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2022-05-05 09:00 by Karl Denninger
in Business , 978 references Ignore this thread
Here It Comes (I Tried To Warn You)
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Oh boy..... so much for the various "ESG" and similar things...

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as output decreased 2.4 percent and hours worked increased 5.5 percent. This is the largest decline in quarterly productivity since the third quarter of 1947, when the measure decreased 11.7 percent.

That was coming off a war when we were converting back to peacetime industrial production.

This is coming off two years of worker abuse by employers and the government, both intentionally inflicted and both have served very well to destroy morale and willingness to produce, never mind catering to the crazy in people's minds and effectively paying them for their own personal insanities.

As was learned in the USSR the hard way, and in every other nation that has tried to run something similar while you can force people to show up by threatening them in some way you can't make them actually produce to their potential.  That's impossible, and when the people get upset enough or consumed enough with other things, like $5/gallon gasoline and skyrocketing food prices they don't produce very much.

Dedicating your "company ethos" to various social constructs no matter what they are also destroys morale and ultimately output.  The simple fact is that anyone who is cranked off about such a thing and wants to do the Reeeeeeeeeee! demonstration, again no matter the cause, will be out-performed by any person who says "meh" to such a cause and simply does their job.  It is simply the fact that every person has a limited amount of resource and that which you expend on other things while on company time is destructive to the productivity of the firm.  As a result catering to that nonsense as a CEO instead of barring it and firing anyone who demonstrates it in every case, no matter the cause or claimed purpose always costs the company in terms of output per unit of compensation, which is why when I ran MCSNet I had zero tolerance for any of that crap and didn't care what the cause was.

It wasn't that I didn't have opinions -- of course I did, just like everyone else does.

It's that I showed up every day as the CEO to write code, configure networks, figure out how to best allocate the human and machine resources we had, how costs and gross income were related, which suppliers I had to hammer and what innovation I had to work on to lower the cost of producing our services, where to try to drive sales such that the costs were lowered instead of increased and determine ways to get more output out of less hardware by being more efficient in everything we did.  And, when necessary, I drank a metric ton of coffee so as to be able to keep performing even though whatever bad thing was going on in my life, or just the demands placed on my limited capacity as a human being, might otherwise impair same.

During the hours I was in the office that was where 100% of my mental and physical capacity was going, not into some pet social cause irrespective of how strongly I felt about it.

This report is trouble folks.

Big trouble.

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Tappedout
Posts: 83
Incept: 2020-09-21

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The things my employer did, and tried to do to me made me more productive and increased my bottom line.

I erected the middle finger. I now work 100% for home. I ratcheted down what I do for them from the exemplary to the below average (Just above the bottom, and just high enough to stay off the radar).

Since I had so much extra time, I took a second job. It's also 100% from home.

Now I make more. "Thanks for the gum ball. And F You, bastards."
Ihsmta
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Midwest, USA
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KD, not that I disagree with you, but could at least part of the productivity reduction be based supply chain issues and the shortage of inputs? For example, workers being slowed up or idled as they don't have the adequate tools or materials to work at capacity.


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"Economists are no different than the prophets of ancient Pompeii who reassured that Mt Vesuvius would never blow. After all, it never had before." Baxter Black, DVM and Cowboy Poet

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand
Twainfan2
Posts: 604
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MN
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Biggest drop in 75 years? Ouch. Is it safe to say a recession is surely coming If not an outright depression?
Fenriswulf
Posts: 12
Incept: 2021-10-16

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The amount of resources directed at determining the carbon footprint of the products made by my employer is staggering and I haven't even included the ESG reporting.Whole organizations just to do ESG accounting. These are resource directed away from productive use and simply increase the cost of goods sold with now societal benefit.
Laurentz
Posts: 53
Incept: 2019-01-10

Birmingham, Alabama
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My company actually had a day last year where they ran a rainbow flag up the flagpole and invited people out for the photo op. It pissed me off and a lot of their country boy technical people. Now a couple people have rainbow flags up in their cubicles. Listening to the language you hear LGBTQ people describe themselves as being unique and cool for being confused about their sexuality. Celebrating gayness or transness is like celebrating male pattern baldness or bunions. I've now known 3 people in the span of my life before and after they transitioned. I guarantee for one of them it is 100% psychological and I am fairly certain the same is true for the other two (abused as children or in their relationships). Until someone can show me the genetic markers or consistent hormone levels leading to this I have to assume much of it is merely a mental disorder.

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I'm not letting my ship get shot out from under my ass! Open fire! - Captain Lindemann
Handyone55
Posts: 371
Incept: 2010-07-06

Ceciltucky, Maryland
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I saw this play out in real time at my woke employer. If we take sick time for any reason, we have to have a negative Covid test and get an OK from the pandemic team before returning. Even if your problem could not possibly be Covid, you are required to test. Migraine or back pain? No matter, you must test. Apparently, the over the counter test is not good enough for the woke vazi gatekeepers.

A young man stood up in a meeting and said he had frequent migraines. This uses up three days of sick time while he searches out a place to get tested. The young man said the following: We have worked this way for two years. We did everything that was asked of us. Isnt it time to stop this policy?

A vazi supervisor said the following: THE PANDEMIC TEAM WANTS IT THIS WAY, SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. His tone and body language was a devout muzzy talking down to an infidel who insulted the prophet. The mood in the room shifted to liquid nitrogen spill instantly.
Nadavegan
Posts: 534
Incept: 2017-05-03

The South
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But all the world-wise hipsters assured me that working from home would BOOST productivity??
Ndp
Posts: 71
Incept: 2021-04-21

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The company I work for has an entire group of very well compensated modelers who create simulations and predictive models for how our company's activities impact the environment. Each person in this group makes in excess of 150k per year plus bonus. I know this because I am often competing to hire from the same talent pool.

They contribute absolutely nothing. Their Salaries are a direct drain on profitability. Because their work often places demands on other productive groups, they decrease those groups' efficiency. Further, when they create a model that declares that our business in xyz leads to excess carbon emissions, then we curtail profitable ventures in the name of saving the planet.

It's corporate suicide, and we cheer it on while patting ourselves on the back for being so progressive. This is just one of many examples I could cite.
Boredfree
Posts: 345
Incept: 2021-09-15

western slope colorado
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I choose not to work very much. I like working, but I don't like working to support people I dont like. The less I work, the less money the government gets out of me and the less money I have to spend on crap.

It is a little like cutting off my nose to spite my face.

Money is a means to an end, not the end.

I have managed to create a world where I earn enough to get by. My wife and I don't need much, especially since we have finished building our house.

Extra money now gets spent on landscaping (mostly plants the wife wants) I have time to work building planting beds out of all the moss rock we have on the property. I don't know how I could complete all the task I want to do and work full time.

Gas cost are now another factor. The less I work, the less I drive and the less it cost me to get by. We did some figuring and even driving the Fit I will spend over $20 in gas. I have a long commute which cost me 3.5 hours to drive (to and from) and that gets figured into my 'cost'. I make $30 an hour for eight hours... approximately $240 gross per day.

240-25 (gas+wear and tear) = 215 divided by 12
=17.91 an hour. Remove taxes and SS, and it doesn't equal shit. If I work full time my wife and I lose our Medicaid and you know the ass raping that comes from paying health insurance.

The isn't a cultural that rewards hard work. It rewards scheming and selfishness. You better be looking out for yours, cause there ain't anyone else going to give a shit. Everyone is trying to get by however they can.

The wife and I have discussed applying for food stamps and other services because we would easily qualify but we don't feel we 'need' that kind of help. I don't feel bad about using Medicaid because of all the bullshit government has created in the medical field. Using public assistance to eat seems like a failing to me. Maybe too much government cheese as a kid? I don't know.

This can't continue. I'm surprised it has lasted this long.


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The problem is most people want to point a finger rather than their thumb when dealing with challenges.
3dogs
Posts: 106
Incept: 2018-12-25

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Yes, the detonation was silent, the fallout will be real.

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I don't care if it hurts! I only care if you can't feel it!
Flappingeagle
Posts: 4582
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Quote:
you can't make them actually produce to their potential
The nazi's tried this same crap with forced labor in manufacturing facilities in WWII. It did not work then either.

Other things come to mind like: you can't push a rope; you don't stay in business long if you focus on adding to expenses; and for the woke, the tail does not wag the dog.

Ishmta is correct on the contributing factors but they are definitely not everything.

An item that is not prominently mentioned in the mainstream is that other countries are also raising rates and, Japan is seemingly shaky with its huge debt load.

Flap

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Here are my predictions for everyone to see:
S&P 500 at 320, DOW at 2200, Gold $300/oz, and Corn $2/bu.
No sign that housing, equities, or farmland are in a bubble- Yellen 11/14/13
Trying to leave the Rat Race to the rats...
Tdurden
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The first and obvious difference between you and most top executives in corporate Amerika today is you owned the whole enchilada, whereas a lot of these clowns are are hired help. Sure, they may have an equity stake of some kind but it's not even a controlling interest. And as we have seem from the likes of incompetent hacks like Carly Fiorina, they can damn near auger the entire enterprise straight into the ground and still get tens of millions of dollars to walk away from the smoldering round. The loss gets passed to the dumbass shareholders/bagholders.

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"I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next 10 generations that some favors come with too high of a price." -Vir Cotto Babylon 5
Dbigkahunna
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Giant Side of Texas
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Seems there is a lot of RIP going on. Workers are producing the minimal required to stay on the payroll and employers have painted themself into a corner because if you fire them, the replacement will probably be the same, or worse.
Whan having to sit in a meeting conducted by a consultant of color denigrating those of a lighter shade and better than 40% of the attendees being Hispanic, then this same organization buying cows to graze on company property to generate carbon credits but refusing to restore wages cut during the pandemic.
I tried to RIP but still had to get up at 5:30 and get home at 6:00 PM. It came to needing to or having to. They can urinate up a rope.

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Blessed, Grateful and Living a Dream
Tickerguy
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A True American Patriot!
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When I see some "meeting" where the first 10 minutes are spent on what pronoun everyone in the room wants used.....

Yeah.

Everyone who doesn't immediately walk out of said meeting and go back to work until that sort of time-wasting ego-stroking bullshit is banished should be instantly fired.

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Civil Society requires 99%+ consent.
Stop consenting and it is forced to stop. Always.
No violence required.

Giannmi
Posts: 57
Incept: 2009-09-03

Nutley NJ
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This is so simple conceptually yet corporate America (and the world I suppose) enthusiastically forces this crap upon it's employees. The people running these corporations are not dumb but they are cowards.

The mission of a company is to deliver output from its core competencies. All the rest of the nonsense subtracts from that, destroying shareholder value.

These leaders know this yet they continue with the charade.

The madness is a lot easier to understand once you recognize that the ongoing destruction of the US from within is intentional. In order to "Build back better", they need to destroy the American ethos. They are winning.
Omegapoint
Posts: 206
Incept: 2020-12-26

San Diego
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The Left is the modern day Mafia. Most companies are afraid of the Left so they pay "protection money" in the form of actual money and support of Left-wing causes. Wish more companies had balls like Goya - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/goya....
Dingleberry
Posts: 376
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Thanks for sounding the alarm on this, as it is proof-positive we have changed the foundational structure of our economy. And the bill has come due for the fuckery.

When I look at this from my vantage point, and over time, this report is the culmination of several confluences.

1. Employers became pseudo Auschwitz's with their jab mandates. Complete with nazi doctors (Fauci) and camp guards (CEOs and HRs), and ovens for the increased dead (your local obituary page and funeral home). Now the companies are complaining of not being able to find enough workers. Fuck them. Maybe view them as humans instead of cattle next time? Did they forget the "human" in Human Resources?

2. We outsourced our manufacturing as TG points out. But on the flip side we have raised the millennial-zoomer to view any and all things manual labor, getting dirty, or working in a non-office job as degrading. Very few woman will do these jobs. Of course 70% of these youngsters are basically worthless to their respective companies, with equally worthless "degrees" that produce no real economic output. Their wages reflect that (why do you think they need a bailout?). Now throw in the insane social garbage being pushed by the left (the millennial votes left).......I suggest you bring an anti-nausea med to your next "inclusivity" or "whitey bad" training. Regardless, once the layoffs start (and they will), these petulant pieces of dung will be the first to go. Good riddance. Fuck them all, too.

Like many of you REAL workers, and due to working harder for less (inflation), and putting up with #1 and #2 above, I'm about to join you in going Galt. I will see how things look sitting on the bench, watching this buffoonery like a movie. My only question is it going to be a comedy? A tragedy? A horror flick? Maybe all the above?

Long popcorn.
Horseyhefler
Posts: 46
Incept: 2020-04-07

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@Flap, true dat on the Nazi's and forced labor. My grandfather and one of his friends were forced to perform work that involved a wheelbarrow and shovels. After having taken "attendance", they disappeared, only to return at the end of the day with an empty wheelbarrow...
Ktrosper
Posts: 5480
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ft collins co
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TG wrote..
This is coming off two years of worker abuse by employers and the government, both intentionally inflicted and both have served very well to destroy morale and willingness to produce

Yep. I've been dead-weight (actually a negative producer but I won't go into how) ever since my company tried to needle-rape me. I'm not some min-wage schmuck either - pretty high up in IT. I'll never be productive again for them because I'll never forgive them. I'll keep cashing their checks with a smile too - reparations bitches. I'll ride em right into the ground this way. Then I'll go get another job. They deserve to be six feet under, having tried to stomp on my human right as they did.

You're the only on talking bout this KD.

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The unexamined life is not worth living.-Socrates
The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.-Aristotle
Liberty exists now in the spaces government has not yet chosen to occupy.-Doc Zero
I anticipate that 10 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders will blow me this evening.-K.D.
Omegapoint
Posts: 206
Incept: 2020-12-26

San Diego
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@Laurentz

"Trans" is most definitely a type of mental disorder or illness. Every person has some form of mental disorder, I have a mild case of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) but I don't demand society celebrate me and change social and workplace norms to "accept" me. I know OCD is irrational and not normal and want to be rid of it.

"Trans" people need to be treated for their mental disorder. If someone claimed he was a dog, should we celebrate him and change social and workplace norms to accept him? Perhaps in the lunch room, a food and water bowl would be put on the floor, outside his office would be a piece of grass from him to do his business (of course, someone else would need to clean up his mess), and him humping legs would need to be accepted. See how crazy this is? It is madness which is exactly where the Left wants to take society. They purposely destroy societal norms because their ultimate goal is to rebuild society in their own image, which will be a hard-core totalitarian society where dissent will not be allowed. "Trans" people are just pawns in a greater agenda.
Whitehat
Posts: 8606
Incept: 2017-06-27

Operation Escape from New York
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One wonders when the first organization that feels its back against the wall in terms of survival starts the cascade by ending all of the bullshit.

Can just imagine all of the CEOs and accountable others just hoping that someone will be first.

You all know that with this BS ending also goes out the door all of the required charitable activism which employees are expected to volunteer for and extra curriculars like company sports teams and camping style leadershit {SIC} boot camp exercises that have been inflicted were one's life was expected to revolve around said company.

Let's get back to go to work, do one's best as instructed, contribute where and how appropriate and go the fuck home to one's own private life.

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smiley "How are you feeling? Kind of under the weather? Like you've got the flu?"
Thombradley
Posts: 160
Incept: 2021-11-01

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Does the BLS combine a change of output with the change labor to get a total change? In this case output fell while hours increased. If so the numbers dont quite add up. Rounding?
Diogenes_17
Posts: 63
Incept: 2021-02-15

Georgia
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Not only are we not getting qualified candidates...hell, we're doing good to get resumes that don't have blatant spelling and grammar errors..both my wife and I have observed at our respective companies that staff are completely disengaged. Whether this is a direct result of recent years of Woke-ism, DEI, jabs, coercion etc. or just a linear declination of society giving a shit remains to be seen.

I have always been more productive than my peers because I had the work ethic bascially beaten into me growing up (not recommended as a training method). Further, my after school jobs taught me "if you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean" and the importance of hustling. Integrity and quality should go hand in hand. Alas, this mentality is viewed as old-fashioned or even racist by the meme class.

Now staff walk the halls as if they are strolling the deck of a Royal Caribbean cruise. There is no sense of importance, much less urgency. My wife is seeking to hire staff for a financial services chain but the only potential candidates who actually show up for interviews want to make 2-3x what the market rate is. Thus, the positions remain unfilled and the office is always overwhelmed.

The excrement has already collided with the rotary oscillator. I am not at all surprised by the findings of this report. I believe we will continue to witness a slow and steady decline, accelerating as the remaining boomers and early Gen-Xers leave the workforce.
Greenacr
Posts: 493
Incept: 2016-03-15

Northern Ohio
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Slightly different situation here. I work for a printer who employs approx 6000 employees. Most folks here may be surprised to learn that Printing Magazines and books is a traditional manufacturing environment.

The only wokeness was around enforcing the minimum CDC guidance around masks and social distancing. No vax mandate as it was determined to be a hindrance to hiring.

Our problem is that we simply cannot get employees to come in and work in a three shift x 6 day a week environment. This is at all levels but particularly at the entry level. We are sold out and have equipment idle daily because we can not crew. Better than 75% of those that do hire in quit because they simply do not want to work.

Pay and benefits are a primary driver of lack of interest by new employees. Printing suffered from over capacity for the first 20 years of this century but now with a lot of printers out of business we are raising prices and wages but with little effect.

If not for a loyal long term workforce we would be fooked. Unfortunately, a lot of those folks (including myself) are Boomers and our time is short.
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