February 2, 2012

HOW WE UNDERESTIMATE HOUSEHOLD NET WORTH:

The human capital imperative: bringing more minds to America (Nick Schulz, 1/31/12, National Chamber Foundation)

Over the past few decades, economists, social scientists, and other scholars have begun to realize the importance of "human capital" to a nation's economic success. When we think of capital, we typically think of hard assets that can produce income over time, such as factories, farm equipment, and manufacturing plants. Human capital is another kind of capital. It is the stock of talent, skill, know-how, intelligence, education, and experience embedded within individuals that helps them to produce income.

Consider what this means for the American economy as it has changed over time. The American economy transitioned from largely agricultural roots in the 18th century to an industrial power in the 19th and 20th centuries to include a large service and advanced technology dimension today. Over that time, as sophisticated technology has penetrated to the center of economic life, the role played in the American economy by human capital has grown steadily larger. Greater amounts of human capital are required to develop and manipulate the technology that drives the economy. The American economy has gone from one that emphasizes brawn to one that relies on brains.

How important is this human capital? According to recent estimates, the stock of human capital is over $750 trillion. According to a research report from JP Morgan called "U.S. Recession and Repression Are Only in Our Minds," this is much greater than the roughly $70 trillion of physical and financial assets owned by American households.

Opposition to immigration isn't just antihuman, it's anticapitalist.
Posted by orrinj at February 2, 2012 6:28 AM
  
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