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Pragmatic Capitalism

Practical Views on Money, Finance & Life

Three Things I Think I Think – Weekend Edition

Here are some things I think I think – technology is making the world a better place, odds of recession & the bears get trolled by Wall Street analysts.

1 – Are Living Standards Really Stagnating?  I was intrigued by this piece in the NY Times by Tyler Cowen arguing that American living standards have stagnated and that technology hasn’t helped.  I know that median wages have been stagnant, but is that really the best measure of living standards?  I mean, living standards are a pretty particular thing and I don’t think making more money necessarily means the world is getting better.  For instance, I posted this image on Twitter yesterday showing the technological advancement of the last 20 years:

tech

I said it a few weeks ago and I’ll say it again – if Silicon Valley had produced just ONE thing in the last 15 years, the smart phone was enough to make living standards dramatically better.  The person making $40,000 in 2001 would have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to acquire all of these technologies and now purchases all of them in a pocket sized device that costs a few hundred dollars.

Now, I know there’s more to life than tech gadgets, but I find it hard to believe that technology hasn’t contributed substantially to improving living standards….

2 – 100% Chance of Recession this year?  Here’s Jim Rogers saying there’s a 100% chance of recession in 2016:

recess

Daniel Crosby finds a problem with this prediction:

recession2

Hmmm.  I guess if you predict a recession every year then you’ll eventually be right….

3 – The Bears get Trolled by Wall Street.  Speaking of permabears – here’s a hilarious note from Jeffries analyst TJ Thornton channeling Donald Drumpf:

drumpf1

Perfect.  Enjoy your weekend.  If you find yourself needing to read an extremely nerdy financial paper don’t miss my newly published paper at SSRN.

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