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A class I'd love to take!

Suggestion would be that when you talk about the "age of domination" you talk about differences among types of domination regimes, and how empire could have good or bad effects for material wellbeing of people. The effects of trade and diffusion of ideas on economies, as well as the effects of war/fear of war and peace.

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Nastier and less nasty in their extraction; better and worse at providing peaceful public order; and how brutal and unequal the élite is to itself?

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Yes, though those are more internal characteristics of regimes. I'm thinking more like the difference between the rise of the neo-Assyrian empire and that of Persia and their consequences for personal safety, trade etc. China under warring states vs a unified empire, Pax Romana vs it's long deterioration.

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Yeah, I wish this class had been available when I was in college.

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:-)

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better than the book

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I would love to hear what you think of https://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/?id=p072642. It very much fits with your macro-framework, and speaks to how the inequality trap operates and relentlessly but anarcho-competitively claws us in.

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Haven't read it! But it goes into the pile! Brad

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I really mean it, too. And I am very much down with your own amazing and genuinely original/classic work. If you have thoughts, I'll be thrilled.

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Maybe add something by Joel Mokyr to the reading list?

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I do not know if you think it is possible, but along the way, play Time Traveller (or "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court") and tell the different civilizations along the way what they should have done to increase growth. How far forward could enough technological change have been pushed to out-grow population?

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As to economic growth, maybe it is not what to teach, but how to teach it.

Specifically, teaching economic growth backwards...starting with today's economy or growth, and working backwards to find the programs and predicates that were responsible--or were claimed at the time to result in growth--and find out whether those programs and predictions worked, or whether other things were responsible.

To do this detective work, one must teach the students where to look for data, how to analyze it, and how to compare predictions with results.

After the students work backwards, you can ask: did trickle down work; did tax cuts for the wealthy work...did you find any evidence that it did, etc.

Think about teaching history backwards and applying it to economic policy and programs, and then you can both have the students trained on how to become economic data analysts, and also identify what works and what doesn't when they hear the same story repeated

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Mar 26·edited Mar 26

Unfortunately economics is unalterably tied to politics. So even if research shows that tax cuts do not lead to greater revenue, or that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the powers that be will simply deny these facts and produce some half-truth that supports their point of view. Then they will just reiterate these half-truths on social media and talk radio, and in conservative publications, and a lot of people will believe them. I could add that liberals are almost as bad at ignoring facts, but this is a comment, not an essay. So while it's important to teach students the truth as we know it, it's equally important to teach them that in the real world, the truth often doesn't matter.

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