An AP article, We work hard: U.S. at the top in productivity, by Bradley S. Klapper, has been generating discussion. According to the article, a good portion of why we are the most productive first world country is because of the information technology revolution.
This is scary. Yes, Microsoft and Oracle and Apple and Dell are all headquartered here (even if they do buy at least some labor on the international market), but we are lagging in a key indicator. While broadband adoption is rising for us, we are still 24th worldwide. 24th.
This national-scale digital divide is something that we truly can’t afford. At work, what I experience is that workers with less technology (slower connections, less knowledge, less interest) tend to be less productive. It simply takes longer to get action and decisions with people who are less adept at email, less likely to carry a PDA, or who don’t have broadband of some kind at home). I suspect that countries with less technology are less productive, and this seemed to be generally supported by the AP article.
We should pay attention.