Devil’s Dictionary: Feeling better about productivity

Devil’s Dictionary: Feeling better about productivity

Much has been made of Australia’s worsening productivity statistics. I can’t see why. The solution is simple: trade them in for better statistics. Measures of the multifarious colour possibilities in petunias, for instance. Or, cross-correlate the number of times cricketer Shane Warne says stupid things in public with trends in the current account deficit. That should lead to some nice little graphs and cute pie charts. Everyone will feel a lot better. Here are some words that feel good about themselves.

Bankers: A group of sociopaths who so nearly destroyed the world’s financial system people are starting to talk.

Customer feedback: An opportunity to ask people if, on a scale of 1 to 10, there is any use in having a scale of 1 to 10.

Fiscal stimulus: A way to stimulate lots of discussion among economists about the usefulness of a fiscal stimulus.

Global automobile industry: Business’ version of a failed state.

Ratings agencies: Professionals who were paid fabulously to help make the financial crisis worse, then got paid even more handsomely to tell everyone how bad it is.

Self-criticism: The bassoon is a delightful reed instrument that can sound very like the white-lipped bright-eyed tree frog of southern Borneo when played with sufficient gusto. Or not.



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