Re: Productivity Metrics

Subject: Re: Productivity Metrics
From: Dan Emory <danemory -at- primenet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 09 Jul 2000 14:05:11 -0700

Another view of productivity appears in this Sunday LA Times opinion piece:

The article suggests that, despite popular belief, the large gains in productivity during the 90's did not occur in the "New Economy", but instead were mainly attributable to gains in the "Old Economy", particularly durable goods manufacturing. The writer strongly criticizes some of the metrics used to measure productivity gains in computer technology, and suggests that, even in that sector, most of the gain, if any, came from transfers of components between foreign countries (particularly Asia), because overseas suppliers were unable to raise prices. In the 90s there was unprecedented price stability of commodities and raw materials.

"Statistically." he points out, "there is no difference between productivity generated by brilliant innovations...or by squeezing lower prices from labor and suppliers." He adds, however, that "The problem of building wealth from economic inequity is that, eventually something bad happens." If that occurs, he suggests that "the brunt of the hardship will fall on the nation's temporary work force."

I would add that it is quite unlikely that any kind of measurable productivity gain can be quantified in the economy. First, since the vast majority of web pages are nothing but hype and junk, their value is zero, thus the productivity of producing them is minus infinity. Secondly, the economy hasn't been around long enough to establish any kinds of benchmark productivity figures.
| Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory -at- primenet -dot- com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646
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