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Discussion: (13 comments)

  1. It does not look like there is anything really new in this book. I liked their first book. Didn’t they say all this in their first book?

  2. The Basic Income Guarantee will alter the standard economic model. The SEM altered with quantitative easing.
    So long as the wealthy alone do not have the right to vote, and the greater the number of relatively poor, the more radical the government policies.
    Difficult to synthesize factors many of which have not yet certainly emerged.

  3. Benjamin Cole

    Great ideas. Eliminate the home mortgage interest tax deduction? Like ethanol, better not to talk about it…

    1. It’s too bad they use the home mortgage deduction as their example for eliminating crony capitalism. I understand their thinking from the standpoint that the HMD distorts capital and investment, but it is like banning hot dogs and apple pie. There are plenty of other crony capitalism examples they could have used. For example, 1) eliminate various corporate tax credits and lower the nominal rate to international standards in order to encourage domestic investment; 2) overhaul our regulatory structure to remove crony protective provisions and provide a more level playing field for emerging and small businesses. This is implied in the financial arena by eliminating TBTF, but the problem extends well beyond wall street.

  4. Ideas 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 11 and 13 range from bad to catastrophically bad. Ken Lay would have loved it.

  5. Motionview

    Copyright term should be the same as patent term – 21 years. Currently, you can smudge some feces on a piece of paper and you are protected for 90+ years; spend billions developing a new drug and you have 21 years max to recover your investment. A testament to the fundamental unseriousness of our society.

  6. Ronald Calitri

    If you have already previewed the entire book, why aren’t you talking about the facet of technology development Brynjolfsson and McAfee find most challenging, the worrisome “spread,” or increasing distance between technological sophisticates and ordinary humanity. Is it because you are in favor of restricting access to novel tech, as now, through monopolistic competition?

  7. I agree with the first comment, take these ideas…Puhleaze!

    ‘Teach entrepreneurship through higher education’? Because teachers will know more about it than the entrepreneurs themselves. Sure they will.

  8. (no new ideas, and stated ideas are weak)

    (a) all advances in economics have been accompanied by increases in calculative technologies that facilitate a wider distribution of knowledge and labor.

    (b) however, such advances are only beneficial if they increase the number of people in the work force, in more productive capacities.

    (c) The tendency of humans to extrapolate a line, from what is the upward curve of a normal distribution is pervasive in social, political and scientific thinking. The idea that additional computational power, or additional calculative power, will increase the division of labor ad infinitum is such an error.

    (d) logical consequence is that there is very little for people to do at some point, and at that point, what does morality and politics look like? Malthusian?

    (e) the most obvious failure to apply technology is to replace representative democracy with direct democracy and smaller governments. I suspect that the economic benefit of disassembling the central state into polycentric orders would produce innovation in organization alone that would be sufficient to redistribute labor and increase employment.

    But the only empirical test is to try it.

    1. My observation is that the authors are proposing practical changes to invigorate the economy within our existing political structure while you are proposing to disassemble that structure in favor of a different model.

      Given that political change to the degree you propose is unlikely, I suggest you think through the purpose and likely effects of each of the suggestions made by the authors rather than casting them off in a cynical 8 word sentence. Would we be better off as a nation if these 15 recommendations were implemented? Would the result be more jobs, greater take home pay and higher living standards across the economic spectrum than we will have under existing policies? The answers are unequivocally yes. (perhaps with the exception of the crony capitalists and investment bankers)

  9. An excellent set of recommendations. Too few understand why they are important. Hopefully this book will take off and help to educate our innumerate “intellectuals”.

  10. Oftentimes you will read a book that correctly identifies the problem but then offer solutions that fail completely. This is not the case with this book.

    If we as a nation were to adopt the measures that the authors are proposing, we will grow and prosper. However should we continue on the current progressive path or shift to the “old wealth” ideas of the far right, we will surely continue to decline.

  11. Brad Arnold

    Ironic that the book seems to forward concepts prior to the paradigm changing digital age. For instance, it seems to prioritize the current educational paradigm by offering suggestions on how to slightly improve it, instead of embracing computer aided learning and MOOCs. Furthermore, their policy prescriptions come right out of the Republican playbook, when some of the biggest hurtles to success and achievement are the gap between classes (i.e. rich and poor, educated and non-educated, safe and unsafe, healthy and non-healthy). Perhaps it comes with the title Race Against the Machines, when it ought to be Embrace the Machines. You aren’t going to optimize thinking this is 2.0, like it is delineated, instead it is a spectrum, with new powerful tools coming out all the time.

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