The political right in the US keeps wanting to shrink government to a size where it can be drowned in a bathtub, but most people realize that government is critical to getting us out of the recession/depression we are living through.
Here is an interview with Michael Spence, a Nobel-prize winning economist:
He is dead right that government should focus on:
His views are the "sweet voice of reason" which is exactly what the politicians are ignoring. Spence thinks that slowly and eventually "the government" will finally wrap its mind around its responsibilities. From my perspective the right wing nuts in the US will ensure that no such reasonableness will be evident until after the 2012 election and only if the Republicans are decisively rejected by the electorate.