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Category Archive for 'Standards of Living'

Suppose World Total GDP, which now stands at apx. $70 trillion, grows at about only 2% per year (ignoring population for a moment). This means that over the next 100 years, GDP will double approximately three times (use the rule of 69.3!). If you think total growth will be 3%, not at all unlikely, it will […]

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How do you feel about the increasingly popular meme of “Rich People Problems” or “Rich Country Problems?” I tend to be sympathetic to the intention of the meme – that the things we complain about or worry about are extraordinarily trivial when compared to the problems of people-times that were not as well-off as we […]

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You might think the answer is easy, “Tax the owners of capital!” Of course, capital is highly mobile today, it will only be moreso in the future as better ways to identify and locate off-shore (or off-planet) will surely be discovered. You might say, “Tax the robots when they come in?” Remember your basic tax […]

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Just finished the thoroughly enjoyable A History of Pi by Petr Beckmann. It is over 40 years old but has aged well. It’s more than just a math book: Then there is Roman engineering: the Roman roads, aqueducts, the Colosseum. Warfare, alas, has always been beneficial to engineering. Yet there are unmistakable trends in the engineering of […]

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Sunday Ponderance

What the technological singularity implies for “how do the millions of people who do not own the machine” manage to eat?

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If the income and wealth of every single American were to double over the next decade in REAL terms, then in a decade, the amount of measured poverty would remain unchanged. You’d also very likely see no change in inequality according to the way most people talk about it, i.e. “the income share of the […]

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Removal from My Own Tribe?

I think the modern concern about stagnation is entirely overblown. I am not arguing that it is not real or not happening, just that I think “we” care too much about it. Here is the latest illustration of someone worrying about stagnation and looking for reasons to be optimistic: Greg and Jill Henderson, founders of […]

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►1967 – one in 25 families earned $100k in today’s dollars ►2013 –22.5 % of families earned $100k (up 2% over 2008) ►1967 – 9% families earned $75k in today’s dollars ►2013 –34.4% of families earned $75k (up 3% over 2008) ►1967 – 16.3% of families earned less than $15,000 and 27.7% earned less than […]

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One of the great ones, a former student of mine, gets a hearty shout out from Marginal Revolution today.I’ll leave it for readers to evaluate the ideas Dan summarizes there. Per usual, as much as I think I agree with the general gist of the argument, I think there are also reasons to be worried […]

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This article from the Wonkblog (the Vox folks’ old stomping grounds) argues that America has a growing food inequality problem. Let’s not dispute that claim. With growing income inequality it would not at all be surprising to see consumption inequality follow-suit, even if you expect it to be less dramatic. But awkwardly, the article vaguely references […]

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