So I was browsing around imgur, and I ran across this image. A little bit of checking revealed the original reddit post. Now, readers who remember my comments from over on Slacktivist will know I’ve occasionally made ironic comments about the USA morphing into some kind of bad copy of the USSR.
Now, the USSR had a systemic tendency to resist innovation, and added to problems with the central planning apparatus, this created a country with an economy that was becoming more sluggish with every passing year. Now, in the Soviet Union, technological innovation would have proved beneficial and probably helped quite a few of the problems they were having, but when you have a society whose political and administrative apparatus is geared to doing the same thing over and over and over because it works, it produces a huge inertia that’s hard to overcome.
Well, that has finally come home to roost in the USA too it seems, in a uniquely capitalistic individual utility-maximizing fashion. Technological innovation apparently too often results in companies pursuing “rational” goals of maximizing the profit and monetary gains to a small core group who operate the company, while tossing employees out onto the street by the store-load.
Capitalism, unlike the Communist system employed in the USSR, actively seeks out technological innovation. It has to, because the drive for profit necessitates slashing costs as much as one can.
But, in the very course of this innovation-seeking, the people who run businesses have become used to the idea that innovation lets them get rid of workers instead of keeping workers to do more productive things with their time.
So in a rather perverse way, resistance to technological innovation by employees is now almost mandatory as a way to preserve the jobs and interests of fellow employees!
As this commenter said:
As a MySQL/Oracle DBA whose girlfriend works in retail, I whole heartedly approve of your saving people’s jobs at the cost of maintaining the inefficiencies of a soulless corporation that takes every chance it can get to fuck over it’s employees.
When the economic system we live in requires the generation of purposeful inefficiencies as a way to keep people from being mistreated by corporate bigwigs, it’s time we had a serious look at why we still seem to need to work 40 hours a week when that’s been the norm since the 1950s.