Monday, December 05, 2011

Creative destruction

My previous two posts involve a contradiction. In Friday's I noted some sensible policy reforms elaborated in Alex Tabarrok's new book.  But are the policy makers we read about each day the ones to implement such reforms?  In the post just before Friday's I described a policy catch-22 because politics as we know it is anathema to the creative destruction that is essential to a dynamic economy.

In full gotcha mode, yesterday's LA Times has this above the front-page fold: "Romney's focus wasn't on jobs then ... At the private equity firm he headed, the priority was creating wealth ..."  Everyone likes job creation.  Most Democrats tout public spending as the means.  Republicans are trapped and counter that entrepreneurs create jobs.  True enough.  But that is never their mission.  The mission is wealth creation, but you cannot say so because reporters such as at the LA Times (and many others) are on the case.  Job creation plays to the crowd as creative destruction cannot.

What to do?  James Buchanan famously suggested various amendements to the U.S. Constitution.  But how likely are these to get a hearing?  The only amendment proposals that do get a hearing once in a while involve some version of a balanced budget amendment.  Warts and all, is that the best we can get?  Is half a loaf better than none?  I wonder.