Progressive Entrepreneurship: A Work in Progress

By June 27, 2012Articles, Entrepreneurship

A few years ago, the noted economist Benjamin Friedman laid out the moral case for a progressive commitment to robust economic growth. Growth, he argued, increases opportunity and mobility, makes fairness more likely, and strengthens support for tolerance and democracy. At the same time, he offered two caveats. First, to achieve these results, growth must be widely shared. If those at the top commandeer its fruits, opportunity and mobility will stagnate, and social tensions will rise. Second, if the right kind of growth is valuable in part because it provides public goods, then a basic tenet of public-choice theory holds that the market by itself will undersupply those goods. The right kind of collective action can improve on pure market outcomes.

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