22 December 2016

Distribution Free Statistics

It's been an occasional theme of these endeavors, even part and parcel of the sub-title of one version, that the US (and, by extension, the global) economy has entered a less-than-zero sum game. In the past (see Gordon's book), the standard response to job destruction by tech change was that more new jobs were created than were busted by the machines. That sequence of events was possible only because the new jobs were no more challenging than the old ones. Displaced farmers were quite savvy enough to stick tires on chassis coming along Mr. Ford's assembly line.

So, today we get some more quotes with data, once again, demonstrating that, this time, it really is different. If the US, and by extension the global, economy is to avoid permanent collapse income has to be disconnected from production. Or, as one of these subtitles says
It's the Distribution, Stupid

Yes, we make more stuff with fewer hands. This is called increasing productivity, and all the data over the last few decades has shown this to be true. Also true: almost none of that increase (i.e., growth) has ended up in the hands of hands. Capital gets almost all of it.
Donald J. Trump told workers like Ms. Johnson that he would bring back their jobs by clamping down on trade, offshoring and immigration. But economists say the bigger threat to their jobs has been something else: automation.

"Over the long haul, clearly automation's been much more important -- it's not even close," said Lawrence Katz, an economics professor at Harvard who studies labor and technological change.

Now you know why corporations and their 1% owners continue to sit on $$$ trillions and chasing Treasuries. Even as tech eliminates more jobs, corporations are running out of ways to eliminate those that remain. So they goad the Fed into raising the interest rate in the hopes that doing so will cause Treasuries' rates, and their incomes. Yet more transfer of wealth from the many to the few.

Happy Christmas.

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