Some think-tanks actually think that it would be desirable to reduce government spending to be 4% to 6% of the GDP. In older times when government were 4% to 6% of GDP — or even less — then there were never more than one or two crucial economic issues at any one time affecting an empire or a country. Today, in any advanced centralised nation-state, we have multiple potential issues, multiple silos of power-in-waiting and, of necessity, multiple civil service specialisations necessary to produce some sort of government position whenever a new hot issue arises.
All advanced nations strive hard to get governments’ share of GDP down to 40% — to which America is now fast heading from underneath — but they’ll never get much below that. In decades’ time, governments that want to remain competitive with one another may not be responsible for welfare spending, education, and other functions, but they’ll more than make it up with funding on scientific research. Who else can possibly pay for it? Multinational businesses will have long evolved into non-profit — albeit still competitive — entities. Big government — in GDP terms (if that will mean very much in future times) — is here to stay !