January 22, 2019
introduction: the new normal and the old, old normal

the probability of slower economic growth in the years to come

January 24, 2019
the historically slow rate of economic growth – monetization – literacy – industrialization
reading: Casselman, Ben. 2018. “The Jobs Recovery: A Longer View.” New York Times June 1.
Leonhardt, David. 2016. “The American Dream, Quantified at Last.” New York Times December 16.

January 29, 2019
how much inequality is desirable?
reading: Rasmussen, Dennis C. 2016. “The Problem with Inequality, According to Adam Smith.” The Atlantic June 9.
Piketty, Thomas. 2016. “We Must Rethink Globalization, or Trumpism Will Prevail.” Guardian November 16.

January 31, 2019
accumulation and increasing or decreasing inequality
reading: Piketty, Thomas. 2014. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Pages 1-15.

February 5, 2019
income – wealth – “r > g”
reading: Piketty, pages 15-27.

February 7, 2019
work vs. inheritance – degrees of inequality across time and space – class struggle vs. centile struggle
reading: Piketty, pages 237-255.

February 12, 2019
Gini coefficients – the patrimonial middle class – effective repression
reading: Piketty, pages 255-265.

February 14, 2019
the weird 20th century
reading: Levinson, Mark. 2016. An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy. Basic Books. Chapter Nine.

February 19, 2019
technology as the motor of growth
reading: Gordon, Robert. J. 2016. The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Pages 1-23 and 319-328.

February 21, 2019
the weird 20th century redux: the Great Leap Forward, 1920-1950
reading: Gordon, Chapter 16.

February 26, 2019
headwinds discouraging future growth at 20th century rates
reading: Gordon, Chapter 18.

February 28, 2019
strategies given the prognosis of slower growth
reading: Gordon, Postscript.

the changing nature of work and jobs

March 5, 2019
again, technology is central
reading: Carr, Nicholas. 2014. The Glass Cage. W.W. Norton. Chapter Two.
book analysis due

March 7, 2019
the new job market
reading: Williamson, Kevin D. 2018. “‘Fulfillment:’ Life on the SLAM Line at the Everything Store.” National Review September 10:22-25.
Edsall, Thomas B. 2018. “The Robots Have Descended on Trump Country.” New York Times December 13.

March 12, 2019
losers in the new economy
reading: Eberstadt, Nicholas. 2017. “Our Miserable 21st Century.” Commentary March:15-22.

March 14, 2019
maybe the “new economy” isn’t the problem
reading: Graeber, David. 2018. Bullshit Jobs. Simon & Schuster. Preface.
Hyman, Lous. 2018. “It’s not Technology That’s Disrupting Our Jobs.” New York Times August 18.

March 19 and 21, 2019
spring break!

March 26, 2019
the Left’s abandonment of Labor
Fukuyama, Francis. 2018. “Against Identity Politics.” Foreign Affairs September/October.

March 28, 2019
the gig economy
reading: Stern, Chapters Four and Five.

April 2, 2019
the gig economy
reading: Harris, Malcolm. 2019. “Doing More, Getting Less: The Unmaking of American Work.” The Nation March 25.
Whippman, Ruth. 2018. “Everything is for Sale Now. Even Us.” New York Times November 24.
Berlatsky, Noah. 2017. “Our Obsession with Personal Branding Reveals a Dark Truth about the Future of Work.” Quartz March 7.

April 4, 2019
schooling for jobs in the 21st century
reading: Cass, Oren. 2017. “Teaching to the Rest.” National Review July 31:31-34.
(skim) Stern, Chapter Six.

April 9, 2019
time discipline in the 21st century
reading: Koeber, Chuck. 2017. “The Social Reorganization of Time: The ‘Great Speedup’ and the Transformation of of Time and Work Discipline.” Humanity and Society 41(2):143-157.

the prospect of universal basic income

April 11, 2019
reading: Webb, Rick. 2013. “The Economics of Star Trek: The Proto-Post Scarcity Economy.” Medium November 6.
generational views paper due

April 16, 2019
work and the morality of leisure
reading (skim): Veblen, Thorstein. 1931[1899]. The Theory of the Leisure Class. “Chapter Three: Conspicuous Leisure.” New York: The Modern Library.

April 18, 2019
UBI as a strategy for salvaging the American Dream
reading: Stern, Chapter Seven.

April 23, 2019
liberal arguments for UBI
reading: Stern, Chapter Eight.

April 25, 2019
establishment and conservative arguments for UBI
reading: Santens, Scott. 2017. “Why We Should All Have a Basic Income.” Proceeds of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
Murray, Charles. 2016. “A Guaranteed Income for Every American.” Wall Street Journal June 3.

April 30, 2019
libertarian arguments for UBI
reading: Zwolinski, Matt. 2013. “The Libertarian Case for a Basic Income.” December 5.

May 2, 2019
anarchist arguments for UBI
reading: Graeber, Chapter Seven.

May 14, 2019
UBI reflection paper due at 11:00 a.m. via email to