No. 176: Winnie Mack, Dave Kapell and what to sing to in the shower

But first, this: A new Gallup report looks at American productivity as measured by per capita GDP and suggests the country has posted pathetically low growth since long before the Great Recession. Since 1980, actually.

The big culprits, according to Gallup, are health care, housing and education costs, which have been rising steadily – now 36 percent of total national spending – but without providing any of the game-changing innovations that might spur added economic growth.

The U.S. devotes far more resources to health care than any other country and yet achieves worse outcomes than most developed countries, the study suggests. Especially among working Americans.

On the housing front, the average cost of shelter is up 250 percent since 1980, even as the quality of houses and apartments and their proximity to jobs have all declined. No surprise, perhaps, that home ownership is at its lowest rate since 1967.

In education, Gallup blames the rise of administrators – there are now more managers than teachers, the study notes – who have made no noticeable boost to quality, which has stagnated or even declined at the K-12 level.

Americans of all ages tend to score lower than their peers in other developed countries on math and literacy.

Scary fact: America’s peak year of literacy was 1971.

“Current strategies – dialing taxes up or down, injecting stimulus, lowering interest rates and enacting or repealing high-profile regulations – have not brought about long-term economic growth over the past three or four decades,” the study notes. “Leaders worldwide are confronting intense dissatisfaction with the low-growth status quo. Reversing the drop in long-term growth requires a new strategy that grapples with the details of decline.”

(That certainly contributed to the Trump ascendancy. Let’s see how the President-elect grapples.)

You can download the full report here.

Back of the pack: Long Island won a modest $62 million in this year’s state-run economic development sweepstakes, although there is tidy money for a clean water project and pedestrian bridges at the Nassau Hub. Also, grants for Calverton’s Luminati Aerospace and Modern Meadow, a Brooklyn firm that wants to expand its plant-based leather operation to the biopark at Farmingdale State College.

Paying forward: Hedge-funder Lalit Bahl and his wife Kavita have donated $13.75 million to fund a new Stony Brook Medicine center dedicated to understanding cancer at the most complex cellular levels.

It’s happening: Renaissance Downtowns and RXR (hereafter, “RDRXR”) have scheduled a groundbreaking for the looooong planned Hempstead Village redo, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 11 a.m.

Cuomo’s Promise: The governor’s long-term energy plan, which includes $8 billion in subsidies for two upstate nuclear plants, has detractors on all sides of the political aisle.

Not especially related but interesting: Invenergy has started touting its LI project in ads on Politico NY.

Making rounds: Winnie Mack, senior vice president and executive director of Northwell Health’s seven-hospital Eastern Region and nurse extraordinaire, will take over as senior vice president of health system operations at year’s end.

Kevin Beiner moves up to Mack’s old spot. On the business side, Michele Cusack and Richard Miller have been promoted to deputy chief financial officers.

Railing about the future: Dave Kapell, exec of the Right Track for Long Island Coalition, speaks at the ACIT soiree today. Also Jesse Watters from Fox News. Crest Hollow, 11:30, $160 for unaligned walk-ins. (Dave’s worth it.)

And don’t forget: AVZ’s forecast breakfast, revealing the results of its annual economic survey, Jan. 5, 8 a.m., Crest Hollow.

About our sponsor: Farrell Fritz, a full-service law firm with 15 practice groups, advises startups on entity formation, founder and shareholder agreements, funding, executive compensation and benefits, licensing and technology transfer, mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. The firm’s blog, New York Venture Hub, discusses legal and business issues facing entrepreneurs and investors.

Notable local fundings: Lemonade, the NYC-based renter and home insurance platform has closed a $34 million B round from General Catalyst. MoneyLion personal finance app, also NYC, has inked a $22.5 million A round from Edison Partners. Abryx, the Irvington-based biosurgical products maker, closed on $10 million from a group led by Canaan Partners.

Plus: Waggle, the pet video platform, has snared $2.3 million in seed from Raine Ventures; and KeyMe, key copying kiosks and other services (a few on LI), $25 million from Benefit Street Partners.

Faux Geste: Westchester-based Allstar Marketing Group, sellers of such “As Seen on TV” brands as Snuggie, BaconBoss and the Rotto Clipper nail trimmer, filed suit against Amazon this week for allowing sales of knockoff products from Asian manufacturers.

Broke: NBC is shutting down its Breaking News site at year’s end.

Not at all related: Google’s search engines were tricked this week by a story and video on Britain’s Metro news site that suggested alien spacecraft have been refueling by sucking energy out of our sun. (Curiously, they were not baited by an adjacent story, “Dad spends 30,000 pounds on facial surgery to look like Nazi super villain.”)

Nor this, really: Metrocosm has a heat map of the most credible U.S. UFO sightings dating back to 1905. Many are out West, but No. 10 is “Lights Over NJ Turnpike.”

(Wasn’t that a Springsteen song?)

Attention tiny home enthusiasts: The Chinese have developed a pre-fab house you can erect in under 20 hours using only a hex key. About $10,000.

Let’s hope that doesn’t include road rage: Honda has unveiled an AI-run electric car that can feel emotions.

‘Tis also nice to receive: If you need backing tracks while singing in the shower, the Splash Tunes Pro waterproof Bluetooth speaker is what you want.

Or: An Apollo 15 chuck used to drill into the moon’s surface is hitting the auction block in Boston. All yours for around $50,000.

Better yet: The self-sanitizing Sonic Platinum electric toothbrush, normally $259, now $67.99.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading this far.