Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- The Guardian's editorial board comments on the role public entrepreneurship should play in fostering economic development and avoiding bust cycles:
The state’s only legitimate economic role is often seen as patching up discrete failures in particular markets. But Ms Mazzucato stresses how proactive policy is often required to create the markets in the first place. She stresses the role of public agencies in advancing industry’s frontiers. The iPhone may be an archetypal example of entrepreneurial brilliance, but it draws on numerous government-funded technologies including the internet, GPS, touch-screen displays and even Siri, the voice-activated operating system-cum-butler. From Nasa to the BBC, public organisations have created private opportunities. The entrepreneurial state should embrace its unsung role as a venture capitalist, be bullish about the need to run risks to secure returns. New institutions, such as national investment banks, might need to be part of the mix.

Ms Mazzucato points out that the crisis-hit states in Euroland were also all countries where the pre-crisis state failed to innovate. That fostered a frail prosperity, depending less on progress in industry than on booming house prices. When the emergency cures look inadequate, economists interested in fending off future slumps should reconsider the preventative role the state can play.
- Michal Rozworski's proposed solutions to Canada's housing crisis include a strong dose of public investment. And Chelsea Vowel duly criticizes Scott Gilmore's attempt to force First Nations and residents of remote areas into cities, rather than working on building existing communities.

- Chris Malsano draws a sharp distinction between socialism and statism. And Greg Sargent notes that Donald Trump's presidential candidacy may be exposing the large number of Republican voters who aren't inclined toward austerity or corporatist economics. 

- Teuila Fuatai documents the gap between the low wages paid to many Canadian workers and the cost of living.

- Finally, the New York Times' editorial board slams corporate tax evasion.

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