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It’s actually John Stuart Mill

October 6, 2016

This has been posted about Theresa May, the new PM of The UK under the heading, Oh dear … she’s certainly no Maggie.

“Government can and should be a force for good; the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot; we should employ the power of government for the good of the people. Time to reject the ideological templates provided by the socialist left and the libertarian right and embrace a new centre ground in which government steps up – and not back – to act on behalf of the people.”

Market economics is now thoroughly confused with Austrian political notions. What you find written by May could have just as easily been penned by JSM. This is at the end of his almost 200-page discussion on the role of government which looks suspiciously like the above quote from May:

“In attempting to enumerate the necessary functions of government, we find them to be considerably more multifarious than most people are at first aware of, and not capable of being circumscribed by those very definite lines of demarcation, which, in the inconsiderateness of popular discussion, it is often attempted to draw round them.”

Politics must and always will dominate economics. Leaving things to the market does not mean never try to improve things if you can. What good economics will teach is when you can do good and when you cannot. So doing nothing at all is seldom good economic policy even though sometimes it is.

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