Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Few Fascinating Things


  • "Today, of Americans officially designated as 'poor,' 99 percent have electricity, running water, flush toilets, and a refrigerator; 95 percent have a television, 88 percent a telephone, 71 percent a car and 70 percent air conditioning. Cornelius Vanderbilt had none of these." --Matt Ridley

  • "As late as the 1950s, New York's garment industry was the nation's largest manufacturing cluster. It employed 50 percent more workers than the auto industry in Detroit." --Edward Glaeser

  • "Two married 66-year-olds with roughly average earnings over their lives will end up paying about $110,000 in dedicated Medicare taxes through the payroll tax, including the portion their employers pay. They can expect to receive about $340,000 in benefits. Two average-earning 56-year-olds will pay about $140,000 and get back about $430,000 in benefits." --David Leonhardt

  • "In 1941, the U.S. economy produced almost 40 percent more output than it had in 1929, with virtually no increase in labor hours or private-sector capital input. Almost all of the increase in output per hour is attributable to technological and organizational advance. ... The [Great Depression in the] 1930s were indeed the most technologically progressive decade of the century." --Alex Field
Lots more at the link.

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