Monday, April 27, 2009

Tabarrok on Reasons to be Optimistic

Over the last 50 years, more people have been taken out of poverty in China than in any other era of human history. Larger markets increase incentive to produce all kind of ideas. For example, pharmaceutical companies have more incentive to develop and synthesize drugs for rare diseases. How do we maximize that incentive? 1) Having one world market, meaning a greater demand for ideas. 2) Encouraging more people to be scientists and engineers, thus increasing the supply of ideas. Currently only 0.1% of people in the world are scientists or engineers! One might include entrepreneurs or inventors in this category too. The US is losing its leadership here, but that is a good thing. The tragedy of the last century is that billions of our possible idea makers have not been able to spread their ideas. Now that China, Africa, and India are coming into play, they can contribute ideas too. Give a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. Or something like that.

His TED talk is here, it's only 15 minutes long, and I got goosebumps.