By Arnold Kling
It’s a wonderfully concise introduction to development, economic history, the roots of progress, wealth-creation, entrepreneurialism, and innovation-all this and more.
…Kling and Schulz do not really broach the subject, but one cannot help but see how one system works-as say, with the importance of technology and entrepreneurialism to improving the quality of life-and then imagine applying it to government
Kling’s point is that such disenchantment is inevitable when government officeholders make sweeping decisions about matters on which they lack, and only a few specialists have, detailed knowledge. Which is what Congress and the Obama administration have been busy doing these past 11 months.
Read the whole thing.
Now that the democratic components of the Progressive agenda have been enacted (Civil Rights, women’s rights), what is left are the elitist components, favoring technocratic control over financial markets, health care, energy, and, well, everything. The technocratic agenda arouses resentment among ordinary people whose lives are to be controlled. But the main point of my book is that it is out of synch with the way that knowledge is becoming dispersed.
Fifty years ago, the factory might have been a metaphor for the economy and society. Factories can be designed top-down by technocrats. Today, the Internet is a better metaphor for the economy and society. The design of web sites and applications is best left to local innovators, not to a central planner.