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By / 11.30.2016

Everyone has seen this chart, or something similar, recently. It tracks the production of the manufacturing sector over the past twenty years. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Since 1996 manufacturing industrial production has risen almost 40%, despite intense global competition.   But now let’s add another line to the chart–this time, manufacturing industrial production after we […]

By / 11.28.2016

In a post-election  post we showed how American workers are being failed by the physical industries, which had dramatically underperformed the digital industries across a wide range of metrics, including productivity, compensation, and job growth.  This sharp and growing economic gap between the Digital Nation and the Physical Nation had profound political consequences, since the Physical Nation […]

By / 11.13.2016

Here are some bullet points on the economics of the election: America is divided between the Digital Nation and the Physical Nation. The Digital Nation includes tech, entertainment, publishing, telecom, finance, and professional services such as management consulting, accounting, computer programming, design. The Physical Nation includes manufacturing, mining, construction, retail, transportation, health care, and the […]

By / 11.1.2016

Google’s decision to pause its roll-out of Google Fiber to new cities is an important data point in our understanding of both the economics of telecom and the economics of innovation. The announcement said that: In terms of our existing footprint, in the cities where we’ve launched or are under construction, our work will continue. […]

By / 10.12.2016

Suppose you were counselling your college-age child about what fields to consider. Where would you tell them to start? The short answer: Tech and health. Just look at the numbers: Since 2007, when the current tech boom started, employment in computer and mathematical occupations–including software developers and network administrators–has grown by more than 900,000 jobs. Employment in […]

By / 10.6.2016

I’d like to draw your attention to this extraordinary essay by President Obama in The Economist. It stands out for two reasons. First, it provides what has been sorely missing from the bizarre 2016 presidential race – a progressive roadmap for restoring America’s economic dynamism. Second, President Obama’s approach to reversing nearly two decades of slow economic […]

By / 9.29.2016

The FCC chose to ‘delete‘ (their word) discussion of its “set-top box rule” from today’s meeting. As we wrote two weeks ago, the FCC’s proposed rule appeared to put the commission in the position of rewriting copyright law and setting up a licensing board for apps.  The licensing board for apps is particularly disturbing, because it represents an entirely […]

By / 8.9.2016

PPI was among the first organizations to highlight the business investment drought, starting in 2010 and 2011, way before it became commonly accepted  (see here and here). And our “Investment Heroes” annual ranking was started in 2012 precisely to contrast the companies that were investing heavily in the United States with the many others that chose to pare back. […]

By / 8.8.2016

Yes, the productivity slump has hit the iron and steel mill industry as well. Robert Samuelson wrote a long piece in the WaPo about productivity growth in the steel industry, arguing that “…[p]roductivity (a.k.a., efficiency) has increased dramatically.” His main source was a very careful academic study by Allan Collard-Wexler of Duke University and Jan De Loecker of Princeton University. […]

By / 8.2.2016

The ‘wedge’ between productivity growth and average real compensation growth has shrunk to the lowest level in at least fifteen years.* That’s because productivity growth is slowing, not because real compensation growth is accelerating significantly. The top line is the ten-year growth rate of nonfarm business productivity, based on data reported by the Bureau of […]