The dead hand of the state

It has been proven time and time again that the state is not very good at owning things or running things and that the market does it much better. This is irrefutable. Amongst other reasons this is because the state has mixed objectives which confuse the management of any project and they lack the discipline to make the hard decisions so they just flagrantly waste the taxpayer’s money instead.

For whose benefit does a nationalised business exist? For the taxpayers, for the customers, for the employees, for the politicians? In Britain it usually ends up with them being run for the benefit of the employees strutting their union power. Which means that the customers come well down the pecking order and end up with shoddy goods and services. Something that the increased competition of globalisation often exposes, or where the enterprise is a monopoly it effectively becomes parasitic on the rest of the economy. It also means that the interests of the taxpayers, who fund the whole exercise, are ignored and the business becomes a black hole for their hard earned taxes.

These self evident truths are such that it is almost beyond belief how much the British government still owns and runs that would be far better sold off into private hands and exposed to the market. And now we have an extra imperative to do so and that is to use the proceeds to pay down some of the eye watering debt that Gordon Brown has landed us with. That we pay a similar amount on debt interest to the amount we pay on education in this country is a testament to the damage that the last Labour government did to Britain.

Yet there are intelligent and educated people who are in total denial of the facts. Recently the government wanted to sell off woodlands that it really has no business owning in the first place. Yet there was a very misguided campaign against this and people who should have known better said some very silly emotive stuff. Of course woodlands are safe in private hands, just look at what Felix Dennis has done. And of course we can legislate against any excesses or abuse. But no, stupidity won.

This does not auger well for the health of Britain and the well being of everyone here because the woodlands are just the tip of the iceberg of what should be sold, as I listed in an earlier article. We should sell off everything we can, the state has no business owning stuff. And we should use that money to pay down the national debt and reduce the crippling interest we have to pay on it. Once this is done we can reduce the huge and punitive levels of taxation and allow enterprise to flourish.

It is enterprise that pays for everything else, for our schools, our hospital and our army. Individual entrepreneurs invest and risk their own money in the market, they compete to provide the goods and services that people want and if they are successful they earn the profit that our economy needs. We have seen this work incredibly successfully for thousands of years and it is why we all still don’t live in mud huts.

Yet in Britain today it is very difficult for enterprise to get off the ground, never mind flourish. The dead hand of the state is everywhere. The state is now over half of the total economy, parasitic on an ever reducing private sector. Taxes are massive, reducing the incentive to invest and take risks. And the amount of legislation that a company has to try and work within is simply ridiculous. From excessive labour laws, through health and safety, to EU legislation that is padded out by Westminster civil servants to ridiculous equality laws everything conspires to make it as difficult as possible to run a business.

But there is a simple answer for our budding businessman, simply take his capital, hard work and enterprise to a country where they are wanted. Where it is possible to succeed and generate wealth without the dead hand of the state doing all it can to prevent enterprise. So, hardly surprisingly this is precisely what is happening. Our brightest and best vote with their feet and leave the UK by the thousands. And it is other countries, places where the state is under control and profit isn’t a dirty word, that reap the benefit.

The UK is in a very deep hole dug by Labour politicians, yet we are still digging ourselves deeper into it because so much is totally screwed up. And very many people don’t realise just how bad the situation is, they still get their salary payment from the state not knowing or caring that it is being paid for with borrowed money which their children will have to work to pay off. Yet this could all be turned round very quickly indeed by radically reducing what the state owns and what the state does, by repealing stifling anti business legislation, by reducing taxes and by encouraging a culture of enterprise.

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