Michael Hammer and James Champy,  Reengineering The Corporation
New York: 1993. ISBN 0887306403
Page 48

Despite the prominent role played by information technology in business reengineering, it should by now be clear that reengineering is not the same as automation. Automation existing processes with information technology is analogous to paving cow paths. Automation simply provides more efficient ways of doing the wrong kinds of things.

Kiron, David., Leiss, William., Lears, Jackson T.J.  Consumer behavior: The Consumer Society
Washington: 1997. ISBN 1559634855
Page 23

Early proponents of an expansionist market economy believed that the scarcity of goods results from limited productivity and that problems related to the elimination of scarcity represent the central concerns of economic systems. This notion of scarcity implies a relation between wants and available resources, but fails to recognize that scarcity has an experiential component that cannot be addressed or eliminated by increasing production. “If we view scarcity as the disparity between our wants and our capacities, we can understand the possibility that scarcity might increase simultaneously with rising social wealth and productivity.”

General Motors Corporation, 1995 Annual Report
Page 5

We’re also working to spread what we call the “lean” ethic throughout GM, which will enable us to become a low-cost producer. The objectives of this effort are to maximize efficiency and quality and to minimize capital investment, factory operations, labor, material, and time.

Lovins, Amory. “Institutional Inefficiency.”
In Context #35, Spring 1993
Page 16

Buildings rarely are built to use energy efficiently, despite the sizeable costs that inefficient designs impose on building owners, occupants, and the utility companies that serve them.

The reasons for this massive market failure lie within the institutional framework that shapes how building are and have been financed, designed, constructed, commissioned, operated, maintained, leased, and occupied. Nearly all of the roughly two dozen actors who play a role in this process have perverse incentives that reward inefficient practice and penalize efficient practice.

Kunstler, James Howard, The Geography Of Nowhere
New York, 1993: ISBN 0671707744
Page 10

Eighty percent of everything ever built in America has been built in the last fifty years, and most of it is depressing, brutal, ugly, unhealthy, and spiritually degrading—the jive-plastic commuter tract home wastelands, the Potemkin village shopping plazas with their vast parking lagoons, the Lego-block hotel complexes, the “gourmet mansardic” junk-food joints, the Orwellian office “parks” featuring buildings sheathed in the same reflective glass as the sunglasses worn by chain-gang guards, the particle-board garden apartments rising up in every meadow and cornfield, the freeway loops around every big and little city with their clusters of discount merchandise marts, the whole destructive, wasteful, toxic, agoraphobia-inducing spectacle that politicians proudly call “growth.”

Codrescu, Andrei. "Viva the Tent."
Architecture magazine, December 1998
Page 134

I'm for portable houses and nomadic furniture. Anything you can't fold up take with you is a blight on the environment, and an insult to one's liberty. I believe in the tent, the card table, and the trailer. The past two decades have witnessed a huge increase in nomadism. For every house development that carves up the land, a flock of houses on wheels and pontoons takes off somewhere else. Where is the great literature of the mobile home, the trailer park, the perpetual camper, the floating boat house?

Hendrickson, Brandon  Just a Little Story.
Posted on December 06, 1997 at 15:50:25

I cursed the machine standing in front of me. Beep at me, will it? Stupid flashing lights—stupid machine. I was at the local gas station pumping (what else?) gas. At least I was trying to. What I was actually doing was yelling at the new, computerized pump that was doing its best to not let me use it. So I kicked it in its little computerized stomach.

Jones, Jim “Drive for Efficiency” 
West Chester, Philadelphia Inquirer
September 28, 1997
Page E5

Last spring, my spouse, her sister and I talked about what was wrong with our jobs. Since one woman was a low-level manager at a major corporation, another was a unionized state employee and I am a college professor, we had different perspectives. Yet we agreed that none of us was happy, and most of it had to do with the attitude our co-workers and the incompetence of all but a few managers.

Russell Baker, “Cheevy Pumping Gas”
New York Times, OP. ED., May 17, 1997

And we call it the modern age! Hah! And we speak of miracles. Hah! And we think this is progress. Hah! Where’s the progress in pumping your own gas? Where’s the progress in being treated with automated contempt by the Cosmodemonic Telecommunications Octopus?

You can call it progress. What I call it is regress. Somebody will say, “Hey, what-taya? Against progress?” Standing here, pumping this gas, feeling the gasoline fumes sneaking into the threads of my best suit, I say, “This ain’t progress, you sap. This is regress in sheep’s clothing.”

Henry Ford and Samuel Crowther, My Life And Work
New York, 1973: ISBN 0631170618
Page 86

The cure of poverty is not in personal economy but in better production. The ‘thrift’ and ‘economy’ ideas have been overworked. The word ‘economy’ represents a fear. The great and tragic fact of waste is impressed on a mind by some circumstance, usually of a most materialistic kind. There comes a violent reaction against extravagance—the mind catches hold of the idea of ‘economy’. But it only flies from a greater to a lesser evil; it does not make the full journey from error to truth.

Iacocca, Lee,  in Estes, Ralph W. Estes, Tyranny Of The Bottom Line
California: 1996 ISBN 1881052753
Page 170

“Safety don’t sell.”


Footnote 35 cites source as Dowie, “Two Million Firetraps on Wheels.” 46-55.

Rifkin, Jeremy. Entropy: A New World View
New York: Bantam, 1980

Pay scales reflect our attitudes toward work: those who labor with their backs and their hands are almost universally at the bottom of the scale; White collar executives who spend their worktime behind desks are at the top.

Thomas Moore. The Care of the Soul—A guide for cultivating depth and sacredness in everyday life
New York: Harper Collins, 1992
Page 178

I have found in my practice over the years that the conditions of work have at least as much to do with disturbances of soul as marriage and family. Yet is tempting simply to make adjustments in response to problems at work without recognizing the deep issues involved. Certainly we allow the workplace to be dominated by function and efficiency, thereby leaving us open to the complaints of neglected soul. We could benefit psychologically from a heightened consciousness about the poetry of work—its style, tools, timing, and environment.

Arthur M. Okun, Equality and Equity: The Big Tradeoff
Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1975
Page 2

This concept of efficiency implies that more is better, insofar as the “more” consists of items that people want to buy. In relying on the verdicts of consumers as indication of what they want, I, like other economists, accept people’s choices as reasonably rational expressions of what makes them better off. To be sure, by a different set of criteria, it is appropriate to ask skeptically whether people are made better off (and thus whether society really becomes more efficient) through the production of more whiskey, more cigarettes, and more big cars.

Jorge, Antonia. Competition, Cooperation, Efficiency, and Social Organization
New Jersey: 1978. ISBN 0838620264
Page 14

Economic optimization in the abstract is, to say the least, a not very useful concept. In any case, even to the extent that intertemporal and interspatial comparisons could be established, it can be demonstrated that there is no single institutional, organizational, or motivational path to attain optimization. The essence of productivity and efficiency can be incorporated into differing social arrangements.

Mishan, Ezra J. Technology and Growth
New York: Praeger 1969
or Beekman Pub ISBN: 0846411040
Page xix

For those who, from habit as much as conviction, hanker after these things, who are impatient to hustle us into the future, painful though it may be, are not, on an alternative use of language, facing the twentieth century at all. They are merely trimming their sails to the winds of fashion.

Page 130

Living in a world saturated with advertisements may well make a man cynical enough to resist the most persuasive selling technique. But though he successfully ignores the message of each and every advertisement, their cumulative effect over time in teasing his senses and tapping repeatedly at his greeds, his vanity, his lusts and ambitions, can hardly leave his character unaffected.

Costanza, Robert, et al. An Introduction to Ecological Economics
Florida: 1997
ISBN 1884015727


Those configurations that maximize power, not efficiency, will be at a selective advantage. Entropy dissipation is required for the survival of living systems and there are limits to the efficiency at which this can go on in dynamic adaptive systems. These efficiency limits are at a much lower levels than those theoretically possible at reversible (i.e., infinitely slow) rates. For example, real power plants operate much closer to the maximum power efficiency than to the maximum possible efficiency.

Lane, Robert E. The Market Experience
Cambridge University Press
New York: 1991. ISBN 052140391X
Page 13

Giving managers and owners a stake in reducing costs in order to widen profit margins is a central advantage for market economies. This familiar feature of the market creates an efficiency norm that has other, sometimes less widely appreciated effects (Chapter 16). When the efficiency norm overrides other considerations in a consumer-driven economy, it sacrifices designing work to meet the needs and desires of workers; it lends credibility to government reluctance to redistribute income; it limits the force of ethical considerations; it uproots community life; it undermines ecological reparations. Sometimes called "the profit motive," the efficiency norm is wider and deeper than that suggests; it is a system of value priorities and causal explanations. And it greatly modifies the market experience.

Page 16

Walter E. Williams, THE ARGUMENT FOR FREE MARKETS: MORALITY VS. EFFICIENCY
The Cato Journal, Vol. 15 No. 2-3

All too often defenders of free-market capitalism base their defense on the demonstration that capitalism is more efficient in terms of resource allocation and, hence, leads to a larger bundle of goods than socialism and other forms of statism. However, as Milton Friedman frequently points out, economic efficiency and greater wealth should be promoted as simply a side-benefit of free markets. The intellectual defense of free-market capitalism should focus on its moral superiority. In other words, even if free enterprise were not more efficient than other forms of human organization, it is morally superior because it is rooted in voluntary relationships rather than force and coercion, and it respects the sanctity of the individual.