Should The Government Become More Entrepreneurial?

We’ve heard a lot about the Federal Government’s failed entrepreneurial attempts, like solar energy in the previous administration ( I know nothing about this website).  But did you also know that the government had backed Tesla?

The government is a logical source for investment funding into early-stage research — the military, basic science, and medicine are three examples.  So maybe the problem is not that we’re funding this research, but that we’re going about it all wrong?

That’s the contention of economist Mariana Mazzucato.   She argues that the government’s research funding is a major reason behind many of our economic successes, but we’re not benefiting like we should.  Think about it — Silicon Valley would not exist without a government program (the Internet).  But how much money does the public treasury get back from on-line commerce?  GPS is another example — how much does the government make from all those apps that use the system’s satellite network to tell you where you are (or where your ride is)?

For more about Professor Mazzucato’s views, you can read a transcript of an interview with her on the Freakonomics website — .

Just something to think about on this election eve.


(Photo: Andrew Van Huss/Wikimedia Commons)


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