Tory Industrial Policy?
By Alberto Mingardi
Brexit’s brilliant political strategist, Dominic Cummings, is now pondering how England shall change, after leaving the EU. My (not particularly original) guess is that the Conservative government will either end up in some kind of perpetual crisis management mode, if Brexit resembleS the worst predictions, or happily use the opportunity of such a momentous change to shape up some of the country’s institutions.
Cummings is certainly one of the men to look at, in the second case. His website is a rather impressive collection of comments and ideas. His mission with his blog is:
This is an interesting way of picturing his own role, though I personally fear that by doing things differently governments always end up doing… more. Limited government is dull, and I miss dullness in politics.
One of Cummings ideas is to set up a British equivalent of Darpa, the agency Mariana Mazzucato credits for being the engine of the US’s “entrepreneurial state”.
Terence Kealy explains here why that is not a great idea. The article is well worth reading and should spark debate, in England and elsewhere.
Terence’s key point: “The indifference of technological growth to different market and to different funding regimes reflects the fact that new technology, even in industry, emerges—unexpectedly perhaps—by competitors contributing to a common pool of knowledge. And the only force that might damage that is, as the USSR showed, the state: if the state pulls researchers out of the market, Moore’s Law will be stymied and we’ll be impoverished.”