Category Archives: Growth Causes and Consequences

Disaggregating the economy/New Commanding Heights watch

A chart from Jeff Desjardins shows the largest employer in each state. The results: Wal-mart is the largest in 22 states. A health care network is the largest in 12 states. A university system is the largest in 11 states. … Continue reading

Posted in disaggregating the economy, Four Forces Watch | 3 Comments

Hal Varian’s Rule

I’ve come across it in several places recently, such as this podcast with Tim O’Reilly. The rule says, A simple way to forecast the future is to look at what rich people have today; middle-income people will have something equivalent … Continue reading

Posted in Growth Causes and Consequences | 6 Comments

Ray Dalio’s data points

The essay is on inequality, but there are interesting statistics scattered throughout. For example, While many of the major causes of death have been flat or falling over the last 15 years, deaths from drugs and alcohol more than offset … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Health Care, Four Forces Watch, income distribution-wealth-poverty | 6 Comments

The Servant Aggregators

Several years ago, I asked, In an economy where some folks are very rich and many folks are unemployed, why are there not more personal servants? Recently, someone pointed me to Umair Haque’s column from two years ago. I’m going … Continue reading

Posted in business economics, Growth Causes and Consequences, PSST and Macro | 12 Comments

Bob Lutz thinks as I do

The GM executive writes, in 15 to 20 years — at the latest — human-driven vehicles will be legislated off the highways. The tipping point will come when 20 to 30 percent of vehicles are fully autonomous. Countries will look … Continue reading

Posted in Growth Causes and Consequences | 16 Comments

Reality vs. Kurzweil’s expectations

One way to track scientific and technological progress is to compare outcomes to predictions that were made by futurists. So I pulled out my copy of Ray Kurzweil’s The Age of Spiritual Machines, written 20 years ago, which has predictions … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Growth Causes and Consequences | 27 Comments

The AI productivity paradox

Erik Brynjolfsson, Daniel Rock, and Chad Syverson write, Systems using artificial intelligence match or surpass human level performance in more and more domains, leveraging rapid advances in other technologies and driving soaring stock prices. Yet measured productivity growth has declined … Continue reading

Posted in Growth Causes and Consequences | 7 Comments

Being disagreeable

I am currently attending an “un-conference.” To the extent that there is a focus, it is on improving prospects for exploiting technology for economic growth and human flourishing, Here are a few ideas that have come up so far in … Continue reading

Posted in Growth Causes and Consequences | Tagged , | 11 Comments

The Abundance Apocalpyse

Kevin Drum writes, I want to tell you straight off what this story is about: Sometime in the next 40 years, robots are going to take your job. I am reluctant to engage in this sort of economic science fiction … Continue reading

Posted in Growth Causes and Consequences | Tagged | 23 Comments

Peter Zeihan’s world view

I am reading his book The Absent Superpower. You can get a lot of his ideas by watching this video. You can also see his intellectual style, which is certainly more confident than mine. He deals in strong pronouncements, and … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Four Forces Watch, Timothy Taylor is my Favorite Blogger, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | Tagged | 9 Comments