Politics and the Future

It is political season in the US. For the next three months (ish) the two major political parties will select their nominees, then there will be a lull while the two nominees prepare for the general election which will kick off with the two conventions this summer and then it will be off to the races until election day in November. So for the next ten months the US will be in the throes of a Presidential election cycle. 

Its a good time to get all of issues on the table and debate them. One issue that I feel has not gotten enough air time yet and is fundamental to most everything is what is going on in the global economy (not just the US economy) and what that means for policy at home and abroad.

I saw a link to this post on Twitter today. I don’t know the author but it strikes me as directionally correct about the macro tends in the global economy. Here are some charts from it:

The author goes on to say:

The individual GDP share of the food, energy and healthcare industries of the total economy are larger than the ITC sector. What will the world look like if the total value of these would contract in similar fashion than we have had in ITC industry? Will we face an era of technological deflation? Most likely yes. Will it be a good or bad thing?

Deflation is a scary word. We have seen the Fed and other monetary bodies around the world print money for going on eight years to offset the effects of deflation and yet it feels like the deflationary pull is stronger today than ever.

It may be that the diverging lines in that first graph are going to continue to diverge no matter what we do from a policy perspective. The advancement of our technological capabilities may drive down the costs of living dramatically and also drive down the amount of human work that is required to produce and sustain our current quality of life.

This is a big deal. And yet we hear almost nothing about this in the current political debate. We hear old school jobs programs from the left and shrink the government and cut taxes from the right. 

We hear hawks talking about carpet bombing the middle east but no mention of what happens to that region if the world no longer needs their oil.

I don’t expect much from the political process because it hasn’t given us much other than some high quality entertainment value, which may be its core function in society right now. Which is a sad thought.

But if I were advising Hillary, or Bernie, or Cruz, or Rubio, or, god forbid, Trump, I would get their heads wrapped around these global macroeconomic trends and what they might mean ten, twenty, and thirty years out and suggest they start talking straight with the american public about them. Because they have the stage right now and they are the conversation starters and we have to start talking about this stuff.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    “But if I were advising Hillary, or Bernie, or Cruz, or Rubino, or, god forbid, Trump, I would get their heads wrapped around these global macroeconomic trends and what they might mean ten, twenty, and thirty years out…”Most of those folks won’t be of this earth in ten, twenty…years out; Certainly not electable by then; so I suspect they don’t care and won’t act on long-term consequences. (Was that too negative? Sorry)

    1. conorop

      Interesting campaign rhetoric from years ago was the idea of “making life better for your kids and grandkids” via upward mobility (education, job growth, etc.). Do you think that is no longer an effective campaign?I don’t know – I’m merely posing the question.

      1. JimHirshfield

        “rhetoric” <–operative word

        1. conorop

          Fair but to @michael_trefel:disqus’s comment, I thinkthe “dream for our kids” is being lost too. So both rhetoric and marketing that hits on our wants and needs.

      2. Michael Trefel

        Somehow I feel that people are become more and more self absorbed and have forgotten to think about others. Especially future generations. It’s rather sad and very short sighted. We used to dream for our kids, now it all about me me me. I think that’s the cause for emptiness in many people’s lives. If we want to build a better world we must focus on long term goals. And none of the politicians are looking that way.

  2. kirklove

    “Throes” is the perfect word for it.

    1. fredwilson


  3. Tom Labus

    We can’t even manage our finances for more than a few months at a time. A legit Macro discussion is sorely needed but has been MIA for a long time now. Republic Rome used to appoint a dictator when politics froze. The tenure was for 2 years. Sometimes it worked. Not suggesting this course but something needs to make the voter want a legit discussion more than the gibberish we get now. I wish I knew

  4. PhilipSugar

    I would love to see the first chart with the top 10% of most productive and the bottom 10% of least productive.Its just because I postulate that a big issue is that it probably takes the roughly the same number of people to work in a McDonald’s as it did in the 1950’sHowever, the team that built for instance the American Airlines app, probably replaced thousands of employees per person, and therefore that productivity is off the charts.That is the root cause of the issue and we need to think about it.

    1. andyswan

      I’ve thought about it. I think it’s fantastic. I also think it’s fantastic that it doesn’t take 100 women banging on typewriters to send out corporate communications.

      1. LE

        You probably don’t remember life before fax machines. God when I got one of those in the 80’s it was the best thing in the world for productivity.On the downside I also remember when the receptionist was replaced by voicemail systems.And you know back in the day if you were dealing with a large company and an employee told you something over the phone “ok you don’t have to do X” or “we will send you Y” etc. you said “ok can I have your name?” and typically when you got a name it actually meant something and the company would stand behind what “Jane” told you (even large companies as I recall). Today no such thing exists. Doesn’t matter what anyone tells you there is no accountability the big company just blabs about how much they care about you but they aren’t willing to do what you want but hey yes they appreciate your business.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          I’ve gotten the names of several AT&T customer service reps in the last week in the 3-4 hours spent on the phone trying to solve a huge mess made out of what should have been a very simple transaction. Getting their names hasn’t meant jack. Problem still not fixed.I’ll tell you what works. Ranting on Twitter. This has worked better than anything.

          1. LE

            I feel your pain. Nothing is more frustrating.

    2. Ryan Frew

      As many people to work in McDonald’s as the 50’s? Give it time….

      1. PhilipSugar

        I would take a look at the last name of the VP of Digital experience for McDonalds.

  5. LIAD

    Can I get a Hallelujah!

    1. Kurt Stangl


    2. Chimpwithcans

      Fred for Prez

  6. Robert Heiblim

    Amen Fred

  7. andyswan

    Just keep government in either a stalemate or limited in scope and we will be fine. Everyone is getting richer relative to history. Some pull lots more weight than others, thanks to the tech tools that they and others are building. God bless them and their reward!The politics of greed and envy that comes from Bernie and Hillary is the only thing that can stop us from exponential improvements in the 21st that will dwarf what we saw in the 20th

    1. pointsnfigures

      I disagree. Government needs to be trimmed back because it is way too big and intrusive. The more government, the higher the costs. The higher the costs, the less room for small business.I do see a role for government. Arthur Brooks really defined it well in his book The Conservative Heart.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I agree but cutting spending at any big organization is so hard and the government is the biggest of the big.And as he points out it is so tough to explain in a 30 second soundbite.Spending more is so easy to explain in a 30 second soundbite.Remember when Bush said he didn’t want to cut the budget he just wanted to slow down the rate of increase.It was so easy to scream he wants to cut spending on education.

        1. LE

          he just wanted to slow down the rate of increase.And in fact the economy is in no condition to absorb the government workers who would loose their jobs or the employees of the recipients of government spending (vendors, contractors) that would lose their jobs unless it was done slowly. Really similar in a way to the reason cigarettes couldn’t just be outlawed not just tobacco state senators but many people earned a living as a result of cigarette consumption.

        2. pointsnfigures

          Agree with you. Trump knows how to communicate better than any other candidate-which is why he is doing so well. Living in Illinois and watching how corrupt city, county and state government is jades my view. Our pensions are billions and billions in the red. There is no way out other than bankruptcy. Only our governor understands it.I don’t want the US to get there but it’s on the same road without economic growth. Big Government hinders economic growth.

          1. LE

            Apparently many “educated and so called sophisticated people” don’t like Trump because they are aghast at some of the things that he says. However what they don’t realize is that he is just saying what he needs to say to get elected. And it’s working. So it’s a net gain for him. It shows how he is smart not that he is (insert the negative here). The funny part is nobody seems to care when any other politician says what they need to to get elected because it’s not inflammatory speech. Politicians are famous for this behavior. Just different lies. In our government there are checks and balances. It’s obvious that Trump will not be able to do many of the things he says he wants to do.

      2. ShanaC

        which parts of government and why

        1. pointsnfigures

          There are too many places to start!Department of Education for sure. American education system is terrible given the amount of money we spend. Better to block grant money to states and local systems. Department of Agriculture and the USDA; totally bloated. The VA could be repurposed; and instead of having centralized bureaucracy with centralized hospitals, it would be leaner and meaner if vouchers were given to vets for care. Pretty clear the EPA is out of control. Department of Energy could be eliminated. Department of Defense could be streamlined and slimmed down.Most of the government spending goes to support an overweight bureaucracy. It doesn’t filter down to where it’s meant to “do good”. The feds give out $500 billion in grant money each year for various things. It costs $200 billion to manage it.Plenty of studies have shown that when governments like the US and Great Britain give foreign aid, it never makes it to the people it was supposed to aid. Useless dollars.

        2. pointsnfigures

          BTW, did you see the WSJ editorial today about how the BATF over regulates micro breweries? Or the piece by Mark Cuban about how the SEC over regulates IPO’s and he is trying to fix it so companies worth between $20M and $50M can IPO.

          1. ShanaC

            No, but the microbrewery part interests me. Do you have a copy?

  8. pointsnfigures

    Reading an interesting book about this sort of thing now. MetaSkills, 5 Talents for the Robotic Age. Agree none of the candidates are talking about this, but if you look at who is turning out for them-Trump and Sanders are attracting the people that are most fearful.As Albert Wenger has observed, we are in a massive transitional state. His solution is basic income-mine would be expansion of EITC but both are in the same vein.If I were a benevolent dictator, I would make sure I deregulated a lot of rules and regulations that prohibit ordinary people from starting small cash flow businesses. For example, food, farming and food prep is one place people can easily start small businesses. But, the regulatory hurdles and permitting hurdles are brutal. Additionally, laws and regs are written to stop competition. If you grow organic chicken in Indiana, you can’t sell it in Illinois without going through distribution. There are literally thousands of these sorts of things on the books in states, federal govt, and local govt. The city of Chicago is one of the worst offenders. Last year they passed a cloud tax, an Uber tax, and an Airbnb tax.Government mostly gets in the way of innovation.

    1. panterosa,

      I wish someone would take a flea comb to old laws and chuck out the clutter. Next indeed is regulation.

    2. Tom Labus

      Space, the Net. atomic energy!!!

  9. jason wright

    i enjoyed watching Niall Ferguson at DLD yesterday.i would like to see the spotlight put on those who fund the candidates and an expose of what’s in it for them – i.e. what regulatory policy shift they expect to see in return for their ‘investment’.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Top of the list, easy: Dirt cheap, illegal immigrant slave labor. Both Republicans and Democrats want that: The Republicans want the slaves to work but not vote, and the Democrats want the slaves dependent on Democrat welfare and to vote but not work. So, presto, bingo, Congress and Obama just declined to build a fence, and the slave drivers got what they wanted.But among the voters, only the rich want the illegal immigrants. So, to see the influence of the rich on politics, notice that the top 10% or 1% are getting their way even though it pisses off the rest of the voters.Trump saw this, e.g., that the 1% have only 1% of the votes and the illegals have 0%, but the pissed off people do vote and will come to his rallies 10,000 to 20,000 at a time.

  10. kidmercury

    1. 4 out of the top 5 oil producers in the world are outside of the middle east, and the US is the leader. https://en.wikipedia.org/wi… . decline in oil hurts the US significantly and we are already seeing that with oil companies defaulting on their debt (will it cascade to a broader debt default)2. in spite of the widespread adoption of solar panels, it hasn’t made a dent in global energy consumption by source: https://www.eia.gov/totalen… this is because the panels barely produce any consumable energy.

  11. Putt

    I agree that the discussion needs to change and we need to look beyond the pains today and 2016. Term limits would help the short sightedness of the policitians.Fred, Did you say your running in 2020? 🙂

    1. pointsnfigures

      As good a person as Fred is, one of his blogposts, tweets or comments would be misconstrued to turn him into an ogre by who ever opposed him. See Bruce Rauner’s campaign in Illinois. Bruce was a very successful VC and he is trying to change things in IL. Successful people get destroyed when they run. I can hear it now, “Wilson trying to buy political office to reward cronies”. Too much mud gets tossed back and forth to attract people to run.

      1. LE

        You know I have to preface this by saying “with all due respect to Fred” of course but I have no idea why in particular anyone would think Fred is qualified to run or hold political office (and this has come up before others have suggested that). I think that is part of the problem in this country people confuse intelligence, success or expertise in one area or even general inteligence (whatever that is), or the ability to speak well or sound reasonable and circumspect, with being able to actually get something done in a political environment. Different skills (which is not to say someone can’t pull it off..)One thing I think Fred has going against him is that he does not come across in the raw as a manipulator of people in a way that actually comes in valuable in politics. (Ala Clintons or Trump). You need to be a bit sleazy to make it in the political world and be able to understand that others that you deal with aren’t perhaps wholesome but self serving. And you have to have a seat of the pants feel for that type of behavior. If you take Fred’s writings on their face as being representative of the way that he really is (and I have no reason to think otherwise) then he doesn’t fit the bill and would be at a disadvantage.

      2. Putt

        Mud slinging will probably always exist. Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. this week; I believe the dreamers and visionaries would never accept, “It’s too hard.” as an excuse to change the world.Unless I haven’t been reading Fred long enough, I suspect he believes in dreamers too, and may just be one himself.

  12. Richard

    There’s another Moore’s law. With each increasing decile of life comorbidity increases exponentially. Expect a large increase in the number of assisted living centers skilled nursing facilities over the next 30 years

  13. kevando

    In our ‘social media’ driven world, this message gets lost because everyone is clicking the “high quality entertainment value.”How can we craft *this* message to get clicks?

    1. falicon

      “10 things all the candidates should be talking about…YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT #7 is!”

      1. kidmercury

        lol that’s actually pretty good! 🙂

  14. Richard

    Deflation while here is also a bit of a myth. This is because it does not take into account taxes. Ever increasing taxes (carried interest being the exception) is a form of inflation.

  15. Eric Satz

    The cost of energy has been in decline since the beginning of time and is probably the single most significant cost input for production regardless of sector. The chart that is missing when thinking about both solar and wind power is energy storage because neither is 100% reliable on demand.

  16. iggyfanlo

    Time for Universal Basic Income… it’s logic is irrefutable and why Frederich Hayek (Austrian school), Milton Friedman and even Richard Nixon endorsed a version of it. It begins to solve the inequality problem and the enormous loss of wasted creativity. As a side effect, it could actually help modestly with the deflation problem.In addition the early results from experiments in EU around this have been quite promising.I like to see UBI as micro-finance time 1 million, but grants NOT loans… and yes, while 20% of recipients might “abuse” that grant, the numbers are showing that 80% put the funds to good use.Libertarians and many right wingers argue with UBI, but today’s social programs patronize the poor and unfortunate and leave the decision making in the hands of the public sector.Time for change

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Fred’s partner Albert is major a proponent of that, and given the march of automation, it will probably be necessary sooner rather than later.But if I recall correctly (and if I don’t, Albert can correct me), Albert, like Fred, is an advocate of pretty much unrestricted immigration. There’s no way that’s sustainable if everyone who wants to come here can do so, and collect that basic income.

      1. Mark Essel

        Automated productivity would need to grow faster than people can. Sustainable, maybe? We’d make great pets.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          Fertility rates are already below replacement in a lot of the 1st world. So, if immigration is limited, that should be doable.

      1. pointsnfigures

        This is a great idea. The other thing that the feds should do is along with giving unemployment benefits, subsidize salaries for jobs that unemployed take. The longer you are unemployed, the harder it is to find work. If the Feds subsidized jobs so employers could try out employees for a short fixed term, the risk for hiring would go down. (by subsidy, I mean if it’s a $1/hr job, subsidize .25 of it)

      2. iggyfanlo

        Thanks. I’ve never seen this video, but his ideas are sound and pragmatic and quite frankly at the same time human… not unlike Adam Smith, who in both the “Wealth of Nations” and more in “Theory of Moral Sentiments” displayed enormous sympathy and humanity while detailing the economic principles of free market capitalism

        1. Girish Mehta

          Sometimes I’ll casually slip into a conversation that Friedman endorsed a Basic Income…and the reaction is – Wait, what…this is Mr “Capitalism and Freedom” we are talking about…you must be joking.Great point about Adam Smith’s lesser known and almost-forgotten work – “The Theory of Moral Sentiments”. Russ Roberts has commented about this book over the years, and wrote a book himself about Smith’s book.”The Wealth of Nations” is more Quoted than Read.While “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” isn’t even known very much. Unfortunately.

          1. PhilipSugar

            Did you actually watch the video??? He is saying half, cut by 50% the assistance payments today.

          2. Lawrence Brass

            In the video Friedman is talking about 15,000 1968 US dollars minimum income, how much that would be today?

          3. thorsky

            I tried 4 different calculators with three different methodologies because I didn’t believe my eyes, but they all give basically the same story as this one: http://www.bls.gov/data/inf….$15,000 in 1968 is the equivalent of somewhere between $102,000 and $103,000 in 2015.

          4. Lawrence Brass

            I was wrong in the post thorsky, sorry. He says $1,500 minimum income for a family of four ( at 0:03:15 ).

          5. thorsky

            That makes more sense. So a little more than $10,000 in 2015 dollars. Bare subsistence level.

          6. Lawrence Brass

            I have the same experience talking to conspirational theory enthusiasts. Milton Friedman free market and capitalism theories work as long as systems are genuinely free, unlike the rigged systems we often see today in many countries, which get bad raps for capitalism without being such. Pseudo-capitalism run by crooks is not capitalism.

      3. Rob Larson

        Friedman was persuasive – we implemented a version of this – called the earned income tax credit, which many economists believe is the most effective policy we have for helping the poor.

    2. creative group

      Bill Gates proposal on eradicating poverty by 2030 in the Wall Street Journal.source: http://www.wsj.com/articles

  17. Donna Brewington White

    Well I’m glad YOU’RE talking about this. And would it be too much hope for that the candidates will read this post and comments? I don’t always agree with everything said here but it often makes more sense than what I hear/read anywhere else.

  18. Donna Brewington White

    Saw The Big Short last night. Made me want to (1) start reading up on macroeconomics and (2) make sure my finances are well in order.

    1. panterosa,

      great movie, and scary.

      1. Ryan Frew

        Great book, too! Reading it now.

    2. ShanaC

      I have a fun story about me, this site, and someone in that movie IRL

      1. Donna Brewington White

        How do I hear this fun story? Email, facebook, phone?

        1. ShanaC


  19. vruz

    Hallelujah.Do you really believe that any of those talking heads can really understand or get anything done? It’s just a bloody reality show.The republican system has hit a wall at the end of a dead end alley.Nothing can be genuinely improved within the system as it currently stands.I’m not a fan of revolutions, but people deserve a lot better than they’re getting.Something has to give, and I’d rather it be the politicos than the people.The whole thing needs to be re-thought.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      No, just need an informed electorate that votes. The Internet is starting to supply the information. Our Constitution lets people vote.

  20. JoeK

    The politically active American public does not want the truth, and probably can not handle it. Exceptionalism does not lend itself to matters such as this.

  21. LE

    With respect to chart one (productivity vs. median family income) you can throw that one out the window for the conclusion reached.Why?Doesn’t take into account trade with China which had an impact on median family income as jobs were being forced overseas. Walmart effect let’s call it.https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…Look the truth is you can after the fact draw many conclusions from two chart axis when you don’t consider other circumstances and inputs.

    1. JoeK

      What do you mean by throw it out? The very fact that you describe (which was Fred’s point too) is what is driving a lot of the political rhetoric today, hence the rise of the Trump with his anti-China and anti-immigrant mantra.

      1. LE

        This is the post that Fred linked to:https://www.linkedin.com/pu…This is the point made about that chart (so presumably endorsed by Fred):The statistics above shows that gains in the productivity do not serve majority of the people anymore. What I see is “gains in productivity” mentioned, nothing about China even implied.Lastly, that chart has no attribution beyond the blog post it doesn’t appear on this site (which is supposedly where it came from):http://houseofdebt.org/And this site address doesn’t exist anymore which also appears on the chart:houseofdebtblog.org

        1. JoeK

          I see what your mean. Thanks for clarification.

    2. Eric

      It doesn’t matter why productivity rose.Surely globalization had a lot to do with it. All that matters is that the average workers income used to track with productivity gains, and then that stopped happening. The rising tide once lifted all boats and then it didn’t. The pie grew bust most people got the same sized slice.The availability of cheap overseas labor was a good thing from a macroeconomic perspective, but we were (and are) missing a policy mechanism to ensure *everyone* gets to share in that good thing.

      1. LE

        I am not talking about productivity rising I am talking about median family income as a result of wages going overseas.Also immigration plays into this. There are multiple people who do work for people I employ that are to me obviously illegal immigrants. In particular both the cleaning service (who is an immigrant herself) who employs workers who don’t speak english and the service that cuts the grass and does the landscaping at both my home and the office complex. Employees don’t speak any english at all. Ditto for that matter for kitchen help in restaurants (although I have less proof of that).As a result I pay less for all of these services. If these jobs weren’t being done by immigrants I would have to pay more. Plus the fact that their are presumably illegal immigrants in these roles means that someone who hires only us citizens is at a great disadvantage price wise (the illegals get paid under the table). So even if let’s say 30% of the employees are illegals this would have a depressing rate on wages in those jobs.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          The US has a long history of liking slave labor and still does. We fought a bloody war over that, but the desire for slave labor is back with us.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        AFAIK that argument of, it’s better for us if China wants to build iPhones for less than we do, is based on some, say, simplifying assumptions: Broadly, the idea is, e.g., if we encourage Pakistan to take a lot of the work of the textile industry in the Carolinas, then all those poorly paid textile workers will get much better jobs at Microsoft.Gads, if Microsoft had much better jobs for them, then they would be gone to Microsoft already.Next, when those textile workers lost their jobs, mostly there were no more jobs for them. A huge fraction of them never or will never have a job again and will die some years before they should have. Their families and their communities will be devastated. Rates of domestic violence, substance abuse, crime, miscarriage, abortion, suicide, clinical depression go through the roof.E.g., part of it is the big ‘write off’: Build a business and see the ‘investment’ of time, money, energy into brand name, employee training, an efficient organization, marketing, loyal customers, etc. Then when that business shuts down due to the US State Department sending the industry to Pakistan, so nice is the State Department, all that ‘investment’ is lost — written off. And the usual economic argument ignores that. Okay, but to get new jobs for all those workers, have to expect that a similarly large investment will be needed, and that investment is just not available.Indeed, one of the best ways to keep a business going and workers working is to have some barriers to entry. Or, even if labor cost in Pakistan is only 10 cents on a US dollar, with barriers to entry a US company might get to continue for years. Such barriers can be just a good brand name, good loyal suppliers and customers, good community relations, etc. The economists ignore all this.The economists don’t ‘get it’, assume that ‘labor’ is like a bushel of wheat, ‘fungible’. Labor is not, not nearly. And the economists and their balance sheets fail to count all the ‘investment’ needed to start or expand businesses to make use of the newly unemployed labor.Worse, with all these simplifying assumptions, the economists then recommend that we do run an economy that obeys all these assumptions. Bummer.The economists are people who teach other people how to avoid the pitfalls of the real economy they avoided by becoming profs of economics.

    3. PhilipSugar

      I agree. There are three factors at work:If there was a job where labor was making something that could be imported, it moved to low cost labor i.e. China and therefore for the people left at the company for instance Apple productivity increased.If it involved something that could be automated, i.e. the whole airline ticketing system it was eliminating tons of jobs and really increasing productivity.If it didn’t fit into those two baskets i.e. serving fries at McDonald’s I don’t think productivity increased and therefore wages did not.Also the chart shows the median which doesn’t really show what’s going on. I would bet if you looked at the bottom 10% productivity did not increase and Real Income plummeted. If you look at the top 10% productivity is off of the charts and Real Income skyrocketed.

    4. Rob Larson

      The biggest reason to throw out the first chart is that it does not show full compensation to employees (including benefits). Over the past few decades compensation increases have increasingly come in the form of benefits rather than salary (because of tax incentives, gov’t mandates, and simple preferences). When you compare average full compensation (including benefits) to average worker productivity, you see that these remain highly correlated.Unfortunately, whenever people make these charts they never include benefits in the equation, because it would interfere with the story they wish to tell.

      1. Rob Larson

        Here below I’ve pasted a version of the first chart created using total compensation (including benefits). Tells a very different story. Further, this graph is *still* distorting part of the story because it doesn’t account for depreciation, which doesn’t show up in worker productivity stats, but is a growing business expense due to increasingly larger capital investment in modern companies compared to decades past. When you factor that in, that effectively erases the remaining gap, leaving a nearly perfect correlation. In fact, there is arguably no relationship in economics as empirically strong as worker productivity vs. total worker compensation.

        1. ShanaC

          I suspect for most people, those benefits are not well designed to that person/are not fully used. Cash in hand for most things (except healthcare, which most people would prefer to be de-tied from Job ANYWAY!!!) would be a better choice than benefit as a result.

  22. Eric

    We don’t have a political system (or a capitalist system) that’s designed to solve problems that are more than 2-4 years out (politics) or more than .25 years out (businesses).There’s individual exceptions of politicians and businesspeople thinking on longer timeframes but there’s an incredible pressure to value the short term at the expense of the long term.What we need are systemic reforms if we’re ever going to seriously address long term problems; we need a way to hold politicians and business leaders accountable for conditions in 10 or 20 years.

    1. andyswan

      The idea that businesses are making decisions purely on the effect they will have in the next .25 years is ridiculous on its face.

      1. LE

        Not to mention that holding business leaders accountable to things that happen 10 or 20 years in the future is also fantasy land (both from a legal and a practical standpoint).And with respect to politicians what does “accountable” mean anyway?

  23. Salt Shaker

    “I don’t expect much from the political process because it hasn’t given us much other than some high quality entertainment value”Nothing entertaining about this year’s political process. It’s disgraceful. When traditional political rhetoric escalates into outright bigotry, isolationism and xenophobia, all of which is being embraced in mass numbers based on current polling, it doesn’t bode well for our future. We’re observing the continued erosion of moral fiber in our country.

    1. Ryan Frew

      As a young person (24), I’m constantly hearing about the “continued erosion of moral fiber in our country” and am frightened by the fact that people buy into it. We are certainly facing some enormous moral dilemmas, many related to constitutional rights and income gaps, but the erosion of our moral fiber? I don’t know about that. Going back to the beginning of Fred’s first chart, 1945: This was a time that many Americans regard with pride. The end of WWII and the emergence of “The Great Generation”. What else was going on in 1945?-KKK was still doing rather well-Domestic abuse was an enormous problem that was less frequently talked about-Major prejudices extended to the Irish, Japanese, Italian, Polish, and Jewish populations. I could name a few more-Sexism? Not even a conversation at that point it was so prevalent. -Sexual abuse of children is down 62% since 1992 alone-Almost all violent crime rates are down over the past 20 years, at least.Here’s a presidential ad, circa 1968, of Alabama Governor/Presidential candidate, George Wallace, saying “segregation now, segregation forever!” https://www.youtube.com/wat…. Trump is doing well (embarrassingly), among the hard right wingers. Gen pop isn’t voting in favor of Xenophobia and our moral fiber is not being eroded.

      1. Salt Shaker

        You make some fair points, although I’d like to believe since 1945 as a society we’ve become more aware of and learned from our past indiscretions. Furthermore, different timelines will always reveal different stories. By 1945 we’d grown considerably vs. the early 1860’s when slavery was still rampant. Comparing 1945 to the 1960’s civil rights movement reveals a similar progression. Unfortunately, bigotry and prejudicial behavior will always exist. Haters will always hate. With respect though to today’s election cycle, Trump is the closest thing to a modern-day George Wallace. The difference is Wallace never had a legit shot, while Trump is killing it, and that’s the scary part.

        1. Ryan Frew

          I agree. What you indicate above is contrary to a continual decay of our moral fiber, though.I think Trump has a shot because of components to his reputation like honesty and business prowess. The political landscape has left voters yearning for those characteristics. It is precisely due to his xenophobia that he will get slaughtered in a general, if he even makes it that far. Trump is popular for the same reasons that Dr. Carson accumulated a surprising following, and he will collapse for reasons of varying similarity as well.I was having tires swapped last week and Trump was on the news. One of the employees voiced his support by suggesting that if Trump can make billions of dollars, he can make a good president. He then stated that he likes that Trump isn’t a politician by trade, noting that Reagan wasn’t either, and Reagan, “is probably the greatest president of all time”. It’s anecdotal, I know.All that said, I do agree that it’s disconcerting how much traction Trump has gained, especially with some of his xenophobic comments.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Yeah from where I stand “good old days” is a ridiculous phrase.

        1. ShanaC

          reminds me of this songhttps://youtu.be/Z5XRZAWk8Jc(I often stalk his NY concerts when he is town…)

    2. Dave Pinsen

      Your comment reminds me of the rise of the nationalist (“xenophobic”) right in Europe, in response to mass immigration there, and Ed West’s comment about it last week:Europe is like Oedipus – by trying to avoid a disastrous future, it is doing everything to make it happen.http://www.edwest.co.uk/spe

      1. Salt Shaker

        Mass immigration, legal or otherwise, is unquestionably a problem, but Trump’s ideas for a solution are impractical and unhealthy for all. It breeds contempt and bigotry.

    3. sigmaalgebra

      > When traditional political rhetoric escalates into outright bigotry, isolationism and xenophobia, all of which is being embraced in mass numbers based on current polling,Not really. Many in the media like to report such, but it’s a serious distortion. The media likes to report it because it gets headlines, eyeballs, and ad revenue.IMHO, Trump knew all that and that’s why early on he made statements that he suspected the media would jump at like a pack of hungry dogs at raw meat, distort them, and report them, and they did. Thus early on Trump totally dominated TV media coverage of the election — Trump got millions of dollars worth of free publicity, and his opponents had to pay millions just to say “Hi!”.Actually Trump could get some crowds up on their hind legs with the sins you mentioned, but he is careful not to: So, when he criticizes our trade deficit with China, he follows up immediately saying that he likes the Chinese, they are just smarter than our leaders, he sells apartments to them, the world’s largest bank is Chinese and rents space in Trump Tower, etc. Same for the Mexicans. For the illegal immigrants, when he mentions them, right away he says that he is for legal immigration and, of the good illegals, would like them to return as legal immigrants. Clearly he is trying to avoid the sins you mentioned.Trump’s speeches at his rallies are not usual for politics; they look bombastic; but they are more polished and careful than they look. A key, of course, is that the speeches are effective, i.e., raise his poll numbers, in front of the crowds, in the resulting news coverage, and on the YouTube videos.But notice that his speaking style changes a lot depending on his audience. He’s a versatile performer.Also it appears that he is good at reading his audiences well. And, once he suggested that he likes to end his rallies with something calm, as if he didn’t want the crowds to rush out and riot. That is, he controls and paces the emotions of the crowds.My guess is that he wants to get elected mostly by having people come to respect him and trust him and his determination and main goals. E.g., his talks on the economy don’t include graphs, GDP, discussions of elasticity, velocity of money, the money supply, Leontief input-output modeling, etc.I suspect that he is reading his audiences quite accurately and giving them about the right flavor of cough syrup.

      1. Lawrence Brass

        There is nothing improvised in his speech, it’s all carefully planned and calculated as in his TV shows. What really worries me is the echo his nationalistic-xenophobic discourse seem to have in the US-American people. Abroad there is already a negative perception about him, and I don’t think his insult-then-backup strategy will work to change that.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          > his insult-then-backup strategyYes, I concluded some weeks ago that he was doing that.> Abroad there is already a negative perception about himApparently so. But my guess is that that will go away quickly and harmlessly.Or, to be clear, an angry guy, waving his arms, saying outrageous things, being crude, talking about people of different countries and ethnicities taking US jobs and people of a different religion being a threat to US national security, exaggerating the truth, and having rallies where many thousands of blue collar people get up on their hind legs raises concerns based on the history of some dangerous demigods of the past and even the present — Baghdadi, Ayatollah Kockamamie, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Amadinanutjob, Louis Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright, Huey Newton, George Wallace, Fidel Castro, Gamal Abdel Nassar, …, Mussolini, Hitler.But to me that concern is really just very simple: Journalism has some deeply entrenched traditions — ignore solid information, get ad revenue by getting eyeballs, by ignoring solid information and, instead, by grabbing people by the heart, the gut, or below the belt, always below the shoulders, never between the ears, and to do this taking as raw material anything they can find and distorting to get the eyeballs. In particular, scare people, scare them about anything that will work.E.g., can scare people with the weather:E.g., when my wife and I were in graduate school, her mother called worried due to reports of flooding in our area several feet deep. Well, maybe could get several feet of water in a low area if measured horizontally. There was no significant flooding at all.E.g., earlier this week, e.g., in Drudge Report, see a storm front on the eastern Pacific and project that it will move east across the West Coast, north east to the Rockies, sweep south east to the panhandles, then move north east to the Northeast Corridor, create a dangerous blizzard, and drop 2 feet of snow this coming weekend — I still don’t see any such prediction via the National Weather Service.Scare people with some dangerous insects, e.g., killer bees, or dangerous tropical disease carried by some insects, sweeping north into the US.Scare people, e.g., for years the NYT, NBC, Business Insider, with predictions of severe, catastrophic retribution of an angry god from the severe, sinful human transgression of burning fossil fuels and causing massive global warming, rising sea levels, and climate change, changing forests to deserts, flooding coastal cities, massive extinctions, little things like those.The media like to scare people.For more, the media like to create themes where they promote a big story, e.g., the dangers of climate change, get other media outlets to gang up and pile on, and, then, day by day run stories about the theme and, thus, get a long running source of eyeballs — e.g., the NYT and climate change.Part of this theme, gang up, pile on approach, is to build an audience that gets highly interested in the theme and daily rushes to get more stories confirming their beliefs and fears. So, the media gets a cheap and easy path to more eyeballs and ad revenue. They are acting like a pack of wolves or a feeding frenzy of sharks. Easy money.The ideas are not new and go way back, e.g., as illustrated in the classic movie Citizen Kane.It’s a technique of massive propaganda and manipulation. And, e.g., global warming, it’s wildly destructive. But, again, the technique can be easy money.One of the favorite media themes is to take a public figure, e.g., an entertainment celebrity, a very successful business person, a military hero, a national political figure, and build them up. Get an audience highly interested in this person. So, for some months, run stories raising interest in this person. Then, when the level of interest starts to wane, to get more interest, run stories destroying this person. So, build them up and then tear them down and get eyeballs and ad revenue going both up and down. Yup, make money that way.Trump said strongly and early on that the media is dishonest, and he is just Ivory soap pure, 99 44/100% correct.It is getting clear that Trump saw the media as one of the most important parts of his campaign. So, in very strong terms, the media could help him or hurt him.So, apparently Trump’s approach was to have four parts to his media strategy:For the first part, toss out raw meat statements for the media, statements that the media rushed like a pack of hungry wolves or a feeding frenzy of sharks, to distort and report and, thus, get headlines, eyeballs, and ad revenue. Since nearly all the media outlets ganged up and piled on, they all got credibility together. They got a lot of ad revenue via Trump, e.g., at an early debate, 24 million viewers instead of, say, 3 million. Similarly for TV news shows. A lot of revenue.Second, with all this media attention, Trump got his name well known and, blindly fast after his announcement, went to the top of the polls and, in particular, to the center of the stage at the first debate.But much of this media coverage was critical of Trump. IMHO he fully expected this. So, during the coverages, Trump explained that what he said was not so bad. In particular, he used what you mentioned, insult to get attention, then, when he got criticism, do an interview, backtrack on the insult, and get more attention and blunt the criticism.Third, Trump kept saying over and over, at nearly each good opportunity and more, that the media is dishonest, etc. So, since the media just wanted the ad revenue, they kept reporting anyway, but Trump had a way to blunt their efforts at criticizing him to get attention.Fourth, whenever a media personality, e.g., Kelly at Fox, tried to raise their status by being nasty to Trump, Trump responded by bitterly criticizing that personality and, then, refusing to be interviewed by them. So, that media personality didn’t get status by dumping on Trump and lost the potential eyeballs and ad revenue. They got their fingers burned, got taught a lesson. Like a cat that jumps on the top of a hot stove, they won’t do it a second time.Net, Trump took the media packs of hungry wolves and turned nearly all of them into housebroken, adoring, obedient, pets, well supplied with eyeballs and ad revenue, inside, warm, happy, and left the rest, e.g., Kelly at Fox, starved for eyeballs and ad revenue, outside, cold, frustrated.E.g., Trump saw that the media needed him for eyeballs and ad revenue but that there were many media outlets and that he could get them to compete — e.g., he was negotiating.There is only one Trump — he has a monopoly. There are many media outlets. So, all the media outlets have to compete for the one prize where Trump has the monopoly. So, Trump gets monopoly prices for what he has to grant. One result: Millions of dollars in free media coverage that makes his monopoly prize even more valuable — exponential growth. A little like brand creation.So, Trump has a huge advantage. Trump was smart enough to see this; apparently he is the only candidate in the race that has. Smarter than the average cookie.This situation can continue to the White House press room: If some media personality is nasty, then they don’t get their questions answered. If they are nice, then they might get an exclusive, in person, intimate, interview in the Oval Office, maybe even an interview with Ivanka, maybe, for the top of the list, an in person, personal, intimate (anyone remember the movie Roman Holiday?) with the First Lady, with their son Barron! We’re talking front page stuff with any media outlet in the world. Remember Roman Holiday.For the rest of his life in the public eye, Trump will be able to use what he did to Kelly as an example to any media personality who wants to get status, eyeballs, and ad revenue by attacking him.Trump is a smart cookie, smarter than all the media personalities, media pundits, media executives, etc., smarter than all of them put together. A masterstroke. Brilliant. Astoundingly effective.Smart cookie.A great master class in how to look at a big system, e.g., all of the media, find an Achilles heal, and string them up and hoist them by it.How to convert a pack of hungry wolves into housebroken, adoring, obedient, pets, well supplied with eyeballs and ad revenue, inside, warm, happy.I remember the line from the old movie The Thingathttps://www.youtube.com/wat…where a newsie says about a story he might write, if the truth does not make a good story, then he “will make it good.”. That is, he will distort the truth to create an impression of something wrong, scare the readers, and get eyeballs and ad revenue. We’re talking just long established journalistic traditions.Trump saw this and a way to get millions of dollars of free publicity, blunt the media attempts to gang up, pile on, and create a theme to cut him down; he also saw, along the way, how to so dominate the news that his opponents have to pay millions of dollars even to say “Hi!” in public.Really good lesson to learn.To borrow from an old movie, “Are we learning yet?”.I’m trying to — Great Publicity on the Cheap 101.Smart cookie.Now back to your concerns that around the world Trump is seen as a threat like Baghdadi, Ayatollah Kockamamie, Amadinanutjob, Louis Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright, Huey Newton, George Wallace, …, Mussolini, Hitler:Well, in no significant sense is Trump like any of those, but the international media is still trying to get eyeballs from writing stories that so claim. In time, that media will be like the US media now — give up the efforts to scare the public and, instead, start to get back to reality.And along the way Trump will have a nice resource both domestically and internationally: Whenever some media source criticizes him, he will be able to point to how that source was badly wrong in the past. E.g., Trump is in line to make Nate Silver, George Will, along with nearly every pundit in the media, look like fools and, in the future, call them on their history.E.g., to be able to sell his branded neckties again, Macy’s may have to pay more, much more!Or, for now, no worries.For the future, the main worry: How the heck will he really get 25% of the workers back to work?

  24. Matt Kruza

    My only comment is in regards to the productivity vs income chart. Basically the benefits of productivity go to equity holders. And technological deflation will cause even more gains to go to equity holders. The best solution is to find ways for equity to be much more widely held (now basically 80-90% are in the top 10% hand – sort of super pareto power law). Here is a guideline approach: 1. Employee compensation should have BIG profit sharing component instead of after thought. Here is rough guideline. Under 50k = profit sharing 20% of salary 50-100k 35% profit sharing over 100k 50% profit sharing 2. Customers / platform ownership. Shift a major part of funding companies to “customer capital and ownership”. As the JLM on here as pointed out its sort of a mutual company structure, with similairiteis to some of the ownership you talked about in a recent post Fred. 3. Most of “outisde capital” – think angel, VC and IPO should move more toward a rev /share/ royalty / percentage of revenue or gross margin. Remove the massive advantage and power that banking has to financialize the world economy with insane levels of debt and financial engineering.All of these things will require more financially informed individuals on a daily basis… good think this is the issue me and my company will transform inthe next 1 -2 decades 🙂

  25. William Mougayar

    At DLD on Monday, Albert Wenger reminded us that only 4% of people are employed by the agriculture industry, yet they are feeding the entire the world, primarily due to the tractor invention.When it comes to understanding the impact of ICT, I think we should rather think of the KTI (Knowledge and Technology-Intensive) industry, and ICT is part of it. ICT enables a lot of knowledge-based services and jobs, and that is continuing to grow, making-up 40% of the US GDP, and is on the rise drastically in China due their development trajectory.So, ICT is a lever for growth. And while we are still in a technology growth cycle, even if it were to suffer deflation, it is also concurrently affecting an expansion of the knowledge-based work and industries, and I think that’s a good thing.

  26. BillMcNeely

    “they might mean ten, twenty, and thirty years out and suggest they start talking straight with the american public about them.”Well that’s the issue with the American Democratic System its not really set up for long term planning. 4 is all we can hope for.

    1. Stephen Voris

      Well, except for most of Congress, at any rate. What’s the statistic – 90+% of seats gerrymandered (or actually satisfying their constituents, or both) to the point of nigh-absolute safety?

  27. markslater

    In my simpleton world, and as i think about my childrens future – the current state of this country’s politics is pretty troubling.Both sides of the house are products of and funded by distorted industrialist interests that impose upon and promote the macro-notion that our future should be designed by a constellation of iterations on their generations industrialist society.The private sector who possess the ability to bribe the political process have an entrenched interest on the continued existence of these industrialist constructs.there are many writers and i am sure readers on here that espouse this belief system.The problem is Science won. Software is eating the world. And for the better. This Neo-con narrative is firmly in the “crazy” phase and equally the bernie Sanders one falls down because both sides fail to fully understand and except that we are truly moving in to a new era. One where intermediaries of all kinds ( a core construct of the industrialist era) are no longer needed and that productivity as measured by human capital is a fading marker.My kids should not be required to ever leverage the first 10 years of their careers for a college education. My kids should never be subjected to a political process that is so desperately and openly corrupt. Why do we still use banks exactly?We need a political system that is nimble enough to embrace this new post-industrialist era and all the positives and negatives that might bring – not one that is lead booted in a corrupt and fading industrialist view of the world. Until a candidate shows up and truly convinces me that this is a north star that they are aiming to take this country towards….i’ll continue to find the sick comedy in these clowns that will invade our airwaves over the next months.Did anyone actually watch Sarah Palin? are you not scared?

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      I take your point but isn’t the “post-industrialist era” just the era of organically accelerated, network-effect amplified “industry”. Software “is eating the world” at its base translates into “software is accelerating work-flow efficiencies via distributive dis-intermediation” ? Our emerging information-industries are ultimately new front ends that extend/abstract/automate the the foundational power of the old heavy industry backends.The more basic problem is that for a long time now industrialists, even network-effect informational-industrialists, have been subjugated into playing a very subservient role to their corrupt financial-industry overlords. The level of financial-industry corruption is a direct measure of the disconnect between paper assets and the underlying GDP goods & services those paper assets supposedly represent.The most basic fact is that economic stability is a cyclical balance between ongoing production and consumption. That cyclical-equalibrium collapses whensupply ≠ effective-demand (demand enabled by real purchasing power)Here comes Karl Marx the bustard !First:He drops the bad news that excessive concentrations of wealth ultimately stalls the dynamic-cyclicality of the “production = consumption” equilibrium .Second:He then has the unmitigated audacity to propose childishly simplistic/knee-jerk political solutions to that organically complex yet obvious cyclicality pitfall. Solutions so flawed that the incumbent oligarchs can easily use those miserable political failures for the next 150 years to repudiate his basic cyclical-equilibriant observation.Third:He forgets to emphasize the fact that his “production=consumption” inequitable value-allocation purchasing-power stall-problem is not so much economically immoral as it is mathematically unsustainable.Maintaining cyclical “production = consumption” equilibrium via equitable production-value allocation and thus sustainable “effective-demand” without an overarching debt-spiral fudge-factor is still the oligarchic food-fight denial flavour of the day.A food-fight based denial strategy operationalized around welfare payments and massive credit-extension( both individual and collective) to the point of systemic exhaustion, leaving us all on the brink of cyclical economic collapse.And no I have no idea how to ultimately solve that problem but getting on with collectively framing the problem seems like a go start.Maybe we can start by framing the jobs-to-be-done by a collection of “Political/Economic US” Apps now that we have pretty much saturated the personal empowerment jobs-to-be-done with all our present “I and my Entourage” Apps ?Maybe the right constellation of “US goals/priorities” Apps can help orchestrate our collective climb up “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs”. ( A guaranteed minimum income would seem to fit in well at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy)It is a good thing Karl Marx did not come up with F= MxAor we might still be walking everywhere :-)Don’t tell anyone I mentioned Karl Marx !

      1. markslater

        wow – you come up with that or steal it!? good read!

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          All my rant 🙂

    2. sigmaalgebra

      Ah, Sarah is okay. She is just less good at picking clothes than she was when she was nominated for VP! Also her speaking now is less well organized.

    3. ShanaC

      do you have a better idea than a bank (credit unions don’t count)

  28. Rohan

    Gah. They won’t. Politics is that one place where you are generally rewarded for choosing easy over right….

    1. Vasudev Ram

      Not the only place by any means. Happens plenty in business too, and not just large enterprises either.

      1. Rohan

        Ha. Fair.

  29. William Minshew

    Technological progress is unabashedly good. A monetary system based on NGDP level targeting, however, will be necessary to avoid financial catastrophe in the future. The sooner the fed realizes this, the less painful & more prosperous our future will be.. the printing has only just begun. But it is not a bad thing per se, but I would argue it is an absolute necessity given how our financial plumbing is set up. I also think we will need to restructure our government within the next decade or two to accommodate this new paradigm shift (though it isn’t really new at all, it just hasn’t been recognized yet by most and will appear new to those with myopic POVs). I have a few ideas here; most involve some form of basic income combined with significantly reduced bureaucracy, simplified taxes, and a total restructuring of health care. All complicated topics, though. Are these things we will be able to work out on our own? Or will something bad have to happen first.. here I am not sure, sadly.

  30. Stephen Palmer

    Who is the last politician who’s goal was to do what’s right over the long-term, as opposed to what gets them re-elected?

    1. Dale Allyn


    2. Stephen Voris

      Depends on how wide/deep you want to cast your net. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a senator or two in office, now, with that sort of concern (assuming you’re limiting your query to the US); it’s not that they don’t exist, it’s that they don’t make up a coherent majority. But of course that makes for less entertaining hyperbole. Which I suppose is one more reason why you don’t hear about them – they’re not as “newsworthy”.

  31. dineshn72

    Just coincidentally, I happened to read a post by this (somewhat controversial) gentleman Vivek Wadhwa along the same lines, worthy of a read: http://wadhwa.com/2015/10/0

  32. Dave Pinsen

    I’m more optimistic about the political process than Fred is. Techies are fond of disruption in industry, and now we’re getting some much-needed disruption in politics.Consider the graph below, which would have made a good addition to your post. Real US median incomes are below where they were in the late 1990s. This represents a bipartisan failure of the political class to enact policies to help average Americans.Enter Donald Trump, who rode to the top of the polls by challenging the bipartisan elite consensus on trade and immigration.Granted, unbalanced trade and mass immigration aren’t the only economic forces that have pounded average Americans — the technological trends Fred’s mentioned count too — but the fundamental difference between Trump and most of the rest isn’t just one of policy, but of perspective. Trump is a nationalist. He starts from that perspective: what policies will help Americans? Hillary is a globalist, as is Rubio. Americans are just one of the constituencies they’re concerned about. They’re also concerned about foreigners they think of as “Americans in waiting”.Bernie, at heart, I think, is a nationalist like Trump (albeit more of a left-leaning one), but due to the nature of the Democratic party, he’s running on the same open borders immigration plank as Hillary.Cruz is a cipher, who seems to be aping Trump.

  33. Steve_Dodd

    Well said, Fred! However, is it reasonable to assume that any of them actually are capable of understanding these fundamentals or really care. All they want to do is get elected and earn the lifetime of entitlements that provides. Non of what you are talking about affects any of them.

  34. William Mougayar

    Just for the record, typically politicians generally get elected based on local issues, not global ones. So, it’s likely the candidates will continue talking healthcare, jobs, taxes, security and meats and potatoes that the average US public can understand.Recently elected Canadian PM Trudeau is now doing a lot about global issues, technology, climate, refugees, etc., but during his campaign, his agenda was primarily focused on defending/attacking his competitor candidates and talking local jobs, local economy, healthcare, taxes and so on.

    1. pointsnfigures

      It’s the economy stupid-Bill Clinton<img src=”http://media.ycharts.com/charts/1011470d1b77d120f7a3ccb47a418da5.png” alt=”^SPX Chart”/>^SPX data by YCharts

      1. William Mougayar


  35. pointsnfigures

    The sea of people waiting to get into @realDonaldTrump’s rally in Tulsa, OK. @SarahPalinUSA will be at his side pic.twitter.com/2kXPsgXcfC— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) January 20, 2016<script async=”” src=”//platform.twitter.com/widget…” charset=”utf-8″></script>Bernie drawing big crowds too. In 2008, when Obama drew crowds the media said he had momentum and it was a sign of optimism. They aren’t saying that today.

    1. Tom Labus

      No one has voted as yet

      1. pointsnfigures

        this is true. my wife was with some pollsters a while ago. they admitted that they truly had no idea what was going on with the polls in either party. they have really missed the last few elections, and many state/local elections.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      These are desperate times.

      1. pointsnfigures

        They are for the middle class and upper middle class. Always have been for the poor. The Obama administration policies have further decimated the middle class and threaten the upper middle. Innovation makes them even more fearful.

  36. DJL

    I’m afraid that the American public is not prepared to deal with these macro issues. So for the politicians seeking office, it would generate respect from a narrow few but very little in terms of votes.The US media is largely responsible for taking meaningful discussion of ANY serious issue and glossing it over with he-said-she-said sound bytes. It is incredible to me that while the total number of news “outlets” (cable channels, blogs, online news) has dramatically increased – the level of true analysis of facts has gone to near zero. Correspondingly, the US public seems more concerned with what happened on Dancing with the Stars than what is happening in Iran. (Rush aptly calls these “Low Information Voters”) I’m not sure how the cycle started – but it is a viscous one.Another part of this problem is that there are simply no economic models that are sophisticated to frame the complexity of the modern world.I am reminded of a quote that Former. MIT Chairman Charles Vest gave in Houston back in 1986. “I am afraid that advances in technology and biology are going to far outpace our politicians ability to understand and legislate around them.” What a call.

  37. rick gregory

    What are the underlying reasons that while productivity has increased, wages havent kept pace? Some is likely automation but if that chart is directionally correct once you factor that in (that people are being more productive and yet not being paid for it), why is that?I can think of a few possible causes:1) a larger proportion of people are working in low wage jobs which distorts the data *and* the people working skilled jobs are in fact seeing their wages track productivity increases2) the demise of unions has led to a power imbalance such that people can’t bargain for higher wages unless they do bring rare, sought after skills.3) The productivity gains, outside of those brought by automation, are illusory.

    1. ShanaC

      2 is rather large and is talked about immensely in many fields. Take academia – grad students and adjuncts are starting to unionize because of poverty.

  38. kenberger

    The DLD conference in Munich was all about this. I really enjoyed being there.@albertwenger gave a great talk about the Future of Work, and helping nations prepare for a lot of these eventualities: http://dld-conference.com/e… (videos should be up soon).Another speaker said that Germany has very quickly already gone to 30% clean energy, and will be at 100% in a fairly short amount of time.

    1. kidmercury

      damn didn’t know it was comedy hour at DLD. :)germany is far off all of its 2020 targets, as alas in the battle of hopes and dreams vs physics, physics appears to be winning. germany’s coal usage is increasing and its pollutant emissions have been rising as well over the past few years. https://www.google.com/url?…

  39. creative group

    At the 46th annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland the CEO’s in 83 countries believe the key threats they need to contend with is:Over-regulationGeo-political uncertaintyExchange rate volatilityAvailability of key skillsGovernment response to fiscal deficit and debt burdenIncreasing tax burdenSocial InstabilityCyber threats (Use that when you expect to miss your earnings numbers)Shift in consumer spending and behaviors (Use this also when going to miss numbers)Lack of trust in business (never admit this if you want to keep your job)Climate change and environmental damage (Only use this with Democrats and peoplewho believe in science)source: http://www.usatoday.com/sto…And China seeing the weakest growth in 25 years. China is attempting to drawup plans to shift from an investment and manufacturing-led economy model to one drivenby services and consumption. An Economist likened this to jumping from one high speed train to another without a crash between. (Wow)source: http://www.usatoday.com/sto

  40. creative group

    FRED:the Political theater is the least favorite time of the year. Thanks to the divisiveness andtwo party system.When the mantra’s of Make America Great Again or Take our country back, Return thecountry to the way it was…What are some wanting to return too? Return to Wars without accountability? Return to the highest unemployment? Return to the brink of a financial collapse? Return to suffrage?Return to Slavery?The United States has been great and continues to be great. No dumbing down people will change it.

    1. DJL

      It means a return to a limited Government as defined in the Constitution. It means a Government that is accountable to the people – not to themselves. Pretty simple. But you have to listen and not just read the news headlines or you will miss it.

  41. Peter Radizeski

    What makes you think most Americans would listen to this?

  42. Nate McGuire

    So what do you think we should be talking about as solutions?

  43. Osman Ahmed Osman

    Isn’t it so archaic that we still rely on a central bank (of humans) to adjust money supply (in discrete time intervals) based on periodic measurements?This whole idea of a central bank controlling money supply as a core influencer of the economy was invented several financial generations ago, when money was physical paper, checks were settled/cleared physically, and information traveled slowly (except for panic – panic always travelled quickly).Why are central banks still a thing?

    1. ShanaC

      It isn’t clear to me that in the US, the Fed’s actually control the money supply. A better way to think about it is that the Fed is the largest participant in certain markets through multiple, specific dealers (primary dealers). ( https://www.newyorkfed.org/… as always still pleased to see Cantor Fitzgerald on that list…) If someone was a larger player in the markets than the fed, they could set the prime rate.A variation of this did actually happen with the Pound Sterling and George Soros ( http://priceonomics.com/the… )Furthermore, technically speaking, the Fed is largely private. (Which explains their insurance plan….) They can’t print currency because they are mostly private (only the Dept of Treasury can).What would you have instead of a central bank? How would loans work in this system?

  44. Pete Griffiths

    Good luck with that. I have pretty much lost faith in the process.I do differ with you on one point. I don’t see it as “high quality entertainment value” I see it as profoundly dysfunctional.

  45. sigmaalgebra

    No worries.Easy enough to answer:(1) Graph of Only One FactGreat! I agree.For me to agree with a NY liberal! WOW!IMHO, in the race, the only candidate who agrees is Trump, and just that point is the key to his goals of getting the US economy going again, negotiating new international trade deals that keep state sponsored, foreign competitors from flooding the US market with cheap products, stopping massive illegal immigration that creates essentially a class of indentured servants (slave labor) that ruins the careers and causes the write off their investments in education of middle class US citizens, changing tax policies that now cause US companies to send their work and earnings overseas, bringing jobs back to the US from overseas, making the US middle class financially healthy again, getting many of the 95 million US citizens not working back to work, earning money, paying taxes, producing, and consuming again, getting back to work the 25% or so of the US labor force that is unemployed and unemployable and has given up on work, and making America great again.(2) Solar PanelsSolar panels are mostly just nonsense — use them for electrical power for satellites, some forest fire watch tower, etc.Otherwise, the interest in solar panels is just based on wacko nonsense, uninformed, ill-informed, misinformed, misled, lied to, anxiety driven, quasi-religion, another case of earth-worship, manipulated, arrogant, flim-flam fraud, scam, scandal, theft, rip-off nonsense — little things like those.For the graph, for any of the mainline purposes, it doesn’t matter how cheap solar panels are — they could be for free, and they still wouldn’t matter because for any important purpose solar power needs storage, and the storage cost already exceeds the full cost of the leading, in place alternatives.Solar would flop tomorrow without massive tax subsidies, and they are a total waste, theft from lying. The main reason the public goes along with the scam is the Greenies screaming about global warming and climate change caused by human generation of CO2. The main leader here has been Saint Laureate Al Guru and his inconvenient, grotesquely incompetent movie.Incompetent? Sure, if light a match, then warm the earth a little, but the amount is trivial. Similarly, in fact, human sources of CO2 have at most a totally trivial effect on global temperature or climate. Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas and absorbs photons in three narrow frequency bands out in the infrared, one band for each of bending, stretching, and twisting of the molecule, but at anything like current concentrations of CO2, or even a factor of 10 higher, the effect is just trivial. The whole theory about CO2 affecting climate is just flatly wrong, totally wrong, obviously, grotesquely incompetent.How to see this? Four points and the real answer:First, Gore’s movie was totally wrong, obviously, right at the first grade level, immediately, on a first viewing: So, Gore took some Vostok ice core data and graphed over several hundred thousand years both temperature and CO2 concentration. A glance at the graph showed the two, over time, going up and down roughly together.From that, Gore claimed that the higher CO2 caused the higher temperatures. He looked at the CO2 concentrations then, claimed to compare with now, and predicted massive, catastrophic global warming.Wrong. Obviously, clearly, totally wrong: Just look a little closer at the graphs and see that the higher CO2 concentrations went up about 800 years AFTER the higher temperatures.It’s was all right there in the graph.So, clearly the higher temperatures, from whatever causes, were the cause of the higher CO2 concentrations. Certainly, first grade Virginia will see that, without some version of time travel, the higher CO2 concentrations did not cause the higher temperatures 800 years EARLIER.So, how did the higher temperatures result in more CO2? Sure, via more biological activity, e.g., rotting vegetation.Second, as inCommittee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years, National Research Council, Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years, ISBN 0-309-66264-8, 196 pages, National Academies Press, 2006, available athttp://www.nap.edu/catalog/…as far as we can tell, the temperature in the year 1000 was exactly the same as in the year 2006. Since the temperature in year 1000 was certainly not caused by human generation of CO2, we must conclude that some global warming is not caused by human generation of CO2.Yes, over the past few hundred years, temperature and CO2 from human activity have increased. But since the year 1000, the earth went into The Little Ice Age. E.g., when Washington crossed the Delaware River, there was ice in the river; crops failed for three years in a row and, thus, caused the French Revolution; when Napoleon returned from Moscow, some of the horses had their flesh freeze while they were walking; the settlements in Greenland were abandoned, apparently from the cold; there was ice skating on the Thames River in London.Still, the CO2 didn’t cause the warming. Instead, the cooling was caused by many strange years of no sun spots. Just what sun spots have to do with global warming needs some explanation — below. So, the sun spots came back to normal, and we pulled out of The Little Ice Age. CO2 had nothing to do with it.Third, just in the past 100 years, the CO2 and temperature record do not agree: The screaming about global cooling in the 1970s was based on reality — the earth was getting cooler. CO2 levels from human activity were increasing, but the temperature was falling. So, in particular, just in the last 100 years, the CO2 and temperature records don’t agree.Fourth, the global warming alarmists made some predictions that by now the earth would be much warmer. Well, their predictions were wildly wrong. Can see details at, say,http://www.energyadvocate.c…andhttp://online.wsj.com/artic…Net, in science when we make predictions and the predictions are badly wrong, we junk the science. So much for the science of global warming. Done.So, what the heck has been the cause of the temperature changes? Okay, in short, changes in solar activity, from causes not understood — I hope that Al Gore travels deep inside the sun, looks, and tells us.But the changes in solar activity change the rate of sun spots, which change the rate of the solar wind, which changes the rate at which cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, which changes the rate at which cosmic rays hit water molecules and cause water droplets, which changes the rate of cloud formation.Well, more clouds have a cooling effect. So a more active sun causes less cloud formation and global warming; a less active sun causes more cloud formation and global cooling. And that’s the answer.So, all the time, money, effort, etc. about global warming, climate change, carbon footprints, CO2, carbon-free energy, etc. has been just a total, gigantic, brain-dead waste.Our industrialization, use of fossil fuels, and emission of CO2 have had nothing, zip, zilch, zero of any significance to do with the climate. Electricity from solar panels or wind farms instead of burning fossil fuels will have no effect at all on the climate. Al Gore is flatly, absolutely, totally, disastrously wrong.Al Gore is a charlatan pushing a wacko quasi-religion like the Mayan charlatans who killed people to pour their blood on a rock to keep the sun moving across the sky.Good science is terrific stuff, but the standards are high. Al Gore’s efforts are just awful science and enormously destructive.The whole global warming, anti-CO2, climate change hysteria is wacko nonsense, most of it driven by a flim-flam, fraud scam to get money.For details, see, yes, another movie, this one by the BBC: The Great Global Warming Swindle https://www.youtube.com/wat…(3) Cost per GenomeYes, terrific stuff. So, thank you Kary Mullis for your polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Terrific stuff.Thank you Craig Venter for how to chop up DNA strands, analyze those, and use a computer to determine the sequence of the full strand.Thank you to all the people who helped it all work so darned well.Thank you Eric Lander for analyzing the data.Thank you Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier, etc. for moving on to clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR).(4) “Deflation is a scary word.” Yup. Our financial system, our credit economy, our system for allocating savings for investment, and much of our money supply and velocity of money are based on our commercial banking system which is based on fractional reserve banking which comes totally unglued and falls into the toilet at even a little deflation. Then the economy stops like removing the oil from a piston auto engine. Lots of borrowers owe money they don’t have and can’t get. Lots of people suffer, and many die.Yup, deflation is a scary thing.But pulling out of deflation is the easiest thing in the world — just print money, essentially the money created by the fractional reserve banking system and destroyed by the deflation. Then institute higher reserve requirements for the banks, load up a helicopter, fly over the country, and drop money. This was all so easy to see that in the Great Depression, it was explained very clearly in a Betty Boop cartoon.Since we didn’t want to listen, for 12 years, from 1929 until people started shooting at us in 1941, we destroyed much of the US and its social capital, that we still need to rebuild, threw much of the rest of the world into depression, enabled Hitler and Tojo, and were the main cause of ballpark 50 million deaths. We did it, starting right on Wall Street, to ourselves and most of the world. And then for 12 years, we kept doing it. Then in 2000 and 2008, we did it again.Lesson 1: Don’t print too much money because it will cause a bubble that will burst and destroy the money supply and throw the economy into a depression.E.g., don’t follow political correctness and attempt to break the cycle of poverty by having Fanny Mae back home loans based just on used toilet paper and blow a housing bubble that enormously increases the money supply.Lesson 2: When do have a bubble that bursts, raise the reserve ratios of the commercial banks and print money to replace what was destroyed when the bubble burst and the banks lost their capital.Lesson 3: We can put people back to work quickly: As we saw after Pearl Harbor, we were able in 90 days to get everyone back to work with in many cases 2-3 jobs per worker.Lesson 4: Political correctness has us refuse to look at reality and, thus, has been so destructive it might have been a brilliant piece of Soviet sabotage of the US.(5) The Divergence It may be that the diverging lines in that first graph are going to continue to diverge no matter what we do from a policy perspective. Nonsense. Mostly we just need to get people back to work. If we want, we can do it in 90 days.(6) Automation The advancement of our technological capabilities may drive down the costs of living dramatically and also drive down the amount of human work that is required to produce and sustain our current quality of life. Terrific! Sounds like deflation.But deflation is the easiest thing in the world to solve — just print money.(7) Big DealThis is a big deal. And yet we hear almost nothing about this in the current political debate. We hear old school jobs programs from the left and shrink the government and cut taxes from the right. Yup.There are many ways to be wrong, and jobs programs and lower government spending are two of them. When there are jobs that need vocational training, the good employers will gladly pay for it.One reason we hear “almost nothing” is that our mainstream media (MSM) is totally committed to their journalistic traditions — ignore reality and, instead, pass out contrived nonsense to manipulate the readers, get them full of anxiety, grab them by the heart, the gut, and below the belt, always below the shoulders, never between the ears, to get eyeballs and ad revenue.The new hope: The Internet to the rescue.This situation has generated a need and a business opportunity — as in Ben Evans some days ago, better means of search and discovery to let people find what they want.(8) Hawks We hear hawks talking about carpet bombing the middle east …. Of course we do: Most of the Mideast is an oily toilet 500 years out of date with a 1000+ year old culture that comes in two flavors, Shiite and Sunni, and where the main activities are to keep all the females pregnant all the time, send all the sons out to die fighting the nearest neighbor tribe over water, grazing land, religion, and, now oil, and keeping the excess females in harems and pregnant.So, they want to fight. It’s all they know.If they want to fight with us, then we should kill them until they can’t. We have some really easy ways to kill them: Use intelligence to understand their connections with the world financial system and cut them off. For more, use intelligence to find their leaders, and then use drones, airplanes, or missiles to bomb their leaders. For more, bomb their oil infrastructure and, thus, cut off their main source of money. For more, bomb all their vehicles. For more, bomb all their buildings. Then they will be back where they were before the oil — tents, flock, and camels. If they still won’t calm down, then bomb the tents, flocks, and camels. Then invade, take the oil, and blockade the rest of the area.It will work fine and keep them from causing more trouble and, in particular, keep them from buying a nuke, hiding it in the hold of a freighter, and exploding it in some US harbor, e.g., NYC.That’s not really “carpet bombing”. Instead carpet bombing is what the US did in WWII, against several locations in Germany and Japan and a little after D-day in Normandy to let the Allies break out into France, take Cherbourg and its port, devastate the Falaise pocket, and drive east to Paris and Germany. At times, carpet bombing can work very well.(9) OilWe hear hawks talking about … but no mention of what happens to that region if the world no longer needs their oil.It’s simple: The smarter Mideast countries will try to become centers for finance, air transportation, tourism, and import-export. Otherwise they will return to the desert with tents, flocks, and camels.It will be a long time until the oil runs out. By then the US will should be quite securely energy independent.For US energy independence, the main need to be met is still the one I explained in a seminar in grad school — motor fuel, especially gasoline. For that, one sufficiently good recipe is lots of cheap electric power, water, and coal. For the electric power, nuke fission. For that, replace Jane Fonda as our ignorant, hysterical neurotic, bimbo, default Secretary of Energy at large, get rid of political correctness that keeps us paying attention to the wacko Greenies and ignoring reality, and get on with what we know very well needs to be done and how to do it. E.g., stop shooting ourselves in our feet, knees, guts, and hearts.(10) Political Process I don’t expect much from the political process because it hasn’t given us much other than some high quality entertainment value, which may be its core function in society right now. Which is a sad thought. No, our political process, especially this time, is quite promising.E.g., the MSM and big donors are no longer so powerful. The Internet is a powerful way to get the word out that the MSM and big donors didn’t want made public.(11) Trump But if I were advising Hillary, or Bernie, or Cruz, or Rubio, or, god forbid, Trump, I would get their heads wrapped around these global macroeconomic trends and what they might mean ten, twenty, and thirty years out and suggest they start talking straight with the american public about them. For this election, the solution to just that problem is just Trump. The others are owned by their donors and/or the MSM and, thus, have to stay with trivial approaches and political correctness and do not have freedom to “start talking straight with the american public” or addressing reality.Hillary is hopeless: She is a very mixed up, compulsive neurotic, nasty person. She needs a good psychiatrist and some strong meds.Also, Hillary wants to please the big donors who want to flood the US with cheap labor from indentured servants, essentially slave labor. In addition, Hillary and the Democrats want to let those people vote to give the liberal Democrats a lock on politics.Hillary and Bill made millions for their foundation just giving little speeches — those payments look like bribes to me.Bernie needs to move to France or Cuba.The Democrats are eager to go along with the Greenies and their scam that can result in carbon taxes and much more power for government.Cruz is a very nasty person with legalities replacing realities. Cruz is quite vulnerable, on legal issues, background, and his policy record.Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, and Bush have been totally bought and paid for by the big donors who want to flood the US with cheap labor from indentured servants, essentially slave labor.(12) Near FutureFor the Republicans, Trump will enter the convention with the most delegates by a wide margin.If all the primaries were held today, then Trump might not have a majority of the delegates. But Trump has shown amazing abilities to get high poll numbers:(1) Trump’s attacks on Cruz will likely seriously hurt Cruz, starting with Iowa and growing. E.g.:Cruz is maybe a brilliant lawyer, but his answer to Prof Tribe’s view on being “natural born” was not to argue the legal issue but to make an ad hominem attack on Tribe.Otherwise Cruz is not a nice guy. Cruz stands to fail on the key point “We don’t care how much you know until we know how much you care.”. And Cruz doesn’t care about non-rich people and maybe not even about kitty cats or puppy dogs. He cares more about being doctrinaire, about rock solid, granite hard, iron clad, stiff necked, true conservative principles and values above all else, which is really just an excuse to stick it to the common man in the street.Cruz now has some serious problems with unreported significant loans from Goldman Sachs and Citi. Since the loans have only his personal guarantee, they look like free money, aka, bribes.The first milestone is, of course, Iowa, and there Cruz is in trouble with the ethanol growers and, indeed, the governor of Iowa. As part of US “energy independence”, Trump has been totally loving with the ethanol people, e.g., Full Speech: Donald Trump Campaign Event in Altoona, IA Renewable Fuels Summit Jan.19th 2016 athttps://www.youtube.com/wat…Trump may yet beat Cruz in Iowa by a wide margin.(2) Trump has softened his image and has worked to look empathetic, courteous, kind, caring, calm, etc. while still angry at the mess and determined to fix it.In front of a well educated audience, Trump acts like one would expect before a well educated audience. But, sure, if being bombastic will get him 30,000 supporters all up on their hind legs in a football stadium, headlines, and free time on the TV news, then maybe he will do that.(3) Trump pushed the MSM back on their heels; they have to treat him nicely or they will lose big ad revenue. E.g., Kelly doesn’t get many eyeballs from interviewing Trump. E.g., NBC just lost the next Republican debate and the associated eyeballs and ad revenue.That Trump has the MSM packs of yapping dogs solidly tamed and housebroken is a biggie advantage.(4) At this point, there are hints that a lot of big swinging ones in the GOP want to be with the winner and, thus, are pulling support and, no doubt money, from the other candidates and trying to back Trump, although at least during the primaries he won’t accept their money.After the primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Trump will be seen to have a lot of that key to credibility, traction, e.g., that back in June his wife knew he would get — indeed, said he would win the White House.Trump has been thinking about the White House for a long time; likely he planned out this campaign as carefully as he has his other projects.With the traction, Trump may well get enough momentum to run at least the rest of the table (an expression from the game of straight pool).Thus, there is a good chance that Trump will enter the convention with a simple majority of the delegates and win the nomination on the first ballot.But, a majority entering the convention is not guaranteed. If Trump doesn’t have a majority, then there may be a brokered convention.But the GOP, awake and sober, still would prefer Trump to any Democrat in the race.Against Trump, any of the Democrats in the race stand to generate a historic landslide for Trump.Sure, a year ago, easy to be like Nate Silver and say that Trump’s chances were only 10%. But Trump wins unless someone beats him, and the smart money should be on Trump and not the GOPe backroom boys or any of the other candidates in the race to beat him.So, maybe Trump has this and that not to like, but, net, he is by far the least bad, and that is the same as the best and the winner.So, we will have a President Trump. Not much doubt in my mind.(13) POTUS TrumpThen what?Well, he will try. For what he wants to do, he will be able to go to the citizens and raise enough support and get his way.Then what?Well, at least Trump will try with at least some good common sense, with a lot of good advisors, and with a lot determination, and those are much better than the last three dysfunctional, destructive idiots we’ve put in the White House.Trump will look at political correctness, the Greenies, and more and just cut them off at the knees or higher with just some short quips.Right away Trump will implement his proposals on his main campaign items — immigration, Common Core, the EPA, the Mideast, trade negotiations, etc. There he will get some fast results and then build his approval ratings.So, maybe in the Mideast, he will have a nice visit to Israel. Then he will chat with Putin and start bombing ISIS HQ locations. Of course, by then France may have nearly all the ISIS areas bombed.Then he will have a chat with the Saudis and the other Sunni oil states about slowing their backing for ISIS, with the Sunnis in Syria about calming down, and with Assad about calming down. He will tell Assad that he can keep his job but has to quit fighting with his Sunnis as he tells the Syrian Sunnis to quit pissing off Assad. There will be a de-facto partition of Syria into Shiite and Sunni areas.Trump will renegotiate the deal with Iran and come down hard on them, tell them to cool it, pull out of Iraq, f’get about the Saudis, stop building rockets, stop messing with our people and military, leave Syria alone, and stop screaming Death to America and Death to Israel or else the sanctions go back on, big time.He will continue hard on ISIS until they get really calm. He will get rid of the Baghdadi guy and work with the reasonable Sunnis and the Baghdad Shiites for a part of Iraq for the Sunnis and another part for the Kurds. He will tell Turkey to calm down and quit worrying about the Kurds.He will build a wall to stop illegal immigration across that border, get a law to block the citizenship status of anchor babies, quickly deport any illegal immigrants who violate more US laws, make the other illegal immigrants an offer they can’t refuse so that they will start leaving, slowly deport the rest, and open up the long blocked queue of legal immigrants.That’s all pretty clear.For the unclear parts, how the heck to get the US economy going again? I hope he has some good ideas and plans, but we’ve heard only vague generalities so far. Yes, that’s not good, but it’s a lot better than what we get from the other candidates.He can get the economy going in 90 days if he wants. Maybe he will get it going in about a year.

  46. Simone

    Same chart (first chart) in this article:The Great Decoupling: An Interview with Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfeehttps://hbr.org/2015/06/the…

  47. comments are us

    More politics as though this isn’t going on ALL THE TIME and not just during the hot political season. This just means more nepotism and undermining government employees.

  48. howardlindzon

    Awesome awesome. Thank god I am too small to fail but this sums up the global reality and live it or hate it America is the place to be.

  49. ShanaC

    I know you and I have spoken about this in private because of unrelated ethics questions, but that genomics graph is a horseload of problems, especially because Obamacare basically mandated EHRs, and also is pushing a reward system based on care outcome.The only way to make it work is1) entirely redo HIPPA. Which doesn’t completely fulfill the goal it was meant to anyway, but to start separating out genetics from enviroment from something else, we would need lots of medical history data2) partially rewrite the genetics privacy acts – stopping discrimination is one thing, but inability to search and share genetic information/pieces of genetic information makes it extremely difficult to get adequately sized samples of anything ( http://www.theatlantic.com/… <- that’s a lawsuit for someone waiting to happen)3)Introduce whole new EHRs around the country, since most of the ones on the market are focused on billing, not necessarily health tracking in a holistic sense, or in a sense that would help structure medical cases in a way that could be machine understandable in order to make necessary connections between cases and potential causes, both long and short term4) People trained in math and statistics to think about this data in new ways. DNA alone can encode 2x the information than a bit, and genes can get huge. That’s before combining one person’s entire genetic code with their entire medical history. And that is before before a database of people in the same set. Exabytes of data is a small number for the amount this is going to be, which means we will need new ways of looking at the data, and then new ways of processing the data, and then new ways of statistically analyzing the data.There is a lot of money to be made in all parts of these problems to be solved – but solving them is a way easier problem than bringing down the cost of decoding genes (that’s literally redesigning one or two parts of the current system to bring down costs..seriously)

  50. Elizabeth H (Lisa) D

    Part of Obama’s State of the Union Address, in my opinion, was his call to fire up our own citizenship and participate in the decision-making process. We can bring these topics to the table.

  51. LE

    Reagan schmeagan. It was Nixon who let the dogs out and started all of this.By the way with the storm coming up I hope your bread plant is at full tilt and you have a good sales week. When my cousin was in the supermarket business nothing made him happier than weather events he couldn’t contain his excitement about the register receipts.

  52. kidmercury

    and even that 7% is forcing germany to rely increasingly on coal — negating the emissions reductions solar had been providing. https://www.google.com/url?…

  53. DJL

    “If you like you plan you can keep it” “If you like your Doctor, you can keep him” We have had our plans cancelled twice in two years. Each time our premiums go up and coverage goes down. And in Texas they have completely DISCONTINUED PPO plans for individuals. What do I think of Obamacare? A crime and Democrats who voted for it should be in jail.

  54. ShanaC

    Well, yes. It’s pretty obvious when you start reading into something like “should radiologists specialize in the types of images they read” versus “what’s the cost of going to xyz place for abc type of radiology screening” versus “what’s the cost long term” The fact that the market is set up that these questions occur is a bit bizarre…(quick answer, specialists tend to read more accurately images in their field than radiologists in a community/general setting, older machines, poorly tuned machines, and certain less well made/cheaper models tend to give less precise images/blurry images, but independent community settings almost always beat a specialist by price because of not being a specialist and using less well tuned, cheaper, and older machines)(and why choose radiologists? Because images are a thing that can be sent over the internet…radiologists in theory don’t have to be in the same location as where the imaging is done at all)