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September 26, 2007



I think the problem is defining talent. You may be the foremost toothbrush holesaman in the word, but if people don't want a toothbrush with a hole in it ( why did they have them in the first place?) you will have to be a street sweeper or a plumber.
NO society is ever going to be able to use evrything and everyone to their optimum. Things don't work like that - they go up and down on a pretty random basis. Think of the firemen who sit around all day waiting for a fire

Andrew Kelly

A couple of points on this:

- If the economy is so advanced why do so many things work so appallingly badly? I suggest it is because dumb bosses force identikit working practises onto initially keen and talented workers who are demotivated by lack of involvement
- When they are involved the strict division of labour is compromised but efficiency increases http://books.google.com/books?id=ZtHzyI04aMMC&pg=PA102&lpg=PA102&dq=group+working+at+volvo&source=web&ots=RnJZ158US4&sig=1b5-HDOsgqbJ6JJdu_iFm2YBHKM#PPA102,M1


You have to wonder about that 'survey' of City staff - there's no information on how it was collected, and of whom. Bank of America was the best place to work in June 2006, and by July 2007 it was the third worst (90% satisfaction falling to 36%).

Bob B

I don't understand what dsquared is on about.

As Tony Blair said back in 2005, "More than one million people on incapacity benefit wanted to work."

The problem is that they are not working. Besides that, we know from The Economist for 26 August 2006 that Britain is unusually well-endowed with low-skilled young people compared with other European countries:

Of course, that isn't too surprising because of this:

"Last year [2004], a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed that Britain came seventh from bottom in a league table of staying-on rates for 19 countries. Only Mexico and Turkey had significantly lower rates of participation for this age group. Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and Slovakia have marginally lower rates."

And this:

"Only half of those on apprenticeships in England finish them, the chief inspector of adult education has found.
Although standards of training had improved dramatically overall, David Sherlock said low apprenticeship completion rates were 'unacceptable'."


[This survey of workers in the City ]

specifically, this self-selected internet poll on a site seemingly run by a recruitment consultancy and having no news stories other than "man sends silly email". I thought I specifically caveated out blog sources. The evidence of your own eyes goes the other way. Most people are doing about as well as they can, working reasonably hard and having a reasonably good time. The trend is up and there are no fundamental economic or social forces to prevent it continuing. It is not as if those workers' cooperatives you occasionally advocate have a great reputation for developing people.

Bob B

Update 27 September:

Chris - From today's press, it appears that Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Education, agrees with you, which is hopefully reassuring in its way:

"Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, admitted yesterday that England’s state education system was failing too many young people as he pledged a new drive to raise standards.

"A decade after Labour took office, he told the party’s conference that it was not good enough for one in five children to enter secondary school unable to meet the required level of English.

"Children from poorer homes were still only half as likely to get five good passes in GCSE exams, even though results were rising faster among pupils entitled to free school meals, he said."

Btw do see this especially sad news report about local education authorities in Wales:

"Two-thirds of Wales's local authorities are not spending enough on education, according to a teachers' union. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said its research shows spending by 14 of the 22 councils is below expected budget levels."

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