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Links and tweets 4/7/23
America as a suboptimal currency zone
Michael Lind has a forthcoming book, Hell To Pay: How the Suppression of Wages Is Destroying America, due out May 2nd. He discusses it on Andrew Sullivan’s latest podcast here.
On related note, behold: the power of tight labor markets.
The black unemployment rate is structurally higher than the white unemployment rate, especially for black men. I think the reason is mainly regional, as roughly half of African Americans live in the South. After the North industrialized, the South began an uneven and still-incomplete process of productivity convergence. Persistent differences in labor productivity created a delta in North-South unit labor costs, analogous to the productivity delta between Germany and the Eurozone periphery. The South thus takes longer to reach full employment than the North for a given level of aggregate demand. This goes to show that America is far from an optimal currency zone, especially given our imperfect fiscal union.
Niskanen’s housing team makes the case for manufactured housing.
Emad Mostaque talks with Peter Diamandis and explains why he signed the so-called “pause letter.” His reasons are compelling: New supercomputers are coming online within the next 6 months that will cut training costs by >20x. Mostaque argues it would be wise for the major AI labs to use this time to double-down on securing their training processes before we enter a world in which powerful, unaligned models can fit on a thumb drive.
Malcolm and Simone Collins on why “Fertility Collapse Demands New Cultures.” Second to AI, aligning modern cultures with replacement-rate fertility is arguably the biggest challenge of our time.
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