UNCATEGORIES

荳 ഒ American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper (English Edition) online ꗃ Author Jacob S Hacker 봫

荳  ഒ American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper (English Edition) online ꗃ Author Jacob S Hacker 봫 荳 ഒ American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper (English Edition) online ꗃ Author Jacob S Hacker 봫 American Amnesia ONE Coming Up Short AMERICANS PRIDE themselves on standing tall rising to the challenge, achieving the once unattainable, raising the bar of social success Yet as we have faltered in harnessing the enormous positive potential of public authority, we have also fallen behind the pace of social improvement in other rich nations, as well as the pace we set in our own past In area after area where we once dominated, we are falling down the rankings of social success In area after area where new threats loom, we are failing to rise up to the challenge We are not standing tallliterally, we shall seeand our malign neglect of the mixed economy bears a great deal of the blame Losing Ground For much of US history, Americans were the tallest people in the world by a large margin When the thirteen colonies that occupied the Atlantic seaboard broke from the British Empire, adult American men were on average three inches taller than their counterparts in England, and they were almost that much taller than men in the Netherlands, the great economic power before Britain.1 Revolutionary soldiers looked up to General George Washington, but not, as often assumed, because he was a giant among Lilliputians David McCullough, in his popular biography of John Adams, describes Washington as nearly a head taller than Adamssix feet four in his boots, taller than almost anyone of the day.2 Those must have been some boots, for Washington was six feet two.3 At five foot seven, Adams was just an inch below the average for American soldiers and significantly taller than a typical European soldier.4 Americans were tall because Americans were healthy Poor as they were, notes the colonial historian William Polk, Americans ate and were housed better than Englishmen.5 Sickness and premature death were common, of course, especially outside the privileged circle of white men Still, European visitors like Tocqueville marveled at the fertility of the land and the robustness of its settlers, the relative equality of male citizens and the strong civic bonds among them.6 J Hector St John de Crvecoeur wrote in 1782 of the American settler in Letters from an American Farmer, Instead of starving he will be fed, instead of being idle he will have employment, and there are riches enough for such men as come over here.7 The cause of the American height advantage could not have been income alone According to most sources, the average resident of the Netherlands or England was richer than colonial Americans but also substantially shorter.8 Indeed, as the United States matched and then surpassed Europe economically in the nineteenth century, the average height of American men actually fell, recovering back to colonial levels only around the dawn of the twentieth century.9 These ebbs and flows, which played out in other industrializing nations as well, are a reminder that economic growth and population health are not one and the same.10 We shall unravel the mystery of their interdependence in the next chapter Nonetheless, Americans remained far and away the tallest people in the world throughout the nineteenth century, and average American heights rose quickly in the early decades of the twentieth.11 When the United States entered World War II, young American men averaged five feet nine inchesalmost two inches taller, on average, than the young Germans they were fighting.12 While people know that height is a strong predictor of individual achievement test scores, occupational prestige, pay , it is also a revealing marker of population health.13 Height has a lot to do with genes, but height differences across nations seem to be caused mostly by social conditions, such as income, nutrition, health coverage, and social cohesion.14 Indeed, one reason for the correlation between height and achievement is that kids whose mothers are healthy during pregnancy and who grow up with sufficient food, medical care, and family support tend to be taller adults An average US white girl born in the early 1910s could expect to reach around five foot three an average US white girl born in the late 1950s could expect to exceed five foot five.15 Evolution just doesnt happen that fast So its striking that Americans are no longer the tallest people in the world Not even close Once three inches taller than residents of the Old World, on average, Americans are now about three inches shorter The average Dutch height for men is six foot one, and for women, five foot eightversus five foot nine for American men and five foot five for American women.16 The gap is not, as might be supposed, a result of immigration White, native born Americans who speak English at home are significantly smaller, too, and immigration isnt substantial enough to explain the discrepancy in any case.17 Nor can the growing gap be explained by differences in how height is measured Though some countries rely on self reported heights for their statisticsand, yes, men tend to round upAmericans look shorter even when the only countries in the rankings are those that, like the United States, measure heights directly.18 Americans are not shrinking Overall, that isthere is some evidence that both white and black women born after 1960 are shorter than their parents 19 But the increase in Americans average stature has been glacial, even as heights continue to rise steadily abroad To really see our lost height advantage, you have to break the population into age groups, or what demographers call birth cohorts People in their twenties, after all, are as tall as they will ever be Changes in average height come from changes in the height of the young and deaths among older cohorts And, indeed, the adult heights of those born during a given period provide a powerful image of the living conditions experienced by infants and adolescents at the time The fall in average heights among those born in the mid 1800s, for example, signaled the costs as well as benefits of the countrys industrial and urban shift, which brought increased infectious disease as well as higher incomes, harsher lives for the masses as well as better lives for the elite.20 The privileged American men who applied for passports in 1890 were, on average, than an inch and a half taller than army recruits at the time 21 In general, heights are converging among affluent nations, and the biggest gains have occurred in countries admitted most recently to the rich nation club.22 Within countries, younger age groups are generally much taller than older age groupswhich makes sense Older people spent their growing years including their growth within the womb in poorer societies with limited health technology and knowledge.23 But the United States is a conspicuous exception to these patterns Average heights have barely budged in recent decades, so young Americansagain, even when leaving out recent immigrantsare barely taller than their parents.24 Older Americans are roughly on par with their counterparts abroad younger Americans are substantially shorter The United States is the richest populous nation in the world Nevertheless, its young are roughly as tall as the young in Portugal, which has a per capita gross domestic product GDP less than half ours.25 On Rankings and Ratings Because height is a powerful indicator of social and individual health, Americas relative decline should ring alarms Our young are coming up shortrelative not just to gains in stature of the past but also to gains in stature in other rich nations Still, if shorter kids were the only sign of trouble, we might safely ignore the alarms For all but aspiring basketball players, tallness is not an end in itself It can even create problems The Dutch have had to rewrite their building codes so men dont routinely smash their heads into door frames.26 Unfortunately, Americas journey from tallest to smallish has played out in area after area When it comes to health, education, and even incomestill our strongest suit, though were holding fewer high cards than in the pastwe are falling down the rankings of social success We often miss this, and not just because triumphant cries of American exceptionalism drown out the alarms Comparing countries on indicators of social health is tricky, and the temptation to stack the deck is strong Moreover, our standard statistics frequently understate how poorly the United States is doing at harnessing the combined energies of government and the market To get an accurate picture, we have to spend a little time sifting through the best available data, separating the meaningful from the misleading We also have to focus on the experiences most relevant for understanding not how weve done in the past but how we are doing nowand unless we change course, how we are likely to do in the future Put another way, not all performance assessments are equally valid or instructive Each year brings scores of scores purporting to rank almost every conceivable object of interestschools, businesses, cities, states, regions, countriesacross almost every conceivable category, from college completion, to wine consumption, to online porn viewing For the record, Washington, DC, tops US state rankings in all three But sensibly comparing states, countries, or anything else requires following a few simple ground rules The first is to compare apples to apples Washington, DC, isnt actually that comparable to the fifty states because its essentially a big city hence the porn wine college trifecta For cross national analysis, comparing apples to apples means comparing countries at similar levels of economic development It also means using indicators that are as close to the same as possible across nations And it requires transparency Proprietary data and secret formulas are anathema to serious comparison but endemic to many special interest rankings So we should compare apples to apples But which apples should we be comparing A good place to begin is the three core components of the UNs Human Development Index health, education, and income The index captures the idea that development is about advancing the richness of human lifeto quote its intellectual father, the Nobel laureate Amartya Senand not just the richness of the economy in which human beings live.27 The index itself isnt all that useful for ranking rich nations It often sets the bar low can people read and write , and its limited to a few basic indicators available for all countries Nonetheless, the UNs pioneering investigations provide a solid jumping off point for asking how well the contemporary United States is doing relative to other rich nations in fostering citizens well being When asking that question, the issue isnt merely how well we are doing today Its also whether we are pulling ahead or falling behind One data point gives us a level two or give us a trend And, in general, its trends that reveal the most about our relative performance To be sure, we should be careful not to read too much into short term fluctuations Nor should we forget that on many metrics, there is a natural process of reversion to the mean Relative to other countries, the highest performing nations are likely to fall toward other nations performances, and the lowest performing to rise toward other nations performances Still, trends matter most And that means we should be at least as interested in the direction social indicators are heading and at what pace as in their level It also means we should pay special attention to one particular group the young Most cross national analyses look at countries as a whole, comparing several generations of people in one nation with several generations in another Sometimes thats appropriate If we want to know which countries are good at getting all citizens flu shots, we are interested in national averages Usually, however, the experience of the young is most revealing, and not just because the young are most affected by current conditions The young tell us about trends If, for example, were falling behind in getting young adults through college and we are , looking at the average educational level of the entire population will provide false reassurance Typically, then, the critical comparisons across nations concern the young Unhappily, these are also the comparisons where the most troubling image of American performance emerges A final issue to keep in mind Investment or lack of investment does not bear its bitter fruit immediately Supporting science, technology, and education, for example, reaps big returns.28 But it takes timesometimes a long timeto see the payoffs As we will see in chapters 2 and 4, the high tech expansion of the last few decades rested on scientific and technical advances seeded than a generation earlier.29 The opposite problem arises in cases of deferred maintenance failing to upgrade critical infrastructure, for example, or to seed technological advances that will blossom in the future The costs, though real, wont be fully apparent for some time The same can be said about failing to tackle emerging challengesan area where, we shall see, the United States is doing especially poorly A generation ago, few worried about how well nations were addressing obesity or global warming Now we know that the health of our society and the future of our planet depend on effective responses The low bar for social performance is continuing to meet challenges weve met before The high bar is doing well where we face new challenges Unfortunately, not only is the United States having trouble clearing the low bar it is barely even trying to clear the higher one The United States is still a remarkably successful nation Over the last century, we have achieved unprecedented levels of prosperity, witnessed quantum increases in health and life expectancy, and sought to address problems that once mocked our finest traditions of democracy and opportunity, from vicious racial exclusion to grim elderly poverty to dangerously unclean air and water And we have continued to gain ground in many of these areas over the last generation Yet these gains have been halting and slow Even worrisome, they lag behind gains in other rich democracies Health Among the big three of health, education, and income, none is important than health Those who study the economics of health and longevity find consistently that the value of physical well being within a society vastly exceeds a nations total income.30 But even without such calculations, we all know that health is a precondition for everything else we seek to achieve When the Declaration of Independence celebrated life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, there was a reason life led the list When it comes to healthin fact, when it comes to any measure of the well being of individual members of a societysmall differences matter when summed up across large populations Consider a seemingly trivial example that dreaded spinning wheel that tells you your computer is spinning its wheels In his biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson recounts an exchange between Jobs and Larry Kenyon, an engineer whom Jobs had cornered to complain that the new Macintosh took too long to start up Kenyon started to explain, but Jobs cut him off If it could save a persons life, would you find a way to shave ten seconds off the boot time he asked Kenyon allowed that he probably could Jobs went to a whiteboard and showed him that if there were five million people using the Mac, and it took ten seconds extra to turn it on every day, that added up to three hundred million or so hours per year that people would save, which was the equivalent of at least one hundred lifetimes saved per year Larry was suitably impressed, and a few weeks later he came back, and it booted up twenty eight seconds faster, Apple programmer Bill Atkinson recalled.31 Jobss point holds generally Even small differences in how long we live add up An extra four months of life expectancy in a country with 321 million residents is 107 million additional years of life Economists who are comfortable converting lives into dollars generally value a quality adjusted life yearQALY, in economics jargonin the neighborhood of 100,000 though estimates range from less than 50,000 per QALY to than 250,000.32 That would mean those four months are worth somewhere north of 10 trillion Shorter Lives, Poorer Health So it is than a little disconcerting that health is also where the United States does most poorly compared with other rich nations In 2013 the prestigious National Academy of Sciences released a mammoth report with a self explanatory title U.S Health in International Perspective Shorter Lives, Poorer Health The United States is among the wealthiest nations in the world, the report began, but it is far from the healthiest Americans live shorter lives and experience injuries and illnesses than people in other high income countries.33 On virtually all measures, according to the report, the United States is losing ground rapidly to other rich nations At midcentury, American were generally healthier than citizens of other rich nations, and as late as 1980, they were still not far from the middle of the pack.34 Since then, however, other rich countries have seen rapid health gains The United States has not.35 Take life expectancy at birththe easiest statistic to track, since death records are generally reliable and consistent across nations The National Academies study looked at seventeen rich nations Among these, the United States ranked seventeenth for men in 2011 life expectancy 76.3 years, a full 4.2 years shorter than the top ranking nation It ranked an equally dismal seventeenth for women 81.1 years, 4.8 years shorter than the top ranking nation.36 The United States is home to about 163 million women and 158 million men, so ranking in the middle teens rather than at the top translates into 1.45 billion fewer years of life.37 Midlife Crisis The relative decline has been particularly steep for an unlikely group middle aged white adults In a groundbreaking 2015 study, the Prince ton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton the latter the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics that same year dug into the mortality statistics to examine how and why the American experience departed so starkly from the international norm.38 Their startling result Whites ages forty five to fifty four were dying at higher rates in 2013 than they had been in 1999, even as every other rich country had seen dramatic drops in mortality in this age group Case and Deaton calculated that if this reversal had not occurredif, that is, the decline in death rates of prior decades had continueda half million deaths would have been avoided The only other example of such a shocking loss of life in recent decades is the AIDS epidemic The trend was most devastating for whites with a high school diploma or less In 2013 there were 736 deaths per 100,000 people within this group, up from 601 per 100,000 in 1999 By comparison, the death rate for people in this age group in Canada fell from around 300 per 100,000 in 1999 to just under 249 per 100,000 in 2011 But those who had gone to college but not received a degree saw no distinguishable improvement in death rates eithereven as, again, such rates plummeted abroad Only among whites with a college degree did death rates fall substantially over this period In 2013, white adults in the forty five to fifty four year old age group with no than a high school diploma were than four times as likely to die as those with a college degree As this last troubling statistic suggests, there are also stark disparities in life expectancy across racial, economic, and educational groupsdisparities that appear to be far larger than in most other rich nations.39 Yet nearly every group of Americanseven, as we have seen, whitesfares poorly when compared with its peers in other rich nations.40 The only area of evident success is life expectancy at age seventy five, where Americans do quite well Researchers speculate, however, that this anomaly reflects not just good health care for the aged who, unlike the young, have universal insurance coverage through Medicare but also that so many unhealthy Americans die before age seventy five, leaving behind a hardy group.41 Falling Behind To be clear, many measures of health are improving in the United States But they are improving much slowly than in other countries One grim statistic commonly used by demographers is the chance that a fifteen year old will die before age fifty For American women, its 4 percent four in a hundred women die between fifteen and fifty The average for other rich nations is around 2 percent, and, on average, death rates in these nations fell below 4 percent almost forty years ago We are than a generation behind.42 A similar story can be told about infant mortality, or deaths of children before their first birthday In 1960 infant mortality in the United States was lower than in the majority of other rich nations In recent decades, however, America has seen limited improvement, while death rates for infants have continued to plummet abroad.43 In 2011 the average rate of infant death in other rich nations was 1 child for every 300 or so births In the United States, it was roughly twice that1 child for every 164 births That year, the only countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD with higher rates of infant mortality were Chile, Mexico, and Turkey.44 This unimpressive performance is particularly striking because the United States spends so much on health care than other rich nations doroughly twice as much per person.45 Of course, medical care is not the only or even the most important determinant of health But the United States does poorly even where health care matters most For almost every causefrom injuries to diseasesdeath rates are the highest or nearly the highest in the United States.46 And we have the highest rate of what health experts call amenable mortality deaths that could have been prevented with the provision of timely and effective care.47 Despite high spending, we are falling behind other rich nations in reducing such preventable deaths We dont see our relative decline because we are getting better at preventing death But were getting better far too slowly for a rich nation Education Another area where the United States was once the undisputed leader is education As the Harvard economists Lawrence Katz and Claudia Goldin show in their revelatory The Race Between Education and Technology, we bolted decades ahead of other Western nations in the spread of elementary and then high schools during the twentieth century, and we were the world leader in college education in the immediate decades after World War II.48 No The United States is now a mediocre performer in international education rankings And we would look a lot worse if we hadnt done so well in the past The share of Americans who have completed high school, for instance, remains impressive Yet this high average mostly reflects our big early lead Among young adults, high school graduation rates are subpar though they have risen in the last decade.49 The United States now ranks twentieth out of twenty seven OECD nations in the share of young people expected to finish high school.50 Losing the Race This isnt just a case of other countries racing ahead its also a story of American stagnation Graduation rates in the United States have barely budged since the early 1970s, rising from 81 percent to 84 percent At the same time, and kids who are counted as having finished high school actually receive a General Educational Development GED certificate.51 Yet GEDs confer little of the economic and social benefits of graduating from high school Many European countries have vocational high schools, but, unlike GEDs, these produce strong outcomes 52 Another reason is that young adults behind bars disappear from the statistics In most rich nations, this distinction makes little difference because incarceration is so rare In the United Stateswhich incarcerates roughly ten times as high a share of the population eight in a thousand versus fewer than one in a thousand in most other advanced industrial democracies it makes a real difference, especially for demographic groups with the highest rates of incarceration.53 Indeed, the high school dropout rate for young black men is than 40 percent higher when we include in our count the incarcerated, wiping out all the apparent gains in their high school completion since the late 1980s.54 Here again, conventional indicators present an overly sunny picture of our relative performance The big story, however, is our relative decline in higher education The United States has many of the finest institutions of higher education in the world The problem is that the share of young people getting a degree is rising much slowly in the United States than in other OECD nations.55 One reason is the erosion of public support through federal grants and state universities, leaving students and their families much reliant on loans Once without peer, the United States has fallen to nineteenth in college completion in the OECD, and the gap in completion between higher income and lower income students has widened.56 Older Americans are the most educated in the world Younger Americans, not even close Skills Slowdown Indeed, despite the popular image of young Americans as digital wizards, Americas youth fare particularly poorly when it comes to numerical and technological skills The OECD assessed adult skill levels in twenty three nations in 2011 and 2012 Across the population as a whole, the United States scores about average when it comes to reading ability and close to the bottom when it comes to mathematical ability and the capacity to work with computer technology.57 Other international tests show us doing even better in reading, but they all show the performance of Americans as a whole to be mediocre or worse in the STEM science, technology, engineering, math areas so prominent in our technology saturated economy.58 The truly alarming results, however, emerge when looking across age groups In all countries, the young are better at math and working with digital technology than the old But improvements in test scores from one generation to the next are much smaller in the United States than in other rich countries Older Americans are close to the international average for older adults Younger Americans, while scoring slightly higher, are years behind their international peers So, again, American math scores are improvingbarely But they are improving far faster in other nations The same is true of the other skills measured by the OECD The United States falls further and further in the rankings as you move down the age ladder.59 Degrees of Inequality And if the United States as a whole is in the breakdown lane, some Americans are barely getting on the road At least as striking as our poor performance among the young is how unequal educational opportunities in the United States are Decades after de jure integration of schools and the famous 1966 Coleman Report on the subpar schooling of the poor, we remain a nation with gaps in educational quality, funding, and outcomes that are far greater than the norm for developed democracies These gaps not only thwart the upward progress of tens of millions of Americans but hold back our economy overall Since the 1960s, the divide in test scores between children from high income families and those from low income families has grown by than a third it is now twice as large as the gap between blacks and whites.60 Yet the United States is one of the few nations that finances schools primarily through local property taxes, which magnifies unequal opportunity As one OECD researcher puts it, The vast majority of OECD countries either invest equally in every student or disproportionately in disadvantaged students The US is one of the few countries doing the opposite.61 Inequality of opportunity begins early, and it costs everyone Good pre K education, for example, than pays off in higher growth and tax receipts and lower public costs, from social assistance to incarceration.62 Yet the United States ranks twenty fifth in the OECD in the share of three year olds in early childhood education, and even lower, twenty eighth, when it comes to four year olds.63 Income Income, the third indicator of the big three, might seem to be an exception to the story so far Only a few small countries surpass us in national income per head, and American productivity growth has remained comparatively strong.64 Even here, however, the reassuring averages hide some worrisome trends Beyond GDP Historically, economists have considered national income per capita the best single measure of the standard of living of middle class citizens For much of the twentieth century, it was Since the early 1970s, however, the link has broken The American economy is and productive, and national income has continued to grow smartly if slowly than before.65 But these gains have not translated into substantially higher wages for most Americans The typical hourly earnings of American workersadjusting for inflation and including the escalating cost of medical benefitsrose only 10 percent between 1973 and 2011 That works out to an annual raise of 0.27 percent But American families have grown significantly richer, right Yes and no Between the early 1970s and the late 1990s, the typical households income increased from around 49,000 to almost 57,000 after adjusting for inflation.66 Yet the wage stagnation of the 2000s and the financial crisis that closed out the decade wiped out all of the gains created by the strong economy of the 1990s, leaving typical households about where typical households were in 1989 True, families are smaller than they were in the early 1970s, but they arent appreciably smaller than they were in 1989 and, in fact, have grown since the financial crisis Moreover, families have shrunk in other rich nations, too Yet over the past generation, the incomes of working age people in the middle of the distribution have grown slowly here than in almost any other OECD nation.67 Just as important, the overriding reason the typical family earns a little today is not pay per hour but paychecks per household, as women have moved into the paid workforce This change isnt because the United States has led the world in female employment In 2010 America was seventeenth in the OECD in the share of women in paid employment, down from sixth in 1990 68 Its because US workers, both male and female, work many hours than workers in other countries doand the gap is growing.69 More paychecks per household is good in many ways But given the strains of balancing work and parenting, hours of work isnt necessarily a positive development Either way, its a different story than the one of prior decades, when wages and salaries rose smartly even though the number of hours people worked did not.70 America Unequal Where did all the growth go The answer, it turns out, is simple It went to the top, especially the very top When it comes to inequality, the United States once looked relatively similar to other rich countries Today its the most unequal rich nation in the world by a large margin.71 However else that matters, the increasing concentration of income at the top drives a wedge between overall economic growth and the income gains of most households When a rising tide lifts all boats, economic growth is a better measure of ordinary Americans living standards than when a rising tide lifts only yachts You can see the disparity even clearly when you look at wealth housing, stocks, bonds, and all the other assets that people hold to weather economic shocks and build their future Americans average net wealth is an impressive 301,000, the fourth highest in the world, behind only Switzerland, Australia, and Norway.72 Median net wealththe amount held by someone exactly in the middle of the distributionis another story The typical American adult has just 45,000, which places the United States nineteenth in the world, behind every rich country but Israel including such economic heavyweights as Spain and Taiwan.73 The obvious reason for the difference is that wealth is so unequal across American households The richest 1 percent own than a third of the nations wealth the top 10 percent, than three quarters.74 No other rich country comes close to this level of concentration at the top Broken Ladders So the rungs of the economic ladder are farther apart But isnt it easier to climb the ladder in the United States than elsewhere From Crvecoeur to Tocqueville to the German sociologist Werner Sombart, descriptions of American society from the Founding through the early twentieth century emphasized the ease of mobility compared with Europe Indeed, Sombarts basic answer to his famous question Why Is There No Socialism in the United States the title of his 1906 book was that the American worker was less disgruntled because the prospects of moving out of his class were undoubtedly greater than for his counterpart in old Europe.75 Historians and social scientists have debated Sombarts assertion ever since But theres little question that the United Statesand other settler societies such as Canadaenjoyed a mobility advantage over Europe through the nineteenth century, especially for Americans willing to strike out for the nations expanding frontier.76 Today, however, the frontier is gone, and so is Americas mobility advantage Indeed, the United States now has close to the lowest level of upward mobility in the advanced industrial world lower than in Tocquevilles France, lower than in Sombarts Germany, and lowermuch lowerthan in our northern neighbor, Canada.77 Roughly two in three Americans born in the bottom fifth of incomes either stay there 42 percent or rise just into the next fifth 23 percent An American boy whose dad is in the bottom fifth has only a 30 percent chance of climbing into the top half A Canadian boy has a 38 percent chance This 8 point difference might seem small, but its not With 138 million American men, 8 percentage points represent 2 million boys escaping the bottom fifth into the top half The Kids Arent All Right Again its the youngest of the young who are most disadvantaged The United Nations Childrens Fund UNICEF has compiled a composite index of the material well being of children in developed countries, which takes into account various measures of childhood poverty and material deprivation lack of access to regular meals, for example In the most recent report, the United States ranked twenty sixth out of twenty nine developed nations.78 First in the standings was the Netherlands, where soon to be giants are born UNICEF has produced its index since the early 2000s The United States was one of only five nations that were below average at that time yet failed to improve kids material well being in the following decade The other four were Greece, Hungary, Italy, and Spain Prediction is very difficult, the physicist Niels Bohr reportedly said, especially about the future But todays young are the clearest vision of the future we have If they are falling behindunhealthier than young people in other rich countries, less well educated, likely to be economically marginalizedwe face grim prospects As two health researchers conclude after reviewing the international evidence on the well being of American children, The US stacks up relatively poorly on critical measures of child health Similarly, the US compares unfavorably to other nations on indicators of governmental investment in children and their families The picture that emerges is one of a powerful and immensely wealthy nation that, compared with other nations, has made a startlingly modest investment in its children.79 Shortchanging the Future We come then to the last of our alarming grades Where we once led, we are losing ground But thats better than we are doing in preparing for our future, especially when it comes to responding to newly emerging challenges, such as global warming and obesity, for which no inheritance of American leadership exists With regard to these crucial tests of the resilience and innovative potential of our society, we are getting failing marks RD RIP Consider research and development, or RD, a key source of fuel for the knowledge economy.80 Leave it up to the market, and it wont be adequately supplied Thats not because corporations dont value RDthey do, and they do a lot of it Its because corporations will underinvest in RD that aids many firms rather than mainly themselves because they pay the cost but receive only a small fraction of the benefit This incentive problem is a major reason why government support for RD became so large and so valuable as the capacities of science exploded in the twentieth century Nowhere was this problem addressed capably than in the United States Though government promotion and funding of science has a long history, it expanded dramatically during World War II and continued afterward with the National Science Foundation NSF , National Institutes of Health NIH , and other public agencies that supported training in science and engineering and financed research in the private sector and academia In the quarter century after World War II, the United States didnt just lead the world in RD funding It owned the field Well into the 1960s, the federal government spent than the combined total of all RD spending by governments and businesses outside the United States.81 The fruits of these investments ranged from radar and GPS, to advanced medical technology, to robotics and the computer systems that figure in nearly every modern technology Far from crowding out private RD, over, these public investments spurred additional private innovation The computer pioneers who developed better and smaller systems not only relied on publicly fostered breakthroughs in technology they also would have found little market for their most profitable products if not for the internet, GPS, and other government sponsored platforms for the digital revolution That was then Over the last half century, RD spending by the federal government has plummeted as a share of the economy, falling from a peak of nearly 2 percent of GDP in the mid 1960s to around 0.7 percent in the late 1990s, before rebounding slightly in recent years.82 Between 1987 and 2008, federal expenditures were essentially flat once inflation is taken into account rising 0.3 percent a year The United States now ranks ninth in the world in government RD expenditures as a share of the economy.83 The majority of this spending, however, is for defense related projects, which have fewer positive spillovers than nondefense RD does Take out defense, and the United States ranks thirty ninth in government RD spending as a share of the economy Calculating the effects of RD spending on productivity is difficult, but the consensus among economists is that the returns to individual firms are large and the returns to society as a whole, larger still.84 Public RD expenditures are already at their lowest level as a share of the economy in forty years, and they are slated to fall to their lowest level0.5 percent of GDP in 2021since before the great mobilization of science during World War II.85 If they were instead increased in line with the size of the economy, according to one cautious calculation, the economy would generate than a half trillion dollars in additional income over the next nine years.86 And, of course, this alternative scenarioambitious given current trendsmeans never going back to the level of investment of just a quarter century ago To ramp back up to that level would require tripling current spending as a share of the economy We are not talking just about dollars and cents We are talking about lives Consider one chilling example drug resistant infections As Americas breakthroughs in antibiotics recede into the past, bacteria are evolving to defeat current antibiotics For and infections, we are plunging back into the pre antibiotic era In the United States alone, two million people are sickened and tens of thousands die each year from drug resistant infectionsmostly because private companies see little incentive to invest in the necessary research, and the federal government has failed to step in.87 Though federal funding for the National Institutes of Health ramped up in the mid 1990s, it has fallen precipitously since, cutting the share of young scientists with NIH grants in half in roughly six years.88 As one medical professor lamented recently In my daily work in both a university medical school and a public hospital, its a rare month that some bright young person doesnt tell me they are quitting science because its too hard to get funded A decade or two from now, when an antibiotic resistant bacteria or new strain of bird flu is ravaging humanity, that generation will no longer be around to lead the scientific charge on humanitys behalf.89 Public Disinvestment And health research has fared better than most areas Public investment of all sorts and by all tiers of government has reached the lowest level since demobilization after the Second World War Until the 1970s, gross investment by the public sectorRD plus investment in physical capitalaveraged around 7 percent of GDP It fell below 6 percent in the 1970s and 1980s, and below 4 percent in the 1990s and 2000s It is now at 3.6 percent and falling.90 The biggest crunch is in infrastructure roads, bridges, water supplies, communications networks, public buildings, and the like.91 These are among the most productive investments governments make, with average rates of return that are probably several times higher than those of typical private investments.92 And American infrastructure was once the envy of the world The interstate highway system started under President Eisenhowera Republicaneventually stretched over forty two thousand miles, at a cost in present dollars of 493 billion But the investment paid off, accounting for almost a third of the increase in the nations economic productivity in the late 1950s and around a quarter in the 1960s.93 American infrastructure is no longer the envy of the world The World Economic Forum, the Davos based center of business oriented thinking, ranks the United States fifteenth in the quality of railway structures, sixteenth in the quality of roads, and ninth in transportation infrastructure.94 The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the United States would have to spend 3.6 trillion than currently budgeted just to bring our infrastructure up to acceptable levels by 2020.95 China and India are spending almost 10 percent of GDP on infrastructure Europe, around 5 percent.96 Even Mexico spends just over 3 percent.97 The United States has not broken 3 percent once since the mid 1970s.98 Both of us used to live in the Boston area, and since we study American politics, we traveled frequently to the nations capital It takes seven hours to travel from Boston to Washington, DC, on the closest thing the United States has to high speed rail, Amtraks Acela Express It takes just over two hours to travel roughly the same distance between Changsha and Guangzhou on Chinas high speed rail network.99 Not Stepping Up to the Plate In January 2013 a blackout shut down Super Bowl XLVII for thirty four minutes Blamed wrongly on Beyoncs halftime show which was actually powered by a generator , the exact cause is still not known.100 What is known is that if the United States had invested in a smart gridenergy transmission guided by digital monitoring rather than the clunky analog system and manual meter reading from the age of Thomas Edisonthe lights barely would have flickered in the Superdome in New Orleans A smart grid wouldnt just be reliable but also efficient, eliminating a significant amount of the roughly 150 million tons of carbon dioxide thats spewed into the atmosphere each year by the United States just because of power losses at the grid.101 For some die hard fans, saving the Super Bowl from blackouts might be reason enough to build a smart grid Helping to save the planet ought to be reason enough for everyone The United States is investing in smart grid technology The economic recovery bill passed in 2009 contained 4.5 billion in federal grants, which in turn have fostered new opportunities for tech companies to pursue smart grid projects.102 Sadly, however, this initiative is far too modest In any case, it represents the exception rather than the rule in Americas halting effort to tackle the mounting threat of global warming Every year, the estimated future costs of inaction increase, as the risks of extreme drought, intense storms, lost coastal land, heat induced pandemics and wildfires, and damaged agriculture loom larger Economists continue to debate exactly how much a robust response would slow the growth of the world economy with and arguing that it would have little or no effect or even spur growth.103 But its become increasingly clear that the costs of inaction are so catastrophic that substantial steps must be taken whatever the exact trade offthe question is only what the most cost effective and politically feasible steps would be And yet the United States, once the unquestioned leader in addressing pollution and other ecological risks, lags behind the rich world on most measures of environmental performance It emits carbon dioxide per person than any affluent country besides tiny Luxembourgroughly twice as much as Germany and Japan, and than three times as much as France and Sweden.104 The widely respected Yale Environmental Performance Index, which assesses air and water pollution and other key environmental outcomes as well as measures relevant to climate change, ranked the United States thirty third in the world in 2014two spots down from its similarly uninspiring ranking of thirty first a decade earlier.105 Land of the Big We have seen how far we have to go in tackling the dangerous warming of our planeta challenge that cannot be addressed without the leadership of the worlds sole superpower and second largest carbon emitter But consider a very different emerging challenge where lack of an effective response is literally weighing down Americas future A larger share of Americans are obese than in any other rich country Defined as having a body mass index of 30 or higher roughly two hundredplus pounds for a five foot eight person , obesity now afflicts than one in three adults and one in six children, compared with around one in seven people or fewer in most European countries.106 Individual medical costs associated with obesity are on par with those of smoking.107 In the aggregate, obesity accounts for a tenth of health spending in the United States, generating 270 billion in total economic cost due to medical bills, mortality, and disability.108 When additional consequences of obesity are factored inlower earnings, lost work time, reduced productivitythe costs are even staggering The basic causes are no mystery Americans have become sedentary, and they consume calories than they once did.109 Even small differences in activity and diet can add up One soda a daya twelve ounce can, not the megacups that are served at fast food restaurants KFCs Mega Jug is sixty four ounces adds up to 55,000 additional calories and fifteen extra pounds a year.110 And once again, adding up all these individual changes across the population leads to enormous effects no pun intended , such as 270 billion in higher health spending a year Its often said that obesity is a personal problem But peoples basic biological desire for fat and sugar hasnt changed in the last few decades their environment has And American food policyincluding federal subsidies for sugar and high fructose corn syruphas played a major role in shaping that environment Want a vivid image of how American bodies have changed The average American woman now weighs around 165 pounds According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC , thats essentially what the average American man weighed in 1960 Todays average man is around 195 pounds 111 Americans were once the tallest people in the advanced industrial world We are now not just among the shortest but also far and away the heaviest Where once we towered over others when standing, now we only do so when everyone is lying down Still the American Century What makes all this the poignant and pressing is that it wasnt always this way When Henry Luce, founder of Life, Time, and Fortune magazines, wrote of an American Century in 1941, the United States had by far the highest standard of living in the world across all dimensions At least two thirds of us are just plain rich compared with all the rest of the human family, Luce wrote, rich in food, rich in clothes, rich in entertainment and amusement, rich in leisure, rich.112 Americans also had enviably good health compared with citizens of other wealthy nations And, not coincidentally, they were much better educated, too After World War II, this advantage widened, and not just because of the devastation the war wrought in Europe With the GI Bill and expansion of state and federal support for universities, the United States leapt into a dominant lead in college attendance and completion Massive public investments in science training, communications, transportation, roads, bridges, and RD continued after the war, emphasizing civilian as well as defense aims These efforts supercharged US growth, bequeathing many of the scientific breakthroughs and revolutionary technologies that have driven our economy to this day The American Century was created, not inherited Of course, the United States was not alone on this remarkable journey to prosperity Instead, it occupied the leading edge of a revolutionary economic transformation experienced by a small club of rich nations Which raises a natural question How did this revolution in human well being happenEconomists have long studied markets and the taxonomy of market failure Public choice theorists have helped understand the many ways in which government can fail But we are too often presented with only two alternatives, one in which broken markets are fixed by an imagined perfect government while, in another, broken governments are fixed by an imagined ideal market The truth is that we need both the market and the state the market brings us prosperity and helps guarantee our liberty but there is much that is impossible without collective action In this lively,engaging, and persuasive book, Hacker and Pierson explain how much of our health and prosperity rests on what governments have done American Amnesia will help slow the intellectual pendulum that is currently swinging towards ananarchic libertarianism that threatens than a century of American progress.Angus Deaton, winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics in 2015This is afascinating and much needed book America once invented universal publiceducation and sharply progressive taxation of income and inherited wealth, andhas shown to the world that strong government and efficient markets arecomplementarynot substitutes But since 1980 a new wave of anti governmentideology has prospered, and is about to make America unequal andplutocratic than Europe on the eve of World War I If you want to understandwhy this great amnesia occurred, and how it can be reversed, read this book Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty First CenturyThe Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson of political science, Jacob Hacker of Yale and Paul Pierson of Berkeley, about how Washington served the rich in the last 30 years and turned its back on the middle class Theyre marvelous Bill MoyersThe clearest explanation yet of the forces that converged over the past three decades or so to undermine the economic well being of ordinary Americans Bob Herbert, The New York Times This book is a wake up call Read it and wake up Robert Solow, winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics in 1987Important The collapse of the American middle class and the huge transfer of wealth to the already wealthy is the biggest domestic story of our time The good news reported by Hacker and Pierson is that American wealth disparitiesare not the residue of globalization or technology or anything else beyond our control There s nothing inevitable about them They re the result of politics and policies, which tilted toward the rich beginning in the 1970s and can, with enough effort, be tilted back over time emphasis added for impatient liberals Jonathan Alter, The New York Times Book ReviewHow can hedge fund managers who are pulling down billions sometimes pay a lower tax rate than do their secretaries ask the political scientists Jacob S Hacker of Yale and Paul Pierson University of California, Berkeley in their deservedly lauded new book, Winner Take All Politics If you want to cry real tears about the American dreamas opposed to the self canonizing tears of John Boehnerread this book and weep The authors answer to that question and others amount to a devastating indictment of both parties The book deflates much of the conventional wisdom Frank Rich, The New York TimesA must read book It broke down what was at stake in 2010 and will be at stake in 2012 better than anything I ve read Hacker and Pierson show how politics has become organized combat Joan Walsh, SalonBuy a copy of Hacker and Piersons book and read it Seriously This is the most complete and sustained explanation Ive ever read of why, over the past 30 years, America has gone the direction it has even while most other countries havent For me, it was a 300 page Aha moment Kevin Drum, Mother Jones The worst social change in America during my lifetime has been its shift from the land of middle class opportunity to the land of super rich privilege The economic polarization of America is a familiar problem, but Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson approach it in an original way, using detective story procedure to identify an unsuspected culpritone that has little to do with globalization or technological revolution or China or the like Their case is convincing, and it builds to a recommendation of how Americans could organize to save their country s promise I hope people read the book and follow its advice James Fallows, The AtlanticWinner Take All Politics is a powerfully argued book about a critically important subject, and I guarantee you it will make you think Fareed Zakaria, CNN American Amnesia How the War on Government Led Us to American Forget What Made America Prosper Kindle edition by Jacob S Hacker, Paul Pierson Download it once and read your device, PC, phones or tablets Use features like bookmarks, note taking highlighting while reading Amnesia, Hacker Apr , AMERICAN AMNESIA By pp Simon Schuster If Bernie Sanders were a book two Was Agatha Christie s Mysterious Real Revenge Scientific is essential guide most awe inspiring advances in science technology, explaining how they change our understanding of world shape lives Amnesia Define at Dictionary definition, loss large block interrelated memories complete partial memory caused brain injury, shock, etc See Psychogenic amnesia Wikipedia Psychogenic dissociative amnesia, disorder characterized sudden retrograde episodic loss, said occur for period time ranging from hours years More recently, has been defined as retrospectively reported gaps These involve an inability recall personal information, Blackout drug related A blackout phenomenon intake any substance medication which short term long creation impaired, therefore causing past Blackouts are frequently associated with GABAergic drugs citation needed described having effects similar that anterograde National Meeting Chemical Society Society Chemistry Life Still there, gone get coffee For security, this online session about end due inactivity Why Walking through Doorway Makes You Symptoms causes Mayo Clinic Overview refers memories, such facts, information experiences Though forgetting identity common plot device movies television, not generally case real life Holocaust Is Fading From Memory, Survey Finds The New Survivors Auschwitz returned camp January nd anniversary its liberation In recent survey, percent adults did know what was michael crichton why speculate Larvatus Prodeo THE GREAT IDEAS ONLINE July WHY SPECULATE talk Michael Crichton There times man when he should Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre La del griego olvido es prdida parcial o completa de memoria En trminos mdicos, un trastorno funcionamiento durante el cual individuo incapaz conservar recuperar informacin almacenada con anterioridad Segn Wilson et al se trata una identificacin Syracuse Area Shopping, Sales, Coupons FindSave Smart local shopping starts here FindSave brings together all best deals Syracuse Brought you syracuse The Empire Project Project response changes have occurred strategic thinking well military economic posture explain full story government helped make great, enthusiasm bashing behind current malaise, return effective answer nation looking York Times Book America Band Alternative Neo Progressive Rock alternative hard rock band Torrington, CT featuring Patrick Nemaizer Lead Vocals guitar, Sam Cesnak Drums Will bass Goodreads US much refresher truly made great we can do restore functioning promotes shared prosperity AMERICAN YouTube OFFICIAL YouTube channel founded We write songs contemplate stuff Our debut album YET HERE WE ARE available Be first discover new talent Each week, editors select one author believe be worthy attention highlight them Pro Connect email alert Three Cheers Mixed Economy defend mixed economy conservative apostles pure market forces One problems identify unchecked markets An eBook Bruce Herschensohn Read An Congress Forced Surrenders South Vietnam Cambodia Rakuten Kobo th, United States, Vietnam, North Viet Cong sign Paris Peace Accords, gua Review Amnesia book, does four things First, makes effort state work Washington Monthly Review political argument lot old style liberals JK Galbraith Charles Lindblom PROSPER LEARN MORE HOME ABOUT BOOKS WRITINGS NEWS CONTACT Audiobook And advocates antigovernment free fundamentalism gained power, hell bent scrapping instrument nearly century unprecedented social progress must stoppedWinner Take All Politics Washington Rich Stanley B Resor Professor Political Science Yale University Fellow Foundation Washington, DC, Great Risk Shift Economic Insecurity Decline Dream, Divided Welfare State, and, Pierson, Forgotten Roots Prosperity Winner Jacob Jedryszek Jedryszek Software Engineer who started shipped Azure Mobile app, Microsoft build ship Management Portal Hacker Exchange mission Exchange connect Aussie entrepreneurs opportunities, networks resources innovation capitals Facebook Cup Website Photos Facebook Facebook ,, likes talking annual worldwide programming competition where hackers Opinion Path Blue Times Jul Many these differences longstanding reddest region, South, poorest part, too gap between today red blue states enormous Historical Documents Pendleton County VA WV Discs each H flat rate orders continental regardless number discs ordered Please contact shipping prices outside Everything Your Google Home Can Do Now Listed quick scan page revealed I could ask my Mini, Quidditch position play Harry Potter themed gameIf re something useful, How Buy Cryptocurrency Lifehacker With set, hit button again Pick type cryptocurrency buying enter amount money want spend Dollars Google Search including webpages, images, videos many special help find exactly Sarah Palin hack Sarah September during States presidential election campaign Yahoo account vice candidate subjected unauthorized access hacker, David Kernell, had obtained up biographical details her high school birthdate using List Mass Effect characters Commander Shepard main protagonist three games character name, gender, background, appearance determined player starting game, both allowing import saves previous carry over version Depending choice voiced either Binary Options Scam Opportunity Financial Hacker Addendum articles blog, attracted far spam commentsFrom appears lucrative business established orbit binary brokers recovery fraudAs soon ve lost money, ll receive offers Svbtle Svbtle blogging platform designed think writing network ground same way It helps curate ideas includes everything need develop publish thoughts American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper (English Edition)

 

    • American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper (English Edition)
    • 1.3
    • 52
    • Format Kindle
    • 465 pages
    • Jacob S Hacker
    • Anglais
    • 06 October 2016

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *