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Shaping a Preferable Economic Future with Eli Dourado
Episode 349th August 2021 • Charter Cities Podcast • Kurtis Lockhart
00:00:00 00:52:39

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As we step into a new decade, it’s a good time to reflect on our expectations for the next 10 years. There are a wide variety of possible futures, some of them more plausible than others, but how do we shape a preferable future? Today’s guest believes that technological advancements could result in what he calls the ‘Roaring 20s’, with a productivity and economic boom that extends well beyond the expected post-pandemic rebound. Eli Dourado is an economist and regulatory hacker living in Washington, DC, and a senior research fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. His research is focused on dramatically increasing the pace of innovation and economic growth, especially in hard tech and aerospace, and in today’s episode, he outlines what total factor productivity (TFP) is and why it matters, how technology could lead to the end of what he calls the Great Stagnation, and how charter cities fit into the concept of neomedievalism. We also discuss the interplay between political change, technology, and geography, and how meaningful policy change can result from the deployment of new technologies, as well as how NEPA prevents the government from accelerating growth and why we should bring back wooly mammoths. Tune in for a fascinating conversation about shaping a preferable future with Eli Dourado!


Key Points From This Episode:


•   Eli starts by explaining what total factor productivity (TFP) is and why it matters.

•   Why he is focused on TFP as a means for future economic growth.

•   Five inventions that led to past TFP growth, from the internal combustion engine to electricity.

•   Learn about the Great Stagnation and why Eli is concerned about TFP growth since 2005.

•   How reliable total factor productivity statistics are and how they are calculated.

•   Why there appears to be a disparity between dissemination of products and the rate at which innovation is impacting TFP growth.

•   What neomedievalism is and how charter cities and online communities fit into this concept.

•   How technology drives political change and the interplay between technology and geography.

•   Eli shares his predictions for a technology like crypto currency in the next 10 years.

•   Discover the technological developments Eli is most excited for, from biotech to supersonics.

•   How we should think about leveraging policy reforms to impact the development and deployment of new technologies.

•   What percentage of TFP decline can be attributed to regulation versus other cultural factors.

•   How a higher percentage of linoleic acid in our diets is literally making American softer.

•   Find out what NEPA is and how it prevents the government from making swift decisions.

•   Eli reflects on the social change necessary to embrace necessary new infrastructure.

•   How environmental organizations use NEPA to prevent beneficial projects from going forward.

•   The growing eco modernist movement advocating for growth and environmental protection.

•   Eli shares his idea for a remotely piloted airship that could move more cargo, more quickly.

•   What Eli believes we can expect the impact of AI to be over the next decade.

•   Learn why it would be a positive step to climate change to bring back wooly mammoths.

•   What key industries Eli would target in a charter city to allow for greater technological innovation than the US; housing,

•   The potential benefits of medical tourism for charter cities to recruit wealthy residents.



Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


Eli Dourado

Eli Dourado on LinkedIn

Eli Dourado on Twitter

Peter Zeihan

‘Make America Boom Again: How to Bring Back Supersonic Transport’



‘Notes on technology in the 2020s’

Fire In a Bottle







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