Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just Getting Around To Some Reading

FLG had this piece by Jim Manzi bookmarked for later reading and is just now getting around to it. Looks very promising so far:
Conservatives have correctly viewed the policy agenda of the left as an attempt to undo the economic reforms of the 1980s. They have ­therefore, as a rhetorical and political strategy, downplayed the problems of cohesion — problems like inequality, wage stagnation, worker displacement, and disparities in educational performance — to emphasize the importance of innovation and growth. Liberals, meanwhile, have correctly identified the problem of cohesion, but have generally proposed antediluvian solutions and downplayed the necessity of innovation in a competitive world. They have noted that America's economy in the immediate wake of World War II was in many ways simultaneously more regulated, more successful, and more equitable than today's economy, but mistakenly assume that by restoring greater regulation we could re-create both the equity and prosperity of that era.

The conservative view fails to acknowledge the social costs of unrestrained economic innovation — costs that have made themselves ­powerfully apparent in American politics throughout our history. The liberal view, meanwhile, betrays a misunderstanding of the global economic environment.

Also on the reading agenda, Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates, which was a gracious gift from Miss Self-Important, and The Passions and the Interests, a recommendation from Withywindle that's been sitting on FLG's shelf for months.

1 comment:

David said...

A very interesting piece, like much of Manzi's writing. But when he says:

"we should also set up recruiting offices looking for the best possible talent everywhere: from Mexico City to Beijing to Helsinki to Calcutta"...if by "we" he means "the government" (which I think he does) then I have to disagree. Such recruiting would surely emphasize:

2)currently-trendy fields and industries

When Andy Grove (of Intel) came to the U.S. in 1957, he didn't have a PhD, or even a college degree, and he wasn't a recognized expert in microprocessors, since such things had not yet been invented....

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