"Apple! Boy, what a story. No taxes paid, everything made abroad—yet everyone worships them. This new iPhone, there’s nothing new in it. Just a golden color. What the hell, right? When people start playing with color, you know they’re played out."
Foxconn Technology Group, the Taipei-based maker of Apple Inc.’s iPhone, plans to invest $40 million in Pennsylvania to develop robotics, joining other manufacturers seeking to build products in the U.S.
John Podesta, a former Clinton chief of staff and Obama adviser, will be joined by the economists J. Bradford DeLong and Heather Boushey at what he is calling the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.
Four things create value: 1. Gross manipulation of matter and energy. 2. Fine manipulation of matter and energy. 3. Interacting with humans. 4. Thinking of new things to do, and thinking of better ways to do things.
An economist argues that the US needs to start looking at inequality (as, indeed, do other developed economies) in a more dispassionate and analytical way.
Jon Teets's insight:
Having chronicled the US’s economic vulnerability in The Great Stagnation, Cowen, an economist at George Mason University in Virginia, says we have entered the age of “hypermeritocracy”, in which the top 10 to 15 per cent of Americans are “extremely wealthy” and lead “fantastically comfortable lives” and the rest work in “stupid and frustrating” jobs for falling or stagnant wages.
What happens when good jobs disappear? It’s a question that’s been asked for centuries.
Jon Teets's insight:
"...the nature of rising inequality in America changed around 2000. Until then, it was all about worker versus worker; the distribution of income between labor and capital — between wages and profits, if you like — had been stable for decades. Since then, however, labor’s share of the pie has fallen sharply. As it turns out, this is not a uniquely American phenomenon. A new report from the International Labor Organizationpoints out that the same thing has been happening in many other countries, which is what you’d expect to see if global technological trends were turning against workers."
At their core, are America’s problems primarily economic or moral?
Jon Teets's insight:
Some pundits have recently been widening the scope of possible causes for our national troubles. Perhaps they've gotten a taste for complexity now they've had time to see how many were complicit in the economic crisis (the poor who didn't know enough to realize they really couldn't afford that loan, the administrations that pushed lenders to make it easier, the average Joes who suddenly went all speculative, the average Joes that got a taste for spending their new-found equity on the good life, the predatory lenders, the flippers, the quants whose models didn't run simulations for housing market drops bigger 15%, risk assessors inside and outside of firms who couldn't differentiate triple-A from their morning consitutional (especially since it was so profitable when the instruments when instruments were structured by a cow), their upper management who kept the foot to the floor, senate finance committee leadership moving to Iowa to run for president, the decline in real knowledge of anything but politics among congress-critters, the mutual capture of lobbyists and congress-critters, a press, most of which still hasn't figured it out what happened and a populace who somehow thinks that one party or the other is right.)
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