I’ve got to say I’m a little confused by The Economist at times

Last week’s Economist Debate:

This house believes that industrial policy always fails. Do you agree with the motion?

28% voted yes

72% voted no

The debate is now closed

This week’s Economist leader disagrees:

In the rich world, meanwhile, the record shows, again and again, that industrial policy doesn’t work.

It’s very complicated of course, but the Economist shouldn’t canvas people, including Josh Lerner and Dani Rodrik, and then proceed to ignore them.

Instead, perhaps they could show some internal consistency; it is their regular readers who they are alienating and that ain’t very capitalist of them.

(In defence of The Economist, this does look like an interesting debate. Pity it seems they’ll ignore the result.)

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2 thoughts on “I’ve got to say I’m a little confused by The Economist at times

  1. Ah, but the proposition the readers rejected was that it always fails. And the subhead to the leader columns reads: “Governments seem to have forgotten that picking industrial winners nearly always fails”. So that’s alright then!

    Although the words ‘service’ and ‘lip’ do spring to mind…

    1. Pah, ideologues and bastards.

      Anyway, modern industrial policy shouldn’t be about picking winners, in my view. But, it should be about creating more businesses, invention and innovation than there otherwise would be and being able to winnow out the losers which are created by this policy.

      Anyway, Industrial policy isn’t dead, and I am positive that an industrial policy consisting of, say, lower corporation tax and tighter union laws would be fully supported by the Economist.

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