But before we agree upon the (decentralized) roads which lead back to full employment, it helps to consider, what productivity really means in a larger sense. Productivity gains which are utilized primarily within special interest domains, now result in questioning as to whether innovation even matters. And rightfully so. Just the same, the fact such questioning now muddies the waters, is dangerous in its implications. This reality has progressed to such a degree, that many now question the value of innovation as a true driver of prosperity and growth.
As a result, a signalling economy has resulted, which relies on exclusionary means to generate the knowledge use and services deemed most important. That puts the squeeze on knowledge use, just as many investments in knowledge were taken on in the belief knowledge use would continue to grow. Unfortunately (?), knowledge use is the very element that populations believed would become primary. Just the same, redistribution methods for knowledge use are starting to backfire - in spite of discussion re further taxation. How to think of productivity differently, so that full employment is seen as an aggregate plus, instead of something that only destroys profits?
For one thing, full employment cannot realistically materialize as "make do" work; i.e. to ensure that a certain portion of the population isn't a drag on everyone else. That doesn't make any more sense, than the idea of paying people to engage in projects which have little or no matching capacity with others. These are the kinds of purposes which ultimately backfire, in that they fulfill mostly fiscal or political objectives instead of serving as vehicles for greater economic access.
In other words, productivity needs to be conceived in full economic access terms, before innovation and real progress can continue. Otherwise, innovations which are mostly trapped in special interest categories, cease to lose their meaning in a broader societal perspective. The fact that some now question the capacity of capitalism to move society forward, and the efficacy of economic thought as well, point to the need of greater societal inclusion in our economic way of life.
Granted, full inclusion means team members who are perceived as lacking intelligence in some capacity. However think about this for a moment. Knowledge use is our primary economic way of life. When we say that some are not intelligent enough to participate, we are not leaving them enough options for survival. Knowledge work became the means, by which many now tend to the harvest in order to eat. This is all the more true, in that automation takes care of more routine aspects of life.
Also think about the geographic component of this reality. Knowledge use in the places we inhabit, means optimizing every component possible in our environments for aggregate productivity gains. That means high density utilization in every sense of the word. Doing so, goes well beyond the bounds of limited "missions" and special interests. What if we arbitrarily insisted some factory components to be more "worthy" regarding getting things done... therefore some tools "should" be used only in certain capacities or not used at all? Or that some components of an organic environment were more "worthy" than others to take in air and water?
The other important element here, is the very real constraint on our time use. While we may be fortunate enough to live a full life, just the same we are all given 24 hours in a day to get things done. When local organization takes the limited capacity of each person's time into account, it becomes possible to provide individuals the respect they need most in order to fulfill mutual goals and aspirations. Otherwise, if we insist on getting things done mostly by IQ capacity, we end up with a society which completely loses the gains of the last century.
Hopefully, the process of economic polarization can still be turned around, before it is too late. It is only when everyone is allowed to participate and their limited time is taken into consideration, that it becomes possible to reconsider the multitude of knowledge use elements any society deems important. Otherwise, extreme reliance on the highest IQs and charismatic individuals, is little more than a society of services defaults which provide funding primarily for the most "important" projects. Important on whose terms? In such a society as that, knowledge use cannot flourish. When all are included, knowledge use can flourish, and real productivity once again becomes possible.