Is America's economic growth over?

The United State’s economy may already have peaked, a well-known professor in the Economics Department at Northwestern University is arguing.

Prof. Robert Gordon has been pushing this message for much of 2013 in two Ted Talks and through various other mediums.

Has America peaked?

His ideas were highlighted in a New York Magazine article late last month, in which the author claimed, based on Gordon’s ideas, that America’s golden years had passed,  

“Could it be that the best years of American economic progress are behinds us?” asked Gordon in the Ted Talk published April 2013.

“Maybe US economic growth is almost over,” he added.  

Gordon based this conclusion on his theory that the second Industrial Revolution rocketed the quality of living forward in such away that cannot be replicated.

The standard of living multiplied, he says, transforming common people’s lives and homes.

The New York magazine article, authored by Benjamin Wallace-Wells, describes the Industrial Revolution, referring to it as an “incredible stroke of good luck” but in email to Campus Reform Gordon said he did not view America’s success as lucky.

“The US took over innovation from the British and the Europeans for many reasons, including our openness to innovators like Edison, because our wide open spaces led to epochal inventions of agricultural machinery, because our natural resources allowed for the steel industry to grow at great scale,” he wrote.

Gordon went on to argue in the Ted Talk that in order for the U.S. to maintain a trend of economic progress it must innovate on an scale.

“I like to think of it this way,” he said. “We need innovations that are eight times as important as those we had before.”

“Obviously decline is bad, and we should take seriously the policies needed to avoid growth,” he added in the email to Campus Reform.