May 2016

In the latest series of interviews with authors of economic topics, Jim Leaviss talks to Professor Robert J. Gordon on his New York Times bestseller: The Rise and Fall of American Growth.

Professor Robert Gordon of North-Western University was in town this week to give speeches at Prospect Magazine (which is ace by the way) and the LSE.

His latest book was released earlier this year, and is a tremendously powerful antidote to the wave of techno-optimism we might feel when we see shiny electric cars and gadgets coming out of Silicon Valley.

Professor Gordon points out that mankind’s greatest period of technological innovation came between 1920 and 1970, and that since then it’s been a story of disappointment.

As Peter Thiel put it, “we wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters”.

Here’s my interview with him – after this and our previous interview with Martin Ford, pessimistic about technology for a different reason, we need cheering up.