A Glimpse Into The Future

Justin Fox has an excellent blog post up on Bloomberg.com talking about some changes he is seeing in the global economy.

In the post Justin observes that the global economic slowdown we are in the midst of may well be more about the accelerating change from a goods based economy to a services based economy than the traditional business cycle playing out.

There are a ton of good charts in the post and I would strongly suggest everyone go read it.

Here’s the final paragraph which sort of nails the argument, as good final paragraphs do:

Finally, consider the things that people do want to spend their money on. The defining consumer product of our age is the smartphone. A smartphone is a good, and it takes resources to make and transport it. Still, it takes a lot less resources than, say, a car. Most of its value is in the software that is loaded onto it and the people, information and entertainment you can connect to with it. That’s a different sort of value creation than 20th-century resource-based value creation. If that’s the direction the global economy is headed in, the connections between growth, trade and resource consumption aren’t going to be the same as they have been. That is probably a good thing.