views

A big state can’t do it all

A GOVERNMENT big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have,” so said Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States in August 1974.

“Nonsense,” you say. “We don’t live in some sort of autocratic dictatorship. Our politicians respect the citizenry and serve the country.”

Oh do they?

How condescending that Lord Mandelson accused the business leaders who came out in protest against the National Insurance tax rise of being “deceived” by the Tories.

Is he saying that this country’s leading business people can’t form their own view, investigate the facts themselves, and come to the (right) conclusion?

From the Annals of the Law of Unintended Consequences, we can observe how the subprime mortgage fiasco was created: President Clinton, and later Bush, wanted to help American citizens who couldn’t otherwise afford to buy their own homes. Nice idea, but dare I say it – people who can’t afford things, shouldn’t be helped to buy things they can’t afford.

Throughout the financial crisis that has ensued, the government of the UK and US has cleverly shifted the blame to bankers, who certainly were complicit in the affair, but the state was there at the beginning, wanting to be that big government that can give you everything you want.

Julie Meyer is Founder of Entrepreneur Country, chief executive of Ariadne Capital, Managing Partner of the ACE Fund, and a BBC Online Dragon