Where Productivity Goes

Lots of talk about how we’ve progressed since 1949. Here’s one graph. (and more and more).

I like thinking of it like this (using this dataset to see that we are about 2.75x the 1949 median income level)

As pointed out in the original Atlantic piece and in this awesome Tyler Cowen piece, our relative consumption is shifting away from super competitive ‘making things’ sectors and towards protected domestic service-oriented industries.

We’re spending similar amounts of money on food and apparel, etc. We’re spending much of the gains made since (and that’s a LOT of gains) on services and housing.

And housing’s a funny one because it’s simply rent paid to an owner of capital. Shouldn’t we be bidding for opportunities in productive industry rather than stocks of housing?

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