Tim Haslett is an Australian blogger whose work I find persuasive and enjoyable. Let me let him describe himself: (from his blog)
After 30 years in academia, with a Ph.D. in non-linear dynamics and systems modelling and a Masters degree in English literature, I’m keen to broaden my writing audience. I am interested in becoming part of an informed community of commentary on matters of public interest. For me this will include politics (mainly Australian), films, books and the general cant, hypocrisy and stupidity that seems to infest public life.
That’s pretty good. I think it is better than my self description. Below is a two paragraph piece from one of his blog posts. I recommend it and I would like you to visit his site and sign on as a follower.
Why privatisation really doesn’t work. | Tim Haslett’s Blog
There was a time when a large proportion of our essential services; water, electricity, transport, telecommunications, postal services, health, education, police force, fire-fighting and to a lesser extent the banking system were provided by the federal or state governments. This was based on the assumption that the state, through taxpayer funding, will take responsibility for the provision of the services for the general population. Providing this level of service required a taxation system that progressively taxed those who earned the most money. It also required that the average taxpayer would pay relatively high levels of taxation. With the steady erosion of the tax base under the Howard/Costello government, the amount of revenue available to provide the services declined. This was combined with adopting policies based on supply-side economics, which encouraged private enterprise at the expense of state funded activity.
These changes were particularly evident in the provision of health services where individuals were able to take out insurance to avoid the impact of expensive surgery and to avoid waiting for places in publicly funded hospitals. Win this insurance was provided through a government, not-four-profit insurance company, namely Medibank Private, it effectively meant that people, normally the better off, could pay an extra tax to fund a specific use of the health system. …
From Around the Web.
From the web site, Sussex Against Privatisation.
Five Sussex students were today, Wednesday 4th December, suspended by Vice-Chancellor, Michael Farthing as he exercised his “authority to temporarily suspend [their] studies and exclude [them] from the University campus.” The suspensions follow protests against the outsourcing of Sussex services to private companies, the occupation of Bramber House in support of fair pay in higher education and the presence of students at the picket lines on the December 3rd national strike.
The occupation was a legal, peaceful means of protest and one undertaken as a last resort. Approximately one hundred students entered the conference centre on Tuesday 26th November in a calm, non-confrontational manner. The occupation was not disruptive to any academic activity nor were any academic lectures rescheduled or disrupted as a result of its presence. Its purpose was to reclaim a University space now owned by a profit-driven private company and to support striking staff in their endeavours to gain fair and equal pay. Any “disruption”, then, was to the private company and its business ends as opposed to students or University staff. It raises concern that Management prioritise the concerns of a business above the concerns of their students and employees. Further, it is laughable that Management have chosen to accuse students of “intimidating” behaviour given the continued and systematic intimidation and censorship of those involved in legitimate, peaceful protests at the University.