If George Soros Pays Me Enough, I Will Stop Working (Hint, Hint)
George Soros believes that the free market is “a dogma whose time has passed,” and according to an article in the Financial Times, he has devised a plan of action for eradicating free market think tanks like the Show-Me Institute.
First, he will throw money at the problem: $50 million over five years. (He made that money as a hedge fund manager in a capitalist society, by the way.)
Second, he will use that money to
buy conflate economists who agree with him:
[Soros’ new] group, to be called the Institute of New Economic Thinking, will gather luminaries in the field of economics to reflect on the ideas that allowed the latest economic crisis to transpire and to bring new ideas to a profession that some argue has become too deeply entrenched in free-market ideology.
Third, he will rely on market mechanisms when they are convenient to his cause:
He hopes, however, to inspire a groundswell of support from students that will “shift demand” at universities to include economic ideas that are more reality based and less focused on rigid mathematical models.
I think that Soros needs to restructure his incentives. If he really wanted to eliminate free-market think tanks, he should pay them to stop working. If Soros stopped by the Show-Me Institute and offered me, say, $5 million to walk away from my cubicle, I would take the money and run. I love my job, but I am a self-interested individual, just like everybody else.