Reverse decreasing productivity

Americans are renowned the world over for finding ways to work more efficiently, to produce more goods and services with less labor.

For about half a century, beginning in the late 1940s, U.S. workers’ productivity increased at an average of about 2.5 percent per year. Our standard of living, including leisure time, increased as a result.

But that has come to a screeching halt. Since 2010, under President Barack Obama’s administration and with the Senate in control of liberal Democrats, productivity gains have slowed drastically. Average annual gains, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, were 0.1 percent in 2011, 1 percent in 2012 and 0.9 percent last year.

During the first quarter of this year, productivity decreased by 4.5 percent.

This Labor Day, then, working women and men were entitled to wonder what went wrong. And they may well question how, under an increasingly heavy burden of government taxes and regulations, the situation can be reversed.