Wsj Review of The Enlightened Economy

Lynne Kiesling

I recently recommended Joel Mokyr’s The Enlightened Economy and mentioned that I was going to have a more lengthy discussion of it soon. I still have things I want to say about it, but Trevor Butterworth fills some of the void with his review in the Wall Street Journal. Butterworth has some pointed (and I would argue accurate) criticism of modern economics and the overly materialist and anti-scholarly focus of economic theory; he also doesn’t spare policymakers when he notes that

… its perceptive examination of the birth of economic prosperity holds many arresting insights for our fraught economic times, where freedom is increasingly associated with government regulation and politicians appear all too-willing to accommodate new varieties of rent seeking.