Friday, November 04, 2011

Half-full? Half empty?

Ed Glaeser writes that the best we can do for our cities (and the economy) is to Unleash the Entrpreneurs.  No doubt.  He wants to end to job-killing policies and cites some specifics.  He notes that:
In general, we should never use public dollars to bribe people to remain in dead-end jobs. We should place far less emphasis on the industries of the past and more on those of the future. Federal policies that bail out auto companies and subsidize agriculture aren’t merely expensive; they also encourage people to stay in declining industries rather than strike out on their own.
But the people we elect to office have a natural interest in preserving what is.  Existing industries have an easier time getting out the vote than potential industries that might be. 

"Progressive" journalists and bloggers argue that we should listen to the OWS "protesters".  But on the occasions that these folks say something comprehensible, it sounds more anchored to nostalgia for an imagined past than anything else.  Would they really enjoy living in those days?  Without an internet?  Without their iPads and similar toys?  Without cheap airplane rides?  One can make a very long list.

Tom Sowell is characteristically blunt in assessing what he sees in the demonstrations.   I am still looking for one or two of them to carry a banner that says "Unleash the Entrepreneurs."

Here is today's LA Times editorial re the tripling of the cost of California's high-speed rail.  "It's still a gamble worth taking".  This is not the dumbest thing they have ever written, but it is a contender.

I begin each day trying to be Ed Glaeser-optimistic rather than Tom Sowell-pessimistic.  But then I find pieces like this.