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U.S. private sector productivity rose by 2.3% during Q3, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, following a massive hike in deficit spending by the Trump Administration.
These data matter.
If each of us produces more each year, we make ourselves richer … but more importantly, through the progressive income tax system, we also make each other richer.
However, longer term, annual U.S. productivity gains have slipped from an average of 2.3% during the seven decades starting in Q4 1948 to just 1.1% in the decade following the start of the 2007 financial crisis.Worse, there are growing signs that U.S. labour productivity is not just slowing, it’s in a freefall.
The idea that American productivity is collapsing seems ludicrous. This, during a time of an increasingly educated population, exploding technology and communications power, as well as the proliferation of AI, mobile devices and robotized manufacturing processes.
However, a range of forces are pushing in the opposite direction:
• The U.S. Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policies have made it more profitable for businesses to buy back stock than reinvest in technology.
• Bail-outs of large U.S. banks, automotive companies and other key sectors have stifled private sector innovation for a generation.
• Increased government borrowing has enabled vast, inefficient bureaucracies at the U.S. federal, state and local levels to avoid reform.
• America’s seniors are draining productive resources from the economy by collecting pensions and healthcare benefits they never fully funded.https://archive.fo/dmSe3https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-02/collapsing-us-productivity-changes-everything