2. The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

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2. The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Post  wmeisel on Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:00 pm

This is an ebook by Tyler Cowen; it's cheap --$3.99.

As I understand it, this is only being released as an ebook. I'm not sure how long it would be as a book, but it can be finished in a couple of hours.

If you have read my previous reviews, you know I am a fan of Cowen. This was interesting reading as well. Cowen's thesis, as I understand it, is that one of the causes of our current economic troubles is the fact that we have used up all of the "low hanging fruit". That is, the things that are easy to discover, or problems that are easy to fix, have been done. What is left are the hard problems.

So, for example, in the 60s we increased the number of people attending high school and graduating, but improving things now seems not so easy. There were major technological advances in the first half of the 20th century, but a slow down in improvements since then (the internet excepted.)

Cowen also talks about how the internet improves many people's lives (I certainly feel that way), but hasn't made many people that much money, so it doesn't have an enormous effect on the economy.

Cowen does not present a solution; more education and better knowledge of science, but how do you do that?

The book itself is much better than my attempted summary of it; Cowen's argument is very persuasive, for the most part, while you are reading it. And I have spent more money on a single comic book, so it is easy to label this as recommended.

wmeisel
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