19 February 2019

Randomly Fascinating Economic Numbers on 2 19 2019 (a number that looks like a repeating series, which is kind of randomly fascinating)

Looking for numbers to help inform a few arguments, I've run into or created the following recently. I know I obsess over these kinds of things more than most but you might find these useful as more data points for painting a picture of this continually evolving, messy, massive economy.

In December the US economy created 5.9 million jobs and destroyed 5.5 million. Protecting jobs isn't really an option but as long as the entrepreneurship and innovation that creates jobs runs at a faster pace than the automation that destroys them, we're good.

In 2018, the American economy passed two big milestones.
Annual GDP is now over $20 trillion.
Federal Spending is now over $4 trillion (although with current tax laws and projections, it won't be until 2022, when spending passes $5 trillion, that govt receipts will pass $4 trillion).

If you're interested in median incomes rising, you should do what you can to attract immigrants and create billionaires. Median household income and the percentage of immigrants and billionaires seem to move together. I think one reason people are threatened by immigrants and billionaires is because they represent a threat to the status quo. And that's true, of course, but the same thing can be said about progress.

And finally, this interesting and (I think) important quote.

“Capitalism has hundreds of parameters that you can change like the estate tax [and] the capital gains tax and it is still capitalism as long as you have market-based pricing, let people create new companies very easily and intervene where you don't see competition."
- Bill Gates

04 February 2019

Two Questions That Drive Economic Progress

Creative answers to these two questions drives progress.
1. How do we automate jobs in order to obsolete lower-paying jobs and increase productivity and profits?
2. How do we create new, higher-paying jobs through entrepreneurship and innovation?

The answers to this question include money spent on research and development, education, healthcare, and incubators, policies that enhance financial markets and private property rights and encourage investment and savings, and a culture of win-win rather than win-lose. There are layers to the creative answers to these questions pursuing such answers would drive a great deal of progress.