Saturday, July 25, 2009

We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers....

If you all will pardon me a short interlude of self-indulgence, I'd like to comment on the recent economic troubles, as to how it happened.

In my not so humble opinion, it was brought about by people who did not understand the effects of their tools - they were dazzled by the large sums of money that was available for doing nothing concrete.  They saw that they moved billions of dollars from one account to another, and assumed that because they "handled" those sums, they "earned" a percentage of them.  It's the same idea that the people who drive the armored cars should be paid a percentage of the sum of money they transport.

I contrast this to the amounts of money that tends to be paid to people who actually make things - cars, shoes, software.  We get fixed amounts - hourly wages or yearly salaries.  Yet those who do relatively little productive work (how much a any meeting is real decision making, as opposed to posturing and turf-defending?) get bonuses based on the sale of the products of their staff.

Now, I'm a firm believer in capitalism, but I see a great falling away from the respect that those who actually add value, as opposed to handwaving around value.

Unfortunately, this post describes what we as engineers may need to do.  As much as we tend to hate power politics, we make need to take one for the team and step up.

(I almost forgot - the title quote is from the series Babylon 5, as I found it here)

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1 comment:

Brian Tkatch said...

Speculation. But whose to say. Sometimes i think downfalls are inevitable; if not for this reason than for that one. Or perhaps, because preventing a downfall might cost more than dealing with the downfall, just that prevention takes a lot longer, longer than many people are willing to be vigilant for.

The real test is how we respond to it. After all the analysis, do we place blame, or do we accept the situation and deal with it.

The quote, although from Babylon, probably has it's roots in Ode. Another great quote by Willy Wonka.