Leftist media including PBS and Slate are jumping all over themselves to publish or review the work of Mariana Mazzucato, who claims (writing for Slate) that “the state, not the private sector, [is] the most decisive player” in developing “pioneering technologies.”

It’s easy to see why leftists want to promote her work: It fits perfectly with leftist dogma that the government should continually tax and spend more money, and that the collective, not the individual, is properly the unit of moral and political concern. She helps provide the academic backing for Barack Obama’s “You didn’t build that!

Mazzucato claims that because government has subsidized various businesses (including Apple in its infancy) and has financed scientific research (including some technology behind the Internet, touch screens, and new drugs), the government is primarily responsible for major technological innovations, including the iPhone. But Mazzucato’s case falls apart in the slightest breezes of logic and history.

To begin with, government is not like Santa Claus, who showers free wealth on people. Every cent the government spends it first seizes from productive citizens. This obvious fact is somehow lost on Mazzucato. . . .

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