Friday, February 23, 2007
Edge Patterns 12: From Work to Play
The Economist blog talks about situations in which unions might increase productivity:
Interesting. Sweatshops much?
- There are opportunities for deploying capital to replace low-skilled labour
- The union wage is higher than the average prevailing wage for the workers' cognitive endowments and/or educational level
- There are significant transaction costs to finding and retaining labour, such as the construction trades, where it is more efficient to call the union labour hall and tell them to send over 50 guys than hire them individually
- The work easily lends itself to classification and regularisation
- Productivity is easily measured "
These are simply mechanisms to destroy labour power at the expense of capital - which, too often, is what "productivity" is really about.
Look. There are reasons that neoclassical econ is (to put it nicely) bullshit.
This is a list of them.
These kind of tactics never created any value - the cheap stuff you buy from Wal-Mart is paid for a million times over with the misery of others less fortunate than you.
Let me put it another way.
If you business has to think about any of these issues, it's already dead.
If your business model or strategy is built on this kind of thinking, you're already dead - just like GM, Ford, Gap, etc.
Instead, you should be thinking about the tectonic shift from productivity to creativity - how shifting from work to play is the source of real, durable, economic gains in the post-network economy.