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Title: Humane privatisation : worker co-operative initiatives in the public sector
Authors: Baldacchino, Godfrey
Keywords: Producer cooperatives -- Malta
Economic development -- Malta
Privatization -- Malta
Labor -- Malta
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: UK Society for Co-operative Studies
Citation: Baldacchino, G. (1998). Humane privatisation : worker co-operative initiatives in the public sector. Journal of Co-operative Studies, 31(1), 39-49.
Abstract: The situation is common in many developing countries. A developing economy, still coming out painfully from the productive limitations of mass agriculture; long years of colonialism or fiscal siphoning off from regional peripheries to cores. Capital investment typically flows away from these territories towards the heartland of North America and Western Europe. Employment is precarious and risk capital hard to come by. The provision of services directly related to one's quality of life - such as energy, telecommunications, water, housing, education, health and social security - fall also within the ambit of the state, often out of simple default. All this in the context of an expanding population, with many consumer tastes and habits influenced by the Western world. In these situations, it is inevitable to find the state playing a key role in the development process. The responsibility to provide employment and to create productive investment in the absence of local or foreign capital predisposes the state towards assuming a major role in the economy; one which is broader and wider than that of the stewardship and monitoring effected by states in more developed economies. The outcome is usually a bloated public sector with substantial levels of underemployment, and a sprawling parastatal sector with under-productive or inefficient corporations and utilities whose running expenses and losses are justified on the basis of political and social arguments: jobs, strategic industries, basic needs provision.
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