Monday, 25 February 2008

Services. Building up monetisation-free zones?

Services, starting by vital key public services, should be declared as monetisation-free zones and they should be left to develop unhindered along these lines.

A definition of service as given by Wikipedia is:

"A service is a set of benefits delivered from the accountable service provider, mostly in close co-action with his service suppliers, generated by the functions of technical systems and/or by distinct activities of individuals, respectively, commissioned according to the needs of his service consumers by the service customer from the accountable service provider, rendered individually to the authorized service consumers on their dedicated request, and, finally, utilized by the requesting service consumers for executing and/or supporting their day-to-day business tasks or private activities."

Taking the subject further, every human activity regarded as collective is mostly employed in the provision of some form of service and is hugely influential in the development of social structures. A small amount of the services at large, are public services, a term used to mean services provided by governments for its citizens.

As it is described:

"Public services tend to be those considered so essential to modern life that for moral reasons their universal provision should be guaranteed, and they may be associated with fundamental human rights."

and further

"A public service may sometimes have the characteristics of a public good (being non-rivalrous and non-excludable), but most are merit goods, that is, services which may (according to prevailing social norms) be under-provided by the market."

Public good which is non-rivarlous and non-excludable, essential to life, their universal provision should be guaranteed. What guarantees its provision? It should be government. Is it?

The modern state system was born with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which ended the Thirty Years' War in Europe. As it is described in the book 'World Politics: Trend and Transformation' by Charles W. Kegley, Eugene R. Wittkopf, p.58

"The newly independent states all gave to rulers the same legal rights: territory under their sole control, unrestricted control of their domestic affairs, and the freedom to conduct foreign relations and negotiate treaties with other states."

Unrestricted control in domestic affairs geared mainly to protect the rights of the 'haves' from the 'have-nots'. An eons-long struggle. Certainly, governments and states have not shaken off the remnants of their past. The same can be seen at work in America the "greatest democracy in the world," as David Sirota, author of "Hostile Takeover" (Crown Publishers, 2006) states that 'it often seems impossible to figure out exactly who controls our government'.
And continues on:

"We get to see how there no longer is a boundary between Big Business and government, and how our politicians are wholly owned subsidiaries of Corporate America. We get to see, in short, exactly how our government has been the victim of a hostile takeover."

History stands witness as public services were only introduced in late nineteenth century

"provision of public services in developed countries usually began in the late nineteenth century"

and certainly not out of good will for the "commoners".

and its main concern is the service provided to the individuals concerned. It should not have any ties apart from the quality, as it is judged solely on the grounds of its effectiveness of the particular content of the provided service. As service

a no-monetisation zone, a monetisation-free zone

Health service, education, environment simply can not function in the current environment that everything is measured up in hard currency. Quite regularly is announced how much a certain disaster cost the local authority a government, a state. Human lives are liberally given price tags

and certainly becomes the focus of a government, an authority, a state springing out from the prevalent environment spawn out of directives that monetise human activity

almost every collective human activity comes in a form of a service for other individuals in the community to use

the service is compromised by criteria lien to the services provided, the monies from the means they should be they have become the ends. The go-betweens acquire more value than the activities of the individuals involved. The efforts, the labour the time put from the part of the individuals that offer the service should directly reflect the needs of the individuals that benefit from the service. It should develop in step with each other. There is no need for monetising concerns to enter the procedures, it should not be translated into monies, it should be monetisation-free zones.

Sufficient funds? Viable? Is that the framework upon which services should be established?

As states were first formed from the need of individuals to protect their belongings of the ones that have from the ones that they have not.

John Kenneth Galbraith had recognised the need for a change in the development of societies in his book of affluent society as early as as 1958.

"In The Affluent Society Galbraith asserts that classical economic theory was true for the eras before the present, which were times of "poverty"; now, however, we have moved from an age of poverty to an age of "affluence," and for such an age, a completely new economic theory is needed."

The late 50s affluent society and the even more affluent society of the dawn of the 21st century and the same ills are widespread all over the world as it was then. Still even worse services to the communities are accounted in terms of monetary values ever so ruthlessly and mechanically. Services dropped with the sole reason of not sufficient funds. They are not economically viable, classed in the same categories that provide useless products.

Government agencies advertising heavily on radio and television competing alongside private companies to raise revenues. Local governments leasing facilities, introducing monetising criteria in the dissemination of the public good. And in the meantime, alongside lives are continually broken, unaware of by the government machine, as it is busy to translating heartaches into economic cost.

States should assume their natural role, to provide the environment where societies, communities flourish towards the integration of all their individuals amidst them.

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