Keep on pretending


Theodore Dalrymple observes the increasing British tendency to substitute unproductive activity for purposeful work.

I realized a long time ago that a very large number of people in a modern economy are paid to do things that not only fail to add to the economic product of the country, but on the contrary reduce it, insofar as they obstruct others from producing as much as they otherwise might.

There is, as every petty official knows, a great deal of pleasure to be had from the obstruction of others, especially if they appear to be more fortunate, better placed, richer, or more intelligent than oneself. There is a pleasure in naysaying, all the greater if the naysayer is able to disguise from the victim the fact that he is not only doing his duty but gratifying himself. Indeed, there are many jobs, meaningless in themselves, in which the power to say no is the only non-monetary reward.

More to be feared even than the secret sadist, however, is the person who genuinely believes in the intrinsic value and even indispensability of his absurd task. He is as dangerous as any true believer…

ISO management accreditation is the acme of claiming virtue for wastefulness.  

We are now “Doing more for less”…and producing less.  Echos of “They pretend to pay and we pretend to work”?

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This entry was posted in Bureaucracy, Economics, Laboratory medicine, Management, Politics, Science and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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