Mixed economy

From 1945 the dominant type of economy in western Europe was composed of a mixture of joint stock companies and state industries. Until the 1980s state industries often included: Railways, Post Office, electricity, gas, water.

This is sometimes thought of as a middle way between complete privatisation, as in the United States, and complete state ownership, as in the Soviet Union.

The post communist countries have been advised to privatize everything as in the United States, but they might do better to adopt a mixed economy model, if only to avoid mass unemployment.

At present the dominant ideology is that privatised is always "best" - though in practice contracting out publicly owned activities often raises the costs to the public, as is shown in National Health Service and Railways in Britain, where it has become common in the last decade from 1997 onwards.

Last revised 8/01/08


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