To Increase America's Productivity, Ban This...

Aside from short-lived booms in the 1990s and 2000s, US productivity growth has averaged just 1.2% from 1975 up to today after peaking above 3% in 1972.

As we detailed previously, adjusting for the WWII anomaly (which tells us that GDP is not a good measure of a country’s prosperity) US productivity growth peaked in 1972 – incidentally the year after Nixon took the US off gold.

The productivity decline witnessed ever since is unprecedented. Despite the short lived boom of the 1990s US productivity growth only average 1.2 per cent from 1975 up to today.

If we isolate the last 15 years US productivity growth is on par with what an agrarian slave economy was able to achieve 200 years ago.

As we reported last year, users spent 51% of their total internet time on mobile devices, for a total of 5.6 hours per day snapchatting, face-booking, insta-graming and taking selfies.

It's an everyday sight - people using their phones while sitting on the train, waiting for a bus, or even having a meal with their partner.

What exactly are they doing the whole time though?

When it comes to social networks, Verto Analytics may have the answer. The most time spent in the U.S. on a 'mainstream' app is the 899 minutes per month of the average Facebook user.

The social network whose users invest the most time though is a networking app for gay, bi, and curious men - Grindr. WIth a huge 1,040 minutes on average, that's over 17 hours every month.

In third place, Growlr is also a networking/dating app for homosexual men. The average user here spends 665 minutes per month.

In eighth, Twitter's struggles are again highlighted, with only 176 minutes in Q3 2017.

Figures refer to usage across all platforms, not just mobile.

Infographic: The Most Time Consuming Social Networks | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

So, maybe in their next wide-ranging study, economists could include a test group of workers who leave their phones in a locker at the beginning of the work day, and try to measure how much their “productivity” improves. So, while every effort can be made by Ivory Tower academics to solve the problem of American worker productivity, perhaps it can be summed up simply as "Put The Smart-Phone Down!"



Escrava Isaura Blue Steel 309 Sun, 10/01/2017 - 06:42 Permalink

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I think Cognitive Dissonance point is pretty astute. Now on “To Increase America’s Productivity” Easy, just “Make America Great Again” In less than four years we’ll find out. I think we’ll all be disappointed.  

In reply to by Blue Steel 309

NoPension Escrava Isaura Sun, 10/01/2017 - 06:53 Permalink

I grew up addicted to the newspaper. As soon as I was married, and set up domicile, ordering home paper delivery was the finishing touch. I am now a grown up. That was 35 years ago.

At 55, I haven't bought but a couple copies of a newspaper in about ten years. I get my news from the internet. As an old dude, I'm lucky to be nearsighted. I take of my glasses, and I can read the smallest type on my smart phone.

At home, it's an iPad at the ready. But, haven't had fish wrap in this house for a long time. I don't know how they are staying in business. I WAS the typical customer.

In reply to by Escrava Isaura

buttmint NoPension Sun, 10/01/2017 - 07:16 Permalink

...just when "smart" phones were getting rolling 8-10 years ago, I had a crew of Mexicans (Beaners) in my truck, heading to a hard work day of hard-trowled plastering. This is award-winning work and it blows your elbows, shoulders and back out. Not many Venetian plasterers in the USA. Only very few locales practice such a fine Renaissace art form.The work is called "three-coat slick coat." We were doing base and brown coat. No way could I use this crew for the crucial top coat. This shit is not for the weak-of-heart. I wear a capo below my right elbow to keep from blowing ligaments.I needed all hands on deck. I noticed ALL were fucking with their phones.The job was not that far away---maybe 2 miles from where I picked 'em up. I pointed out all my cabling and power packs to charge up their phones.They all went for it---then I locked my doors, stating " can check you phone at lunchtime and and end of the day...who wants to work for cashand who wants to walk home---NOW?" All in Spanish, I was not fucking around. One guy---an hour later---said "...I gotta call my wife!" Ding Ding Ding---we have a winner---I retrieved his phone...paid him for his time and told him to walk home---he can now spend all day WITH HIS FUCKING WIFE. The rest got the hint---no mas problemma.

In reply to by NoPension

jin187 peggysue1 Sat, 09/30/2017 - 23:28 Permalink

And who pays for all this free care? These are people that spend upwards of half a million dollars, and over a decade of their life just to become a simple family doctor. Tack on another 5 years and another half mil if you want to be a high level specialist like a neurosurgeon.

This is why every non-fascist country with single-payer healthcare is heading for, or already has a doctor shortage. This is why Medicaid and Medicare are being accepted by less and less doctors.

When you support nationalizing healthcare, what you really mean is that you want to nationalize doctors, and that's pretty much defacto slavery. We'll end up drafting doctors based on test scores, and having people flee the country to escape the doctor draft.

In reply to by peggysue1

jeff montanye jin187 Sun, 10/01/2017 - 03:42 Permalink

that's hysterical enough.  especially the last line.  they can't even draft soldiers.  if the government is paying for it, as in medicare and medicaid, why shouldn't they negotiate price?  and at least someone in the mix, beyond the sad, clueless patient, should have a motive for an actual "cure", not just "treatment".as is even more true of big pharma: they don't want cures, they want customers.

In reply to by jin187

ThirdWorldNut jeff montanye Sun, 10/01/2017 - 05:57 Permalink

Well said, very few people realize the role played by doctor lobby to constrain the supply of new doctors. They insist that newcomers muct be trained until well past 30years of age to become a doctor. Newcomers also have to work as apprentice at slave wages for 3-4 years. All in the name of doctors having patients life in their hand! I personally know half a dozen doctors who work few hours each day and then meet at golf. Thats what monopolists do. Whatever happened to hippocratic oath.When you talk about specialists the rates are obscene, you are looking at north of $300 per 20 mins. The guy works 2 hours each day. People bitch about pharmas and what not (justifiably too) but lets not forget the doctor mafias. 

In reply to by jeff montanye

Singelguy jin187 Sun, 10/01/2017 - 06:59 Permalink

Only in the USA does it cost so much money to become a doctor. Education in the rest of the world is much cheaper. Also, the USA is the most litigious country in the world. Therefore doctors require serious liability insurance coverage. High education cost + high insurance costs = high healthcare costs. Something has to give.

In reply to by jin187

343 Guilty Spark yarpos Sun, 10/01/2017 - 01:49 Permalink

Well considering that Sweden has a 60% income tax and they are still in a fiscal shortfall with universal healthcare being the leading expense....yeah you are pretty much right....but without the sarcasm.The only country that I have seen it truly work and the doctors get paid absolute shit (but are still perfectly fine with it) is Japan.  That has much more to do with how their society is based though than on economics.  It is not something a country like the UK, Germany, Sweden or even the USA can replicate.  

In reply to by yarpos

cherry picker Sat, 09/30/2017 - 21:37 Permalink

Never mind productivityIf a nuke ever came visiting the USA the response time to save your life would be cut back accordingly as most people would be trying to grab that last picture and hit send instead of diving for cover.That is how bad it is.

Nona Yobiznes techpriest Sun, 10/01/2017 - 00:10 Permalink

I had an HP iPaq 6 years before the iPhone came out. It had a touch screen, could do calls, surf the web, send emails, watch videos, all that jazz. This is what pisses me off so much about Apple claiming the iPhone was a revolutionary product and the first of its kind. Apple did not invent the smartphone. They simply slapped a pretty casing on it and an exclusive price tag the vapid public couldn't resist. Yet still, most people see the iPhone as a pioneering product that everybody else is copying. It's bullshit. 

In reply to by techpriest

Endgame Napoleon The Greek horse Sat, 09/30/2017 - 23:41 Permalink

U.S. productivity started its decline in 1972, right when the mommas started to jump into the workforce en mass, bringing family-centric values to work, like lots of excused absenteeism for busy-working parents.

Women's workforce participation quadrupled from 1958 to the present, but it really became mainstream in the Seventies, which was about 37 or 38 years before smartphones became ubiquitous.

When women raised their own children, rather than redistributing that labor to grandparents, $9-per-hour daycare workers, babysitters and NannyCams, they had more orderly homes, likely helping their husbands and children to be more productive at work and school.

We certainly had a lower prison rate back in the day when mommas raised their children, not the 25% of the world's prisoners and 5% of its population of the fake-feminist / family-focused workplace era.

In reply to by The Greek horse