As Jonathan pointed out here, one problem with the blog format is that worthwhile posts tend to fade into the background over time, even when they might be of continuing value. One approach I’d like to try is Theme roundups, in which I’ll select a number of previous posts on a common topic or set of related topics, and link them with brief introductory sentences or paragraphs. At least initially, I’ll focus on my own posts.
The posts in this second “theme” roundup focus on issues affecting productivity and economic growth.
Energy, Productivity, and the Middle Class. The primary driver of middle class affluence has been the availability of plentiful and low-cost energy…especially in the form of electricity…coupled with a whole array of productivity-increasing tools and methods, ranging from the horse-drawn harvester to the assembly line to the automated check sorting machine.
Demographics and productivity growth. Slowing population growth is of concern in just about every developed county because of the effects on worker/non-worker population mix. Economist Michael Mandel presents a country-by-country analysis of the productivity growth rates required, in light of these demographics, to achieve a doubling of individual income by 2050. (from 2005)
The Innovator’s Solution. My review of the now-classic book by Clayton Christensen and Michael Raynor. Far more valuable than most books on business strategy.
Closing time? Citigroup (this is from 2010) listed “ten themes that spell the end of Western dominance,” while Joel Kotkin challenged what he called “declinism.”
Entrepreneurship in decline? Michael Malone, who has been writing about technology and Silicon Valley for a couple of decades, worries (in 2009) that the basic mechanism by which new technologies are commercialized–the formation and growth of new enterprises–is badly broken. (Malone’s original article has disappeared, but I excerpted part of it.)
Decline is not inevitable. Many Americans have come to believe that our best years are behind us. I assert that American decline is by no means inevitable…and if we do wind up in long-term decline, it will be driven not by any sort of automatic economic process, but rather by our own choices–especially our own political choices.
The suppression of entrepreneurship. Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone has some words for Obama. (2010)
The politics of economic destruction. What Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd tried to do to angel and venture capital funding of new enterprises.
The idea that bigness automatically wins in business still seems to have a remarkable number of adherents, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Startups and jobs…some data. (the original post was just a link)
Bigotry against businessspeople. Media and political hostility toward businesspeople, and its consequences.
Leaving trillions on the table. The transistor as a case study in central planning versus entrepreneurial diversity.
Misvaluing manufacturing. The once-common assertion that “services” are inherently of higher value than manufacturing was not very well thought out. (2003)
“Protocols” and wealth creation. With help from Andrew Carnegie, I challenge some assertions in a David Brooks column.
Musings on Tyler’s technological thoughts. Comments on Tyler Cowen’s book Average is Over. While it’s worth reading and occasionally thought-provoking, I think much of what he has to say is wrong-headed.