Nobel Reminders, Prioritizing Prosperity, and Learning from the Ancients

Weekend Reads: October 12, 2018

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A Global Tipping Point: Half the World is Now Middle Class or Wealthier

Homi Kharas and Kristofer Hamel | Brookings Institution | Retweeted by Bryan Caplan

According to research from The Brookings Institution, the majority of human beings across the globe are no longer poor or vulnerable to poverty. What does this “new era of the middle-class majority” mean for global economic demand?

A Nobel Reminder of Why R&D Matters So Much

Noah Smith | Bloomberg | Retweeted by David Beckworth

Growth and development are essential to improve the productivity of a nation, according to recent Nobel Prize winner Paul Romer. But global productivity numbers among the wealthiest nations are stagnating. What insights can economists, business leaders, and communities take from Romer’s growth models?

Everyone Wants the Supreme Court to Thwart Democratic Majorities

Conor Friedersdorf | The Atlantic | Retweeted by Matthew Mitchell

Conor Friedersdorf finds common ground between polarized political factions—the protection of the outnumbered, and the role of the Supreme Court in doing so.

Multiethnic Societies Can Be Stable, Peaceful, and Prosperous

Stephen Davies | American Institute for Economic Research | Shared by Donald Boudreaux

Stephen Davies offers an economic way to think about the collapse of civil order in multi-ethnic/cultural societies, particularly in light of the collapse in recent years of civil discourse in Western democracies.

Transcript: NPR's Interview with China's Ambassador to the US

Steve Inskeep | NPR | Retweeted by Veronique de Rugy

China’s Ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, joined NPR to discuss the country’s priorities, Chinese students studying in America, terrorism, the trade war, and understanding President Donald Trump.

How Mexico and Canada Saved NAFTA

Ernesto Zedillo | The Washington Post | Tweeted by Christine McDaniel

Negotiations to get approval from all three nations on the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) required a great deal of patience on all sides. Former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo argues that Mexico and Canada took calculated steps to preserve what he finds to be the essential parts of NAFTA.

The Dead Beneath London’s Streets

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie | Smithsonian Magazine | Shared by Andrea O’Sullivan

Go back thousands of years and take a peek into the Museum of London’s “Roman Dead” exhibit, featuring the remains of many individuals, animals, and their possessions buried as early as 43 AD.

Why People Are Putting Fitness Trackers on Toilet Paper in China

Jennings Brown | Gizmodo | Shared by Tyler Cowen

Smartwatches have many capabilities, including the ability to track the human heart rate. What happens when experimenters put a smartwatch on a banana or a roll of toilet paper? Read more at Gizmodo to find out.

America’s Economy Isn’t Overheating

Edward P. Lazear | The Wall Street Journal | Retweeted by David Beckworth

Is the US economy reaching the peak of the business cycle, or does it still have some room to continue developing and growing? Full employment numbers, employment-to-population ratios, and the rate of wage growth provide some context to the question. 

We Slow as We Age, but May Not Need to Slow Too Much

Gretchen Reynolds | The New York Times | Shared by Tyler Cowen

Researchers from Yale University found a new formula that can help runners determine how their paces will slow as they age—and what can be done to appropriately increase and sustain those times.