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  • The Roaring Twenties, Revisited

    Posted by David Foster on February 6th, 2020 (All posts by )

    that mentions some of the technological, social, and economic trends that were important in the 1920s, and goes on to discuss seven tipping points that the author thinks will be key in the 2020s.

     

    3 Responses to “The Roaring Twenties, Revisited”

    1. Says:

      David, I think I referred to this era and made some of these points in my Coolidge posts.

      I compared the 1920s to the 1990s. I think that is a valid comparison. We will see what happens in the future, or I will see some of it.

    2. David Foster Says:

      Tipping Point #3 is “Automation or Evolution?” I think it’s highly questionable whether today’s automation efforts will really have a productivity impact exceeding that of the technological improvements that took place in the 1920s: the proliferation of engine-powered vehicles, the expansion of assembly lines and other then-advanced technologies throughout manufacturing, the electrification of the country and of much of the economy, the emergence of recorded music and of radio to replace local orchestras in movie theaters and elsewhere, dial telephony’s displacement of telephone operators, etc. See my post here from the “job-killing robots” series:

      https:///archives/54256.html

      Also, the Tipping Points post states (as do most posts & articles on the subject of automation) that “Less educated workers will be most vulnerable to these changes and will be at risk of having manual and routine tasks replaced by 500vip彩票安卓下载官网.” But actually, automation often results in the *deskilling* of processes rather than their upskilling.

    3. Says:

      Here is my “summing up” post on Coolidge with some discussion of the 1920s.

      Based on my reading, I see Coolidge as the last president who did not turn to government as the response to any problem. Hoover was a progressive and there is no discernible difference between his policies and those of Roosevelt in his first two or three years. There have been objections that the federal government was much smaller and so Hoover’s attempts at stimulus were minuscule compared to Roosevelt, or especially those of Obama. That is true in a way but the dollar has depreciated so enormously since Coolidge that comparisons are difficult. An ounce of gold in 1924 was worth $20. It is now 80 times that, meaning the dollar is worth slightly more than one 1924 cent. Gross domestic product was much smaller, in real and in inflated dollars. But look at Hoover’s spending in graphic terms. Contrary to Paul Krugman, he doubled spending.

      That is more about why the 1929 panic was followed by Depression, unlike the 1920-21 panic.

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