Notes from The Complacent Class by Tyler Cowen

• Kids are put and encouraged into catatonic states, via drugs or use of technology devices such as phones and tv. Decades ago kids played outside and were active and played. Now if they’re hyper we say they have ADHD and drug them up like they’re suppose to act like 50 year olds.
• We legalized marijuana, a drug that makes you calm and lazy over LSD, a drug that opens your mind to new possibilities and ideas. The 60’s were about pushing ideas forward and change. Today it’s about, effectively, doing nothing.
• Entrepreneurship has fallen by 65% since 1980
• There is a high probability of a “great reset.” We’re so complacent that one day like a bottled steam engine things will explode and boil over. Crime will rise violence will rise and schism between rich and poor with be starker than today.
• Moving is rooted in change.
• Books and movies in the 60’s were about travel and adventure and seeing the world. Today they’re heavily about dysfunctional people or people with quirks in Brooklyn or the suburbs who are not happy or have some minor struggle and not entirely happy with their lives. “There are more mentions of espresso than the settling of the frontier or of moving to another state to shake up the unhappy routine of one’s daily life.”
• There is not nearly as much turnover at companies as there used to be. This means those who want to move have a harder time since there are less openings. (Companies are also willing to do more with less; fewer hires. Companies with high turnover like Amazon are examples of bad work environments.)
• With hiring rates declining people are staying at jobs they’re less happy at. A 10% increase of people staying at jobs for more than five years since 1998.
• The similarities between places should be taken into account as to reasoning why people aren’t moving. Places are becoming and more and more like each other. E.g. There are many places with trendy restaurants and hip coffee shops and enough technology companies to satisfy one’s need, should these be their criteria.
• “If the point is simply that life today is pretty good for many (but not all) of us, Gates and Andreesen are right. But by most metrics economic opportunity is down and living standards, although they’ve advanced, are growing more slowly than in the past. For the most part, the American economy is more static than it was several decades ago, and that remains one of the most underreported stories of our time.”
• “Four-year college graduates earned higher starting salaries in 2000 than they do today, by about seven to eight percent.”