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The American way of life is about to change dramatically. And we discuss just how it’s about to change on this week’s Ricochet Money & Politics Podcast. Our guest is is Tyler Cowen, the Holbert L. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University and co-author of the popular blog Marginal Revolution. Professor Cowen also writes the Economic Scene column for The New York Times. In addition, he is a co-founder of the online education venture Marginal Revolution University and is widely regarded as one of the most influential economists of the past decade.
Cowen’s new book is Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation. It is a followup to your popular e-book The Great The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better.
In The Great Stagnation Cowen made the case that the US was stuck on a growth plateau or in an innovation-productivity lull after picking those low hanging fruit: cheap and ample land, educating the smart uneducated kids, huge technological innovations such public sanitation and the combustion.
Now in his new book, Average is Over, innovation and productivity may be ready to reaccelerate but with mixed results: “The basic look of our lives and the surrounding physical environment has not been revolutionized all that much in 40 or 50 years. That’s about to change. One day soon we will look back and see that we have produced two nations — a fantastically successful nation working the technologically dynamic sector, and everyone else.”
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