Růst v časové tísni

CAMBRIDGE – Robert Gordon z americké Northwestern University je význačný ekonom, jenž si makroekonomickými pracemi a studiemi dlouhodobého hospodářského růstu právem vysloužil velkou úctu. Jeho nedávný exkurz do spekulativních budoucích dějin, v němž se táže, zda hospodářský růst ve Spojených státech je u konce, přivábil tudíž značnou příznivě nakloněnou pozornost. V Gordonově argumentaci je však okamžitě patrný elementární omyl – a při bližším zkoumání vychází jasně najevo.

Gordon rozlišuje tři průmyslové revoluce, které od 18. století dosud roztáčely hospodářský růst a zlepšovaly životní úroveň: PR č. 1 („pára, železnice“), jejíž určující vynálezy se objevily v letech 1750 až 1830, PR č. 2 („elektřina, spalovací motor, vodovod, interiérové toalety, komunikace, zábava, chemie, benzin“), jejíž určující vynálezy se objevily v letech 1870 až 1900, a PR č. 3 („počítače, internet, mobilní telefony“), trvající od roku 1960. Stěžejní část článku staví do protikladu transformační účinek PR č. 1 a zejména PR č. 2 na HDP na osobu a kvalitu života proti relativně nepodstatným důsledkům PR č. 3.

Slabina Gordonovy argumentace je v jeho zkráceném časovém horizontu pro PR č. 3. Vezměme si následující čtyři věty z jeho pojednání:

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