We entirely agree Dame Margaret, we entirely agree

Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, tells us that government isn't very good at doing things, a position that we entirely agree with:

Furthermore, the public sector is notoriously bad at both writing and managing the contracts it enters into.

This is, of course, writ small the basic larger problem with calls for government intervention into matters. Most certainly, there are times when only government intervention will do - we're entirely happy with the British state's monopoly on the possession of nuclear weapons in these isles for example.

For the standard switch and bait is to insist that here, look, there's a problem that the market isn't solving. This is thus a market failure - although, a with climate change, it is often the absence of something from market prices, that is the absence of a market rather than a failure of one. Do note though that we agree, there are indeed such things as market failures.

The answer to such not being the usual knee jerk reaction, that government must now do this thing. For there is also something called government failure and we need to take that into account as well in designing whatever the solution might be. For example, as we've mentioned around here before about food banks, government just doesn't seem to be very good at the £10 here, £20 there problems. Private, communal if you prefer, charitable action appears to be very much more efficient at dealing with this specific problem.

That is, we've always got to remember that government isn't very good at doing things.