One of those less than delightful bits of cognitive dissonance on display here in The Guardian. The general view of that newspaper being that every problem in the world will be solved by the application of more government to whatever it is. We're then presented with the list of things that government really should be working upon:
Meanwhile, many people will wonder why there is such little interest in an array of massively important subjects. Labour is bound to sound off about the condition of the country more than the Tories, but even so, on both sides the no-shows will be obvious. Even after a summer that has flagged the realities of a warming planet in no end of vivid ways, there will probably be precious little attention paid to climate change. No one is likely to speak convincingly about how to radically change a benefits system that is broken beyond repair; nor about a schools system that is increasingly unfit for the future. The profound challenges presented by an ageing population will be skirted over, at best. The fact that councils are now colliding with bankruptcy might be mentioned, but is unlikely to lead to any deep discussion of how to change our system of local government.
Every economist on the planet has been insisting that a carbon tax is the correct and complete solution to climate change. The government's own report even stated so, the Stern Review going on to say that we should not have plans, targets, schemes, but a carbon tax. We've got plans, targets, schemes, and no carbon tax.
The benefits system is, by definition, a government incompetence and has been for many centuries now, at least since QE I. The schools are and have been government since the absorption (perhaps nationalisation) of the Church schools in the 19th century. Demography moves pretty slowly, we've known of the perils of an ageing population for decades now as we all age, that one day at a time, toward the grave. Local councils actually are government and obviously always have been.
So, our five major problems as elucidated by those who continually campaign for ever more government. Those five major problems entirely cocked by government itself, four of them for at least a century.
And yet we're the delusional ones for arguing that markets are, a little more than just occasionally, a pretty cool solution to our varied problems?
Which is where the cognitive dissonance comes in. Given the actual track record of government in dealing with the outlined problems why do they think that government is the solution?