The reasons for Americans’ growing angst and discontent about their circumstances and prospects are many, but this seemingly new normal is easier to understand when we recognize just how significantly U.S. economic performance has faltered over the past few decades. Since the start of the 21st century, per capita growth dropped to less than half its previous 1950-2000 tempo. With the rate creaking along now at just over 1 percent per annum, incomes would take more than 60 years to double; from 1980-1999, the doubling pace was 31 years. A significant factor in modern America’s slower growth — and the lower expectations it unforgivingly imposes — is the drop-off in work.
Eberstadt: What’s behind the flight from work in post-pandemic America
September 21, 2022