You don;t have to move all that far left from our staid position to find those who insist that government knows how to invest better than the rest of us do. So, therefore, allow government to do all that investing which society needs.
This then hits that wall of experience. For some local councils have been doing this. Croydon for example. And here is their auditor commenting upon their ability to invest:
The Council has increased the level of borrowing significantly in recent years (£545 million in three years) and used the borrowing to invest in companies it established and to purchase investment properties. The strategy for investing in properties was approved at Full Council using guillotine procedures meaning there was insufficient time to discuss and challenge the strategy and the first purchase was made two months prior to approving the strategy. The Council’s approach to borrowing
and investments has exposed the Council and future generations of taxpayers to significant financial risk. There has not been appropriate governance over the significant capital spending and the strategy to finance that spending.
The Council established a number of companies including wholly owned and part owned companies. The Council’s governance and oversight of the companies shows insufficient rigor and control. Despite heavy investment from the Council, the Council has not yet received any significant return.
There has been collective corporate blindness…
Or, as we might put it, they can’t even piss in a pot without spraying it up the wall.
It invested £30m in the local Croydon Park Hotel in 2018-19. This went into administration in June. It also spent £46m on a shopping centre. The council’s strategy of “invest[ing] its way out of financial challenge” was “inherently flawed”, as councillors did not properly understand the retail and leisure markets, auditors said.
Adults don’t let governments invest in things.