Profile of Mariana Mazzucato, the economist who's swaying both left and right politicians with talk of "the entrepreneurial state"

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I really enjoyed her book, sadly we have lost our way when it comes to innovation and how we support that environment as a society.


”I am generally in favor of this framing, but also concerned that it spells the end of any idea of a “commons” arising from government work”

I don’t read this as charging a fee up front. I see it as the govt (rightly) claiming some IP and then licensing it (free) to receive a cut of any future revenue that derived from its use. (imagine a couple of percents from the underlying tech that became the internet?)

Adding this to the holiday reading list. This sounds like a very interesting and pragmatic approach that should attract (if people are looking at it in good faith) support from the right (capitalists getting a ‘head start’ on R &D) and the left (new revenue source to fund public services).
Totally logical and clear-headed, so clearly will never happen :upside_down_face:

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I see this as part of a larger narrative that’s often missed by small thinkers: The government is not a business and should not be run like a business. Government is designed to handle those public services that (a) would be unprofitable for private businesses, and (b) would have undesirable outcomes when pursued for profit by private businesses. Pure research is a good example of (a). Health care is a life-or-death example of (b).

So with this in mind, let’s please abandon the “PayGo” bullshit that Corporate Democrats like Speaker Pelosi seem to think is such a good idea, and let’s stop trying to elect businesspeople to government.


Funny you mention that. I had a colleague during election season say to me, “I know you and I would both love a businessman as President”.

And I thought to myself, “I am really glad they don’t run the government like they run this place”


Having read The Value of Everything, I think she’s mainly concerned with companies that are profiting from government R&D (e.g. DARPA) while paying nothing in return (e.g. Google), both in terms of royalties or in offering their own research, which has foundations in the public domain, to the greater public. The socialism/risk and reward bit is more about making sure the government isn’t the only one to foot the bill for this kind of research, particularly if something goes wrong that has a significant impact on the larger economy (hello, venture capitalists).

She’s also, like Stiglitz, strongly in favor of increasing this type of research and quantifying it for a revised method of calculating GDP. If the focus is solely on the profits generated by these companies and not the underlying infrastructure that propped them up, economists will have a distorted picture of the economy and will continue to claim that the public sector contributes nothing and therefore should get no money for research. After all, these companies have it covered, right?

I don’t see her imposing royalties on parties that benefit from public sector research in a non-self-serving way. Even lawyers.


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