Monday, 2 March 2015

Things famous economist, Brad Delong says that are utterly wrong...


Brad Delong is a famous economist. He wrote this - it is utterly wrong:

And yet there are few signs that working- and middle-class Americans are living any better than they did 35 years ago.

Does this man - who was a top advisor to Bill Clinton and is Chair of Economics at a leading US university - really believe this for a second?

We - and I include working and middle class Americans in all this - are living much better than we were 35 years ago. This is a fact - back in 1980 let's consider what we didn't have that all those middle-class Americans take for granted now:

The Internet and the World Wide Web
Mobile phones - indeed 'smartphones' that are really little computers
Microwave ovens
Satellite navigation and mapping
Instant payment by card
Home delivery for groceries

Feel free to add to this list - there are literally thousands of things we didn't dream of having back in 1980. And then consider those things people had back then but which are vastly better today - cars, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, hair products, music reproduction, telephones, air travel and central heating to name just a few. Our domestic machines are faster, more fuel efficient, have more capacity, better features and cost relative less than they did back in 1980.

And this is before we get to things like food, fuel and travel being cheaper relative to income. The only big black mark is housing. And nearly all of that is down to the stupidity of big government idiots like Delong.

To put this simply, Brad Delong is talking (not for the first time) complete drivel.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Almost, but not quite, Simon.

Whilst I agree with the things you've listed, you've made a serious error of omission.

Job insecurity is up. Self employment is up. Mortgages are longer. Interest on savings is lower. Stagnant pay. High youth unemployment. Tuition fees. Expensive houses and rent (especially London). Necessary parent-to-child financial transfers. Above-inflation rises in travel costs. The "squeezed middle".

Yes, there are more luxuries. But the basics of life ain't what they were. Hence I agree with Delong that "there are few signs that Americans are living any better than they did 35 years ago".