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Four Economic Benchmarks We Need Now

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Should governments accept the dictates of markets? It's the question raging across the econoverse in the wake of demands for austerity from bondholders. But it's the wrong question. The right question is: are organizations and markets making decisions that help make people, communities, and society better off in the long run, by allocating their scarce resources to the most productive uses? The correct role of governance is to shape the decisions of markets, by breathing life into social preferences and expectations. Here's what I mean by that. Once upon a time, markets "wanted" indentured servitude, debtors prisons, and child labor. But those decisions were unacceptable to society, and so governments took on the challenge of shaping them, reforming markets by preventing them from choosing those options.

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