit personal freedumbs* and has problems attaining public responsibilities. Capitalism is all about personal freedumbs* and cares very little about public responsibilities. Socialism tolerates some personal freedoms and prioritises public responsibilities.


* Freedumbs are those assumptions that consider instruments of destruction to be more useful in times of trouble than education and training to construct facilities to benefit the community. The difference between Bolshevik (Stalinist) Russia and the United States of America was one of scale, not of direction.

We also need to reflect on the fact that both Marx and Engels publically regretted their contribution to the Communist Manifesto. Simply, neither had researched the Revolutionaries, and did not understand there was no program to relieve the poverty of the peasantry. In addition, Marx and Engels were (as far as I can see) unaware of the Vodka Economy which all but supplanted the monetary economy over rural and semi-rural Russia and Siberia as well as most of the lower ranks of the military.
( Atlas Obscura: How Vodka Became a Currency in Russia )
 

HBS Guy

Head Honcho ๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ’‰
Staff member
Vodka? They should have used RUM begad! Worked in NSW doncha know?
 
Top