jerryking + tyler_cowen   10

Have Americans Given Up?
MAR 5, 2017 | The Atlantic | by DEREK THOMPSON.
...this is a mirage, according to the economist and popular writer Tyler Cowen, whose new book is The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream. In fact, the nation's dynamism is in the dumps. Americans move less than they used to. They start fewer companies. Caught in the hypnotic undertow of TV and video games, they are less likely to go outside. Even the federal government itself has transformed from an investment vehicle, which once spent a large share of its money on infrastructure and research, to an insurance conglomerate, which spends more than half its money on health care and Social Security. A nation of risk-takers has become a nation of risk-mitigation experts...So, what happened? Cowen’s thought-provoking book emphasizes several causes, including geographic immobility, housing prices, and monopolization.....several studies have shown that many U.S. workers don’t start new companies because they’re afraid of losing their employer-sponsored health insurance. A single-payer system might increase overall entrepreneurial activity. As I read Cowen’s book, I thought of an acrobat show. No circus performer wants to leap between swings without a net to catch them as they fall. The trick is to design for safety without designing for complacency.
large_companies  dynamism  America_in_Decline?  self-defeating  Tyler_Cowen  economists  books  innovation  illusions  Silicon_Valley  geographic_mobility  economic_mobility  housing  Donald_Trump  elitism  restlessness  safety_nets  risk-mitigation  monopolies  the_American_dream 
march 2017 by jerryking
How I learnt to love the economic blogosphere
July 27, 2016 | | Giles Wilkes.

Marginal Revolution
Cafe Hayek
Stumbling and Mumbling
Brad Delong
Nick Rowe - Worthwhile Canadian Initiative
Steve Randy Waldman - Interfluidity
Slack Wire - JW Mason

"Sympathetic opinions coalesce in clusters of mutual congratulation (“must read: fellow blogger agreeing with my point of view!”). Dispute is often foully bad-tempered. Opposing positions are usually subject to a three-phased assault of selective quotation, exaggeration and abuse.'..."Lacking an editor to roll their eyes and ask what’s new, many writers soon become stale... Editors exist not only to find interesting pieces to publish but also to hold at bay the unstructured abundance of bilge that we do not need to read."....."...nothing as reliably good as the (eonomics) blogosphere. Some of its advantages are simply practical: free data, synopses of academic papers that the casual dilettante is unlikely to ever come across, a constant sense of what clever people are thinking about. But what is better is how its ungated to-and-fro lets a reader eavesdrop on schools of academic thought in furious argument, rather than just be subject to whatever lecture a professor wishes to deliver. No one learns merely by reading conclusions. It is in the space between rival positions that insight sprouts up, from the synthesis of clashing thoughts. Traditional newspaper columns are delivered as if to an audience of a million, none of whom might reply. The best blogs are the opening salvo in a seminar rather than the last word on the matter. They dumb down less "....."Ancient thinkers such as Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and Iriving Fisher were deployed not as some sort of academic comfort blanket but because their insights are still fresh, and beautifully written."..."Reading the economic blogosphere in 2008 felt to me like the modern equivalent of watching Friedrich Hayek, Keynes and Friedman quarrelling in front of a graduate class about how FDR should react to the depression. "...."Interfluidity is where to find such brilliancies as “the moral case for NGDP [Nominal Gross Domestic Product] targeting”, a political look at a seemingly technical subject, and “Greece”, a furious examination of how the term “moral hazard” is being traduced in the euro crisis. "..."Waldman’s thoughts go far beyond such a crude duality. After a long discussion of measurement problems, the institutional constraints on innovation and much more, he zeroes in on how governments build institutions to handle the disruption wrought by technological change. In a few hundred words he flips around Cowen’s stance and, instead of looking at the growth of government as the problem, makes a case for its opposite. Technological change creates concentrations of power, which “demands countervailing state action if any semblance of broad-based affluence and democratic government is to be sustained”. We have always needed institutions to divert spending power to those left behind, otherwise social disaster beckons. "....When reading, look for sources with something new to say!
economics  economists  blogosphere  Tyler_Cowen  Paul_Krugman  Adam_Smith  information_overload  social_media  Brad_Delong  blogs  Friedrich_Hayek  Milton_Friedman  political  economy  editors  tough-mindedness  FDR  Great_Depression  insights  John_Maynard_Keynes  sophisticated  disagreements  argumentation  technological_change  innovation_policies  moral_hazards 
july 2016 by jerryking
Tyler Cowen on inequality, Canada, and the state of global superpowers
Eva Salinas | May 1, 2015.

Tyler Cowen is an economist, academic and writer. His popular blog, Marginal Revolution, co-written with Alex Tabarrok, a colleague at George Mason University, turned Cowen into “an economics celebrity,” in the words of one LA Times writer. More recently, Cowen and Tabarrok ventured into the world of online education with their creation of Marginal Revolution University in 2012.
The author of ‘Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation’ was in Toronto earlier this year as the keynote speaker at the University of Toronto’s conference on Inequality.
Tyler_Cowen  economists  income_inequality  Canada  innovation  Silicon_Valley  averages  digital_economy  knowledge_economy  economic_stagnation  clusters  polymaths  the_Great_Decoupling 
may 2015 by jerryking
Victorian values for the 21st century - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente

The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Oct. 05 2013

the real keys to success are far more old-fashioned – Victorian, even. They are self-regulation, conscientiousness and diligence. More than ever, perhaps, 21st-century success will require 19th-century values.....The trouble is that cultivating 19th-century habits in the 21st century isn’t easy. In Victorian times, self-regulation was reinforced by many kinds of external pressure, including social norms, religion, family and Queen. The consequences of lapsing from the straight and narrow – social disgrace, even ruin – could be severe. Today, you’re far more reliant on yourself to stay the course, and nobody else much cares if you don’t.....Daniel Akst argues in Temptation: Finding Self-Control in an Age of Excess, modern life requires an unnatural degree of self-control. ... in an age of super-affluence, it’s a constant struggle to keep our appetites in check. “It’s not that we have less willpower than we used to,” he writes, “but rather that modern life immerses us daily in a set of temptations far more evolved than we are.”

Self-discipline and high IQ often go together. But they are not the same. As Mr. Akst reports, self-discipline is a far better predictor of university grades than either IQ or SAT scores. ...many of America’s children have trouble making choices that require them to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term gain.”
21st._century  achievement_gaps  gender_gap  IQ  values  books  self-control  self-discipline  Tyler_Cowen  Victorian  willpower  temptations  delayed_gratification  self-regulation  proclivities 
october 2013 by jerryking
Who Will Prosper in the New World -
August 31, 2013 | NYT | By TYLER COWEN.
Who Will Prosper in the New World

Who will do well?

Who will be most likely to suffer from this technological revolution?
technology  economics  productivity  the_Great_Decoupling  career_paths  winner-take-all  automation  Tyler_Cowen  marketing  motivations  inequality  income_distribution  income_inequality  downward_mobility 
september 2013 by jerryking
The world according to Tyler Cowen - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Sep. 10 2012

50-year-old Tyler Cowen is a formidable presence on the American economic landscape. Chairman of Economics at George Mason University in Virginia, he is a prolific writer and editor and blogger; his Marginal Revolution – co-written with his Canadian colleague Alex Tabarrok – is among the best read blogs in the field. His last book,The Great Stagnation, was a bestseller. His next, he told Globe and Mail reporter Michael Posner in an interview, will explore what the path out of the great stagnation will look like.
economists  economic_downturn  books  economic_stagnation  the_Great_Decoupling  Tyler_Cowen  prolificacy 
september 2012 by jerryking
Making Shareholders Liable for Big Banks - Economic View -
Published: February 11, 2012
....There is a better alternative: expanding the liability for major financial institutions. If a shareholder invests a dollar in a big bank, why not make that shareholder liable for the first $1.50 — or more — of losses as insolvency approaches? In essence, we would be making the shareholders liable for the costs that bank failures impose on society, and making the banks sort out the right mixes of activities and risks. Eugene N. White, an economics professor at Rutgers University, supported a related proposal in a recent paper, “Rethinking the Regulation of Banking: Choices or Incentives?”

This proposal would shrink the financial sector, while avoiding excess regulatory micromanagement of bank activities. But it could still be combined with other regulations, like limits on leverage, if deemed appropriate or necessary.

Unlike the “big is bad” view, this proposal would penalize failing banks rather than safe, successful ones that happen to be large. That’s also more in accord with the American ethos of winning at business. ....
Expanded liability for bank shareholders might satisfy the Occupy Wall Street movement, and could be sold as a market-oriented, not regulatory solution; it’s probably what markets would insist upon if there were no central bank and no F.D.I.C. As recently as the 1980s, the partnership structure, another alternative to limited liability, was common among investment banks — and that hardly seemed a crippling drawback at the time.

We need to resist vengeful or “feel good” options for financial reform and embrace those that will really work.
banking  regulations  risk-management  Tyler_Cowen  too_big_to_fail  Occupy_Wall_Street  insolvency 
february 2012 by jerryking
Average Is Over -
Published: January 24, 2012
the reason we have such stubbornly high unemployment and sagging middle-class incomes today is largely because of the big drop in demand because of the Great Recession, but it is also because of the quantum advances in both globalization and the information technology revolution, which are more rapidly than ever replacing labor with machines or foreign workers.

In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. But, today, average is officially over. Being average just won’t earn you what it used to. It can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more above average cheap foreign labor, cheap robotics, cheap software, cheap automation and cheap genius. Therefore, everyone needs to find their extra — their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment. Average is over.
averages  Tom_Friedman  unemployment  middle_class  globalization  automation  value_propositions  economic_stagnation  Tyler_Cowen  the_Great_Decoupling  Pablo_Picasso  cheap_revolution 
january 2012 by jerryking
Turning the Dialogue From Wealth to Values -
Published: November 12, 2011

Why do so many Americans have respected the wealthy in the first place?

The U.S. has always had a culture with a high regard for those able to rise from poverty to riches. It has had a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit and has attracted ambitious immigrants, many of whom were drawn here by the possibility of acquiring wealth. Furthermore, the best approach for fighting poverty is often precisely not to make fighting poverty the highest priority. Instead, it’s better to stress achievement and the pursuit of excellence, like a hero from an Ayn Rand novel. These are still at least the ideals of many conservatives and libertarians.

The egalitarian ideals of the left, which were manifest in a wide variety of 20th-century movements, have been wonderful for driving social and civil rights advances, and in these areas liberals have often made much greater contributions than conservatives have. Still, the left-wing vision does not sufficiently appreciate the power — both as reality and useful mythology — of the meritocratic, virtuous production of wealth through business.
high_net_worth  capitalism  values  conservatism  libertarians  wealth_creation  entrepreneurship  Tyler_Cowen  work_ethic  Ayn_Rand  personal_accomplishments 
november 2011 by jerryking

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