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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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