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A special Monday bonus video in which John talks about the new podcast, the decoupling of productivity and wages, and THE PAPER TOWNS MOVIE TOUR! Let's continue the discussion about productivity and wages in comments.


Dear Hank and John: Episode 1 Do You Pee On Your Head?


FRANCE: @GallimardJeun
Meet and Greet: le 17 juin à 18h30 à la Librairie de Paris

GERMANY: @FoxDeutschland
Berlin event FULLY BOOKED. Stay tuned to @foxdeutschland to see if Fox announces any more tickets.

UK: @UKPaperTowns
Follow @UKPaperTowns for more information on a special Paper Towns event coming to London very soon!


USA: Cast your vote at by liking and reblogging your state. One tumblr note is one vote and your votes decide where Cara, Nat, and I go on the #GetLostGetFound tour! Voting is open until June 15th and FAQs can be found here:

New Paper Towns trailer:

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John: Good morning Hank, it's Monday. You know what that means: special bonus video! Coming to you in 4 parts.

Part 1: Europe. So Hank, next week I will be on whirlwind tour of Europe with my wife and a couple of my friends. On Tuesday, June 16 we will be in Berlin for an event that is unfortunately currently sold out. But nerdfighters of Germany, I will let you know on Twitter if more tickets become available, and regardless I hope that you enjoy "Margos Spuren." My German is excellent, I know. Then on Wednesday I will be in Paris meeting and greeting people outside of a bookstore, more info in the dooblydoo. And on Thursday I will be in London at a place and time yet to be determined. The appropriate twitter feeds to find out more are all in the dooblydoo, but it is starting to happen Hank, the Paper Towns movie is starting to become real.

Part 2: Our podcast. Hank, our new podcast "Dear Hank and John" or as I like to think of it, "Dean John and Hank," has made its debut on iTunes and SoundCloud. Links below. This week we discuss whether bowling can heal the broken human heart, whether people have peed on every square inch of earth. And of course we have all the latest news from Mars, which is a cold dead rock in the lifeless vacuum of space, and AFC Wimbledon, the most important soccer team in the history of the universe.

Part 3: the United States of America. Hank, Nat and Cara and I will also be touring in the US in July, but I can't tell you where specifically because I don't yet know. We will be visiting the states that get the most votes over at There you can vote for your state by liking and reblogging on tumblr. One tumblr note equals one vote. And we will visit the places that get the most votes between now and June 15. Hank, I'm just gonna be honest with you, I'm rooting for Indiana and Montana, although I will also accept any other outcome.

Part 4: the decoupling of wages and productivity. That's what people really want to hear about in bonus videos. So Hank, in your last video you were like:

Hank: And I also worry about the decoupling of productivity and wages.

John: As it happens, that's something that I also spend a lot of time thinking about. So as you can tell from this graph, since World War II wages and productivity were really closely correlated until about 2000, when there was this great decoupling. And ever since then productivity has surged but wages have remained stagnant. This is a big part of why we've seen this dramatic increase in the disparity of wealth in the United States in the last, like 20 years. These days the richest 1% of Americans control about 40% of America's total wealth. And that's bad. Not just morally bad, it's also economically and socially bad. Decreasing economic mobility means that, on average, the most talented and innovative people are less likely to get the opportunities they need to create new businesses and make lots of jobs, and etc. But anyway Hank, that graph only goes back to 1947. If you go back much further, say to the industrial revolution, you see a similar decoupling between productivity and wages which this economist Robert Allen calls the Engel's Pause. And the Engel's Pause lasted several decades until wages suddenly shot up, and it's possible I guess that we're in the middle of another Engel's Pause, because we are having this, like, technological revolution, right? But it's also possible that something entirely different is happening because the sample size of history is tiny! Like, Hank, for almost all of the last 10,000 years, pretty much everyone's job was either farmer or hunter/gatherer. It's only in like the last 300 years that lots and lots of people have even had these non-farm jobs that people associate with 'wages.' And that lack of historical precedence is a big part of the reason I feel skeptical towards pretty much anyone who expresses confidence when it comes to fiscal policy or economic history.

In short, Hank, I think wealth inequality is one of the biggest issues facing the United States and I think we should be very worried about the decoupling of wages and productivity, but we also need to remember that we are in the middle of history and we can collectively decide whether this decreasing economic mobility is permanent. Of course, I might be wrong. The possibility that you might be wrong is the very definition of economics.

Hank, nerdfighters, I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this. In the mean time don't forget to vote for your state at, link in the dooblydoo. And I hope to see as many of you as possible next week in Europe.

Hank, you will see me tomorrow.