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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  1. Profile Photo Member

    Cowen, of course, is for unrestricted immigration and open-borders, which would seem to indicate he is not really very concerned about this problem.

    • #1
    • October 31, 2013, at 4:12 AM PDT
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  2. EThompson Inactive

    The American way of life is about to change dramatically.

    It already has. It is the worst of times for entrepreneurs, but excellent news for Marxists everywhere.

    After a 4-hour appt with Blue Cross today, I have been informed that my personal and employee health insurance premiums will rise by $40k in 2014. I can keep my ‘same plan,’ but it’s just going to cost more because I must now cover obstetrics, federally funded abortion, pediatric care, drug rehabilitation, and psychiatric care.

    I may have to sign up for the latter.

    • #2
    • October 31, 2013, at 4:29 AM PDT
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  3. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Coolidge
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    That 6 figure co-pay may slow you down.

    • #3
    • October 31, 2013, at 4:46 AM PDT
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  4. Von Bismarck Member
    Von Bismarck Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    An excellent interview, JP. Cowen made his case very well and won me over on the merits.

    Open borders seems like vestigial ideology, though.

    • #4
    • October 31, 2013, at 6:31 AM PDT
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  5. Andrew Stuttaford Contributor
    wmartin: Cowen, of course, is for unrestricted immigration and open-borders, which would seem to indicate he is not really very concerned about this problem. · 3 hours ago

    Cowen’s book is fascinating, but he has not (in my opinion) thought this through. To add mass immigration to the scenario he paints is to pour gas on a very dangerous fire. 

    • #5
    • October 31, 2013, at 7:29 AM PDT
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  6. Peter Meza Member
    Peter Meza Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Von Bismarck: An excellent interview, JP. Cowen made his case very well and won me over on the merits.

    Open borders seems like vestigial ideology, though. · 1 minute ago

    I agree that this was a good interview. I am a patent attorney and I have a vague sense looking around that technical=good, non-technical=bad as far as your salary and life style goes. The immigration part left me a little quizzical but I don’t think that was the main thrust of his argument.

    • #6
    • October 31, 2013, at 10:31 AM PDT
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