Tyler Cowen, author of Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation, creates a stark image of a future U.S. economy in which most people either rocket toward the top or drift toward the bottom.For me the "great stagnation" is the "Lost Decade: which is a tag at the bottom of the blog. I haven't added much to the "Lost Decade" in a long time. The "Lost Decade," by the way, has become the two lost decades: first, 2000 - 2007 (not quite ten years), and now 2008 - 2018 (slightly longer than one ten-year period.
Americans may adapt to lower living standards (like the Brits have done) but at least "we" will have the specter of "free" healthcare for all, whereas the Brits actually have it.
I don't quite agree that "most" people will "rocket" toward the top or drift toward the bottom. I think about 20% of educated, investing Americans -- many employed by the US government, including the military -- will "rocket" toward the top; another 47% will remain among the lower-middle class, lower class, and the "homeless"; another 40% (which we used to call the working middle class) will actually drift toward the bottom.
The upper-middle class (the 20% noted above) will disappear ( most will become rich, but not super-rich, who in turn will be different than the hyper-rich). The middle-middle class (the 40% noted above) will drift toward the lower middle class.
The upper-middle class will be those who have incomes that match those in Congress who were voted in before they were "rich." If that makes sense.
The remaining 3% (super-rich and mega-rich) will be the John Kerry-s and the Warren Buffett-s of America.
I don't see the "47%" number changing much, but I do see the quality of life improving immensely for about half of this group; deteriorating for the other half.
A Note To The Granddaughters
I picked up The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and The Battle of the Little Bighorn, by Nathaniel Philbrick, c. 2010, at the museum / bookstore at the Chief Crazy Horse Memorial just north of Custer, South Dakota, in the Black Hills.
Absolutely fascinating book. I will write about it when I have time over at my literature blog.