The primary cause of this growth slowdown is a set of four headwinds, all of them widely recognized and uncontroversial. Demographic shifts will reduce hours worked per capita, due not just to the retirement of the baby boom generation but also as a result of an exit from the labor force both of youth and prime-age adults. Educational attainment, a central driver of growth over the past century, stagnates at a plateau as the U.S. sinks lower in the world league tables of high school and college completion rates. Inequality continues to increase, resulting in real income growth for the bottom 99 percent of the income distribution that is fully half a point per year below the average growth of all incomes. A projected long-term increase in the ratio of debt to GDP at all levels of government will inevitably lead to more rapid growth in tax revenues and/or slower growth in transfer payments at some point within the next several decades.¿Sobra petróleo? El estímulo escondido, por Daniel Lacalle.
El último barril de petróleo no va a costar millones de dólares. Valdrá cero. Porque para entonces, si la amenaza fuese remotamente real -y no lo es- ya se habría sustituido. “Never bet against human ingenuity” (nunca apuestes contra el ingenio humano), me decía un colega en Nueva York esta semana. Ni los más optimistas hubiéramos estimado el éxito de la revolución energética que se ha dado en EEUU. El mercado del petróleo está bien suministrado y el impacto de shocks de precio es cada vez menor. Miren la dinámica en el carbón, donde las exportaciones siguen creciendo un 3% anual y el precio sigue deprimido, a pesar de haber pasado años desde la supuesta “crisis” de reservas de 2008. Que no se enfaden los cazadores de unicornios, que van a tener petróleo para muchas, muchas décadas.Mass-Starvations in North Korea, in North Korea Now.
Food in North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is distributed through a Public Distribution System (PDS), on which over 62 percent of the total population and 70 percent of the urban population is entirely reliant for monthly or biweekly food rations. Those not wholly reliant on the PDS include North Korea’s elite and wealthy classes, along with the nation’s farmers. However, because the government seizes farmer food production for re-distribution through the PDS, food security for farmers also remains highly tenuous. Photographs of the North Korean people who suffered through mass-starvation and severe food insecurity are posted in NKN’s Film and Photo section, Photographs of Mass-Starvations in North Korea.GDP and Measuring the Intangible, by Arnold Kling.
Overall, one arrives at a mixed verdict on GDP. On the one hand, it is the best way that we have to measure economic capability. On the other hand, because it fails to account for consumer surplus, GDP statistics lead us to take an overly pessimistic view of the economy. There is no Great Stagnation. There is only a widening gap between the rate of economic improvement and our ability to measure that improvement.Hans Rosling: The magic washing machine.