Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just get them out of the way

The Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) gets it exactly right in their criticism of what passes for government involvement in private business:
""Kentucky as a whole has not made adequate economic progress over the last 30 years," Jason Bailey, research and policy director for the association, said
in an interview. "We are largely stuck in an old approach to economic development that's really based on recruiting industry with the use of tax incentives.""

Unfortunately, this clear-headed analysis leads into more of the same interventionism MACED tends to fall into:
The study’s recommendations include:

• An increase in the share of state economic development resources that go into entrepreneurship and small business development;

• The creation of a state commission to raise the profile of entrepreneurship, conduct research and convene an annual summit;

• A new system of expanded performance-based investments in existing and new
entrepreneurship and small business programs across Kentucky;

• A new state role in helping coordinate and connect the various public, non-profit and private programs across the state.

There is something perverse about setting up a government bureaucracy to incentivize and guide entrepreneurism. We would do much better to shut down the economic development cabinet, cut taxes, and reduce regulation that hurts private productivity.

Sure, teach entrepreneurism in the schools. In fact, make it a part of the required curriculum at every high school and state college and university. But then get government out of the way.