Matt Miller on Disruptive Innovation

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Matt Miller has a must read column over at the Washington Post today.  Read the whole thing but below are a few excerpts:

  • But on college, or health care, or schools, the problems are actually deeper. Here the president has talking points on things he's "done." But he doesn't really have answers. To see why, think of America as a set of "industrial complexes."
  • Or take the Higher Education Industrial Complex. For years tuition has soared much faster than inflation and family income -- increases that are enabled by federal loans and subsidies. Yet college presidents and professors act offended and resist fiercely if asked how much student learning we're actually buying for these excess billions.

  • Then there's the K-12 Industrial Complex, which leaves us spending more than other wealthy nations, even as we're stuck in the middle (or worse) on international tests.

  • More money for K-12 gets swallowed up by the "blob." And when rare leaders like Adrian Fenty and Michelle Rhee take on the status quo, voters turn them out -- fretting more about ineffective teachers who lose their jobs than poor children who lose their shot at an education.

  • Is there a way to break this fatal interest-group stranglehold? Olson said war or depression could wipe society's slate clean, but that's a bit grim as a strategy. The better path is to promote entrepreneurial innovation and harness capitalism's bottomless capacity for finding new ways to deliver more for less.

  • A central theme of Obamanomics 2.0 should be "disruptive government" -- making the world safe for such innovations to challenge wasteful establishments in sectors critical to middle class well-being.

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