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Who owns what?

This NYT article quoted in Jacobin Magazine:  The Case for a Mixed Economy by Paul Krugman. The Subtitle:

Maybe not everything should be privatized.

The Jacobin magazine response by Matt Bruenig is worth reading:

The Public Really Can Own Everything

Nice response, but I think he has a misguided approach to ownership.  This bit got me blogging:

The genius of modern finance has been to create corporate ownership arrangements that allow basically anyone, including the government, to own shares of any company in any sector while being as involved (or uninvolved) as they want to be in steering the company.

I’m being brief but the point is not what the government owns, but who owns the government.

With the upsurge of socialism in the world I hope the fundamental question of who owns the state does not get obscured.

It is all to easy to think that because the people vote that the state is the equivalent of the public.

The state is the executive committee of the so called “owners” of the tools that make the tools. Paraphrasing Marx.

Maybe Bernie Sanders et.al. as “democratic socialists” can pave the way for those who grasp the need for a change of the whole state apparatus to shift and its committee of the few to a committee of the many. We have had that sort of democratic socialism here in New Zealand and it makes it even harder to see who owns what. Education, Heath, are called public services. But they compete with private services.  They struggle, and health is hampered by strange aberrations like ACC, the pride of social democracy. The state is not a people’s state that is for sure.

 

 

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