The Government as Venture Capitalist
Government cannot satisfy the demand for public goods and services alone. Its role should be akin to a venture capitalist, soliciting, supporting, evaluating, and scaling innovative strategies to address social problems.
BERKELEY – The American public’s attitude toward government, especially toward the federal government, recalls a classic scene in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian.”
“What have they ever given us in return?” fulminates John Cleese, playing a Judean revolutionary. “The aqueduct,” concedes a sheepish co-conspirator. “And sanitation,” says a second, as others pipe up with more examples.
“All right,” Cleese erupts in exasperation. “But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”