So the conference I attended this weekend was on Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. It's a depressing book--sort of the "Gone with the Wind" of free market theory. And it flirts with a quasi-Marxist determinism about the onward march of History that turned out to be deeply, deeply wrong. But it has an interesting characterization of democracy, arguing in essence that we have outsourced our political leadership in much the way that we outsource the production of our food and clothing--that politicians compete for votes like Payless competes for customers, except that with shoes you actually have some idea whether you've got a good pair or not.

You can therefore imagine how pleased I was to see this in my inbox this morning:

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