THE BENEFITS OF INEFFICIENCY - 05.08.2021
May 8, 2021
Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I want to give a big shoutout to all the moms out there. Thank you for making our world and lives better. Thanks for the hugs and kisses. For listening to us and the advice and scoldings when we go off in the wrong direction. Many will be sending flowers, candy, and gifts to sincerely bless your mother. Others like me will simply look upward toward heaven.
For the past two days, I have gotten back to my long daily walks. Due to the pandemic, I haven't taken them for about eighteen months. I did my hike up the hill from my apartment to Sunset Canyon Drive. It felt good to be doing it without a mask. But, I must admit I'm out of shape. On the first day, my legs were literally shaking toward the end. Apparently, my body wasn't used to the idea of walking that far. However, I plan to convince it otherwise. Yesterday, I got a second wind. I'm a little slower than I used to be and had to stop a rest a couple of times. But I feel great.
I'm staying indoors as much as possible this weekend. The warning about China's Long March 5B rocket booster crashing to Earth has me worried. After all, it weighs 22 tons, and no one knows where it is coming down.
Like many of you, I've gotten out of shape during the pandemic. I do a regular workout twice a day with my five-pound barbells. But, the other workout I developed was to get inefficient. My inefficiency is designed to get me to move around. It's almost like a game. When fixing a meal, I try to use as many pots and pans and dishes as possible. I don't use the dishwasher, but rather wash dishes while cooking and after each meal by hand. Instead of stacking the dishes on the counter next to me after they are dried, I take each dish individually, walk over to the cabinet, and put it in place. I do the same type of thing with vacuuming, dusting, mopping, washing, etc. My body needs the exercise, and my mind accepts the rationalization.
I looked up the term "benefits of inefficiency." I found a book titled "Functional Inefficiency: The Unexpected Benefits of Wasting Time and Money" by Peter S. Wenz. It actually looks interesting to me. He argues that inefficiency can reduce unemployment. Here's a bit of the Amazon review –
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How can we reduce unemployment? As this insightful and counterintuitive book shows, the surprising answer is inefficiency. Some of the most labor-intensive sectors of the economy, the author notes, are also the most inefficient. But this inefficiency is functional rather than impairing the economy. It bolsters employment and fosters economic growth. Technological progress increases efficiency and reduces the need for workers in manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and many other services. So how do we keep people working? By maintaining inefficiencies in other areas, such as in our systems of transportation and healthcare. The author documents the waste of time and money in hospital systems, the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, automotive travel, and road construction and maintenance. These inefficiencies are tolerated because they provide many jobs and promote economic growth, making them functional inefficiencies. Some of these inefficient systems come with added environmental and health costs, meaning we sacrifice more than simple efficiency for the sake of jobs. Our inefficiencies may be functional, argues Peter Wenz, but they are too often harmful for us as well. The good news is that most of these inefficiencies can be reduced without increasing unemployment or impairing economic growth. Wenz explores different methods of combating unemployment, evaluating each method carefully to determine its basic efficiencies and inefficiencies, as well as its impact on human wellbeing and on the environment. He also assesses whether it is culturally and politically acceptable and actually serves to reduce unemployment. Some inefficiency will remain, he concludes, but its negative impacts can be lessened through increased investment in physical and human infrastructure.
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In the last sentence of this review, the term "human infrastructure" is used. So Biden wasn't the first to misuse the word. I still don't believe the term was meant to be applied to humans. Here's what I wrote on April 12 on this subject. As a writer, I need to point out the correct definition of the word "infrastructure." According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word is defined as – "the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g.c buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise."
Enjoy the weekend and MOTHERS DAY!
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp