Headline June 11, 2016/ ''' TECHNOLOGY & TURNSTILES '''


FEW HAVE UNDERSTOOD, -and even fewer have considered, that using technology, for many a industry, the rise in computing power is not likely to yield immediately, *verifiable economic gains*.

Take the case of your  smartphone. It allows you to get almost instantaneous answers to the most obscure questions. But it also allows you to waste hours scrolling through Facebook or looking for the latest deals on Amazon.

Most powerful computing systems can predict the weather better than any meteorologist or beat human champions in complex board games like Chess.

But for several years, economists have asked why all that technical wizardry seems to be having so little impact on the economy. This issue surfaced again recently, when the government reported disappointingly slow growth and continuing stagnation in productivity.

The rate of productivity growth from 2011 to  2015 was the slowest since the five-year old period ending in 1982. 

One place to look at this disconnect is in the doctor's office:

Dr. Peter Sutherland, a family physician in Tennessee, made the shift to computerized patient records from paper in the last few years. there are benefits to using an electronic health records, Dr. Sutherland says, but grappling with the software and new reporting requirements has slowed him down. He sees fewer patients and his income has slipped.

''I'm working harder, and getting a little less,'' he said.
The productivity puzzle has given rise to a number of explanations in recent years  -and divided economists into technology pessimists and optimists.

The most permanent pessimist is  Robert J. Gordon an economist at Northwestern University. His latest entry in the debate is his new book:
''The rise And Fall Of American Growth''. Mr. Gordon contends that the current crop of digital innovations-

Does not yield the big economic gains of breakthrough inventions of the past, like electricity, cars, planes and antibiotics. 

The optimists are led by the Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, co-directors of the  M.I.T  Initiative on the Digital Economy. They argue that there have always been lags between when technology arrives and when people and institutions learn to use it effectively.

That has been true for a range of technologies, including the electric motor and the Internet, which contributed to the last stretch of healthy productivity growth in the late 1980s and early 2000s.

The gains from current tech trends like big-data analysis artificial intelligence and robotics, they say, will come. Just wait.

Some economists insist the problem is largely a measurement gap, because many digital goods and services are not accurately captured in official statistics. But a recent study by two economists from the Federal Reserve and one from the International Monetary Fund casts doubt on that theory. 

Technology spending has been robust, rising  54% over a decade to $727 billion last year, according to the research firm IDC .

Despite all the smartphone sales to consumers, most of the spending is by companies investing in technology to increase growth and productivity.

But an industry-by-industry analysis, published by the McKinsey Global Institute,  the research arm of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, found that the march of digital technology across the economy has a long way to go.

The McKinsey researchers examined  22 industries, measuring not only investment but also the use of technology how work is done. Some industries, like technology,  media and financial services, were well along, while others like health care and hospitality, trailed.

Only 18%  of the American economy is living up to its  ''digital potential'', the report concluded.  What then should one research or analyze about the economies of the developing world?

And if lagging industries do not catch up, we will not see much of a change in national economic statistics, said James Manyika, a director of the McKinsey Global Institute., 

The Honour and Serving of the latest  ''Operational research on Technology & Economic Progress and Productivity''  continues. Thank Ya all for reading, and sharing forward. And see you on the following one.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and !E-WOW! the ecosystem 2011:

''' Productivity & Creativity '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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