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Wee gripes: spreading ignorance

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, July 31st, 2009 - 13 comments
Categories: economy, Media - Tags:

Tracy Watkins: “productivity as a country – the amount of goods and services each worker produces and the value they add”

God. Here’s a correct definition: “productivity – the amount of output per hour of work”

The difference? Use Watkins’ definition and it seems if you work longer you’ll be increasing productivity. That might increase production. But not productivity.

13 comments on “Wee gripes: spreading ignorance ”

  1. ieuan 1

    Surely your definition has to include the unit of measure for ‘output’ i.e. ‘dollars’

    So the definition becomes:-

    ‘the amount of output per hour of work as measured in dollars’

    Otherwise your definition would work just as well for someone sitting on an exercycle, as they are doing ‘work’ but they are not actually contributing anything we would measure as part of ‘productivity’.

    • Bill 1.1

      Or a boss sitting shuffling on his/her bum?

    • snoozer 1.2

      No. productivity is usually measured by an index. Not in dollars.

      But obviously Zet’s definition refers to economic output, don’t be too much of a pedent.

      • snoozer 1.2.1

        But obviously whether it’s dollars or an index, some unit of measure is attached to output, just like a unit of time is attached to the input. Anything countable must first be defined by a unit. It can be taken as read.

      • SJ Hawkins 1.2.2

        That’s ‘pedant’ (come on, it’s Friday afternoon irony)

    • So Bored 1.3

      So by using a unit that has no real basis we see what a farce the productivity issue is. What I mean by “no real basis” is that the value of the dollar at any moment is very abstract in an international sense as we allow currencies to be traded on nothing more than emotion, speculation and incomplete information. Which makes Dons role rather an expensive joke.

      • Ianmac 1.3.1

        I am a slow learner and cry sadly from my ignorance because I still don’t know what productivity means outside a job which proces countable units. I understood the description given me on another post that in medicine you can upgrade the technology to process say blood testing faster (but the downside means fewer jobs.) But I do not see how you can measure let alone judge productivity in Zetitic’s terms, for other work/professions.

        • So Bored 1.3.1.1

          Lanmac, there is no ignorance on your behalf, its entirely on the other foot. Why should you know the language of the corporate Jesuit preisthood? It is deliberately obscure, they dont want common souls like us to question it or understand enough to challenge. That is the real purpose.

          I recently got dragged in on this blog to a “debate” with an economist, he kept up obscurant faith and dogma based rhetoric…I gave up. Use common everyday language, not that of the oppressors. Dont engage in their terms. For the record “productivity” translates roughly to making you do more in less time at less cost.

  2. SJ Hawkins 2

    Zetetic, I think you have chosen a narrow definition by specifying the inputs (notably not specifying any outputs)

    Try this one instead;

    Definition: Productivity is a measure relating a quantity or quality of output to the inputs required to produce it.

    I’m not agreeing with Tracey’s definition by the way, I think it’s somewhat vague regarding both outputs and inputs. I don’t think she should have included ‘per worker’ when describing ‘as a country’ productivity, and she hasn’t specified any metric for measurement of the outputs.

  3. BLiP 3

    Memo to Tracey: you could be more productive by actually understanding the things you write about. Means others don’t have to come along behind you and clean up the mess.

  4. lampie 4

    Productivity is measured by output divided by input. It is a ratio. For example labour productivity is measured output per labour hour.

    So might be 2 units per labour hour and if new technology introduced, 3 units per labour hour. Productivity has increased.

    Note you could measure it per worker or overall. Just need to specify the input.

    • snoozer 4.1

      But how much time each worker works is different and changes over time so you can’t use ‘output per worker’. You the unit of input (in this case labour) needs to defined by a time unit.

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