Sunday, December 5, 2010

Creative Destruction

While the forward march of technology is definitely a good thing, the metaphor that “a rising tide lifts all boats” is badly inadequate. The economic sea churns a lot, and it’s very easy for decent, competent, hardworking people to suddenly find themselves worse off than they were the year before through no fault of their own. The guy with the film development shop didn’t suddenly become lazier or less skilled the day his business became unviable, but he took an economic hit nonetheless. This churn and the attendant levels of risk and anxiety that it creates are an undesirable feature of the capitalist order. And the welfare state is the answer.

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