Our political instability comes from economic challenges that have only grown stronger over recent decades: wage stagnation, an alarming rise of working age people not in the labor force, a major loss of "good jobs" in manufacturing, a failure to pull up substantially the least advantaged workers, increased inequality of various kinds, bankrupt pension funds, and swollen public debt.

The political fashion has been to summon up government remedies for each of these challenges. Such piecemeal intervention, however, may please constituencies but not much improve matters. In fact, proposals to step up economic corporatism and socialism, to institute a universal basic income and enact huge increases in the national minimum wage, would have devastating effects on the country.

These challenges would not have arisen nor been as acute had we not been suffering a major slowdown of productivity growth since the 1970s.

Bottom line: We must first combat further hemorrhaging of the labor force, job losses, and deaths from opioids, by subsidizing employment of low wage workers. Any complete solution, however, depends on reviving rapid productivity growth. My book Mass Flourishing shows that the rapid growth of our history came from endemic, grassroots innovation. It dissolved many of society's problems. We must work to regain that.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

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Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

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