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Letter from The Cape Podcast – Episode 19

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Episode 19 of my – Podcast – Letter from The Cape – is now available. Coming today from The Cape, Victoria, Australia.

In this episode, I discuss the mess that privatisation and public-private partnerships have created. I note that these arrangements were all justified by the claim that the governments had run out of money and needed private funds to maintain essential public services and public infrastructure. It was a lie. The upshot has been the consumer is forced to pay higher prices for inferior and less reliable services while the private investors make of with millions in supernormal profits. All of which was totally unnecessary.

Duration: 7:30

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nailed it, Professor.

    Noone ever explains the illogic of how a for profit operation can deliver a less expensive (essential) service or infrastructure to users than that possible by a not for profit publicly funded service provider.

    A private for profit operator must do cost recovery + profit for extraction by the private owner(s) to survive and avoid bankruptcy while a fiat currency issuing financer of a publicly funded enterprise can operate on a less than cost recovery basis as there’s ALWAYS another $ available for spending into the private sector if and when required.

  2. No idea what shenanigans they got up to in the past but these days I believe at least some of the unreliability is deliberate and is used as a mechanism for manipulating prices. That is, the power price depends on (amongst other things) the amount of dispatchable power available at any one time. With this in mind, if the power price goes too low, suppliers will pretend generators need “maintenance” and take them offline to keep prices artificially high. Govts and corps are equally guilty of this.

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