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"warm-chair attrition"

word of the day for today:

http://www.wordspy.com/words/warm-chairattrition.asp

seems to have been invented by the guy who thinks we're about to have a drastic labor shortage. Is the term (which seems to me at my crappy startup to be the best new invention ever) going to suffer from its association with somebody who is likely a crackpot?

Our WCA here is roughly 80%. A manic-depressive controlling sales-backgrounded micro-managing CEO is mostly to blame. How about you?

MD
Thursday, November 20, 2003

Man's biggest mistake is to believe that he's working for someone else.
--  Nashua Cavalier

Tapiwa
Thursday, November 20, 2003

"I'm not working for the CEO. I'm working for the chance to avoid having my home repossessed."

That seems a lot better. Thanks, man!

MD
Thursday, November 20, 2003

Economy is bad. Employers no longer treat employees well. Employees don't want to be there and will leave as soon as something better turns up.

Yeah... sounds reasonable to me.

m
Thursday, November 20, 2003

People have always hated their jobs, bosses and co-workers.  This sound like another stupid buzzword used by morons pretending they actually might know something.


Thursday, November 20, 2003

Ever wondered why most economies consider it normal to have around 5 or 6 percent unemployment?

It is that employers have the whip hand over wages and can run things to suit themselves. It's so that all you plebes have to fight for the right to work, even though your work makes more money for the employer.

In a free market, the employer would have to fight to have you work for him or her.

.
Thursday, November 20, 2003

Maybe the 6% are incompetent.

Dustin Alexander
Thursday, November 20, 2003

It's been said that employers will pay only enough to keep people from quitting, and employees will work only hard enough to keep from getting fired.  Of course, this is the least common denominator theory of employer-employee relationships, but it seems to be true of many companies.

GML
Thursday, November 20, 2003

"Ever wondered why most economies consider it normal to have around 5 or 6 percent unemployment?"

By "normal" I assume what is meant is "expected" or "usual".

Isn't it true that in any given population and for any given timeframe there will always be some small percentage that will be "in between" jobs (for any of a variety of reasons, including difficulty finding/holding a job).  But, would this account for the 5 or 6 percent?

bpd
Thursday, November 20, 2003

Speaking as the 5 or 6 percent, I'd like to get a job but it seems to me there might be of effort involved.  So I think I'll keep my tele watching chair warm instead.

blah
Thursday, November 20, 2003

"seems to have been invented by the guy who thinks we're about to have a drastic labor shortage."

Actually, we are going to have a drastic labor shortage in a few years.  That's just a matter of demographics.  The Baby Boomers will be retiring soon and because there are so many of them relative to the numbers in the generations following, there are going to be a lot of empty positions that will need filling.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that because there aren't enough people to fill the void, everyone's job description is going to balloon drastically.

Matt Latourette
Thursday, November 20, 2003

The good news: "The Baby Boomers will be retiring soon"

The bad news: They cannot afford to retire like their parents did.

m
Thursday, November 20, 2003

"Maybe the 6% are incompetent."

A couple years ago, only 4% were incompetent.

Jim Rankin
Thursday, November 20, 2003

Perhaps it takes a while to shake the incompetent ones out :)

Dustin Alexander
Thursday, November 20, 2003

Much more than 6% are incompetant, now and 4 years ago.

Unfortunately, "incompetant" and "between jobs" is not as 1:1 as we would like.

I worked at one company in 99 where at least 50% of the employees were unqualified when they started.  On the job training was equivalent to tossing a newborn baby in a swimming pool to teach them how to swim.  It's instictual.  They'll figure it out because they need to.  Unfortunately, plenty of incompetant people find it easier to learn how to make themselves look impressive in an interview and on their resume rather than learning how to do their job well.  Good riddance.

Richard Ponton
Thursday, November 20, 2003

"The bad news: They cannot afford to retire like their parents did."

The really bad news:  Generation X and the following generation are going to pick up the tab for this.

Matt Latourette
Thursday, November 20, 2003

The good news: 5/6 of the world population lives in poverty, and a lot of them are young, willing, and able to work.

I wouldn't worry too much about a falling birth rate in the 1st world ;-)

Frederic Faure
Thursday, November 20, 2003

bpd - the normal figure for what you are talking about is ~2-3% as I recall.


Friday, November 21, 2003

"In a free market, the employer would have to fight to have you work for him or her. "

Why?

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, November 21, 2003

"Ever wondered why most economies consider it normal to have around 5 or 6 percent unemployment?"

Because if it was 0% there would be no chance for companies to expand.  If it was 1% or 2% inflation would be too high. 

5% should be normal.

Richard
Friday, November 21, 2003

"5% should be normal. "
Richard, where do you get these figures from.

What is normal?

Tapiwa
Friday, November 21, 2003

Would it be too much to ask for people to take a freshmen course in economics before we continue?

Yeah, I guess so. Anyway, the dismal science tells us that low unemployment causes inflation. Or at least, unemployment below a certain level causes inflation (they call that level the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU)). And generally, high inflation is considered to be a Bad Thing, so we accept less than full employment (even if we knew of a practical way to achive full employment).

Now, this idea is fairly accepted, but not universally accepted. And deciding the NAIRU for a particular economy requires a bit of guesswork. But a fear of high inflation is basically why we don't strive for full employment.

Bill Tomlinson
Friday, November 21, 2003

> the dismal science tells us that low unemployment causes inflation

I thought inflation is caused by the government printing more money - it's a stealth tax.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, November 21, 2003

Dennis, the guy is talking about what is known as wage-driven inflation. Eventually more money will be created to pay for the higher wages, but it is not the prime mover here, as it can be when the government prints money to balance the books.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, November 22, 2003

"Would it be too much to ask for people to take a freshmen course in economics before we continue?"

You are almost suggesting that if we all did, we would agree. One of my three majors was Economics, and I still don't buy the argument.

Underpinning it all is the premise that spare capacity is a good thing. Spare capacity means you can grow without wage inflation.

In this day and age, a lot of successful businesses are so because they have no fat. How much spare capacity does Walmart strive for? Dell? Spare capacity, even in the job sector is fat.

To pick an arbitrary number (5%), and call this normal is just silly.

Tapiwa
Saturday, November 22, 2003

I would say between 3-5% unemployment is the sweet point - however I have little faith in economic macro-planning to enable us to get there.

The other point not made is that the US's great technical strides were the result of a shortage of labour. If labour is cheap why invest in mechanization.

There are places in India where people carry loads on their bags for hudreds of kilometers in competition with bullock carts, tractors, and lorries. Better than starving but hardly a general incentive towards efficiency.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, November 22, 2003

5% is not an arbitrary number.  It is the point at which most economists expect inflation to rise, based on analysis of past data.  Occasionally they do see economic events that put that number into question, but 5% is still the level which they generally consider to be "full employment" for practical purposes.

T. Norman
Monday, November 24, 2003

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