The actual lifetime-earnings advantage for college graduates is a mere $279,893. A college education may not be worth as much as you think.
Right now, we are in the worst period in 50 years. Personal income has fallen off the cliff. “So, when you see a pattern emerging in averaged rolling data over more than a few months, you can bet it will last.”
“In China, when you’re one-in-a-million, there are 1,300 other people just like you.” – Bill Gates
Michael Pettis replies:
If China indeed has the same distribution of geniuses, or talent, as other countries, the fact that it has so many people won’t make it richer.
Yes, some are saying China is undergoing a speculative bubble that makes it the equivalent of “Dubai times 1,000 – or worse”.
On the way into Manhattan today my cab driver, Bubu, asked me what my impression of Africa was. I admitted that it was limited – I had only spent a week there, most of it in a middle class suburb or on a safari ranch and all of it in the company of middle class people.
But I said that the overwhelming impression was that Africa differed from North America in a key way: in Africa, the truth is valued above everything else.
Here in North America we are quick to sacrifice truth at the alter of a happy ending but African stories would never do that.
The cult of individualism – the bizarre worldview that holds that we have a ‘right’ to acquire, possess, ‘enjoy’ and refuse to others, anything (and, if we were to be honest, anyone) we can ‘afford’ (no matter how our money was acquired), including as much property as we choose, and that we have a responsibility to and for no one except ourselves and our immediate families.
The corollary of this cult worldview is that we have a ‘right’ to secure that property with guns and fences and locks, and that those who have no money or property have only themselves to blame and, in a sense, deserve to suffer illness, poverty, hunger and an early death.
The cult of individualism is likewise the cult of materialism and consumerism – our ‘value’ is a function of what we own and how much we consume.
There’s an amazing amount of lifestyle information that can be extrapolated with granular energy consumption data from any residence.
In the traditional electricity grid, we have always been data producers and utilities have always been the data consumers – gathering kilowatthour (KWh) data so it can charge us for our electricity use.
The Smart Grid delivers a richer data set and the potential for new commercial uses of personal energy consumption data. The pool of data consumers of our personal energy information may grow well beyond the traditional utilities, and we as the data producers need to consider these questions:
- Who “owns” my personal energy consumption data?
- What rules govern its availability, storage, and disposal?
- Who makes these rules and how are they enforced?
- What are potential commercial uses of my personal energy consumption data?
The rules about privacy of this new data need to be developed so that we as the data producers ensure smart management of its consumption.