Tag: The System

Institutional Inertia – Example of

One thing we could do right away was to disencumber the office of a number of pointless routines that had proliferated through the years. For every new book signed on, for instance, Blanche and Alfred had each demanded a long, insanely detailed form to be filled out and filed – the green form, the pink form. Blanche’s forms were still being churned out two years after her death: No one had said to stop. Alfred’s were hardly more to the point. A good deal of unnecessary make-work was being ground out daily. We had an “office manageress” who walked around the office hectoring the secretaries: “Type faster, girls. Type faster.” There was a weekly meeting at which the elders discussed reprints of the backlist: The cost of manufacturing, say, 750 copies of an academic book on American history from 1938 was announced, the book in question was handed around, the discussion went on until a consensus was achieved. It had to be a consensus because no one was in charge, and since time immemorial, one of the chief activities of the browbeaten Knopfies had been to dodge direct responsibility lest the wrath of the gods descend.

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Robert Gottlieb

In the News – Shouldn’t workers be doing better in this booming economy?

Despite unemployment at a near 50-year low, a soaring stock market and the longest expansion in US history, the recovery hasn’t yet reached these millions in economic hard times, say these analysts.

Even as wages overall are rising, about 50 percent of US workers received no pay raises last year, according to Bankrate. And in real terms, some say average salaries are stagnant.

“Today’s average inflation-adjusted wage in America has the same purchasing power that it did in 1978,” Liam Hunt, a market analyst at SophisticatedInvestor.com, told The Post. “That’s despite macroeconomic growth in terms of GDP, salary increases for the highest bracket of income earners and rapidly rising home costs,” he added. “In a growing economy, we should see real wage growth, though we haven’t.”

John Aidan Byrne, February 22, 2020, NY POST

School refusal

“It’s a struggle that many parents are familiar with — your child doesn’t want to go to school. But for some kids, this happens every day, leading to weeks and sometimes months of missing school. Mental health professionals say these students’ chronic absenteeism is part of a condition called “school refusal” that may be triggered by anxiety, depression, family crises and other traumatic life events.”

Interesting talk on Here and Now.