Monday, January 23, 2017

Exquisitely assured dogma Delong"A government not beholden to those who have an interest in economic growth is likely to soon turn into nothing more than a redistribution-oriented protection racket, usually with a very short time horizon."

"Such a change of tone sells the book short, for there are many additional lessons that emerge from Landes's story of the wealth and poverty of nations. Here are five: (1) Try to make sure that your government is a government that enables innovation and production, rather than a government that maintains power by massive redistributions of wealth from its enemies to its friends. (2) Hang your priests from the nearest lamppost if they try to get in the way of assimiliating industrial technologies or forms of social and political organization. (3) Recognize that the task of a less-productive economy is to imitate rather than innovate, for there will be ample time for innovation after catching-up to the production standards of the industrial core. (4) Recognize that things change and that we need to change with them, so that the mere fact that a set of practices has been successful or comfortable in the past is not an argument for its maintenance into the future. (5) There is no reason to think that what is in the interest of today's elite--whether a political, religious, or economic elite--is in the public interest, or even in the interest of the elite's grandchildren."