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Why should ordinary people be productive?

22 February 2013, 10:00

In this country – where minimum wages are determined by law – people will often strike (sometimes with dire consequences and loss of life) because they do not earn a “living wage.”

Discussing salaries, earnings, and the remuneration coupled to various professions, trades, and occupations, is something the leedas of the pee pull, and their unions, are constantly “engaging” in.

But there is a word that is seldom used when people “engage in negotiations” for better wages. This word is used even less than the dreaded “K” word. (As we all know, using the “K” word will immediately get you deeper into the smelly brown stuff, than you ever imagined possible.) And rightly so.

Just like the word “hermaphrodite” does not exist in sePedi, the word “productivity” seems to have vanished from the English language.

Some of us know that productivity is what drives an economy. Others think that Productivity is the opposite of Democracy and Freedom.  

But what is “Productivity?”

Some will have it that: “Productivity is an average measure of the efficiency of production. Productivity is a ratio of production output to what is required to produce it (inputs of capital, labour, land, energy, materials, etc.). The measure of productivity is defined as a total output per one unit of a total input.”

Big words here! (And maybe a whole new concept for some of the wekkas?) “Production, measure, input and output, efficiency, labour!” The mind boggles.

What most wekkas seem to think is that just finishing a certain task, or job, is “productivity.” In other words, if the office floor is swept with a broom (even if it takes all day) the sweeper is busy producing at maximum efficiency.

Some of us have certain sales targets, output quotas, and manufacturing and production goals that determine our productivity. Others think that earning a “living wage” is the same as being productive.

Keeping the above in mind, can you think of one profession where no one expects you to produce anything – while paying you an inflated “living wage?” Where you have no time limit in which to complete a job? Where you get a free house, car, as much free wine as you can consume, and various other perks? Where no one measures your input or output? Where no one questions your decisions? Where your word is law?

Well, can you?

OK, I’ll tell you: These guys go under various disguises: Dominee, Padre, Pastor, Bishop, Leeda of the Flock, Pope, etc, etc. I think you get the idea.

Have you ever asked your Dominee: “So, how many souls have you saved this week, old chap?”

Or: “What targets have you set for saving The Fallen this year, Padre?”

Or: “Benedictus Popus, how many Bloody Mary’s have you hailed today?”

And if these guys, who only “work” for an hour or two every week (and most of this with their eyes closed), never ever save any souls, they still get their fat minimum wages. Plus all the collection money (and choir boys) they can safely lay their hands on.

Ask yourself this: Have you ever seen Bishops, Cardinals, Padres, or Dominees, go on strike?

NO! And you never will.

Would you go on strike if you had such a cushy job?

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