Berry, Wendell. “Conserving Communities
Resurgence Magazine, Number 170
Page 8

The great, centralized economic entities of our time do not come into rural places in order to improve them by “creating jobs”. They come to take as much of value as they can take as cheaply and as quickly as they can take it. They are interested in “job creation” only so long as the jobs can be done by humans more cheaply than by machines. They are not interested in the good health economic or natural or human—of any place on this Earth. And if you should undertake to appeal or complain to one of these great corporations on behalf of your community, you would discover something most remarkable: you would find that these organizations are organized expressly for the evasion of responsibility. They are structures in which, as my brother says, “the buck never stops”.

Toplines.” Don’t Bring Me Down
American Demographics February 1999
Page 14

High cholesterol, poor eating habits, and drinking lots of booze may be bad for you, but a new economic study finds that stress and depression rack up more in employee medical costs.

Workers who reported being depressed had medical expenses that were 70 percent higher than non-depressed workers, and racked up some $3,189 dollars in health-care costs. Workers who said they were under constant stress had medical expenditures that were 46 percent higher than their stress-free peers, or $2,287 a year. And people who said they suffered from both psychological and social problems had medical costs that were 147 percent higher than the risk-free crowd.—AD Staff

Jennifer Tanaka, Focus On Technology
Newsweek, April 28, 1997
Page 85

Psychologists say they increasingly hear from patients who complain about stress but who aren’t making the connection between feeling burned-out and the fact that they take their cell phones to the golf course. Steven Berglas, a Boston psychologist who counsels high-level executives, tells his patients to consciously cut back on access. “It’s just like controlling eating,” he says. “You have to count calories.”

Norman, Donald A.  Things That Make Us Smart
U.S.A.: 1993: ISBN 0201-581299
Page 14

Efficient, routine operations are fine for machines, not for humans. The body wears out—“repetitive stress syndrome,” we call it today. Just as the body can wear out, so too can the mind—the syndrome called “burnout” wearing out the ability to create, to innovate, or even simply to care about the work being produced. A worn-out mind leads to a demoralized worker, to someone who no longer cares about the job and who is apt to leave.

Hornaday, Ann. “How Do You Know When It’s Time to Go?”
Handbook of the Business Revolution
Page 34

Barely half said they liked their job enough that they don’t want to leave it.

Kuttner, Robert. “The Limits of Markets.”
The American Prospect March – April 1997
Page 7

The saga of banking regulation raises the question of contending conceptions of efficiency. The efficiency prized by market enthusiasts is “allocative.” That is, the free play of supply and demand via price signals will steer resources to the uses that provide the greatest satisfaction and the highest return. Regulation interferes with this discipline, and presumably worsens outcomes. But in markets like health care and banking, the market is far from free to begin with.

Coleman, Richard M. The 24-hour Business
New York: 1995. ISBN 0814402402
Page 5

Because of inertia and lack of awareness of alternatives, the principle of continuous improvement is rarely applied to work scheduling.

We have found that most businesses that stick with traditional schedules are really accepting built-in hidden costs, such as these:

  • Reduced productivity

  • Low capital utilization (too much downtime)

  • Excess capital purchases

  • High overtime and idle time

  • Poor integration of maintenance/operations

  • Inefficient relief systems

Melbin, Murray. Night as Frontier
New York: Free Press, 1987. ISBN 0029209404
Page 15

A land frontier is turned to for what can be extracted from it, nighttime for what can be produced in it. The underlying motive is the same, an incentive to exploit the region for economic gain. The great surge into the night began in manufacturing plants. Recognizing the idle capacity in their factories, entrepreneurs inaugurated the industrial expansion once gas lighting was developed and recruited large numbers of people to be active then. By running available equipment in those hours, the total volume of materials handled was multiplied, as were the goods produced.

Gray, John.  False Dawn
The New Press New York: 1998
ISBN 1565845218
Page 3

Even though a global free market cannot be reconciled with any kind of planned economy, what these Utopias have in common is more fundamental than their differences. In their cult of reason and efficiency, their ignorance of history and their contempt for the ways of lie they consign to poverty or extinction, they embody the same rationalist hubris and cultural imperialism that have marked the central traditions of Enlightenment thinking throughout its history.

Russell, Cheryl. The Master Trend How the Baby Boom Generation Is Remaking America
New York: Perseus 1993. ISBN 0306445077
Page 32

With the rise of factories and mass-produced goods in the nineteenth century, economies shifted from agrarian to industrial. Money and the market economy replaced barter and personal relationships in economic transactions. Villages grew into cities as people sought a more efficient way to exchange goods. In the cities, hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of people crowded together.

Goldman, Debra.  "Art & Commerce."
Adweek, March 13, 2000
Page 15

Typical victims of Sudden Wealth Syndrome are successful entrepreneurs and middle managers whose vested stock options have vaulted them into the ranks of the rich. Symptoms include feelings of guilt and unworthiness on one hand and invincibility on the other. Sufferers find themselves compulsively thinking about money, the one worry from which their wealth should set them free. They fall victim to anxiety attacks and fears of losing control.

Asbell, Bernard.  The New Improved American
1965
Page 188

Each system of production has a way of producing people appropriate to it, in approximately the numbers it needs them. The Indian way produces people who act like Indians and a few who act like slaves and, at an appropriate time in history, a few who acted like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas. Similarly, the sharecropping system, the farm migrant system, the independent artisan system.

Ogilvy, David. “ Efficiency
From website www.ogilvy.com/memorial/html/t_six.htm (dead link)

In the best establishments, promises are always kept, whatever it may cost in agony and overtime. To keep your ship moving through the water at maximum efficiency, you have to keep scraping the barnacles off its bottom. It is rare for a department head to recommend the abolition of a job, or even the elimination of a man; the pressure from below is always for adding. If the initiative for barnacle-scraping does not come from management, barnacles will never be scraped. It is the inescapable duty of management to fire incompetent people.

Frantz, John P. “Market ordering versus statutory control of termination decisions: A case for the inefficiency of Just Cause Dismissal Requirements
Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy
Winter97, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p555, 49p

Since the start of the twentieth century, the majority of employment relationships in the United States have been governed by the common law employment-at-will presumption. This rule permits both employers and employees to terminate their relationship at any time with or without cause, in the absence of a contractual provision to the contrary.[1] Thus, employees whose contracts incorporate the at-will presumption have no legal recourse against their employers if they are terminated without cause….

Gordon, David M.  Fat and Mean
New York: 1996. ISBN 0684822881
Page 59

Surveys conducted by the American Management Association in 1994 highlight the superficial and shotgun character of most corporate “downsizing” efforts. Only a third of corporations reported that their downsizing efforts had actually resulted in productivity gains; fully 30 percent reported that productivity had declined. A vast majority of companies surveyed reported that their restructuring efforts had placed a high priority on changing corporate culture, but less than a quarter reported that these results were “very successful.”

Demo Memo.” American Demographics magazine
September 1998
Page 47

(Average daily employees working as temps, 1990 and 1997)

1990............................................1.17 million
1997............................................2.54 million

Source: National Association of Temporary and Staffing Services.

Louis Uchitelle and N.R. Kleinfield, “On The Battlefields Of Business
The New York Times, March 3, 1996
Page 1

Nearly three-quarters of all households have had a close encounter with layoffs since 1980, according to a new poll by The New York Times. In one-third of all households, a family member has lost a job, and nearly 40 percent more know a relative, friend or neighbor who was laid off. One in 10 adults - or about 19 million people, a number matching the adult population of New York and New Jersey combined—acknowledged that a lost job in their household had precipitated a major crisis in their lives, according to the Times poll.

Why Factory Jobs Are Disappearing -- All Over, Robert B. Reich
NPR Marketplace November 5, 2003

America has been losing manufacturing jobs to China, Latin America, and the rest of the developing world. Right? Well, not quite. It turns out that manufacturing jobs have been disappearing all over the world. Economists at Alliance Capital Management in New York took a close look at employment trends in twenty large economies recently, and found that since 1995, more than 22 million factory jobs have disappeared.

Stan Sewitch Unintended consequences of efficiency
Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Marshall McLuhan offered a truly innovative way of understanding the impact of any given message: The impact is determined by the method of delivering that message.


Some of you as old as I might remember the famous line, "The medium is the message." McLuhan meant that the content of the message is secondary to the form which it takes, in terms of how the receiver "digests" or understands that message. How the receiver might behave as a result of receiving the message is therefore largely determined not by the content, but by the form.

Downs, Alan, Corporate Executions
New York: ISBN 0814403077
Pages 11, 12 and 27

Some of the strongest codemning layoffs comes from Wyatt and Co., one of the most respected organizational survery firms in the country. A survery of 1,005 corporations that had recently participated in a downsizing program found the following. Only one-third said that profits increased as much as they had expected after the layoff. Fewer than half said that their cuts had reduced expenses as much as expected over time—an understandable result, considering that four out of five of these same managers reported rehiring for the positions that were laid off. Only a small minority reported a satisfactory increase in shareholders’ return on investment as a result of the layoff....