I have never been a fan of the stateÂ providingÂ solutions for anything. Any solution proposed by the state is likely to be bloated,Â inefficientÂ and ineffective. Unfortunately in our Â modern society we still have to get over the intellectual poverty that socialism hasÂ deliveredÂ to the body politic, where there is still an over-archingÂ theÂ belief that the state will provide.
Thatcherism though challenged this and in New Zealand we had Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson to slay the socialist dragons…they are still breathing though, even if the breath is a bit wheezy and spluttery.
Still a generation of kids have grown up knowing that subsidies are bad, unions are useless and free enterprise delivers more often than not. The time has never been better than now to start looking at shrinking the state.
So the experiment is over and the results are conclusive. Part one was carried out under Gordon Brown who, as this column said at the time, tested to destruction the theory that vast increases in government spending would cure all the problems of the public services. The national disillusionment and exasperation which followed on that ideological adventure should have led to an immediate repudiation of it by all rational political leaders. But alas, there was a period of suspended disbelief in which the Conservatives insisted that sticking to Labourâs spending commitments was absolutely necessary if they were to have a hope of being elected. Yes, that was what George Osborne used to say back in the darkest days of modernisation.
We have seen the same thing here. Massive increases in spending in education for no discernible improvement in outcomes. Same in welfare. Money is not the answer. National, like theÂ ConservativesÂ stuck with Labour’s spending…time to start unpicking the excesses of Clarkism.Â Read more »