Even rougher on him than I thought they'd be.


Redistributing wealth weakening growth?

Maybe my perspective is colored by being involved in this, but it seems like growth tends to be driven by non-monetary things. My post on STEM jobs refers to five STEM booms, which seem to correlate with periods of growth in the United States:

- Round one from the decade immediately following World War II, waning a decade later.

- Round two following the Sputnik launches in 1957 but waning sharply by the late 1960s, leading to a bust of serious magnitude in the 1970s.

- Round three from the 1980s Reagan defense buildup, alarming Federal reports such as “A Nation at Risk” (1983), and new Federal funding for the “war on cancer.” Most of these had waned by the late 1980s, contributing to an ensuing bust in the early 1990s.

- Round four from the mid-1990s, driven by concurrent booms in several high-tech industries (e.g. information technology, internet, telecommunications, biotech), followed by concurrent busts beginning around 2001.

- Round five from the rapid doubling of the National Institutes of Health budget between 1998 and 2003, followed by a bust when subsequent funding flattened.

The first three of these were defense-motivated. The fourth one was an innovation explosion that was kind of self-created by the acceptance of the internet, the expansion of biotech (especially following the Human Genome Project), and related things. The fifth one was a kind of freak occurrence which probably shouldn't have been as huge an increase in funding.

Redistributing wealth won't cripple growth. Growth isn't spurred by wealth, it seems.

posted by flagamuffin: 1602 days ago