Henderson on Cowen on the Great Stagnation

by Don Boudreaux on July 1, 2011

in Books, Education, Growth

In one of the most concise and well-reasoned reviews that I’ve read in a while, EconLog’s David Henderson – writing in Regulation – challenges the thesis Tyler Cowen offers in The Great Stagnation. (Scroll down to page 4 of the link to find the start of David’s superb review.)

I here add only this observation: although I don’t particularly like Tyler’s analogy of pre-1980s growth being the result of people having taken advantage of the “low-hanging fruit” of technological breakthroughs, large numbers of smart, educable kids yet actually to be educated, and free land (One objection: Frederick Jackson Turner lamented the close of the free frontier in 1893), the vast majority of K-12 schools in America today are filled with what appear to me are “low-hanging fruit” of the sort that Tyler believes no longer exists: boys and girls ‘educated’ in a government-owned and operated school system dominated by teachers unions bent chiefly on feathering their members’ own nests rather than expanding as much as possible the minds of their students.  Destroy this monstrosity of an ‘education’ system and there’ll be plenty of low-hanging fruit to pick.


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