• Functional Inefficiency: The Unexpected Benefits of Wasting Time and Money

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    • Category : ECONOMICS (GENERAL)
    • ISBN Code: 9781633880405
    • Format : Hardcover
    • By (Author): Wenz, Peter S.
    • Publisher: Random House(US)
    • Published Date: 09 Jul 2015


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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 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 a lot of 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.


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MPH - Functional Inefficiency: The Unexpected Benefits of Wasting Time and Money ISBN - 9781633880405