Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Pivot Point

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Any time I look at a long-term chart of economic data from the U.S., there seems to be an important inflection point at 1979. For example, wealth equality seemed to reach its peak then, but then it “V-bottomed” and has never looked back.

I thought of this recently when I was messing around in the economic database within SlopeCharts and looked at the debt-to-GDP ratio. Look at what was going on from about 1965 to 1979:

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Japanese Reflection (2 of 4)

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I’ve been pleasantly surprised that some of my most popular posts are excerpts from the only history book I ever wrote, Panic, Prosperity, and Progress. Over this holiday weekend, I’ll be sharing, over the course of four days, the chapter dedicated to the inflation and bursting of the Japanese bubble of the 1980s. I think you’ll find some interesting parallels with China. You can read the first part here.

In the early 1950s, Japan focused on what it called “priority production”, which meant a focus on basics such as coal mining, steel production, and shipbuilding. It was creating a solid foundation for the widespread industrialization that would come years later, and it helped move the country away from its former focus on farming. In the modern world, becoming proficient at industries such as steel would be more valuable than another marginal increase in rice output.

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