Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A Workers' History blurb

Here's my draft book blurb (these things are weirdly the hardest things to write):
After seven years of economic research and developing forecasting models that have outperformed the experts, author, blogger, and physicist Dr. Jason Smith offers his insights about the major driving factors behind the economy derived from the data and it's not economics — it's social changes. These social changes are behind the questions of who gets to work, how those workers organize, and how workers identify politically — and it is through labor markets that these social changes manifest in economic effects. What would otherwise be a disjoint and nonsensical postwar economic history of the United States is made into a cohesive workers' history driven by women entering the workforce and the backlash to the Civil Rights movement — plainly: sexism and racism. This new understanding of historical economic data offers lessons for understanding the political economy of today and insights for policies that might actually work.
Feel free to let me know what you think in comments ...

Friday, February 1, 2019

A Workers' History update: February 2019

Updated 7 Feb 2019. I'm now finished with the first draft — I was out with a cold all week and 2" of snow in Seattle brought the city to a halt (ha!) so I had tons of time. It has been an interesting journey of discovery — I've had to revise some of the models (like this improved explanation of the housing crisis where there's no housing bubble), and found a lot more connections between the various streams of data. That first one required me to re-make the cover ... what will probably be its final version:

I explained my thinking in response to a comment on my other blog that I should get someone else to design it:
The cover design I'm working on now is in reference to Piet Modrian's abstract Paris work from the inter-war period, using a font (Futura) from the same time period. But it's also of the economic seismogram from the Great Recession. This (roughly) bookends the same time period I am writing about in the book. Additionally, the blue color is borrowed from my previous cover (the red is its RGB transpose) which was based on the blueberry analogies in the book but also a reference to the Velvet Underground's first album (and Andy Warhol cover).
Updated 7 Feb 2019. Here are the table of contents and the opening paragraphs of the first draft (click to enlarge):

I'm also recommending two books that I'm using to help understand the the subject of the second chapter on the decline of manufacturing:


I've added them to my side bar.