The competitiveness crisis in Italy as an economy depends also on its low rate of productivity. Productivity, specifically for a European country which has to stake on “aesthetic and artisan”, “premium” and “top-of-the-range” products with high added value, is based on a series of social and cultural software items. A solid critical awareness of the culture of the national economy. A strong social capital, with a network of relations which guarantee unity in competition and collaboration (“cum petere”, to move forwards together). An increasingly sophisticated human capital, which depends above all on the quality and the quantity of training received. Italy unfortunately is increasingly lacking in this respect. A fact pointed out by Gian Arturo Ferrari (one of the most authoritative managers in publishing, for years part of the top management of Mondadori) with his condemnation on the cover page of Corriere della Sera of 30th January regarding “the link between a school curriculum that has been cobbled together, worthless vocational training, chaotic university system, desolating reading figures and their logical consequence, i.e. very low productivity”. Proof of this? In the dramatic figures of plummeting university attendance, with almost 60,000 students less over the past ten years. Uncultivated human capital. A resource of commitment and skills potential which is gradually being depleted, at the very time when the key factor in growth lies in processes of the knowledge economy. What’s to be done then? Investments are needed, for an economic recovery which is a long time coming. As well as radical reforms, and not only regarding economic issues in the strictest sense of the word but also in fact culture and training. Instead decreasing amounts of public investments and expenditure of low value have been allocated, unlike in other major EU countries.