Arnold Kling  

Two Reviews

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About Book 1, I recommend Mike Gibson's review. An excerpt:


It's a wonderfully concise introduction to development, economic history, the roots of progress, wealth-creation, entrepreneurialism, and innovation-all this and more.

...Kling and Schulz do not really broach the subject, but one cannot help but see how one system works-as say, with the importance of technology and entrepreneurialism to improving the quality of life-and then imagine applying it to government

Which sets up Book 2, about which Michael Barone writes,

Kling's point is that such disenchantment is inevitable when government officeholders make sweeping decisions about matters on which they lack, and only a few specialists have, detailed knowledge. Which is what Congress and the Obama administration have been busy doing these past 11 months.

Read the whole thing.

Now that the democratic components of the Progressive agenda have been enacted (Civil Rights, women's rights), what is left are the elitist components, favoring technocratic control over financial markets, health care, energy, and, well, everything. The technocratic agenda arouses resentment among ordinary people whose lives are to be controlled. But the main point of my book is that it is out of synch with the way that knowledge is becoming dispersed.

Fifty years ago, the factory might have been a metaphor for the economy and society. Factories can be designed top-down by technocrats. Today, the Internet is a better metaphor for the economy and society. The design of web sites and applications is best left to local innovators, not to a central planner.


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COMMENTS (2 to date)
Sam Kaplan writes:

When will a Kindle version of book 2 be available?

Greg Ransom writes:

My dad managed one of the premier science and technology labs in the world for the Dept. of Energy. He understood his job to be giving the researchers as much freedom and independence as possible, while working to block top down micromanagement from Washington as much as possible.

Eventually dad was pushed aside by poitical hacks and beltway cronies -- most of them with little or zero knowledge of science or scientific research. The crony system and political patronage system had no interest in what worked on the ground. It was all about political coalitions and back scratching. At one point Reagan had a dentist running the DOE.

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