Mariana Mazzucato in Democracy:
The January 2010 edition of The Economist was devoted to the dangers of big government. A large picture of a monster adorned the magazine’s cover. The editorial opined: “The rich world has a clear choice: learn from the mistakes of the past, or else watch Leviathan grow into a true monster.” In a more recent issue, dedicated to future technological revolutions, the magazine was explicit that government should stick to setting the rules of the game: Invest in basic goods like education and infrastructure, but then get out of the way so that revolutionary businesses can do their thing.
This, of course, is hardly a novel view. Throughout the history of economic thought, government has long been seen as necessary but unproductive, a spender and regulator, rather than a value creator. But government’s ability to produce value has been seriously underestimated, an error that has in effect enabled others to have a stronger claim on their wealth creation role.