Marc Andreessen misses the point with It’s time to build

Writing on the Andreessen Horowitz blog, influential tech entrepreneur Marc Andreessen published It’s time to build. The essay laments Western civilization’s response to the coronavirus. To Andreessen, who the New Yorker labeled a “farsighted theorist” and sits alongside Bill Gates and Peter Thiel in the pantheon of serious Silicon Valley thinkers, the issue is desire.  He writes: The problem… Continue reading

Fair Trade: The arcane reason small retailers can’t compete with chains

If you want to understand why small retailers struggle in modern America, you need to understand one thing: fair trade laws. Today, fair trade is typically presented in the context of international trade. Essentially, a regulation that allows producers in the developing world to compete with large multinational conglomerates who have massive scale and purchasing… Continue reading

Yelp, Antitrust, and Google

Google, Amazon, and Facebook are modern-day railroads. The technology companies are three of the few organizations that own and control our modern infrastructure. Connor Dougherty published a nice look at how Google’s monopolist position impacts the businesses that rely on the infrastructure it owns. Like farmers and railroads before, web service providers like Yelp are effectively… Continue reading

The perils of privatizing public goods

In September 1987, nearly a year before Tracy Chapman sang about revolution, President Ronald Reagan started one in American policy—he started privatizing America’s public goods. The revolution didn’t happen overnight. In fact, most people didn’t even realize it occurred. As these two fantastic articles reveal, nearly thirty years later we’re dealing with the damaging consequences—economically,… Continue reading

How do you rebuild America? Stop treating government like a start up.

It’s news to no one that America’s middle class has been devastated by computers and globalization. With income inequality on everyone’s mind, it’s now the billion-dollar question policy makers face over the next twenty years. The standard solution follows something like this: The entire economy seems to be stagnant, except for Silicon Valley. Government needs to copy… Continue reading

Why Outsource?

When you throw away the books and the theory and look behind the curtain to see public and business strategy being implemented something becomes clear: most people have no idea what they are doing.  They may speak the language and look the part, but deep down most decision makers do what they think a person in… Continue reading