Since Alexis de Tocqueville, restlessness has been accepted as a signature American trait. Our willingness to move, take risks, and adapt to change have produced a dynamic economy and a tradition of innovation from Ben Franklin to Steve Jobs. The problem, according to legendary blogger, economist, and best-selling author Tyler Cowen, is that Americans today have broken from this tradition - we're working harder than ever to avoid change.
The widening gap between rich and poor means dealing with one big, uncomfortable truth: If you're not at the top, you're at the bottom. The global labor market is changing radically thanks to growth at the high end and the low. About three quarters of the jobs created in the United States since the great recession pay only a bit more than minimum wage. Still, the United States has more millionaires and billionaires than any country ever, and we continue to mint them.
America has been through the biggest financial crisis since the great Depression, unemployment numbers are frightening, median wages have been flat since the 1970s, and it is common to expect that things will get worse before they get better. Certainly, the multidecade stagnation is not yet over. How will we get out of this mess?
"A nice fast thought-provoking walk-through"
In Discover Your Inner Economist, one of America's most respected economists presents a quirky, incisive romp through everyday life that reveals how you can turn economic reasoning to your advantage - often when you least expect it to be relevant. Like no other economist, Tyler Cowen shows how economic notions, such as incentives, signals, and markets, apply far more widely than merely to the decisions of social planners, governments, and big business.
Almost seven years after the Great Recession officially ended, the U.S. economy continues to grow at a sluggish rate. Real wages are stagnant. The real median wage earned by men in the United States is lower today than it was in 1969. Median household income, adjusted for inflation, is lower now than it was in 1999 and has barely risen in the past several years despite the formal end of the recession in 2009.
Food snobbery is killing entrepreneurship and innovation, says economist, preeminent social commentator, and maverick dining guide blogger Tyler Cowen. Americans are becoming angry that our agricultural practices have led to global warming-but while food snobs are right that local food tastes better, they're wrong that it is better for the environment, and they are wrong that cheap food is bad food. The food world needs to know that you don't have to spend more to eat healthy, green, exciting meals. At last, some good news from an economist!
How will we live well in a super-networked, information-soaked, yet predictably irrational world? The only way to know is to understand how the way we think is changing. As economist Tyler Cowen boldly shows in Create Your Own Economy, the way we think now is changing more rapidly than it has in a very long time. Not since the Industrial Revolution has a man-made creation - in this case, the World Wide Web - so greatly influenced the way our minds work and our human potential.
"Silicon Valley Has Not Saved Us From a Productivity Slowdown" is from The Upshot section of The New York Times. It was written by Tyler Cowen and narrated by Fleet Cooper.
This edition of CatoAudio features Charles Pena and Doug Bandow on how the United States could exit from the Mideast; Tyler Cowen on globalization and cultural diversity; Randall Holcombe on our "undemocratic" constitution; Mike Tanner on the lessons of welfare reform; Steve Entin on President Bush's tax cut proposal; and Robert Levy on how states use courts to attack unpopular industries.