Inovační krize, nebo finanční krize?

CAMBRIDGE – Jak se jeden rok hlemýždího růstu přelévá do dalšího, sílí debata o tom, co očekávat v nadcházejících desetiletích. Byla globální finanční krize nelítostným, ale přechodným propadem růstu vyspělých zemí, anebo odhalila hlubší dlouhodobý neduh?

Nedávno několik autorů, mimo jiné internetový podnikatel Peter Thiel a politický aktivista a bývalý mistr světa v šachu Garry Kasparov, obhajovalo poměrně radikální výklad zpomalení. V chystané knize tvrdí, že zhroucení růstu vyspělých zemí není pouhým výsledkem finanční krize, nýbrž že ochablost těchto zemí je odrazem vytrvalé stagnace techniky a inovací. Není proto pravděpodobné, že by zaznamenaly vytrvalé zvýšení růstu produktivity, neprovedou-li radikální změny v politice inovací.

Ekonom Robert Gordon posouvá tuto myšlenku ještě dále. Tvrdí, že éra překotného technického pokroku, která následovala po průmyslové revoluci, se v dějinách člověka může ukázat jako 250 let trvající výjimka z pravidla stagnace. Podle něj dnešní technologické inovace co do významu blednou ve srovnání s dřívějšími pokroky, jako byla elektřina, vodovod, spalovací motor a další průlomy, které jsou dnes už víc než sto let staré.

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