Why we can’t build

Linked on April 25, 2020

Very nice response to Marc Andreesson’s post last week by Ezra Klein at Vox:

So let me end with my answer to Andreessen’s question: What should we build? We should build institutions biased toward action and ambition, rather than inaction and incrementalism.

But that means doing the difficult work of reforming existing institutions that aren’t going anywhere. You can’t sidestep the existence of the government, as too many in Silicon Valley want to do. You have to engage with it. You have to muster the political power to rebuild parts of it. And then you need to use the government to make markets competitive again.

But legislators on both sides prefer the status quo because it gives them power when they’re in the minority, and because they’re more afraid of what their opponents might do than committed to what they’ve promised to do. The allure of what they could build isn’t as powerful as the fear of what the other side may build.