Arnold Kling  

Lessons from Mancur Olson

Indirect Effects of the Laisse... Tale of Two Islands...

Philip Greenspun writes,

The logical conclusion from reading this book is to prefer a new state to an old state, a newly stable state to a long-stable state, and a new industry to an old one.

Read the whole thing, which is a summary of Mancur Olson's views of how democratic states are captured by special interest groups, leading to stagnation. I have an optimistic perspective, which is that the Internet is not a democracy. For now, that part of the economy remains dynamic.

Thanks to Nick Schulz for sending me the pointer.

COMMENTS (3 to date)
Kurbla writes:

The special interest is not in opposition only to general interest, it is usually (always?) in opposition to other special interests, and general interest is some kind of synthesis.

The general public might be slow, but it seems to me that democracies progress in one step backward two step forward fashion in all areas of life.

Barkley Rosser writes:

Which book are you referring to? Olson wrote four, I believe, at least four, and this might apply to more than one.

renminbi writes:

The Rise and Decline of Nations is the book.My own take on this is that the end state of democracies is Argentina or Venezuela: trust me- you don't want to go there.

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