Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

High tuitions … and “Baumol’s Cost Disease”

June 22, 2016

Previously, we posted What do high healthcare costs and high tuitions have in common?

A loyal reader reminded me of the connection between high tuitions and “Baumol’s cost disease”

To that point …

The NY Times ran a piece by Harvard Prof Greg Mankiew summarizing his views re: high and increasing college tuitions.

One of Mankiw’s identified causes is “Baumol’s Cost Disease”

Many years ago, the economist William Baumol noted that for many services — haircuts as well as string quartet performances — productivity barely advances over time.

Yet as overall productivity rises in the economy, wages increase, so the cost of producing these services increases as well.

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Education is a case in point …

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More rules for working smarter …

May 13, 2016

Over 200 ultra-successful people, including 7 billionaires, 13 Olympians, and a host of accomplished entrepreneurs were asked a simple open-ended question:

“What is your number one secret to productivity?”

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So, what were their answers?

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10 ‘towering’ rules for working smarter …

May 12, 2016

A loyal reader alerted me to an iconic mural that towers over the intersection of New York’s Houston and Mott Streets.

It’s a 50-foot-tall piece produced in tandem with the Guggenheim’s exhibition Peter Fischli and David Weiss: How to Work Better.

The simple, ten-point list is often prominent in artists’ studios and business offices “tacked up as a reminder of effective work patterns and collaboration.”

Even observed without the history of the mural, the piece speaks to the modern notion of always being busy, a reminder to slow down rather than rush through each subsequent task … and, oh yeah, to SMILE.

 

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Source: ThisIs Collosal.com via RM

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Tommorrow: “More Rules for Working Smarter”

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High tuitions … and “Baumol’s Cost Disease”

January 21, 2016

The NY Times ran a piece by Harvard Prof Greg Mankiew summarizing his views re: high and increasing college tuitions.

One of Mankiw’s identified causes is “Baumol’s Cost Disease”

Many years ago, the economist William Baumol noted that for many services — haircuts as well as string quartet performances — productivity barely advances over time.

Yet as overall productivity rises in the economy, wages increase, so the cost of producing these services increases as well.

image

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Education is a case in point …

(more…)

Walmart: The economic cost of social wage hikes …

October 16, 2015

Earlier this year, CNN reported (and editorialized):

Retail workers have just scored an unprecedented win against a retail giant.

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, announced that it will raise the wages of approximately 500,000 of its employees by lifting its base wage to $10 by 2016.

To be sure, Walmart’s announcement is an impressive development in the fight for better wages.

It’s a step in the right direction, but not enough.

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Let’s fast-forward to this week …

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How productivity creates jobs … and how gov’t stifles productivity.

July 17, 2012

Nice piece in today’s WSJ … here are snippets:

Punch line: Productivity — the ultimate engine of growth and better living standards — always  swims upstream against those that fight it. Unions, regulations and a bizarre tax code  lock in the status quo.

But, doesn’t productivity — getting more output with less inputs — destroy jobs?

Sure, but it creates way more than it destroys by creating technological avenues and lowering the cost of business

So how does productivity result in more employment?

Some new technology comes along that allows something never before possible. Cash from an ATM, stock trading from an airplane’s aisle seat, ads next to Google search results.

Cheaper technology becomes a platform for others to create or expand businesses that never before made economic sense. Think, eBay and Amazon.

Productivity  attracts capital to satisfy new consumer demands. In a competitive economy, productivity—doing more with less—always lowers the cost of products or services:

And, private investment does a better job of allocating capital than any elite economist or politician picking pork-barrel projects and relabeling them as “investments.”

Entire WSJ article is worth reading

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