Tyler Cowen (econ prof at George Mason) argues in a recently released e-book ("The Great Stagnation") that technological change has reached a plateau. As a result, he argues that economic growth and improvements in living standards will slow dramatically in the coming years.... unless we do something.
His basic thesis that we've consumed all the low-hanging fruit, especially with regard to innovation that results in public goods in the areas of health, education and infrastructure. The most recent "big idea" is of course the internet, which despite our expectation to the contrary, has failed to deliver much of anything in terms of real improvements in productivity and economic growth according to Cowen.
Here's an interview with Cowen at the NYT.
Here's an article at the WSJ.
The Atlantic has an interesting article discussing technological change in kitchens.
More good reading on the topic here from Forbes.
Here's a 30-minute interview with Cowen at The American Enterprise Institute.
What is Cowen's solution?
How can we frame this discussion in terms of the Solow model?
What are some criticisms of Cowen's thesis?
What are the big productivity-enhancing innovations in history, and when did they occur?