Two words which sum up the unhappiness of Left-liberal opinion with the mainstream economic debate are 'competition ' and 'efficiency '. Competition (as I noted in ALR 121) has become at once the talisman of the Right and the bogey of the Left, assuming a theoretical purity out of all proportion to its rough-hewn, real-world existence . According to your preference, competition is either the magical solution to the productivity and efficiency problems of the contemporary mixed economy, or a dastardly means of depriving the public of its 'democratic' publicly-owned business enterprises. In the process the actual social fact of competition gets lost.
Recommended CitationBurchell, David, China Shop: Green Machine, Australian Left Review, 1(124), 1990, 11.