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Canadas productivity is not in really good shape now Among its G-7 partners Britain Japan Germany France Italy and the US it has the lowest rate of growth in economic productivity over the past 25 years while it ranked second in productivity only to the US two decades ago What was the problem Why was the situation getting worse and worse While the problem seems to be getting more serious as the new millennium approaches Jean Chretien the Prime Minister and Paul Martin the Finance Minster have played down the productivity issue saying there is no clear-cut evidence that it is a significant problem In fact the high income tax rate compared to the US causes lower salary for those highly skilled workers which leads to their departure for better pay and more opportunities in the US Also the Canadian federal government spends too much money on themselves such as building political empires and providing services that duplicate those delivered by other provincial or municipal governments Besides Canada has a poor performance particularly in areas related to technology and communication industries We certainly need a lot more to be done to improve productivity from various sources Before we can come up with effective solutions for this controversial issue we need to know how does productivity affect our economy and the standard of living in our country Productivity measures the capacity of the economy to increase its output while costs are controlled As economic efficiency increases the overall wealth produced by the economy also goes up It also determines the purchasing power that Canadians have The greater productivity the greater the potential for economic growth With the decrease in productivity our standard of living may go down as well Canadians living standard grew by an average of 31 percent a year from 1961 to 1980 Since then growth has averaged only 11 percent annually The major reason for this shutdown can be criticized on
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