Category Archive: National productivity

Apr 25

EU to become USE?

April, 2017 Since the euro-based austerity crises visited on Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy – followed by the refugee crises causing Schengen alarm bells to ring loudly across most EU states – then Brexit – and now elections in France and Germany raising increasingly important national sovereignty issues there – the likelihood is the EU, as …

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Mar 20

The Capitalist’s Dilemma

N.B. The following are extracts from an article published in the Harvard Business Review in June, 2014 – it remains highly relevant today Professor Clayton Christensen and Derek van Bever of Harvard Business School have embarked on a fascinating study into what may be holding back growth in the USA and elsewhere given ‘corporations are …

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Jan 29

Elephants in the productivity room

The great financial journalist Martin Wolf of the FT recently opined about the current state of UK productivity – disappointingly, his words offered no new insights and were simply a regurgitation of current groupthink. He kicked off with the well-worn cliche from Paul Krugman about productivity being ‘almost everything’ – and then trotted out a bunch …

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Why do national productivity gaps persist?

Philip Hammond, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, says: “It takes a German worker four days to produce what a UK worker makes in five” Others say much the same about French workers But such claims are not new, they’ve been made over the last 30 years at least – big changes are never made so …

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Action needed post Brexit

In the Guardian, Katie Allen  has just recommended SEVEN ways Prime Minister Theresa May could ‘lift the UK economy’s post-Brexit’ blues: Tax cuts – esp VAT More infrastructure spending Delaying the planned apprenticeship levy Boosting productivity via investment in innovation, education and infrastructure Reduced planned rises to the national living wage Helicopter money – echoing …

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Productivity and Compensation growing together

Some measured sense from James Sherk of the Heritage Organisation President John F. Kennedy believed that “a rising tide lifts all boats” but many question if that remains true today – they point to data showing that productivity has risen sharply since the 1970s whilst wages have stagnated – they conclude that productivity-driven economic growth …

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UK public sector wastes £120 billion – every year!

A new report from the Taxpayers’ Alliance claims that the UK public sector wastes £120 billion each and every year – this despite claims to be tightening belts and being forced to close libraries or fire lollipop ladies. This is equivalent to some £4,500 for every British family. Much is due to public sector staff being …

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Adam Smith on pin factory productivity

Adam Smith illustrated how the division of labour could improve productivity in his famous small pin factory example from his tome ‘Wealth of Nations’, 1776: 10 workers, each specialising in a different aspect of the work , could produce over 48,000 pins a day However, if each of these ten workers had made the entire pin …

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