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Productivity and Prosperity : An Historical Sociology of Productivist Thought (Paperback) (Karen R.
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Despite Canada’s economic success over the past thirty years, the country’s ranking in productivity has continued to decline when compared to other industrialized nations. Economic experts and pundits repeatedly call for means of improving productivity, arguing that it is the lynchpin to prosperity. However, there is growing evidence to the contrary.
In Productivity and Prosperity,Karen Foster zeroes in on the paradox of productivity: that it is the key to economic prosperity and yet its connection to well-being and median incomes has all but disappeared. Drawing together three case studies including the development of Statistics Canada, the National Productivity Council, and the evolution of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Foster argues that there is a ‘productivist regime’ guiding policy development in Canada and abroad. By analyzing and critiquing the inherent assumptions of productivism the author destabilizes the myth that economic growth is essential for quality of life.