Basing the global comparison of how hard the different nations work on the number of hours put in is a bit like measuring the entertainment value of a play based on how many people are in it. Trust the OECD to dive in with both left feet, and a shotgun pointing downwards.
The OECD has just produced a league table of “hard working cultures”. Mexico comes top, with Greece third….something of a poke in the eye for ever-holy Berlin, given that Germany rocks in at Number 35.
Hoewever, I am profoundly suspicious of all “hours worked” stats. I was made so by a lifetime of ‘professional’ work, the vast majority of which was either misdirected, wasted, pointless, masturbatory, thoughtless or all of those – eg, most internal “meetings”. Above all, ‘work’ is a qualitative thing, in the sense of either being done well or badly – be it hitting, lifting, thinking, drawing, writing, killing or organising.
In the scientific sense, work is defined as ‘using a force to move an object a distance, when both the force and the motion of the object are in the same direction’. This alone tells us that human work does not obey any scientific rules whatsoever, and that doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. I think it was S J Perelman who said, “Most humour is generated by the difference between human aspiration and human achievement”. In this specific context, I support SJP, who also wrote to a friend, ‘PS I apologise for the length of this letter….with more time I could’ve made it far shorter”.
Work can be manual, craft, technical, administrative, intellectual or creative – and combinations thereof. It can be done in a team, in isolation, over the telephone, in the media, underwater, in a studio, on the road, in the air or underground.
The idea that such a degree of variety and performance can be lumped together under one “measure” is the sort of thing a bureaucrat would come up with. A bureaucrat is supposed to think and organise, but as they rarely do either, much of their “work” is worthless. It’s also the sort of thing the Germans (and their, literally, close cultural cousins the Americans) would come up with, but there too my experience of both is that they run very fast with enormous enthusiasm, albeit quite often in entirely the wrong direction.
Specifically of course, it is exactly the sort of nonsense the OECD would come out with. They’re a bunch of tramline whore thinkers who are interested only in the requirements of globalists and African dictators: a difficult brief to fulfil, but then most of us manufacture our own crosses. The OECD told us a year ago that Brexit would collapse the UK economy. Last week they told us reversing Brexit would benefit the UK economy. I just cannot imagine which of their clients steered the “thinking” on that one.
However, despite the silliness of all this, every cloud has a silver lining. It occurs to me that where the OECDumbos got it wrong was in not developing a handicapping system in order to score the relative values of work.
For example, take work in the field of ClubMed debt, and the alleged alleviation of same. Here’s how I would score the participants:
J-C Trichet (Himself) -11,200
Goldman Sachs (munneeee) -8,750
M Draghi (Goldman Sachs) -7,000
W Schauble (NATO) -4,600
A Merkel (DDR) -3,600
N Sarkozy (USA) -2,000
P Muscovici (Paris) -500
A Tsipras (Unclear) -200
Y Varoufakis (Marx) 0
T Geithner (Fed Treasury) +6
B Grillo (Italy) +300
Tot that up, and you’ll reach the conclusion that work making the situation worse was 122.8 times the energy expended on making it better. You may disagree with my scores: but then, during the ‘alleviation’ period Greece paid out vast sums to the vultures, sorry, creditors – only to see its sovereign debt rise from €262bn in 2010 to €315bn in 2016. Of the debt to gdp ratio today, 93% of it is down to loan repayments. As I would call this the antithesis of alleviation – as in ‘increase, heighten, intensify, aggravate’ – I rest my case.
I’m sure similar handicaps could be applied to the UK Treasury on Brexit, Rajoy on Catalonia, UK Labour Party policy on migration, UK Conservative policy on earnings equality, Robert Mugabe’s investment in health services, and Bill Clinton on the US unemployment statistics.
Of course, none of this will cut any ice with people under 30 – or those of all genders and lifestages on the LibLeft in awe of true statistics and settled science. Equally (although for diametrically opposed reasons) it will be ignored by hardline feminists, last redoubt Remainers and neoliberal priests, all of whom have an agenda off the scale of either historical or empirical reality.
Like the female mathematician today examined at Zero Hedge
who argues that subjects like algebra and geometry, which relate to arithmetic, also “perpetuate racism and white privilege”.
I return yet again to my acronym-come-mantra IABATO……It’s all bollocks and that’s official.