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View Diary: Don't think class war from above is real? Check out productivity and wage growth since 1973 (99 comments)

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  •  I think I've got to call bullshit (0+ / 0-)

    on at least part of this.

    A good chunk of the productivity increases that are shown in this graph are in the clerical area.  A study from 1986 http://research.upjohn.org/...
    shows how the clerical sector "The most numerous occupational group in the economy" was responding to new technology at that time.

    I think it began with the introduction of the Xerox machine.  And the IBM Selectric.  And the IBM PC.  And WordStar and Lotus 1-2-3, each of which was a really great addition to the workplace.  And computer networking, the internet and T-1 lines, and... (yeah, I was a geek back then)

    Each of them was a boon to your average office worker, and an even greater boon to the companies they worked for.  Each one of them made it possible for more work to be done by fewer people.  Productivity goes up, average salary goes down, and more jobs are routinized in order to build a more flexible workforce.  

    I don't buy the 40 year conspiracy theory.  I think we took one seemingly positive step after another until there was a paradigm shift in how the workplace was defined.  Companies are taking advantage of this, and will until there's a corresponding shift in the social paradigm that they are compelled to deal with.  I don't know what it will be, and I have no idea how soon it might come - I wish I did.  But I don't think there's some dark force lurking behind the scenes that plotted the curve out in advance.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh....

    by serendipityisabitch on Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 07:26:25 PM PST

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