[FoRK] RPE and understanding company performance

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Jun 18 00:03:44 PDT 2010

On 6/17/10 11:26 PM, Bill Humphries wrote:
> On Jun 17, 2010, at 10:14 PM, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
>> On Jun 17, 2010, at 10:06 PM, Bill Humphries wrote:
>>> On Jun 17, 2010, at 9:49 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>>>> In other words, unskilled / semi-skilled labor is a scalable commodity that is somewhat disconnected from the creation / management part of the business. For instance, if every employee of every McDonalds franchise were counted, the profit-per-employee would be tiny and hide what is really going on at the corporate level.  Conversely, eBay's profit doesn't give you a good feel for average profit per working participant.
>>> Wow, Stephen, so the corporate level could sling all those burger orders and fill all those Amazon boxes?
>> Machines could.
> Strangely, they haven't yet.
> No doubt that the people working those jobs would be happy to give it up to a robot so they could take other work.
> And, if a robot was filling your order at McDonald's, it'd be highly unlikely that they'd spit in your burger after hearing what you said about the value of their labor.

That certain labor requires less skill than others is not news.  That 
there are huge numbers of people with various levels of skill and few 
with millions of dollars of space shuttle astronaut training, or 
whatever, is not news either.  That most things are created by people 
who have studied something in some sense isn't a novel concept either.  
Everyone should have equal rights and equal-as-possible opportunities, 
but few people would grab a random joe off the street for their heart 

People should get paid fairly for their labor, both ongoing and in 
preparation (education/training/gaining experience), but only when it is 
actually still valuable.  Why would someone be upset about the truth of 
where they are currently?  I was never upset at being a computer store 
clerk / repair jockey (at what worked out to about $2/hr. for over a 
year).  I had some then-rare skills (programming, repairing computers, 
hw/sw sourcing), but there was virtually no market for it.  When the 
market moves on from something I've been doing, I automatically learn 
whatever is at the intersection of what is most needed and what I'm 
interested in & have the aptitude for.  I don't lament the "good old days".

What do you think I said that was offensive??  To whom?

> -- whump


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