In a new book, The Complacent Class, economist Tyler Cowen argues that the United States is standing still.
People have grown more risk averse and are reluctant to switch jobs or move to another state, he says, and the desire to innovate — to grow and change — has gone away.
In an interview with NPR’s Rachel Martin, Cowen says he’s worried that more and more communities are self-segregating — by income, education or race.
“We’re making decisions that are rational and even pleasurable from an individual point of view, but when everyone in society behaves this way — to cement in their own security, their own mobility — social mobility as a whole goes down, inequality goes up, many measures of segregation go up,” he says. “And ultimately a bill for this comes due.”