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Evan Davis on... government assistance

Updated Friday, 23rd October 2009

Sometimes the business world needs government help, sometimes it’s happy to go it alone. Evan Davis, presenter of The Bottom Line, asks whether we’ve managed to strike the right balance.

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It’s funny how pendulums swing, isn’t it? If you talk to business people these days, post credit crunch, banking crisis and all that, you really do often hear them talking about the role of government, how it can’t just be up to them, they need the state to enable them to do what they do. Partnership is a word you hear frequently, collective solutions to problems.

I think if you go back ten or twenty years it was much more about harnessing the power of the private sector to solve problems. There does seem to have been a change. Go back to the 1970s and it was about the state and its solutions to things. So the pendulum seems to swing.

Now here’s a question, where are we today? Is the pendulum just swinging back from one extreme to the other extreme, or have we found the synthesis of the two extreme views? Have we now found the balanced view between two extremes, so today we have the enabling state in the right balance and the right partnership with the private sector? Maybe it’s the right solution, maybe it’s just another swing of the pendulum.

Well, that’s the question I ask, you can join the debate with the Open University.

 

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