For some reason we seem to have decided that jet fuel and domestic heating deserve a tax break, yet simply being rich is regarded as the most profound of pollutants.
but the idea that the cause of the crisis was simply fat cat bankers is juvenile. The financial system – its regulations, risk management and ethics – is profoundly flawed. Fixing those flaws is a hugely technical problem as well as a political one. Fighting the banking lobby is going to be necessary but not sufficient.
We need to pay serious attention to our innovation system. Patents are useful in some circumstances but seem to be distorting the computing industry. There is far too little attention being paid to ideas that really matter, such as low-carbon technology or antibiotics.
Capitalism can’t just be about trying to make money – that’s the ethics of a used car salesman or a drug dealer. Capitalism has to involve a sense of creativity, boldness and pride in a job well done. The most successful companies have usually had this and many still do – from Apple to Brompton to Zipcar – but many financial companies seem to have long ago abandoned them.
Monday, November 07, 2011
I wonder if Tim Harford could make some progress at Zucotti Park
I certainly hope so: