Some economists believe that productivity is misinterpreted, and to believe that a country could increase its output by having a more educated workforce could be related to the service industry but has no real impact on the GDP.

Steve Keen

Steve Keen, Australian economist, associate professor of economics and finance at the University of Western Sydney, and author of Debunking Economics, retweeted a discussion on A level grade inflation causing more students to join universities next month in the UK, as a result of increased assessments by teachers rather than exam results due to Covid-19.

Experts evaluate whether a rise in education or an educated workforce actually contributes to the productivity and GDP of the country. Apparently, 45% of all the entries in the UK were awarded top grades due to Covid-restricted assessments, compared to 25% two years ago.

Citing an urgent need to revamp the entire education system in the UK, Gavin Williamson, the education minister, suggests that he has a plan to prevent students from getting A level grades by just replacing them with numbers instead.

Steve Keen believes that the productivity is actually occurring in the machinery today rather than labour due to advancements and focus on technology. In his view, university education does not actually help anybody.

Tyler Cowen

Tyler Cowen, economist and professor at George Mason University, retweeted a discussion shared by Julia Galef, co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality, on price gouging during emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic with other economists. She states that economic logic has irritated her, especially when economists state that price gouging is actually good during emergencies as it prevents shortages. Galef argues that a rise in prices helps middle and upper classes, but not the vulnerable sections of the society.

Raymond Niles, senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, further justified that the US experienced more foods and goods shortages during the pandemic due to stronger anti-price gouging laws, which Canada did not because of the absence of a federal or national anti-price gouging law.

Amihai Glazer, professor of economics at the University of California Irvine, who specialises in political economy, believes that cash or vouchers are more relevant rather than having price controls that further discriminates with the poor who cannot purchase essentials during emergencies like the pandemic.

Angella MacEwen

Angella MacEwen, senior labour economist with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), a fellow with the Broadbent Institute, and a co-chair of the Trade Justice Network, shared an article on why monetary policy is important to think about and why Covid-19 makes it a bit tricky.

MacEwen believes Canadian officials and Trudeau have been ignoring monetary policy or want to misrepresent it for political gains.  The Covid-19 pandemic has further complicated it by making it more difficult to track price changes and interpret their meaning in 2021.

Amidst increasing prices of commodities, and declining wages of workers, a sustainable and healthy approach to the economy would be to support local businesses and increase workers’ wages, she opines.