I was following Britain’s general election for last few days, and I really enjoyed the subjects under debate. At the heart of the discussion I found a fight between Socialism and Capitalism. Free market and privatization or government backed public services. The message I learned: free market and privatization is better for almost anything, except the basic needs of a modern human being, including having access to shelter, education, electricity, clean water, communication, affordable translation, health care and social security and retirement.
Free market run by private companies and individuals, who are trying to gain as much market as they can, and profit more, generally results in improving the quality of the product or service with reduced price and causes more customer satisfaction. But this is not always the case. What if companies have no interest in investing in a portion of a market. For example in a private transportation market or communication, the profit may not be attractive for companies to invest in remote areas. It may not be a problem for most industries, but if the product or service is among the basic needs of everyone, this causes a huge difference in the quality of life between rural areas and big cities. To insure the equal access these products and services should be delivered by public services.
The basic human needs cannot be priced by free market rules that satisfy shareholders interest. The most obvious example is health. The most important thing in life is health, so a need in this area has the highest priority and everyone has to accept any price that is suggested or if not affordable live with pain or probably endanger their life. It applies to other basic needs, too. These services may not be free, but should be affordable for all.
A portion of the society have no control at all on their economic position. Children, people in their advanced years and special needs persons are among them. These groups have no power to change their situation and the society and the government should insure their access to the basics. Children of poor families in a society that everything is provided by private for profit companies have a little chance to go out of poverty. A public system that don’t run for profit is better suited to provide these products and services for these groups.
Free market and privatization is maybe the best way to insure products and services delivered to customers with the best quality and price. There is a limit to this rule, though. Basic needs of a modern human being must be affordable to the majority of the people, and secured for the groups that can’t pay, by government. These basic requirements include shelter, education, electricity, clean water, communication, transportation, health service, social security and retirement.