The overall pictures is that health care and education costs have managed to increase by ten times without a single cent of the gains going to teachers, doctors, or nurses. If technology increases productivity for skilled laborers in other industries, then less susceptible industries might end up footing the bill since they have to pay their workers more.
Some of the increased productivity trickles down to factory workers, and they earn more money.
And it might make sense for salaries to stay the same if employees instead benefitted from lower workloads and better working conditions. This is probably around the average wage increase during that time.
If we had to provide the same quality of service as we did inand without the gains from modern technology and globalization, who even knows how many times more health care would cost?
But if we irresponsibly take their median estimate and apply it to the current question, we get that increasing health spending in the US has been worth about one extra year of life expectancy.
Yet we still work forty hour weeks, and some large-but-inconsistently-reported percent of Americans 76? This suggests a revealed preference that elderly people are willing to tolerate a certain fall probability in order to save money and convenience. I read stuff every so often about how playgrounds are becoming obsolete because nobody wants to let kids run around unsupervised on something with sharp edges.
Imagine if tomorrow, the price of water dectupled. And the veteran teachers I know say the same thing as the veteran doctors I know — their jobs used to be enjoyable and make them feel like they were making a difference; now they feel overworked, unappreciated, and trapped in mountains of paperwork.
Indeed these professions seem to have lost ground salary-wise relative to others. Suppose that people proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Khan Academy could teach you just as much as a normal college education, but for free.
Medical equipment gets manufactured in goodness-only-knows which obscure Third World country. I see this all the time in medicine.
The existing literature on cost disease focuses on the Baumol effect. Tyler Cowen writes about cost disease. Suppose in some underdeveloped economy, people can choose either to work in a factory or join an orchestra, and the salaries of factory workers and orchestra musicians reflect relative supply and demand and profit in those industries.
GDP per capita is x greater today than in his time. I mentioned politics briefly above, but they probably deserve more space here. My father is a doctor and my mother is a teacher, so I got to hear a lot about how these professions have changed over the past generation.Home; About Us.
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