I just finished and very much enjoyed Tyler’s Cowen’s The Great Stagnation (my first ebook too!).
Cowen’s argument, for those not familiar with it, is that the stagnation of the U.S. economy is not the result of anything we’ve done wrong, but rather the fact that we managed the impressive rate of growth over the course of the 20th century by doing all the easy things, educating people who didn’t used to be educated, expanding public infrastructure like interstate highways, etc. Those things are all done now, and we’ve benefitted enormously in terms of GDP. But he argues we shouldn’t expect to see similar continued rates of GDP growth because there’s no obvious similar low-hanging fruit.
He concludes with a sort of kumbaya that sounds almost hokey as I excerpt it, but it is a sentiment I share:
Be tolerant, and realize there are some pretty deep-seated reasons for all the political strife and all the hard feelings and all the polarization. Government revenue, and private sector revenue, simply isn’t rising at the rate of our demands and expectations. No matter what your particular political commitments, be part of the solution to the current rancor, not part of the problem. Don’t demonize those you disagree with.