Or is it? Could it actually be that the answer is something else altogether? Could that answer be that the state needs the private sector – because there are very obviously some things that the state cannot do – whilst the private sector needs the state for exactly the reverse reason?
In other words, might it be that to have a truly functioning modern economy we should not idolise one part of the economy and condemn the other? The question is not, in other words, which is more important – the state or private sector – but is it that both are fundamental?
Listen to almost any debate on politics or economics and that suggestion will usually be absent. But, I suggest, it is the universal truth that we’re missing. By adopting dogmatic positions, most of which are now anti-state and pro-private sector, we’re killing the economy.
This is, of course, the standard classical liberal, even neoliberal, idea. There are things that must be done and that only the state can do. Therefore we must have a state to do those things which must be done and which only the state can do.
For everything else there is the market, or private sector. Simples.
Of course, the Provisinal wing, to which I belong, then goes on to insist that we shoot anyone who suggest the state should ever do any more than this. But even so, the basic principle does indeed work. Yes, here’s the state stuff, there’s the private sector stuff. Both do have to be done and everything needs to be ddone by one or the other.
And now we get to the difficult bit. Well, which bits?
Spud is going to insist that the State must ration toilet paper otherwise how could bums get wiped? But what’s the actually sensible division here?
BTW, the true joy of this is that Spud thinks he’s just come up with something new. When, if he’d ever bothered to read anyone else, he’d have found out that the idea is at least several centuries old. Certainly there in a book published in 1776 for example.