Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On economic growth versus political control

Economic growth is radically unpredictable and, almost more than anything else, politicians want control and the power it brings to them.

The most important economic developments happen at the leading edge of the economy where innovations frequently cause things to be slightly out of control. Therefore, meaningful economic advance does not work well within the confines of so-called "scientific economics" or the "planned economy."

The economic activity that drives rapid growth, rapid increases in capital (production of profits) and the growth of new jobs cannot be foreseen in mechanistic terms or easily predicted using mathematical formulas.

This explains why so many of the economic interventions by politicians and government work against innovation and rapid economic growth. Instead, while seeking control, politicians and governments tend to preserve the old industries and firms that are not on the growing edge of the economy. Politicians are far more likely to waste taxpayer money trying to resuscitate dinosaur corporations and industries for the sake of the equally outdated and outmoded unions than to aid any truly innovative entrepreneurs. As a result, government actions actually damage the long-term prospects for the economy and this means the economy will take longer to recover than if government had not intervened at all.

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