Gale Pooley

Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth & Poverty

Gale L. Pooley teaches U.S. economic history at Utah Tech University. He has taught economics and statistics at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Alfaisal University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Brigham Young University-Idaho, Boise State University, and the College of Idaho. Dr. Pooley serves on the board of HumanProgress.org.

Dr. Pooley earned his BBA in Economics at Boise State University. He did graduate work at Montana State University and completed his PhD at the University of Idaho. His dissertation topic was on the Knowledge Acquisition Preferences of the CEOs of the Inc. 500.

In 1986 he founded Analytix Group, a real estate valuation and consulting firm. The Analytix Group has performed over 5,000 appraisals in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Dr. Pooley has held professional designations from the Appraisal Institute, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and the CCIM Institute.

He has published articles in National Review, HumanProgress, The American Spectator, FEE, the Utah Bar Journal, the Appraisal Journal, Quillette, and RealClearMarkets. 

Dr. Pooley is a Fellow with the Discovery Institute and serves on the board of HumanProgress.org. He also serves on the Foundation for Economic Education Faculty Network and is a Scholar with Hawaii's Grassroot Institute. He is also a member of the Mont Pelerin Society. He has presented at FreedomFest and the COSM Technology conference.

His major research activity has been the Simon Abundance Index, which he co-authored with Dr. Marian Tupy.

 

Archives

Ritz Abundance

Joseph (Jake) Klein recently wrote a great article about Ritz Crackers. He notes that they were introduced in 1934 at a price of 19 cents for a one pound box. There are around 8.75 crackers per ounce so a 16-ounce box would yield around 140 of the tasty wafers. Ritz outsold every other cracker their first year on the market.

Money Is Time and Time Flies

On April 21, 1787, the Congress of the Confederation of the United States authorized a design for an official copper penny, later referred to as the Fugio cent because of its image of the Sun and its light shining down on a sundial with the caption, Fugio. Fugio is Latin for “I flee/fly”, referring to time flying by.

The Abundance of Air Travel Since 1970

Transcontinental flights were once a luxury. Now they are affordable for almost everyone. Free-market entrepreneurial capitalism isn’t about making more luxuries for the wealthy, it’s about making luxuries common for the average person.

The Good Old Days Were Really Expensive

We buy things with money but pay for them with our time. Money prices are expressed in dollars and cents, while time prices are expressed in hours and minutes. A time price is simply the money price divided by hourly income.

Who Is Creating More Value For Society? Jeff Bezos or Bernie Sanders?

Michael R. Strain of the American Enterprise Institute has noted: Billionaire innovators create enormous value for society. In a 2004 paper, the Nobel laureate economist William D. Nordhaus found “that only a minuscule fraction” – about 2.2% – “of the social returns from technological advances” accrued to innovators themselves. The rest of the benefits (which is to say, almost all of them) went to consumers. If Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is worth $170 billion, then according to Nordhaus, he’s created over $7.7 trillion in value for society. Bezos has made each American around $23,000 richer. But Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders thinks an innovator’s 2.2 percent is too much. Sanders tweeted “Billionaires should not exist.” Continue

TVs Versus Degrees

Government heavily subsidizes demand and restricts supply in higher education. We should not be surprised when this translates into much higher prices.

More Light Innovation

The cost of a 1600 lumen LED lightbulb has recently dropped by 25 percent. The new bulb also offers a great innovation. The problem with LED bulbs is that they come in five different shades. Feit Electric’s new light solves this problem by putting a switch on each bulb that lets you pick your preferred shade level. The energy to use this new lightbulb costs 17 percent more, or around 31 cents a year ($2.11 versus $1.80 based on 3 hours per day at 11 cents per kWh.) The new bulb will give you an hour of great light for less than 0.2 cents. Blue-collar workers are currently earning around $35 an hour in compensation (wages and benefits). One hour of work will buy them 18,421 hours of light. Work 1/5th of a second and you get one hour of light. Recall that in 1830 it took three hours

From 1979 to 2019 Finished Goods Became 761 Percent More Abundant for Upskilling Workers

35 consumer goods take 54.4% to 94.9% less time to earn the money to buy. Most of us begin our work life as unskilled workers. But we learn new skills every day and this allows us to upgrade to higher-paying jobs. In a word, we enjoy career mobility. This is why it is important to follow a person’s path through their economic life.  We create categories to divide populations into groups. Categories can provide useful demographic snapshots. Categories don’t change but people move through categories throughout their lives. This is why in many cases it makes more sense to look at individuals instead of categories. We talk about this issue here. We looked at the time prices of 35 finished goods for workers who started out as unskilled workers and moved up to

Dr. Gale L. Pooley on the Ideology of Scarcity and the Potential to Achieve “Super Abundance”

In his first term as California’s governor, Jerry Brown famously said back in 1975, “There is no free lunch. This is an era of limits and we all had better get used to it. Small is beautiful.” Was Brown right? These days, it seems that establishment thinking and most of the content on mainstream media believes it is so. Threats from climate change, overpopulation, and environmental degradation, we are told, now force us to reduce consumption and limit growth in order to save the planet and ourselves. Wesley’s guest in this edition of Humanize takes a radically different and far more optimistic view. Gale L. Pooley has co-authored a book entitled Super Abundance in which he and co-author Marian L. Tupy argue that contrary to the roaring pessimism about the human

After 96 Years, TV Abundance Continues to Flourish

What Philo T. Farnsworth invented in 1927 has become one of our most beloved products with billions sold.
Without the innovation of TV, there would be no internet or mobile phones. It is a foundation technology for the age of knowledge discovery.

Healing Peter’s Pessimism

Take Elon Musk’s advice and “look at the numbers”
While it is easy to be pessimistic if you compare today to utopia, a much better perspective is to look at yesterday and see how far we’ve come in our journey to lift everyone from poverty. We’re experiencing growth in material abundance, time abundance, and choice abundance. Welcome to Superabundance!

Superabundance

The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet
Generations of people have been taught that population growth makes resources scarcer. In 2021, for example, one widely publicized report argued that “The world’s rapidly growing population is consuming the planet’s natural resources at an alarming rate … the world currently needs 1.6 Earths to satisfy the demand for natural resources … could rise to 2 planets by 2030.” But is that true? After analyzing the prices of hundreds of commodities, goods, and services spanning two centuries, Marian Tupy and Gale Pooley found that resources became more abundant as the population grew. That was especially true when they looked at “time prices,” which represent the length of time that people must work to buy something. To their surprise, the authors also found that