So the 0.2 Professor at City University tells us. And I don’t think anyone would disagree. I’ve seen government blow, what was it, £10 billion? on a medical records system that has never worked in any manner at all. We’ve also historical examples of governments herding 10 million or so people into death camps, 20 million odd into the Gulag. I don’t think that any of us doubt that government can do things.
Our questions are rather, firstly, can government do the things that we actually want to get done and secondly, is government an efficient manner of getting those things done?
The answer to both questions being “Yes, sometimes”. Perfectly happy with the idea that government runs the criminal legal system (it’s incorrect in a common law jurisdiction to insist that it really defines it), sets out a patent system to deal with the public goods nature of intellectual property and so on. Might argue with the specific methods or things they’re doing in those fields but the basic concept seems just fine.
It may not be a popular position but all the evidence I can see suggests it is true.
It’s actually the position of absolutely everybody except the anarcho-capitalists.
Break down what government actually does and you find high popularity ratings for quite a lot of it.
And then politicians spoil the show, deliberately.
There’s an answer to that of course. Get rid of the politicians.
Government can, and should, work. I explain how in my book The Courageous State.
Which is pretty much the conclusion of that book.