Wealth, Poverty, and Politics

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poverty is the norm wealth the exception with us today a man who has written a book to remind us of that fact dr. thomas sol on uncommon knowledge now welcome to uncommon knowledge I'm Peter Robinson Thomas soul has taught economics intellectual history and social policy at institutions such as Cornell UCLA and Amherst the author of more than a dozen books well over a dozen books dr. Sol is now a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University his latest work wealth poverty and politics and international perspective Tom Sola welcome I could be here the big idea wealth poverty in politics quote the difference between seeing economic disparities is due to differences in the production of wealth and seeing those disparities as due to the transfer of wealth from some people to other people is fundamental explain that well I think there are a lot of people who regard so-called disparities and inequities and income as something that requires some great explanation seem to assume that in the absence of some intervention everyone would have something roughly equal income virtually everything that goes into the production of income varies enormously between groups between nations between people on the on the flat lands the people in the mountains you name it it varies it varies and I take it correct me if I'm wrong about this but as I was reading this I take it as one of the principal efforts of this book to correct the thinking of Americans who have grown up most of us in conditions that by the standards of human history and by the standards of many other places on the globe today would be conditions of almost staggering wealth yes even poor people in this country have smartphones televisions cars and so forth and we tend to assume it may be human nature we ten assume that our conditions are normal and conditions that differ from ours are the anomaly okay and this book says no no no well good heavens especially if you look back through time really is though it's only within the last five or ten percent of the existence of human beings that there has been a great culture I mean I think what that means that people had to feed themselves hunting hunting and gathering fishing herding animals but and of course that meant that you couldn't have cities because you for all those other ways of living you need an enormous amount of land per person if you were to cut one Manhattan would probably be enough you know to spread famine throughout the world so that I start with geography because that's the most implacable obstacle and geography is nowhere anywhere close to being normal for example just geographic phenomena in the great majority of all the tornadoes in the entire world occur in the middle of the United States you don't hear about tornadoes in London or Paris or Beijing and you don't hear about them in New York or San Francisco for that matter that just in one little place in the world all the conditions are there for a to a NATO ally as true with so many other things nothing is evenly spread out there are rivers and on every continent but the rivers aren't the same let me I was especially struck let me give you this here's a quotation from the book Western Europe's rivers often lead out into open seas providing access to seaports around the world but most rivers in eastern and southern Europe are quite different yes what's the difference in what what boring is that that had on economic develop well the the rivers in Eastern Europe tend to flow enters into lakes and inland seas and so when you when you get to the end of the Danube or the dawn you are not out in the open ocean you know your xeu a that's right and then if you want to get to the Atlantic you have to go to the entire length of the Mediterranean to get out there the rivers in Russia most of those empty into the Arctic Ocean which is not quite as convenient as the Atlantic or the Pacific and what that means is that you can't have the Commerce you can't have industry and whatnot to the same extent that you have more importantly you're not connected with the rest of the human race to the same extent and one of the one of the major findings I threw out the book is that isolation almost invariably means poverty and backwardness in the mountains yes if you live in Eastern Europe or Russia and you're cut off from the rest of the world isolation leads in fact well we'll get to this in a moment but it seems even to have an effect on cognitive ability prolonged isolation oh sure well certainly in terms of not just shared knowledge you don't have the same knowledge but more than that you're not aware of what how the basic things of life are done differently in other parts of the world and so people who are isolated will keep doing things for centuries or thousands of years so for example when when when the British landed in Australia they finally the Australian Aborigines a living really a Stone Age level similarly when people from Europe got came to the Canary Islands the same thing they they had no idea of iron in Australia they were they had no idea Ryan it's one of the great sources of iron ore in the world staying with geography for a moment again one of the themes that seems to me to run through the book is this question of your resistance to notions of - attempting to pose to impose notions of morality on economic conditions so for example with geography some people happen to be born in Western Europe where the rivers lead to the sea and some people happen to be born in Russia where some rivers lead to the frozen Arctic and some rivers lead to the Black Sea and it's nobody's fault yeah it's luck yes or-or-or sure happenstance nobody's robbed anybody else yes as one economic historian said you know the world has never been a level playing field all right cultural factors another one of the large segments of the book let me quote to you again wealth poverty and politics quote without the cultural prerequisites for developing natural resources into real wealth the raw physical resources themselves are of little or no value close quote tell us what you mean by cultural prerequisites plotly that would be simply the knowledge of how to use things as I mentioned in the book the main difference between us and the caveman is simply human capital don't forget the caveman had all the all the natural resources we have today and he had them in greater abundance because none of them had ever been used up but but he didn't have what the knowledge that it would take to turn those to his own purposes we just know more yeah with just no more now you note that you know to certain productive capacity that certain cultural groups demonstrate and you can see them because they demonstrate this certain the same let's call it industriousness as they disperse to different parts of the world yeah Germans Chinese Lebanese Jews Indians quote the productivity is a matter of culture that productivity is a matter of culture is shown by how many groups have arrived in various countries far poorer than the existing population and have nevertheless risen above the economic level of those who are there before them close quote let's just choose a plus you name a lot of groups it's a big book let me just give you one at you and see how you do he oversees Chinese oh my goodness the overseas Chinese us settled largely in Southeast Asia many of them came there with little more than the clothes on their backs uh there was one Chinese millionaire and one in one of the countries who had in the the 48 of his mansion this stick with a with a little claw thing tied to it because he walked into in the end of this place with that stick all his belongings in this little cloth being tied to us they stick over his shoulder and he took off from there all right the Jews oh my how that's been in so many places my gosh the the Lower East Side of New York one of the most terrible places when the Jews landed the the poverty and squalor is just unbelievable in fact even his latest was the nineteen late 1940s when I went to school on the Lower East Side I'd always heard that all Jews were rich and when I saw the Lower East Side is it why are these rich people living like this the buildings on the Lower East Side were older and in worse conditions than the buildings in Harlem where I lived and they don't live there anymore no as neighborhoods have turned over yes and it went by generation to generation it was their first even when they rose up to where they could have moved they didn't because many of them were not fluent in English and so on and so you could live on the Lower East Side knowing only Yiddish and find doctors lawyers anything you wanted going to stores and so forth and and if you moved up to upscale places like Harlem which was once Jewish one of the arts of the Bronx which at another time but which became Hewish you would lose that the more acculturated people the next generation who spoke English and were more familiar with American society they lived in those kinds of places got it so why is it that in many instances that you detail you get a subgroup the Chinese move to Fiji and why is it then that so often we see the pattern that not that the indigenous but the people who were there first and fail to get with the program and in to the contrary not only do they not get with the program learning the skills of productivity they tend again and again and again to persecute mmm the groups that came with nothing but achieve a certain level of affluence so we have the juice pert that's an old story ancient story the persecution of the Jews but you also show it with the overseas Chinese and Malaysia with Indians in East Africa and on and on it goes what's going on there but well one thing there's no there's no particular reason to have expected that indigenous people to acquired the same skills that the people who came there at I'm worse yet the leaders of these groups are very quick to blame the fact that they're lagging on the other groups were more advanced one of the phrase that you often hear that this group took over this whole industry and in many cases there was no such engines free until they came there and built it they did not take it over right right so those are industry those are examples of the way culture can promote or enable economic productivity you also provide a counter example the Soviet Union quote the Soviet Union was almost a tailor-made refutation of Geographic determinism explain that although the Soviet Union was one of the most richly supplied countries with natural resources and probably the most richly surprised supply it was the only industrial nation which has so much petroleum that they export oil right they have some I don't remember don't remember the fat the fraction but they have a substantial part of the world's supply of natural gas which they are now supplying all over Europe iron or manganese you name it they had it at one time something like haften the industrial diamonds in the world came from the Soviet Union the land was so rich that went in when Hitler sent his army in to invade the Soviet Union during World War two he had plans to have the railroads take back this land from from Russia into Germany because it was that well known for its accumulation the topsoil he was yes Long's cars of top so that's right right I didn't it's one of the most frayed old sections of the and the irony is one of the world's great famines occurred in the Soviet Union how come mismanagement by the government the one treatment once said that if if if the government took over the Sahara Desert there would be a shortage of sand and the Soviet Union it would it was just that way all right more on social factors I'm quoting again from wealth poverty and politics this is tricky ground there is empirical evidence against against genetic determinism we're talking about IQ scores now for example there have been whole communities of whites from isolated mountain regions in America whose average IQs have been similar to or lower than the average IQs of black Americans but while such evidence undermines genetic determinism that does not make mental tests differences irrelevant so we're not genetically determined mmm but disparities among ethnic and racial groups are still worth noting still consequential how do we put this no no it what you're seldom hiring a whole group or admitting a whole group of college what you're doing is judging individuals and the predictive validity is really a totally separate question from the question of a genetics versus environment C in other words if the IQ test does not have a single question about flying an airplane and you give it to people who want to become pilots the only real question is do the scores on those tests correlate with the subsequent performance of people in the air right but you see that I mean it's it sounds so simple when you say it that way but the Supreme Court of the United States had a totally different take that the employer must validate a test that is that is not job-related and so what they're saying is it's a question of whether this test seems plausible to third parties who have neither expertise nor experience on the job and that will be the criterion for whether it's a good test stay on this subjective genetics race snick groups and so forth you talk again in wealth poverty politics you describe three very selectively their public high schools in New York but they're very selective um to test to get into them that's Stuyvesant High you're Stuyvesant High Bronx Science in Brooklyn Tech quote the triumph of egalitarian principles and demographic diversity in the rest of New York's educational system has not resulted in an increase in the number or proportion of black or Hispanic students passing the admissions tests to get into Stuyvesant Bronx Science in Brooklyn Tech on the contrary the numbers and proportions of black and Hispanic students have declined substantially over the years at all three institutions close quotes so telegram to mayor de Blasio as diversity becomes championed in the city of New York over the last 40 years 50 years and diversity actually diminishes at these very selective high schools why well it's that right the diversity really doesn't do anything for you there are many cultural doesn't do anything for you as a society or I'm sorry as a society or the people in whose interest you're you're promoting diversity in other words when black Hispanic kids go to schools other than those three they get a load of diversity it doesn't do them any good for example as of about twenty twelve or twenty fourteen I forget the exact one the percentage of blacks at Stuyvesant High School was one tenth of what it was thirty three years earlier so it's been a major retrogression and so while they're being taught being heads full of diversity the asian students are learning math and science plus the schools are also uh another point against diversity is that in years past those schools were so heavily Jewish that Stuyvesant was referred to once as a was a free pre prep school for Jews well they weren't diverse but it was very successful and now asian-americans outnumber whites by more than two to one and all three of those schools it's still not diverse but they're turning out people who do marvelous things and that's what they are there for to benefit the society not to present this tableau that will please a handful of people got it all right political factors this is the last of the large factors you discuss in wealth poverty and politics quote black Americans a group often identified as beneficiaries of the welfare state in America made considerable economic progress in the 20th century fine of course but much if not most this is the thing with you the dependent clause is where the stain is but much if not most of this progress was prior to the massive expansion of the American welfare state close quote that is so counter I want to say counterintuitive because we hear so much about African American progress and civil rights and the establishment of the welfare state that it really has become a kind of American intuition explain yourself dr. Sol well as of 1940 87 percent of black households were in poverty over the next 20 years that declined to 47% this is all prior to the civil rights laws prior to the social welfare policies of the Johnson administration over the next 20 years it fell an additional 18 points but that was not that that was just the same trend continuing at a reduced rate affirmative action is even worse because as I remember the precise oh I'm trying to think now the numbers I think it was something like poverty rate was something like 30 percent among black households before firmers actions and a decade after affirmative action it was 29 percent this is not the same as the forty percent decline that occurred before there were any civil rights laws and before there was any social welfare state and so what happened between 1940 and 1960 was the post Second World War economic boom it was that but it was that what it was also the mass of migration of blacks out of the south so they're getting better education and jobs that's right okay now you mentioned cultural and social retro aggressions again I'm quoting you arguably the most consequential of these was the decline in two-parent families yeah it was quote explained that one among African America yes we're still talking about African what yeah well when they talk about things like this they talk about the legacy of slavery right right and and and I argue well empirically it's not that it's the legacy of the welfare state because as of 1960 which is almost a hundred years after slavery ended the majority of black kids were being raised in two-parent households but within one generation after the welfare state that had dropped down to a minority so that the majority of black kids today are raised in one parent households when you think about it I mean a centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow did not destroy the black family but when one generation of the welfare state did the Moynihan report what was it a call for national action yeah the Negro the Negro family a call for national action in 1965 and fifty years ago and his principle point of alarm and again now I'm trying to recall the statistics but I believe the out of wedlock birth rate among African Americans in 1965 was twenty five percent something like that yeah and he was so alarmed that he wrote this report and today it's over seventy percent and by the way the rate among whites is over one-third at this stage yes so how do these how does the family breakdown fit into an economic understanding is it simply it's the social breakdown of the American family is something that we have to understand aside from the tools of economics it just doesn't fit into supply and well so now this is this occurred at a time when the black income was rising and so we're saying that previous generation of blacks with lower income and more racial barriers stuck to the family stuck together under those conditions and under the new conditions which were advertised to make for great progress in fact created retrogression and I think many people who were gung ho for the idea of this was going to be progress simply cannot bring themselves to look at the evidence and say my god we made things worse you close the book with the chapter entitled implications and prospects quote the all-too-familiar cliche about the paradox of poverty in an affluent society we're going from international comparisons to this country now the paradox of poverty in an affluent society is a paradox only to those who start with one a preconception of an egalitarian world in defiance of history and to a disregard of the arbitrary nature of the government defined word poverty now we've already discussed point one you've already established that historically speaking poverty is the norm and there's nothing like a Galit arianism it's spotty particular economic progress is is surprising in some ways number two the arbitrary nature of the government defined word poverty what do you mean by that I mean if what what we define is poverty today there was a Latin American scholar a scholar of Latin America he's not an American himself was saying that what we define is poverty here is the upper-middle class in Mexico most Americans families in poverty as defined by the statisticians in Washington and that's the thing I try to bring out regardless of what we think of when we think of poverty what it really means is whatever those statisticians say it means and and that includes a the great majority of people who are in poverty in the United States by that definition they have microwave ovens they have they have central air conditioning I mean I was in my 40s before I had a window air conditioner you know but the idea of centrally air-conditioned most own an automotive vehicle or more and 14% owned two or more motor vehicles probably it is simply not poverty not by any historical understand no whatsoever no the and in the old days particularly thinking about the lower Eastside when the Jews live there you know that the popular the people were squeezed together in these tiny places today the average American in poverty has more space per person than the average European not the average poor European the average European period and so all those things by which we've spoken of poverty in the past those things have long since gone but the other part of this story is that that doesn't mean they've got it made on the contrary they have catastrophic problems because the same mindset that has created the welfare state the same non-judgemental philosophy is also led to a great deal of leniency toward criminals and so you have runaway crime and people are living in fear I'm sure that when I was growing up that we we never had any of the stuff that people are on welfare have today but you know I could really hold on let's just test that you grew up as I recall late adolescence to high school you were in Harlem yes television in the house oh my god no radio we thought we were a big deal we had radio a car oh my never crossed my mind when you're a little boy going to school how many pairs of trousers did you have I don't know I only wore one at a time so but you weren't getting j.crew or LL Bean catalog oh they were not they must have overlooked me somehow you weren't in the right zip code what about what about a Wailord hungry though you were still well-fed yeah but but you know you mentioned about LL Bean my sister was visiting me from from the East Coast once was that you know people in the ghetto would not write where the kind of khakis you wear I said what's wrong I got these uh Dockers and what was wrong with no they want designer things I hear about the the tennis shoes that are bought there I mean I wouldn't be that kind of money for regular shoes did you have enough money for books in the house no I but fortunately I lived across the street from a public library but but other but other than that I don't know if I ever bought a book when I was growing up newspapers though newspapers by the way was it considered oh dear how do I say this there's a place in your book where you talk about cultural retrogression cultural retrogression against among African Americans and certain kinds of behavior call acting white acting white was it acting white in your day to go across the street to the library nobody ever said it okay alright so I'm sorry but you said you didn't have any of the things that supposedly poor people have today you were making a point and then I jumped in and started but but of course i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i had a sense of security that you simply cannot have and if you look particularly at the public housing of your name is safe that's yes okay I mean I I can remember more than once waking up at midnight and deciding I will go out and buy a newspaper to see how this place what the baseball scores are and so out and the guy who was who was selling them was a very small elderly white man down down at the end of the block okay today both of us would be taken into custody and sent Enfamil observation for being out there in the middle of the night so poverty in America today is not material want you know simply is not by the standards of all time yet all history other places that is not material one it's poverty of the mind it's poverty of policy its quality of squalor of behavior and how does that get corrected thus far it hasn't been one of the real problems and this is this is not peculiar to the United States or to any group in America ethnic leaders particularly leaders of groups that are lagging or a major obstacle to advancement because there's self-interest isn't keeping their group isolated and an isolation has been tied in with poverty for all kinds of groups and all kinds of settings around the world al Sharpton vs. Ben Carson yes al Sharpton is is bad for African Americans yes that's what you said yes but unfortunately out the al Sharpton types have been the rule rather than exceptions with groups around the world back back in the 19th century Bohemia where the Germans again for a whole lot of how do you know all this because of my research assistants all right go ahead 19th century Bohemia the Germans had had all kinds of advantages that came out of history we could go into if you felt like it uh but for example if you were an earth and the freight and the early 19th century Bohemia and you wanted to go to high school and uh and you were a check you would have to learn German because there were no high schools in the Czech language until 1848 and so that but that was a condition common throughout Eastern Europe that the Slavic languages became literate centuries after the German language did and therefore there was a huge buildup of knowledge in the German language it was not equally available in Slavic languages at that time and so if anyone who wanted to become an educated person going to the professions they had to learn German now you would think that then that the leaders if they were looking out for the best interest of their followers would say for heaven's sake learns revered and move on up no they would have they would they fought tooth and nail against it dr. Sol and his critics from a review of wealth poverty and politics in the Washington Post now I'm going to just I don't want you to swing at me alright soul does manage to score a clean hit on those who now complain that income inequality is too high by noting their refusal to say what level of inequality inequality they would consider acceptable fair enough what we also learn in this book however is that there is apparently no level of inequality of income opportunity that Thomas soul would consider unacceptable a close quote and you reply well it's it's hard to know where to begin when someone misses the whole point of the whole book of course the big confusion among the redistributionist is between opportunity and outcomes and when one of the examples I use in a recent column was it you know well now when I was a kid I briefly tried to play basketball and I mean I was lucky they hit the backboard nevermind the basket you know but I had just as much opportunity to play basketball as Michael Jordan had you cannot measure opportunity by outcomes and that's what the redistribution is insist on doing they say this group obviously that didn't didn't have equal opportunity because they were turned down for loans more so than that group yes if you have lower credit scores you'll be turned down for loans more so than people with high credit scores okay Thomas you just mentioned a column let's let's let's turn to the politics of the day for a moment Thomas olan Donald Trump quote what is remarkable is that after six years of repeated disasters under a glib egomaniac in the White House so many potential voters are turning to another glib egomaniac to be his successor close quote oh come on aren't you being a little hard on both Barack Obama and Donald Trump I thought I was pulling my punches Donald Trump is simply not suited to be President I think that that's true as an understatement all right but run or is the current I was going to say Barack Obama is the president yes glib ego mean how bad has he been who where does Barack Obama rank in your mind you who know so much history among would the worst American presidents he has displaced Jimmy Carter from that position the worst the worst worse than James Buchanan yes worse than Richard Nixon yes all right Richard Nixon did not after all put us in danger of nuclear attacks probably win the lifetime of people living today the Iran deal will do that yes we're committed to stopping the Israelis from stopping the Iranians from getting a nuclear weapon that's part of the deal when I interviewed George Gilder about six or seven months ago George Gilder known to both of us he contended that with the right policies the economy coming back to the international scene in a moment but the economy would actually turn around quite quickly the American economy can be revived quite quickly cut taxes peel back regulation and you'd see another version of the early 1980s you agree yes all we have to do is get out of the way in a certain sense yes I mean there was that when when Warren Harding took office in 1921 the unemployment rate was around 12% Warren Harding did absolutely nothing as the as the government's revenue fell because of the downturn he cut government spending but now both those things are things that the kid the Keynesian is crazy right the following year unemployment had fallen to about half that level within a year yes and then a year after that it fell yet again people you know there is a history it the first time the federal government intervened in the economy to get us out of a downturn was in 1930 now which means that for more than 150 years the federal government just stood by and twiddle their thumbs while the economy recovered on its own and all that time there was never a depression as bad as the 1930s depression where there was all kinds of intervention beginning with who Herbert Hoover held and helpless and then amplified by Franklin D Roosevelt so in terms of you looking at that what happened as a matter of fact again there was no there was no Federal Reserve prior to 1914 the Federal Reserve was created in order to one cut back cut back on bank failures reduce inflation and prevent deflation all of those things reached historic highs never seen before under the Federal Reserve so I thought the idea was wonderful it's only the reality that didn't cooperate Oh Tom I'm only laughing because otherwise I'd cry the international scene you've just said that under the right policies the economy could recover quickly under the right policies how quickly could how quickly could let's just posit that you become president hmm how quickly does the international damage done by your favorite Barack Obama how quickly could that be recouped how quickly could the United States and the world dot dot that's a tough one because whoever comes in there he's got to face the damage that has been done and the further damage that has already been set in motion and you know you don't one of the reasons we won the Gulf War was far fewer casualties than anyone ever expected the first Gulf the first one right is that Ronald Reagan bequeathed to George Bush 41 a huge military establishment so as you could send all this stuff in and just wipe out the other opposing army whoever inherits this situation is going to be one where it's just the opposite where we've had reductions in the armed forces we've had cutbacks in all kinds of research and so on and straining so what's what what what the next president has to offer to operate with is going to be just a very desperate situation where does Tom souls stand on immigration I guess there's no such thing as a policy toward immigrants because there's no such thing as just an immigrant there are immigrants from different places different kinds of immigrants and we don't even want to discuss any of those things you know 100 years ago they were talking about immigration they have all kinds of data on crime rates death rates everything you can think of about immigrants from various countries around the world we have no one even dares to ask such questions today so the country in the old days had the self-confidence to pick choose oh absolutely we'll take some from here but not from there yes and that's what you'd like to see yes and what would be the principles we would accept immigrants who would do us economic good economic good and presumably uh preferably not not none not plant explosives in various places with you okay that the minimum the minimum hurdle single family a single-parent family the family breakdown is that is that reversible if it's the result of the welfare state if we were somehow or other to get rid of the welfare state with the family in effect heal itself or is it one of those social constructs that once unraveled takes generations to put back would take it would take time but even the modest welfare reform under the Clinton administration led to people more people actually going to work once the gravy train wasn't there so that too all right all right all these things are all these things are achievable yeah all we have to do is stop doing the wrong thing yeah we have to stop being stupid well you could put it that way all right a couple of last questions we're taping this the week before Pope Francis visits the United States Pope Francis in a 2013 statement some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth encouraged by a free market will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world this opinion which has never been confirmed by the facts expresses a cruel expresses a crude a naive trut will you please stop interrupting this is not ponte a crude a naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system close quote is there anything you'd like to say to the pontiff uh I would say reread my monograph on trickle-down theory there is no such theory it there were some years ago in one of my columns I defy anybody to name any economist of any school of thought outside of an insane xylem who had ever advanced that theory I pointed out that the Joseph champagne is 1206 a 60 page book on the history of economic analysis printed in very small letters you know has no mention of any trickle down there is no such theory it's a straw man has been created and it's pathetic that someone in the position of the Pope would spout off about this I would say to him with what I would say to anyone else you shall be that theory and I and you know I'll give you $1000 a down payment on tort or someone's general suspicion toward capitalism some way in oppressive well again if he if he has any facts I'd be delighted to hear them all right you know what what is what is so frustrating to me is that we've gotten away from facts and evidence not some time back someone did a paper disproving something I said in 1970 now no one likes to be a found wrong I was I was actually pleased with it it was one of the few times someone's come over any facts to even bring into the argument last question as I said you titled the last section of this book implications and prospects no I tried lit epilogue epilogue excuse me you titled the penultimate section I'm showing off that means next to last question the penultimate section is implications and prospects so question about the prospect for the American experience experiment we hear a great deal about the United States current condition is a new normal sluggish growth high unemployment high unemployment in this end of the unemployment rate per se is now down to a little over 5% but if you take into account people who've dropped out of the word horse difficult to say for certain but it's still very very high possibly even in double-digit still lowest labor force participation rate since 1977 so that's where we are and we have this general sense that the United States is losing ground or ceding ground internationally that's the new normal to paraphrase Ronald Reagan four years from now will the country be better off it depends what is what they decide next makes no ever so you don't have some kind of underlying faith in American democracy I think I think anyone who has watched the so-called debates would it would find it hard to have much faith all right now you mention 1977 things were terrible then note how quickly they turned around when Reagan took office for example Iran released our hostages within hours of Reagan's inauguration okay thank you because I like to end shows on an optimistic note on you just gave me one Thomas sole author of wealth poverty and politics thank you for uncommon knowledge and the Hoover Institution I'm Peter Robinson
Channel: HooverInstitution
Views: 395,578
Rating: 4.8979406 out of 5
Keywords: Wealth, geography, poverty, family, welfare state
Id: sGYl17DiEwo
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Length: 43min 6sec (2586 seconds)
Published: Tue Dec 08 2015
Reddit Comments

The take away from this, for me, is that wealth isn't evenly distributed for a variety of reasons. If I want more wealth, I need to associate myself with the more successful groups and avoid the losers. In this little microcosm of crypto, that means embracing nubile ethereum and rejecting sclerotic Bitcoin.

I noticed in some of your writing you promote selling half of a position when the price has doubled from your entry point. Here is an essay on that topic that you might enjoy. http://www.goldgeologist.com/mercenary_musings/musing-080519-My-Investing-Philosophy.pdf

👍︎︎ 1 👤︎︎ u/McPheeb 📅︎︎ Mar 01 2017 🗫︎ replies
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