2 stories from recent days:
The government's latest plan to save Northern Rock is to convert the £25 billion loan into bonds which will be guaranteed by the government, and then to try to get Northern Rock sold to a private investor.
So, the government (sorry, the taxpayer; as if the government would do that with their own money!) takes all the risk if it fails, gets none of the benefit if it succeeds, and the private investor can't lose.
Second is capital gains tax. As I understand it, if you buy an asset (property etc.), keep it for a while and then sell it for a profit, you pay tax on the profit (the capital gain).
So, the individual or business takes the risk of investing (the asset could appreciate or depreciate), bearing all the downsides of any loss; but woe betide you if you make a profit, you wicked capitalist - the government takes its cut.
Oh well, at least the inconsistency swings both ways!