April 22, 2013
The Mounting Reliance of Developed Economies on Intelligence-Intensive Growth. A developing economy can accelerate its rate of growth by combining under-employed labor with imported technologies that boost their productivity (the amount of product or service that can be made in a finite period of time worked). More workers using the same tools produce more output. Give them better tools, and output will expand even faster. Teach them skills, and growth can be even faster. But what is a society to do when the labor market pre-requisite for most newly created job needs requires a high level of intelligence? Physical skills can be taught, and one can learn to think better analytically. However, individuals are not born with the potential to think equally well analytically with the same training and practice. Only 10% of a grade reaches the top 10% of academic achievement, and if half of all newly created jobs require the intelligence of the top 10% of available workers, no boost to aggregate demand, no matter how powerful, is going to employ the labor force fully. There is an element of unemployment that is neither cyclical nor structural in a way that is correctable.
A Multi-Dimensional Assault on the Global Environment. The availability of clean water and air is already far too limited in some parts of the world and headed that way in others. Agreement on the trend of global warming is widening. Greater disagreement can be found over the role of man, the severity of the consequences, and whether the trend is reversible. Many factors are hampering man’s response to environmental pollution. Disparities between the receivers of the benefits and those who pays the cost of pollution-causing activities is one. Unsynchronized timelines between benefits that are often reaped quickly and environmental deterioration that may not be felt for years to name two. The ultimate assault on the global environment comes from accelerating growth in world population. It took 18 centuries for such to rise from 300 million to one billion people but just the last two centuries to advance another seven-fold.
Civilization that Improves Individual Lives Also Threatens the Collective Existence of Many Whole Species. Advances in public health and the treatment of disease have reduced infant mortality and lengthened lives but at a cost that many countries find unaffordable. Putting aside fiscal implications over which there is considerable disagreement, science has played a pivotal causal role in the root deterioration of environment, which is exploding world population. If earth and man are preordained to have a beginning, middle and end, it is because man was endowed with an intelligence to create unsustainable demands on the environment. Not only is the human species at risk, but so too are many other living things.
The Lack of Credentialing in the Eligibility of Democratically Elected Officials. The U.S. Constitution lays out an incomplete set of conditions for entitlement to elected office. Requirements are mandated that pertain to minimal age and criminal history but no credentialing guidelines for demonstrated knowledge of economics. A surgeon cannot operate on somebody without proper credentials, but lawmakers are empowered to operate on the economy without revealing where they learned their economics, what academic courses they took, and what grades they received that would indicate their proficiency in such matters.
Copyright 2013, Larry Greenberg. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission.