People of a libertarian persuasion often have moral qualms about taxation. People on the left worry about the massive profits being made by corporate shareholders while ordinary citizens struggle to make ends meet.
How about a third model? It is designed to be a non-coercive model of "big government" that would harness capitalism to a programme of social responsibility; but would it work?
1) The state's goal will be to fund agreed government expenditure from profit-making industries rather than from taxation.
2) The initial source of revenue, where possible, will be as yet unclaimed natural resources. All undiscovered or unexploited natural resources will be declared state property. Corporations with relevant expertise will be permitted to exploit and sell these, with the goal of maximising profits. This will be on a franchise basis, with a fixed proportion of the profits returning to the state coffers. The state as owner will be empowered to dismiss and replace any franchise operators that fail to make a profit.
3) A percentage of the profits will be used to fund, as far as possible, the normal objects of state expenditure (defence, health care, education, pension provision, etc), while another percentage will be devoted to the further acquisition of profitable enterprises of any sort. These will not be nationalised, but acquired legitimately on the open market. Where practical they will be bought outright and incorporated into the franchise model. With larger enterprises, the state may need to acquire shares gradually with the goal of ultimately acquiring a controlling interest, after which these enterprises too can be incorporated into the franchise model.
4) The state franchises will compete with private concerns in the usual way (i.e., they will have to sell their products at market prices; prices will not be manipulated to create an unfair advantage for the state-owned firms). The state will seek to maximise market share and profit using traditional tools such as advertising, which may emphasise the social value of the state franchises ( "Buy from them and fund their bonuses; buy from us and fund your pension" ).
5) As the profit-making state enterprises begin to fund a greater degree of state expenditure, taxation can be proportionately reduced.
6) The ultimate goal: a self-funding, non-coercive state paying for its activities on the basis of the voluntary purchasing decisions of its own citizens. A state that libertarians and social democrats alike can be proud of!
Can someone explain to me why this wouldn't work?