The following consists of two comments I left on my Facebook friend, Paul's wall this morning.

All transport and delivery systems should be nationalised. The money that would be saved by a unified system (one full bus instead of two half full busses; one full lorry going into a factory rather than many partly filled lorries) would result in fares and delivery costs being reduced to a fraction of what they are now. It would realise even the most efficiency conscious tory's greatest desires and reduce air pollution to such an extent that we would fulfil our commitments to reduce carbon emissions almost overnight.

When I was a lorry driver, everyday I would spend 11 hours driving hundreds of miles, visiting many towns, dropping off at many warehouses and factories, waiting in endless queues to get onto goods in docks - and so would all my company's competitors. In fact, most of our deliveries were to the same places. We would continue conversations with each other as we kept meeting up throughout the day. It struck me that if the drivers all met up first thing in the morning and sorted out our deliveries so that we each went only to one town, one industrial estate or even one drop off, we would all be home for our mid morning coffee break. We could all have been paid our normal wages for working a fraction of our normal working week. Our bosses would have made extra profits because of the saving in fuel. The receiving companies would have had all their deliveries in one go, and first thing, which would have increased their efficiency and profit margin. The damage to the environment would have been greatly reduced and the number of accidents on the road would have been drastically reduced. The lack of HGVs on the road would have reduced the travelling times of all other road users and increased the profits of the companies they worked for. We would have been quids in.

And yet I am told that capitalism and its unrestrained competition is the best economic system humans have yet come up with. What tosh!



  1. What’s a union? I think we used to have them. But that was before Margaret Thatcher was born from the coupling of Satan and the Whore of Babylon and destroyed everything that was good in my beloved country.

  2. Well, you know I’m going to agree with you, MadPriest. So let me say, with feeling, that I definitely agree with you.

    (Yes, and about Mrs. Thatcher, too. Horrible, horrible woman.)

  3. I read this to Joe and he seems to think that the result of implementing a system like what you propose here, MP, is that you’d end up with either half as many lorry drivers working for the same amount of pay, OR the same number of drivers working for half the pay. Any time efficiency is improved, the bean counters do what they can to cut costs – usually in personnel first. This, of course, keeps profit margins high.

    And, if the drivers are only working 20 hours a week, how can they be paid for 40 hours?

  4. Well, of course that would happen, Tracie. However, if I was in charge I would share everything out equally and we’d all have lots of extra time off to spend our extra dosh. This, in turn, would kick off the spending required to get us all out of recession. The problem with the rich taking everything is that it removes money from the people who are best at spending money – the working classes. And in order to have economic growth you need to have lots of people spending lots of money. It’s a no-brainer – give the money to the poor and starve the rich. Capitalism is so inefficient.

  5. Hmmm…. Perhaps, except that listing paragons of government efficiency makes for a very short list. At least on this side of the pond, one does not have to dig very deep before bumping into a “That’s the way it’s done mentality” and a protection of “kingdoms” of authority when dealing with government agencies.

    Not that current state is desirable. My brother recently got out of the transport service in which from the company’s perspective, efficiency targets are met for productivity and material costs. However, the human “resource,” would have a very different view in regards to how “its” value is managed.

  6. The “That’s the way it’s done mentality” maybe a nuisance but the “gimme, gimme, gimme mentality” of modern day capitalism is a great evil. However, I must admit that my proposed system of social capitalism does somewhat rely on the majority of people cooperating for a common cause (universal affluence). If only everybody was like thee and me, KJ, it would not be a problem.

  7. In my part of the world, there are divisions between “long haul” and “delivery” shipments and we have evolved something called a, “freight forwarder.”

    Forwarders collect shipments going from one city to another, load either large trailers or containers, and break shipments for their areas into loads for smaller vehicles. Many of the larger shipments are moved, in containers, via rail. We have modified our rail system to handle the containers, using private funds.

    Shipments move via air when time is of the essence, and they too use a hub system created by private investments. I do not know that it is perfect, but the companies that dominate the air freight, there are three: UPS, DHL, and of course FedEx, compete almost exclusively on efficiency. I rather doubt that adding some of our famously inefficient bureaucrats would improve things.

    I think there are some things, healthcare for instance, which clearly should be nationalized. Our own American experience with Medicare shows it can be one. Kenya has better care than the US, which is interesting given the way most Americans look at Africa.

    There are no perfect systems. That is why the Tao of Programming observes that every program, even the one that shows, “hello world” on the screen, eventually requires maintenance.

    The great mistake that both political and theological people make is violating the Tao. They think they have the perfect system and seek to make everything fit it. When these people become dictators, we call them archbishops. 😉


  8. I don’t care who delivers, government or private companies, as long as everyone gets the same reward per hour of labour and, at this moment in time, the environment (especially in respect of the atmosphere) is made a primary concern.