Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cowen, 2010, The Great Stagnation (political economy)

Cowen, Tyler (2010) The Great Stagnation: How America ate all the low-hanging fruit of modern history, got sick, and will  (eventually) feel better – the low-hanging fruit were the innovations of the industrial revolution, good-quality labour which needed basic education, and free [stolen] land. The new economy is heavily built on health, education, welfare [and expeditionary armaments]; the internet doesn't actually change everything, and none of these new economies are as productive or life-changing as combustion engine, electronic communications, and the chemical innovations of the 19th-20th centuries. The fundamental cause of repeated financial crises is that we think we are richer than we are, and we overspend and over-speculate. Things will get better when science and engineering innovations start pouring out of China and India; the internet may begin to generate revenues; and there might be more political accountability in the West. Developing the culture of science is central. [but this presupposes more growth and production-oriented strategies which aren’t sustainable if Mulgan is right; Although if Harrison’s prescription is followed, the whole world will become protestant growth-driven capitalists!]
David Last, 8 July 2013

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