The Economist on Intellectual Property and Patents

The neoliberal in me is completely on board with the necessity of patent reform. The Economist takes up the banner:

“At a time when our future affluence depends so heavily on innovation, we have drifted toward a patent regime that not only fails to fulfil its justifying function, to incentivise innovation, but actively impedes innovation. We rarely directly confront the effects of this immense waste of resources and brainpower and the attendant retardation of the pace of discovery, but it affect us all the same. It makes us all poorer and helps keep us stuck in the great stagnation.”

This is consistent with the general trend in the United States toward rent-seeking rather than innovation. This ultimately keeps costs higher for consumers and reinforces a society of haves and have nots on the scale of individuals and organizations and is highly advantageous to already existing firms and individuals (wannabe cartels) who essentially want to monopolize industries at the expense of everyone else.

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