High Productivity Killing The United States

The Lion has listened for quite a while to all the economists and pundits polluting the airwaves with explanations and prognostications.

The only thing that is certain is that none of them seem to know what’s going on in the American economy. In fact, if one were rude and cynical, which of course The Lion is, one might loudly say they don’t seem to know what the hell they’re talking about.

Therefore, The Lion feels obligated to offer his own humble analysis of economic matters. He leaves it to his Halflings to decide if he knows what he is talking about. (Has everyone received their Lionish bribe?)

During the past few decades much has been made of productivity gains by business. Productivity has become a mantra, a grail, a dream pursued by hardheaded MBAs, and obscenely wealthy CEOs who insist on higher productivity so that they may become even more obscenely wealthy.

In practical applications, productivity means fewer people doing the same amount of work as more people did before eager little MBAs decided that a philosophy creating lean and mean companies made them look good.

If your company produces 1,000 babushkas a year with 100 employees, then productivity is ten babushkas a year per employee. Fire fifty employees. Produce 1,000 babushkas. Productivity doubles, soaring to 20 babushkas per year per employee. The CEO buys a bigger house and a fancier car with the wages of the fired fifty. The other officers get promotions and bonuses.

The fired fifty get jobs at burger joints, making less than half what they did before.

Now the only way they can afford to buy a babushka is on credit, which, what with rent or the mortgage, and food and heating fuel and gas costs and medical bills, soon becomes overextended. The fired fifty buy less when credit runs out. Babushka sales fall. The babushka company moves to a fourth world country that specializes in sweat shops full of chained child laborers.

Financial companies make a killing, of course, manipulating all of this angst. Industries go away because fewer people in the United States can afford their products at the prices customers would have to pay if the companies paid livable wages. Profits go to the wealthy, whose narrow spending does virtually nothing for the people who need jobs with good wages. CEOs buy still bigger houses, while workers sucked into felonious mortgages move their families out onto the street.

And the government, oh alright, Bush, stands up and lies that the economy is strong and good. He would have us believe that the stock market is the economy. What’s he going to say when it crumbles? Of course he’s never had to work a real job a day in his life, and he’s been utterly incompetent at the fake jobs he’s held. Always had to be bailed out by Daddy and Mommy. Now that he’s turned the Presidency into a fake job, there’s nobody to bail him out. Or us. Or the economy he and his rich cronies have helped to screw over.

The Lion is pretty much convinced that we’re pretty much screwed and had best look to our own devices to survive what seems to be coming at us. We’re heading deeper into economic terror, created by rich Americans to benefit only rich Americans, enabled by politicians clawing their way into getting a piece of that pie.

It ain’t gonna be pretty. But the riots and bloodshed and the burning of gated communities and mcmansions should be interesting. Like the man said, the rich are very different from the rest of us. Maybe they’d enjoy some home cooking.


3 Responses

  1. Great post, as is the health care one above it.

    (I’ve tried commenting on a few of your posts but the comments have vanished into the ether. So, I am treating this as experimental. If ihis comment actually gets through, I might even try to comment more interestingly)


  2. That damned ether! I’m going to have to stop sniffing it.


  3. Good post. I also think we are heading into a time of economic woe.


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