Bring back Capitalism

So, I took part in a discussion on Call Kaye @KayeAdams on BBC Radio Scotland this morning.

It was about the news that (Glasgow!!!) Prestwick Airport (has it been taken over by RyanAir?) is about to be nationalised as it is losing lots of money.

My arguments against nationalisation were:

  1. There are 5 major airports in the South East and 15-20 million people.  There are 3 in the Central belt and less than 3 millions…
  2. There are 2 reasons why businesses fail:
    1. Management and unions are rubbish
    2. Demand for the organisation’s goods/services is low

I can’t comment on #1 but we are pretty sure the sales have been falling and Glasgow International Airport (a proper title) has been taking business from Prestwick.  If it cannot succeed then let it fail.

  1. I am fed up with politicians using OUR money for their own political ends.  We all pay for it in the end – including the workers who  keep their jobs – until it finally goes bust anyway.
  2. When in history has a nationalised business ever succeeded?  Never!
  3. When it goes bankrupt capitalism will step in.  Someone will buy at 25p in the £ and will have the money to invest and cut prices etc.  It can then grow and be profitable.

So, out came the Socialist replies.

  • Save the workers’ jobs – covered above
  • Nationalisation can be successful eg Scottish Water.  What competitors does it have?  None!
  • We can invest.  Well, 1. Who can invest?  We???  2. Do you not think the owners thought of that?  They decided it can’t pay based on what they’ve already put in.  They don’t create money out of thin air.  Unlike banks and politicians.
  • Prestwick has a long runway for 747s.  Well, why don’t airlines use it??? Derrr…
  • It has a railway station.  So what???  If that was so great why aren’t people using it etc
  • Someone should change the marketing.                         Yes that is what they said.
  • Someone should do something.                                         Why? What?

Let it fail.  Let Capitalism work.  Let the shareholders go bust.  It’ll go into receivership.  Most of the workings of the airport will continue.  A new buyer will come who will buy at a sensible price.

No, no, let’s instead borrow from our kids.  Buy at top price from the current shareholders.  Run it from Edinburgh by non capitalists and the union members/leaders will have a field day/year/decade.

Another good idea – let’s hand £1000 Bns and £100Bns pa to bankers and the failed banking industry and pretend it’s for the good of society.

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64 Responses to Bring back Capitalism

  1. Anonymous says:

    britain was under FAR more debt after the napoleonic wars than the 70s or even now

    • Yes I believe not long afterwards was slavery (ending) and the empire and the industrial revolution – which paid the debt off. Now? Purleease!

      • Anonymous says:

        and the taxpayer payed 43% of our annual public spending to compensate the slave owners for their loss of private property. why on earth should a debt incurred by a tiny elite with no democratic mandate be paid to private interests? same as the black south africans having to pay for the largesse of apartheid. disgusting..

    • Anonymous says:

      As a proportion of GDP, Britain’s national debt has been higher than it is now for 200 of the past 250 years. Read that sentence again. Check it on any graph by any historian. Since 1750, there have only been two brief 30-year periods when our debt has been lower than it is now.

      • You make it sound as if I don;t know that.

        It is not #Capitalism when the banks get to do what they want without impunity and the Central Bank does the politicians’ bidding. #capitalism is when failed industries go bust and interest rates are set by the market. Then our standard of living would improve markedly and we would become a much more equal society.

        We are sleepwalking into fascism via socialism. As #Hayek told us

      • Anonymous says:

        where and when in the real world has free market capitalism produced more prosperity and equality?

      • 1920/21 President Harding US
        1980s UK

      • Anonymous says:

        ha! i knew about harding – those marvellous 2 years of nepotism and corruption! one of the least celebrated presidents of all time.

        the UK fared dreadfully in the 80s – i was there! i remember visiting germany and austria and feeling like arriving in the future. never seen “auf wiedersehn, pet”? didn’t you find the rise in homelessness (and the emergence of buy to let parasites) depressing?

        and singapore relies on publicly owned infrastructure and companies, henry george style land taxes and has excellent public education as well as a social safety net.

      • Least celebrated indeed. Why on earth would the corrupt media celebrate a winning capitalist who balanced the budget and the fed hiked rates – 100% contrary to what the bulk of decision makers (AKA bankers and Keynesians) wanted?

        Of course the 80s were difficult. Great change is never easy. But it reduced union power and started to have a go and monopolies and oligopolies.

        And laid the foundation for the 90s with PSDRs!!!

        The great mistake of Haggie re banking was a) repealing Glass Steagall (if we had such a thing) and b) deciding never again to #prosecutebankgenerals or their mates.

        Clown and Bliar made it a whole lot worse.

      • Anonymous says:

        the problem with union power in the 70s was that it was undemocratic, compared to other unionised countries with better industrial relations. perhaps that is due to entrenched class warfare in the UK.

        to quote helmut schmidt –

        If one asks oneself what are the true reasons for the differentiated development of societies and economies between the British and most ones on the Continent, I think it has something to do with the fact that British society, much more than the Scandinavian, German, Austrian, and Dutch societies, is characterised by a class-struggle type of society. This is true for both sides of the upper class as well as for the working classes. I think that the way in which organised Labour on the one hand and industrial management on the other had dealt with their problems is outmoded.

        You have to treat workers as equal members of society. You have to give them the self–esteem which they can only have if they acquire responsibility. Then you will be able to ask the trade unions to behave and to abstain from those idiotic policies. Then they will accept some guidance from outsiders—from the government or the party or whatever it is. But as long as you maintain the damned class-ridden society of yours you will never get out of your mess.

      • Class ridden society of ‘mine’??? No way.

      • Anonymous says:

        perhaps you don’t see the class system until you have spent years living in more egalitarian countries.

        UK along with italy and US, are the 3 most socially immobile countries in the developed world

      • Of course I see it. Don;t call it mine

      • Anonymous says:

        i would argue that britain was far more monopoloised after the 80s.

        far less competitoin and diversity on the high street than in other european countries.

        and public monopoloies were replaced with private ologopolies, but that was the plan.

      • And I’d argue that Haggie troed to break down monops and oligs. Say thank you John Minor, Bliar and Clown.

      • Anonymous says:

        i was quoting helmut schmidt and he is correct. not applying a label to you.

        although libertarianism, classical liberalism amd the american constitution have more to do with upholding the entrenched private power of the rich than egalitarianism, which is worse than fascism, according to von mises.

      • That’s interesting and surprising.
        That Classical liberalism entrenched elitism, as it were. etc

      • Anonymous says:

        classical liberalism – the idea that the threat of starvation motivates the poor to work hard?

        let’s ban trust funds and large inheritance, then, eh? the monarchy will have to go too, i suppose…

        there were those among the movement who would seem radical today – those like smith who believed in punishing unearned increments for exampe, and churchill and lloyd george who believed in land value taxes, which exist in singapore, hong kong and taiwan.

        also, classical liberal mainman, racist, monopolist eugenecist, cecil rhodes, according to huxley, was a big fan of the fabian flavour of socialism (because our troops were sickly and illiterate compared to the germans) espoused by raging theosophist, annie beasant – in her own words –

        A democratic Socialism, controlled by majority votes, guided by numbers, can never succeed; a truly aristocratic Socialism, controlled by duty, guided by wisdom, is the next step upwards in civilization

        also, many of the intellectual ideas of this sort were connected to oddball cooks who believed in crazy things like “british israelism”

        sorry for the tangental post – and thanks for the freedom to disagree.

  2. Anonymous says:

    unpayable debt should be written off – much of it was counterfeited from thin air – the bonholders can go hang.

  3. Anonymous says:

    i never mentioned the countries – unionised british workers in german and japanese companies thrive – that is a fact. british management is a laughing stock around the world, fat, shouty, sweaty little men with no strategy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    the first thing the bolsheviks did (with banker money) was to ban trade unions

    • Yes, as will those who take away democracy in the West. Sleepwalking into it

      • Anonymous says:

        i know in your libertarian world that you are allowed to form a trade union, but the employer can ignore it.

        in real life, we saw what libertarian pinochet thought of unions with mass shootings, rapes and dog rapes. all true – google it.

      • Hardly libertarian then was he?
        Fascist I would have thought. No difference in practical terms for you and me to Communism, Marxism.

      • Anonymous says:

        von mises, friedman and hayek, living on rockefeller grants, formulated the economic policy for chile at mont pelerion. google it.

        i have seen ayn rand talking about the mythological NAP in one breath, then talking about sacred contracts with the unelected, fascist shah and the primitive, backward iranians being fair game for expolitation by “superior@ westerners.

        when has libertarianism and the NAP worked in real life?

      • when has libertarianism been tried?

      • Anonymous says:

        if you are on minimum wage (fortunately, i am not) there is a huge difference in quality of life if you live in luxembourg or holland compared to the UK. and also a difference in the quality of life of the more fortunate, not having to rub shoulders with the miserable, dickensian working poor.

      • Anonymous says:

        according to ron paul’s major backer, the catholic homosexual futurist, peter thiel, the 20s were the most free time in capitalism, although those working as a miner, domestic worker (which also meant prostitute) or a factory worker having left school at 14 may disagree.

        libertarianism on the right and marxism on the left are both utopian ideologies based on 100% private, lassaiz faire or 100% public, planned and both are unrealistic. the smallest government in the world is in somalia and the biggest in north korea – can’t vwe habve a compromise between these monolithic religions?

        at the moment we seem to have private ownership without competition, privatised profits and socialised losses, socialism for banks and lassaiz faire for the poor.

        ever read hegel?

        can’t we have direct democracy and a medium sized governemnt with an intelligent mixture of planning and competition?

        the cycle lanes and polders in the netherlands for example – good examples of long term planning of essential infrastructure that would never have been built without public planning and investment.

  5. Anonymous says:

    why would you assume i am a socialist? have you read any marx?

    was thatcher a socialist for not wanting to privatise the railways and post office?

    churchill, that lefty, wanted the land nationalised, a la henry george – what about him?

  6. Anonymous says:

    unionised british workers do fine under german and japanese management, don’t they?

  7. Anonymous says:

    we didn’t need the IMF loan – that is now know. also north sea oil was coming on stream.

  8. Anonymous says:

    why do you assume i want BL to continue? there are shades of grey, for goodness sake. VW makes a fortune for the state of lower saxony – are the commies?

    • They will be. You think Germany is better off than the rest of us? Who will buy their goods? The Govt hasn’t yet taken on all the bank liabilities.

      • Anonymous says:

        been to dubai? seen the boats of 100s of lambos, audis, mercs and whatnot arriving daily?

        as for bank liabilities – a debt jubilee is the only asnwer.

  9. Anonymous says:

    thatcher was a nightmare. she sold public assets at firesale prices and hosed the money away in benefits, a homophobic government full of closet homosexuals, a family values government full of not only reprehensible lotharios like cecil parkinson, but also predatory paedophiles like peter morrison – and she gave jimmy savile the keys to broadmoor and a nighthood. she turned the most equal society in europe into the least. compared to the progress in west germany at the time, her performance as PM was dreadful and made me ashamed to be british,

    • Rubbish. For how long cld others continue to keep loss making businesses run by trades unions going? We had already gone bankrupt and were kept alive by huge borrowing ftom IMF.
      Socialists are unable to see reality.

      • Anonymous says:

        the PSBR turned out to half the amount feared. north sea oil was coming on stream – it was a stitch up.

  10. Anonymous says:

    fascism like thatcher’s mate pinochet, or perhaps like dolfuss in austria? (the 2 real world examples of libertarian hero ludwig von mises’ work in action, apart from generous grants by monopolist mao backer, david rockefeller)

    • Thatcher was very imperfect but the closest thing to equality we’ve had in a 100 years

      • Anonymous says:

        she knew and employed a lot of paedos and genocidal maniacs, savile, pinochet, botha, suharto, etc. not sure thatcher’s pal pinochet is the best example of the NAP, what with the stadium mass shootings, rape boats and nazi paedo cults (all true)

  11. mijj says:

    “bring back capitalism”? .. you’ve got to be kidding me. A mindset that has little use beyond maintaining the fast-food industry being touted as the salvation of mankind. An indication of inability to think – always looking for a magic formula.

    • This is not capitalism to which you refer.

      To me that is slavery, heading to fascism – which is where we are sleepwalking by not embracing capitalism.

      Hike rates now
      Ban QE

      • Anonymous says:

        and write off debts! we still pay a consol bond from the napoleonic wars – who voted for that?

  12. Anonymous says:

    not talking about nationalising failed business at all – particularly banks! just wondering how come ALL of the best airports and transport networks are publicly owned. are you sugguesting that switzerland and singapore are socialist countries?

    the main problem is poor planning. heathrow still only has 2 runways. schiphol has 6 and has had 4 since 1940.

    much of the privitisation taking place now is just a matter a firesale of UK state assets to “so called” private companies fully owned by the dutch, german and french governments, and chinese “companies” fully owned and controlled by the communist party including many highly strategic ports around the world and even some US municipality parking meters.

    is that capitalism? a free market? is that really privatisation? choice? competition?


  13. Nick Lappin says:

    Once again, JD hits the nail on the head. Why is anybody even considering this as a good idea? Glasgow is a stone throw from Prestwick! In this day and age of the dithering politician, were indecision and eggshell walking are main attributes, it is nice for somebody like JD to come along and tell things exactly as they are. We need straight talking and plenty of it.

  14. Anonymous says:

    by the way – not arguing for nationalising failed businesses at all! regards

  15. Anonymous says:

    schiphol makes a large profit –

    as does hong kong –

    not saying there isn’t a problem with prestwick, but there is no empirical evidence that the private sector is the best way to run airport infrastructure, is there?

    same with railways, with most of the dreadful british railways now being run by private companies that are 100% owned by the german, dutch, french and hong kong states, who extract tithes from the british to fund their own world class infrastructure – like the british ince did in india, for example.

    as for water, let me know how that competition is working out for the english. how is a series of monopolies anything to do with competition? the british private water companies are absolutely laughable compared to waternet in the netherlands, for example.

    many countries which enjoy lower taxes and higher competetiveness than the uk, like switzerland and singapore, have the majority of their key infrastructure publicly owned, as income producing assets, but since when have devotees of the austrian school looked at real world evidence?

    also, in my experience, asking for capitalism in scotland is about as popular as asking for sharia law in somewhere like harrogate!

    • I am the guy who said, on Radio Scotland, nurses are paid too much… It was in the context that if the govt and central bank controlled spending and inflation then wages needed soar.

      The state taking over this airport is just like it taking over other failed businesses in my view.

    • Private monopolies or oligopolies is also not the answer. BUT NEITHER is socialism

  16. Graham Park says:

    Good start Jonathan. This kind of communication goes so much further than using a hashtag via Twitter like #BringbackCapitalism
    140 characters is not enough to get through to people. This way we can all add something in the debate. Quite agree with you. Let the business fail. Private investors will step in. Why nationalise! Politicians’ objectives are not always in sync with what should be happening.

  17. Spot on Jonathon Business failure is necessary.
    Others business will move in and prosper (if allowed)

  18. Manu_b says:

    Thank you Jonathan. This was a fantastic read, you nailed it.
    I’m a french citizen and it’s no better here.

  19. Anonymous says:

    so who owns schiphol, frankfurt, geneva, zurich, tokyo haneda, seoul incheon, singapore changi, hong kong, munich and vancouver airports? well, they are all publicly owned, aren’t they – and the best airports in the world.

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