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Functional inefficiency : the unexpected benefits of wasting time and money

Author: Peter S Wenz
Publisher: Amherst, NY : Prometheus Books, 2015.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"How can we reduce unemployment? As this insightful and counterintuitive book shows, the surprising answer is inefficiency. Some of the most labor-intensive sectors of the economy, the author notes, are also the most inefficient. But this inefficiency is functional--rather than impairing the economy, it bolsters employment and fosters economic growth. Technological progress increases efficiency and reduces the need  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Peter S Wenz
ISBN: 9781633880405 1633880400
OCLC Number: 890757783
Description: 444 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction: How inefficiency can be beneficial --
Idling workers I: convicts and women --
Manufacturing for international markets --
Environmental limits: food and water --
Environmental limits: food and warming --
Functional inefficiency in transportation --
Functional inefficiency in healthcare --
Consumerism and individual discontent --
Consumerism, competition, and social disaffection --
Idling workers II: more vacations and paid leaves, fewer hours, and earlier retirement --
Physical infrastructure and public goods --
Human infrastructure --
The service sector and indefinite economic growth --
Summary and conclusions.
Responsibility: Peter S. Wenz.
More information:

Abstract:

"How can we reduce unemployment? As this insightful and counterintuitive book shows, the surprising answer is inefficiency. Some of the most labor-intensive sectors of the economy, the author notes, are also the most inefficient. But this inefficiency is functional--rather than impairing the economy, it bolsters employment and fosters economic growth. Technological progress increases efficiency and reduces the need for workers in manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and many services. So how do we keep people working? By maintaining inefficiencies in other areas, such as in our systems of transportation and healthcare. The author documents the waste of time and money in hospital systems, the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, automotive travel, road construction, and road maintenance. These inefficiencies are tolerated because they provide a lot of jobs and promote economic growth, making them functional inefficiencies. Most of these inefficiencies can be reduced without increasing unemployment or impairing economic growth, the author claims, through increased investment in physical and human infrastructure. However, continued inefficiencies inherent in consumerism can't be eradicated without economic decline, making some inefficiency essential as well as functional. Functional Inefficiency offers a wealth of details and a unique analysis of our economic system, plus hope for our future prospects through reduced inefficiency"--

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