Strategic Assets

a Disingenuous Misnomer
by Bob Keall

The term is a mischievous confusion of two elements:

  1. Ownership of the monopoly rights¹

  2. The operation, under contract, lease, licence, rent or fee.

Distinguishing the two elements identifies Public from Private Property, and resolves the current dilemma with the OIC [Overseas Investment Committee]. True Partnership is a proper relationship of the two parties which establishes the rights and responsibilities of each. The commercial norm is a lease at a market rate paid to the owners, from competing operators. On this basis the whole community participates in the free market instead of being robbed by it.

All progress² is captured in the value of the rights and is reflected in monopoly dividends!

Confusing the two elements in the guise of free market and free trade has become a sacrosanct industry³ seeking to capture the unearned monopoly element.

In some cases the operation must be run as an SOE [State/Owned Enterprise], at a Government stock rate of return, or with monopoly dividends returned to consumers, after maintenance and reinvestment, not instead of it - Telecom, Rail, here and in the U.K.

Monopoly dividends are permissible for the private sector but not for public benefit. Electricity from private production from sun or wind may be sold to the national grid, but not its reticulation—there should be only two tiers in our power supply, not four.

[Electricity and Telecommunications] supply should be Nationally coordinated, with Regional reticulation. Accomodation of private Independent Telecommunications IT operators can be made for a market fee.

The core function of government at all levels is

  1. To build and maintain the infrastructure—not to sell it!

  2. To retain, re-invest or return monopoly dividends.

  3. To lease, rent or contract the construction and operation of the asset.

  4. To distinguish clearly between public and private property.

  5. To make this clear to the share-market so that "investment", (local or off-shore) is in production not in ownership. The investment should be in Local Body Stock, not equity. Tolls or dividends should not add to our Current A/C Deficit.

Vector's relinquished intrusion in Wellington should be taken up by the Wellington Regional Council. Vector is a 75% consumer trust. As public property it is outside the China Free Trade Agreement! Powerco, now on the market should likewise be retrieved.

The permutations are legion. The principle is clear and simple.

1. "The Corruption of Economics" by Professor Mason Gaffney,
University of California [Download pdf ...]

2 Economics In One Lesson"

3. A Challenge to the Church

Also reference:
4. Public Transport