More on the Great Stagnation

Interfluidity says:

I think of government, education, health care, and finance collectively as the “information asymmetry industry”

The point there is that these industries are prone to all kinds of market breakdowns, mostly to do with producers knowing more than consumers.

In response, Arnold Kling says:

I think what distinguishes these four industries is that the sellers themselves know less than what people expect.


TED likes to divide financial services into agency and principal businesses. I think that Kling is thinking about Principal businesses here. Agents (intermediaries, like myself) have a problem with credibility that I’ve described elsewhere, but I’m not sure that this is where we’re going.

Principal businesses aren’t really financial services, though, are they. They’re more concerned with finding asymmetric payoffs out in the streets (ie fucking people over).

Remember: “Behind every great fortune, there is a great crime”.

Interfluidity makes one more interesting point:

It’s not at all clear that what people conventionally think of as technology is the growth-limiting factor.

He then goes on to say that poor countries have lots of low hanging fruit but don’t necessarily pick it. There are social or political barriers that hold them back and maybe our own social and political barriers are holding US back.