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Japan privatizes some govt. functions

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Japan has privatized highway corporations, see Japan. Apparently the postal system is next.

I just wish our govt would privatize emergency rescue operations.

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Japan has privatized highway corporations, see Japan.  Apparently the postal system is next.

Considering that the government still owns all shares in the companies, I wonder what "privatize" actually means here?

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Considering that the government still owns all shares in the companies, I wonder what "privatize" actually means here?

Good question. I didn't notice that statement in the article. I guess it means that instead of a few governmental public corporations running the system, six corporations owned by the government will run the system. That's fascism for you. The article seems to imply that there won't be any "pork barrel" spending for the companies. It seems like there will be managers that run the new companies rather than govt agencies.

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Considering that the government still owns all shares in the companies, I wonder what "privatize" actually means here?

Probably the same thing it meant when Britain's railroads were "privatized" in a similar manner: certain failure.

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When I am considering whether an organization is private (or recently privatized), I use two criteria as a test:

1. Does the organization receive all of its funds through trade with peaceful and honest individuals? A "privatized" organization that receives its money through taxation ("pork-barrel" or not) is not private.

2. Does the owner set the goals of the organization? The acid test is: Can the owner say, "I am tired of this. I will sell it all off for scrap value and go fishing"? Often now, "privatized" companies are legally required to work toward certain government-mandated goals. They aren't private.

Of course, in a mixed economy, "privatized" companies will be mixed -- partly private and partly government mandated or funded.

There are other factors. For example, the circumstance: a truly private organization operates in competitive or at least potentially competitive market. A government-granted monopoly for a "privatized" company is a contradiction in terms.

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Considering that the government still owns all shares in the companies, I wonder what "privatize" actually means here?

The only reason I could possibly see something like that as being valid is if it were part of a plan to privatize all of the shares over a certain period of time in order to maximize the final sales price.

For example, if the US Government were to privatize our Interstate Highway network and tried to do it all at once by immediately selling it through the stock market, since there is only a finite supply of potentially available investment capital at any one moment, the ultimate selling price of the company might be rather low as compared to the value of its assets due to a lack of available investors to bid it up. However, if that stock were released on the market at a rate of 20 percent per year over 5 years, I would think the chances are greater that a higher per share price could be realized.

Do we have an interest in the government getting as high a market price for the things it privatizes? Ultimately, I think we do because, for example, the proceeds from the sale of such assets could go a long way towards paying off the promises it has made in areas such as the Social Security Ponzi scheme so that the programs can be abolished completely.

Somehow, however, I doubt that anything of the kind is happening in Japan.

I guess it means that instead of a few governmental public corporations running the system, six corporations owned by the government will run the system. That's fascism for you.

Ayn Rand once said something to the effect that if dictatorship ever comes to the United States it would be of the fascist variety using socialist slogans.

In recent years, I have come to wonder if perhaps she had been aware of the course of events after her death she would have modified that slightly to say that if dictatorship ever comes to America it would be of the fascist variety using pseudo-capitalist slogans.

I don't hear a lot of calls for explicit socialism these days. I do here lots of calls for "public-private partnerships," espeically on the local levels of government, by people who consider that to be a recognition on their part of capitalism's worth.

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The only reason I could possibly see something like that as being valid is if it were part of a plan to privatize all of the shares over a certain period of time in order to maximize the final sales price. 

For example, if the US Government were to privatize our Interstate Highway network and tried to do it all at once by immediately selling it through the stock market, since there is only a finite supply of potentially available investment capital at any one moment, the ultimate selling price of the company might be rather low as compared to the value of its assets due to a lack of available investors to bid it up.  However, if that stock were released on the market at a rate of 20 percent per year over 5 years,  I would think the chances are greater that a higher per share price could be realized.

Do we have an interest in the government getting as high a market price for the things it privatizes?  Ultimately, I think we do because, for example, the proceeds from the sale of such assets could go a long way towards paying off the promises it has made in areas such as the Social Security Ponzi scheme so that the programs can be abolished completely.

Somehow, however,  I doubt that anything of the kind is happening in Japan.

I guess it means that instead of a few governmental public corporations running the system, six corporations owned by the government will run the system. That's fascism for you.

Ayn Rand once said something to the effect that if dictatorship ever comes to the United States it would be of the fascist variety using socialist slogans.

In recent years, I have come to wonder if perhaps she had been aware of the course of events after her death she would have modified that slightly to say that if dictatorship ever comes to America it would be of the fascist variety using pseudo-capitalist slogans.

I don't hear a lot of calls for explicit socialism these days. I do here lots of calls for "public-private partnerships," espeically on the local levels of government, by people who consider that to be a recognition on their part of capitalism's worth.

I would have question the actual nature of the pseudo-capitalists using the slogans. Today's so-called compassionate conservative is every bit as socialist (Marxist) as any liberal. Their slogans are the same, they are only wrapped up in a different altruist package-deal, in this case a religious one. It is the nature of our religious/neo-coservatives that makes it fundamentally a fascist, as opposed to a communist, movement. It is the conservatives in this country who are historically the capitalists. No one is a Capitalist, speaking in Objectivist terms, in this country, nor have there been for some time. Everyone is a product of a mixed-economy these days. It is their starting point. So, the way they go about solving the consequent problems which arise inevitably from a mixed-economy will tend to be fascist in nature.

Bush may talk about an ownership society (and doesn't the fact that someone would have to talk about it tell you something?), but where was he for the property owners of New London, which was stolen legally by the government, an act given a thumbs-up by the Supreme Court? He has waged a war ostensibly for the freedom of Iraqis, while also signing a bill, passed by Congress, legislating explicit government censorship of political speech, which, again, the Supreme Court gave its okay-dokey. A lower court, in order to keep things fair, has decreed that these laws apply to bloggers on the internet as well, so don't look to them to spread the word that the MSM won't publish, as they did in the last election. In other words, the war against the individual goes on apace.

And now all of us are to carry our "fair share" of the burden for people who decided either to ignore reality and spend our tax money on "wetlands" (of which they now have an overabundance), or who have stolen our tax money through corruption, or who think they may get theirs if they go along with the corruption. This is a private and public partnership on a grand scale, no? The only problem is that, since there are no greedy businessmen out to make an honest profit, there are no instruments, such as stocks, etc., where we might get some of that money back.

Money always disappears down a socialist hole. It doesn't matter what lies they tell to sell one version or another, the same altruist lie is at the bottom of it all and everybody sacrifices to the hole.

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