ECONOMICS notes - including links that are not very date-specific e.g. to websites, books, introductions to subjects etc.

 My web-site HUB page HERE
Notes in approx blog order - most recent at top

Click here for my main ECONOMICS web-page

'The Future is not what it used to be' - Martin Wolf (of FT) BBCR4 6may14 9am
Chief Economics Commentator of the FT

Impact of technology on future inequality and jobs etc:

Andrew McAffee of MIT & co-author of “The Second Machine Age” new technology will transform the world of work, will create massive wealth for some and job-losses for others > winner takes all market > billionaires and .Will be v disruptive.
Robert Gordon says that in the past tech has helped most of us.

Not that many jobs can be replaced by robots. Robots can’t multitask (at least - nt for a long time in the future) They are good at single tasks.

Prof Cowan (author of ) new tech will help the minority, quite a will harm the majority (with stagnant wages). Now we have a thinning out of the middle class (occurring in the US - but Europenas are naive if they think it wasn’t also happen in Europe) - this is ominous as th.

Replacement of human jobs by computers
MW: is this revolutionary or continuing of a trend?
A:Many of low-skilled jobs are going to be replaced by computers.

Productivity - most imp determinant of std of living. But .. thus confers re future std of living. > Productivity puzzle. Free goods don’t show up in productivity zero impact on GDP e.g. free internet software or services available.
Fruits of get inventions
Thus a mismeasurement of productivity. Stats always lag behind new innovations in the economy.
We have a long history of mismeasurement.

Stiglitz ‘The price of inequality’ (latest book).
Stads of living of most coitzens is std of living and inequality is the mots imp factor here. Obama spoke aout re this dangerous ineq and lack of upward mobility (2013 speech). ppl are not sharing in economic gains.
US and many other countries are not the lands of opportunity that they make out to be. Now offspring are related to money provided by their parents. Even better eduction is not.

level up not level down - who said this?
Larry Summers of Harvard Uni was
LS coined the term 'secular stagnation'
Problem of
Nowadys entrepreneurism doesn’t require so much capital investment as in the past - pointing to digital/internet technology.

Thomas Pikety French guy of Paris… & his new book.
pThe rsisng share of capital at the expense of wages.
Changes in tech are not enough to explain e.g. in US top ?1% have had most of the total income rise. Esp in US and a lot less so in e.g. Germany.

EE: Enlightenment Economics. Woman:
Winner takes all
Social effects.
Cutting of top tax rates > wealth > political wealth (i.e. power presumably).

A controversial proposal is to return to the high taxes on rcihet ppl.
Piketty: need a mechanism in the tax system.
Proposes a global tax on the super-rich.
Stiglltz: such rising wealth concentrated in the super-rich will become unsustainable.
Politics in US is distorted almost
1 dollar 1 vote
Fortunately not quote the same as that in Eurpoe at the moment.
EE: Occupy Wall Street had a good awareness impact but was short-term as an organisation.

The hollowing out of the middle class is problematical so too is a

Cowan is optimistic: Tech may make many ppl redundant - . One guy (Cowan?) reckoned this will be a long term transitional process but not permanent, because the good stuff will become so cheap there will be less need to have a high income.
Thus a large no of ppl can benefit even if there is income inequality. Cowan reckons we cld have a happy period ahead due to this.

Eductaion: teachers need to teach the right skills to children for the future.

Robert Gordon (Chicago) not quoite so optimistic. 1% ?growth per in future not 2% as over recent past, and with smaller proportion of ppl benefiting fem that 1%. Not so optimistic for young ppl. More dependency re old ppl, to be supported by working ppl.

Needs to be better sharing of benefits of new tech and the new economy.

Need to rethink where are values are.

MR’s conclusion:
Redressing inequality & job opportunities will require a lot of thinking.

Flash Boys: Cracking the Money Code by Michael Lewis
Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook Why regulators will probe explosive claims by best-selling writer Michael Lewis - This is Money 9apr14 
BBCR4 reported in Today 29apr14 (or 28?) by interviewing author of a new book eh's called ... ... (same surname as a UK finance expert/journalist/economist on the media) that ultrafast computerized trading where millisecs are critical is resulting in a type of insider trading yet to be stopped by law (we need a Robin Hood tax - but that wasn't mentioned), that can detect if a non-fast trader is about to buy stocks/shares then buy up that item so as to raise the price all within the millisecs that the buyer is buying that product, so he loses on the higher price and the fast trader skims profit for doing no work. I.e financial senters that remove value not adding value - the latter is what finservices shld do.

ECONOMICS: The future of capitalism, and an emerging alternative economy-type.

BBCR4 Mon28apr14 -
- discussion of 3 books re the state and future of capitalism:
"The Future of Capitalism - Duration: 43 minutes - First broadcast: Monday 28 April 2014
Anne McElvoy talks to 1. the social theorist Jeremy Rifkin who foresees the gradual decline of capitalism and the rise of a collaborative economy. As new technology enables greater sharing of goods and services, Rifkin argues that it provides a challenge to the market economy. 2. The sociologist Saskia Sassen warns that the majority of people may not enjoy the fruits of this new world as increasing inequality, land evictions and complex financial systems lead to their expulsion from the economy. 3. The Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng looks back at the history of international finance and how gold and war have shaped the economic order of today."

My notes

1. Author of new book
ECONOMICS - re Collaborative Commons - the new economic model replacing capitalist market system?
Zero marginal cost and the collaborative commons - its effect on capitalism and markets.
E.g. ppl producing their own energy: in eg germany can bypass the market formerly controlled by the big players

Germany nr to producing elec at zero marginal cost - a threat to big capiyalist energy market

Marginal cost is free once the solar panels are up. Ditto internet information technology

Female ?presenter sensibly argued that capitalist entrepreneurs would come up with a new idea with a premium, thus capitalist/market wld not be wiped out but

Collaborative Commons does not contribute to calculations of GDP !

Hypothesis of spike in oil prices at time of crisis being at least/more imp than the "fictional ..."

scale of l.. of destructions e.g. leading to increased dead ground - made totally unusable
 - increasing environmental destruction >> breaking points

The presenter appears to be pro-capitalism/neoliberalism unless she is simply taking on that role to test by debate what the

4. 'War and gold' - on the state of international finance
He introduces the role of government (the author is an MP). He said he agree
problem with:
- asset bubbles...
With fiat money the monetary unit is not backed up by a physical object of asset.
Money can be printed without ref to eg a gold std.