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October 21, 2007

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Jim

Would anyone feel that left wing economics are inferior to right wing economics in principal. Of course you do not have to wed yourself to any ideology, but would it not be better to say that we wish to merge right wing economics with left wing provision of public services and empahsis on social concern in all other arenas?

Tomaltach

Jim,
I think I understand your sentiment. But there's a fundamental snag here. You said "we wish to merge right wing economics with left wing provision of public services". Much right wing analysis claims that the market should do the job - that there is in fact only a need for a very skeletal public service.

Right wing economists for instance would argue that the health service should be fully privatised. Same for education. In a such a case there is no 'public services' to speak of.

The key question is this. Precisely which services should be left to the market alone and which should be provided by the state? In some areas the market can be made to deliver on social goals if it is well regulated. In other areas this would seem impossible.

In truth the debate is often blurred. At various times business interests talk up the need to leave it all up to the market. But out of the other side of their mouths they are arguing for state action on any number of fronts - special tax breaks, increased R&D, better state provision of infrastructure and so on.

Jim

Tomaltach, I agree. I feel that health, education (intra and inter-state transport) etc. items that we can deem as a society to be too important to the individual to be commodified should be retained in the public sector. However with items that need not be kept public for this goal we need to be careful to not distort the market. The question then is can the left admit a step to the right and does it want to in the economic realm. Should it put its hands up and say low taxation, market driven economics worked in many key factors of driving a successful economy, what the left offers is the same economics, largely, better run, with fewer external, vested interests and with a social and caring focus in the spending of monies generated by these economics?

simon

Sorry I couldn't let this one go.
esteem of broadsheet commentators
Esteem of what commentators Harris and Myres. The rest to me seem broadly left wing and would hold a christmas party for you if you siad socialist indeed. They may well be planning one now. :)

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