Category Archives: Economics

Lights in the Tunnel — Coming True?

Martin Ford — who joined us on FastForward Radio not long ago — directs us to this story about HP planning to cut 9000 jobs via automation. This development looks like more support for Martin’s thesis, outlined in his book The Lights in the Tunnel, that automation is advancing at a rate that makes the […]

What if the Jobs Are Never Coming Back?

An interesting tidbit from the Wall Street Journal last week: The Government Pay Boom America’s most privileged class are public union workers. It turns out there really is growing inequality in America. It’s the 45% premium in pay and benefits that government workers receive over the poor saps who create wealth in the private economy. […]

Why Do They Have to Develop?

Here’s a charmer of a quote from the comments section of the article I linked the other day about how a new catalyst enables highly efficient production of hydrogen from water: Ok why do under developed nations even need power honestly? Can’t they just stay under-developed forever? I’d like to think this is a joke. […]

The iPhone, Free Markets, and Alternative Energy

In a comment on our recent discussion about energy, Harvey notes that “the free market is a myth.” This is, of course, absolutely correct. The free market is a myth in the same way that freedom of speech is a myth and that freedom of religion is a myth. Ideally, anyone can say anything he […]

Politics by Other Means

Military Historian Carl von Clausewitz famously asserted that warfare is politics by other means. This formula frequently gets turned on its head, and we hear (or read) that politics is warfare by other means. Both phrasings are accurate; any number of examples of each come to mind. For instance, the American Civil War originated as […]

Atlas Hugged

Speculist blogger Stephen Gordon has written a very interesting essay on the Atlas Shrugged phenomenon, exploring whether Ayn Rand’s novel is, in some sense, coming true in our world today. He decided to publish this piece on a different blog because of the political nature of what he wrote. But, hey, I’m linking to it […]

On Knowing Everything

Note: Stephen has suggested that the following is a little too long for the show notes for Sunday’s show, so I’m presenting it here as a stand-alone entry. I. The Question The question is whether accelerating and converging technologies are leading us to a future in which we can all fully understand the world around […]

The Humane Approach

I was going to respond to a comment from Harvey in the thread from this week’s FFR, but quickly came to realize that I was writing more of an essay than a blog comment, so here we are. Harvey writes: While Moore’s Law finds the World Economy, is it a good idea, to put the […]

More Thoughts on Scarcity

[The following is an expanded version of an e-mail I sent to Stephen in response to some reflections he had on our most recent FastForward Radio -- that show with guest Joseph Jackson discussing the possibility of a post-scarcity world. I think Stephen was going to post some additional thoughts, too -- to which I […]

Government Jobs

The worrying graph shown below has made the rounds in the blogosphere over the past few days. Here we see how the United States now has more people employed by government than work in manufacturing and construction. Some read these numbers and see certain doom. It’s the tipping point! How can the economy possibly survive […]