Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Lynn Parramore interviews Mariana Mazzucato about the options available to build a more fair and inclusive economy even in the face of corporatist leaders like Donald Trump:
LP: In your earlier book, The Entrepreneurial State, you describe a model of capitalism that would address many of these problems. How does it work?
MM: My work has shown how a different understanding of the role of the state in growth can unlock private investment. Markets are not static entities that are ‘intervened’ in (for good or bad) but are outcomes of public and private interactions. In my view, the state should be active and work in cooperation with private businesses to spur growth that’s sustainable and inclusive. The policy process is about co-creating and co-shaping of markets, creating new opportunities for business investment —and negotiating a better deal for the public too.

Historically, it has been an entrepreneurial state that stimulates and gives direction to new technological opportunities. It is those opportunities that  stir the animal spirits of business to invest—and we can do that again. The examples I give in my book show that public investments are not only important for affecting the rate of growth but also its direction. And that these investments were most successful when mission driven, rather than aimed at single sectors. The venture capital industry entered biotechnology only decades after the National Institutes of Health led the way. Similarly, Apple’s i-products were only made possible due to the hefty public financing of all the technologies that make those products smart and not stupid: internet, GPS, touchscreen and SIRI. Today there are opportunities in green: indeed Germany is using its Energiewende policy as a way of envisioning a green transformation and innovation across many sectors.

If we want growth today to be more innovation-driven, more inclusive and more sustainable, then we need a more active state — not a less active one.
- And James Bloodworth argues that we should embrace the efforts of workers who are striking for better pay - particularly when the alternative is to have "emergency laws" applied to further attack already-low levels of industrial activism.

- Thomas Walkom discusses how the Libs have been little more than a more photogenic version of the Harper Cons, while Tom Parkin compares them to the Sex Pistols as having run little more than a political swindle. Althia Raj calls out the Libs' sudden belief that Parliament is no place to discuss matters of public importance, including political fund-raising and the rules associated with it. And Joan Bryden points out that Justin Trudeau seems to have long since forgotten that he ran on a platform to fund health care, not to starve it. 

- Shaurya Taran and Naheed Dosani write that Toronto's budget cuts figure to be devastating for people living in poverty.

- Finally, Lenard Monkman reports on the possibility that small and portable homes might help to address housing shortages on First Nations reserves.

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