Thursday, April 09, 2015

What should be done about privatisation

News that National's donors and cronies have made a 125% return on their party's corrupt privatisations should fill people with anger - and all the more so because, as capital gains, these returns are tax free. But what should be done about it? As I said at the time, the answer is simple: re-nationalise all privatised assets at a loss to the thieves:

all the opposition has to do is announce that the deals will not be respected, and that "investors" (parasitic speculators seeking a stream of monopoly infrastructure rents) will lose money. Announce that any stolen company will be fully renationalised, at either the sale price or market value, whichever is lower, less any unreasonable dividends extracted in the meantime. Suddenly, buying SOE shares becomes at best a low-interest loan to the government (or a loss, if the companies subsequently perform poorly). Institutional investors will seek higher returns elsewhere.

What? Investors won't trust future privatisations for fear that the same will happen? That's a feature, not a bug.

"Our" government has stolen from us, looted the state for the benefit of their supporters like some third-world kleptocracy. That injustice needs to be righted. And the thieves who received those stolen goods and were planning to profit from them need to be sent a message that there will be no profits from stealing from the people.

The only question is will Labour have the backbone to do this, or will they prove themselves part of the establishment by refusing to?