Category Archives: Growth Causes and Consequences

Face recognition vs. speech recognition

A commenter writes, 8 billion individuals, so each face is one of them — this is an easier problem than “what did he say?” Well, yes. Faces are mostly created by biology. Language is created by culture. Culture evolves faster … Continue reading

Posted in Growth Causes and Consequences | 5 Comments

Handle’s theory of consolidation

Referring to Hayek’s claim that local knowledge favors decentralized decision processes, Handle comments, IT and increasingly capable and sophisticated management information systems, which themselves benefit from massive economies of scale, and the management techniques they enable, has invalidated this argument. … Continue reading

Posted in Growth Causes and Consequences | Tagged | 9 Comments

Disaggregating the economy: clusters ten years later

A dozen years after coming out with The Clustering of America, Michael Weiss published The Clustered World, in 2000. This incorporated census data from 1990, which moved the analysis 10 years forward, but still leaves it well out of date … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, disaggregating the economy, Four Forces Watch | 10 Comments

Tim Harford and Russ Roberts

An econtalk podcast, of course. At one point, Harford says, one thing I learned is not to undervalue innovations that are important simply because they have become very, very cheap, so they’ve become ubiquitous. The other thing I learned was … Continue reading

Posted in books and book reviews, Growth Causes and Consequences | 1 Comment

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 | 6 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