In the last century industrial countries’ development has been marked by an extraordinary rise in public expenditure, matched by a significant increase in tax ratios. Main explanation of this increase has been the change of public opinion towards government intervention. In recent years challenges to the merits of government intervention have been produced by globalisation and demographic trends. Even if European countries seem unable to carry out major structural public expenditure reforms necessary in order to reduce tax ratios in the size required to defeat unemployment, a change of public opinion against government intervention may be recorded. In the same time, however, new political responsibilities have emerged vis-à-visquestions such as environment and poverty-security in the Planet. Such world issues might be successfully tackled only by a new kind of government - often sovranational - intervention to-day widely lacking.
JEL E6 H5 H6