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Rick Bowmer / AP

David Brooks' latest column cites a Commentary magazine article and a Tyler Cowen book to point a finger at the foundation of our 21st century problems: declining economic growth.

  • Slowing GDP: Between 1948 and 2000, the U.S. economy grew at a per-capita rate of about 2.3% a year. But from 2000 on per-capita growth has averaged less than 1%.
  • Fewer hours of paid work: Between 1985 and 2000, the total hours of paid work increased by 35%. Over the next 15 years, they increased by only 4%.
  • Declining employment: For every American man aged 25-55 looking for employment, 3 have dropped out of the labor force.
  • More screen-time: Labor-force dropouts spend on average 2,000 hours a year watching some sort of screen.
  • Increased drug use: About 50% of men who have dropped out take pain medication on a daily basis.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.