Why, despite money supply numbers going well up year after year, is there so little inflation? Because money, instead of circulating, is pooling up in the largest corporations and many individuals. That is one result of more and more products being scalable, or one copy costing barely more for a million than for one. That is the same reason that precious metal, and base metal for that matter, prices are going nowhere – it doesn’t matter how much money is out there if it’s going nowhere.
Why are wages not increasing, despite lower and lower unemployment? Because latent demand for jobs is still way high – per the American Job Shortage Number (AJSN), we could easily fill 15.9 million new positions, if all knew that getting one was as easy as getting a pizza. That is also why stories claiming that we are on the verge of a worker shortage, what with all the baby boomers retiring and so on, are wrong – two-thirds of the people who would materialize to fill open positions are not officially jobless.
Why is nationwide productivity falling? Because disappearing work opportunities are now most likely to be at the high end, with many menial positions resistant to both globalization and automation. Stock market analysis can be done much better by automata than janitorial tasks.
Why are driverless car crashes precipitating strong negative reactions while the over 30,000 fatal human-caused ones in this country alone are ignored? Because people are afraid of change, afraid of the unknown, and afraid of gigantic technology shifts. Those things attract inordinate fear at best and conspiracy theories at worst. Not to worry, though, as the level of safety that studies show autonomous vehicles will need for reasonably full acceptance – one-fourth the fatal accident rate of human-driven ones – is well within what will be achieved within the next ten years.
Why are Americans still getting jobs in the information technology field? Because no courageous large company has led the way with hiring far-cheaper Indians or Russians. When a Google or Microsoft does that, such positions will quickly disappear from the “Best Jobs of 20xx” lists.
Why do so many people support protectionism? They don’t, but a few key ones in power seem to feel that way. We will all pay the price, with many more jobs lost due to higher prices than artificially retained by tariffs, and a lower standard of living nationwide.
Why are 3-D printers not making everything in sight? Because they are too slow for manufacturing, and they are lacking an application most people can use.
Why have electric cars not become the norm? Because, even after 50 years of subsidies and development, recharging needs to be done too often and takes too long, and continuous availability, even if most people don’t truly need it, is highly valued.
How long will it be before the next recession? Good question.