There's the competitive, corporate economy that must maximize productivity, and there's the non-competitive world of health care, education and government. The first economy pushes technology and efficiency to the limit, while the second economy is unwilling or unable to to change very quickly. From NYT columnist David Brooks:
A rift is opening up. The first, globalized sector is producing a lot of the productivity gains, but it is not producing a lot of the jobs. The second more protected sector is producing more jobs, but not as many productivity gains. The hypercompetitive globalized economy generates enormous profits, while the second, less tradable economy is where more Americans actually live. In politics, we are beginning to see conflicts between those who live in Economy I and those who live in Economy II. Republicans often live in and love the efficient globalized sector and believe it should be a model for the entire society. They want to use private health care markets and choice-oriented education reforms to make society as dynamic, creative and efficient as Economy I. Democrats are more likely to live in and respect the values of the second sector. They emphasize the destructive side of Economy I streamlining -- the huge profits at the top and the stagnant wages at the middle. They want to tamp down some of the streamlining in the global economy sector and protect health care, education and government from its remorseless logic.