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64

In Search of a Better Sponge

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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)

Avent, R. (2017). In Search of a Better Sponge. In Avent, R. The Wealth of Humans: Work and its Absence in the Twenty-First Century. Penguin Books Ltd, pp. 64-80

66

[...] Consider 'green jobs', for example. Within that category there are occupations that are both high-productivity and scalable, such as work on production lines making wind turbines or solar panels. But, unfortunately, such work is easily automatable. [...]

you can tell he's gotten so used to thinking of providing jobs as a telos that he fails to consider 1) the environmental implications of this (earlier, he obliviously compares this to the fracking industry) or 2) the possibility that automatable work is GOOD (which he does acknowledge in other parts but I guess his latent ideology slips out sometimes)

—p.66 by Ryan Avent 6 years, 5 months ago

[...] Consider 'green jobs', for example. Within that category there are occupations that are both high-productivity and scalable, such as work on production lines making wind turbines or solar panels. But, unfortunately, such work is easily automatable. [...]

you can tell he's gotten so used to thinking of providing jobs as a telos that he fails to consider 1) the environmental implications of this (earlier, he obliviously compares this to the fracking industry) or 2) the possibility that automatable work is GOOD (which he does acknowledge in other parts but I guess his latent ideology slips out sometimes)

—p.66 by Ryan Avent 6 years, 5 months ago

(aka Baumol's cost disease) rise of salaries in jobs that have experienced no increase of labor productivity, in response to rising salaries in other jobs that have experienced the labor productivity growth

69

Baumol's cost disease means that the cost of many critical sectors in an economy tends to rise over time

—p.69 by Ryan Avent
notable
6 years, 5 months ago

Baumol's cost disease means that the cost of many critical sectors in an economy tends to rise over time

—p.69 by Ryan Avent
notable
6 years, 5 months ago
77

In a very low-wage world, more people will opt out of work. That will inevitably strain the social-safety net; societies will be ever more clearly divided into those who work and pay for social programmes and those who live off them. Societies will face a reckoning: either they will decide that this dynamic is unavoidable and should be made to work as effectively as possible, or the haves will reduce aid to the have-nots, leading to intense political conflict between those two groups.

That conflict will be shaped and determined by which groups most effectively wield power.

this is the closest he gets to being radical

—p.77 by Ryan Avent 6 years, 5 months ago

In a very low-wage world, more people will opt out of work. That will inevitably strain the social-safety net; societies will be ever more clearly divided into those who work and pay for social programmes and those who live off them. Societies will face a reckoning: either they will decide that this dynamic is unavoidable and should be made to work as effectively as possible, or the haves will reduce aid to the have-nots, leading to intense political conflict between those two groups.

That conflict will be shaped and determined by which groups most effectively wield power.

this is the closest he gets to being radical

—p.77 by Ryan Avent 6 years, 5 months ago