PODCAST: "Hexapodia" is þe Key Insight! XLII: "Slouching Towards Utopia"—Brad's New Book Edition
Noah Smith & Brad DeLong Record the Podcast We, at Least, Would Like to Listen to!; Aspirationally Pseudo-Weekly; Aspirationally an hour or less...
Since 1870, we humans have done amazingly astonishingly uniquely and unprecedentedly well at baking a sufficiently large economic pie.
But the problems of slicing and tasting the pie—of equitably distributing it, and then using our technological powers to live lives wisely and well—continue to flummox us.
The big reason we have been unable to build social institutions for equitably slicing and then properly tasting our now more-than-sufficiently-large economic pie is the sheer pace of economic transformation.
Since 1870 humanity's technological competence has doubled every generation
Hence Schumpeterian creative destruction has taken hold.
Our immensely increasing wealth has come at the price of the repeated destruction of industries, occupations, livelihoods, and communities.
And we have been frantically trying to rewrite the sociological code running on top of our rapidly changing forces-of-production hardware
The attempts to cobble together a sorta-running sociological software code have been a scorched-earth war between two factions.
Faction 1: followers of Friedrich von Hayek, who say: "the market giveth, the market taketh away: blessed be the name of the market"
Faction 2: followers of Karl Polanyi, who say: "the market was made for man; not man for the market"
Let the market start destroying "society", and society will react by trying to destroy the market order
Thus the task of governance and politics is to try to manage and perhaps one day supersede this dilemma.
&, of course, HEXAPODIA!!
J. Bradford DeLong: Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the 20th Century <bit.ly/3pP3Krk>
Robert Gordon: The Rise and Fall of American Growth <https://archive.org/details/risefallofameric0000gord_w5w7>
Gary Gerstle: The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order: America and the World in the Free Market Era <https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Rise_and_Fall_of_the_Neoliberal_Orde/3PJbEAAAQBAJ>
Vaclav Smil: Creating the 20th Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact <https://www.google.com/books/edition/Creating_the_Twentieth_Century/h78TDAAAQBA>
Vaclav Smil: Transforming the 20th Century: Technical Innovations and Their Consequences <https://archive.org/details/transformingtwen0000smil/>
Friedrich von Hayek: The Road to Serfdom <https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.97402>
Karl Polanyi: The Great Transfomation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time <https://archive.org/details/greattransformat0000pola_o9l4>
John Maynard Keynes: The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money <https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.50092>
+, of course:
Vernor Vinge: A Fire Upon the Deep <https://archive.org/details/fireupondeep00ving_0/mode/1up>