Dirigisme Vs. Laissez-Faire

I just came across this piece of news that the Germans have just withdrawn from an agreement with France to develop a search engine called Quaero (Wikipedia).

I have been hearing about this effort on and off for over a year now, Quaero having been announced as an initiative in April 2005. Yet here we are in 2007 and still nothing has shipped.

One has to wonder if the parties found it hard to work together, or whether the split happened because nothing else was.

The whole idea of state sponsored projects to compete with the market is misguided. When the state gets involved in this manner, all major incentives for shipping anything are taken away, so progress, if any, will be very slow.

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