Thursday, 19 October 2017


Is Greater Productivity a Danger?

Posted by
June 27, 2012
in Blog

To go along with the previous post which points out that Total Factor Productivity growth has decreased in the era of pure fiat money, here is a reminder: Low productivity is bad. I know, that seems obvious to anyone who reads this site, but unfortunately a reminder seems necessary for some…


by David Gordon

It is bad enough that opponents of the free market wrongly blame capitalism for environmental pollution, depressions, and wars. Whatever the failings of their causal theories, at least they are focused on undoubtedly bad things. We have really gone beyond the pale, though, when the market is blamed for something good.

Tim Jackson, a professor of sustainable development at the University of Surrey, does just that in his article. “Let’s Be Less Productive,”which appeared in the New York Times, May 26, 2012.

Jackson suggests that greater productivity may have reached its “natural limits.” By productivity, he means “the amount of output delivered per hour of work in the economy.” He acknowledges that as work has become more efficient, substantial benefits have resulted: “our ability to generate more output with fewer people has lifted our lives out of drudgery and delivered us a cornucopia of material wealth.”

Despite these benefits, danger lies ahead: …

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