Wednesday, December 07, 2005

American industrial policy

Socratic dialogue is valued because the punch-line is articulated by the one who would benefit the most. Often the student, or in a court of law, the opposing witness. This is why lawyers and teachers try to perfect this approach.

On rare occasions, writers or speakers articulate the lesson that they should grasp (or should have learned), quite spontaneously.

Robert Litan was a deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration and part of the anti-trust team that went after Microsoft. He is now with Brookings and a contributing editor at Inc., where he writes the following (Dec, 2005):

"There's More Than One Way to Bust a Trust ... The Feds failed to breach Microsoft's monopoly -- but Linux and Google just might succeed. ... Looking back today, what I find interesting is that the market may be sorting out what the legal system could not ..."

And what would the market be doing if anti-trust industrial policy had prevailed? There would surely be fewer Linux- or Google-type ascendencies.