The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World

Monday, May 16, 2011

Michael Spence, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, discusses the economic growth that led to enormous gaps in wealth and living standards between the industrialized West and the rest of the world. In The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World, looks at how this pattern shifted after World War II, and how that trend will reshape the world.


Michael Spence

Comments [14]

Ken from Manhattan

I overheard one guest say that there was a shortage of skilled workers in the US.

Please do NOT let that voodoo go unchallenged.

Ask him for job descriptions and salaries of these mythical jobs. If he has them (he doesn't) ask why don't employers RAISE SALARIES?

Oct. 13 2011 12:25 PM

Being the typical Nobel Prize in "Economics" winner, Spence erroneously thinks that a government either forcing money out of your pocket (i.e., taxes) to distribute to one of their favored corporate welfare recipients or, worse, printing up more money (i.e., devaluing the value of the money you already have by flooding the market with more of this worthless paper garbage) to "invest" it in some boondoggle government project is good for economic growth. The government is already $14 TRILLION dollars in debt. Yes, I'm sure an institution that is that much in debt understands how to bring about a booming, efficient economy. The only people who will prosper from this nonsense are the Banksters who get to print up the money at the "Fed" for the government (and get to print up money for their own banks to lend out) and the corporate welfare kings who will be first on line at the bank to receive it before its inflationary effects hit the rest of us peasants.

NOTE to jgarbuz: It's nice to see that someone else who listens to NPR understands real economics and not that Keynesian garbage that pseudo economists like Spence and Krugman poison the public with.

May. 16 2011 08:37 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To ED of Larchmont,

Read "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley.

IN 1939 he predicted everything, including things still to come.

May. 16 2011 12:56 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

IN most respects, Karl Marx was a classical economist, however the fatal error in his analysis is where he claims that capitalist profits are due to exploiting the "surplus labor" of the workers. IN other words, that the capitalist is a leech who shortchanges his workers, keeping them at slave wages in order to enrich himself. This leads to class warfare where the enslaved class eventually overthrows his masters. Basically, a lot of hooey.

Where Marx's analysis really fails is the fallacy that workers create wealth. This is totally false. Workers create THINGS. Wealth is not created until those things are sold at a PROFIT. Profits equal wealth, not things. If a thing, no matter how nice or useful it is, cannot be sold at a profit, it is economically worthless. It brings no wealth. It just corrodes and wastes away and represents a loss of wealth. The USSR was a perfect example a society that made lots of things but produced little wealth. Because its things could find no markets. No matter wanted their stuff compared to western products.

May. 16 2011 12:47 PM
tom from astoria

ed- sounds reasonable. Funny how family and seem to have broken down over since the 70s, just as we started losing (or giving away) our future economic well being.

May. 16 2011 12:39 PM
Ed from Larchmont

What is the effect of the demographic change around the world on the economies?

May. 16 2011 12:39 PM
Renate from New York City

Karl Marx predicted the global leveling of wages -- "the next convergence." I hope Spence's book gives him due credit for his analysis of this systemic aspect of the evolution of capitalism.
And bravo to Gary for pointing out the profit advantage of slave labor in early European industrialization.

May. 16 2011 12:34 PM
Ed from Larchmont

One idea is that three things are needed: a market economy; some amount of regulation by the government; and a healthy family and moral life among the people, but all three are needed. Comments?

May. 16 2011 12:32 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

After our loss in Vietnam, our government decided to strengthen the other Asian countries by allowing them to "knock off" hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods, from jeans to personal computers. We created the "Asian tigers" by allowing them to copy our software, hardware and underwear and sell the knockoffs back to us. This went on throughout the last '70s, 80s and '90s until they finally had enough of our capital and technology to take off on their own. We fuelled the the resurrection and rise of Asia over the last 40 years.

May. 16 2011 12:29 PM
tom from astoria

@Estelle - I agree 100%. But for some reason economists never discuss this -- it's always taken for granted that the shift is inevitable. Our corporations should be publicly held accountable for moving call centers and manufacturing over seas. How long before we're sewing running shoes for a Chinese company?

May. 16 2011 12:21 PM
Fuva from Harlem

Oh, Gary, bravo.
Your point is so obvious, but so underaddressed/ overlooked/ denied due to cognitive dissonance.
Hopefully this will change.

May. 16 2011 12:19 PM
Garry from Manhattan

A key difference between the industrial revolution and the "catch up" going on in emerging markets is that those countries playing catch up were predominantly the victims of the atrocity of slavery. Free labor for 400 years certainly does free up the enslavers to excel while the rest of the world has to "play catch up."

May. 16 2011 12:16 PM

Listening on the heels of Brian Lehrer's segment with the author, talking about those call centers overseas, hired by American companies...

Do we have tax incentives for American companies to have their factories and call centers here, employing Americans? Should we have more?

It pains me to see the unemployment and underemployment problem here, while the corporate heads get richer and richer. Is this part of the problem? What other solutions might there be, if not tax incentives?

May. 16 2011 12:15 PM
tom from astoria

My grandfather progressed from the early 1920s -- low wages and no regulations like the developing world today -- to unionization and higher wages, benefits, etc. Ended up owning his own home ... Haven't we given away the future by sending our manufacturing to other countries for sortterm profits for corporations? Is there no patiotism in our boardrooms to do right by cities/communities here at home/ Don't the Chinese do it when demanding 50% ownership?

May. 16 2011 12:08 PM

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