Those industry owned and run by the government. This is now considered an outmoded idea and few western countries run their own important public services such as transport and fuel production. A vote winning tactic for selling off a government's assets for short-term gain ignoring the long-term implications of losing of vital public industries.

In Britain many public sector industries were sold off including telecommunications, rail, gas, steel, etc. mainly during the reign of the famously insane dictator, Margarat Thatcher, as a short-term stunt for raising government funds and cutting taxes. This is all very well and good for captilism and a free economy and so on until they realised that there was a reason that some industries should not be in the hands of profit-motivated, privately-owned companies. Imagine if the W3C was run by Microsoft.

British Rail was split and farmed out to a variety of companies who saw it as an excuse to print money and not a means of providing a much needed service. Several horrific train accidents later proved that the service was being under invested. I believe the British Government is now thinking of selling off its Air Traffic Control to private companies. This should be interesting. Other "public" industries also saw a decline in quality of service. Britain once had a thriving coal mine industry but now imports the majority of its coal from other countries which, of course, does not help its economy much.

Some individuals claim that selling public sector industries to the private sector is a good idea and even cite Britain as a model of this but this is an idealistic, simplistic, black-and-white approach to a complicated problem. Obviously they haven't done their research. Profit motivation is good for those sectors of the industry that aren't vital to the good running of a country but handing important public industries to private companies takes them out of the hands of the government, and hence the people, and places them firmly in the hands of a few individuals who can do what they want with them.

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