22. Nov, 2020

This economist has a plan to fix capitalism. It's time we all listened

“Steve Jobs has rightly been called a genius for the visionary products he conceived and marketed, [but] this story creates a myth about the origin of Apple’s success,” Mazzucato writes in her 2013 book The Entrepreneurial State. “Without the massive amount of public investment behind the computer and internet revolutions, such attributes might have led only to the invention of a new toy.

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The modus operandi of these mission-oriented institutions provided Mazzucato with an alternative vocabulary that told a different story about the role of the state. “Economics is full of stories,” she says. “Words like ‘enabling’, ‘facilitating’, ‘spending’, ‘regulating’ – they create a story of the state as boring and inertial. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We need a new narrative to guide better policies.” These mission-oriented institutions were actively creating and shaping markets, rather than merely fixing them. They were ambitiously seeking high-risk directions for research and investment, rather than outsourcing and avoiding uncertainty.