I am of the opinion that of all the economic organisations we have available to us the state is not just potentially one of the most efficient, but is one of the most efficient.
The reasons are obvious. When there is a need for universal supply of a product or service, wherever the user is located and whatever their circumstance, then the state has unique powers to deliver with an efficiency no other structure has.
It can cross subsidise at will. Some people, whether it's the person needing a postal service on a remote island, or the person with recurring serious illness, are always going to be expensive to supply in any community. Most of these people don't pick themselves. In my opinion they are all valuable. Only the state has the option of treating them equally with equanimity.
And when the supply is to be universal it is the state that can ensure the supply is consistent in a way that no other service can, precisely because all other economic structures are predicated on making things different when the last thing most people want is postcode lotteries.
And the state can be efficient. I do not deny its imperfections for a moment, but it can also beat hands down a system that must record every last detail of financial interaction (not cost, I stress, but interaction - and the two are quite different). That's because a state organisation has fewer boundaries than a smaller private sector body. And since interactions happen at boundaries and are very expensive to record the state could save all that cost and concentrate on efficiency if only it was allowed to do s0 (but which 500 organisations in the NHS prevent).
And the state can provide economies of scale no one else can. I known it hasn't always done so. And I agree that's been absurd. But it does not need a change of ownership to do so. It needs a changed ethos to deliver such efficiency, that's all. That will now exists. And breaking things up can only remove the chance of its delivery.
But no one is willing to say these things. No one shouts that just as multinational corporations have got big and have diversified to be cost efficient by eliminating wasteful internal competition, sharing resources and standardising systems and reporting so should the state do the same. Instead we hear that the state must be broken up, that small is better, that creating false markets works when all they can deliver are massive admin costs, duplication and diseconomies of scale.
There are three explanations for this fact (for fact I think it is). First there is dogma. Second there is ignorance. And third there is fear. All are important but the last is the most important for it feeds the other two. The fact is that big business no longer has a clue how to make money. Innovation and growth are things that it is no longer capable of delivering as by and large the needs of those with money (who are the only people they are interested in) have largely been met. And so instead of innovating what they want to do most of all is capture another income stream entirely - which is the income that only taxation can deliver.
The goal of privatisation is to pass the assured revenues that only the state can supply into private hands for private gain. An enormous amount of money and effort is being directed to this purpose. That is money that those with wealth supply. And they fund the dogma, and through their control of the media they fund the ignorance. And with their money they fund the fear.
That's why the reality that the state is an extraordinarily efficient supplier of public services is almost entirely ignored. We need voices that challenge the assumption that it isn't. We need to tell the truth.