A voice telling jokes in the wilderness.


In an interesting post you should read the rest of, Matt Yglesias sez:

What’s needed is something to spark an investment boom. Scheiber wants that to be industrial policy:

So far as I can tell, the only solution to the underlying economic problem is something that’s been a dirty word in Washington the last generation or two: industrial policy (that is, an active government role in the development of certain industries.) In his LSE lectures, Krugman quipped that “if someone could invent the 21-st century moral equivalent of the railroad, or actually even the moral equivalent of IT in the ’90s, that would help a lot.” I agree–that would help a lot. But waiting around for this to happen seems risky when the alternative is a decade of stagnation.

He thinks industrial policy can solve this problem. I think this is a bit like solving your problem by assuming a can opener.

Thank you.  I’ve been using that punchline periodically for the past, what, 15 years?, and nobody ever seems to have any idea what I’m talking about.

I was beginning to think it was just me.



2 Responses to “A voice telling jokes in the wilderness.”

  1. jazzbumpa Says:


    It’s just you.

    But – is Yglesias on a sound footing here? He thinks industrial policy is an inherently bad approach – and backs it up with nothing more than a general assertion. He could be right, I suppose. But then again, he might be assuming the absence of a can opener.

  2. urbino Says:

    Yeah, I have no idea if he’s right. I don’t know anything about industrial policy. He certainly makes a very broad and total assertion without backing it up — not even a link.

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