I came across an interesting quote in a new book by Nobel Prize winner in economics, Edmund Phelps. This was in his new book entitled Mass Flourishing. The context is a discussion of the conditions necessary for what he calls “dynamism” in an economy, or innovation and entrepreneurship. Here it is:
“The more opportunity that an idea has to be evaluated by someone who can appreciate it, the less likely it is for a good idea to be passed up for funding. (To let the king pick all the creative projects for financing would be a recipe for making a monochromatic country).” (p. 38)
We can translate that into something like this: If the government alone gets to pick all the winners and losers, many new and possibly beneficial ideas and innovations will be lost. Rather the market should be allowed in most cases to decide what is the most innovative. That way leads to the greatest prosperity and, beyond that, flourishing.
I might add that within any organization, the greatest scope of ideas ought to be permitted, encouraged, to emerge from an open environment that encourages innovative thought. Then those ideas should be taken seriously. Not all will be accepted of course, but to choose one from among dozens considerably increases the chances of getting the best one than allowing only one to emerge without any actual competition.