Larger Pie: A book by Joel L. Swerdlow

Fifa Coins For Sale

Have been so busy and so stressed that I forgotten myself, so to speak. I will feel so much better when I working out regularly again: Have 30 minutes to workout? Try this: 30 exercises for 30 seconds each, resting 30 seconds in between. Print it out, and take it to the park! Just grab a set of dumbbells or resistance bands.

Welcome to The Year of Mud! Be sure to sign up for our free newsletter. In June, I finished installing the earthen floor in my cob house. In October, I built the base layer of the earthen floor, a 2.5 thick mix of sand, clay, and straw. Another aspect of the Macy Herald Square execution is the floor to ceiling LED panels. The panels house Michael Kors branded video but also serve as an entryway into the shop in shop. According to Gin Lane, these panels helped the Michael Kors shop to quadruple its targeted earnings in its first few months..

Cough drops 6. Raisins 7. Bottles of water 8. Kohl is famed as one of the worth oriented offering stores with brand and enormous products being stocked for its customers. The brand expresses the quality of the product and discounts obtainable through many selling store locations, consumers can purchase nearly everything they require from kohl Kohl puts up with numerous coupons through their websites with special offerings for 2013. The deals of kohl website fetches us the existing special deals.

Building a small work barge with plywood boat design forums, Need to build new barge. Old wood one destroyed in storm. Looking at wood and steel. 5. The powerful and metallic screech. The article [1C5.3.3] hits Christchurch from page 39 of the Malaysian newspaper Sunday Times (issue dated on Sunday, 5 September 2010), states that this earthquake was initiated with a kind of powerful sonic which could be heard as an extremely powerful explosion.

I like the collection, even if it is filled with criminally expensive rain capes and ponchos. Really slick are the lighter and cigarette cases slung around the skinny shoulders of the models: they are in shiny, beige leather and so covetable I consider taking up smoking just to carry one. I’m so close to the models I’m almost tempted to wait until one is in earshot, then turn to my neighbour and say, just for a bit of model bashing: ‘Gosh, doesn’t she look a bit tubby then?’ Later, and I’m at the Costume National show, although I confess one of the reasons I’m here is because the designer, Ennio Capaso, is utterly scrumptious and straight and when he struts onto the catwalk after a collection it is one of fashion’s most elevated moments.

I was so desperate to spend some alone time with God that I actually set my alarm for o dark thirty (I told you I was desperate). Even though I’m not particularly known for being a “morning person”, I was willing to go to any lengths to have a few special Are you a busy mom who finds it challenging to find the time to read the Bible? Here are 4 creative ways to enjoy that much needed, renewing time in the Word. 4 Creative Ways a Busy Mom Can Find Time to be in the Word Club31Women4 Creative Ways a Busy Mom Can Find Time to be in the Word Love the a verse above the kitchen sink to memorize it idea.Are you a busy mom who finds it challenging to find the time to read the Bible? Here are 4 Creative Ways a Busy Mom Can Find Time to be in the Word4 Creative Ways a Busy Mom Can Find Time to be in the Word I like the blanket Bible study idea.

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES!

Following are the blog posts that became  A Larger Pie, Book I.  To skim these posts is interesting and provides some insight in the writing of books in the digital age, but this material is outdated and rough. (more…)

Let’s Look at Robert F. Kennedy Again

As you know, the premise of A Larger Pie is that participants in this blog, by engaging with the authors and each other, will improve virtually every aspect of our book.  Outstanding among critics to-date is Basel Musharbash (more…)

What Was Bothering RFK?

Just to put more pressure on Basel, consider the following:

Until 1975, wages nearly always accounted for more than 50 percent of the nation’s G.D.P., (more…)

Land-as-Growth (1): A Large Part of What Made the U.S. Special

“Land,” as an idea and a reality made  America special from the beginning.   (more…)

Land-as-Growth (3): “Manifest Destiny”

Sometime in the mid-to-late 1800s, national “growth” via acquisition of land found an almost religious rationale (more…)

Land-as-Growth (4): Mechanization and Commerce Begin to Change What is Done with Land

During the first decades of the U.S. as a nation, what it meant to “settle” and “farm”land began to change. (more…)

Land-as-Growth (2): Why Thomas Jefferson Wanted So Much New Land

In early 1803, when President Thomas Jefferson sent ambassadors to Paris to purchase New Orleans and the immediate area around it, his goal was to acquire a port for agricultural goods (more…)

Land-as-Growth (5): Expansion into Cuba, Northern Mexico and other New “Slave” Territory

The pre-Civil War U.S. had mixed feelings about growth. The South had its eyes on Cuba, parts of Mexico, and other land, all of which by climate and economics would support slavery–and increase the number of slave states. In trying to break away from the U.S., many southerners also saw the Confederate States of America as the core of a much bigger, growing, slave-nation. On the other hand, throughout the 1850s, southern Senators and Representatives stopped passage of the Homestead Act, which offered free public land to anyone who would settle on it and farm it.  Southerners feared (correctly) that such “growth” would increase the number of anti-slavery “free” states. The Homestead Act quickly passed and was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, when eleven southern efforts attempted to succeed, thus not sending Representatives and Senators to vote in Congress. (All of this was not that long ago–my grandfather, who I remember, was a homesteader in North Dakota, and my father was born (1909) in a sod hut on the prairie.  He never knew even the year of his birth (no records were kept), and remembered picking up dried “cow chips” that his mother could use for cooking dinner.)

Southern desire for land became most evident in the Ostend Manifesto. Dated October 15, 1854, and signed by what were then the U.S. ambassadors to (respectively) Great Britain, France and Spain, the document outlined  arguments for acquisition of new slave territory.  Explicit here are arguments that both go back to the Louisiana Purchase and anticipate what would occur at the end of the 19th Century, the Spanish-American War:

The undersigned, in compliance with the wish expressed by the President [Franklin Pierce] in the several confidential dispatches you [Secretary of State William March] have addressed to us, respectively, to that effect, have met in conference, first at Ostend, in Belgium…. There has been a full and unreserved interchange of views and sentiments between us, which we are most happy to inform you has resulted in a cordial coincidence of opinion on the grave and important subjects submitted to our consideration.

We have arrived at the conclusion, and are thoroughly convinced, that an immediate and earnest effort ought to be made by the government of the United States to purchase Cuba from Spain at any price for which it can be obtained, not exceeding the sum of $ (this item was left blank).

The proposal should, in our opinion, be made in such a manner as to be presented though the necessary diplomatic forms to the Supreme Constituent Cortes about to assemble. On this momentous question, in which the people both of Spain and the United States are so deeply interested, all our proceedings ought to be open, frank, and public. They should be of such a character as to challenge the approbation of the world.

We firmly believe that, in the progress of human events, the time has arrived when the vital interests of Spain are as seriously involved in the sale, as those of the United States in the purchase of the island, and that the transaction will prove equally honorable to both nations.

Under these circumstances we cannot anticipate a failure, unless possibly through the malign influence of foreign powers who possess no right whatever to interfere in the matter.

We proceed to state some of the reasons which have brought us to this conclusion, and, for the sake of clearness, we shall specify them under two distinct heads:

1. The United States ought, if practicable, to purchase Cuba with as little delay as possible.

2. The probability is great that the government and Cortes of Spain will prove willing to sell it, because this would essentially promote the highest and best interests of the Spanish people.

Then 1. It must be clear to every reflecting mind that, from the peculiarity of its geographical position, and the considerations attendant on it, Cuba is as necessary to the North American republic as any of its present members, and that it belongs naturally to that great family of states of which the Union is the providential nursery.

From its locality it commands the mouth of the Mississippi and the immense and annually increasing trade which must seek this avenue to the ocean.

On the numerous navigable streams, measuring an aggregate course of some thirty thousand miles, which disembogue [empty] themselves though this river into the Gulf of Mexico, the increase of the population within the last ten years amounts to more than that of the entire Union at the time Louisiana was annexed to it.

The natural and main outlet to the products of this entire population, the highway of their direct intercourse with the Atlantic and Pacific states, can never be secure, but must ever be endangered whilst Cuba is a dependency of a distant power in whose possession it had proved to be a source of constant annoyance and embarrassment to their interests.

Indeed the Union can never enjoy repose, nor possess reliable security, as long as Cuba is not embraced within its boundaries.

Its immediate acquisition by our government is of paramount importance, and we cannot doubt but that it is a consummation devoutly wished for by its inhabitants.

The intercourse which its proximity to our coasts begets and encourages between them and the citizens of the United States has, in the progress of time, so united their interests and blended their fortunes that they now look upon each other as if they were one people and had but one destiny.

Considerations exist which render delay in the acquisition of the island exceedingly dangerous to the United States.

The system of immigration and labor, lately organized within its limits, and the tyranny and oppression which characterize its immediate rulers, threaten an insurrection at every moment which may result in direful consequences to the American people.

Cuba has thus become to us an unceasing danger, and a permanent cause of anxiety and alarm.

But we need not enlarge on these topics. It can scarcely be apprehended that foreign powers, in violation of international law, would interpose their influence with Spain to prevent our acquisition of the island. Its inhabitants are now suffering under the worst of all possible governments-that of absolute despotism delegated by a distant power to irresponsible agents, who are changed at short intervals, and who are tempted to improve the brief opportunity thus afforded to accumulate fortunes by the basest means.

As long as this system shall endure, humanity may in vain demand the suppression of the African slave-trade in the island. This is rendered impossible whilst that infamous traffic remains an irresistible temptation and a source of immense profit to needy and avaricious officials, who, to attain their ends, scruple not to trample the most sacred principles under foot.

The Spanish government, at home, may be well disposed, but experience has proved that it cannot control these remote depositaries of its power.

Besides, the commercial nations of the world cannot fail to perceive and appreciate the great advantages which would result to their people from a dissolution of the forced and unnatural connection between Spain and Cuba, and the annexation of the latter to the United States. The trade of England and France with Cuba would, in that event, assume at once an important and profitable character, and rapidly extend with the increasing population and prosperity of the island.

2. But if the United States and every commercial nation would be benefited by this transfer, the interests of Spain would also be greatly and essentially promoted.

She cannot but see what such a sum of money s we are willing to pay for the island would effect in the development of her vast natural resources.

Two-thirds of this sum, if employed in the construction of a system of railroads, would ultimately prove a source of greater wealth to the Spanish people than that opened to their vision by Cortes. Their prosperity would date from the ratification of the treaty of cession.

France has already constructed continuous lines of railway from Havre, Marseilles, Valenciennes, and Strasbourg via Paris, to the Spanish frontier, and anxiously awaits the day when Spain shall find herself in a condition to extend these roads through her northern provinces to MadridSevilleCadizMalaga, and the frontiers of Portugal.

This object once accomplished, Spain would become a centre of attraction for the traveling world, and secure a permanent and profitable market for her various productions. Her fields, under the stimulus given to industry by remunerative prices, would teem with cereal grain, and her vineyards would bring forth a vastly increased quantity of choice wines. Spain would speedily become what a bountiful Providence intended she should be-one of the first nations of continental Europe-rich, powerful, and contended.

Whilst two-thirds of the price of the island would be ample for the completion of her most important public improvements, she might, with the remaining forty millions, satisfy the demands pressing so heavily upon her credit, and create a sinking-fund which would gradually relieve her from the overwhelming debt now paralyzing her energies.

Such is her present wretched financial condition that her best bonds are sold upon her own Bourse at about one-third of their par value; whilst another class, on which she pays no interest, have but a nominal value, and are quoted at about one-sixth of the amount for which they were issued. Besides, these are held principally by British creditors, who may, from day to day, obtain the effective interposition of their government for the purpose of coercing payment. Intimations to that effect have already been thrown out form high quarters, and unless some new source of revenue shall enable Spain to provide for such exigencies, it is not improbable that they may be realized.

Should Spain reject the present golden opportunity for developing her resources, and removing her financial embarrassments, it may never again return.

Cuba, in its palmist days, never yielded her exchequer, after deducting the expenses of its government, a clear annual income of more than a million and a half of dollars. These expenses have increased to such a degree as to leave a deficit chargeable on the treasury of Spain to the amount of six hundred thousand dollars.

In a pecuniary point of view, therefore, the island is an encumbrance, instead of a source of profit to the mother country.

Under no probable circumstances can Cuba ever yield to Spain one percent on the large amount which the United States are willing to pay for its acquisition. But Spain is in danger of losing Cuba without remuneration.

Extreme oppression, it s now admitted, justifies any people in endeavoring to relieve themselves from the yoke of their oppressors. The sufferings which the corrupt, arbitrary, and unrelenting local administration necessarily entails upon the inhabitants of Cuba, cannot fail to stimulate and keep alive that spirit of resistance and revolution against Spain which has, of late years, been so often manifested. In this condition of affairs it is in vain to expect that the sympathies of the people of the United States will not be warmly enlisted in favor of their oppressed neighbors.

We know that the President is justly inflexible in his determination to execute the neutrality laws; but should the Cubans themselves rise n revolt against the oppression which they suffer, no human power could prevent the citizens of the United States and liberal-minded men of other countries from rushing to their assistance. Besides, the present is an age of adventure, in which restless and daring spirits abound in every portion of the world.

It is not improbable, therefore, that Cuba may be wrested from Spain by a successful revolution; and, in that event, she will lose both the island and the price we are willing now to pay for it-a price far beyond what was ever paid by one people to another for any province.

It may also be remarked that the settlement of this vexed question, by the cession of Cuba to the United States, would forever prevent the dangerous complications between nations, to which it may otherwise give birth.

It is certain that, should the Cubans themselves organize an insurrection against the Spanish government, and should other independent nations come to the aid of Spain in the contest, no human power could, in our opinion, prevent the people and the government of the United States from taking part in such a civil war, in support of their neighbors and friends.

But if Spain, dead to the voice of her own interests, and actuated by stubborn pride and a false sense of honor, should refuse to sell Cuba to the United States, then the question will arise: What ought to be the course of the American government under such circumstances?

Self-preservation is the law of states as well as with individuals. All nations have, at different periods, acted upon this maxim. Although it has been made the pretext for committing flagrant injustice, as in the partition of Poland and other similar cases which history records, yet the principle itself, though often abused, has always been recognized.

The United States have never acquired a foot of territory excerpt by fair purchase, or, as in the case of w:Texas, upon the free and voluntary application of the people of that independent state, who desired to blend their destinies with our own.

Even our acquisitions from Mexico are no exception to this rule, because, although we might have claimed them by right of conquest in a just war, yet we purchased them for what was then considered by both parties a full and ample equivalent.

Our past history forbids that we should acquire the island of Cuba without the consent of Spain, unless justified by the great law of self-preservation. We must, in any event, preserve our conscious rectitude and our own self-respect.

Whilst pursuing this course we can afford to disregard the censures of the world, to which we have been so often and so unjustly exposed.

After we shall have offered Spain a price for Cuba far beyond its present value, and this shall have been refused, it will then be time to consider the question; does Cuba, in the possession of Spain, seriously endanger our internal peace and the existence of our cherished Union?

Should this question be answered in the affirmative, then, by every law, human and divine, we shall be justified in wresting it from Spain, if we possess the power; and this upon the very same principle that would justify an individual in tearing down the burning house of his neighbor if there were no other means of preventing the flames from destroying his own home.

Under such circumstances we ought neither to count the cost nor regard the odds which Spain might enlist against us. We forbear to enter into the question whether the present condition of the island would justify such a measure. We should, however, be recreant to our duty, be unworthy of our gallant forefathers, and commit base treason against our posterity, should we permit Cuba to be Africanized and become a second St. Domingo, with all its attendant horrors to the white race, and suffer the flames to extend to our own neighboring shores, seriously to endanger our actually to consume the fair fabric of our Union.

We fear that the course and current of events are rapidly tending toward such a catastrophe. We, however, hope for the best, though we ought certainly to be prepared for the worst.

We also forbear to investigate the present condition of the questions at issue between the United States and Spain. A long series of injuries to our people have been committed in Cuba by Spanish officials, and are unredressed. But recently a most flagrant outrage on the rights of American citizens and on the flag of the United States was perpetrated in the harbor of Havana under circumstances which, without immediate redress, would have justified a resort to measures of war in vindication of national honor. That outrage is not only unatoned, but the Spanish government has deliberately sanctioned the acts of its subordinates and assumed the responsibility attaching to them.

Nothing could more impressively teach us the danger to which the peaceful relations it has ever been the policy of the United States to cherish with foreign nations are constantly exposed, than the circumstances of that case. Situated as Spain and the Untied States are, the latter have forborne to resort to extreme measures.

But this course cannot, with due regard to their own dignity as an independent nation, continue; and our recommendations, now submitted, are dictated by the firm belief that the cession of Cuba to the United States, with stipulations as beneficial to Spain as those suggested, is the only effective mode of settling all past differences, and of the securing the two countries against future collisions.

We have already witnessed the happy results for both countries which followed a similar arrangement in regard to Florida.

Yours very respectfully,
James Buchanan
J. Y. Mason
Pierre Soulé

[Two years later, Buchanan, a Pennsylvania political leader with strong pro-South beliefs, was elected President of the U.S. as nominee of the Democratic
Party.]

 

In 1860, the Democratic Party split into northern and southern factions.  Each ran its own candidate for President, but endorsed the same platform–which was quite explicit about expansion:

1. Resolved, That we, the Democracy of the Union in Convention assembled, hereby declare our affirmance of the resolutions unanimously adopted and declared as a platform of principles by the Democratic Convention at Cincinnati, in the year 1856, believing that Democratic principles are unchangeable in their nature, when applied to the same subject matters; and we recommend, as the only further resolutions, the following:

2. Inasmuch as difference of opinion exists in the Democratic party as to the nature and extent of the powers of a Territorial Legislature, and as to the powers and duties of Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, over the institution of slavery within the Territories,

Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon these questions of Constitutional law.

3. Resolved, That it is the duty of the United States to afford ample and complete protection to all its citizens, whether at home or abroad, and whether native or foreign born.

4. Resolved, That one of the necessities of the age, in a military, commercial, and postal point of view, is speedy communication between the Atlantic and Pacific States; and the Democratic party pledge such Constitutional Government aid as will insure the construction of a Railroad to the Pacific coast, at the earliest practicable period.

5. Resolved, That the Democratic party are in favor of the acquisition of the Island of Cuba on such terms as shall be honorable to ourselves and just to Spain.

6. Resolved, That the enactments of the State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.

7. Resolved, That it is in accordance with the interpretation of the Cincinnati platform, that during the existence of the Territorial Governments the measure of restriction, whatever it may be, imposed by the Federal Constitution on the power of the Territorial Legislature over the subject of the domestic relations, as the same has been, or shall hereafter be finally determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, should be respected by all good citizens, and enforced with promptness and fidelity by every branch of the general government.

 

Land-as-Growth (6): Lincoln as “Pro-Growth”

Books  about the Civil War rarely focus on economics, taxes and finances, even though paying for the war while maintaining the Union’s economic stability was one of Abraham Lincoln’s greatest accomplishments. (more…)

Land-as-Growth (7): “Progress and Poverty”

One of the best-selling and influential books in U.S. history, Henry George’s Progress and Poverty, sold more than three million copies shortly after publication in 1879 (U.S. population was then about 50 million).  George analyzed how industrialism concentrated the nation’s growing wealth (more…)

Title Page

A Larger Pie: Rethinking Growth to Reshape the Future

by Joel L. Swerdlow, Ph.D. and Mayu Takeda

 

Meditations on America Press

Washington, D.C.

 

C Joel L. Swerdlow

 

Dedication

 

To the life and career of Charls E. Walker (that is not a typo; his mother had a good sense of humor). Charly, an economist whose Ph.D. is from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, worked as a banker, government official, lobbyist and teacher–in a career extending from the Eisenhower Administration into the Obama years.

Among the lessons he has taught: “Economic growth” is not a conservative or liberal goal; whatever your priorities and image of what the U.S. should be, you must care about economic growth. And governing economic growth are some pretty strong lessons rooted in history, economics, and human nature.

And to Phil Potter, Charly’s former partner and protege, who did so much to make this book possible.

–Joel S. Swerdlow

 

To my father Katsuyuki, whose hard work and sacrifice gave me my American Dream and whose character taught me to never give it up.

–Mayu Takeda

 

 

 

 


[quote on page at beginning]

In his Introduction to the first edition of Leaves of Grass (1855), a young Walt Whitman wrote:

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. . . .

As an older man (1888), Whitman added to the end of Leaves an essay entitled “Backward Glance o’er Travell’d Roads,” whose last line reads, “the strongest and sweetest songs yet remain  to be sung.”

Authors’ Bios

Authors

Joel L. Swerdlow has taught  at Johns Hopkins University (including a graduate seminar entitled “Notions of Progress” which formed the basis for this book) and Georgetown University.  He served as Senior Writer and Assistant Editor at National Geographic Magazine, and was the lead writer for the magazine’s two-year series of special issues on the “Millennium,”  during which he also completed some of the research and analysis which provide core concepts for this book.  His writing has been translated into more than thirty languages; he holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University; and he currently teaches for the Bill Archer Fellowship Program of the University of Texas.

Swerdlow has authored seven books, one of which became an NBC TV movie. His research has been supported by, among others, the Ford and Wallace Foundations and the U.S. Department of Defense. He has been a Guest Scholar at the Smithsonian’s Woodrow Wilson Center; Senior Fellow at the Annenberg Washington Program for both the Universities of  Pennsylvania and of Southern California; adviser to the President of the Museum of Television and Radio; and consultant to the National Defense University, ABC News, United States Information Agency, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Information Agency, National Endowment for Humanities, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His academic articles and presentations include “A New Approach to Combating Infectious Diseases,” “Lessons From Malaria” and “Audience for the Arts in the Age of Electronics.” He has lectured at a wide range of institutions, including Baylor College of Medicine, Smithsonian Institution, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Notre Dame University. Swerdlow’s work is cited in the 2000 National Magazine Award for general excellence, and is included in the books “Best of the Washington Post” and “Best of National Geographic Magazine” collections. He wrote a web documentary cited in 2005 by the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. He has been published in most major American newspapers and The Atlantic, Harper’s, Columbia Journalism Review, Rolling Stone, Reader’s Digest, Harvard Business Review and other magazines. He covered the White House and Watergate trials for NPR.

 

Mayu Takeda is a student at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she is studying political science and psychology. As an immigrant from Okayama, Japan, her interest and focus has been on American immigration policy. During her time in Washington, D.C. as a Bill Archer Fellow, she interned with the Immigration Advocacy and Policy Team at the Center for American Progress, where she conducted research and published material on visa policy, state immigration laws, and immigration as a national political issue. She has since interned at immigrant advocacy organizations such as Rights for All People and the Littleton Immigrant Resources Center, and she is currently researching immigration from a sociological and political perspective with Dr. Lisa Martinez at the University of Denver. Prior to being an Archer Fellow, Mayu was heavily involved with UTD’s cross-examination policy debate team with appearances in semifinals and quarterfinals, and she was a qualifier to the National Debate Tournament as a top 10 team in the region, as well as an instructor at various debate institutes. She is also the founding president of the Comet Debate Society, an organization seeking to raise the level of discourse regarding current issues at UTD. Mayu hopes to attend graduate school to study sociology.

 

Contributing Authors

Hannah Rose Bainter has a bachelor’s degree in Government and Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated with highest honors and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She is currently consulting for the government for Booz Allen Hamilton and has experience working at the U.S. Department of State as an Archer Fellow in Washington, D.C.

 

Hannah Chapman is a senior at the University of Texas at Dallas, studying political science and psychology. Hannah is involved with the Innocence Project of Texas and several voter registration initiatives across Dallas, and she plans to attend law school in the future.

 

Camden Cornwell studies Economics and Political Science at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is a Eugene McDermott Scholar and was a Bill Archer Fellow for the Fall of 2011 in Washington DC. Cornwell has worked in macroeconomic research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and behavioral economic research for the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Economic Science at the University of Texas at Dallas.

 

Sidd Dadhich is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, obtaining degrees in finance and philosophy in May of 2012. A first generation American, Sidd is interested in America’s trajectory as a global economic leader.

 

Natasha Danielle Escobar is a graduate of the University of Texas at Brownsville. As Fall 2010 Archer Fellow, Natasha worked at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She is currently a 2012 Teach For America Corps Member teaching Spanish in Baltimore.

 

Charles Eric Hintz is a 2012 graduate of Emory University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. Currently a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, he has had experience working with UBS Sales and Trading, Invesco Global Asset Management, and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

 

Derin Kiykioglu graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in Government and Psychology in May 2012 after completing her semester as a Spring 2012 Archer Fellow, during which time she interned at the U.S. Department of State. She is now teaching at a middle school in San Antonio.

 

 

 

An Invitation to Contribute

A Larger Pie is a new kind of book in that we invite readers to join the discussion and contribute to the book. Your contributions, in fact, are essential.  The reason is simple: As we are learning in more and more fields of inquiry, opening a final product to “the wisdom of crowds” can yield amazing results that build upon their own momentum.

Our procedure: Submit comments on www.largerpie.org. Mayu Takeda will respond to you; she may decide to use all or part of your comments, or ask for for clarifications or other changes before she uses it. All comments approved by Mayu will be immediately added to the electronic and the print-on-demand paper version of the book.  These new published editions will include a response from Joel Swerdlow to your comment.  Everyone whose comments are thus published will be listed on the “Contributors” page. Those whose contributions are sufficiently substantive and extensive will be listed as a “Contributing Writer.”  (You may, of course, remain anonymous and still have your comments published; Mayu and I must know, however, who you really are.)

Questions of suggestions?  Please simply contact us:

Swerdlow–joel@jswerdlow.com

Takeda–jijikago@gmail.com

Table of Contents

PART I

Introductory Material

The Need to Rethink Growth

This Will Require Two Steps.  The First is to Understand Where, When and Why Economic Growth Began

A Cause of Growth Deserving Special Attention: Technology

Two, New Ideas Emerge: “Win-Win” and “Progress”

Economic Growth Led to Democracy

When the U.S. was Born, Concern about Materialism

What People at the Time Experienced and Believed

Questions We Must Address Before Step Two

PART II (published as a separate book)

Step Two: What Can we Learn from Economic Growth in the U.S.?

Reshaping the Future

 

Our Goal: Redefine “Economic Growth”

This book is entitled A Larger Pie to emphasize a view of the world in which we all lead our lives trying to get (and often compete for) pieces of a pie that keeps getting bigger and bigger.
(more…)

How to Use (and Contribute to) this Book

A book, whether read in print or on a smart phone, is an in-depth examination of a topic, or the telling of a complex story.  Larger Pie is both. Read it from beginning to end, or skip around as topics and ideas interest you. (more…)

Brief Philosophic Pause–To What Degree Is Thinking About These Things Necessary or Useful?

That’s a fair question. Maybe for you (or most people) it’s a waste of time. With so many more practical problems and opportunities demanding attention, to think about technological innovation (to cite one example) may seem like a diversion or parlor game.  And, to cite another question we will address, no one is ever going to stop you on the street and ask, “Why do you think the Industrial Revolution occurred when it did?”

But during your college years—and beyond–the most important learning occurs, not in a classroom, but when you sit up late at night talking to people who share your interests and concerns  That’s what this is: a late-night conversation.

Your conversations and the thoughts they provoke, furthermore, provide a broad, vibrant and living framework within which you can find perspective and insights (sometimes crucial) for handling personal and work-related situations and decisions.  Often involved are massive amounts of information, conflicting priorities, and deadlines that require action long before what is “right” becomes clear.

A Poem from Walt Whitman as We Embark

Go outside, stand under the stars or next to a tree, and read this poem out loud–it  has nothing and everything to do with our quest in Larger Pie.  This may be awkward at first, but if you are alone, who will know? At worst, you will have a pleasant few minutes.  And you may clear your mind for the thinking this book requires.

(Please note:  Walt Whitman wrote every line in this poem, but I have rearranged them, taking lines from various places in Leaves of Grass.)

Life immense in passion, pulse, and power
Cheerful—for freest action form’d, under the laws divine

I heard that you ask’d
for the great Idea
that comes from (more…)

We’ve Known for a Long Time that Something’s Wrong

On March 18, 1968, forty-eight hours after declaring his candidacy for President, and (as we shall see, only about five years after the nation’s leaders began to talk about a need for “economic growth,” Robert Kennedy called America’s obsession with growth into question.

Speaking to students at the University of Kansas, Kennedy described what he called a “poverty of satisfaction—purpose and dignity—that afflicts us all… too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.”

Even now, it is impossible to read these words and not wonder how Kennedy thought this speech might help him get votes.  Accusing people of caring more about possessions than about their own communities is unlikely to make them feel good about you.

“Even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction – purpose and dignity – that afflicts us all,” RFK said. “Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.” Kennedy continued:

Our Gross National Product [renamed Gross Domestic Product in 1992] now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product—if we judge the United States of America by that—that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.  It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them.  It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.  It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities.  It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife. [Whitman and Speck were mass murderers who achieved notoriety in the mid-1960s]  And the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

We will return to RFK’s ideas.  But for now, his 1968 speech at the University of Kansas provides an important clue: In the midst of its greatest economic growth ever recorded, with unemployment below 4% and falling (and economists promising permanent “full employment”) something clearly had gone wrong in the U.S.

We Live in a “Special” Time: A New Stage in “Economic Growth”

One pervasive, persistent and seductive prejudice—at least since the advent of modern science—has been for each generation to believe it lives in special times, unlike (more…)

Contradictions, Inconsistencies, Disconnects and Improbabilities Commonly Encountered During This New Era

We are growing richer (defined as per capita GDP); yet the percentage of the population trapped in poverty expands;

We increasingly master nature—yet natural calamities and fear of catastrophe increase;

We want to be happy and provide ourselves with more choices, yet a high percentage of us say we are unhappy and dissatisfied;

We want government to stay out of our lives, yet are frustrated when it seems incapable of addressing our problems, big and small;

We want peace, yet seem psychologically and economically dependent upon huge levels of military spending;

We live longer, but our children are born with chemical poisons already in their blood;

We want a “better life” than our parents, yet this seems increasingly unachievable;

The more successful we are, the harder we seem to work and the less time we seem to have for leisure;

We believe that the U.S. is “exceptional,” yet fear it has entered a period of decline.

 

Can you think of others?

(We will address this list as the book proceeds.)

Has Economic Growth Transformed Us into a “Super-Organism?”

To approach all of this from a more dramatic (but nonetheless real) perspective: Economic growth may have transformed human beings into what biologists call “super-organisms.”

This may, at first, sound at bit strange, but consider, for example, parallels with the fire ant super-organism, which began with a small number of ants that arrived from South America in the 1930s and now covers most of the southern U.S. Tim Flannery, in “The Superior Civilization” (2009), explains:

The progress of ants from [a] relatively primitive state to the complexity of the most finely tuned super-organism leaves no doubt that the progress of human evolution has followed a path taken by the ants tens of millions of years earlier. Beginning as simply hunter-gatherers, some ants have learned to herd and milk bugs, just as we milk cattle and sheep…and there are even ants that have discovered agriculture… Clearly, not only did the attines [fungus-gathering ants] beat us to agriculture, but they exemplified the concept of division of labor long before Adam Smith stated it.

Flannery concludes: “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that we [humans] are in the process of metamorphosing into the largest most formidable super-organism of all time.” (See also Flannery’s book Here on Earth (2011)]

The ants, from everything we know about them, are on a trajectory of which they are not aware; this trajectory, furthermore, seems to be static—they do not seem to be moving towards becoming a super, super-organism. The same, however, cannot be said about human beings.

Still, economists are now studying the behavior of ants to examine “how the seemingly random behavior of individual ants can give rise to anthills with all their pulsing purpose, form and intelligence” (Dennis Overbye, “Mystery of Big Data’s Parallel Universe Brings Fear, and a Thrill,” N.Y. Times, June 5, 2012).

Parenthetically, at Least Two Other Things Will Make Today’s Young People Special

(1) You will be the last generation to share the Earth with our closest relatives living in the wild [for those who doubt the importance of this, even from a selfish perspective, geneticists are just beginning to learn from the wild; e.g. plant and animal defensive (immune) systems can teach us much about human disease; we are just beginning to unlock some of the mysteries of biodesign such as the sonar systems at bottoms of elephant feet; and why bonobos, who live on one side of the Congo River are peaceful, resolving conflicts with increased sexual activity, while fellow chimpanzees, living in exactly similar circumstances across the river, resort instead to high levels of violence]; and

(2) You are probably the last generation to live on Earth before we have confirmed the existence of what we consider to be “life” on other planetary bodies; the Vatican and other religious organizations are already hosting meetings to help theologians prepare for this moment.

Just About All of Us Use “Economic Growth” Incorrectly

Economic growth is per capita gross domestic product or GDP (referred to as the gross national product until 1992), the total value of all goods and services our society produces. It is growing a larger pie, a chance for (more…)

“Growth” is a Perpetual Hollywood Ending

Economic growth is thus perhaps the last surviving manifestation of an Enlightenment faith that via science and technology human life will inevitably keep getting better. This means without consciously deciding to do so, economists have become academia’s most persistent optimists.

“Growth,” in fact, provides us with a perpetual Hollywood ending, at least in terms of our economic lives.

Hollywood endings, one of the most pervasive U.S. contributions to world culture, are popular—attracting and pleasing huge audiences—because people know that whatever happens they will end up feeling good. Feeling good is, of course, what most people want most of the time.

Likewise, no matter what is happening in any particular economic crisis, we all believe that we know how it will end: Economic growth brings jobs and a return to prosperity.

To Rethink Economic Growth Will be Difficult–AND Will Make Many People Unhappy

Rethinking “economic growth” will be difficult, especially because the concept is used and abused so frequently.  This, in turn, breeds an inertia binding us tightly into what poet William Blake calls “mind-forg’d manacles” (Songs of Experience, “London,” 1794).

Escaping these manacles will require we avoid groupthink and also forget (more…)

Particularly Difficult to Question “Progress”

Further resistance to rethinking “economic growth” will arise because it is one of the last remaining remnants of our belief in “progress” (which is, itself an Enlightenment faith that does much to give our lives meaning).

(more…)

Nonetheless, Unavoidable Change Has Arrived

History sometimes brings such moments. “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present,” (more…)

Can’t Rely on “Experts”

The hard work of understanding growth–and thus “wealth” must be done by all of us.

We must take ownership of “economic growth” because: (more…)

Fortunately, Much of the Most Difficult Work (rethinking economic growth) Has Been Done

Sociobiology and neuro-economics, for example, are often posing and making exciting new research hypothesis and findings. (more…)

A Familiar Pattern

In his seminal The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962),  Thomas Kuhn details how people most often recognize major changes only after they occur–when, he says, (more…)

Too Important to be Left to Economists (or politicians)

Better understanding of and then the rethinking of growth is thus no academic exercise. It is necessary if our country and the values we most admire are to endure and prosper. And it is necessary if we are to do well in our own personal “pursuit of happiness.”

We cannot afford to leave rethinking growth to either economists or politicians.

(more…)

The Essence of Growth

The Nobel Committee gives a prize in economic sciences.  And economists, many of whom call themselves “quants” for their reliance on quantitative methods, rely heavily on mathematics. But the essence of economics is neither scientific nor mathematical. It is psychological, social, cultural, historical and political. (For this construct, I am indebted to Martin Heidegger’s essay “The Question Concerning Technology” (1962) which warns that “the essence of technology is by no means technological.”)

This terrain–non-“scientific” economics looks familiar to citizens in a democracy: Few ultimately “right” answers exist; instead, various “right” answers, all of which seem to raise new questions, conflict with one another.

We Are Left With Two, Major Tasks

To redefine growth (and also rescue the American Dream), we thus must see what insights and lessons we can find in: (1) the origins of economic growth; and (2) U.S. experience with economic growth.

Why Europe in the 1700s?

Scholars from numerous disciplines have examined variables that might explain the advent of (more…)

For Anyone Who Doubts a Major Turning Point in Human History Arrived: As Economies Grew, So Did Population

As we have seen, economic growth began about 200 years ago and has increased exponentially since then; human population has followed the same pattern.

Historian David Christian describes this as “a sudden breakdown in an ancient equilibrium between a large mammal species and the environment it inhabits.”

(more…)

Also Look at the” Labor-Price” of Light

In a now-classic study, economist William D. Nordhaus documents how long a person would have to work in order to purchase one hour of light after dark.

His study begins with “open fire/wood, Neolithic lamp animal or vegetable fat, and Babylonian lamp/ sesame oil” (“Do Real-Input and Real-Wage Measures Capture Reality? The History of Lighting Suggests Not,” 1997).

(more…)

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