Why Is Productivity So Weak? Three Theories That Miss The Mark. My Advice? Read Piketty.

The rate of economic output is not increasing much. Or is there work below the surface that will pay big dividends in the future?

Source: Why Is Productivity So Weak? Three Theories – The New York Times

The answer if obvious. Here is how to see it.

First, do a search for “diffusion of knowledge” in Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”. There you will see that it is well understood that education (not “degreeing”, but “Education”) is critical to productivity. (MIT and Carnegie Mellon graduates can’t do it all.)

Then, read articles about education in this paper. If you read enough of them, you should begin to wonder what has been going wrong and why.

Finally, go to my blog, inside-higher-ed, to see exactly how universities are destroying the diffusion of education in America. (I’m a former math professor. Believe me, I have seen it.)

A brief description of what has happened. (Illuminating examples are on my blog)

In addition to greedily taking advantage of the naiveté of students by catering to their “customer wants”, they take advantage of government grants by “producing” new “professors” who hardly know their field. These “professors” “teach” our future teachers.

So the easy answer is colleges are undermining the diffusion of knowledge, which then, according to Piketty, is destroying productivity and increasing inequality.

The problem is obvious. The solution will be difficult, but the diffusion of knowledge about universities – which they will fight tooth and nail – will be our only chance.

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