Yesterday we showed that the rights of workers are always superior to the rights of capitalists.
Today we will see that private enterprise, a fetish of Capitalism, is not necessarily more helpful to living a decent life than public services.
Private goods not necessarily better than public goods
Many capitalists and would-be capitalists, powerfully influenced by the Myths, claim that private enterprise is always superior to public services. There is absolutely no evidence to back this up. The only thing that allows this canard to survive is the inevitable failures of service that occur in all human enterprises.
Private enterprise supporters believe that competitive forces compel companies to do better than public services. This notion is beholden to the Myth of Competition, which, as we have already seen, is almost entirely false. It only works occasionally, and only when the business environment is such that competition does not interfere with the delivery of the goods or services. How many of us have bemoaned the fact that no company offers a really good cable service? Or that you can’t find a good hair stylist? Or that really excellent products and services go out of production? If competition is the secret of success, why do these things happen? And on the other hand, why do cooperatives succeed at all? And why do non-competitive non-profits succeed at all?
If competition is the main driver of private enterprise, then, as we saw when we considered the Myth of Competition, private enterprise is actually a low-level and derivative activity, one that depends on others for any advances it makes. The real engine of private enterprise is not competition. It is creativity. Therefore, a creative public enterprise with an intention to invent new, useful, life-enhancing products and services will always be superior to a competitive private enterprise that exists merely to get ahead of its competitors.
Private enterprise has no inherent superiority over public enterprise.
Tomorrow we will see why Capitalism needs to be governed by some more responsible power.
Until tomorrow, then.
2 January 2013
by Alfred George filed under