Really interesting read about the idea of competition in the private sector that includes publicly-owned enterprises. This argument certainly merits some thought particularly if it makes a sector of the economy (whichever one that may be) more efficient overall. Some good examples of government competition are mentioned, such as publicly-owned banks that have been successful in other countries like Japan.
In a way, we can actually look at it as a wrinkle of capitalism. Capitalists believe in essentially a Darwinian, survival-of-the-fittest economy where the most efficient business wins in the end so the question can be asked, what if the government is well fit and efficient enough to simply compete in a certain sector of the market, such as health care? This isn’t even to suggest a full take over. It is just to ask the question about whether it should be allowed to compete if it can produce a service efficiently. And if, in the end, the government is the most efficient in delivering a service and ends up with a near monopoly, such as the military, why should the populace (or even a capitalist) complain when the best won the market?
And the idea in the article about embracing the word socialism is a worthy tactic in the interest of simply opening up a wider debate on various issues. The reality is we don’t have an administration espousing the ideas of socialism yet they get pounded by fear of the word and their rather moderate policies get deteriorated because of it. That’s politics, for sure, but at least looking at a wider range of political solutions gives us a better chance of getting things right the first time instead of possibly ignoring the best route and having to correct it later with something that got drowned out of debate because of fear.