The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream – Tyler Cowen

Familiarity breeds contempt, explained through the eyes of an Economist

I don’t know how many of you follow me on Twitter, but once in a while I tweet something from Marginal Revolution. A blog post by Tyler Cowen, the author of the book under review. Cowen is one of the more respected Economists in the world and should win a Nobel in the next 10 years.

That apart, he examines what is now a norm for Americans – their laid back attitude to life. He examines metrics like how long do they stay in jobs, how much do they move across state borders and how entrepreneurial they are, to arrive at the conclusion that Americans have become too Complacent. They need to be shaken out of this stupor and stop becoming acronyms – NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), NIMTOO (Not In My Term of Office) and of course CAVE (Citizens Against Virtually Everything).

The main question that Cowen raises is that what, if anything, will jolt America back to the strength that its capable of. He says driverless cars ad AI could help, and optimistically, every down cycle is followed by an up cycle, therefore there is hope.

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