We have now reviewed all possible causes of the Great Divergenceall, at least, that have thus far attracted most experts' attention. What are their relative contributions? Here is a back-of-the-envelope calculation, an admittedly crude composite of my discussions with and reading of the various economists and political scientists cited thus far:
- Race and gender are responsible for none of it, and single parenthood is responsible for virtually none of it.
- Immigration is responsible for 5 percent.
- The imagined uniqueness of computers as a transformative technology is responsible for none of it.
- Tax policy is responsible for 5 percent.
- The decline of labor is responsible for 20 percent.
- Trade is responsible for 10 percent.
- Wall Street and corporate boards' pampering of the Stinking Rich is responsible for 30 percent.
- Various failures in our education system are responsible for 30 percent.
Drum wants to focus more on politics.