Public ownership has been an experiment in Canada to do things that are necessary, but that no private individual, or entity would do, because it is too difficult, too expensive, or there is not enough profit. Or all three. Then, the public sector must step in.

A classic example is the CBC. Another is the long privatized Air Canada, and the privatized CN, the former national railway, now a player in continental transport.

The CBC, or national broadcaster, was created to allow Canadians to talk to one another, and to provide another voice in the air to at least equal the cacaphony radiating up from the border.

Air Canada, originally call Trans-Canada Airlines, was formed to service the great expanses that make up Canada, particularly across the west. It was never so much of a problem to travel north and south, generally from Canada to the U.S., as to travel from, say Montreal to Winnepeg.

Much earlier, the race to build railways across Canada led to the creation of three national railways. Canadian Pacific, or CP, the Canadian Northern, and the Grand Trunk Pacific. The latter two went bankrupt in The Depression. A crown corporation was established to consolidate them as CN, Canadian National.

In Canada, we have always believed in the necessity for cross-Canada communication, or the country will not survive. Hence the railways, the airline, and the national broadcaster.

As these tasks have grown easier, with technology, with the growing population, the paths pioneered, the great risks taken, by the public, and now private players enter the game, many not even based in Canada--a nice way to make new profit, in areas no longer risky.

So often are we told only private entities will take the risks necessary to bring needed goods to market, and only to reap great rewards. History, rarely what we are so often told, shows this is not the case.

Public ownership has succeeded, and is the only hope for a future anywhere near equitable--if that is anyone's goal today.

An inherently inefficient and bloated system of running business. Public ownership allows the government to run things, and as good as it sounds on paper, it never works as well as it should, thanks to bureaucratic red-tape that is so common in government today. Public ownership is socialist and hence bad because it sucks up tax money, stuffs it through the red tape, and a small fraction comes back out in the form of goods and services.

For example, Britain had several enterprises in the past that were publicly owned. One was British Airways. Since public ownership is by nature expensive, slow and top-heavy, the company was run under in the 1980's and 1990's by smaller, leaner and more efficient privately owned firms, that offered more flexible and superior service for a fraction of the price. British Airways begged the government to put a stamp on competition (see monopoloy), but Maggie Thatcher and the other good guys knew better and privatized the lumbering public ownership company. Now they offer competitively priced schedules and better service. As a sidenote, several other public sector firms were dismantled in that era, causing the stagnant economy to move again. I hope that my little Tony and the Care Blairs don't ruin it.

See also the former USSR and China. Horrendously inefficient state enterprises caused the stagnation of the Russian economy in the 1970's and made them lose the Cold War. Which in retrospect, was a good thing. You see, the government has a much smaller emphasis on profits, which is the keyword in business. If you don't focus on profitability, you can't do business. Your goods and services tend to be inferior and overpriced. In the end, all the USSR state enterprises were sold to private investors. In China, Deng Xiaoping declared "To be rich is glorious!", and by the hundreds, public sector firms were sold off and China became the great manufacturing nation that it is now.

If the good or service is too difficult, too expensive or not profitable enough to produce, I've got one word for you.


Public ownership has never succeeded, and it never will. Those Canadian experiments into the public sector are semi-public owned, and all it does is tax everybody to death, and may I tell you that the taxed include the poor? For what? Inferior goods? How's that for inequality!

Public sector goods have been proven again and again to be of shoddy quality, and at the same time cost much more to produce. And that my friends, is not good business.

Wait. We are trying to run a business here, aren't we?

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