Hi, Ben,

In general, I like this post. Note (of course) that the manufacturing sector (which these productivity metrics were designed for) is a small and decreasing part of the economy.

Please consider the service economy, and particularly the "care" industries such as child care and elder care (plus many others). These are "high human touch" lines of work. AI and other automation can help out around the fringes, like keeping records and doing paperwork, but the core of the job is direct contact between human beings.

I suggest starting with child care and elder care, because these face a critical dilemma (tri-lemma?). (1) Child care should be done with small numbers of children per well-qualified care-giver. (2) That care-giver should receive an adequate salary and benefits, commensurate with their qualifications. (3) The cost of providing this care should be affordable to parents of young children. These three constraints cannot be satisfied by a child-care company intended to make a profit. Typically, one, two, or all three of these constraints are egregiously violated. Child care (and increasingly, elder care, which faces similar constraints) is a critical part of our economy.

Technological advancement helps, in the sense of creating more wealth for the society, but some of that wealth must go to subsidizing child care. We are capable of creating a society that provides excellent child care, but we must have the will to pay for it. (I would claim that if we want to create a good society, it *must* include excellent child and elder care. So figuring this out is an imperative.) And the metrics you criticize are worse than useless in guiding this process.

I offer this as an argument for strengthening your criticism.


Ben Kuipers

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Omg, how complex to come up with measurements. It's daunting even to read this. What strikes me is how male this is, bogged down in objectivity. So I'm asking myself what female would be. I'm reminded of Bucky Fuller being glad he didn't get glasses early on. Not seeing the blackboard he didn't get bogged down in details which let him see the bigger picture. What's a bypass to measuring that we more easily could deliver to the world? Like getting right to making that shift from materialism to caring to occur and not just rationalizing about it. How to do that? A good topic, I'd think.

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