Tyler Cowen: Economic Growth and the Debt We Owe to Our Distant Future

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The chief goal of society should be to maximize wealth, according to Tyler Cowen. Pursuing that goal has delivered everything from nutritious and abundant food, to air conditioning and smartphones in the developed world, and those benefits are spreading rapidly to the developing world. The challenge is how societies can embrace and implement that goal. If those challenges are overcome, the benefits to globally diversified equity investors will be substantial.

Like many accomplished people approaching late-middle age, Cowen, one of the most interesting men in the world, has turned his attention to moral philosophy. In the slim volume, Stubborn Attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, and Responsible Individuals, which can be read in a long afternoon, the George Mason University economist and polymath argues that maximizing economic growth is the best thing we can do to enhance human welfare.

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