We live in part of the world which has a highly developed free enterprise economy, access to capital and to markets; yet, state capitalism still thrives.
This is not just a Newfoundland and Labrador or a Canadian phenomenon; state owned enterprises (SOES) are a feature of governments almost everywhere.
Norway is one of the most successful of countries engaged in SOES; Statoil is its flagship along with a ‘Heritage Fund’ that is approaching the trillion dollar mark.
Arguably, state capitalism boasts a high level of popular support even in countries where private enterprise is by far the predominant generator of GDP.
In the ’80 and 90s many state governments, including Canada’s, pared SOES after subsidies and poor governance became far too burdensome on the public purse. Selling them rid the state of their operating losses and helped reduce debt.
In this Province, the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation (NLC) continues to operate as a Crown Agency. But no SOE, not even NLC, causes intoxication as does the word ‘hydro’.