Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Ever Since Texting, It's Been Downhill for the U.S. Economy

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Every week, hosts Dan Moss, Kate Smith and Scott Lanman bring you a jargon-free dive into the stories that drive the global economy.

When phone companies implored U.S. customers in 2003 to text more because they were lagging behind the rest of the world, it was all over. Almost. While we’re used to a dizzying array of new apps each month and new "sharing economy" companies such as Uber and AirBnB transform the way we do business, one of the greatest periods of U.S. productivity was already behind us by 2005. The little gadgets we’re addicted to now are nothing compared with the invention and adoption of the electric light, indoor plumbing and the automobile. That’s according to Robert J. Gordon, author of "The Rise and Fall of American Growth" and a professor at Northwestern University. There’s not much on the horizon to change all that, Gordon tells Scott Lanman and Daniel Moss. But take heart: A recession isn’t likely anytime soon!

 

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