Le dernier tour de garde de l’état veilleur-de-nuit

HONG KONG – Trop souvent, les débats à propos de la relation entre l'Etat et le marché les présentent comme des forces adverses condamnées à une lutte à somme nulle. Pourtant, cette approche simpliste a vite fait de transformer une discussion constructive en une bataille idéologique entre partisans de l'Etat et du marché capitaliste.

Un cadre plus utile présenterait l'Etat et le marché comme les deux faces d'une même médaille, liés l’un à l’autre par l'infrastructure des droits de propriété (IDR). L'état interagit avec le marché – le lieu d'échange privé et volontaire des droits de propriété – de trois façons principales.

Tout d'abord, l'Etat traite avec le secteur privé au travers de la fiscalité et des dépenses. Ensuite, il établit et maintient l’IDR, qui comprend toutes les institutions nécessaires pour délimiter, échanger, affiner et protéger (par l'application de la loi et des contrats) les droits de propriété. Parmi ces institutions se trouvent la justice et les comités d'arbitrage, qui servent non seulement à trancher des litiges portant sur les droits de propriété, mais aussi à régler des abus et litiges administratifs entre les secteurs privé et public. Enfin, l'état est en concurrence avec le secteur privé par le biais des entreprises et des services publics.

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