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#6 We have a large, long column of virile, brawny, young men heading north to penetrate the southern border of the US. When is the left going to get real?! These are NOT women and children, there are no women and children in this column, it's all men, men only. Young, virile, tanned, rough men coming to penetrate our border.

Wrong! Have you turned on your TV at all?

Have YOU?

Many of us noticed the girls who look good in t-shirts, but to each his own.

And the award for the Most Unintentionally Homoerotic Comment goes to...

You beat me too it. I almost fell out my chair laughing. I was penetrated by a long column of brown, virile laughter

Oh yeah the left is always too busy laughing and lying.

The left will pay.

Unintentional? Come on

Admit it, you like young brawny brown men. Nothing wrong with that these days. I always knew the anti-immigration crowd loudest in hating immigrants had some kind of weird fetish attraction for forbidden fruit.

The socialist dictatorships of Latin America are dumping their social problems on the US taxpayer. They are laughing too.

Those who whine the most about socialist dictatorships love the socialist dick. Again, nothing wrong with that these days. Just saying there's a pattern here.

I just saw Salam present his new book last night at Fed Soc event in Orlando last night. He said he favored trade, but alas, he is not for open immigration. The irony of this position, however, never ceases to amaze me: free movement of goods and capital for the rich, but no free movement of labor for the poor!

The answer to your puzzle is that some people think American policy should be for the benefit of American citizens

That use to be an unexceptional thought. Now, there is an ever rising group of people who think it's amoral for American policy to prioritize actual American citizens.

It would be good if the Darwin Award they are applying for didn’t also inflict collateral damage on the rest of us, but that seems unlikely.

There's no contradiction there. One can prioritize citizens and have freer immigration. The last 50+ years has been proof that it works to everyone's benefit.

Haven’t you heard?

They’re rapists and criminals. That’s why NYC is a hotbed of murder and misery. And why St Louis is a paradise with golden streets and unlocked doors, with nary a barred window in sight.

It’s them damn im’gants.

Every country in the world regulates its borders and immigrants. Canada will kick you out of the country if you have a chronic disease because it strains their health care system.

We do too. Whats with all the bedwetting? Oh...election coming up.

Racist.

"Now, there is an ever rising group of people who think it's amoral for American policy to prioritize actual American citizens."

Catholics?

"Catholics?"

I knew you were a bigot!

Somewhat of a good joke, but seriously..

Substitute any other international religion preaching a broad, humane, moralism.

If you think trade doesn't benefit the poor, you should visit Walmart. Things like clothes, dishes, and small appliances are crazy cheap. That helps if you are on a budget.

What helps even more is being able to buy good quality products at a reasonable price that will last decades.

But then, that is not a good way to make an acceptable profit, apparently, compared to selling low quality goods every couple of years to people who end paying much more than if they had bought something that lasts decades.

It is one of the reasons that Walmart left the German market (after losing a billion dollars to discover that Germans like inexpensive, but they won't buy things that don't last, among other lessons.)

Let them drive Mercedes, huh? I guess you've never been down to your last $20.

Can someone tell me if the usual commenters on this webpage are actual people, or if everyone simply borrows from a set of known names when they want to reply in a particular style.

You are welcome to borrow my name whenever it suits you. For anyone looking to co-opt my moniker may I suggest a style of being ignorant of conventional norms and generally poorly suited for the modern world.

You're really stealin' my thunder with that comment, man.

@Ryan --you are right on. Here in the Philippines this is common practice because it is dangerous to assume the same name from one day to the next, even if you are a 1 percenter like I am, because backyard snakes like the Inland Taipan (btw, per Wikipedia its venom, drop for drop, is by far the most toxic of any snake – much more so than even sea snakes[10][11][12]). You can try a King's Indian Defense, but a better strategy is to confuse the Inland Taipan by assuming a different identity each day, as it will nettle the snake.

Bonus info: In Ancient Greece, sneezing was promoted a birth control method. Those Greeks were smart. I, too, am a Greek. My girlfriend has been half my age every year of my life.

#FakeRayLopez !
@ #realRayLopez

What about me??
I'm 73!
And can't find my wee wee!

The evidence suggests that this entire comments section has consisted of me and just three other people since May 2014.

And two of the three people have started arguing with themselves.

2. I feel like the way Russ frames the debate is a bit deceptive. Looking at the same people over time is going to capture gains from people naturally progressing in their career. Of course a college grad at 23 years old is making less than he will when he's 35. While this is a valid remark, I feel most political debates center around the absolute distribution of wealth as well as income. It would be interesting to see how the distribution of wealth has changed over the last 30 years.

He also mentions studies comparing incomes of children to their parents at the same ages. The problem with just looking at the overall income distribution is that it will miss things like smaller and more single-headed households, increases in the number of low-wage immigrants and an aging population (with more low-income but high-wealth retirees).

I just don’t think solely looking at relative mobility convincingly explains where the shares to economic growth go. You can have increasing economic mobility as well as increasing inequality at the same time.

Rob, let's say that 150% of gains are accruing to the poorest 10% who are becoming the top 1% over this time period. The top 1% loses lots of money and becomes lowest decile. Should that be considered "all gains going to the top 1%"? I mean you could argue that it should but I think that would be a highly deceptive way of framing it.

We should look at the distribution of wealth since the Great Society programs began. Welfare is how the government manufactures poor, ignorant and violent people. As their numbers grow expect more violence. We are all going the way of Chicago.

True.

We can also import poor people from poor, low IQ (Honduras avg. IQ = 81), failed states. By definition they are upwardly mobile.

Is Elon Musk a low wage immigrant? He was homeless when he convinced his brother to join him to start an "online yellow pages".

(He was also an illegal immigrant, thanks to liberals welcoming rapists, murders, drug dealers while Clinton was president. Of course, Clinton built more border wall than Trump is likely to build, which changed the low wage worker dynamic from crossing illegally to work for a few month at wages higher than Mexico, then returning to Mexico to spend US earnings building capital and living cheaply in low living cost Mexico.)

Older retirees are better off only because the bottom half income classes get much higher rates of returns on retirement taxes, but otherwise, the vast majority of those over 65-70 are poor and poorer. Of course, union factory workers often benefitted from generous pensoins that were either the basis for early "retirement" exit packages, or juiced up conversions of pensions to big individual cash accounts, with younger workers no longer getting pensions and much lower employer contributions, plus fewer jobs as public policy promoted building less capital to make it scarce to inflate existing capital prices.

But the biggest factor ignored is higher immigration to a few States, like California, Texas, etc, and increased emigration from other States like West Virginia, Kentucky which cut GDP growth, investment, and thus wage incomes.

Half the those born in West Virginia emigrate for economic reasons, while immigration to California and Texas has surged, many to be in an economy that promotes starting businesses that grow rapidly. This creates and economy that limits emigration of native born.

If you are born in West Virginia and emigrate, you will earn more than your parents. If born in California and stay, or immigrate to California from other States or outside the US, you will likely earn more than your parents.

Tyler has booted lower migration in the past 3-4 decades, but he's looking at US averages, but it you look at individual regions and States, economic migration patterns have changed, with some regions producing higher relative incomes while other regions producing lower.

The policies of FDR and Congress favored higher investment everywhere because investment to increase capital so it's price falls creates jobs. The only way to get capital prices to rise is to suppress paying workers building capital, the public policy lever is killing jobs building public capital from transportation to utilities.

Texas has high growth in large part thanks to the Federal and state governments continuing to build public capital to drive down capital prices. More roads, more public utility capital. More space industry capital. And these are critical components to private capital building.

Government spending on space capital drove immigration to Texas which brought in people who shifted over to other industries, say computers and telecoms, creating lots of capital that has fallen in price. For example, has the capital price of Compaq and Dell gone up or down? These startups were part of an ecosystem of hundreds of computer makers, many started in Texas.

The immigration to Texas was not reversed when capital prices of Compaq and Dell and hundreds of other computer makers fell because their workers shifted to building new startups, continuing to build new capital driving down prices to costs.

But building capital increases wealth even when high investment drives prices below costs. High rates of home building in Texas has kept housing prices at or below costs, but every added house priced below cost is added wealth. Just as buying a used car below cost increases your wealth when you eliminate debt to buy it faster than the price goes down.

Check those U-Haul prices.

Too bad Texas is hot and ugly. Amazing so many people move there. I think the number of people moving to California from other states is very low (except illegal aliens who have a couch waiting for them). The cost of living is too high. Too bad. Lots of high tech jobs in CA for the young and ambitious. Old people need not apply.

Also, they talk about taxable income, but that won't capture accruing debts, which have increased since the 1970s (https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/households-debt-to-gdp).

And he says, "They leave out important components of compensation such as fringe benefits which have become increasingly important in recent years."

But really what that means is health insurance, and although the benefits have risen, that's only because the cost of healthcare has also risen. What use is it to measure, say, a 10% increase in healthcare insurance benefits and declare that evidence the poor are richer, if they use that increase to pay for the same amount of healthcare services?

Healthcare costs have risen because we consume more healthcare. 40 years ago if you got a lot of cancers we had nothing specific for treatment options. Now we have CAR-T at around a half million a pop. It used to be that diabetes had ~1% incidence, that has septupled. Better treatment means that people live long enough to consume more healthcare. More people having diseases means that we have higher baseline health costs and lower baseline life expectancy.

Put it another way, diabetes is ~$10,000/year to treat. If we had maintained the diabetes incidence of back when it would cost us each ~$100/yr to treat diabetes. Instead we are paying around $700 a year each.

When you take into account the growing baseline health disparities between the poor and the rich, the poor are consuming vastly more healthcare than they did previously relative to previous rich consumption.

At the end of the day we have gutted the private social supports of the poor by undermining all the social rules which protected them. Now they bear a huge burden from metabolic syndrome (gone are the old gluttony social constructs), STIs (gone are the old monogamy constructs), mental health (hit from many angles like no-fault divorce, alienation from pastoral care, and loss of social constructs against drunkeness and drug use).

The average poor person in the 70s or even the 50s enjoyed vastly better baseline health because far fewer of the poor adopted behaviors that lead to preventable morbidity and mortality. Choosing to make unhealthy decisions about exercise, diet, and sex really hammers the poor today.

The dynamic of this discussion really completes Roberts' analysis since much of health care spending shows up as income to someone else. Studying to be a nurse is a great path to the middle class.

@Rob - you are right on, I said as much before I even read your post, at the Medium site where R. Roberts posted. Here is a cool table that shows what you're talking about. However, notice once you are rich and retire, most people don't end up poor again, because they get a pension (see the last line explanation in the table below). - RL

ncome Migration: changes among Income Rankings in the USA from 1975 to 1991. From Chap. 1, History of the American Economy, Gary M. Walton (10th ed. 2005)

Income Quintile in 1975 Percentage in Each Quintile in 1991
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
5th 0.9 2.8 10.2 23.6 62.5
4th 1.9 9.3 18.8 32.6 37.4
3rd 3.3 19.3 28.3 30.1 19.0
2nd 4.2 23.5 20.3 25.2 26.8
1st 5.1 14.6 21.0 30.3 29.0

Example of how to use the table: in 1991, 5.1 percent who were in the lowest income quartile in 1975 were still there, while 29.0% of this quartile had progressed to the upper one-fifth by 1991. Also, of the fifth highest quartile in 1975, only 0.9% had dropped into the lowest first quartile by 1991, and fully 62.5% had remained in the top highest (fifth) quartile during that time span.

Thanks for posting some common sense. I've been in all five quintiles. In 1971 my income was a big fat zero - I was a college freshman. I've been in the top quintile since the late 1980s. That is not atypical (and my parents were never above the middle quintile).

Maybe having a hot young girlfriend helps you understand income distribution - although I'd remind you that the ratio of her age to yours is asymptotic to one.

#2. It's also true that if you look at consumption, the median American household is much better off than in the 1970s. Their home is larger (especially in terms of space per person) and better appointed. They have more and better goods of all kinds (including automobiles). They dine out and travel more. They have better medical treatments available (minimally invasive surgery, joint replacement, dental implants). The environment is cleaner. Entertainment options are vastly better and cheaper. And that's not even mentioning all the new electronic technology. The rich haven't come close to capturing all (or most or really even a disproportionate share) of these gains.

Over the past 30 years, do the rich look more or less like the middle class? Same clothes and even cars. I saw where one of the most popular vehicles for the top 1% was a F150

Also, we have the richest poor people on earth. Our poor are the fattest, breedingest, meat-eatingest, vacationingest, best-drugged and lowest-taxed (considering some pay no taxes) poor to ever live in human history.

Ingrates.

#6 - I'm glad to see the cognitive elite coming around to my thesis: s***hole countries incapable of self-governance will eventually be re-colonized, either by conquest or sale to the highest bidder. We'll all be happier and more prosperous.

A good point. How is this any different than the Shanghai International Settlement from the golden age of colonialism? Or, for that matter, the Congo Free State when it was personally owned by Leopold II? While I doubt anyone's hands will be chopped off in Reihan's charter cities for failure to meet quotas, the notion that these cities will be more or less legally independent in their application and enforcement of laws from the state in which they are located smacks of high imperialism.

Hi Anonymous:

If you have the empathy to imagine yourself in the shoes of a typical South Sudanese, who would you like to be in charge of your country:

1. Current South Sudan president.
2. Current Sudan president.
3. Theresa May.
4. George Clooney.

Obviously, there is only one rational answer here, and it stinks of high imperialism.

How dare you exclude God Emperor Trump! Not that he would ever even visit a shithole country like that.

But isn't George Clooney busy?

But who wants to buy Kansas?

1970s prog rock fan heshers?

this is could memezombie scam because
Kansas is not for sale
and chip definitely does not own Kansas

mebbe hes playing monopoly?

Honduras has been a sovereign country for 180 years. The highest bidder is taking his time.

Bidder needs a mercenary army.

Your position is Pro-Imperialism?

#2 No. Clearly not. The percentages are debatable, but there are absolutely examples - not just one-offs - segments of the population breaking through the middle-class barrier into the "wealthy" (as I define wealthy...liquid assets that become "self-maintaining", i.e. compound interest) without needing the assistance of another wealthy "first actor". Bootstrapping is real, if rare.

# While it would have been an interesting experiment, it would've been a failure nonetheless. Creating a new city for these people, especially in Guatemala, would've done nothing to alleviate the original motivation that put them on the move (especially considering that may be cash payouts by unknown actors...there's video).

There is no such thing as "magic dirt". The thing that turns "tragic dirt" into "magic dirt" is the philosophy, intentions, and actions of the people living on it, not the dirt itself.

2. Rationalizations, it's what humans do when the facts are unpleasant. In my line of work (that would be the law), we argue the facts when the facts support our case, we argue the law when the facts are against our case, and we argue public policy when both the facts and the law are against our case. It's what we do. In economics, I prefer the straight forward Cowen case for high and increasing levels of inequality: look to the future, for in the future, everyone is better off if we focus today on economic growth even if that means increasing levels of inequality. That's far more convincing than Roberts' rationalizations. Not convincing, mind you, but more convincing that the nonsense Roberts is peddling to true believers.

2. Not sure that rationalizations are what Roberts is peddling. Looks more like critical thinking to me. Not sure either that Cowen's approach differs all that much from Roberts'. From the new Cowen book: "we should redistribute wealth only up to the point that it maximizes the rate of sustainable economic growth." Don't see how you get there without considering what Roberts' analysis leads you to look at. And FWIW, I can attest Roberts can be persuasive. On a recent drive acrosss Canada with my Bernie-bro son, I introduced him to econtalk. After listening to just one, he was hooked and insisted on listening to many more. Can't say it was Paul on the road to Damascus but it has opened him up to a much wider range of arguments and his approaches to issues seem much sounder and demonstrates a better awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.

Those don't look like rationalizations. It looks like a well reasoned argument. And you'll have to make a better case than you have to refute it.

Inequality deniers are like climate warming deniers. As I have commented many times, the beauty of markets is that they correct excessive inequality, provided governments and central banks don't intervene to perpetuate the inequality. What Roberts wants to do is pretend that inequality isn't as great as the data confirms, so when the next market correction comes, there isn't the opposition to intervention to maintain the level of inequality. There was a time, long ago, that the Austrians opposed intervention and preferred to allow asset prices to collapse during a financial crisis. Who are the Austrians, now?

In the ash heap of history, where they belong.

We tried letting NGDP collapse. It was called the Great Depression.

We tried a half assed QE program, it was called the Great Recession.

The next time around we can try NGDP targeting. We can call it Australia. It won’t solve supply side problems, but at least unemployment won’t hit 7%.

Banks acting to inflate existing capital prices creates jobs, or simple preserves the market cap of the rich, while the working class continue to go without job opportunity?

The 30s though 70s were periods when public policy focused on increasing the quantity of capital built, not maintain or increase the price of existing capital.

For example, Milton Friedman attacked utility public policy that drove managers to build new capital assets, inventing new reasons for building more to get government approval of building excessive, in his view, capital. And he objected to government forcing price cuts every year on existing capital which then reduced utility revenue, unless the utility build new capittal that cost more than old capital prices were cut.

For example, nuclear power plants were loved by utility managers based on high capital costs with its price falling slowly based on the much longer useful life than coal power plants with lower initial costs and fast price cutting.

It's the price of capital allowed by government that determines return to investors in higher rates. Prior to bipartisan deregulation to kill paying workers to build power plants, e.g., nuclear power plants. During the 80s, not only did the building of nuclear power plants fall, but also building coal, oil, gas power plants. Old decaying power plants were kept in operation instead of being replaced with costly more efficient plants, while the prices increased significantly. In the early 80s, nuclear power plants were sold at huge losses, and then in the mid 80s, their prices rose rapidly, until they decayed to requiring investment to keep them safe. Even in 2000, maintenance became much more costly as parts factories, capital, was destroyed, so existing capital charged higher and higher prices on parts to inflate the prices of the smaller factory capital.

Printing money to inflate old capital prices does not create jobs, or even prevent job losses.

Only by paying idle workers to build new capital assets can jobs be created to reduce income inequality by strong economic growth. The opposite of the policies of Friedman, and Reagan and the GOP.

What is ironic is Texas has a public policy driving building of capital, like roads and other public capital, utility capital, etc. FDR would be very supportive, as would LBJ, of the economics.

Also, Texas actively seeks high immigration rates, just like California. Immigrants area bigger part of Texas than in California.

I am simply arguing against the point that "the rich get all the gains from economic growth." Or that "the average American worker hasn't gotten a raise in 40 years." Or the "very affluent, and only the very affluent" have received "significant raises" over the last 30 years. These claims are simply not true. But they are repeated over and over again. I think it's important to have a somewhat accurate understanding of how people are actually doing.

Yeah. Pretty depressing that Tyler has been part of spreading this myth. Check out his video on it. Thanks to Russ Roberts for his videos on youtube that explain what has been happening with wages.

Does the highest economic growth occur when income inequality is rising?

Ie, if families got smaller from 1945 to 1975 but the working class kept living in 600 sq-ft flats which increases per capita working class consumption, while child landlord goes from a modest living space to a massive gaudy gold plated monument to excess, compared to what actually happened: the old city housing fell in price as the working class benefited from massive payment to working class workers building excess roads and suburbs with excessively sized houses of 800 sq-fr, then 1000, then 1200, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000 houses as families shrank from 4-5 persons to an average of 3.

Before the 50s, wealth inequality in house was very high with many living in under 200 sq-ft, down to 100, per person while the rich had a thousand or two sq-ft. The 50s started a drastic reduction in inequality with the working class increasing living space wealth by a factor of ten, while the rich only increased living space by maybe 2-3.

Since the 80s, efforts to inflate capital prices has been cutting growth in living space wealth for the working class, while the rich have increased living space to insane levels, with some homes of thousands of sq-ft having no occupant 80% of the time.

The lack of capital investment has made capital prices fall such that houses big and small go unoccupied and then get destroyed. Rural America has seen rising inequality, but the rich leave as they act to make the middle class poorer. You will find few economists pointing to rural America and the engine of growth, but inequality in rural America has increased a lot, both locally and in the national economy. Rich factoory owners leaving for the coasts follows the working class becoming less equal, and by then doesn't much reduce inequality, because overall emigration rises with only the richest and oldest and the poorest staying.

6. The China miracle happened because western firms chose to shift production to low-cost China. Why not a Honduras miracle with western firms shifting production to low-cost Honduras? Have any economists researched how Jobs et al. decided to move production to China, given the uncertainty of investing in a place (China) with not very good relations with the U.S., with not very much experience with capitalism, and with distrust of democracy? Has Salam researched the topic? As economists waste their time and ours confirming their belief in the magic of markets, will any of them ask the practical questions, such as why U.S. firms invested in China but won't invest in Honduras? It's hot in both places.

I assume it's because Honduras is more corrupt, less politically stable, and has lower human capital.

To the extent anybody gives the impression that these chartered cities would have democratic governance or "open borders," they are being disingenuous or dishonest.

Is Honduras more corrupt?

Maybe I am more aware of Honduras because my Gildan undershorts and t-shirts are manufactured there but of course that is a Canadian company. But FWIW in 2015 the US had $1.2 billion direct investment in Honduras. https://www.export.gov/article?id=Honduras-Foreign-Direct-Investment-and-Foreign-Portfolio-Investment-Statistics

Huh. It's like Honduras is actually a normal country with factories, doctors, construction workers, logistics, etc. and its economic dislocations are a domestic issue for Hondurans to solve.

Honduras has factories, doctors, and construction workers. Just relatively few of them not operating with peak efficiency. Real income flows to households are at rates familiar in the occident in the mid-19th century. Life expectancy at birth is now north of 70 years and basic literacy among those past the age of 15 encompasses north of 85% of the population. It's most acute problem is brobdingnagian levels of street crime.

We could take in their entire population of 9 million people without a problem.

9 million lives vastly improved with security and economic freedom.

But apparently old white men are terrified of brown women with children in tow.

Assuming all 9 million wanted to come here (not all would), where does that leave equally impoverished people in Guatemala, Venezuela, Congo, Bangladesh? We can't take in ALL of those either.

I'm in favor of reasonable immigration into this country, as well as refugee acceptance, but come on.

Your confidence in the powers of our magic dirt is truly inspiring.

But maybe it would be easier to just ship them some dirt?

The irony of a White Nationalist trying to escape to Central America only be arrested by the US of A. Clearly we weren't sending our best. I'd rather take a caravan of 1000 Hondurans than one of these losers.

#1...James Tobin was a great economist, who favored some sort of basic income and Narrow Banking, and his writings on these policies are easily available.

I’m a tremendous cuck!

2. The Left doesn't care about facts. It wants revolution and destruction. Truly like the Bolsheviks in Russia. This is the result of 50 years of the welfare state.

Don't forget rape! The Left wants their browns to rape our whites. After all, the Left is basically the party of dusky inferiors with a few old white hippies still hanging around.

free to a good home: alexa
shes bossy and burns the stakes

so russ roberts is suggesting the sociolgists have questionable methodology?

we will take her
the russian accent is sorta hot

Once again, Tyler in his most recent podcast has fabricated statistics in saying that the U.S. used to have a mythical golden age of productivity of sustained 3%.

What years, Tyler? No economist would agree. Just Tyler bull shitting his audience.

Give us a link. You won't because you can't.

6. A charter city is indeed preferable to a caravan, as China’s experience shows. However, China’s experience also shows that once a charter city starts becoming successful at attracting foreign investment, politically powerful Americans will complain about outsourcing, low-wage competition, and lax environmental and labor laws, then demand that the US government take action. So how can we ensure that the US will not start a trade war once Honduran charter cities start succeeding?

I don't have a solution, but I can see why Honduras has a problem. The agriculture is not great, and markets for it are far away.

A Charter City to do what exactly?

Or are fans such true believers that they think a new system of governance can kickstart wealth in absence of natural endowment or local markets?

I can see how Honduras might improve slowly, with the internet and slowly improve processes, but I see no quick way out.

As to what to do with potential immigrants, put them in a points-based policy, with at least one randomized tranche for "just anyone" young and healthy.

What the Central Americans are fleeing is other Central Americans. They can't built their own country because of the low IQ. So if they come to America they can latch onto our high IQ, like parasites.

If a charter city was merely full of Central Americans it would quickly become another Central American shithole. It's not an accident of history that caused the failure, it's who they are.

I think what people mean when they say charter city is, "place with some high IQ expats that can exploit local resources or turn it into a tax haven for first world people to hide money. It will have a higher GDP but a really high Gini coefficient because all the real economic value will be produced and consumed by the expats. Some crumbs may or may not fall off to the local populace (usually their government). You need a charter city because current crumb demands are too high to entice the expats."

Guys like this really deserve to be born places like that. Maybe in his next life.

Gillespie: "Certainly since the early 70s but especially in the 21st century, we've seen lower than average economic growth."

The first part is false, the second part is true.

Cowen: "Productivity growth is down and as you said economic growth is slower... ... Produvtivity growth in a typical year is maybe 1% or 1.5%. In an earlier America it was 3%. It's a big change and compounded over time it makes an enormous difference.

When was this earlier America?

The recent low productivity years are from 2011 to 2017 and productivity growth was 0.7%. (The first half of 2018 was 1.6%.)

1950s 2.7% (close to 3%, postwar)
1960s 2.8% '(close to 3%)
1970s 1.9%
1980s 1.5%
1990s 2.1%
2000s 2.7% (close to 3%)

So is Tyler's "earlier America" the 2000s? Or is it maybe the 1950s and 1960s post war growth? Those post war years are just twenty years of America's history. Productivity growth was over 3% in the 1940s but a recovery from the 1930s when productivity averaged 0.3%. From the 1870s through the 1920s, productivity growth was near 2.0% with a low of 1.6% and a high of 2.3%.

From 2000 to 2017 productivity growth averaged. 2.1%
From 1980 to 1999 productivity growth averaged 1.8%
From 1960 to 1979 productivity growth averaged 2.4%
From 1940 to 1959 productivity growth averaged 3.4%
From 1920 to 1939 productivity growth averaged 1.3%
From 1900 to 1919 productivity growth averaged 2.1%

Good read for the week!

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