To the editor: The folks at Tribune Content Agency must have exceptionally long arms. To reach a purported economist, they dragged up Mr. Cowen from the bottom of the barrel.
Mr. Cowen proposes that economic creativity starts conservative then deteriorates to progressive. His example, Ford proves the exact opposite. Henry Ford’s approach to manufacturing was the essence of radical progress, not only in the manufacturing sense but in Ford’s very progressive approach to marketing and distribution. His industrial genius had a profound effect on life in the USA and throughout the world. That genius has been augmented over time but remains fundamentally the same (a conservative shift?).
Other progressive innovators could include the Koch Patriarch (chemical and energy development). The inheritors of Koch have appeared to shift conservatively.
Jeff Bezos has taken a progressive path to retail internet marketing. Whether he or his heirs will wax conservative remains to be seen.
In each situation the popular reaction is toward the progressive development. Governments tend to mirror the populace (unless they abandon public in favor of private interests).