Monday, July 7, 2008

Conor Clarke Strikes Again

Michael Kinsley and Conor Clarke (yes, that Conor Clarke) are working on a book about "creative capitalism," which is (as far as I can tell) an inchoate feeling that capitalism and philanthropy ought to have something to do with one another. The writing of said book has been outsourced to Posner and various Posneroid figures, who are currently wrangling on this blog.

My preliminary sentiment is that the book is going to need drastic editing because as it stands the blog is a numbingly repetitive mess. (You could prune the book by 10% if you cut out everybody's preamble about how capitalism is just wonderful but...) There are some good ideas, though, and it's worth a skim. The useful articles are by people who actually think about third-world stuff (e.g. Michael Kremer and Matthew Bishop). The rest, esp. the Posner-Glaeser exchange, is hand-waving.

I'm pleased that the role of foreign corporations in nation-building (is it rational? can the government incentivize it? should it?) is an active topic of discussion. The necessity of good, or at least strong, government for capitalism to work is underappreciated. I wonder when they'll dig up the East India Company as a role model.

1 comment:

Alan said...

Not everyone has your institutional memory.