Entrepreneurs or the state: Innovation comes from public investment.
I came across Mazzucato a while ago and what she and Fred Block (and other economists and even non-economists) argue fits what I and (many) others have long observed and noted: that government’s role in innovation investment has been deprecated and even obscured. Mazzucato’s new book, The Entrepreneurial State, expands on the subject. Mazzucato is a good writer and the book is interesting. It does the great service of unpacking (thoroughly undoing, actually) the persistent myth about innovation in tech: that it is all about individuals and sometimes, grudgingly, garage bands, working outside the destructive gravity of the government to come up with that something new. Of course there are brilliant individuals and of course many do new things on their own, in the isolation of their garage or apartment or cabin in the woods, that change the shape of the present and future. But that’s not the point of her or any rational examination. It is rather to examine the logistics of innovation so as to strengthen the likelihood of effective investment. And pretending that it’s all done in Libertarian isolation is not the way.