Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation

34 results back to index


pages: 291 words: 81,703

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, brain emulation, Brownian motion, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deliberate practice, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, reshoring, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra

ALSO BY TYLER COWEN An Economist Gets Lunch The Great Stagnation The Age of the Infovore Discover Your Inner Economist DUTTON Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA USA | Canada | UK | Ireland | Australia | New Zealand | India | South Africa | China Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England For more information about the Penguin Group visit penguin.com. Copyright © 2013 by Tyler Cowen All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

Purchase only authorized editions. REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Cowen, Tyler. Average is over : powering America beyond the age of the great stagnation / Tyler Cowen. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-698-13816-2 1. Economic forecasting—United States. 2. United States—Economic conditions—2009- 3. United States—Economic policy—2009- I. Title. HC106.84.C69 2013 330.973—dc23 2013016255 While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers, Internet addresses, and other contact information at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

Also relevant is Runjuan Liu and Daniel Trefler, “A Sorted Tale of Globalization: White Collar Jobs and the Rise of Service Offshoring,” National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 17559, November 2011, and that is the source for information on downward occupational switching. On how much of the US economy comes from China, see Galina Hale and Bart Hobijn, “The U.S. Content of ‘Made in China’,” Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco Economic Letter, August 8, 2011. For an overview of the research on the connection between immigration and offshoring, see Tyler Cowen, “How Immigrants Create More Jobs,” The New York Times, October 30, 2010. On the importance of economic clustering, see the blog post by Noah Smith, “Great Stagnation . . . or Great Relocation?”, http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2011/09 /great-stagnationor-great-relocation.html. On how cities are diverging, see Sabrina Tavernise, “A Gap in College Graduates Leaves Some Cities Behind,” The New York Times, May 30, 2012. Especially on convergence, see also Peter Ganong and Daniel Shoag, “Why Has Regional Convergence in the U.S.


pages: 76 words: 20,238

The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Asian financial crisis, Bernie Madoff, en.wikipedia.org, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, income inequality, indoor plumbing, life extension, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Thiel, RAND corporation, school choice, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban renewal

.); Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England; Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd); Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd); Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India; Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd); Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Published by Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. First printing, February 2011 Copyright © 2010 by Tyler Cowen All rights reserved <Dutton logo> REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA eISBN : 978-1-101-50225-9 Chart on page 14 reprinted from Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol 72/Issue 8, Jonathan Huebner, “A possible declining trend for worldwide innovation,” Copyright (October, 2005), with permission from Elsevier. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

On Twitter, see Claire Cain Miller and Tanzina Vega, “After Building a Huge Audience, Twitter Turns to Ads to Cash In,” The New York Times, October 11, 2010, pp. B1, B4. On job creation and the iPod, see Greg Linden, Jason Dedrick, and Kenneth L. Kraemer, “Innovation and Job Creation in a Global Economy: The Case of Apple’s iPod,” 2008, available at http://pcic.merage.uci.edu/papers/2009/InnovationAndJobCreation.pdf. Chapter 4 The Government of Low-Hanging Fruit On who pays how much of the tax burden, see Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, Modern Principles: Macroeconomics, New York: Worth Publishers, 2009, ch. 16, p. 340. The historian S. E. Finer first suggested that technology was behind the rise of big government, though he did not consider this claim in the context of public-choice issues. See S. E. Finer, The History of Government from the Earliest Times, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Bradford DeLong’s unpublished manuscript “Slouching Towards Utopia,” sometimes available on the Web in various parts, appears to cover related themes.

Valuable new ideas have become quite scarce, and so the small number of people who hold the rights to new ideas—whether it be the useful Facebook or the more dubious forms of mortgage-backed securities—earned higher relative returns than in earlier periods. The “rise in income inequality” and the “slowdown in ideas production” are two ways of describing the same phenomenon, namely that current innovation is more geared to private goods than to public goods. If one sentence were to sum up the mechanism driving the Great Stagnation, it is this: Recent and current innovation is more geared to private goods than to public goods. That simple observation ties together the three major macroeconomic events of our time: growing income inequality, stagnant median income, and, as we will see in chapter five, the financial crisis. You can argue about the numbers, but again, just look around. I’m forty-eight years old, and the basic material accoutrements of my life (again, the internet aside) haven’t changed much since I was a kid.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

If innovation is the primary driver of prosperity, then perhaps stagnant incomes imply that the problem is the rate at which new inventions and ideas are being generated, rather than the impact of technology on the working and middle classes. Maybe computers aren’t really all that important, and the slow rate of progress on a broader front is what matters most. Several economists have made this case. Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, proposed in his 2011 book The Great Stagnation that the US economy has run into a temporary plateau after consuming all the low-hanging fruit of accessible innovation, free land, and underutilized human talent. Robert J. Gordon of Northwestern University is even more pessimistic, arguing in a 2012 paper that economic growth in the United States, hampered by a slow pace of innovation and a number of “headwinds”—including excessive debt, an aging population, and shortfalls in our educational system—may essentially be over.1 In order to gain some insight into the factors that influence the pace of innovation, we may find it useful to think in terms of the historical path that nearly all technologies follow.

For a listing of the average wages for production or nonsupervisory workers, see Table B-47 in The Economic Report of the President, 2013, http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/erp2013/full_2013_economic_report_of_the_president.pdf. As noted in the Introduction, the table shows peak weekly wages of about $341 in 1973 and $295 in December 2012, measured in 1984 dollars. I have adjusted these to 2013 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator at http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm. 12. On median household incomes versus per capita GDP, see Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (New York: Dutton, 2011), p. 15, and Lane Kenworthy, “Slow Income Growth for Middle America,” September 3, 2008, http://lanekenworthy.net/2008/09/03/slow-income-growth-for-middle-america/. I have adjusted the figures to reflect 2013 dollars. 13. Lawrence Mishel, “The Wedges Between Productivity and Median Compensation Growth,” Economic Policy Institute, April 26, 2012, http://www.epi.org/publication/ib330-productivity-vs-compensation/. 14.

Keith Bradsher, “Chinese Graduates Say No Thanks to Factory Jobs,” New York Times, January 24, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/25/business/as-graduates-rise-in-china-office-jobs-fail-to-keep-up.html; Keith Bradsher, “Faltering Economy in China Dims Job Prospects for Graduates,” New York Times, June 16, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/17/business/global/faltering-economy-in-china-dims-job-prospects-for-graduates.html?pagewanted=all. 53. Eric Mack, “Google Has a ‘Near Perfect’ Universal Translator—for Portuguese, at Least,” CNET News, July 28, 2013, http://news.cnet.com/8301–17938_105–57595825–1/google-has-a-near-perfect-universal-translator-for-portuguese-at-least/. 54. Tyler Cowen, Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation (New York: Dutton, 2013), p. 79. 55. John Markoff, “Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software,” New York Times, March 4, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/05/science/05legal.html. 56. Arin Greenwood, “Attorney at Blah,” Washington City Paper, November 8, 2007, http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/34054/attorney-at-blah. 57. Erin Geiger Smith, “Shocking?


pages: 72 words: 21,361

Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy by Erik Brynjolfsson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, business process, call centre, combinatorial explosion, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, hiring and firing, income inequality, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, patent troll, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, shareholder value, Skype, too big to fail, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy

In the cyclical explanation, an especially deep drop in demand like the Great Recession is bound to be followed by a long and frustratingly slow recovery. What America has been experiencing since 2007, in short, is another case of the business cycle in action, albeit a particularly painful one. A second explanation for current hard times sees stagnation, not cyclicality, in action. Stagnation in this context means a long-term decline in America’s ability to innovate and increase productivity. Economist Tyler Cowen articulates this view in his 2010 book, The Great Stagnation: We are failing to understand why we are failing. All of these problems have a single, little noticed root cause: We have been living off low-hanging fruit for at least three hundred years. … Yet during the last forty years, that low-hanging fruit started disappearing, and we started pretending it was still there. We have failed to recognize that we are at a technological plateau and the trees are more bare than we would like to think.

Furthermore, there are also areas where the productivity statistics overestimate growth, as when they fail to account for increases in pollution or when increased crime leads people to spend more on crime-deterring goods and services. On balance, the official productivity data likely underestimate the true improvements of our living standards over time. Stagnant Median Income In contrast to labor productivity, median family income has risen only slowly since the 1970s (Figure 3.2) once the effects of inflation are taken into account. As discussed in Chapter 1, Tyler Cowen and others point to this fact as evidence of economy-wide stagnation. In some ways, Cowen understates his case. If you zoom in on the past decade and focus on working-age households, real median income has actually fallen from $60,746 to $55,821. This is the first decade to see declining median income since the figures were first compiled. Median net worth also declined this past decade when adjusted for inflation, another first.

It has also brought real prosperity—engaging, challenging jobs and careers of self-realization and self-discovery … [but] dynamism has been in decline over the past decade.” The stagnation argument doesn’t ignore the Great Recession, but also doesn’t believe that it’s the principle cause of the current slow recovery and high joblessness. These woes have a more fundamental source: a slowdown in the kinds of powerful new ideas that drive economic progress. This slowdown pre-dates the Great Recession. In The Great Stagnation, in fact, Cowen maintained that it’s been going on since the 1970s, when U.S. productivity growth slowed and the median income of American families stopped rising as quickly as it had in the past. Cowen, Phelps, and other “stagnationists” hold that only higher rates of innovation and technical progress will lift the economy out of its current doldrums. A variant on this explanation is not that America has stagnated, but that other nations such as India and China have begun to catch up.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

In 1965 Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel, reckoned his industry could double the number of transistors in an integrated circuit roughly once every two years, and that this doubling would likely continue.7 This astonishing pace of progress has been maintained for most of the last half-century, changing computing from something done at great expense by house-sized machines to something done all the time in tiny devices which now rest in the pockets of about 30 per cent of the world’s population. This slice of history played out during a period that economist Tyler Cowen, of George Mason University, has labelled the ‘Great Stagnation’.8 A half-century of extraordinary gains in computing power somehow did not return humanity to the days of dizzying economic and social change of the nineteenth century. In 1987 the Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Solow mused, in a piece pooh-poohing the prospect of a looming technological transformation, that the evidence for the revolutionary power of computers simply wasn’t there.

Techno-optimists, such as venture capitalist Marc Andreessen,22 lampoon the worriers as luddites and point to rising employment around the world as proof that their fears are overblown, while many left-leaning thinkers continue to blame globalization and the erosion of worker bargaining power, rather than robots, for stagnant pay and rising inequality in rich countries. Some writers, like Brynjolfsson and McAfee, and also Tyler Cowen, whose 2013 book, Average is Over,23 speculates about America’s economic future, anticipate a future in which broad economic and social change occurs incrementally, and in which sensible policy reforms (to education, for example) can make a technologically induced decline in the need for labour easier for households to manage. The various partisans are like the allegorical blind men describing different parts of an elephant: each has his insights, but the competing stories have yet to be reconciled with each other.

I will single out, however, Tom Standage, Emma Duncan, Ludwig Siegele and Tim Cross, discussions with whom were particularly informative. Most importantly, I am indebted to Zanny Minton Beddoes, without whose confidence and trust I would not have found myself in this position, and whose brilliance has made me a better thinker and writer. The ideas in the book were also shaped by years of debate and discussion with fellow economics writers and bloggers. I am especially grateful to Tyler Cowen, Matthew Yglesias, Karl Smith, Steve Randy Waldman and Brad DeLong, whose blogs have been a trusted sound-board off which I could bounce ideas. The book itself has been moulded by many hands. The text was immeasurably improved thanks to comments on early drafts from David Schleicher and Soumaya Keynes, and it was a great pleasure to work with Anna Hervé, who helped shape and polish the text.


pages: 222 words: 53,317

Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension by Samuel Arbesman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, algorithmic trading, Anton Chekhov, Apple II, Benoit Mandelbrot, citation needed, combinatorial explosion, Danny Hillis, David Brooks, discovery of the americas, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, HyperCard, Inbox Zero, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, mandelbrot fractal, Minecraft, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, Parkinson's law, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, software studies, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Therac-25, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

In the realm of logistics: Steven Rosenbush and Laura Stevens, “At UPS, the Algorithm Is the Driver,” The Wall Street Journal, February 16, 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/at-ups-the-Algorithm-is-the-driver-1424136536. On the blog Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok refers to this kind of intelligence as “opaque intelligence.” http://marginalrevolution.com/marginal revolution/2015/02/opaque-intelligence.html. the economist Tyler Cowen noted: Tyler Cowen, Average Is Over: Powering America beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation (New York: Dutton, 2013), 72. “both praised and panned”: Feng-Hsiung Hsu, Behind Deep Blue: Building the Computer That Defeated the World Chess Champion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002). “slow, tortuous reading”: Flood and Goodenough, “Contract as Automaton.” when forty-five tax professionals: Donald Sull and Kathleen M.

In the realm of logistics, powerful algorithms have been developed that route delivery trucks in seemingly illogical ways, leaving drivers dissatisfied with the counterintuitive routes they are being given. And in chess, a realm where computers are more powerful than humans and are able to win via pathways that the human mind can’t always see, the machines’ characteristic game choices are known as “computer moves”—the moves that a human would rarely make, the ones that are ugly but still get results. As the economist Tyler Cowen noted in his book Average Is Over, these types of moves often seem wrong, but they are very effective. When IBM’s Deep Blue was playing Garry Kasparov, it made a move so strange that it “was both praised and panned by different commentators,” according to one of Deep Blue’s builders. In fact, this highly odd but potentially brilliant move was eventually found to be due to a bug. Computers have exposed the fact that chess, at least when played at the highest levels, is too complicated for us, with too many interacting parts for a human—even a grandmaster—to keep in view.

We need to get better at “playing” simulations of the technological world more generally, teaching students how to play with some system, examining its limits and how it works, at least “sort of.” This play—tweaking a simulation of technological failure and seeing how it responds—can provide a greater comfort with large and unwieldy systems and can help us as we move forward through this world of increasingly complicated technology. We also need interpreters of what’s going on in these systems, a bit like TV meteorologists. Near the end of Average Is Over, the economist Tyler Cowen speculates about this new breed of future interpreters. He says they “will hone their skills of seeking out, absorbing, and evaluating this information. . . . They will be translators of the truths coming out of our networks of machines. . . . At least for a while, they will be the only people left who will have a clear notion of what is going on.” These interpreters—who will likely be comfortable with simulations—can help provide us with a glimmer of intuition into complex systems.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds, Working Paper (National Bureau of Economic Research, August 2012), http://www.nber.org/papers/w18315. 5. Ibid. 6. Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (New York: Dutton, 2011). 7. Gavin Wright, “Review of Helpman (1998),” Journal of Economic Literature 38 (March 2000): 161–62. 8. Boyan Jovanovic and Peter L. Rousseau, “General Purpose Technologies,” in Handbook of Economic Growth, ed. Philippe Aghion and Steven N. Durlauf, vol. 1, Part B (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2005), 1181–1224, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S157406840501018X. 9. Alexander J. Field, Does Economic History Need GPTs? (Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, 2008), http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=1275023. 10. Gordon, Is U.S. Economic Growth Over?, p. 11. 11. Cowen, The Great Stagnation, location 520. 12.

While puzzling at the time, it seems increasingly clear that the one-time-only benefits of the Great Inventions and their spin-offs had occurred and could not happen again. . . . All that remained after 1970 were second-round improvements, such as developing short-haul regional jets, extending the original interstate highway network with suburban ring roads, and converting residential America from window unit air conditioners to central air conditioning.5 Gordon is far from alone in this view. In his 2011 book The Great Stagnation, economist Tyler Cowen is definitive about the source of America’s economic woes: We are failing to understand why we are failing. All of these problems have a single, little noticed root cause: We have been living off low-hanging fruit for at least three hundred years. . . . Yet during the last forty years, that low-hanging fruit started disappearing, and we started pretending it was still there. We have failed to recognize that we are at a technological plateau and the trees are more bare than we would like to think.6 General Purpose Technologies: The Ones That Really Matter Clearly, Gordon and Cowen see the invention of powerful technologies as central to economic progress.

Those benefits start small while the technology is immature and not widely used, grow to be quite big as the GPT improves and propagates, then taper off as the improvement—and especially the propagation—die down. When multiple GPTs appear at the same time, or in a steady sequence, we sustain high rates of growth over a long period. But if there’s a big gap between major innovations, economic growth will eventually peter out. We’ll call this the ‘innovation-as-fruit’ view of things, in honor of Tyler Cowen’s imagery of all the low-hanging fruit being picked. In this perspective, coming up with an innovation is like growing fruit, and exploiting an innovation is like eating the fruit over time. Another school of thought, though, holds that the true work of innovation is not coming up with something big and new, but instead recombining things that already exist. And the more closely we look at how major steps forward in our knowledge and ability to accomplish things have actually occurred, the more this recombinant view makes sense.


pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

“Leeds Woollen Workers Petition, 1786,” Modern History Sourcebook. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1786machines.asp 33. Quoted in: Robert Skidelsky, “Death to Machines?” Project Syndicate (February 21, 2014). http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/robert-skidelsky-revisits-the-luddites--claim-that-automation-depresses-real-wages 34. Tyler Cowen, Average is Over. Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation (2013), p. 23. 35. Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation, p. 172. 36. Quoted in: Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, Why Nations Fail. The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty (2012), p. 226. 37. Thomas Piketty, “Save capitalism from the capitalists by taxing wealth,” The Financial Times (March 28, 2014). http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/decdd76e-b50e-11e3-a746-00144feabdc0.html-axzz44qTtjlZN 5 The End of Poverty 1.

What can be done? Remedies Not much, according to many economists. The trends are clear. Inequality will continue to increase and everybody who hasn’t managed to learn a skill that machines cannot or will not be able to master will be sidelined. “Making high earners feel better in just about every part of their lives will be a major source of job growth in the future,” writes the American economist Tyler Cowen.34 Though the lower classes might have access to new amenities like cheap solar power and free Wi-Fi, the gap between them and the ultra-rich will be wider than ever. Beyond that, the rich and well-educated will continue to close ranks even as peripheral villages and towns grow more impoverished. We’re already seeing this happen in Europe, where Spanish techies can more easily find jobs in Amsterdam than in Madrid, and Greek engineers are pulling up stakes and heading for cities like Stuttgart and Munich.

Heidi Shierholz, “Immigration and Wages: Methodological advancements confirm modest gains for native workers,” Economic Policy Institute (February 4, 2010). http://epi.3cdn.net/7de74e-e0cd834d87d4_a3m6ba9j0.pdf Also see: Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano and Giovanni Peri, “Rethinking the Effect of Immigration on Wages.” http://www.nber.org/papers/w12497 39. Frederic Docquiera, Caglar Ozden, and Giovanni Peri, “The Wage Effects of Immigration and Emigration,” OECD (December 20, 2010). http://www.oecd.org/els/47326474.pdf 40. Tyler Cowen, Average is Over (2013) p. 169. 41. Corrado Giulietti, Martin Guzi, Martin Kahanec, and Klaus F. Zimmermann, “Unemployment Benefits and Immigration: Evidence from the EU,” Institute for the Study of Labor (October 2011). http://ftp.iza.org/dp6075.pdf On the U.S., see: Leighton Ku and Brian Bruen, “The Use of Public Assistance Benefits by Citizens and Non-citizen Immigrants in the United States,” Cato Institute (February 19, 2013). http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/workingpaper-13_1.pdf 42.


pages: 364 words: 102,528

An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

agricultural Revolution, big-box store, business climate, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, cross-subsidies, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, guest worker program, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, informal economy, iterative process, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, price discrimination, refrigerator car, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

AN ECONOMIST GETS LUNCH ALSO BY TYLER COWEN The Great Stagnation The Age of the Infovore Discover Your Inner Economist T Y L E R C O W E N A N E C O N O M I S T G E T S L U N C H New Rules for Everyday Foodies DUTTON DUTTON Published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.); Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England; Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd); Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd); Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi–110 017, India; Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd); Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Published by Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd); Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd); Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi–110 017, India; Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd); Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Published by Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. First printing, April 2012 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 Copyright © 2012 by Tyler Cowen All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions. REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Cowen, Tyler. An economist gets lunch : new rules for everyday foodies / Tyler Cowen. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN: 978-1-101-56166-9 1. Food habits—Economic aspects. 2. Food preferences—Economic aspects. 3. Food industry and trade.

On the varieties of Mexican-derived foods, Tex-Mex tends to use venison and beef, fajitas, puffy tacos, and cabrito (goat). New Mexico foods are more likely to use fresh green chilies and green tomatillo sauces. Pork is the preferred meat, not beef. Mexican food from California uses more produce, as befits the diversified agriculture of the state. Avocados, sour cream, and Spanish olives are especially common. See Tyler Cowen, Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World’s Cultures (Princeton: Princeton University Press), 2002, chapter four, for information on the differential spread of television across the United States and Europe. For the figures on working women, see Martha Hahn Sugar, When Mothers Work, Who Pays? (Westport: Bergin and Garvey, 1994), p. 27. The quotation from the Jell-O pamphlet is from Carolyn Wyman, Jell-O: A Biography (New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2001), p. 23.


pages: 151 words: 38,153

With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don't Pay Enough by Peter Barnes

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Alfred Russel Wallace, banks create money, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, oil shale / tar sands, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the map is not the territory, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, winner-take-all economy

Joseph Hanlon, Armando Barrientos, and David Hulme, Just Give Money to the Poor: The Development Revolution from the Global South (Sterling, VA: Kumerian Press, 2010). 21. Edwin Amenta, When Movements Matter: The Townsend Plan and the Rise of Social Security (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006). 22. Nicholas Lemann, “When the earth moved: What happened to the environmental movement?” New Yorker, April 15, 2013. 23. Tyler Cowen, Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation (New York: Dutton, 2013), 229—30 (Kindle Edition). Appendix: The Dividend Potential of Co-owned Wealth 1. Assumes 95 percent of US residents are eligible for Social Security and a 2013 population of 316 million; http://www.census.gov/population/foreign/data/acs2003.html. 2. Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees, A Summary of the 2013 Annual Reports, http://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/; US Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Financial Data Handbookfor 2012, http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/hb394/hndbkrpt.asp. 3.

But its larger goal—getting the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide concentration below 350 parts per million—is indelibly engraved in its name, and its preferred mechanism—charging polluters and paying dividends to all—has the potential to rally broad support. IN THE PAST, EACH GENERATION of Americans believed it would live better than the one that came before it. That’s what we meant by “progress.” But though we continue to advance in technological ways, we’re no longer progressing in intergenerational betterment. That part of the American dream has died. Perhaps it can’t be saved, and we should just accept that fact. That’s what economist Tyler Cowen argues in his 2013 book, Average Is Over. Twenty-first-century America will be “much more unfair and much less equal,” he says. About ten percent of Americans will be wealthy while the rest grow increasingly poor. Aid from government will be inadequate, and millions will live in shantytowns like those in Mexico and Brazil. On the upside, everyone will enjoy free Wi-Fi and limitless entertainment.23 Other plausible futures are even grimmer: climate mayhem, financial collapse, a surveillance state.


pages: 112 words: 30,160

The Gated City (Kindle Single) by Ryan Avent

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

big-box store, carbon footprint, deindustrialization, edge city, Edward Glaeser, income inequality, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, offshore financial centre, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Thorstein Veblen, transit-oriented development, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation

But these workers must be prepared to take different jobs, and the business and public infrastructure must be in place to allow them to do different things. This adjustment process takes a while. And while it continues, incomes for many American workers will stagnate, prices for many basic resources will rise, and growth may slow. Ultimately everyone will be better off, but during the transition period some people will be made worse off. - The low-hanging fruit is gone. Economist Tyler Cowen argues that the rich world rode a wave of low-hanging fruit to prosperity in the years between the onset of the Industrial Revolution and the chaotic 1970s. Lots of empty land was put to use. Uneducated populations became highly educated. And centuries of revolutionary technological innovations were exploited to their fullest. But now, he says, most of these gains have been used up. The best land is occupied and must be reallocated if uses are to change -- a costly process.

Wolff, Edward, “Spillovers, Linkages, and Productivity Growth in the US Economy, 1958 to 2007”, NBER Working Paper No. 16864, March 2011. Wright, Gavin, “The Economic Revolution in the American South”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 1, Issue 1, Summer 1987. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I could not have done this alone. I am indebted to Zanny Minton-Beddoes for her patience, encouragement, and insight. Tyler Cowen has been a constant source of inspiration and an indispensible resource. I offer sincere thanks to Matthew Yglesias for being a kindred intellectual spirit and a partner in competitive cooperation. I am grateful to Rachel Horwood for her indefatigable research efforts. And I would like to thank and dedicate this book to my wife, Lisa, without whom it, and much else besides, would not have been possible

Baum-Snow, Nathaniel and Ronni Pavan, “Understanding the City Size Wage Gap”, February 2011. Bleakley, Hoyt and Jeffrey Lin, “Portage: Path Dependence and Increasing Returns in U.S. History”, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 10-27, August 20, 2010. Ciccone, Antonio and Robert Hall, “Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity”, American Economic Review, Vol. 86, No. 1, March 1996. Cowen, Tyler, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better, Dutton, January 25, 2011. Davies, Phil, “Sizing Up Job Creation”, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, September 2010. Davis, Morris, Jonas Fisher, and Toni Whited, “Productivity and Employment Density: New Estimates and Macroeconomic Implications”, November 2007. Fairlie, Robert and Aaron Chatterji, “High-Technology Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley”, IZA Discussion Paper No. 5726, May 2011.


pages: 324 words: 92,805

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

Some of this can be laid to historical timing: world-changing breakthroughs are a lot harder to come by these days in part because the easy ones have already been made. In times past, we were able to get massive increases in productivity by eliminating large and obvious inefficiencies—moving from animal-powered farming to mechanization, for instance, or switching from manure to synthetic fertilizers. But as George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen has argued, most of that “low-hanging fruit” has all been picked and eaten, and today it’s simply much harder, and more costly, to achieve similarly epoch-defining breakthroughs. But it’s not just that innovation has gotten harder. One can also make the case that, under the financialized business models that emerged with the Impulse Society, the way we pursue innovation has gotten weaker. As we’ve already seen, the manic drive to cut costs and protect quarterly earnings led to steady reductions in research and development, and these cuts have added up.

One will be a fairly narrow cadre of highly talented, well-paid superattorneys hired for their intellect, their management talents, and their networking skills—chores computers won’t likely be able to do for some time. The other, larger wing of the legal profession will be a sort of mass-production, Walmart model that digitally processes hundreds of thousands of simple cases, like uncontested divorce or mortgage contracts. This two-tier market is the pattern that some economists foresee for the entire job market. The scenario is most graphically laid out by Tyler Cowen, the economist, in his recent book Average Is Over. In Cowen’s version of the future, the top 15 percent of the workforce will be made up of what he calls “hyperproductives”—individuals who are extremely bright and who either know how to use the latest technologies or know how to manage other hyperproductives, and for whom each new generation of corporate efficiencies will mean an ever-larger slice of the pie.

Given the huge development costs these medical technologies will require, and the industry’s ever-more-intense need for prompt returns, it’s not so hard to imagine a medical future that looks an awful lot like the medical present—that is, where more and more of the truly life-altering benefits of innovation flow to the part of the market that can most afford them. Even if we managed to enact a single-payer system, we’d still be looking at a health culture very much along the lines of Tyler Cowen’s bifurcated, end-of-average society, where the wealthy get not only better health care but also more access to the sorts of innovations that are likely to dramatically extend life spans. What will society look like in thirty years, when Cowen’s hyperproductives are not only wealthier than everyone else, but living much longer? Again and again, our health care culture highlights and accentuates the inequities and imbalances of the Impulse Society—and the reflexes that guide so many of our decisions.

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lump of labour, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

He advocates forecasting by means of prediction markets, where people place bets on particular economic or policy outcomes, like the level of unemployment at some future date. He argues that prediction markets give us a financial stake in being accurate when we make forecasts, rather than just trying to look good to our peers. Tyler Cowen A professor at George Mason University and co-author of an extremely popular blog, Tyler Cowen was New Jersey's youngest ever chess champion. He is a man with prodigiously broad knowledge and interests, and although he proposes some key ideas forcefully, there is always some nuance, and he dislikes simplistic and modish solutions. In two recent books, “the Great Stagnation” (2011) and “Average is Over” (2014), he paints a picture of America's future which is slightly depressing, but not apocalyptic. He is alive to the prospect of dramatically improved AI, and the effect it will have on employment.

Humans can undermine the game of a computer by throwing in some surprise moves which don't make much sense in the short term, or by deploying an intuitive strategy. Matches between humans working with computers are called advanced chess, or centaur chess. Kasparov himself initiated the first high-level centaur chess competition in Leon, in Spain, in 1998, and competitions have been held there regularly ever since. Tyler Cowen (one of the sceptics about machine automation that we met in chapter 3.3) explores this form of chess extensively in his book, “Average is Over”. Some people believe this phenomenon of humans teaming up with computers to form centaurs is a metaphor for how we can avoid most jobs being automated by machine intelligence. The computer will take care of those aspects of the job (or task) which are routine, logical and dull, and the human will be freed up to deploy her intuition and creativity.

In chapter 3.1 we saw that in their book “The Second Machine Age”, MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee believe that for many years to come, humans will be better than machines at generating new ideas, and complex forms of communication. They think that capitalism should be defended and retained, but they sound less confident about what will happen in the medium term. They argue for an overhaul of the US education system, but they don’t sound convinced that will be enough, and they speculate that a negative income tax may eventually become necessary. Tyler Cowen, whom we encountered in chapter 3.3 as the author of “Average is Over”, is certainly not breezy in his assessment of the outlook, nor is he tentative. He is confident that UBI will not be needed, and he does not expect riots. But his prognosis is lugubrious. He foresees 10-15% of the population being extremely wealthy, and the rest getting by on incomes which are stagnant at best, but putting up with it because many of them are too old to riot, and they are pacified by the excellent cheap entertainment that technology provides.


pages: 284 words: 79,265

The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date by Samuel Arbesman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Wiles, bioinformatics, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Galaxy Zoo, guest worker program, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index fund, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, life extension, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nicholas Carr, p-value, Paul Erdős, Pluto: dwarf planet, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, social graph, social web, text mining, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation

—Universe Today “Arbesman’s enthusiasm and humor maintains our interest in subjects many readers may not have encountered before….[The Half-Life of Facts] does what popular science should do—both engages and entertains.” —Kirkus Reviews “A fascinating and necessary look at the pace of human knowledge.” —Maria Popova, Brain Pickings “What does it mean to live in a world drowning in facts? Consider The Half-Life of Facts the new go-to book on the evolution of science and technology.” —Tyler Cowen, professor of economics, George Mason University, author of An Economist Gets Lunch “The Half-Life of Facts is fun and fascinating, filled with wide-ranging stories and subtle insights about how facts are born, dance their dance, and die. In today’s world where knowledge often changes faster than we do, Sam Arbesman’s new book is essential reading.” —Steven Strogatz, professor of mathematics, Cornell University, author of The Joy of X “The Half-Life of Facts teaches you that it is possible, in fact, to drink from a fire hose.

What this means is that the ease of discovery doesn’t drop by the same amount every year—it declines by the same fraction each year, a sort of reverse compound interest. For example, the sizes of asteroids discovered annually get 2.5 percent smaller each year. In the first few years, the ease of discovery drops off quickly; after early researchers pick the low-hanging fruit, it continues to “decay” for a long time, becoming slightly harder without ever quite becoming impossible. There is even a similarity in one view of medicine. As Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, has noted, if you tally the number of major advances, or definitive moments, in modern medicine (as chronicled by James Le Fanu) in each decade of the middle of the twentieth century, you get an eventual decline: “In the 1940s there are six such moments, seven moments in the 1950s, six moments in the 1960s, a moment in 1970 and 1971 each, and from 1973 [to] 1998, a twenty-five-year period, there are only seven moments in total.”

PLoS Computational Biology 7, no. 6 (June 2011): e1002072. 22 the sizes of asteroids discovered annually: More precisely, the dates used were for multi-opposition observations, required for a high level of accuracy of computing orbits. The date of discovery is a less stringent threshold when it comes to asteroids, so this analysis simply uses a more stringent criterion. 23 “In the 1940s there are six such moments”: Cowen, Tyler. “The Great Stagnation in Medicine.” Marginal Revolution, 2011. www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/02/the-great-stagnation-in-medicine.xhtml. 23 a Swedish medical student named Ivar Sandström: Carney, J. Aidan. “The Glandulae Parathyroideae of Ivar Sandström: Contributions from Two Continents.” American Journal of Surgical Pathology 20, no. 9 (1996): 1123–44. 24 if you uttered the statement: Price. Little Science, Big Science. CHAPTER 3: THE ASYMPTOTE OF TRUTH 26 Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, a young woman in South Africa: Goodall, Jane, Gail Hudson, and Thane Maynard.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

Solow, “We’d Better Watch Out,” New York Times Book Review, July 12, 1987. 74 Timothy Noah, The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It (New York: Bloomsbury, 2012), p. 7. 75 Eduardo Porter, “Tech Leaps, Job Losses and Rising Inequality,” New York Times, April 15, 2014. 76 Loukas Karabarbounis and Brent Neiman, “The Global Decline of Labor Share,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2014. 77 Thomas B. Edsall, “The Downward Ramp,” New York Times, June 10, 2014. 78 Tyler Cowen, Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation (New York: Dutton, 2013), p. 53. 79 Ibid., p. 229. 80 Ibid., pp. 198–200. 81 Joel Kotkin, “California’s New Feudalism Benefits a Few at the Expense of the Multitude,” Daily Beast, October 5, 2013. 82 Paul Krugman, “Sympathy for the Luddites,” New York Times, June 13, 2013, nytimes.com/2013/06/14/opinion/krugman-sympathy-for-the-luddites.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print.

Bradford DeLong has suggested that the more central a role information technology plays in traditionally skillful professions like law or medicine, the fewer jobs there might be.75 Loukas Karabarbounis and Brent Neiman, two economists from the University of Chicago’s business school, have found that since the mid-1970s, the relative amount of income going to workers has been in decline around the world.76 Meanwhile the research of three Canadian economists, Paul Beaudry, David Green, and Benjamin Sand, found a similarly steep decline of midlevel jobs—a depressing development that MIT’s David Autor, Northeastern University’s Andrew Sum, and the president of the Economic Policy Institute, Larry Mishel, have also discovered with their research.77 Many others share this concern about the destructive impact of technology on the “golden age” of labor. The George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen, in his 2013 book, Average Is Over, concurs, arguing that today’s big economic “divide” is between those whose skills “complement the computer” and those whose don’t. Cowan underlines the “stunning truth” that wages for men, over the last forty years, have fallen by 28%.78 He describes the divide in what he calls this new “hyper-meritocracy” as being between “billionaires” like the Battery member Sean Parker and the homeless “beggars” on the streets of San Francisco, and sees an economy in which “10 to 15 percent of the citizenry is extremely wealthy and has fantastically comfortable and stimulating lives.”79 Supporting many of Frank and Cook’s theses in their Winner-Take-All Society, Cowen suggests that the network lends itself to a superstar economy of “charismatic” teachers, lawyers, doctors, and other “prodigies” who will have feudal retinues of followers working for them.80 But, Cowen reassures us, there will be lots of jobs for “maids, chauffeurs and gardeners” who can “serve” wealthy entrepreneurs like his fellow chess enthusiast Peter Thiel.

But, rather than being political, today’s personal revolution is all about money and wealth. In our digital age, the personal is the economic. And there’s nothing liberating about it at all. Just as the Kodak tragedy decimated the economic heart of Rochester, so the Internet is destroying our old industrial economy—transforming what was once a relatively egalitarian system into a winner-take-all economy of what Tyler Cowen calls “billionaires and beggars.” Rather than just a city, it’s a whole economy that is losing its center. For all Silicon Valley’s claims that the Internet has created more equal opportunity and distribution of wealth, the new economy actually resembles a donut—with a gaping hole in the middle where, in the old industrial system, millions of workers were once paid to manufacture valuable products.


pages: 309 words: 91,581

The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It by Timothy Noah

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, Branko Milanovic, call centre, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Gini coefficient, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, low skilled workers, lump of labour, manufacturing employment, moral hazard, oil shock, pattern recognition, performance metric, positional goods, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, upwardly mobile, very high income, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War

Frank and Cook argue that corporate boards’ desire to hire known-quantity chief executives from outside the company, described earlier in this chapter, has made the market for CEOs winner-take-all as well. 10: Why It Matters General Sources Arthur C. Brooks, The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Government Will Shape America’s Future (New York: Basic Books, 2010). Matthew Continetti, “About Inequality,” Weekly Standard, Nov. 14, 2011, at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/about-inequality_607779.html?page=1. Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (New York: Dutton, 2011). ———“The Inequality That Matters,” American Interest 6, no. 3 (Jan.–Feb. 2011), at http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=907. Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2001). Mickey Kaus, The End of Equality (New York: Basic Books, 1992).

Living conditions improve over time. J. P. Morgan never had access to sulfa drugs or iPhones or fresh vegetables in wintertime. And the gap between Morgan’s quality of life and that of the typical American during his lifetime was in many important ways larger than the gap today between Bill Gates’s quality of life and that of the typical American. In Morgan’s day, as the George Mason economist Tyler Cowen puts it, “the average person had little formal education, worked six days a week or more, often at hard physical labor, never took vacations, and could not access most of the world’s culture.” But people do not experience life as an interesting moment in the evolution of human living standards. They experience it in the present and weigh their own experience against that of the living. In a famous 1998 study by the economists Sara Solnick (then at the University of Miami, now at the University of Vermont) and David Hemenway of the Harvard School of Public Health, subjects were asked which they’d prefer: to earn $50,000 while knowing everyone else earned $25,000, or to earn $100,000 while knowing everyone else earned $200,000.

Currently forty states provide funding to expand preschool education, though most limit enrollment to low-income families. Nationally, 27 percent of all four-year-olds are enrolled in pre-K programs. That’s roughly equivalent to the number of fourteen-to seventeen-year-olds that were enrolled in high school during the late teens of the previous century. This might be the pool of “smart, uneducated kids” that Tyler Cowen is looking for—“low-hanging fruit” from whom we can derive future productivity gains merely by putting them in school. Research on early education suggests the benefits could be considerable. A 2011 study by the Harvard economist Raj Chetty and five others (including Berkeley’s Emmanuel Saez) found that a one-percentile increase in scores on tests administered to Tennessee kindergarteners at the end of the school year was associated with a $94 increase in annual wages at age twenty-seven—and that’s after the numbers were adjusted to take into account variations in family background.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, battle of ideas, blockchain, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds, Working Paper, National Bureau of Economic Research, August 2012, at nber.org; Lawrence Summers, ‘US Economic Prospects: Secular Stagnation, Hysteresis, and the Zero Lower Bound’, Business Economics 49: 2 (2014); Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (New York: Dutton, 2011); Coen Teulings and Richard Baldwin, eds, Secular Stagnation: Facts, Causes and Cures (London: CEPR, 2014). 134.Cowen, Great Stagnation, pp. 47–8. 135.Thor Berger and Carl Benedikt Frey, Industrial Renewal in the 21st Century: Evidence from US Cities? (Oxford Martin School Working Paper, 2014). 136.Calculated based on data from: Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Table 1. Private Sector Gross Jobs Gains and Losses by Establishment Age’; Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Table 5.

Brian Arthur, The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves (London: Penguin, 2009). 10.Tony Smith, ‘Red Innovation’, Jacobin 17 (2015), p. 75. 11.Mariana Mazzucato, Erik Brynjolfsson and Michael Osborne, ‘Robot Panel’, presented at the FT Camp Alphaville, London, 15 July 2014, available at youtube.com. 12.Michael Hanlon, ‘The Golden Quarter’, Aeon Magazine, 3 December 2014, at aeon.co; Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (New York: Dutton, 2011), p. 13. 13.This is one of the primary conclusions of Mariana Mazzucato’s important book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths (London: Anthem, 2013). 14.For a lengthy analysis of how Apple cynically deployed state-developed technologies to build the iPhone, see ibid., Chapter 5. 15.The fact that so many megaprojects continue to go ahead despite their history of cost overruns and lack of profitability is deemed a paradox by one study: Bent Flyvbjerg, Nils Bruzelius and Werner Rothengatter, Megaprojects and Risk: An Anatomy of Ambition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 3–5. 16.André Gorz, Paths to Paradise: On the Liberation from Work, transl.


pages: 296 words: 82,501

Stuffocation by James Wallman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Black Swan, BRICs, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Fall of the Berlin Wall, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, James Hargreaves, Joseph Schumpeter, Martin Wolf, McMansion, means of production, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, World Values Survey, Zipcar

For an easy introduction, see the video infographic “The iPhone Economy” at www.nytimes.com. For the definitive text on consuming fewer materials, read Chris Goodall, “Peak Stuff”, Carbon Commentary, 2011. And read Chris Goodall, Sustainability (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2012). Keep up with the latest news via Goodall’s excellent blog www.carboncommentary.com. This chapter was also informed by Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation (New York: Dutton, 2011), and Robert J Gordon, “Is US Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds”, Centre for Economic Policy Research, September 2012. “In 2007, the average American bought almost twice as many items of clothing each year compared to 1991. But by 2012, the number they were buying had stopped rising, and even fallen slightly, from 67 to 64 items.”

But, interestingly, there is a 6.23 from Manchester’s Paddington station to Middlesbrough that packs so many commuters on it has been dubbed the “Sardine Express”. Can Dave Save Us from Stuffocation? The tale of the average Palaeolithic woman comes from Geoffrey Miller, Spent: Sex, Evolution and the Secrets of Consumerism (New York: William Heinemann, 2009). For the rise of “clock-time” and what the Industrial Revolution did to our working week, read Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt’s works mentioned above. For more on threshold earners, see Tyler Cowen, “The Inequality That Matters”, The American Interest, January/February 2011. For an excellent deconstruction of that article, read political columnist Reihan Salam, “Threshold Earners and Gentleman Hackers”, National Review, 28 December 2010. “There is no sign of the ‘social snowball’ or ‘tipping point’ that would suggest that the medium chill is set to make the leap along the adoption curve.”


pages: 347 words: 97,721

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

Mindell, Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008). 9. John Maynard Keynes, Essays in Persuasion (New York: Norton, 1963), 358–73. 10. David H. Autor, “Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth,” prepared for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s economic policy symposium on “Reevaluating Labor Market Dynamics,” September 3, 2014, http://economics.mit.edu/files/9835. 11. Tyler Cowen, Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation (New York: Dutton, 2013). 12. CareerSearch, “Career Advice on How to Become an Insurance Underwriter,” http://www.careersearch.com/careers/real-estate-and-insurance/insurance-underwriter/. 13. Mike Batty and Alice Kroll, “Automated Life Underwriting: A Survey of Life Insurance Utilization of Automated Underwriting Systems,” prepared for the Society of Actuaries, 2009, file:///C:/Users/jkirby/Downloads/research-life-auto-underwriting.pdf. 14.

If you’re a knowledge worker hoping to keep your job (and prosper) in the age of smart machines, you’ve got to learn a lot, change what you do, and sometimes swallow your pride at the prospect of becoming their helper. Learning from Freestyle Chess Several writers who touch on what we are calling mutual augmentation do so with reference to chess. It’s definitely a realm in which some humility on the part of humans is called for. In one-on-one matches, we know the best chess players are computers these days. Yet the trouncing isn’t so complete as you might have been led to believe. The economist Tyler Cowen (not surprisingly, a chess champion in his youth) and The Second Machine Age authors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee use the example of “freestyle chess,” in which human chess players are free to use as much help from computers as they wish.11 The two of us personally don’t play chess much (we like to get paid for thinking that hard), but we gather that under these rules, people often manage to beat the best programs.


pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Nate Silver, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Granovetter’s paper predates Burt’s work by decades; nevertheless, they were both focused on the same question. 24Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From, 61. 25Sean Safford, Why the Garden Club Couldn’t Save Youngstown (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2009), 15–16. 26Safford, Why the Garden Club Couldn’t Save Youngstown, 22, 31–32, 63–68. 27Safford, Why the Garden Club Couldn’t Save Youngstown, 83, 92–95. 28Locke, Remaking the Italian Economy, 134. 29Michael Mandel, “The Failed Promise of Innovation in the U.S.,” Bloomberg Businessweek, June 3, 2009. 30Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation (New York: Dutton, 2011). 31http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20096067-281/peter-thiel-thinks-tech-innovation-has-stalled/. 32Edward Glaeser, Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier (New York: Penguin Press, 2011). 33Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life (New York: Basic Books, 2002). 34Elsa Brenner, “In Westchester County, the Platinum Mile Is Reinvented, Again,” New York Times, January 3, 2012. 35Charles V.

Unfortunately, the evidence to date hasn’t borne that theory out. By several estimates, American innovation has slowed of late, as massive investments in fields like green energy and pharmaceuticals have failed to produce the return that investments in information technology generated just a few decades ago.29 (Some of that analysis, we should note, predates the new development of “fracking.”) George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen recently argued that innovation in the United States has actually stagnated, noting that we’ve picked the low-hanging fruit of technologies produced by previous generations and are burning through the competitive advantages those breakthroughs bestowed on today’s economy.30 Peter Thiel, a cofounder of PayPal and a powerful figure in the world of venture capital, has sounded a similar alarm, arguing that whatever advances Silicon Valley has spurred of late have been cancelled out by America’s failure to make progress on other technological and scientific fronts.31 No fair assessment can blame the stagnation of American innovation entirely on the structure of American community.


pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, millennium bug, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

It suggests that almost half of the professions from which people earn a living today will be stamped out by mid-century, because intelligent machines will be doing those jobs better, faster and more economically. Unlike the previous machine age of the first Industrial Revolution, the next one will not threaten manual blue-collar jobs, but those of highly paid, expert, white-collar workers. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, managers, designers, architects, are forecasted to become victims of computer automation. According to American economist Tyler Cowen, in the near future only an elite 10–15 per cent of the working population will have the intellectual capacity to master tomorrow’s AI technology, and that will make them very rich indeed.16 The rest of us will have to make do with low incomes and rather unfulfilling lives, or – at best – work as service providers to the rich. It is a very bleak vision of the future, yet the economic trends of recent decades seem to support it.

They will ignore their teachers, be oblivious to the feelings of the human others, become confused with social interaction, and single-mindedly pursue their own interests. This latter category of intelligent machines may in fact prove to be the majority, if not the rule. They will exhibit reclusive types of behaviour similar to some of those we presently associate with autism.24 These behaviours could be the result of social selection. In his book Average Is Over, Tyler Cowen argues that success in the twenty-first century is already becoming synonymous with the ability to work with computers. My personal experience within the IT industry and Internet start-ups has been that the most brilliant programmers are often very shy of other people and social interaction. Science and technology have become so competitive nowadays that success in these professions most often comes to those exhibiting high IQs and maximum dedication to the lab or the computer terminal.

If computer systems become resistant to cyber attacks, and if nothing serious such as the Y2K or the 2010 flash crash happens, then our trust in intelligent computers will increase. Indeed, there may come a time when intelligent computers will be seen as the solution to all of humanity’s problems, including how to better govern ourselves. The end of liberty Most of the ideas, or warnings, offered today about the future effects of Artificial Intelligence point to the labour market. Several economists, such as Tyler Cowen, have argued that AI will cost many white-collar jobs. However, their analysis assumes that all other things will remain more or less equal, for instance our political system of parliamentary representation, or our free economies of prices mostly regulated by markets. But this is not necessarily so. Indeed, history has already shown us that major technological changes are the causes of social and economic paradigm shifts.


pages: 283 words: 73,093

Social Democratic America by Lane Kenworthy

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, David Brooks, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, school choice, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, working poor, zero day

Moreover, even if productivity growth is sluggish in low-end services, it may, as Baumol himself points out, be rapid in other parts of the economy.44 Technological advance and improvements in work organization can yield leaps forward. The computer and communications revolutions already have generated considerable advance in manufacturing, finance, and an array of other services. They will soon do so in medicine, education, and elsewhere. In recent years, several analysts, including Robert Gordon and Tyler Cowen, have expressed pessimism about the likelihood of further productivity-enhancing innovations.45 The information technology revolution has largely run its course, they say, and in any case it never boosted productivity to the same degree as earlier innovations such as steam engines, railroads, electricity, the assembly line, indoor heating and air conditioning, running water, sewers, roads, and the internal combustion engine.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO). 2008. “Recent Trends in the Variability of Individual Earnings and Household Income.” Washington, DC. Congressional Budget Office (CBO). 2010. “Average Federal Tax Rates and Income, by Income Category, 1979–2007.” Washington, DC. CONSAD Research Corp. 2009. “An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women.” Pittsburgh. Cowen, Tyler. 2011. The Great Stagnation. New York: Penguin. Cox, W. Michael and Richard Alm. 1999. Myths of Rich and Poor. New York: Basic Books. Cramer, Reid and David Newville. 2009. “Children’s Savings Accounts.” Washington, DC: New America Foundation. Currie, Janet. 2006. The Invisible Safety Net. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Currie, Janet. 2011. “Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences.” American Economic Review 101 (Papers and Proceedings): 1–22.


pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

He set up SpaceX, a space travel company. Now he wants to build a Hyperloop – basically a solar-powered maglev train in a vacuum tube that would whisk passengers along at 760 miles (1,220 kilometres) an hour, three times faster than a high-speed train, and cost ten times less to build.705 Gloomsters argue that technological progress is grinding to a halt. The low-hanging fruit have all been picked, argues Tyler Cowen in The Great Stagnation.706 Nothing can ever compare to the great leap forward ushered in by electricity and other advances during the second wave of the Industrial Revolution between 1870 and 1900, such as cars, running water, petroleum and chemicals, claims Robert Gordon of Northwestern University.707 “Many of the original and spin-off inventions of IR #2 could happen only once – urbanisation, transportation speed, the freedom of females from the drudgery of carrying tons of water per year, and the role of central heating and air conditioning in achieving a year-round constant temperature.”

Interestingly, though, the highest enterprise rates are found among UK-born blacks (11.3 per cent). 699 http://startupmanifesto.eu/files/manifesto.pdf 700 http://www.economist.com/node/21559618 701 http://www.economist.com/node/17680631 702 http://www.eif.org/news_centre/publications/eif_-annual_report_2012.pdf 703 http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21588384-stock-exchanges-are-courting-small-firms-never-capital-remedy 704 http://www.europecrowdfunding.org/2013/01/the-european-crowdfunding-network-on-euronews/ 705 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23681266 706 Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation, Dutton: 2011 707 Robert J Gordon, “Is US Economic Growth Over? Faltering innovation confronts the six headwinds”, NBER working paper #18315, August 2012 708 http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21569381-idea-innovation-and-new-technology-have-stopped-driving-growth-getting-increasing 709 http://www.voxeu.org/article/technological-progress-thing-past 710 Tools such as DNA sequencing machines and cell analysis through flow cytometry are revolutionising molecular microbiology.

Meanwhile, the British government is trying to inflate yet another housing bubble ahead of the election due in 2015. The UK’s recent burst of growth looks dangerously unsustainable: even though wages are still falling, debt-laden consumers are saving less and in some cases borrowing to spend more. It is not a pretty picture. The Great Stagnation Things aren’t just bad now. The future seems bleak too. Prominent economists talk of a “new normal” of permanently low growth, a “great stagnation” of innovation and even of the “end of growth” in the West altogether. (Others, on the contrary, think innovation is speeding ahead, but fear that humans will lose the “race against the machine” and that robots will steal people’s jobs.) There are certainly many worrying signs. The twin engines of higher living standards – productive investment and productivity growth – have long been faltering.


pages: 524 words: 143,993

The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned--And Have Still to Learn--From the Financial Crisis by Martin Wolf

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

air freight, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market fragmentation, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, open economy, paradox of thrift, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, very high income, winner-take-all economy

See Robert Arnott and Denis Chaves, ‘A New “New Normal” in Demography and Economic Growth’, 27 August 2013, http://www.indexuniverse.com/docs/magazine/2/2013_229.pdf. 33. See International Monetary Fund, Fiscal Adjustment in an Uncertain World, Fiscal Monitor, April 2013, Fig. 2, p. 6. 34. See Robert Gordon, ‘Is U. S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds’, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 18315, August 2012, www.nber.org; TylerCowen, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (London: Dutton/Penguin, 2011). 35. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2014), and Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Employment and the Economy (Lexington, MA: Digital Frontier Press, 2011). 36.

But the other component of economic growth – rising productivity – is even more important than demography in determining the rate of growth over the long run. It is also the principal determinant of incomes per head. Nobody knows what will happen to productivity over the coming decades, but some well-informed people have put forward reasonable arguments that it must slow. Among these are Robert Gordon of Northwestern University and Tyler Cowen of George Mason University.34 An important reason why the pace of innovation might be slowing is that many opportunities have already been exploited: the population of the high-income countries is already highly educated and highly urbanized; the economy has already exploited the most readily available natural resources; people have already enjoyed the fruit of many life- and economy-transforming innovations, such as running water and sanitation, inoculation, electricity, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, the internal combustion engine, civil aviation, telephony, the computer and the internet.

Committee on the Global Financial System. ‘Macroprudential Instruments and Frameworks: A Stocktaking of Issues and Experiences’, CGFS Papers No. 38, May 2010. http://www.bis.org/publ/cgfs38.pdf. Congressional Budget Office. ‘Trends in the Distribution of Household Incomes between 1979 and 2007’, October 2011. http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/10-25-HouseholdIncome.pdf. Cowen, Tyler. The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (New York: Dutton, 2011). Crafts, Nicholas and Peter Fearndon. The Great Depression of the 1930s: Lessons for Today (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). Croft, Jane, Kate Burgess and George Parker. ‘B&B Set to be Taken into Public Ownership’, Financial Times, 29 September 2008. Darling, Alistair.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

., Patrick Geddes in India, 11. 32Quoted in Welter, Biopolis, 18. 33Nicolai Ouroussoff, “Outgrowing Jane Jacobs and Her New York, New York Times, April 30, 2006, http://www,nytimes.com/2006/04/30/weekinreview/30jacobs.html. 34Campanella, “Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning.” 35Fareed Zakaria, “Special Address: At the Intersection of Globalization and Urbanization,” SmarterCities Forum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 9, 2011. 36Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better (New York: Dutton, 2011), Kindle edition, location 93. 37“Hal Varian on How the Web Challenges Managers,” video interview with James Manyika, McKinsey & Co., last modified January 2009, http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Hal_Varian_on_how_the_Web_challenges_ managers_2286. 38Joi Ito, “The Internet, innovation and learning,” last modified December 5, 2011, http://joi.ito.com/weblog/2011/12/05/the-internet-in.html. 39Ito, “The Internet, innovation and learning.” 40Michael Hiltzik, “So, who really did invent the Internet?”

Its creators faced a similar dilemma over how to design and build it. The origins and the economic importance of the Internet are part of a much larger debate about the nature of technological innovation and economic growth. The industrial revolution reshaped the material basis of society, introducing technologies and products we still use today. But there are widely differing views on just how that happened. Pessimists like economist Tyler Cowen believe that a handful of breakthrough innovations drove America’s economic engine over the last one hundred years. He sees the decline of productivity growth, the pace of improvement in output per unit of input (labor, capital, machinery), in the US economy as a sign that we have finally exhausted the stockpile of the breakthroughs of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He writes: “Today . . . apart from the seemingly magical internet, life in broad material terms isn’t so different from what it was in 1953.

The wonders portrayed in The Jetsons, the space-age television cartoon from the 1960s, have not come to pass. . . . Life is better and we have more stuff, but the pace of change has slowed down compared to what people saw two or three generations ago.” Not only does Cowen argue that big breakthroughs are the true source of technological progress, he doesn’t see anything new in the pipeline of the same magnitude. The result, he concludes, is an inevitable “great stagnation.”36 Where Cowen sees scarcity, Google’s chief economist Hal Varian sees abundance. For Varian, the big breakthroughs of the industrial revolution happened only after, and only because of, a new substrate of interoperable technological components that were invented first. In a 2008 interview, he described this process of “combinatorial innovation”: “if you look historically, you’ll find periods in history where there would be the availability of . . . different component parts that innovators could combine or recombine to create new inventions.


pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zimmermann PGP

Visa, MasterCard, and Western Union: Employee tallies taken from 2013 annual reports for Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc., and Western Union Holding Inc. Andreessen Horowitz venture capitalist: Chris Dixon, phone interview with Michael J. Casey, June 25, 2014. Asked to describe the job market: Daniel Larimer, interviewed by Michael J. Casey, April 8, 2014. As Tyler Cowen noted in his book: Tyler Cowan, Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation (Dutton, 2013). Yale’s Robert Shiller: Joe Weisenthal, “Robert Shiller: Bitcoin Is an Amazing Example of a Bubble,” Business Insider, January 24, 2014, http://www.businessinsider.com/robert-shiller-bitcoin-2014-1#ixzz3Cmp0YFyx. New York University’s Nouriel Roubini: Erik Holm, “Nouriel Roubini: Bitcoin Is a ‘Ponzi Game,’” March 10, 2014, Wall Street Journal, MoneyBeat blog, http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/03/10/nouriel-roubini-bitcoin-is-a-ponzi-game/.

Not all, and perhaps not many, laid-off workers can easily pick themselves up and parlay their knowledge into making an income from speculative trading on a BitShares prediction market. To many it will seem like a form of gambling. To subject their lives to such uncertainty is anathema to people who’ve expected a salaried job to last a lifetime and to provide security and permanence. People will have to figure out how to apply their particular skills to this Brave New World and, if they can’t apply them, how to rapidly acquire the right skills. As Tyler Cowen noted in his book Average Is Over, “The key questions will be: Are you good at working with intelligent machines or not? Are your skills a complement to the skills of the computer, or is the computer doing better without you? Worst of all, are you competing against the computer?” Cowen’s thesis, which drew in part from the “work is over” theory, wasn’t a rosy one for Middle America. It attributed much of that social sector’s recent economic stagnation to the ever-increasing speed of technological change, which for the first time appears to be displacing jobs faster than the economy can draw upon the growth unleashed by that technology to create new jobs.


pages: 223 words: 10,010

The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality Is Essential for Recovery by Stewart Lansley

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

banking crisis, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, call centre, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population

The revised structure of executive rewards that emerged from the mid-1980s—especially in finance—and the chase for shareholder value were not just key drivers of rising inequality. They also led to perverse business incentives. As it became easier to make big money through business strategies that were essentially unproductive, trading, investment and restructuring decisions changed in ways that often weakened the foundations of the economy. According to the American economist, Tyler Cowen, the author of the influential book, The Great Stagnation, the increased concentration at the top mattered because it had been largely generated within finance, encouraging banks to ‘take far too many risks and go way out on a limb, often in a correlated fashion.’ Over time, Cowen argues, the way the finance sector operates ‘corrodes productivity, because what the banks do bears almost no resemblance to a process of getting capital into the hands of those who can make most efficient use of it.


pages: 459 words: 103,153

Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Andrew Wiles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, food miles, Gerolamo Cardano, global supply chain, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Netflix Prize, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, PageRank, Piper Alpha, profit motive, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, web application, X Prize

Officer, ‘Purchasing power of British pounds from 1264 to present’, MeasuringWorth, 2009, http://www.measuring-worth.com/ppoweruk/ 83 ‘Positive black swans’: Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan (New York: Random House, 2007). 85 We should now build: McKinstry, Spitfire, p. 12. 86 He soon discovered some remarkable examples: Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth (London: Bantam, 2009), pp. 254–73. 87 Bright ideas emerge from the swirling mix of other ideas: See also Richard Florida, ‘The world is spiky’, The Atlantic Monthly, October 2005, my The Logic of Life (2008), Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist (2010) and Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From (2010). 87 A playboy politician most famous as a campaigner against lesbianism: McKinstry, Spitfire, pp.17–18. 88 ‘Bloody good cup of tea, Mitchell’: McKinstry, Spitfire, p. 20. 88 ‘It’s either him or me!’: McKinstry, Spitfire, p. 31. 88 ‘Freak machines’: McKinstry, Spitfire, p. 29. 89 England’s pride was intact: McKinstry, Spitfire, p. 32. 89 ‘The Battle of Britain was won by Chamberlain’: McKinstry, Spitfire, p.194. 89 One might think that there is no problem enouraging innovation: as this book was going to press, Tyler Cowen’s book The Great Stagnation (Dutton, 2011) appeared. Owen’s book offers further evidence of an innovation slowdown in addition to that presented here. 90 Even the design of niche cars: Chris Anderson, ‘In the next industrial revolution, atoms are the new bits’, Wired, February 2010, http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/01/ff_newrevolution/ 90 ‘Failure for free’: Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody (London: Penguin, 2008). 90 US health secretary Margaret Heckler announced: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june01/aids_6-27.html 92 The whole process has become harder: Benjamin F.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

Much of this movement has grown out of the realization that the ownership of assets, even if mission-critical, is better handled by experts. So, in that sense, the rise of ExOs is a deepening of the specialization trend that started 10,000 years ago: only focus on those areas in which you are really outperforming. This not only maximizes profits, but in a world with pervasive digital reputational systems, also sets your image at the highest possible level, as author Tyler Cowen says in the title of his book: Average is Over. Airline operators used to build their own engines, an intricate and high-risk operation. Then GE and Rolls Royce, both experts in manufacturing engines, began offering leasing programs. Today, airlines pay for engines by the number of hours flown. In other words, something as expensive and complex as an aircraft engine has now become a rented, pay-as-you-go asset, rather than an expensive internal business unit.

How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In. JimCollins. Collins, J., & Hansen, M. T. (2011). Great By Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck - -Why Some Thrive Despite Them All. HarperBusiness. Cooper, B., & Vlaskovits, P. (2013). The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets. Wiley. Cowen, T. (2013). Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation. Dutton Adult. Cusumano, M. A. (2001). Strategic Thinking for the Next Economy. Jossey-Bass. Cusumano, M. A. (2010). Staying Power: Six Enduring Principles for Managing Strategy and Innovation in an Uncertain World. Oxford University Press. Davidow, W. H., & Malone, M. S. (1992). The Virtual Corporation: Structuring and Revitalizing the Corporation for the 21st Century. HarperCollins Publishers.


pages: 828 words: 232,188

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, invention of the printing press, iterative process, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, life extension, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, new economy, open economy, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, Port of Oakland, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, price discrimination, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

The developed world has been on a high-productivity trajectory for only a little over two hundred of the fifty thousand or so years that the human species has existed in its current form. We assume today that revolutionary new technologies equivalent to steam power and the internal combustion engine will continue to appear into the future. But the laws of physics do not guarantee such a result. It is entirely possible that the first 150 years of the Industrial Revolution captured what Tyler Cowen calls the “low-hanging fruit” of productivity advance, and that while future innovations will continue, the rate at which they improve human welfare will fall. Indeed, a number of laws of physics suggest that there might be hard limits on the carrying capacity of the planet to sustain growing populations at high standards of living. Moreover, even if technological innovation continues to occur at a high rate, there is no guarantee that it will provide large numbers of jobs for middle-class people in the manner of the early-twentieth-century assembly line.

., and John R. Meyer. 1979. “The Economics of Slavery in the Ante Bellum South: Comment.” American Economic Review 66(2):95–130. Cornford, James. 1963. “The Transformation of Conservatism in the Late Nineteenth Century.” Victorian Studies 7:35–66. Cortés Condé, Roberto. 2009. The Political Economy of Argentina in the Twentieth Century. New York: Cambridge University Press. Cowen, Tyler. 2011. The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better. New York: Dutton. Cox, Gary. 2013. “The Power of the Purse and the Reversionary Budget.” Unpublished paper. Cox, Gary, Douglass North, and Barry Weingast. 2013. “The Violence Trap: A Political-Economic Approach to the Problem of Development.” Unpublished paper. Craig, Gordon A. 1964.


pages: 464 words: 116,945

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, California gold rush, call centre, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, falling living standards, fiat currency, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Food sovereignty, Frank Gehry, future of work, global reserve currency, Guggenheim Bilbao, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peak oil, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wages for housework, Wall-E, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

The general public reaction was that Gordon probably had a point but that he was too pessimistic on the future impact of innovations. Martin Wolf, an influential economist with the Financial Times, however, accepted much of what Gordon had to say and concluded that economic elites in the high-income world would welcome the future that Gordon described but everyone else would like it ‘vastly less. Get used to this. It will not change.’ Other contributions would be Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate all the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick and Will (Eventually) Feel Better, E-special from Dutton, 2011. All these arguments are, however, US-focused. 3. The Thelluson case is described in Hudson, The Bubble and Beyond. 4. Cited in Karl Marx, Capital, Volume 3, Harmondsworth, Penguin, p. 519. 5. Angus Maddison, Phases of Capitalist Development, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1982; Contours of the World Economy, 1–2030 AD, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007. 6.


pages: 481 words: 120,693

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t. HarperBusiness, 2001. Congressional Budget Office. “Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007.” October 2011. Cost, Jay. Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic. Broadside Books, 2012. Cowen, Tyler. The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better. Dutton, 2011. Crowley, Roger. City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas. Random House, 2012. Diamond, Peter, and Emmanuel Saez. “The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 25:4 (Fall 2011). pp. 165–90. Djilas, Milovan.


pages: 566 words: 163,322

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

“China’s Stock Plunge Is Scarier Than Greece.” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2015. Studwell, Joe. How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region. New York: Grove, 2013. Surowiecki, James. The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations. New York: Doubleday, 2004. Tilton, Andrew. “Still Wading Through ‘Great Stagnations.’ ” Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, September 17, 2014. ——. “Growth Recovery and Trade Stagnation Evidence from New Data.” Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, June 5, 2015. Vogel, Ezra. Japan as Number One: Lessons for America. New York: Harper & Row, 1979. “What Is the Trade Slowdown Telling Us?” Gavekal Research, September 30, 2015. Wu, Harry. “China’s Growth and Productivity Performance Debate Revisited—Accounting for China’s Sources of Growth with a New Data Set.”


pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund

The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014. Clinton, Hillary Rodham. Hard Choices. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014. Coates, John. The Hour between Dog and Wolf: Risk-taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust. New York: Penguin Press, 2012. Cowen, Tyler. Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation. New York: DUTTON / The Penguin Group, 2013. Das, Satyajit. Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 2011. Davis, Gerald F. Managed by the Markets: How Finance Reshaped America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Dobbs, Richard, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel. No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends.