IWhen Business attacks industrial laws as barriers to productivity, we give them some credance, since we assume that Business wants to improve productivity. However, when you think about it, you realise that this is simply not true. What Business wants is to make as much money for itself as it can, as easily as it can. And productivity is by far the hardest way for it to make money. Much easier to take money away from (i) the worker; (ii) the tax payer; or (iii) the consumer.
Personally, I don’t think productivity is all that important a goal – the world is plenty productive enough. Much better to focus on other things such as (i) improving our happiness; (ii) saving the environment; and (iii) helping the destitute.
Management and workers are engaged in a class war. The war is inherently tipped in favour of management, as they hold the power. Industrial laws redress this imbalance. And as Business is asking to tip this balance again in its favour, I thought I’d come up with some real ideas on how to improve productivity. Business is not going to like them however, since it takes from some of the easier ways Business makes money.Cut Bonuses
The argument goes that the amount senior executives are paid is actually a relatively small proportion of the wages bill. And that paying key executives bonuses motivates them to earn even more for the business.
Well, the facts are in, and the exact opposite is true. Bonuses for senior managers actually makes them less innovative.
In fact, if we follow the science to its logical conclusion, we shouldn’t pay bonuses to senior managers, but we should pay bonuses to those engaged in mundane and repetitive tasks. Yeah, I told you Management won’t like these ideas.Cut Copyright and Patent Periods
Copyright and patent laws are needed to protect intellectual property, right? Actually, there is no such thing as intellectual property – it’s an idea that’s been dreamed up by Businesses, you guessed it, to make more money. Much more fundamental is that ideas cannot be owned by anyone, that they need to float free and evolve rather than be pinned down.
But we need to reward innovators, otherwise they won’t produce, right? See Motivation above. Even the economists agree that the evidence is, at best, rather wanting ( http://blog.mises.org/8891/bessen-meurer-patents-do-not-increase-innovation/ ; http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/tfisher/iptheory.html , http://www.dklevine.com/papers/ip.ch.8.m1004.pdf)
What has happened, however, is that there are a few firms (and guess which countries) that make a lot of money. There is now a very complex industry engaged, not in innovation, but in creating a circus. From what I can make out Apple is trying to prevent Samsung from releasing its products because Apple has patented pinching (http://thetechjournal.com/tech-news/apple-awarded-for-patent-on-pinch-to-zoom.xhtml ).Stop War
More often than not, war is about money. And more often than not, it is about those with money grabbing even more from those who had very little to begin with. And guess which country is considered to be the biggest threat to world peace?( http://www.twf.org/News/Y2003/1031-Poll.html )
War is a double whammy. Not only does it divert resources from productive uses, but war actually destroys resources.
Then what about rogue nations? The solution is to boost UN forces. And get them away from political control. So that they can be seen as independent. And so that they can go in and clean up the mess rather than end up peerlessly caught between two warring forces.
And as a bonus, we’d stop the boat-people problem.