Why Is Productivity Growth So Sluggish?

To start off the week, here is one of the enduring puzzles of the past decade: why has labor productivity grown so slowly during the recovery from the Great Recession?

Is it because the minimum wage hasn’t gone up much, giving employers little incentive to replace people with machines? Is it because the best minds of our generation are creating dating apps instead of useful labor-saving devices? Is it because the early stages of AI are so hit-and-miss that it does as much harm as good?

Leave your guess in comments. The winner gets an all-expenses-paid tenured professorship at Harvard.

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Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

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