I’m Sure These Two Things Are Somehow Related

But probably not in obvious ways.

I read a lot of stuff, and often get great ideas by reading things that are from sources that are pretty widely disparate.

Here’s one – a discussion of unemployment by Reuters writer James Pethokoukis:

Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg, formerly of Merrill Lynch, thinks the unemployment rate is going to at least 12 percent, maybe even 13 percent. Optimists, Rosenberg explains, underestimate the incredible damage done to the labor market during this downturn. And even before this downturn, the economy was not generating jobs in huge numbers.

Read the whole thing and be very, very depressed.

On the other hand, there’s this:

The culture of participation is forcing efficiencies that can have deflationary effects on our economy. This allows us to purchase more with less, but also gives us less to purchase with, if it is forcing upon us lower wages and fewer work hours. What it may give us is *more free time* (whether we want it to or not). So if that free time is part of what allows this culture of participation to help create these efficiencies, and the efficiencies create more free time… Then you have not just deflation, but a deflationary spiral that doesn’t end until the traditional economies (based on real scarcity) have absorbed the new efficiencies.

That’s both depressing – and interesting as the ecology is left open to smaller, faster-breeding businesses.

We’ve seen how that drama works out before…

2 thoughts on “I’m Sure These Two Things Are Somehow Related”

  1. I’ve come to wonder if the focus on productivity is misguided. When productivity reaches 100%, no one is working but then no one has money to buy the goods or services which renders the rush to productivity moot.

  2. Sorry to say, but US peaceful (private) sector workers are overpaid, and US force-based (gov’t) sector are WAY overpaid.

    Those with jobs don’t want their overpayment to come down — would rather have more other people get laid off. 10% workers cut, rather than 10% reduction in salary for all.

    The bright side is that there’s plenty of room for huge anti-deflationary monetary expansion, and even deficit spending, without much fear of wage-inflation. Plus, as the dollar devalues, less volume of imports will mean a bit more employment in the US (and lots less foreign growth and poverty reduction).

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