Is America Slacking Off?

Corrie Clark- Honorbound- Period 2

Apple recently come out with is newest version of the iPhone, the iPhone 7. This wasn’t a surprise to anyone it was simply just an iPhone 6 with a couple new enticing features. Now this wasn’t the case for the first version of the iPhone. When the iPhone 1 came out people were taken back because there wasn’t anything like it before, it was an entirely new concept. Through this sharp comparison people can see the decline in technological process. Although this decline doesn’t seem dramatic to those that are perfectly happy with their iPhone 7, little do they know this is causing a much greater problem. Due to the decline in technological development and advancement, America’s productivity is going down with it.

According to Naked Economics, “[America] is better off today than at any other point in the history of civilization because we are better at producing goods and services than we have ever been” [1]. However recently the productivity in America has been falling. According to the Labor Department, in August of this year the productivity for the second quarter of the year had fallen a .5% rate, the first quarter of the year at .6%, and the fourth quarter of the previous year at a 1.7% rate [2]. Due to the advanced technology in America “we work less and produce more” [1].  Recently however this statement is being proven false. Over the past several years there has been a great decline in the development of new high-tech equipment. Every company owns computers and has used them to full advantage but they haven’t increased productivity since these computers came out. Computers, phones, and high-tech machinery has been constantly renovated and upgraded but no surprisingly new high-tech equipment has been created since then. We are resting on our achievements and technological breakthroughs from the past are inhibiting any true, new technological advances to the curb. The slowdown in technological advances can be measured by the price of technology. Computer equipment and others technology driven products have become more affordable than ever, showing that pricing is driven down by the lack of new technology, since there are no new advances that would drive up demand and therefore costs [3]. With no new ways of manufacturing or producing products businesses are left to make due with existing equipment creating a decline in productivity. Due to the lack of new technological advances the demand for company’s products is declining, which results in falling revenue and productivity. Without a high demand the company cannot support large new investments. This causes productivity in the workers to decrease as they have smaller and smaller orders and demand to produce and process.

Compared with very early impact of technological advances such as electricity and indoor plumbing the impact of the first computer and smart phone don’t stand a chance. In this comparison it is easy to see how technology although it is still in full swing has not made the same advances as it once did. And this decline in advances has led to lower productivity.

[1] Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010), 34.

[2] @valuewalk. “US Worker Productivity In Serious Decline – Why?” ValueWalk. N.p., 23 Aug. 2016. Web. 05 Dec. 2016. <;.

[3] Matthews, Christopher. “America’s Productivity Problem |” Time. Time, 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 05 Dec. 2016. <;.


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