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this guy has it wrong

02/20/12 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: Politicks
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/opinion/sunday/the-danger-of-too-much-efficiency.html?pagewanted=all

Capitalism is a quest for profits. Increased revenues and reduced expenses mean more profits. More profits means more efficiency in an organization.

This article is arguing that there needs to be more friction in this search for efficiency, and that this friction will reduce the "negative externality" that this ( lost jobs, lower wages) places on our society.

(Now might be a good time to ask why, if capitalism is good for a society, that we even have these negative externalities to contend with in the first place. You mean to say capitalism doesn't ultimately mean a job for everybody? That's not its goal?)

But what company wouldn't replace all of its workers with robots if the numbers were right and the robots were available? What credit card company is going to go along with the idea that it should reduce its interest rates and base them on credit worthiness as a social good if not forced to do so?

So how does this friction work in a system whose singularly stated goal is the reduction of friction? In fact, the problem isnt the efficiency, but rather the problem is who gets to enjoy the results of the efficiency.

Every manager anywhere wants to increase profits and reduce expenses. Jobs aren't the goal, they're an expense. Taken to its logical end, where does that leave a worker without a business of their own?

Efficiency isn't the source of that problem (why shouldn't we all be sitting by the pool being waited on by our robots) and a little bit of friction in the gears isn't going to fix it, in fact, it's exactly opposite of the system's well stated goals.

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