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The Wealth of Humans: Work and its Absence in the Twenty-First Century

Done

Avent, R. (2017). The Wealth of Humans: Work and its Absence in the Twenty-First Century. Penguin Books Ltd.


Penguin Books Ltd, 2017. 288 pages.

5 31
14

p.180
secular stagnation »
a condition of negligible or no economic growth...
p.138
capital deepening »
where the capital per worker is increasing in t...
p.96
succor »
assistance and support in times of hardship and...
p.69
Baumol effect »
(aka Baumol's cost disease) rise of salaries in...
p.6
Say's Law »
an economic law stating that supply creates its...
p.238
no one deserves to be poor
But we should also realize that those societies...
p.235
threatening the system that provides for us
[...] Is there any reasonable story available w...
p.232
people do not create their own fortunes
[...] The wealth of humans is societal. But the...
p.231
the thudding fist of the powerful
[...] it is easy for all the participants in th...
p.222
in labour organizers' dreams
[...] In labour organizers' dreams, that cooper...

1

Introduction

three mechanisms by which the digital revolution alters work:

  • automation: replacing workers
  • globalisation, which was only possible with the technology for managing global supply chains
  • skill-based stratification by boosting productivity of (a few) high-skilled workers
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1

Introduction

three mechanisms by which the digital revolution alters work:

  • automation: replacing workers
  • globalisation, which was only possible with the technology for managing global supply chains
  • skill-based stratification by boosting productivity of (a few) high-skilled workers
1 / 5
64

3. In Search of a Better Sponge

consider Baumol's cost disease & takes off in what I consider to be the wrong direction. he worries about the implications of the cost of the service sector (esp edu, healthcare) as % of GDP and potential for cutting that, and then tries to think of ways to make these sectors more "productive" (MOOCs, automation of diagnostics, etc). why ... is this necessary? BCD literally just means other things get cheaper and it doesn't HAVE to be a bad thing if people properly understand the phenomenon (which, somehow, he appears to avoid)

1 / 2
64

In Search of a Better Sponge

consider Baumol's cost disease & takes off in what I consider to be the wrong direction. he worries about the implications of the cost of the service sector (esp edu, healthcare) as % of GDP and potential for cutting that, and then tries to think of ways to make these sectors more "productive" (MOOCs, automation of diagnostics, etc). why ... is this necessary? BCD literally just means other things get cheaper and it doesn't HAVE to be a bad thing if people properly understand the phenomenon (which, somehow, he appears to avoid)

1 / 2
97

5. The Firm as an Information-Processing Organism

Coase's theories on why firms exist (save on transaction costs)

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97

The Firm as an Information-Processing Organism

Coase's theories on why firms exist (save on transaction costs)

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147

7. Playgrounds of the 1 per cent

talks about zoning as class war which restricts housing stock. focuses on NIMBYism but not, notably, on housing being seen as an asset and being allowed to sit empty in many of the cities he mentions (NY and London in particular)

0 / 1
147

Playgrounds of the 1 per cent

talks about zoning as class war which restricts housing stock. focuses on NIMBYism but not, notably, on housing being seen as an asset and being allowed to sit empty in many of the cities he mentions (NY and London in particular)

0 / 1
179

9. The Source of Secular Stagnation

he suggests policy prescriptions for solving the problem of chronically weak demand

  • direct spending by govts: transferring money to poor households, or New Deal-type public investment that would effectively mean a quasi-guaranteed job. financed either progressive taxation, or increased borrowing, or simply printing money (he says hyperinflation would only result if govts are forced to turn to the printing press, so it wouldnt be a problem in this case)
  • better, more long-term proposal: building lots of housing, which would boost demand in the short turn (through employing those in the industry) and lower rents

overall, he says workers need to increase bargaining power in the economy, tho he notes that it's difficult given changes since the 60s/70s (he never once uses the word "neoliberalism" though)

1 / 1
179

The Source of Secular Stagnation

he suggests policy prescriptions for solving the problem of chronically weak demand

  • direct spending by govts: transferring money to poor households, or New Deal-type public investment that would effectively mean a quasi-guaranteed job. financed either progressive taxation, or increased borrowing, or simply printing money (he says hyperinflation would only result if govts are forced to turn to the printing press, so it wouldnt be a problem in this case)
  • better, more long-term proposal: building lots of housing, which would boost demand in the short turn (through employing those in the industry) and lower rents

overall, he says workers need to increase bargaining power in the economy, tho he notes that it's difficult given changes since the 60s/70s (he never once uses the word "neoliberalism" though)

1 / 1
197

10. Why Higher Wages are so Economically Elusive

policy proposals

  • higher minimum wage or basic income (he goes into trade-offs for each)
  • evaluates potential effects of basic income level on work
  • discusses the problems of workfare-style basic income (means-testing is costly, and illiberal, and morally untenable)
  • alternatively, increasing educational attainment as a means of increasing "productivity" for workers (he doesn't go into the Bourdieusian aspects of education at all, which is disappointing, but he does recognise that having too many people in one field can reduce bargaining power), though he recognises that it's not a solution to the problems
  • most "effective" solution is "immigration to rich countries" (204)
0 / 3
197

Why Higher Wages are so Economically Elusive

policy proposals

  • higher minimum wage or basic income (he goes into trade-offs for each)
  • evaluates potential effects of basic income level on work
  • discusses the problems of workfare-style basic income (means-testing is costly, and illiberal, and morally untenable)
  • alternatively, increasing educational attainment as a means of increasing "productivity" for workers (he doesn't go into the Bourdieusian aspects of education at all, which is disappointing, but he does recognise that having too many people in one field can reduce bargaining power), though he recognises that it's not a solution to the problems
  • most "effective" solution is "immigration to rich countries" (204)
0 / 3
230
0 / 4
241
0 / 0
241