|Source: New York Times|
The deeper point is that things are getting cheaper and cheaper, and people -- services provided with their expertise -- are getting more and more expensive.
On the back of my mind: What does the economy look like when goods are essentially free, and all value consists of paying other people for their expertise?
I explored this a little in covering Larry Summers' Martin Feldstein speech. But it remains, I think, an important question for deep microeconomic research.
In just about any transaction you name, from electronics to fashion to health care, most of the value comes from the expertise of the seller, not the physical good.
The characteristics of the production, value, and sale of expertise are completely different from those of the standard widget. Just the measurement of GDP and inflation in such a world raise lots of open questions.