Ezra Klein welcomes them.
The progressive project of building a decent welfare state is giving way to the more technocratic work of financing and managing it. How government is run, more than what exactly it does, seems set to be the main battleground of American politics in coming years.
Joel Kotkin does not.
An even greater beneficiary of the second term will be the administrative class, who by their nature live largely outside the market system. This group, which I call the new clerisy, is based largely in academia and the federal bureaucracy, whose numbers and distinct privileges have grown throughout the past half century.
I have many concerns with the technocratic mindset. The one I wish to raise here is that the technocrat has no experience working in the context of an organization. To the technocrat, everything boils down to setting the right parameters and imposing the right rules. Implementation is taken for granted.
Within a business, someone with the technocratic mindset does not get very far. The people who get ahead are the people who can negotiate, build organizational capital, manage projects, and sell.
If you want to see how ineffective technocrats are, I give you as Exhibit A the attempts by the government to prevent foreclosures. The rules and the parameters looked good to the technocrats. The results in the real world were abysmal. That is because nobody had any idea what was involved in actually implementing these policies on the ground.