We've noted before that a bunch of economic trends turned bad when Nixon closed the gold window and we launched into the current pure fiat experiment: commodity volatility, labor share of productivity gains, wealth inequality, etc.
Here's another one courtesy of Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution:
In Launching the Innovation Renaissance I said that “If total factor productivity had continued to grow at its 1957 to 1973 rate then we today would be living in the world of 2076 rather than in the world of 2014.” Sadly, the future is continuing to recede. Consider the graph below. If growth had continued at the rate expected by the CBO in 2005 then we today would be living in the world of 2037 rather than in the world of 2021. (n.b. I am eyeballing.)
Interesting that the break in productivity growth happened at the time we went off the gold standard.
Is there a causal relationship either way? Did we stop becoming productive because it was easy to get rich buying levered assets with a depreciating currency? Or did we devalue the currency because we ran out of productivity growth?
UPDATE: Edward Snowden and Jack Dorsey are noticing too. And there's a web site dedicated to it: wtfhappenedin1971.com