Tyler Cowens The Great Stagnation – [REVIEW]

Jason Ruspini:

I don’t think Cowen failed to appreciate these points, but explaining the rate-of-change in productivity, mean income, asset returns, etc. in terms of a technological slowdown is still mainly a “story” that we are telling ourselves. We could also tell a story in terms of demographic structure and population growth. Both narratives are plausible, but difficult to show rigorously. Regardless of how we try to explain what has happened, it is uncontroversial that it is becoming harder to retire, and that fact has a large bearing on quality of life. It is difficult to quantify the gains from radio to television to color TV to Youtube on IPhone (where one might take pleasure in watching cigarette commercials from the ’60s and ’70s), but having to work or not seems a lot more straightforward, and stagnation on that front is more tangible. Of course, you will probably live longer in retirement, but can you afford that longevity? That is the more concrete issue here.

The Collateral Damages of Growing BioFuel

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Two things I heard this morning on the radio:

  1. Now, half of the corn cultivated in the US is for biofuel. Abroad, we see the same trend: more and more crops end up in gas tanks. The result of that is that is that the price of food has gone up for the Earth’-s poors. The Food and Drug Administration of the United Nations (FAO) has issued a report predicting some kind of riots by hungry protesters.
  2. Before they can grow “-oil palm trees”- (is that Jatropha?), they have to burn the forests, thus releasing CO2 in the atmosphere —-the complete, damn opposite of what the Earth needs right now.

The kind of bad news you’-ll never hear at Caveat Bettor. :-D [See his comment!!]

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • The CFTC is going to close the comments in 9 days. We have 9 days left to convince the CFTC to accept FOR-PROFIT prediction exchanges (e.g., InTrade USA or BetFair USA), and counter the puritan and sterile petition organized by the American Enterprise Institute (which has on its payroll Paul Wolfowitz, the bright masterminder of the Iraq war).
  • Forrest Nelson valids Emile Servan-Schreiber.
  • Averaging One’s Guesses
  • Americans love rankings, but Americans hate to be assessed subjectively.
  • A libertarian view on the Internet betting and gambling industry in the United States of America
  • The CFTC is going to close the comments in 10 days. We have 10 days left to convince the CFTC to accept FOR-PROFIT prediction exchanges (e.g., InTrade USA or BetFair USA), and counter the puritan and sterile petition organized by the American Enterprise Institute (which has on its payroll Paul Wolfowitz, the bright masterminder of the Iraq war).
  • The Numbers Guy