Sentences that should be questioned
By Arnold Kling
In his semi-farewell column, David Leonhardt writes,
we know that a market economy with a significant government role is the only proven model of success
I think that the growth of the Internet since 1994 (when the U.S. government turned it over to the private sector) is a counterexample worth examining. The government’s role in setting standards and promulgating regulations with regard to the Internet has been minimal (certainly in comparison with what it does off the Internet), and yet the Internet has done better than the more heavily governed economies around the world.
Those of you who know the history of telecom know that as of the 1990s there were top-down models. France’s Minitel was perhaps the most well known. The decentralized, lightly governed Internet crushed Minitel and other competitors.
I think there is a lesson here that more people ought to think about.