10.08.2021

More stuff that broke around 1971

We've noted before that a bunch of economic trends turned bad when Nixon closed the gold window and we launched into the current pure fiat experiment: commodity volatility, labor share of productivity gains, wealth inequality, etc.

Here's another one courtesy of Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution

In Launching the Innovation Renaissance I said that “If total factor productivity had continued to grow at its 1957 to 1973 rate then we today would be living in the world of 2076 rather than in the world of 2014.” Sadly, the future is continuing to recede. Consider the graph below. If growth had continued at the rate expected by the CBO in 2005 then we today would be living in the world of 2037 rather than in the world of 2021. (n.b. I am eyeballing.)



Interesting that the break in productivity growth happened at the time we went off the gold standard.

Is there a causal relationship either way? Did we stop becoming productive because it was easy to get rich buying levered assets with a depreciating currency? Or did we devalue the currency because we ran out of productivity growth?

UPDATE: Edward Snowden and Jack Dorsey are noticing too. And there's a web site dedicated to it: wtfhappenedin1971.com

1 comment:

Kenny Bing said...

"In his memoirs, Hoover wrote that Mellon advised him to "liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate. Purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. ... enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people."

"The main rationale behind the order was actually to remove the constraint on the Federal Reserve preventing it from increasing the money supply during the depression. The Federal Reserve Act (1913) required 40% gold backing of Federal Reserve Notes that were issued."

The US would routinely suffer through a financial "panic" from time to time and Mellon was right in his advice to Hoover. Heavy handed executive orders (Let's Go Brandon!!) and over the top political kabuki theater are the primary drivers of our clusterfucks (cough *covid* cough) - a government as large as our own picks winners and losers.

More stuff that broke around 1971

We've noted before  that a bunch of economic trends turned bad when Nixon closed the gold window and we launched into the current pure f...