Downloading my newest addition to my Kindle library—the digital book service provided by Amazon.com—I remembered the gentle criticism of a planner on a list serve not too long ago. The thread was on sustainability and global warming. I had made the point that market economies were innovative economies, and too much of the planning discussion on sustainability focused on reduced consumption without seriously discussing the ways technology fundamentally changed our choice sets. The planner chastised me for my faith in markets, saying, in a nutshell, we need to focus on what we know we can influence and not hedge are bets on the past. The implication was that markets were too ephemeral and undependable to include in long-term planning.
The American economy has long relied upon technological innovation to drive its economy. Today,basic investment in science and technology is once again taking center stage,as a cure for both our economic and environmental ills.