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View Full Version : Less productivity is better?



Gerry Clinchy
05-28-2012, 10:24 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/opinion/sunday/lets-be-less-productive.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120527

Of course, a transition to a low-productivity economy won’t happen by wishful thinking. It demands careful attention to incentive structures — lower taxes on labor and higher taxes on resource consumption and pollution, for example. It calls for more than just lip service to concepts of patient-centered care and student-centered learning. It requires the dismantling of perverse productivity targets and a serious investment in skills and training.

In short, avoiding the scourge of unemployment may have less to do with chasing after growth and more to do with building an economy of care, craft and culture. And in doing so, restoring the value of decent work to its rightful place at the heart of society.

Tim Jackson is a professor of sustainable development at the University of Surrey and the author of “Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet.”



While craftsmanship, art and medicine may not be appropriate places to place a premium on "efficiency", that bears little relationship to producing more widgets at less cost in less time.

I can't believe that the NY Times would print this kind of junk. If this kind of fuzzy thinking (rationalization) is common in UK universities, the UK is in deep doo-doo.

Obviously, this fellow never stopped to think that the machinery that increases productivity, will also need people to build those machines! (new jobs that did not exist before the efficiencies were devised). Why not just admit it's easier to become a Third World country than to be inspired by new opportunity?

I wonder if his view of medicine would be that we should just let people die without treatment, since that would leave more jobs for the rest of the remaining people? Oh, wait ... they already do that in the UK.

Marvin S
05-28-2012, 11:21 AM
One only need look around to see a lot of available jobs going undone. One of the issues is the governments greed for additional revenue have made those types of jobs hard to provide for the cost the government has mandated.

I don't disagree that there are many who need to get enough skills to do even the most minimal jobs, that really need to have some meaningful mission that cannot be done by machines. The biggest problem in our society is the ability to employ lowly skilled labor, where is it done? All major cities have pothole issues, not a job requiring a lot of skill. Just the ability to be to work on time & handle a couple of rudimentary tools. Would the city's unions allow that to be done cost effectively? Probably not :(. People need to work to find how much fun it is :).

There is a master craftsman guild in Europe that places an emphasis on skilled labor.