The EU

Google says the EU requires a notice of cookie use (by Google) and says they have posted a notice. I don't see it. If cookies bother you, go elsewhere. If the EU bothers you, emigrate. If you live outside the EU, don't go there.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Working Long Hours

From Harvard Business Review we have this short little bit about how productivity is up in the US, but that might be a bad sign.

I believe the author is dead set on.  And not just because I have been overly busy lately, but because of my experiences in the 1970s.  Working long hours does not mean increased creativity and therefore better thinking.  This is particularly important when thinking is the product.

Hat tip to Instapundit

Regards  —  Cliff


ncrossland said...

I recall (vividly) the Managerial Economics course I took as a requirement for my MBA. The entire course was brain bruising nightmare excursion through differential calculus, the purpose of which was ostensibly to make "optimal business decisions" based on "quantitative data." Our instructor and mentor sardonically informed us that while it was a useful tool, it was not the 100% solution as there were always unquantifiable variables that threaten to trash the carefully constructed and argued model.

Doing more with less is one of those deceptive models. One assumes that by eliminating all of the (presumably) "excess" labor and overhead force, one can reach a cost benefit point at which profitability can be perfectly optimal. Unfortunately, in spite of certain Skinnerian support, there are simply too many of those "unquantifiable" variables that cause the model to implode. People simply don't behave in linear, predictable ways, particularly when they begin to get the sense that they are being had....or used.

Given the pressures today to minimize cost in order to maximize profit, it is no surprise to hear declarations of "success" from the scions of management and "government" (I used quotes because management and government are not synonymous). And from the perspective of labor, there is nothing more sobering than a few passes by "Chainsaw Al" through the ranks of the workers to inspire a certain "gratitude" for simply being one of the frightened few remaining.

The business of business is not to provide jobs....or increase employment. It is to make money and ensure that the greates percentage of that income is classified as profit. All else is secondary.

As a side point, one of the great reasons for FDR's insistence on a Social Security system was to ensure some sort of motivating upward mobility. It is the same principle that is employed expertly by the military where you reach a point (actually...a number of points) where you have to move up....or out....and eventually....just out. This "thins" the ranks and provides for "motivation" and "fresh thinking" by ensuring a forever young work force.

The Inuits solve this problem in more perfunctory a point....the elder tribesman/woman removes all their clothing.....and trudges off into the great outdoors....never to be seen again.

Soylent Green anyone????

Renee said...

I know I mentioned this before, but the primary obstacle in me returning to work is my husband's hours at work (and working at home), never mind the commute. To cut it in half, 30 hours for him and 30 for me, heck even 35 and have work down the street rather then 20+ highway miles away.

Flexibility, what most women desire in work just isn't there yet.

Awhile ago when my husband was getting a feel for the job market, he met up with a company that required lunch break, in which there was a recreational room at the business. It was in Vermont, go figure.

Some words of wisdom on the subject from former Holy See Ambassador, May Ann Glendon...

""Such a 'financialized' approach to the social order not only narrows the vision of the human person, but creates instability in the economy," said Glendon."