The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The end of innovation?

I don't consider myself an especially wide or deep reader--okay, Philosopher and the wolf notwithstanding (maybe)--but when I glanced at Ricardian Ambivalence's post surmising on Tyler Cowen's 'stagnation thesis', my instinctive reaction certainly reconciled with R.A.'s take. I don't think that there is any basis to believe that the rate of technological progress is likely to slow across the globe, assuming that is what Mister Cohen is saying (it probably isn't). Indeed, given disruptive increases in incomes, education, and labour/social mobility amongst hundreds of millions of low-income households in China and India, one might posit that the global rate of innovation is about to undergo a positive regime shift once all this human capital is liberated. I can also see one making the case that the rewards to successful entrepreneurship and invention in today's globalised, winner-take-all-world, and the international protections available to the developers of protectable intellectual property (let's not get into the patentable subject matter debate), are as high as they have ever been at any point in modern human history. Can you imagine a company like Apple existing 100 years ago (maybe I am showing my age)? Anyway, that's just my invest-half-a-second-in-a-passing-thought-rant.