The US productivity puzzle – This Financial Times’ Article Implies That Most Economists Miss a Critical Factor

The dramatic slide in US productivity will be one of the defining features of the next president’s economic inheritance. Yet when it comes to diagnosing the causes of the slowdown, or coming up with cures, there is little consensus among economists.

Source: The US productivity puzzle: what policies are needed – FT.com

This was my comment.

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Where is diffusion of knowledge? (See, for example, Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century.) 

I use the phrase diffusion of knowledge, because, what in the U. S.  is commonly termed education (especially higher education), is divorced from learning and the acquisition of skills.  Instead, it is more associated with a transfer of wealth and power to the rich and powerful.  This transfer goes from a large portion of parents and students to financial institutions, builders, employees and politicians, to name a few.

I know all of this because I am a former math professor who has personally encountered and documented specific incidents of treating students and parents as consumers, who -considering the ability of an 18 year old to discern educational value – make easy marks. (See my blog inside-higher-ed .)

But you don’t have to be a professor to see what is happening. Simply reading the news is enough. (For example, the Economist recently had an informative cover issue on higher education.

So, where is dissemination of knowledge the sine qua non of modern productivity growth?

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