20 March 2011

Taming Leviathan ~ Shrinking the Bloated State...

The latest Economist special report on Taming Leviathan spotlights the future of the bloated, ineffective state...
"The state almost everywhere is big, inefficient and broke. It needn’t be. [...] The disruptive reforms that have so changed the private sector should now be let loose on the public sector. The relationship between government and civil society has been that between master and servant; instead, it should be a partnership, with the state creating the right environment for companies and charities to do more of its work. The conclusion: “We are in a transition from a big state to a small state, and from a small society to a big society.” [...] the financial crisis has merely brought forward a fiscal reckoning. In most of the rich world ageing populations have been driving up the cost of public health care and state pensions. Emerging countries that are becoming richer, such as China and India, are now wondering what sort of state they need to meet their citizens’ demands for better schools, health care and infrastructure. Indeed, the fiery argument about capitalism prompted by the credit crunch has obscured a nascent, and much broader, debate about the nature of government. The future of the state is likely to dominate politics for the next decade at least. How can government be made more efficient? What should it do and not do? To whom should it answer? [...] This special report’s central argument is that Leviathan can be made far more efficient. The state has woefully lagged behind the private sector. Catching up is not just a case of nuts-and-bolts productivity improvements but of liberal principle: too often an institution that, at least in a democracy, was supposed to be the people’s servant has become their master. But nobody should expect that to be easy."
Word. Look at this evidence, it's just awful. From a reasonable 10% taxation a century ago to swallowing half or more of human value creation today. It's immoral and unconscionable...

1 comment:

Michael said...

Not only is the article rife with idealogical ad hominums, the chart it puts forward is disengenuous if not intentionally misleading.

The numbers for the U.S., for example, are marginal rates -- not the total tax rates you inferred. If fact, U.S. rates are the lowest they have been in 60 years.

Nor is there mention of the societal improvements since 1870 that have directly come about from the Leviathan. Healthcare, transportation, energy, R&D, and, lest we forget, ...

... The Internet.