What Darwin Can Teach Us About the Economy

Find Prometheus on Facebook Support Prometheus
Today is the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's publication of The Origin of Species, and it's worth recalling the central lesson of his revolutionary contribution. As philosopher Daniel Dennett argues, Darwin's "dangerous idea" was the concept that complex adaptation can occur spontaneously. Or put another way, that Design can evolve without a Designer.

These lessons have important applications to all Americans as we face difficult challenges in health care, education, alternative energy, and the economy at large. It's tempting to rely on economists and policy experts who assure us they know how to Design a solution to every problem, but evolution teaches us that they don't. Evolution is unpredictable, spontaneous, and randomly generated.

To evolve, self-organizing systems need only variation among options, a selection mechanism to determine which options are most effective, and an ability to preserve successful variations.

In the economic context, variation simply means the competitive freedom to introduce new ideas into the marketplace. Selection simply means the freedom of consumers to choose which options work for them. And preservation simply means a system of secure property rights to protect investments.

As a leading evolutionary scientist put it, “We have more than just a few little hints that, for Darwin, the driving force behind all sorts of evolutionary change, including progress, is the sort of competition that goes on in the natural economy and the political economy alike.”

Unfortunately, our political leaders have ignored Darwin's great lesson. Policies like the Fed's interest rate cuts and money supply expansion, as well as Congress' indirect inducements to invest in certain industries (such as encouraging mortgages to subprime buyers), were atrociously failed economic Designs. These policies blunted the forces of evolution, artificially diverting activity toward unproductive and unwise investments.

Not surprisingly, the result was an economic extinction on a Permian level. To compound the problem, the politicians responded with more grandiose Designs and a spate of bailouts, resuscitating the failing corporations who have proven their inability to adapt to difficult times. As anyone reading this paper knows, this "solution" has only made things worse.

The "too big to fail" concept is not only anti-American, but also anti-evolution. Over 99.9% of species over time have gone extinct over time. Natural selection itself is defined as "differential reproduction", meaning some variations survive while others (usually most) perish. With this context, it's no surprise that we're facing record unemployment while the artificial stimulus is not working. Our economy can't evolve.

Of course, to many, this smacks of Social Darwinism. But Social Darwinism has been wholly discredited by the modern understanding of evolution. True social evolution thrives on reciprocity, which means protecting people while letting unfit ideas (specifically in the form of businesses, government programs, and other institutions) die out. It's "survival of the fittest" ideas, not people. This means while we can take care of people who need help outside the marketplace, government shouldn't interfere with the competitive process itself.

To help America evolve again, we should start by letting failing businesses fail, preserving the opportunity for new solutions to emerge. We should reduce the tax and regulatory burdens on entrepreneurs, freeing them to introduce new variations into the marketplace. We should cut business and personal taxes across the board, freeing the American people to make more choices and do more with their money. And in health care, education, and the environment, enact policies that increase consumer choice and competition among various options.

Self-organization is the fundamental law of nature. 150 years after Darwin shook the world with his insights, Washington has yet to be convinced. It's time for us to use his ideas and preserve the American evolution. Otherwise, we'll just continue to go the way of the Romans - and the dinosaurs.

Trackback(0)
Comments (78)add comment

rescueMe said:

0
...
Have you read Michael Shermer's Mind of the Market? Makes similar points, from the perspective of evolutionary psychology.
 
November 24, 2009
Votes: +0

nike acg said:

0
...
YS0315H3They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are moncler jackets. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try "delousing" the closet in your own jordans sheoes room.Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they'll give you as many nike air force 1 times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real designer clothing life.Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few http://www.onestop-onlineshopping.com/ employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own discount air jordan shoes time.Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the cheap nike shoescoffee shop and go to jobs. The sting of a reproach,is the truth of it.Virtue and happiness are mother and daugher.
 
March 15, 2010 | url
Votes: +0

shox oz said:

0
...
YS0315H1Activity is the only road to knowledge.A free man obtains cheap jordans knowledge from many sources 1 besides books.A great part to the information I have was acquired by looking up something jordans shoes and finding something else on the way.
 
March 15, 2010 | url
Votes: +0

Vibram FiveFingers said:

0
...
thanks ssssssssssssssssssssss
 
May 12, 2010 | url
Votes: +0

buу аdiрех said:

0
...
Looking through this, I bring together a lot of thoughts - what to organize, what to say, what to express but the only thing I keep up on for sure is that I am knocked out by the good means of the writer
 
November 28, 2010 | url
Votes: +0

plus size wear said:

0
...
I am so pleased that so great creators give their creations in our world. In case I were the monarch of the kingdom, I would grant the writer of this article with medal
 
January 18, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

clothing said:

0
...
I am so proud that so pleasant writers give their creations in our world. In case I were the queen of the monarchy, I would grant the writer of this article with gold
 
January 18, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

Apparel said:

0
...
Really interesting topic you chose to write about! I'm pleased!
 
February 06, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

escarpins louboutin prix said:

0
...
Looking through this, I bring together a lot of thoughts - what to organize, what to say, what to express but the only thing I keep up on for sure is that I am knocked out by the good means of the writer,chaussures hommes christian louboutin.
 
March 01, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

cheap air max 360 said:

0
...
This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. Youve got a design here thats not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as what youre saying. Great job, indeed.http://www.cheapairmax.co.uk/nike-air-classis-bw-c35/
 
June 15, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

mulberry outlets said:

0
...
The driving force behind all sorts of evolutionary change, including progress, is the sort of competition that goes on in the natural economy and the political economy alike. I wish that my Mulberry outlets, Mulberry Bayswater, Mac makeup kopen will stand out from the competition.
 
July 21, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

uggs australia uk said:

0
...
HYCJL18565V3this topic is very good,I am agree with this view.uggs australia uk shows an entirely distinct style, and does not belong to UGG collection, but it retains the exquisite craftsmanship of UGG to provide cold protection and comfort. Womens Uggs Sundance II Boots 5325 is focused on creating Autumn/Winter women’s leather boots collection. This style of UGG leather boot shows a super classic style, and is arguably a brand new UGG boot. UGG Baby Boots As a daily boot matching with various clothes, it makes mature women show elegant, unrestrained and charming style. It has a rich texture and an affordable price. The new Uggs Kids Bailey Button 5991 Boots Sale UK is a perfect combination of interior quality and exterior design. The material used in interior design is made of pure wool with tender, luxurious touch. http://www.uggsbootsuk2011.com
 
December 01, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

uggs australia uk said:

0
...
HYCJL18565V3Great Post. I have read a lot of posts on this subject and you done the best job. Keep it up!uggs australia uk shows an entirely distinct style, and does not belong to UGG collection, but it retains the exquisite craftsmanship of UGG to provide cold protection and comfort. Womens Uggs Sundance II Boots 5325 is focused on creating Autumn/Winter women’s leather boots collection. This style of UGG leather boot shows a super classic style, and is arguably a brand new UGG boot. UGG Baby Boots As a daily boot matching with various clothes, it makes mature women show elegant, unrestrained and charming style. It has a rich texture and an affordable price. The new Uggs Kids Bailey Button 5991 Boots Sale UK is a perfect combination of interior quality and exterior design. The material used in interior design is made of pure wool with tender, luxurious touch. http://www.uggsbootsuk2011.com
 
December 01, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

seoerqing said:

0
...
cheap soccer jerseys lee harp ham acquire more substantial and follow the body.closeknit group has yielded a top magazine editor, messi Jerseys a dentist, a lights sounds expert, an IT professional, a chef,youth Soccer Jersey, a couple of full time housewives who married well, and a successful entrepreneur who also does volunteer work for a local foundation as a soccer coach for a group of talented outofschool .team 2012 Germany jerseys kits.We were all interested in the stories of our friend who volunteers for the local foundation because he has so much to say about the kids who turned out to be passionate about sports. He said that he didnt intend to be seriously involved in the foundation but he found it hard to completely detach himself once he set eyes on .cheap Barcelona jerseys the kids and got to talk to some of them. He described some kind of invisible force drawing him closer to the kids that made him realize that its his calling to reach out to them and share his skills and knowledge to turn them into better persons and athletes.European Championship qualifying, group A has a competition at home.
 
December 13, 2011
Votes: +0

puma homme said:

0
...
thank you for your share ,i like it so much

 
February 28, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

hermes outlet said:

March 17, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

ワンピース said:

0
...
確かにレディースファッション、妊娠し
 
March 21, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

abercrombie madrid said:

0
...

Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any tips?Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any tips?
 
April 12, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

trx said:

0
...
Its excellent quality, affordable pricedsad
 
May 04, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

nike air max 90 said:

0
...
Very useful information. I love this article. I have hunting it for a long time. So happy I got it today. I hope that our owners can share more good things with us.
 
May 09, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

fitflop said:

0
...
"20. fitflop hooper black
The moment the timing of your proposal had been so determined the only way
for that respondents to comply with the requirements of area 99 of your Act
of 1975 black fitflop hooper
was to defer dismissals for redundancy for 90 days from October 24.
 
May 19, 2012
Votes: +0

camera accessories said:

0
...
Nice site! I enjoy several from the articles that have been written, and particularly the comments posted! I am going to definitely be visiting again
 
June 02, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

new era gorras said:

0
...
Utmärkt blogg här! efter att ha läst besluta jag att köpa en sovsäck ASAP :)
 
June 06, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

gucci belts cheap said:

0
...
If you are decided to set up an aquaponic system in which to grow vegetables and fish for you and your family, there are uphgirl1111
 
June 08, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

cheap juicy couture bags said:

0
...
Hi everyone ,this is a realy good place to shop JC!! http://www.ukcheaponsale.com
 
June 10, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

iphone marc Jacobs said:

0
...
A hinge system that's specially designed to attach your KATE SPADE iphone ケースto its cover ensures that it stays securely stowed in the utmost of style. Item comes boxed. Many mohters like this iphone marc Jacobs case style, if you are going to send a gift for your mother or a friends who is a mother, this Kate Spade iphone 4 case would be a great gift style.
 
June 11, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Louis Vuitton Borse said:

0
...
Grazie per il bel blog. E 'stato molto utile per me. Mantenere la condivisione di queste idee in

futuro.
 
June 13, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Burberry Borse said:

0
...
Good. Very informative even if I have now worked out that my website.
 
June 13, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

birkenstock outlet said:

0
...
the great business is not the strength of the body on the speed and agility of the complete, but depends on the character will and the power of knowledge of the finish.
 
June 15, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Abercrombie Fitch said:

0
...
isney is the place to have a good time, so do not let the cheaters ruin your vacation. Milk thistle is the natural herb that is considered a liver tonic that can normalize both digestion and bile production.
 
June 28, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Coach Factory Outlet Online said:

0
...
The game is the most proper behavior children, children toy is the angel.
 
June 29, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Celine Bag said:

0
...
The tragedy of life will be something of value destruction to show, which will be the value of the comedy tear to show.
 
July 02, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Celine Handbags said:

0
...
Discontent is the gear up.
 
July 02, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Moncler Salg said:

0
...
Thanks for sharing such a nice post regards….
 
July 07, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Coach Outlet Online said:

0
...
The best way to make money is you need to have a heart to make money.
 
July 07, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Coach Outlet Online said:

0
...
The best way to make money is you need to have a heart to make money.
 
July 07, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Moncler said:

0
...
Good. Very informative even if I have now worked out that my website.
 
July 09, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Coach Outlet Store Online said:

0
...
Never give up, Never lose the opportunity to succeed
 
July 11, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Sac Lancel said:

0
...
Thank you for your post,Good. Very informative even if I have now worked out that my website.
 
July 11, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Goedkope Moncler said:

0
...
Good!This post is creative,you'll find a lot of new idea,it gives me inspiration.I believe I will also inspired by you and feel about extra new ideas. Thanks.

 
July 12, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Coach Outlet Online said:

0
...
you smile again, I can happy several days; To see you cry for a time, I on the sad for several years.
 
July 14, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Karen Millen Outlet said:

July 15, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Julesrd said:

0
...
Have you read Michael Shermer's Mind of the Market? Makes similar points, from the perspective of evolutionary psychology.
 
July 25, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Coach Factory Outlet said:

0
...
little neglect may breed great mischief
 
July 26, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Coach Outlet said:

0
...
do unto others as you would be done by-Confucius sayings
 
July 26, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

birkenstock outlet said:

0
...
rich and can ask and, although and landmarks
 
August 03, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Christian Louboutin Outlet said:

0
...
christian Louboutin's trademark glossy Red Bottom, on which is indeed a unique sign.
 
August 10, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

cheap louboutin said:

0
...
I like much of your articles,the content is so nice for visitors.
 
August 11, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

cheap christian louboutin shoes said:

0
...
i trully enjoy all your blog as well as your different point is really good.very thanks.
 
August 11, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

christian louboutin australia said:

0
...
Enjoy all your articles, good blog,good website,Thanks
 
August 11, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

LED spotlights said:

0
...
My bathroom and kitchen has spotlights, but these are 12V, from a transformer. I was going to replace them with LED spots to save power, but now seeing they are 12V, I assume most power is lost through the transformer anyway? Is there any point me replacing them?

LED Spotlights | LED Panel Light | LED High Bay | LED Track Lighting
 
August 14, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

christian louboutin australia said:

0
...
Your blog is really great.Glad to visiting your blog.very nice article and good website.
 
August 17, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

adidas soccer cleats said:

0
...
Aha . That's very great . I've learned a lot from it . Thank you so much. Nice Post!
 
August 18, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

pandora charms said:

0
...
This is more than likely a big part of why people choose pandora bracelets Pandora jewelry time and time again. You can architecture abounding pandora beads altered bracelets with them that are all altered and claimed for you. The customers can combine all kinds of crystal pandora charms,Another make of bead may use harder,you will end up pandora jewelry with a beautifully unique piece of jewelry.The passage may be pandora necklaces too simple to introduce a brand.
 
August 20, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Ivory said:

0
...
The passage may be pandora necklaces too simple to introduce a brand.
 
August 22, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Kellye said:

0
...
In the economic context, variation simply means the competitive freedom to introduce new ideas into the marketplace. Selection simply means the freedom of consumers to choose which options work for them. And preservation simply means a system of secure property rights to protect investments.
 
August 23, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

celine outlet said:

0
...
the wise never ask now
 
August 25, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

adidas soccer cleats said:

August 28, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Herve Leger Outlet said:

0
...
Hey man! I fully agree with your thoughts. Many thanks for having written this.
 
September 02, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Coach Diaper Bag Outlet said:

0
...
met also can slightly said
 
September 04, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Coach Outlet Online said:

0
...
I will not envy your side of the opposite sex
 
September 08, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Cheap Football Boots said:

0
...
stated that stable. you will sustain the ball near to when dribbling in-stride, or breaking apart rapidly quickly after obtaining that most perfect by approach to ball.3)
 
September 12, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Beats By Dre said:

0
...
cult struggle.The main difference between your Beats by Dr. Dre Solo headphones and also the Monster Beats by Dr. Dre headphones appears to be, for review between your Beats Solo and
 
September 12, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

cheap oakley sunglasses said:

0
...

Everybody knows exactly where cheap oakley sunglasses colours will be the surface of their specific

individual gambling however let's consider elements that may help to create these kinds of perfectly-loved between avid gamers together with exactly what fashion techniques

because effectively due to the fact supplies are widely used to get them to consequently beneficial as well as specific.
Oakley Lifestyle Sunglasses and
Oakley Golf Sunglasses are fashionable now,come on choosing your

favourite oakley sunglasses.
 
September 14, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

nfl custom jerseys said:

0
...
Custom 49ers Jersey
Custom Bears Jersey
Custom Bengals Jersey
Custom Bills Jersey
Custom Broncos Jersey
 
September 15, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Emilia said:

0
...
To evolve, self-organizing systems need only variation among options, a selection mechanism to determine which options are most effective, and an ability to preserve successful variations.
 
September 18, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Annmarie Velasco said:

0
...
As anyone reading this paper knows, this "solution" has only made things worse.
 
September 20, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Cheap Football Boots said:

0
...
bring additional music to savor, even if the price is a price a little high.Beats by dre are really wonderful, they have very separation just for audiophiles, all these Dre Beats Solo
 
September 21, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Rosita Agee said:

0
...
But America should not be afraid - far from it. Instead, we should be celebrating the advancement. Just like air travel in its infancy, space travel is a technology now finding its way from rich world governments and militaries to civilians around the world. And just like air travel, market competition should lead the progress.
 
September 22, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

replica said:

0
...
The games and activities are loaded onto
 
September 27, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

portable car refrigerator said:

0
...

Both in auto industry and some other industry, universal parts have a great impact. It concluding the following basic components: radiator hose, seal ring, quick connector, pipe hose or pipe tube. You can select the suitable spare parts for your car or other vehicle.

 
November 02, 2012 | url
Votes: +0

Nehru jacket said:

0
...
You have done an excellent job in passing out the message through this blog, keep up the good work!
 
February 19, 2013 | url
Votes: +0

Write comment
smaller | bigger

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy