Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Business Prevention Officers

In these tough economic times, one expects some austerity: tightening of belts and loosening of standards for the sake of expediency. Focus on getting results, not sweating the petty things that waste time and effort for little reward.

Alternatively, if you are apparently relatively immune to tough economic conditions, you might take the opposite approach: sweat the details in order to justify a job whose existence, were you to work at optimum efficiency, might become questionable.  Unfortunately, this has a significantly adverse economic impact: you're effectively being subsidised at a time when nobody can afford subsidies. You are a leech, a drain on economic resources, a waste of hard working tax payers' money.

These past 2 days have revealed to me that there are several positions in Barbados government departments that are exactly the above.  People being paid to, in effect, prevent the natural course of commerce and economic efficiency.  People whose removal from those positions would actually benefit the economy, not just in salary burden on the tax payers' purse, but also by increased throughput of business: things would get done faster, the cogs of commerce would turn faster and economic throughput would improve.

It's these people who will eventually bring our economy to its knees, not government policy, or macro-economic mis-management. Just these bureaucrats who believe they are owed a living, a wage, irrespective of the value or damage they contribute to the economy. Who measures them? Who checks that they are doing their job effectively? One could argue it should be their unions: after all, they profess to protect their workers' rights, so why not make an effort to ensure them by proving that union members are useful contributors to the economy of our society? Imagine an ethically responsible union that not only ensures workers don't work late, but also that they don't finish early?

It seems that too many people want to enforce rules that they don't question (and may not even exist), and too few people want to actually compete in the game.  More refs than players would lead, ultimately, to poorer players.
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