I’ve been trying to explain this idea to people forever. The idea that this 2% inflation target is not being met because technology was driving the costs of some goods down. Why do phones cost the same every year even though they keep getting better? Why are some goods cheaper than ever on Amazon and Alibaba? Where was the inflation occurring?
This book has the answer I was unable to articulate. Technology is deflationary.
Unfortunately that nugget of good information is contained mostly in the first chapter of the book (with some what should we do about it in the final chapter of the book – hint: bitcoin [duh])
The middle chapters read like Andrew Yang’s The War on Normal People – a scary and exciting picture of things to come from technology painted by a tech entrepreneur who has made his fortune and is now out to make the world a better place.
To be honest, I barely remember any of those middle chapters. I’ve already heard all the theories about AI and job loss and robot workers and how polarized the world is and the rise of populism – it’s exhausting even recounting these ideas.
I was primed to love this book as the author shares my views on inflation and bitcoin (my two favorite things to talk about), but I would have liked more of the author’s opinion and analysis of what to do about it rather than explaining to me how the world is doomed (which seems to be a pretty fashionable thing to talk about).
That being said the timing of this book (published January of 2020) is remarkable. It was pre-trillion(s) dollar stimulus, pre-bitcoin halving, pre-coronavirus (the acceleration of all these futuristic trends). And I’m sure Jeff Booth has many lucrative speaking opportunities and doesn’t care about my 3 star review of his book (that I mostly agree with and really enjoyed some parts of).
C’est la vie.