Insofar as the private sector does increase efficiency, it is to a large extent because market forces drive out (pdf) inefficient producers, and not because good management raises the performance of existing ones.The fact that outsourcing firms are often incompetent fraudsters shows how hard it is to raise efficiency in honest ways.
And so we find ourselves at a juncture where empire is trying to resolve its own contradictions by repeating precisely what got us here.
Remember when Australia introduced plain packaging for cigarettes? A tobacco manufacturer sued the government . Argentina froze its utility prices in 2002. The utility companies sued the government. Last year a US drug company sued Canada for revoking two of its patents.
Remember that referendum about whether we should create a single market with the United States? You know, the one that asked whether corporations should have the power to strike down our laws? No, I don’t either.
People are paying £2 billion more a year – or around £80 per household - than they would be if the water and sewerage supply was publicly financed. Almost one third of the money spent on water bills goes to banks and investors as interest and dividends. Six companies are avoiding millions in tax by routing profits through tax havens, using a regulatory loophole the government has chosen to keep open. The CEOs of the 19 water companies were paid almost £10 million in salaries and other bonuses in 2012.
I am concerned about the way that policing has been sometimes going in this country (and beyond, think: Ferguson). It’s time we remembered this…
“… long standing philosophy of British policing, known as the Robert Peel’s 9 Principles of Policing. However, there is no evidence of any link to Robert Peel and it was likely devised by the first Commissioners of Police of the Metropolis (Charles Rowan and Richard Mayne). The principles which were set out in the ‘General Instructions’ that were issued to every new police officer from 1829 were: To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws. …”
We the public need to insist on these principles not slipping.
Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free.
Yet there is a logical flaw at the heart of establishment thinking. It may abhor the state – but it is completely dependent on the state to flourish. Bailed-out banks; state-funded infrastructure; the state’s protection of property; research and development; a workforce educated at great public expense; the topping up of wages too low to live on; numerous subsidies – all are examples of what could be described as a “socialism for the rich” that marks today’s establishment.
Today’s establishment is made up – as it has always been – of powerful groups that need to protect their position in a democracy in which almost the entire adult population has the right to vote. The establishment represents an attempt on behalf of these groups to “manage” democracy, to make sure that it does not threaten their own interests. In this respect, it might be seen as a firewall that insulates them from the wider population. As the well-connected rightwing blogger and columnist Paul Staines puts it approvingly: “We’ve had nearly a century of universal suffrage now, and what happens is capital finds ways to protect itself from, you know, the voters.” [Owen Jones]
Lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.
Findings from research psychologist Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor, who also asked a sample pool of volunteers to spend a month applying these four principles and found that 80% emerged “happier, more satisfied with their lives and, perhaps most important of all, luckier.”
Pair with how to make your own luck.
it legendary social scientist John Gardner on our fear of failure and what children can teach us about taking risks – timeless wisdom from half a century ago:
the pursuit of money and possessions takes time away from more personally fulfilling activities and social relationships.