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jerryking : state-as-facilitator   13

Lunch with the FT: Mariana Mazzucato -
August 14, 2015 12:07 pm
Lunch with the FT: Mariana Mazzucato
John Thornhill

* Mazzucato’s book The Entrepreneurial State

As Mazzucato explains it, the traditional way of framing the debate about wealth creation is to picture the private sector as a magnificent lion caged by the public sector. Remove the bars, and the lion roams and roars. In fact, she argues, private sector companies are rarely lions; far more often they are kittens. Managers tend to be more concerned with cutting costs, buying back their shares and maximising their share prices (and stock options) than they are in investing in research and development and boosting long-term growth.
“As soon as I started looking at these issues, I started realising how much language matters. If you just talk about the state as a facilitator, as a de-risker, as an incentiviser, as a fixer of market failures, it ends up structuring what you do,” she says. But the state plays a far more creative role, she insists, in terms of declaring grand missions (the US ambition to go to the moon, or the German goal of creating nuclear-free energy), and investing in the early-stage development of many industries, including semiconductors, the internet and fracking. “You always require the state to roar.”
... Some tech and pharmaceuticals companies are going to extravagant lengths to reduce their taxes, one of the ways in which they pay back the state. The more libertarian wing of Silicon Valley is even talking of secession from California so they can pay no tax at all. “Won’t it be nice when there’s the next tsunami and these guys call the coastguard,” she says....
One criticism of Mazzucato’s work is that she fetishises the public sector in much the same way that rightwing commentators idolise the private sector. She appears stung by the suggestion: “I’m from Italy, believe me, I don’t romanticise the state.” The challenge, she says, is to rebalance the relationship between the private sector, which is all too often overly financialised and parasitic, and the public sector, which is frequently unimaginative and fearful. “When you have a courageous, mission-oriented public sector, it affects not just investment but the relationships and the deals it does with the private sector,” she says. Europe’s left-wing parties could have run with this agenda. Instead, she says, they have “absolutely failed” to change the political discourse by obsessing about value extraction rather than value creation, by focusing more on taxing big business than fostering innovation.

The Chinese get the state to do that risky and costly, research and the development to keep them ahead.

The US does the same, but just keeps quiet about it so it doesn’t spoil the narrative.
“The parts of the smart phone that make it smart—GPS, touch screens, the Internet—were advanced by the Defense Department. Tesla’s battery technologies and solar panels came out of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Google’s search engine algorithm was boosted by a National Science Foundation innovation. Many innovative new drugs have come out of NIH research.!”
activism  books  breakthroughs  DARPA  de-risking  Department_of_Energy  early-stage  economists  fracking  free-riding  innovation  Mariana_Mazzucato  mission-driven  moonshots  NIH  NSF  private_sector  public_sector  semiconductors  Silicon_Valley  sovereign-risk  state-as-facilitator  value_creation  value_extraction  women 
august 2015 by jerryking
Finns Pitch Frightful Weather as a Competitive Advantage -
November 15, 2013, 9:02 am 8 Comments
Finns Pitch Frightful Weather as a Competitive Advantage

In Europe’s crowded technology scene, cities are eager to differentiate themselves from local rivals.

London has its connections with global finance. Berlin has a thriving local arts and music community. And Helsinki has its wintry weather....“Weather is a competitive advantage for us,” said Christian Lindholm, a local entrepreneur, who – like many in Finland’s tech community – spent several years working at Nokia. “Too much good weather would be bad for us.”

The Finnish tech industry is going through a reboot as focus shifts from struggling Nokia, which is selling its cellphone division to Microsoft for $7.2 billion, to some of the country’s smaller companies.

The most recent success is Supercell, the local online gaming firms are also benefiting from the investment flowing into companies based in and around Helsinki. With a lack of Finnish early-stage investors to back start-ups, much of the funding still comes through government support, including from Tekes, the country’s technology and innovation agency, and other state-backed venture funds.

The government money varies from one-off grants for research and development at universities to six-figure investments aimed at boosting start-ups efforts to market their products in international markets.
cities  competitive_advantage  differentiation  Europe  EU  Finland  Finnish  games  healthcare  Helsinki  mobile_applications  Nokia  start_ups  state-as-facilitator  weather  winter 
november 2013 by jerryking
America the Innovative? -
March 30, 2013 | NYT | By EAMONN FINGLETON.

How do we explain America’s sudden mid-20th-century ascent to technological glory? The credit goes not to freedom but to something more prosaic: money. With World War II, the United States government joined corporations in ramping up spending on R&D, and then came the cold war and the Soviets’ launch of Sputnik in 1957, which gave further impetus to government-funded research. One result was Darpa, which helped develop the Internet.

Throughout history, rich nations have gotten to the future first. Their companies can afford to equip their tinkerers and visionaries with the most advanced materials, instruments and knowledge.

This raises an epochal question: as China becomes richer, is it destined to pass the United States as the world’s most inventive nation? The question is all the more pertinent because many experts contend that America’s inventive spirit is already flagging. As the Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel put it to me in an interview, American innovation in recent decades has been remarkably narrowly based. “It has been confined largely to information technology and financial services,” he said. “By contrast in transportation, for instance, we are hardly more advanced today than we were 40 years ago. The story is similar in treating cancer.”
China  U.S.  competitiveness_of_nations  innovation  creativity  China_rising  patents  DARPA  Cold_War  America_in_Decline?  post-WWII  Peter_Thiel  inventiveness  visionaries  abundance  state-as-facilitator  tinkerers 
april 2013 by jerryking
9/11 and the age of sovereign failure -
Sep. 10, 2011 | The Globe & Mail | Michael Ignatieff.. One
of the tasks we ask govt. to perform is to think the unthinkable. Yet on
9/11, govt. institutions failed...A sovereign is a state with a
monopoly on the means of force...It is there to think the unthinkable
and plan for it. A sovereign failed that morning.... There has been a
cascade of failure: (1) No WMDs found in Iraq; (2) The failure of the
levees & New Orleans civil authority following Hurricane Katrina;
(3) the 2008 mortgage bubble and govt. regulators; (4) the failure of
govt. regulators to catch BP before the Spring 2010 oil spill. ...While
there are a lot of things a govt. might do, there are a few things that
only a govt. can do: protect the people, rescue them when they are in
danger, regulate against catastrophic risk and safeguard the full faith
and credit of their currency. Sovereigns matter. And rebuilding their
legitimacy, their capacity and their competence is the political task
that matters most......It is always good to be skeptical about what governments tell us. But we are beyond skepticism now, into a deep and enduring cynicism. There will come a day when they are not crying wolf and we will not believe them. Then we will be in trouble. Some trust in government is a condition of democracy and security alike. That trust has been weakened and can't be rebuilt until sovereigns say what they mean, mean what they say and do what they promise.
Michael_Ignatieff  failure  government  9/11  low_probability  catastrophic_risk  priorities  unthinkable  sovereign-risk  state-as-facilitator  legitimacy  capacity  competence  oil_spills  cynicism  skepticism  policymaking 
september 2011 by jerryking
Unboxed - Governments Embracing a Role in Innovation -
June 20, 2009 | NYT | By STEVE LOHR. Innovation policy, to
be sure, is an emerging discipline, lacking crisp definitions or
metrics. What is the appropriate government role in creating industries
and jobs in today’s high-technology, global economy?...John Kao, a
former professor at HBS and founder of the Institute for Large Scale
Innovation....innovation policy is an attempt to bring some coordination
to often disparate government initiatives in scientific research,
education, business incentives, immigration and even intellectual
property....governments are increasingly wading into the innovation
game, declaring innovation agendas and appointing senior innovation
officials. The impetus comes from two fronts: daunting challenges in
fields like energy, the environment and health care that require
collaboration between the public and private sectors; and shortcomings
of traditional economic development and industrial policies.
innovation  large_companies  Finland  government  John_Kao  industrial_policies  shortcomings  scaling  policy  state-as-facilitator  global_economy  policymaking  innovation_policies 
december 2010 by jerryking
China's 'State Capitalism' Sparks a Global Backlash -
OSTER. Bedeviling U.S.-China relations is a deep issue: China's national
economic strategy is detailed and multifaceted, and it is challenging
the U.S. and other powers on a number of fronts. Central to China's
approach are policies that champion SOEs, seek aggressively to obtain
advanced technology, and manage its exchange rate to benefit exporters.
It leverages state control of the financial sys. to channel low-cost
capital to domestic industries—and to resource-rich foreign nations
whose oil and minerals China needs to maintain rapid growth. ...Charlene
Barshefsky, Clinton's U.S.T.R.. says the rise of powerful state-led
economies like China & Russia is undermining the established
post-World War II trading system...the Chinese state is again ascendant.
...The govt. owns almost all major banks in China, its three major oil
companies, its three telecom carriers and its major media firms.
backlash  China  China_rising  industrial_policies  international_system  mercantilism  multifaceted  protectionism  post-WWII  SOEs  state-as-facilitator  state_capitalism  U.S.-China_relations 
november 2010 by jerryking
How Canadian 'science fiction' drives subway trains abroad
Aug. 19, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Jeff Gray. ",Fighting for
business around the world from a base in Canada has several advantages,
Mr. Kahn says. For one thing, governments support technology and
innovation: Thales received a $12.8-million grant from Ontario last year
to integrate green energy-saving technology into its systems.

But the talent pool in Toronto is also a major advantage, adds Mr. Kahn,
who came from Thales’s aviation division, based in Italy. Not only is
Toronto awash in technical expertise, he says, its diversity is a secret
weapon. "
beyondtheU.S.  diversity  railways  special_sauce  state-as-facilitator  Thales  Toronto  transit  transportation  TTC 
august 2010 by jerryking
Technological Opportunities, Job Creation, and Economic Growth | The White House
June 28, 2010 | New America Foundation | Larry Summers. Opening
up spectrum creates a foundation for new private sector investment and
economic activity – in mobile broadband and a range of other high-value
uses – that would not have been possible without the coordinating and
organizing role of govt. But there is another reason why reforming
spectrum policy is important. Mancur Olson wrote about the tendency of
stable societies to become sclerotic as entrenched interests blocked
progress. Similarly, Alexander Gerschenkron commented on the advantages
of “economic backwardness”: Countries late to industrialize bypass-with
an open canvas-many of the dead ends and outdated practices that
encumbered early industrializers. Spectrum policy reform is important
because it addresses a cutting-edge area where we would be disadvantaged
because our early lead in developing and deploying technologies of
yesterday leave us ill-equipped for tomorrow's technological challenges.
Larry_Summers  wireless  wireless_networks  wireless_spectrum  Mancur_Olson  cronyism  job_creation  sclerotic  state-as-facilitator  leapfrogging  entrenched_interests 
july 2010 by jerryking
China Toughens Rules for Foreign Companies -
MARCH 17, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by ANDREW BROWNE And
JASON DEAN. Business Sours on China. Foreign Executives Say Beijing
Creates Fresh Barriers; Broadsides, Patent Rules. China's relationship
with foreign companies is starting to sour, as tougher government
policies and intensifying domestic competition combine to make one of
the world's most important markets less friendly to
multinationals....Signs of nationalism are evident in the grooming of
state-owned companies (SOEs) to dominate their industries as "national
champions," often at the expense of private Chinese companies as well as
foreign firms. From airlines to coal mining to dairy products,
government policies are expanding the state's role.
China  protectionism  multinationals  patent_law  economic_nationalism  SOEs  global_champions  state-as-facilitator 
march 2010 by jerryking
The renaissance of state intervention
September 19, 2008 G&M editorial on the U.S. government
being forced to be pragmatic and commonsensical in approach to dealing
with the banks.
crisis  editorials  Keynesian  public_policy  state-as-facilitator  state_capitalism 
january 2009 by jerryking

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