James Pethokoukis

AEIWhy America could be growing faster than you think. Maybe much faster, thanks to Silicon Valley The economics team at Goldman Sachs has made another run at trying to determine whether official statistics are undermeasuring America's rapidly evolving digital economy. The bank now believes even more strongly that “technological change is not fully reflected in the real output statistics.” From a bottom-up perspective, there's all that missing growth from free digital goods. From a top-down perspective, Goldman economists note that the “growth of domestically generated profits and incomes (GDI) is outpacing that of GDP, a departure from earlier decades” and that “US [...]
Mon, Jul 15, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIPeter Thiel and the populist right's embrace of broken capitalism theory When, in a speech Sunday, Peter Thiel wasn't lamenting Silicon Valley's failure to produce a working warp engine or musing about “seemingly treasonous” actions by Google executives, he was suggesting a familiar economic argument. Well, familiar on the left ⁠— at least until the populist surge on the right. It's an argument easily summed up by this chart from economist Robert Lawrence, one included in a recent paper by my AEI colleague Michael Strain, “The Link Between Wages and Productivity Is Strong”: The intended take-away from the above chart is that [...]
Mon, Jul 15, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIBashing Bitcoin: Why Trump should reserve judgment on cryptocurrencies, including Facebook's Libra So what's behind President Trump's Thursday evening, out-of-the-blue Twitter attack on cryptocurrencies? His dislike was pretty definitive. Trump disputed that they're anything like money and accused them of facilitating crime. And he didn't let Facebook's Libra off the hook, either, saying it will have “little standing or dependability.” One of the president's followers joked that he sounded like an investor who'd missed Bitcoin's late 2018 low. US President Donald Trump speaks during a “social media summit” meeting with prominent social media figures in the East Room of the White House [...]
Fri, Jul 12, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIWhen conservative pundits attack social media bias, the facts are often the first victims Op-ed writers usually don't write their own headlines, but this one from activist Charlie Kirk's piece in The Washington Post neatly sums up a strangely persistent tech policy error on the right: “It's time to treat tech platforms like publishers.” US President Donald Trump greets Charlie Kirk before participating in a forum called Generation Next at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, US, March 22, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis Kirk wrongly claims that in order for conservatives to fight “progressive hegemony” in social media, companies like Facebook and Twitter [...]
Thu, Jul 11, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIIs it too late to cancel Trump's unwise ‘social media summit'? President Trump tweets this morning that a “big subject today at the White House Social Media Summit will be the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination, and suppression practiced by certain companies.” Now Trump didn't name names, but he almost certainly means Google, Facebook, and Twitter given his past comments and them not getting an invite. (So rest easy, for now, Snapchat and TikTok.) Then again, what purpose would be served by the attendance of company representatives at an event a) spawned by such a flimsy premise and b) intentionally designed to generate [...]
Thu, Jul 11, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIIs this a good US economy or not? President Trump tweeted last week, “The Economy is the BEST IT HAS EVER BEEN!” And that was before the release of a surprisingly strong June jobs report. Non-farm employment increased 224,000 in June, easily topping expectations of 165,000. “Well this is awkward” is how JPMorgan summed up the collective forecasting miss, as well as the disconnect between strong business hiring and the “downbeat message” being relayed by business surveys. Capital Economics It's also awkward for Democrats hoping to take Trump's place in the Oval Office come January 2021. Not only is the economy continuing to [...]
Tue, Jul 09, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIThere still isn't a good alternative to liberalism or, if you prefer, democratic capitalism George Will asks in this new book, “The Conservative Sensibility,” the following question: What is it, exactly, that conservatives seek to conserve? His “concise but deceptively simple answer” is that American conservatives seek to conserve the American Founding and the liberalism that infused it. Liberalism is also the subject of a new Martin Wolf column in the Financial Times, which begins with this definition of the term: Liberalism is not a precise philosophy, it is an attitude. All liberals share a belief in individual human agency. They trust [...]
Mon, Jul 08, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEISome in Washington are attacking Section 230, the law that created the modern internet. But many of these critics have their facts wrong. The internet has many progenitors, but Chris Cox and Ron Wyden probably belong on a short list of the most important. When both were in Congress back in the 1990s, they wrote Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. As Jeff Koseff writes in the new book, “The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet,” that seemingly simple provision “created the modern internet … that relies on content created not only by large companies, but by users.” [...]
Mon, Jul 08, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIScott Kupor on venture capital and how to get it: A long-read Q&A Does America need venture capital to achieve high rates of economic growth? How can budding start-ups get it? And what do the big tech firms of the future look like to investors today? On this episode, Andreessen Horowitz's Scott Kupor discusses his new book “Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It.”  Scott Kupor is managing partner at the Silicon Valley based venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He also teaches courses on venture capital and corporate governance at Stanford Law School and the Haas School [...]
Fri, Jul 05, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS
AEIAmerica the ‘just OK' What is still the most desired — by far — destination for potential migrants from those developing countries? America. Which country had a hand in 72% of the Nobel science prizes since 2001? America. Which country has 18 of the 30 most valuable internet companies, as well as the top five? America. Which is the richest large nation on a per person basis? America. Stallone Laurel Dias, originally from India and a soldier in the US Army, takes the oath to become a US citizen during a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, [...]
Wed, Jul 03, 2019
Source: James Pethokoukis Category: JAMES PETHOKOUKIS