Episode 28 – Public vs Private – When Should Government Run Things?

On this episode economist Will Witheridge and I discuss the philosophy behind privatisation, the wisdom of Adam Smith, and cartels and monopolies. We also talk about the challenges of the privatisation journey in the West (Australia’s Two Airlines Policy for example), some of the areas where privatisation doesn’t entirely work and the balance between government regulation and ‘nationalisation in new clothes’ – excessive green and red tape.

Show Highlights

  • How Papua New Guinea’s telecommunications industry is an example of a government monopoly ‘taking a back seat’ and private enterprise, competition, lower prices and greater access coming to the fore.
  • How governments used to play a central role in the economy, especially around interest rates and currency.
  • Privatising without competition isn’t a great idea (see the New South Wales electricity industry).
  • ‘Think of the Snowy!’

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in the Podcast

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