“Evasive Entrepreneurs” – 10 Highlights from the Book

by on April 28, 2020 · 0 comments

I’m pleased to announce that the Cato Institute has just published my latest book, Evasive Entrepreneurs and the Future of Governance How Innovation Improves Economies and Governments. Here’s my introductory launch essay about the book as well as the online launch event. And here’s a list of 13 key terms used throughout the book.

In coming days and weeks I will be occasionally blogging about different arguments made in the 368-page book, but here’s a quick summary of some of the key points I make in the book. These ten passages are pulled directly from the text:

  1. “the freedom to innovate is essential to human betterment for each of us individually and for civilization as a whole. That freedom deserves to be taken more seriously today.”
  2. “Entrepreneurialism and technological innovation are the fundamental drivers of economic growth and of the incredible advances in the everyday quality of life we have enjoyed over time. They are the key to expanding economic opportunities, choice, and mobility.”
  3. “Unfortunately, many barriers exist to expanding innovation opportunities and our entrepreneurial efforts to help ourselves, our loved ones, and others. Those barriers include occupational licensing rules, cronyism-based industrial protectionist schemes, inefficient tax schemes, and many other layers of regulatory red tape at the federal, state, and local levels. We should not be surprised, therefore, when citizens take advantage of new technological capabilities to evade some of those barriers in pursuit of their right to earn a living, to tinker with or try doing new things, or just to learn about the world and serve it better.”
  4. “Evasive entrepreneurs rely on a strategy of permissionless innovation in both the business world and the political arena. They push back against ‘the Permission Society,’ or the convoluted labyrinth of permits and red tape that often encumber entrepreneurial activities.” 
  5. “We should be willing to tolerate a certain amount of such outside-the-box thinking because entrepreneurialism expands opportunities for human betterment by constantly replenishing the well of important, life-enhancing ideas and applications.”
  6. “we should better appreciate how creative acts and the innovations they give rise to can help us improve government by keeping public policies fresh, sensible, and in line with common sense and the consent of the governed.”
  7. “Evasive entrepreneurialism is not so much about evading law altogether as it is about trying to get interesting things done, demonstrating a social or an economic need for new innovations in the process, and then creating positive leverage for better results when politics inevitably becomes part of the story. By acting as entrepreneurs in the political arena, innovators expand opportunities for themselves and for the public more generally, which would not have been likely if they had done things by the book.”
  8. “Dissenting through innovation can help make public officials more responsive to the people by reining in the excesses of the administrative state, making government more transparent and accountable, and ensuring that our civil rights and economic liberties are respected.”
  9. “In an age when many of the constitutional limitations on government power are being ignored or unenforced, innovation itself can act as a powerful check on the power of the state and can help serve as a protector of important human liberties.”
  10. “Lawmakers and regulators need to consider a balanced response to evasive entrepreneurialism that is rooted in the realization that technology creators and users are less likely to seek to evade laws and regulations when public policies are more in line with common sense.”

In a nutshell, the core arguments made in the book boil down to this: “evasive entrepreneurialism can transform our society for the better because it can do the following

  • Help expand the range of life-enriching innovations available to society.
  • Help citizens pursue lives of their own choosing—both as creators looking for the freedom to earn a living and as consumers looking to discover and enjoy important new goods and services.
  • Help provide a meaningful, ongoing check on government policies and programs that all too often have outlived their usefulness or simply defy common sense.”

I hope you will consider reading the book.

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