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#14717471
Potemkin wrote:The social consensus in Germany depends on the existence of a 'Mittelstand', the maintenance of good relations between workers and management, an education system geared to produce the best outcomes for the majority of the population, and a generous system of social welfare. None of these factors apply in either the UK or the USA, and I suspect in few other places either.

There are obviously many factors contributing to what makes Germany what it is; however, the social consensus takes a central role since it provides for the social peace that allows for economic development.

It goes without saying that other countries have other traditions, but that doesn't mean that other countries cannot reach a stable social state. Social upheavals, revolts, revolutions, etc., seldom improve a country's situation. Almost all Arab countries are worse off after the Arab Spring. Even Tunisia, which has escaped catastrophe so far, is worse off economically and the security situation is a constant concern. More Arabs join IS from Tunisia than from other countries. The civil war in Syria put an end to reforms initiated by the Assad regimes.

The militancy of the UK's labor unions in the 70s led straight to Thatcher's neo-liberal policies which led to the disenchantment with globalization and Brexit, with the referendum further polarizing the nation. Were these pendulum swings between the extremes necessary? I don't think so. A political class which puts the interest of the country above the interest of the party would have worked for a social consensus instead of further polarizing the country. Perhaps the UK needs to change its fptp election system and use devolution to move towards a federal system.

All of this points to the fact that gradual reforms from the inside are more effective in improving living conditions than a violent upheaval like a revolution. This may be a bitter pill to swallow for an old revolutionary, but it's always better to face the facts. ;)
#14717477
Rugoz wrote:That sounds like nonsense. How do you even measure how much revenue an employee "pulls in".

The 80/20 figure is obviously only a rough estimate. That figure will be vastly different for each company. The point is that only a small number of people are the actual drivers while the vast majority are just sheep following along. If that is true, big differences in salary are actually justified, and concerns about social peace are the primary reason for not letting the difference become too big.
#14717486
The militancy of the UK's labor unions in the 70s led straight to Thatcher's neo-liberal policies which led to the disenchantment with globalization and Brexit, with the referendum further polarizing the nation. Were these pendulum swings between the extremes necessary? I don't think so. A political class which puts the interest of the country above the interest of the party would have worked for a social consensus instead of further polarizing the country.

As I recall, Germany experienced similar swings between extremes during the course of the early 20th century. The only reason you have a stable political and social system now is because that stability was forced upon you by your victorious enemies. I therefore wouldn't boast about it too much if I were you. :)

Perhaps the UK needs to change its fptp election system and use devolution to move towards a federal system.

All this should have been done a century ago. It's much too late now.

All of this points to the fact that gradual reforms from the inside are more effective in improving living conditions than a violent upheaval like a revolution. This may be a bitter pill to swallow for an old revolutionary, but it's always better to face the facts. ;)

No, it all points to the fact that being conquered and occupied by enemies who have a vested interest in maintaining you as a stable model democracy on the front lines of a Cold War against an even bigger enemy is more effective in improving living conditions than a violent upheaval like a revolution. This may be a bitter pill to swallow for an old German, but it's always better to face the facts. ;)
#14717491
Potemkin wrote:The only reason you have a stable political and social system now is because that stability was forced upon you by your victorious enemies.


Potemkin wrote:The social consensus in Germany depends on the existence of a 'Mittelstand', the maintenance of good relations between workers and management, an education system geared to produce the best outcomes for the majority of the population, and a generous system of social welfare. None of these factors apply in either the UK or the USA, and I suspect in few other places either.


Dear Pote, do you seriously want to suggest that the Anglo imperialists imposed the "Mittelstand" on Germany, or that Otto von Bismark introduced the welfare state in the 19th century, sort of in anticipatory obedience to what the allies would do a century later?

How were the allies miraculously able to impose things on the Germans they themselves don't know how to achieve?

It truly boggles the mind :?:

No, it all points to the fact that being conquered and occupied by enemies who have a vested interest in maintaining you as a stable model democracy

Didn't the allies have a vested interest in introducing a stable model of democracy and social stability to the oil-rich ME after their considerable investment?

Germany was successful because of its traditions and not because of Anglo imperialism. That is the ultimate bitter pill you'll have to swallow.

The strength comes from inside and not from external conquests you no longer have the strength to hold onto. :p
#14717493
The strength comes from inside and not from external conquests you no longer have the strength to hold onto. :p


Couldnt agree more. Which is why you have to accept at the end of the day, the middle easts problems come from within. The external meddling makes things worse somewhat but it is due to that inherent weakness that makes it possible.

Syria is not a proxy war at it heart, for example. It is a highly dysfunctional society at its core but this was hidden due to what actually looked like a pretty decent state on the surface. A very high HDI score, for example.

This why Germany and japan rebuilt themselves so quickly after being flattened where as Iraq tore itself apart after a fairly mild invasion, surrender and mashall style plan.
#14717515
The Arabs were a spent force by the 16th century when their naval trade with the Far East was challenged by Western colonial powers who had better shipbuilding and gun technologies.

The British Empire was built on trade too; however, the UK did develop its state of the art technology especially during the industrial revolution. Unfortunately, the militant unions of the 60s and the neo-liberal reaction that followed largely decimated the UK’s industrial base.

Instead of trying to rebuild domestic industry (or European industry), the Brexiteers now want to rely on turbo neo-liberal policies, thus putting at risk the remaining manufacturing industries. Profit margins are always higher in trade and financing than in manufacturing; however, since innovation is mostly in manufacturing, a business model based largely on trade, puts at risk future prosperity in the knowledge-based society. An innovative method for avoiding taxes is not as socially useful as innovative methods for manufacturing goods.

The Arabs (like the Norwegians) fail to innovate because they rely on oil. The neo-cons fail to innovate because they rely on financial capitalism. The US still beats this trend because of its global hegemony and because of the industrial-military complex.

However, being deprived of the means for imperial expansion doesn’t automatically result in the building of strong domestic industries.
#14718522
The point is, that only a small number of employees do most of the work (I'm sure most people can agree from personal experience). Also, those small number of high performers probably don't get paid well enough. Especially when you compare to the majority of other employees that don't do as much.
#14718895
Rancid wrote:The point is, that only a small number of employees do most of the work (I'm sure most people can agree from personal experience).


I do not agree at all from personal experience. I find the idea silly to be honest.

Rancid wrote:Also, those small number of high performers probably don't get paid well enough. Especially when you compare to the majority of other employees that don't do as much.


So Google has found a way to identify those "high performers", or what's the point?
#14718898
To be honest, I also can't say from personal experience that "small" number of employees do most of the work, I also find this idea kinda weird to say the least. But then google always has been weird.
#14718905
Shit, I see it all the time.

There is also a concept that low performers tend to not know they are low performers. In my experience, these are the people always complaining about their pay (even though they are getting paid above market, and above their skill level). There's a name for this, it's the Dunning-Kruger effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect). Maybe you guys are low performers. :lol:

It's not always that low performers are stupid or anything like that. It's just maybe they don't care for the job as much, or are just there for the pay check, aren't excited about the technology they are working on. etc. etc.

In addition to that, high performers tend to underrate themselves. The same studies have concluded that too.

I guess it's not too different from the concept that stupid people often don't know they are stupid.

So Google has found a way to identify those "high performers", or what's the point?


Yes, they have. Many companies have a means to identify high performers. Though the process tends to have a bit more subjectivity than most would like.

In tech, it's always very obvious/easy to spot the high performers. They are often the "go to" people for certain things. They always run towards problems, not run away. They always do things that are "not their job." They always volunteer for difficult tasks that others don't. They are not scared to challenge and call bullshit on people, especially managers and higher ups. Lots of stuff like that. It's hard to objectively measure these traits, but most people in the office know who exactly are the people with these qualities. Basically, Google has concluded that it's these people that produce the most value in a company (if it's not obvious to you why this is, then maybe you really are a low performer), they've also concluded that only a very small number of people have these qualities. I personally, have seen this happen at all my jobs, so I believe it.

The last project I was on had about 50 people on it. I would say only about 7-10 of them are the main reason the project was successful. They did most of the work, most of the planning and strategy, and most of the execution and adjustments. That's not to say the other didn't contribute, but without these 7-10, nothing would have gotten done. These are the regular engineers, not managers or architects.

To be honest, I also can't say from personal experience that "small" number of employees do most of the work, I also find this idea kinda weird to say the least. But then google always has been weird.


Weird that you have never seen this. I've asked about 10 engineer I know, and they all agree that certainly a small number of people are responsible for most of the work getting done.
Last edited by Rancid on 16 Sep 2016 13:31, edited 1 time in total.
#14718907
A few people indeed are more productive than many as in one on one basis that I can see but saying that something like 20% of people are responsible for 80% of work is just too far fetched.

But I am certainly very apathetic towards my job. :hmm:
#14718911
I think it is true. When someone is more hard working bosses don't invest more time in trying to get the lazy people to work harder as they know it would most likely not work (by definition investing time into making someone lazy work is not likely to pay off, the second they are not watched they will go back to being lazy). It is in fact counter productive trying to make the lazy person work as it means a hard workers has to be with them slowing himself down by constantly observing the lazy person. Instead a boss will just put more work on the shoulders of the man already doing most of it.

The harder you work the more is expected from you as your "base" rate of work.
#14718913
Exactly (I've seen the scenario play out daily my entire career), and that's why Google is looking at significantly distinguishing these people by paying them even more than what they would traditionally get. Their additional pay compared to the lazy person simply isn't proportional enough to the amount or output they create (i.e. say they produce 1000% more results than their peers, and yet only get paid 5%-10% more). Google's point is that these few people need to get paid way way more than their (lazy) peers.

Basically, they're trying to move more towards a true meritocracy when it comes to pay.

Fun fact, Google makes all employees grade levels visible to all employees. You won't know what exactly each person gets paid, but you know the range in which they get paid. They are also toying with the idea of making all salaries visible by all employees.
#14718921
In a sentence here's what Google's point is:

Companies always make their pay scales match a normal distribution (bell curve). However, performance doesn't fit a normal distribution, it is much closer to a bi-modal distribution with the high performance hump being smaller than the low performance hump. They want to get those two to match each other better.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimodal_distribution


Basically, what the performance curve looks like is the below, but with the hump on the right, smaller than the hump on the left. Also, the valley in between the two humps would sink lower.
Image


All I can say, is that if you think all of this is bullshit, you must be a lower performer type. High performers know they are shouldering the bulk of the burden of the work to be done, so they would likely agree with this more.

Anyway, I'm not saying this is absolute fact, but you have to accept there is merit to what Google has put forth.
#14718924
Newsflash: most employers want to pay as little as possible for the most amount of work from their employees, and most employees want to do as little work as possible for the most amount of money from their employers.

The only thing which is puzzling about this is that some crazy employees seem to work harder than they need to for no additional reward. :eh:
#14718928
fuser wrote:A few people indeed are more productive than many as in one on one basis that I can see but saying that something like 20% of people are responsible for 80% of work is just too far fetched.


I also think it's far fetched.

I would say I've been a low performer and a high performer in my career, but I don't think my productivity ever dropped below 60% of a 100% (assuming a fixed number of hours per week).

If 40 people are doing less than 10 (or even only 20%!), that is first and foremost a management problem.
#14718948
Potemkin wrote:Newsflash: most employers want to pay as little as possible for the most amount of work from their employees, and most employees want to do as little work as possible for the most amount of money from their employers.

The only thing which is puzzling about this is that some crazy employees seem to work harder than they need to for no additional reward. :eh:


Of course of course. However, if the employer needs a specific skill, they will have to pay more whether they like it or not. On top of that, if they want a high performer at the skill they need, then they must pay even more. In the high skill labor market, there are two ways employers can keep wages low.

- The first is to expand the labor pool by lobbying for more H1B visas to be given out.
- The second is to collude with other companies to keep wages down.


Many silicon valley companies like Apple, Intel (the company I just quit this past week) were found guilty of the second method. They had to pay back wages to a large number of people. I figure they will redouble their efforts on the first method since that's much more legal.

With respect to those crazies that do more:
Let's be clear, "high performer" does not and should not mean you work more hours. If anything, it should be more about how much output created per hour worked. As noted through my previous posts, I'm in the high performer category. I tend to do much more than "just my job." That however, doesn't mean I work more than 40 hours a week (though I tend to do 45 which is very common in America these days).

Why do I do this? It's not to please my business elite overlords. It's more intrinsic than that. My reasons are:

- I actually enjoy working on technology. It's pretty fucking cool shit I get to work on.
- I want to buy my freedom ASAP (i.e. retire early). Promotions early in a career go a long way to overall income earned over time.

It just so happens that my intrinsic motivators align with the motives and desires of asshole executives and those cocksuckers in the board of directors.

Rugoz wrote:
I also think it's far fetched.

I would say I've been a low performer and a high performer in my career, but I don't think my productivity ever dropped below 60% of a 100% (assuming a fixed number of hours per week).

If 40 people are doing less than 10 (or even only 20%!), that is first and foremost a management problem.


Very true, to a very significant degree, very low output from workers can certainly be a management problem. Also, often times managers are actually very scared of having to fire people, thus, they tend to keep low performers around. The larger the company, the truer this is. It's multifaceted indeed. That said, at some point, there are many workers who are simply unteachable, or uncoachable. They simply don't care. In that case, the solution is to let them go or find them a job they can excel at.

The worst situation at a company, is when you have low performer types at management positions. Which is very common at large companies.

I still don't think this is far fetched, and of course the ratio will vary from company to company.
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