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Consumers most often benefit from churn of marketplace innovation

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: July 29, 2013

Few outlets sell film today. Kodak is bankrupt. But at no time have people taken more pictures thanks to digital photography, now universally available on phones. One can use those phones to watch a movie. This may drive movie rental stores out of business, but it doesn't signify reduced public appetite for movies.

The demand for products remains strong, but innovation is giving people greater choice, increased access and, typically, lower prices for those products or services. Businesses that adapt survive. Those that don't, don't. In the end, though, the constant churn that innovation creates in the marketplace benefits consumers more often than not, even as it challenges business owners.

Keep that in mind the next time President Barack Obama or any other politician touts government intervention as the antidote to economic woe. Under Obama, we've had budget-busting fiscal “stimulus” and countless subsidies for companies that politicians deemed the wave of the future. Technically, the recession ended in June 2009. Yet more than four years later, unemployment remains far above pre-recession norms; economic growth is anemic; Solyndra and numerous other subsidy beneficiaries are bankrupt.

When government planners try to direct economic growth, they produce reels of 8 mm film. The free market produces streaming video.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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