- File Size: 672 KB
- Print Length: 128 pages
- Publisher: Dutton (January 25, 2011)
- Publication Date: January 25, 2011
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004H0M8QS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,179 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price set by seller.
The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better: A Penguin eSpecial from Dutton Kindle Edition
|Length: 128 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $2.99 when you buy the Kindle book.
Kindle e-ReadersFire TabletsFire Phones
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Cowen's central idea is that the pace of innovation has slowed, and that we are now on a "technological plateau" that makes further growth challenging. If you consider technology in the broad sense (energy, transportation, home, etc), this makes sense as things have not changed a lot in recent decades. However, I think it is also true that progress has been highly concentrated in information technology and communications, and that things continue to advance rapidly in this area. Cowen notes this but seems to feel that the Internet is the only really major innovation.
Cowen argues that what we need is a new burst of innovation that will propel economic growth. Here is the problem I see with that: Cowen writes that "a lot of our major innovations are springing up in sectors where a lot of work is done by machines, not by human beings." In fact if you look at companies like Google or Facebook, or entire industries like semiconductors, computers, Internet or biotech, there are really not a lot of jobs in total and certainly not a lot for middle skill people. If there is manufacturing it is either heavily automated or offshore.
The question is: if today's innovations are already creating industries that are not labor-intensive and rely instead on technology, why would the future be different? Won't the new burst of innovation that Cowen calls for create even more technology-intensive industries...and few jobs?
I. The low-hanging fruit we ate
..A. Examples in the United States
....1. Free land (Homestead Act, etc.)
....2. Technological breakthroughs (electricity, motor vehicles, telephone, radio, television, computers etc.)
....3. Smart, uneducated kids (who were made productive through excellent public education).
....4. This is a partial list; clearly other candidates can be proposed, e.g. cheap fossil fuels.
..B. Examples in other countries ("catch-up growth")
....1. Leveraging the technological breakthroughs of the West (e.g. China, India)
....2. Smart, uneducated kids (e.g. China, India)
..C. MEDIAN income growth in the U.S. has slowed notably since 1973.
....1. Decline in household size is not the cause.
....2. Unmeasured quality improvements (think electronic gadgetry) are not a counter (because there is
...... also unmeasured quality degradation, think traffic jams and AIDS)
..D. Rate of technical innovation has declined notably since 1873 and even more since 1955
....1. Innovation is getting harder; the low fruit has been picked.
....2. Recent innovations have slight marginal benefits
..E. Recent and current innovation is more geared to PRIVATE goods than to PUBLIC goods.
....**This is the driver of the Great Stagnation.
....1. Extracting resources from the government (subsidies for solar power, farm products, other junk;
.....useless construction; useless government employees; legal services, etc.) by lobbying.
....2. Extreme protections of intellectual property (e.g.Read more ›
This nice little book is worth reading. Tyler Cohen has correctly identified several almost unique circumstances that helped America become great and powerful. Some low hanging fruit like free land, innovation, millions of immigrants seeking work (and ready to work for pennies), millions of young people wanting to get education; scientific progress and technical innovation.
The book contains very sharp observations. For instance, the author notices that innovation has moved lately in the wrong direction:
"If one sentence were to sum up the mechanism driving the Great Stagnation, it is this: Recent and current innovation is more geared to private goods that to public goods. That simple observation ties together the three major macroeconomic events of our time: growing income inequality, stagnant median income, and, as we will see in chapter five, the financial crisis.:
Not only this. Cowen points out that "Top American earners are increasingly concentrated in the financial sector of the economy."
The booklet is easy to read, the style is lively and intellectually entertaining. When I reached the end, however, I said: Oops, was that all? Too many blank spots left!
Here is a major blank spot: The dollar. Talking about low hanging fruit, the author somehow missed the dollar. By becoming the world reserve currency after WW2, the dollar gave this country an enormous financial advantage. It became not only a low hanging fruit, but a ready fruit on the table. The benefits of this fruit only increased when it was freed from gold in 1971 and when OPEC agreed to trade oil only in dollars in 1974. What is the future of the dollar? What are the perspectives to enjoy it free on the table?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must read for anyone who does not understand what we mean by "the new normal."Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
Libertarian philosophy behind his ideas; critiques the political left and right and lands in the libertarian lane. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Bill Forrester
Thank you for your recommendation, I would like to buy the book, too.Published 1 month ago by E KYU KIM
This is more of a long essay than a book. Cowen's analysis will discomfort both the left and the right. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jason D. Sands
Our economy is failing us. We've been through the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, the combination of unemployment, underemployment, and worker participation... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Loyd Eskildson
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Look for Similar Items by Category
- Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Authors
- Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Historical > United States
- Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Specific Groups > Women
- Books > Business & Money > Management & Leadership > Planning & Forecasting
- Books > History > Americas > United States
- Books > History > World > Women in History
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Authors
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Biographies & Memoirs > Women
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Business & Money > Management & Leadership > Planning & Forecasting
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > History > Americas > United States
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > History > Women in History