Creative Destruction

March 21, 2006

An Entrepreneurial Left

Filed under: Economics,Politics — Robert @ 8:10 am

I occasionally wonder if, for lack of a better term, the “reasonable” left (hi, Barry!) could be persuaded into adopting an entrepreneurial cast of mind.

Left criticisms of business are legion. It’s intriguing to see the merits and demerits of left principles, applied to the necessity to manage resources.

It would also have beneficial demographic effects, in two directions. One, the experience of leftists with some of their own laws and principles might knock some rough edges off. Two, the empirical evidence that might be presented as to the (in)validity of some left-wing approaches to things like labor relations.

In college, I served on the board of a co-operative organization called OSCA. We had a small chain of room-and-board houses, which were managed collectively, with consensus-type techniques. It was imperfect, but it basically functioned, and on competitive terms with the allegedly private-enterprise college dining and housing service.

(I used to annoy colleagues on the board by pointing out that the freedom of free market economics here in the US was making it possible for them to run this demonstration project for lefty economic entities. I haven’t changed much.)

So it would be an interesting experiment to see tried on a broader scale. But I don’t know how to persuade them to try.



  1. There should be an “Economics” category, o mighty king.

    Comment by bobhayes — March 21, 2006 @ 8:11 am | Reply

  2. There you go

    Comment by Adam Gurri — March 21, 2006 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

  3. I’ve thought for a while that the GOP would be in real trouble if the Democrats were ever to wise up and end their reflexive hostility to the creation of wealth. Some of my Democratic friends can’t understand why a social liberal like myself doesn’t support their party. I tell them, “Give me a candidate who won’t raise taxes and I’ll vote for him.” They usually then go off an a discourse about how tax increases are “necessary.”

    All right, fine. If you’re unwilling to put any aspects of the progressive agenda on the bargaining table, that’s your call. But don’t be surprised when people don’t vote for your candidates.

    I think there are plenty of people out there who are wary of the GOP’s religious right agenda and who would welcome an alternative. These voters are ripe for the picking, but they are to be found at the political center, where elections are won, and the Kos/MoveOn wing of the Democratic Party seems to have no inclination to look for them there.

    Comment by bazzer — March 21, 2006 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

  4. Bazzer: aside from being suspicious about religious agendas, the GOP also continually fail to live up to their supposed commitment to free markets, free trade, and small government.

    A Democrat that could assure me that he or she would fight for lowering tariffs across the board would win my vote.

    Comment by Adam Gurri — March 21, 2006 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  5. Hooray, an econ category!

    Now we can score all that sweet, sweet econ traffic.

    Comment by bobhayes — March 21, 2006 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

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