Rethinking the Economy is a public diary I’m using as a sandbox to develop a new model for thinking about the economy that’s focused on on creating jobs, growth, opportunity, and justice.
About the “stumbling” referenced in the subtitle:
There are awful lot of smart bloggers who seem confident about almost everything they say. I’m not one of them. I think it’s especially important if I’m taking on something as insanely ambitious as trying to come up with a new model for thinking about the economy to be clear I don’t think I have all the answers. Figuring this out is going to take a lot of taking wrong turns, getting lost, and otherwise making mistakes. “Stumbling towards” is my way of admitting that up front.
“Stumbling towards” is also for myself. I didn’t start a blog for a long time because the idea of putting out ideas before I have worked him over for a really long time gave me the willies. So when you see a post that starts with “time for little more stumbling,” that’s just my way of telling myself to chill out before I jump/keel over into the deep end of the pool.
Finally, “stumbling towards” is also – I think – going to be an important philosophical underpinning the economic framework I’m creating. Free-market cheerleaders like to say government bureaucrats will always fail because you can’t be smarter than the market. I think that’s true. But it’s also true that market-based solutions to problems run into exactly the same problem. Any theory for how we intervene in the economy needs to admit that there’s no right solution, there is no way to predict all the consequences of our actions. But as I’ve learned in my day job – managing software projects for corporations, nonprofits, and government – the fact that you have limited control and can’t really predict what will happen doesn’t mean you’re stuck. If you can get comfortable with the limits of your power and get comfortable with “stumbling towards” (and ensuing geeky things like risk management, feedback loops, iterative development, etc.) it’s pretty remarkable what you can accomplish. I think there are some important lessons I can mine from this experience in the economy, and “stumbling towards” is a way of reminding me to do that.