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Quotation of the Day…

Posted By Don Boudreaux On March 1, 2014 @ 7:06 am In Complexity & Emergence,Growth,Innovation | Comments Disabled

… is from page 320 of 2006 Nobel laureate Edmund Phelps’s 2013 book, Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change [1]:

[T]he provision of private benefits to special interest groups leads not simply to some inefficiency but to a culture that undermines the spirit of aspiration and discovery that is required for economic dynamism.  Putting an end to a wanton disregard for the costliness of special interest legislation is likely to be a necessary condition for sustained dynamism.

Yes.  I add only – in the spirit of Deirdre McCloskey’s work – that causality runs also in the opposite direction: a culture increasingly hostile to discovery and economic dynamism leads to greater demand for – or, at least, toleration of – special-interest legislation to protect the incomes of existing, identifiable, ‘seen’ groups.

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[1] Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change: http://www.amazon.com/Mass-Flourishing-Grassroots-Innovation-Challenge/dp/0691158983/ref=la_B001HPC3T8_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393506590&sr=1-1

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