America’s Exceptional Economy (Episode 1)

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America’s Exceptional Economy (Episode 1) 3.5

America’s history is marked by exceptional economic development and growth. Compared to other countries, its labor market has always been dynamic and robust. Moreover, America’s long history of immigration and assimilation has helped it grow for over two centuries.

Click below to watch the other videos in Examining America's Exceptional Economy.

This four-part video series explores what has made America's economy successful, what sets it apart from other nations, and what needs to be done to sustain its prominence in the global economy. Lazear shows that America and its people have prospered by prioritizing economic freedom, industriousness, low taxes, light regulation, free trade, and openness to immigration.

Edward Lazear studies labor markets, tax reform, human capital, and their effects on economic growth.

He is the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Davies Family Professor of Economics at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. He also served at the White House from 2006 to 2009 as a chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

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💬 Comments

Why was there no explanation on income growth @ 2:30? He paused and then jumped into an explanation of the unemployment rate. Wages have been stagnant the past 30+ years and you claim we’re doing “pretty good?”

Author — Duval singleton


If you have to compare our current nation to ancient versions of rival nations, then expect disappointment.

Author — Umbrella_Guard


America was sold out to the Chinese and then when the rat bankers ran themselves out of business by their own greed they were awarded billions of dollars and then got to borrow money at zero interest rate for years on end to buy their stocks back and make more money destroying the currency. Why don't you put a video together about that string of events that destroyed Humanity

Author — G Stew


Ya so economically, why then is there 20 plus mil homeless

Author — Thomas Griffin


I don't understand how a country that does so well on paper does so poorly with everything else.

Author — Parlato


Yeah I found out that too! While I was in China. We don’t migrant around country at all. But after I came to the US. We travel and relocate everywhere as school and job opportunities shows up ! And I love it !

Author — Chenxuan Cui


From previous videos, I thought you guys were trying to push liberal agendas by doing a really crappy job of appealing to conservatives (I'm a liberal, by the way), but now I'm wondering if you're just trying to sling any B.S. that you can. Maybe you're doing an experiment on how people are swayed by crappy reasoning and information that could easily be misleading. If you're not just doing that kind of experiment, please stop. I haven't seen a video from you that wasn't ridiculous. At least don't try to make a bunch of claims about economics in videos that are less than 10 minutes long. It's way too complicated of a subject for that. Anything that's said is necessarily going to be a poorly supported claim that no one watching should believe based on the reasoning you can provide in such a limited amount of time. I realize that you're probably trying to help something, but this kind of stuff doesn't help anything. At best, the only people you're influencing are people who believe whatever they hear, regardless of whether or not that have good reason to believe it. Maybe you think that's worthwhile because people on your side are still on your side even if they don't have good reasons, but it's pointless because those people are just going to believe the next video that looks credible and gives them a poor line of reasoning for a proposition that contradicts what you wanted them to believe. It's pointless. Give solid arguments for your points or don't present them.

Virtually every economist who's studied this thing thinks that the worst possible thing you can do for economic growth is raising taxes on capital, do they? Citation needed. I'm pretty sure that the question of whether or not raising taxis on capital is bad for economic growth is broken to begin with because it doesn't factor in what the tax money is being used for. Raising taxes to provide larger salaries for politicians is probably who then use it to invest in derivatives is probably going to be bad for economic growth. Raising taxes to fund programs that help unemployed people find good jobs so that they're able to contribute to the economic system might be good for economic growth. To say that raising taxes on capital is the worst thing you can possibly do for economic growth across the board is simply ridiculous unless you believe that it's impossible for government agencies to do anything that provides more value than they use up. Given that government agencies are simply people performing actions that happen to be paid by a government, that notion is absurd because actions have the same result regardless of what motivates them (who someone is being paid by) and we know that people performing actions can effect the economy in positive ways. I don't believe that there is really the consensus that Lazear claims and, if there were, the economists who have studied the subject would have to be able to demonstrate that they could use their model to accurately predict the outcomes of policy decisions (demonstrate that their knowledge on the subject gives their opinions more weight than those of others) for there opinions to be seen as valuable. Demonstrate that there's a consensus and then demonstrate that the principal gives you the ability to make accurate predictions regardless of what the tax money is used for.

Does the GDP growth rate really give you an accurate representation of the health of an economy? If 95% of people received $10, 000 worth of wealth one year received 10% less wealth the following year and 5% of people who received $1, 000, 000 worth of wealth one year and received 10% more the following year, that's a 6% gross increase. Is it good for the economy if a few extremely wealthy get wealthier and the vast majority of people become poorer? It can like it if you're measuring the health of the economy with GDP growth. Please don't give me trickledown economics, because it should be clear to everyone that trickledown economics basically only works one way - making in more like shit-rolls down hill economics. If you're an hourly employee and your company starts making more money you usually do more work but get paid the same amount as long as you're capable of meeting the higher demands, but if they start making less money they cut your hours.

How does GDP increase tell you that the economy is resilient in the ways people care about that were listed when you can easily do the math above and see that you can have positive GDP growth while 95% of people are less wealthy?

Unemployment rates doesn't necessarily tell you anything either if a bunch of people are employed in jobs that don't pay livable wages, requiring government assistance for people get by. I'm personally good with requiring companies to pay livable wages so the government doesn't have to tax people more to provide for people employed in these jobs, but that's defiantly not what you would probably call a "business friendly" policy.

Please provide sources for the claim that Japan has lower unemployment because people don't move into better jobs and that America's unemployment rate is significantly impacted by people moving into better jobs. This seems crazy on it's face because it people moving into better jobs generally don't get fired from the one they currently have and don't spend time any being unemployed. Who just cuts off their income while they look for a better job.

At first I thought the thing about children making more money than their parents was just bullshit, but then I realized that it's probably accurate and just misleading. If your parents are retired or senior citizens, you're probably going to be making more money than they are. This is going to happen to almost everyone at some point. It doesn't necessarily say anything about the relative earnings of people at similar points in their lives. Tricky tricky.

Doing better than your parents if you were born in the lowest 20% doesn't mean you're significantly doing better. You could make a dollar more per week and you would still count in that 93%

I've spent enough time responding to this. It should be pretty obvious that it's bullshit and there's no reason given here to believe most of it even if some of it was true.

Author — Matt Lambert


Need to be updated our unemployment rate lowered.

Author — A. N.


Of coarse we’re especially exceptional

Author — Pvrkside Cam


Just like in real life, all their fake people animations are whiter at the top.

Author — Nathanael Willie


Yeah, America is real exceptional at exploiting the labor and resources of the impoverished and less fortunate, both abroad and at home, for it's own gain. Probably helps that our government has invested so much in the worlds most exorbitant, imperialistic military. It's to the point that three fourths of it's own citizens are living paycheck to paycheck and can't afford their own exorbitant medical bills which we have to pay for out of our empty pockets. I'll never be able to afford college because I wasn't born rich.

America is a corporatist nightmare with a government that's verging on fascism and that is fueled by the lives it destroys rather than the ones it helps.

Author — 下佐粉チャネル


Obama had it right. To say America is exceptional would be ignorant nationalism.

Author — Cameron Armstrong