Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Ben Casselman points out how corporate consolidation can produce harmful results for consumers and workers alike. Guy Standing discusses how we're all worse off for the spread of rentier capitalism. And Mariana Mazzucato reminds us that an entrepreneurial government is a must if we want to see general economic development:
An entrepreneurial society needs an entrepreneurial state, one that through visionary and strategic public investments, distributed across the innovation chain, can create animal spirits in private businesses. Entrepreneurs then see growth opportunities, and business investment follows.

Breakthrough technologies, such as the internet and biotech, did not emerge from governments worried about “commercialization”; they emerged from the spillovers of investments that were focused on long-run public missions. Missions of the past, such as getting a man to the moon, translated into multiple homework problems that needed different actors to work together in dynamic partnerships, spurring innovation. Today’s societal challenges, from aging to climate change, can provide a similar focus and animating force. They can stimulate innovation and give direction for new private investment and entrepreneurial activity as profit-making opportunities come into sight. Mission-oriented thinking could also be used to develop technology roadmaps for the 17 sustainable development goals.

Crucially, this will require public leadership, challenging the prevailing ideology which limits the role of public actors to simply de-risking or facilitating the real heroes — the private sector wealth creators, like risk-loving entrepreneurs — while waiting for the market to find solutions. In the few countries that have achieved innovation-led smart growth — like the U.S., Israel, Denmark, and even China today — public actors have not just enabled the private sector. They have actively taken risks as an investor of first resort, not just a lender of last resort.
- Thomas Piketty discusses the spread of inequality in Australia (and around the globe).

- Yael Abouhalkah notes that much like Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party government, Sam Brownback's utter failure of a Republican administration is responding to the consistent flow of bad news by hiding the state of the economy from the public.

- PressProgress examines the evidence that Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau are utterly clueless about the dangers and costs of precarious work. And Nora Loreto responds to Morneau's position that young workers in particular have to settle for constant insecurity.

- Finally, Peyton Veitch writes that free tuition represents an important counterweight to elitism and social immobility. And Ashifa Kassam reports on Ontario's basic income pilot project as another means of giving people a reasonable base for future planning.

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