Productivity Is Up Since Obama’s Win

Originally published in Wall Street Journal, Letters, on July 22, 2011.

It would be wonderful if the Robert Lucas-Daniel Henninger thesis—that suffocating President Obama’s economic policies have knocked America’s historic high rates of productivity growth off their perch—were correct, because then at least we would know the cause of our current economic malaise and by implication, how to cure it (“The Disappearing Recovery” by Daniel Henninger, Wonder Land, July 14). Unfortunately, the data do not support this notion. In fact, nonfarm business productivity has grown at an exceptionally high 4% rate since President Obama’s election. The difference this time around is that virtually all of this improvement in efficiency has found its way into corporate profits rather than being shared with labor.