Category Archives: Economics

What Works

We have roughly two hundred years of experience with modern capitalistic market based economies, and there are roughly 200 countries on earth, each obviously with an economy, and most with some variation of a modern capitalistic market based economy. From that history and that range of practical experience we have a pretty good idea of what works, and what doesn’t work.
Here are the main components of a successful society with a successful economy.

First, science is the foundation of modern society, and the most successful economies are highly dependent upon science. It drives technological advances that create new industries. The industrial revolution began when James Watt successfully applied Boyle’s law, and since then scientific advances have eventually led to technological changes, and these changes altered society and the economy. Throughout history, those societies that are most open to scientific advances, and most adept at applying them to new technologies, have thrived.

Second, the most scientifically advanced societies, and the societies with the most successful economies, are the most “open,” open to new ideas and new people. The history of the “modern” world shows that this is true. The Renaissance, which began the transformation of Europe from the Dark Ages to the Modern world, started in the port cities of Italy in the 14th Century. Traders from those ports were traveling to the Arabian world, and were bringing back new people and new ideas, not to mention reintroducing old ideas to Europe. (Of course they had also brought the bubonic plague a century or so earlier, but I suppose you have to take the good with the bad.)

There are two major components to this idea of openness. The first is that open societies have governments that are responsive to the citizens of the nation. Unfortunately the U.S. government has grown sclerotic and is often as much a hindrance to society and the economy as a benefit. That is why I am proposing a new system to make the nation more democratic, and give is a government that is more responsive to the needs of the people. The second component of social openness is that societies that discriminate stagnate, and societies that are open and tolerant are the most scientifically, culturally and economically successful. Tolerance is a key component of a successful economy.

Third, throughout history and across geography, the most successful economies are based on the free market, but have a degree of government oversight to prevent excesses, inefficiencies and extremes. Modern conservatives believe that we should have a hands-off, laissez-faire economy, with no government control or oversight. But they can’t point to a single example of where this theory has been successfully put into practice. History teaches that unregulated markets tend to excess and instability, but it also teaches that too much government control can stifle innovation and economic growth. The goal is to achieve the proper balance between the openness of free markets, but with some degree of government oversight to prevent harm to citizens.

Based on this brief overview of what makes a successful economy, I will focus on four sound bites in my campaign, and all four relate to the economy:

1. Science is the foundation of the modern economy. To grow the economy we must support science.

2. Tolerance is a key component of a successful economy.

3. Government Gridlock hurts the nation, and also harms the economy.

4. We need Goldilocks regulation: not too much, nor too little, but just the right amount.