Re: A Permanent Slump?

[Note:  This comment comes from friend Bob Frankston.  DLH]

From: “Bob Frankston” <Bob19-0501@bobf.frankston.com>
Subject: RE: [Dewayne-Net] Re: A Permanent Slump?
Date: November 18, 2013 at 1:00:25 PM PST
To: dewayne@warpspeed.com

Too bad American Heritage magazine has disappeared from the face of the
Earth or, at least, the web which matters more. (http://goo.gl/hEHWK4).
Their Invention and Technology magazine had a great article which I often
cite about how the invention of the sewing machine forced us into making
welfare explicit instead of relying on being a seamstress as the occupation
of last resort.

My concern about the Krugman piece is that it didn’t address the deeper
structural issues. The lowered birthright is a result, not a cause, of the
changing landscape. Children are no longer assets and insurance policies
thanks to increasing prosperity. But this improved productivity also
eliminates the jobs that were the mechanism for wealth (re)distribution.

If we have sufficient resources and less people how what do we have a
shortage of?

There is a caveat — if evolution and productivity is driven by diversity
because the very few ideas that succeed create disproportionate value to
society then perhaps we should be more concerned about the reduced diversity
of ideas whether due to reduced population or large scale manufacturing of
the same things again and again and …. We see a form of this in startups
that keep revisiting the same-old as lock down opportunity to newcomers in
favor of those with the wealth to (re)invest. Less and less trickles out.

November 17, 2013
A Permanent Slump?
By PAUL KRUGMAN
<http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/opinion/krugman-a-permanent-slump.html>

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