What I am teaching today:
Dani Rodrik (1995), "Getting Interventions Right: How South Korea and Taiwan Grew Rich": Economic Policy, Vol. 10, No. 20. (Apr., 1995), pp. 53-107:
Abstract: Most explanations of Korea's and Taiwan's economic growth since the early 1960s place heavy emphasis on export orientation. However, it is difficult to see how export orientation could have played a significant causal role in these countries' growth. The measured increase in the relative profitability of exports durring the 1960s is too insignificant to account for the phenomenal export boom that ensued. Moreover, exports were initially too small to have a significant effect on aggregate economic performance. A more plausible story focuses on the investment boom that took place in both countries. In the early 1960s both economies had an extremely well-educated labour force relative to their physical capital stock, rendering the latent return to capital quite high. By subsidizing and coordinating investment decisions, government policy managed to engineer a significant increase in the private return to capital. An exceptional degree of equality in income and wealth helped by rendering government intervention effective and keeping it free of rent seeking. The outward orientation of the economy was the result of the increase in demand for imported capital goods.
I am not sure that Dani has it right. But having just hit my undergraduates with three solid weeks of government failure of various kinds--Milovan Djilas's The New Class, Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom, and James Scott's Seeing Like a State--it is time to give them some examples of social democratic successes.