I recently read a McKinsey Quarterly article that debated that very question. (http://bit.ly/prod_growth) Good points were raised on both sides, and in the end, it will be the economy and job growth which will truly provide the answer for us.
As a nation we have an amazing tradition of innovation which led to much of our productivity growth over the past hundred years. This growth has given us a higher quality of life and more opportunity than many other countries out there. But the times are changing and are we changing with them? Have we become so complacent to our lifestyle that we now just expect prosperity to happen? What are we willing to do to ensure our success for generations to come?
I believe that opportunities for growth are all around us. However those opportunities may fall outside what we have been accustomed to in the past. As a nation, we have looked inward for our growth. Now I think it’s time we look elsewhere. We expect our consumer spending to support our lifestyles. Easy credit has helped boost this along and has led to some unintended consequences for which we have been paying the price. In order to grow, we must work within our means and seek to build our economy through a global market. More importantly, we must rely on our innovators, not the government, to spur this growth.
I believe we can be the most innovative country in the world when we put our minds to it. This will lead to further productivity growth and job creation. I welcome others to share their thoughts and ideas. There are so many opportunities in front of us right now. It’s just a matter of looking through the challenges to see them.