Arnold Kling  

Affordable Welfare State

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Tyler Cowen writes,


Imagine that nanotechnology, or some other version of The Next Big Thing, came to pass. The bounty of nature would be replaced by the bounty of science. Might our economy look a bit more like the welfare policies of the Gulf states, albeit with greater diversification? Won't we massively expand our welfare state?

This reminds me that I've been meaning to do a progress update on The Great Race. Maybe after Kurzweil's latest book appears.


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CATEGORIES: Growth: Consequences



COMMENTS (1 to date)
Miguel Angel Martinez writes:

Arnold,

I'd like to thank you for the link in your article 'The Great Race' to Isaiah Berlin's essay about foxes and hedgehogs in human thinking -art, politics and science... Very illuminating.

By the way, it just made me think about the fact that becoming a 'hedgehog' in art, politics or science is quite reminiscent of an entrepreneur looking for a brand name and/or a niche market. Having a 'system' of thought or 'style' (for an artist) by which you guide your intellectual production makes your work more characteristic and recognizable, and therefore raises your chances of reaching your target (readers, recognition, money).

It is a (quick) hypothesis of mine that middle-of-the-road writers or thinkers who are 'foxes' have to display a higher level of perfection or artistry to attract attention. (In politics, it might not be the same -a Downs-Hotelling model instead would illustrate the benefits of being moderate or asystematic).

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