“It’s a problem that many governments are heading towards populism”

She is one of the most brilliant economists on the international scene, has a prolific literary output and has advised institutions and governments around the world. Even the Pope recommended one of his books be read. things value (Taurus, 2019). Mariana Mazzucato (Roma, 55), Professor of Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), advocates for a strong and ambitious country capable of innovation and wealth creation. Instead, he warned against austerity policies — “don’t work” — and the far right: “It’s a problem that many governments are heading towards populism,” he snaps during an interview on Zoom.

ask. Did the epidemic and the energy crisis enhance the role of the state, or was an opportunity missed?

Answer. In some countries the opportunity has been lost. In the UK, where I live, assistance to businesses during Covid has not been conditional on their existence hi good. In Spain, for companies that have received assistance to mitigate the impact of inflation They are not allowed to shoot Allegedly increasing energy costs. It is an integral part of helping. It’s like give and take, which I call a symbiotic relationship, not a parasitic one. This is how public-private relations are rigged.

s. In addition to such cooperation, what else is needed so that the state is not a simple regulator?

R was found. In my latest book Big Con (the big trick) I say that we must invest in the capacity of the state, forge good alliances between the public and private sectors, strengthen health systems, and realize that we are all together, for example in the field of climate change. The cost of inaction is much higher than the cost of action. There is no point in saying that everything is bad, business is bad, government is bad… We need to understand where policies of smart government, business, and smart public and private sectors have strengthened economies. Spain’s inflation rate is much lower compared to other countries largely because of the gas price cap [para generación de electricidad, la llamada excepción ibérica]limits on housing rent increases, free public transportation, and, perhaps most importantly, Taxes on profits fell from the sky. No executive is perfect, but I’m struck by his thoughtful politics: nothing too extreme, but always thinking about what can be done to contain costs to citizens, help businesses but ask for nothing in return, and strengthen government capacity.

s. Governments tend to design short-term policies, because innovation can lead to mistakes that are punished later at the polls.

R was found. You put your finger on the ulcer. We accept corporate trials. We recognize that for every success, there are many failures. But as soon as the public sector does something wrong, it makes the front page of the newspapers. We don’t let you experiment. That’s why I’d suggest investing in government laboratories. Shelly has Government laboratory. Getting things right isn’t always a linear process. This is partly why execs outsource to consulting firms, so someone else makes that mistake. But the key is learning from failure. It is not enough to fail. And you can only do this if you invest in your abilities. Back in Spain, I think many things have been done well. Also bad things, like every government.

s. Is it more important to redistribute or create value?

R was found. If you only think about redistributing, there is nothing left to create. You have to invest enough in what creates value, eg research and development. Spain’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan places great emphasis on research and development. . There are 50 million research and development missions around artificial intelligence. There is a RETECH IA program, with 260 million, and PERTE The New Economics of Language. All this to create value.

s. There has been criticism of this government for providing widespread anti-inflationary aid.

R was found. Taxes, of course, should be progressive. Spain introduces a solidarity tax on wealth and taxes on profits all of a sudden, which doesn’t hurt small businesses. The question is what do we do with it? Herein lies the creation of wealth. Smart, progressive taxes that go into a common fund are needed to improve citizens’ lives, fund free public transit, or reduce the energy bill. Wealth creation also causes that money to be reinvested in policies that increase productivity.

s. Should these taxes be preserved?

R was found. Depends on. Globally, pharmaceuticals have always made what I would call excessive profits, because they charge exorbitant fees for medicines even though they have received public investment. In this case, the change should be permanent. It’s more to make sure the prices are fair. Ideally, you need a system where business profits are right from the start. It requires, as I argue in my book things valueThat governments better understand the difference between profits and rents. It’s something Adam Smith and David Ricciardo talked about. It is not a Marxist idea. Businesses must be profitable. Nothing replaces charity. But we need a theory that will tell us if there are too many.

Lots of vitality She started earning a lot not because she was innovative, but because shock in the general systemAnd we must tax these excess profits. Whether these taxes are permanent depends on the government’s ability to distinguish which profits come from a company’s investments, from its innovations, and which from war or other international crisis. Also, at the moment we have a problem in the world: there are many governments that are moving in a populist direction. In Italy we can also say fascism.

s. In Spain The far right is likely to enter government con Vox.

R was found. It’s a big deal. That’s why you need to know what the state has done. What the current government has done in Spain is very positive compared to what I see in many countries. in the UKPost-Brexit, there is no formula in which the public and private can work together on the energy transition, the digital divide, and health. In Italy, my other country [aclara que tiene nacionalidad estadounidense, británica e italiana]Stop investing in public administration. There is no solid agreement between unions, government and corporations. Many workers felt cheated and voted to the right. On the left, they have fought each other for years and this means that they have not had a progressive position as in Spain.

In Spain, this government has developed some very important policies on energy, sustainable development goals, agreements with businesses, work… I think this is the future of capitalism. The twenty-first century needs this kind of attitude. You will also have made mistakes. The problem is if people feel they can’t make ends meet and so vote for a right wing that only attacks immigrants, bureaucracy, and crime…plus some senseless method. Crime is not being fought with just more police, but by investing in its causes, which are often social and economic. The government should invest in people with good education, benefits, housing policies…but that isn’t done or, if done without being told, without a story, is also a problem.

The right-wing narrative is always against someone: immigrants, government, Europe… I’ve seen it in all countries. Sanchez’s executive branch was not a fool who thought only of redistribution. I used a sustainable strategy, helping businesses, promoting those investing green and, at the same time, discouraging excess profits, which is not to discouraging profits. I really believe in this strategy: creating wealth, investing in technology, health, the capacity of cities, and progressive taxation.

s. European countries, including Spain, have ramped up their debts due to the pandemic. Brussels asks for cuts. Will there be a return to austerity?

R was found. Cuts, as happened after the financial crisis, with austerity, did not work. What matters most in the debt-to-GDP ratio are the investments, public and private, that are made in the denominator. You have to cut where there is waste, always and not just now, but also invest in what creates value: education, research and development, and AI programs applied to health, agriculture, and energy. Just deleveraging, hoping the debt will go down, doesn’t work. If GDP doesn’t grow, if productivity doesn’t grow, we’re back to square one.

It is very important that there is not another wave of austerity. Public investment can in the short run raise debt, but in the long run it lowers it, because it creates the wealth with which it can be financed. Countries that only implement austerity do not create wealth and debt continues to grow. Also because health problems show criminality… The lack of good health and education systems can assume a greater cost to the state than investing more from the start.

s. You must pre-distribute.

R was found. exactly.

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