Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Jungle Book Trope, self-aggrandizing fairy tales

Interesting. I just posted on the emerging controversy about Alice Goffman's book published last year, On the Run. A new review in The Rambler, Ethics on the Run by Steven Lubet, calls into question the factual validity of what Goffman was reporting.

In checking a couple of facts for the previous post, I came across this much more critical review of Goffman's book from a year ago, The Stoop isn't the Jungle by Dwayne Betts. Betts raises just about all the issues that Lubet raises plus some more.

Why didn't these questions get more traction at the time? Perhaps it was simply the torrent of positive praise which drowned out all else. Perhaps the fact that it appeared in Slate, where editorial standards are somewhat notorious, might have resulted in the criticism having been discounted.

That's a shame because Betts raised good issues that needed to be addressed. Apart from the factual accuracy, I thought this criticism was telling as well.
There is one more dark aspect to On the Run. Immersing herself in the lives of her friends and subjects, Goffman nearly loses herself. One night, after a rival crew murdered Chuck, she found herself driving Mike around searching for Chuck’s killer. She tells us that she wanted Chuck’s killer dead just as Mike and the rest of the crew did. Mike did not find his target that night. What if he had? Goffman never interrogates her own motives, or how close she came, potentially, to abetting a killing. Instead, this reads as her crowning war story, the moment when she finally understood what it meant to be one of the young men of 6th Street.

University of California at Santa Barbara sociologist Victor Rios has a name for this: the “jungle book trope.” In his book Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Youth, Rios characterizes this trope as a self-aggrandizing fairy tale, in which an innocent white person gets lost in the wild, is taken in by the wild people, survives, and returns to society with a story to tell. I wish Goffman’s book didn’t read that way to me. But it does.
That sounds right. The psychological impetus of many of these writers seems both suspect and concerning.

A hard beating

Sabrina Rubin Ederly followed by Michael LaCour and now Alice Goffman.

The progressive social sciences have taken a hard beating in the past few months. If you don’t want to click through to the background in each case, the summary is that each person has produced research/journalism of a very compelling nature which has entered the knowledge domain in their respective areas (campus sexual violence, gay marriage, and police predation on the underclass). And in each case it now appears that the work, after initial enthusiastic reception, has had to be withdrawn because the stories were made up. Goffman is not yet quite as completely discredited as the first two but the fact that she has destroyed all her field notes does not augur well.

It raises an interesting question. Is there a counterpart on the conservative side of things? Hard to tell. Conservative academics are a relatively rare breed. Conservative academics in the social sciences even rarer. Plus, being a hated minority likely makes them even more cautious in their research.

So is there something about the ethos of the social progressive that predisposes them to fraud, are they simply more gullible, interpreting everything as being consistent with their pre-existing beliefs, or is there something else going on.

Is the issue not so much progressive politics as perhaps it might be that advocacy journalism has its own set of risks? In other words, in seeking to make a story engaging and gripping, that so much factual validity has to be sacrificed that at the end of the process, what might initially have been a fact based case has now become simply a work of fiction?

Perhaps it is a function, not of the advocacy but of the foundational moral principles. Building on an interpretation of Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory, perhaps the issue might be something along these lines: Progressives have a narrower and more relativistic view of morals (Care/harm and Fairness/cheating) and have a comfort with the idea that there can be an acceptable trade-off between ends and means. In other words, perhaps academic progressives are more comfortable with the Faustian bargain that the ends justify the means and therefore, from that accepting construct, end up accepting that bargain more often than they should.

In contrast, Haidt’s research seems to suggest that conservatives and libertarians have a more complex and extended values system (Care/harm, Fairness (equality)/cheating, Liberty/oppression, Loyalty/betrayal, Authority/subversion, and Sanctity/degradation), which forces more complex moral decision-making. Because they weight more factors, the argument might be that they are then less prone to simple Faustian bargains.

In other words, perhaps conservatives and libertarians are equally prone to committing fraud but because of their more complex and less relativistic moral structures are less likely to slip into fraud.

No answers. Just mulling.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


1937 by M.C. Escher

Partly because Escher has become so pigeonholed it is easy to forget his other work. Partly because I love maritime paintings. Partly because I love the details of period pieces. In this case, note the double glass porthole with two separate sets of latchings.

Their mental world maps are fundamentally incompatible with the norms of reason as understood by others

I have long remarked that one of Obama's challenges as a president has been his notable inability to negotiate. And not just with Republicans. He has an almost unblemished track record of negotiation failures with foreign leaders and even with Congressional leaders of his own party. I have always set this down to simple inexperience. Having never had executive authority prior to his election as President, I just assumed that Obama simply had no experience in negotiations and therefore, being inexperienced, was bad at it.

Walter Russell Mead in Obama, Anti-Semitism and Iran, has a complementary view that does not negate the inexperience argument but does provide context and depth. It is an argument with an irony but I suspect is probably an argument with merit.
It seems clear from this exchange that the President either doesn’t understand or flatly disagrees with the point Goldberg has in mind. Goldberg’s point is that serious anti-Semites (that is, people whose worldviews are shaped and informed by Jew hatred as opposed to people who have, for example, a social prejudice against associating with Jews) don’t understand reality the way that other people do. They see a world dominated by Jewish plots and secret cartels, and believe that the Elders of Zion rule the world behind a screen of deception and misdirection.

This doesn’t just mean that they have some quirky and unpleasant views. It means that they don’t understand how politics work, why economies behave as they do, or how power is constructed in the modern world. As I wrote in an earlier post on this subject, “Jew haters don’t understand how the world works; anti-Semitism is both a cause and a consequence of a basic failure to comprehend the way pluralistic and liberal societies behave. As a result, nations and political establishments warped by this hatred tend to make one dumb decision after another — starting at shadows, warding off imaginary dangers, misunderstanding the nature of the problems they face.”

There are many forms of prejudice and bigotry, and they are all twisted and ugly, but Jew hatred may well be the most damaging to the hater’s ability to understand the world. Jew hatred takes the form of a belief that conspiratorial groups of super-empowered Jews run the world in secret, cleverly manipulating the news media and the intelligentsia to hide the truth of their control. Someone who really believes this isn’t just a heart-blighted ignorant boor; someone who believes this lives in a house of mirrors, incapable of understanding the way the world actually works.

President Obama seems to understand anti-Semitism as a much more superficial phenomenon. He has no patience for it, and scorns it morally and intellectually, but he sees it as an emotional force, a hatred that sometimes, “on the margins” causes people to do stupid and ugly things. An anti-Semite might kick a Jew when nobody is looking, or vent his feelings when in like minded company, but as a rational actor, the anti-Semite won’t indulge his emotional dislike of Jews at the expense of his vital interests. He won’t turn down tenure at Harvard because there are too many Jews on the faculty, or turn down an otherwise attractive job offer from Goldman Sachs because the company has Jewish origins. Nor will he radically misinterpret the position of an American president seeking a win-win end to the U.S.-Iran standoff.

President Obama agrees with Goldberg that anti-Semitism is a bad thing and that Iran’s regime is riddled with it. The difference between them seems to be that the President believes that this propensity of the Iranian leadership is unpleasant but ultimately not that important. Goldberg, however, is asking a deeper question: does the fact that the curse of anti-Semitism has the Iranian leadership tightly in its grip mean that the Iranian leaders aren’t, by our lights, rational actors? When this phrase comes up in a nuclear context, ‘rational actor’ usually means someone who understands the logic of deterrence and is prepared to be deterred by it. But there are other forms of unreason. Goldberg seems to be asking whether President Obama has fully considered the possibility that his counterparts in Iran don’t see the same world that he does, that they don’t think political cause and effect works the same way that he thinks it does and that they see him, for example, less as an independent actor proceeding on the basis of rational convictions and humanitarian good will than as a mask for the real American overlords, the evil Waspo-Jewish conspiracy that in the demonology of Iranian revolutionary thought controls the United States and is driving the world to destruction?

What gives the question its resonance is the uncomfortable fact that President Obama has been singularly unsuccessful at understanding and dealing with foreign leaders who don’t share his world view. President Obama tried to deal with both Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan on the basis of western rationality. He failed in both cases to understand that these men were driven by very different visions and priorities from those President Obama assumed that all rational people share. He was wrong about them, and he appears to have similarly misread the Saudis.

The problem here is that the President, ironically enough, doesn’t seem to understand diversity. He thinks diversity is trivial: that people of different religious faiths, ethnic backgrounds and ideological convictions are not all that different in the way they look at the world. The President’s life experiences have taught him that diversity is superficially important but on the big issues it matters much less. Rulers of great nations, in particular, can’t afford to let their backgrounds and their religious ideas get in the way of clear thinking and planning.

Essentially, Goldberg was asking the President whether his years in the White House have taught him that real diversity exists, and that it matters. He was asking whether the President understands that people from different cultures can sometimes operate on the basis of such radically different presuppositions that their mental world maps are fundamentally incompatible with the norms of reason as the President sees them. He was asking whether the President had considered whether Iranian leaders in particular reason so differently from standard cosmopolitan Washington liberal thinking that they may not, in fact, be approaching these negotiations from what the President, and most Americans, would recognize as a logical point of view.
This line of argument is consistent with another issue. When arguing/negotiating with any opponents, but particularly with Republicans, many commentators have noted a certain dismissive arrogance on the part of Obama. That he seems to consider it impossible that his opponents are arguing in good faith.

Mead's explanation suggests that perhaps it is not arrogance but incomprehension. It is impossible for Obama comprehend that others have alternative goals, have different knowledge sets and make different trade-off decisions than he does. I think Mead is probably raising a good point with foreign negotiations and that same point probably has domestic relevance.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Trees in Snow

Trees in Snow, 1883
by George Elbert Burr

Reminds me of winters in my childhood in England and Sweden. The quiet isolation of hiking in woods during a snowstorm.

They are incompatible goals

Claire Cain Miller has a useful article this morning, When Family-Friendly Policies Backfire. Miller approaches this with a certain amount of naivete, as if some of this is new or unfamiliar. And perhaps it is in advocacy circles.

Social Justice Warriors and those of that ilk are very good at highlighting inequities but then fairly incompetent at determining costs, benefits, and trade-offs. There are many ways in which we would wish the world to be better and for people to treat one another more kindly than they do. But the world is as it is. There are limits to time and money and people have materially different goals, objectives and trade-offs they are willing to make. You can't just wish all that away. There is a delicate balance between supinely accepting the world as it is and boldly trying to change it for the better when you don't understand it.

As a predicate, there is the simple fact that bearing and raising children has costs in terms of expenditures and opportunity costs. While only a woman can give birth, it is optional, within a household, how parental time will be allocated and there is no necessity that it only be the mother that has primary responsibility for raising children. Two adults may equally share responsibility but consequently sharply limiting their work flexibility in terms of schedules and hour volumes. Others might work the model of one full-time and one part-time adult in the labor force. Yet others will pursue a full-time worker model with a stay-at-home parent looking after the family. Each model has risks and benefits that vary by sector and time period and stage of life.

A second predicate is that there is a real and well established connection between amount of time, duration of time, intensity, flexibility and purposefulness of engagement with a job/career and the level of productivity and recognition attainment that can be achieved. And the relationship is not linear. A person who works 40 hours a week at a given task or role is more than twice as productive as the person only working 20 hours a week. Everyone, male or female, in every field of endeavor, who rises to the top in terms of productivity and/or recognition, works long hours, over long periods of time, with significant flexibility and with great purposefulness. No one who works part time, inflexibly, or intermittently demonstrates comparable levels of productivity or attainment.

Given those realities then, there are three separate goals that are often conflated but which in fact work against each other. I think most people would agree that all three of these goals are desirable.
1) Children should have sufficient parental time and attention to achieve their best.
2) Government policies should mitigate to some degree the costs (expenditure and in terms of career consequences) to parents of having children.
3) Women should be equally represented among high achievers as men.
Goal 1 is a bit of challenge as people disagree as to what constitutes sufficient effective parental time and attention. Let's pass on that for the moment.

Goal 2 implies things like guaranteed parental child care leave, guarantees regarding being able to work part-time, subsidized child-care centers, etc. All of these things make it easier for a parent to have a child and yet remain in the workplace if that is your goal. But all of them have costs that someone has to pay.

Goal 3 has several implications. Equality of outcomes can only be achieved coercively. Childless workers and parents with a stay-at-home spouse will need to restrict their hours of work to the same amount that mothers are able to work. Alternatively, you can accept that circumstances drive differential performance but decide that the goal of equity of outcomes warrants affirmative actions and quotas such that child caring parents are promoted in lock-step with adults who have no children or who have a stay-at-home spouse.

Regardless of which goals are chosen, there are costs that someone has to bear. Most often, governments choose to impose those costs on some class of people or institution rather than pay those costs directly out of government funds. Usually it is employers who bear the costs. Economically this is an undesirable approach. If being required to secure jobs for people to return to, to provide limited hours or flexible hours or to provide child care has a cost, as it does, you should spread that cost to everyone. All society enjoys the benefits of future generations of taxpayers. Regrettably, governments tend to shy away from transparency. It is easier to simply impose those costs on some category of taxpayer and hide that cost from everyone else. Lack of transparency has all sorts of consequences though, as do any policies that have costs.

If you make something more expensive, people will demand less of it. Supply and demand.
In Chile, a law requires employers to provide working mothers with child care. One result? Women are paid less.
The government wanted to make it easier for women to remain in the workforce but did not want to bear that cost itself. It imposed that cost on employers. Facing a more expensive workforce, employers can react in two ways. They can automate and employ fewer people or they can, if the law allows, pay less for that part of the workforce driving the new cost. But this is not unintended. This is entirely predictable. It is simply the predictable consequence of increasing the cost of a class of employees. The government may not like the consequence, but unless it is willing to absorb the cost itself, it does not hold the moral high ground.

Miller reports
Elsewhere in Europe, generous maternity leaves have meant that women are much less likely than men to become managers or achieve other high-powered positions at work.

Family-friendly policies can help parents balance jobs and responsibilities at home, and go a long way toward making it possible for women with children to remain in the work force. But these policies often have unintended consequences.

They can end up discouraging employers from hiring women in the first place, because they fear women will leave for long periods or use expensive benefits.
Fundamentally, the government has to decide what it is willing to pay for. If it enacts pro-natalist or gender neutral laws, women (based on the experience in multiple European countries) tend to reduce their workforce participation rates and/or reduce their hours worked. Mothers spend more time with families which supports Goal 1 but the consequence is that while they remain employed to some degree, they come off the advancement track and no longer improve their productivity (part-time and inflexible hours). In Sweden, those women who do work, tend to work primarily for the government. The other consequence is that while it is easier for women to continue to work to some degree, there are far fewer women at the tops of different fields of endeavor.

With its low government intervention profile, the US makes it harder for women to remain in the workforce (little or no subsidies for childcare) but compared to Europe there are far more women in the US at the tops of every sector - sports, business, law, politics, art, academia, etc. Women are only about 15-30% of the top performers in most fields but they are there in virtually all fields in contrast to Europe where there are whole swaths of endeavor that are solely male.

There are two issues out of this. The first is that hiding costs has indirect but predictable effects. The more you try to hide, usually the more consequential are the negative outcomes. The second is that having children is societally necessary and desirable but the policies that encourage procreation tend also to reduce female labor force participation and achievement. There is no way to bridge the trade-offs, all you can do is choose, through ignorance or through conscious decision-making, one set of outcomes or another. You cannot be both pro-natalist and pro-equal gender outcomes. They are incompatible goals.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hope and high expectations

An interesting coincidence. I am reading Tim Harford's The Logic of Life, The Rational Economics of An Irrational World. A bit dated but some very good material. One of the points he makes is about the delicacy of systems. In particular, he uses the example of African American students, believing that college is beyond them, essentially abandoning any effort to achieve college, ending up with a self-reinforcing cycle of failure and despair. They think they can't get to college, therefore they don't try, therefore they don't get the grades they need, therefore they don't get into college, therefore they don't try . . .

Harford doesn't address it directly but several of his case studies have the unstated lesson that effort in the face of obstacles sometimes delivers its own miracles. Sometimes the rational is insufficient and you have to make your own reality. There is a corollary lesson related to expectations. Sometimes higher than reasonable expectations actually generate their own higher than to be expected results.

In this morning's New York Times there is an article, One Man’s Millions Turn a Community Around in Florida by Lizette Alvarez.
Two decades ago, Harris Rosen, who grew up poor on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and became wealthy in the Florida hotel business, decided to shepherd part of his fortune into a troubled community with the melodious sounding name of Tangelo Park.

A quick snap from the city’s tourist engine, this neighborhood of small, once-charming houses seemed a world away from theme park pleasures as its leaders tried to beat back drugs, crime and too many shuttered homes. Nearly half its students had dropped out of school.

Twenty-one years later, with an infusion of $11 million of Mr. Rosen’s money so far, Tangelo Park is a striking success story. Nearly all its seniors graduate from high school, and most go on to college on full scholarships Mr. Rosen has financed.

Young children head for kindergarten primed for learning, or already reading, because of the free day care centers and a prekindergarten program Mr. Rosen provides. Property values have climbed. Houses and lawns, with few exceptions, are welcoming. Crime has plummeted.
This is the passage that resonated with the research being reported by Harford.
Sitting with his feet propped up on his old, weathered wooden desk, Mr. Rosen, 75, fit, trim and not given to formalities (his shelter dogs are known to wander about the room), said the program was rooted in an element absent in many American neighborhoods.

“Hope,” Mr. Rosen said. Why devote countless hours to school if college, with its high cost, is out of reach? “If you don’t have any hope,” he added, “then what’s the point?”
Hope and high expectations. I keep coming across those themes.

Stop and Eat

Stop and Eat by Timothy Horn

The occupations with the largest gender gaps were those with the least temporal flexibility

Claudia Goldin is a Harvard Professor of economics. I very much admire her doggedness in trying to wrest data from history in order to answer important questions. She is logical and empirical which trumps her tendency, from my perspective, of approaching the world from a very privileged position. It seems in some of her work as if she most cares about what can be done to improve the lives and welfare of privileged upper class, highly educated, women. Regardless of that perceived bias, I have the sense she follows the evidence where it leads, regardless of what she wants it to say. That is admirable.

For example, she had some research out in the past couple of years affirming what we already know which is that the popular shibboleth of a gender pay gap is pure malarky. But in that process Goldin explores an issue which I have long identified as important but which I have never seen elsewhere researched - the importance in some business sectors of work flexibility. Success in those sectors isn't only a matter of the volume of time (hours per week) and duration (years in sector) but very materially, also, flexibility. In management consulting, in law, in project based work, it isn't only a factor of putting in a lot of hours, it is a matter of putting in those hours when they are most needed. The client calls Saturday morning and unexpectedly needs you in Hong Kong on Monday morning. Some employees are so situated that they can manage that. They benefit. Others are not so situated. They aren't punished per se, but they miss out on an opportunity. Goldin properly, I think, provides some substance empirical evidence supporting the importance of that issue. Goldin then focuses on how can women who are working inflexible hours and/or limited hours overcome the advantage arising from flexibility. She comes up with the generic proposition that in order to better advantage educated women in professions, they should make work more plannable. Fine as far it goes. But it goes nowhere because that isn't the world we live in. Find out how to make inflexible and part time workers more productive than they are and you begin to get at the root issue. Enjoining businesses to change the world to benefit a small sliver of the workforce is, I think, unproductive.

This interview of her by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has a lot of good material about her research interests and findings.

Some passages I found very interesting.
So then the question is, why are there some occupations with large gender gaps and others with very narrow gaps? There are some occupations where people face a nonlinear function of wages with respect to hours worked; that is, people earn a disproportionate premium for working long and continuous hours. For example, someone with a law degree could work as a lawyer in a large firm, and that person would make a lot of money per unit of time. But if that person worked fewer than a certain number of hours per week, the pay rate would be cut quite a bit. Or someone could work fewer or more flexible hours as general counsel for a company and earn less per unit of time than the large-firm lawyer. Pharmacy is the opposite — earnings increase linearly with hours worked. There's no part-time penalty.

I started thinking about a very simple framework in which temporal flexibility is the important issue and I wondered if occupations with large gender gaps are those with relatively high penalties for not putting in the hours or not attending the meeting or not going to Japan to see the client. And those are things that might be particularly difficult for parents. If women have a greater burden with respect to child care, then these occupations will be the occupations where women pay the greatest penalties. So then I began to zero in on the occupations where the penalties were the lowest and ask what was so different about them.

To do so, I went to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a directory supported by the Department of Labor. In O*NET, each of the 469 occupations in the census is covered and some are further subdivided, often by industry. And for each of those occupations there are hundreds of details about the job gathered, in part, by observing or surveying workers — details ranging from the strength requirements to the lighting and other ambient conditions of the workplace. But relevant to my research, O*NET provides information on: How important is face time? What types of interpersonal relationships are there? Do people work on projects independently or in teams?

This was a real beacon of light. Sure enough, the occupations in the corporate and financial sector were all skewed in the direction of having O*NET characteristics that meant employees were required to be there. And in the technology occupations, people were working more independently and there wasn't a lot of face time. I also used longitudinal data on lawyers from the University of Michigan and survey data I collected on University of Chicago MBAs with Marianne Bertrand and Larry Katz. I also had access to data on a large sample of pharmacists. And from all these sources it became clear that the occupations with the largest gender gaps were those with the least temporal flexibility, where people are complements for each other rather than good substitutes.

Saying workers are good substitutes for each other sounds like you're commoditizing them. But it can be true even for very high-income professions. I got a note from my ophthalmologist after I had a minor procedure that essentially said, "You will probably never see me again because there are 20 different professionals in my group who can take care of you." And pharmacy, which is my favorite example, is very highly paid. For


In many different writings in the late 19th century and early 20th century in the United States, you start to sense that having more education, being more literate and more numerate, got you a lot further in the labor market. Contemporary economists noticed it too; Paul Douglas [who taught at the University of Chicago, among other schools, before becoming a U.S. senator] described it as an era of "noncompeting groups" — individuals who had a modicum of a high school education, let alone a college education, did phenomenally better than others, because high school education simply wasn't widespread.

Larry Katz and I used data from the 1915 Iowa state census to show that these pecuniary returns were not just a result of the shifting of individuals from blue-collar or agricultural occupations to white-collar occupations, but in fact, even within the agricultural sector more-educated farmers did better than less-educated farmers. The reasons are pretty obvious: The educated farmer did his accounting better, could figure out which crops to plant, and could read about different breeds of animals and how to protect them from disease. More-educated workers also did better than less-educated workers in the manufacturing sector and in the construction trades.

Individuals observed the high returns to education, and this unleashed a nationwide movement — in large measure a decentralized, grassroots movement — to build and staff high schools across the country. In 1910, only 9 percent of 19-year-olds in the United States had a high school diploma. That climbed up to 51 percent by 1940. There was a huge shift during the century, as the physical capital we were using became relatively less important than the mental capital we carried inside ourselves.

EF: What is the significance of the high school movement being a grassroots movement?

Goldin: The education system in the early 20th century was a decentralized system that was very open, albeit with some important exceptions, such as African Americans and certain immigrant groups. But by and large, relative to Europe, America was educating all its children. European visitors would come to the United States and be shocked by how America was wasting its resources. European countries were cherry picking which students would get a good education; they set very high standards and had national exams. We didn't. We had more of a free-for-all, grassroots, local system in which until recently there were few state exams for graduation. That served us very well by getting a large number of students to graduate from high school. By the 1950s, U.S. high school enrollment and graduation rates were relatively high, much higher than Europe.

But then various European countries started looking more like the United States; they began to pull more individuals into high schools, some via technical schools but also by expanding more general education. And many of them did so without abandoning the higher standards of the more elitist period. The United States, on the other hand, has had a very hard time adopting uniform standards. The idea has been that the different parts of the country have different demands, so we don't need to have national standards. And it's true that we do have a far more heterogeneous population. But the enormous virtue of decentralization has more recently caused some difficulty.


Inequality measured by labor incomes is relatively high from the earliest that we can measure it, in the late 19th century; educated workers did very well relative to everyone else until about 1920. But then the high school movement burst forth and the supply of educated workers increased, and the quasi-rents to higher education began to decline quite a bit, which was reinforced by the Great Depression and the narrowing of the wage structure in the 1940s that Bob Margo and I termed "the Great Compression." But in the late 1970s and early 1980s both inequality and the education premium started rising again. (This is apart from what's happening at the very top; my book with Katz is about the bottom 99 percent.)

What's going on? You can see in the data that education, in terms of years of education or the fraction of the population that graduated high school or college, increases beginning around 1910, but then around 1980 the rate of increase slows down. The easiest way to think about it is as a race between education and technology, or between the supply of skilled workers and the demand for skilled workers. The demand for educated workers is moving out at a constant rate, and as long as the supply keeps moving out at a pretty sturdy rate it keeps the premium to education in check. But when the supply stops moving out there's a large increase once again in the premium to educated workers. That's the very simple one-graph story.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The River of Sleep

The River of Sleep by N.C. Wyeth

A little apart from the style most people would recognize, this is from Illustration for The World of Music Series "Song Programs for Youth: TREASURE" Published by Ginn and Company 1938.