Industrial policy as “casino economics”

Source: The Hill
by Adam Thierer

“Roll the dice at a casino enough times, and you are bound to win a few games. But knowing the odds are not in your favor, how much are you willing to risk losing by continuing to gamble? This is the same issue governments confront when they gamble taxpayer dollars on industrial policy efforts, which can best be described as targeted and directed efforts to plan for specific future industrial outputs and outcomes. Throwing enough money at risky ventures might net a few wins, but at what cost? Could those resources have been better spent? And do bureaucrats really make better bets than private investors? These questions are increasingly pertinent as the United States embarks on its most audacious government-led gambling spree in decades, with both parties lining up to make some very big industrial policy wagers.” (07/12/21)