President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy from the White House in Washington, D.C., July 19, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) Incentives do matter, and to suggest otherwise is to betray basic principles of economics.

In the 1980s, the inventive rock band Devo put forward the theory that mankind was experiencing de-evolution — that by destroying the planet, we were on a path to take the earth back to its roots. The subsequent decades were certainly less cataclysmic than the group had expected, but the idea that things could be unlearned and progress could be reversed will always be with us. That idea is especially relevant now as one considers the de-evolution of economic thinking among many on the left. One might

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