This is typical of an economics professor pontificating from on high. There's actually nothing wrong with the rate of technological progress. We know that productivity is the ratio of output to input. Economists can't explain why output declines or increases for the same level of input. To them, the link between input and output is a black box. But implicit in that link is the little known assumption that whatever can be produced will be consumed.
If only the economists had worked in a manufacturing setup, they would learn that a factory's main problem was not producing but selling. No production planner would produce goods that cannot be sold. He may produce for inventory but that can only be sustained up to a certain level, determined by the availability of his cash or credit. Beyond that, it's economic suicide.
If you come across anything inscrutable as the economist's productivity black box, the right way to address the issue is not to ignore it but to view it from another angle. The fact that the black box is termed 'productivity' is itself a cause of the confusion. Because of that, production output has always been the sole measure. Whether the factors of production are not producing because of something else doesn't count. Since we know that for a manufacturing setup, getting the goods out the door to the consumers is the main challenge, consumption is thus a better measure than production. Now if we instead label the black box 'consumptivity', then a whole new vista opens up. The problem is no longer solely production but extends to consumption.
But how do we prove that the problem lies with consumption? In this regard, we can rely on two plausible explanations. One is population growth and the other is falling income as a result of technological progress and globalisation. We can show two population charts, the movements of which mirror those of the two leftmost charts above.
If you observe this population chart carefully, you'll notice two kinks. The first, between 1900 and 1950, is the result of the two major wars in which more than 16 million and 60 million deaths were recorded for WW1 and WW2. The second reveals the folly of China's Great Leap Forward, which lasted from 1958 to 1961. Upwards of 30 million lives were believed to have perished by famine. However these kinks did not alter the secular trend of the pattern. It goes to show that long-term trend can be easily foretold years in advance. Even now, we can foresee the future outlook of economic growth just by looking at the population growth rate. Neither sixth sense nor fancy forecasting tool is needed. Also with patterns, we won't be blindsided by any black swan, which anyway is a lame excuse offered by those who fail to recognise obvious patterns.
Next we need to explain the productivity behaviour in the two right panels of the top charts. For this we have to rely on our 4C. The first C of this Fourth Kondratieff Wave, that is, the capacity driver is the computer. It's fitting therefore to label this wave as the Intellectual Revolution. But on its own, it cannot power economic growth in a big way.
The technological improvements of this Kondratieff Wave turn out to be more vicious than virtuous. Now we don't need as many workers as before. Work that used to require simple logical decisions by the workers can now be handled by microprocessor powered sensors, remotely controlled using SCADA systems. At most, only one person is needed to supervise the running of the SCADA system. For work requiring an army of workers, outsourcing and globalisation have sent the jobs to other corners of the world.
Business corporations are caught in this vicious circle of lower consumption yielding lower income which again leads to lower consumption as workers spend less and less. The productivity slackens as workers remain on the payroll but not producing to their full extent because there are limited takers for their output. To improve productivity, the corporations retrench more workers which further worsens their buying power. Those still working end up in the low paying and low productivity service sector.
Such is the fate of mankind. In its quest for progress, it finds the answer but one that puts itself in a state worse off than before.