Here is a scary thought. The Pareto Principle in economics says that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In practical terms it might mean that 20% of your movies at Warner Bros. would generate 80% of the revenue. Pareto himself noted that 80% of the waelth in Italy was held by 20% of the people.
This morning unemployment hit 10.2%, a 26 year high. Yesterday the Labor Department reported that productivity surged to 9.5%. The U.S. has worked hard to transform itself into a knowledge economy and companies like Google and Goldman Sachs record record revenues per worker. What if some version of the Pareto Principle begins to apply itself to employment–20% of the workers produce 80% of the GDP? Dan Greenhaus of Miller Taback & Co has the grim reality of our future.
We have argued and continue to argue that another jobless recovery is materializing and if our estimates for G.D.P. growth going forward materialize, the unemployment rate will remain at elevated levels for several years. Nearly 16 million people are unemployed right now while another 9 million are working part-time jobs because they cannot get a full-time job.
So here is the reality of life for the bottom 40% of America’s families. After they pay for food, housing and transportation they have $1200 per year to spend on “discretionary items” like clothing, medicine and doctors. Read more…