9 comments on “The British Dude gets it

  1. Piste grooming machines now have driving by satnav and the bloke in the cab (who can’t see much anyway if it’s snowing) just turns the engine on and releases the hand-brake.

  2. Up to a point. The distinction should be not be drawn between manufacturing and services but between how much of our GDP is in sectors that are, or could, generate productivity gains as fast as mainstream manufacturing can and those that cannot.

    The information revolution is a service industry but has much more in common with the electronic manufacturing that made it possible than with people serving drinks in pubs (which has more in common with people making traditional items by hand) let alone petty bureaucrats (public or private).

    The service sector is far too big to be treated as a whole. What we need is more people in jobs that have high productivity and/or can generate big productivity gains.

  3. I do find it amusing the end point of capitalism looks exactly the same as the desired end point of communism.

    Stuff keeps getting cheaper. Folk keep getting wealthier. Eventually the cost of stuff will be zero. (Perhaps made by robots or nanotech.) If the cost of stuff is zero everyone can have anything they want. Therefore the cost of labour will be infinite. It will be impossible to pay someone enough to do anything they don’t want to do, although it’s likely that people might chose to do all sorts of things just for the pleasure of doing so.

    From each according to their abilities. To each according to their needs.

    Trouble with marxists is they chose the wrong horse.

  4. Outsider says: What we need is more people in jobs that have high productivity and/or can generate big productivity gains.

    More people = productivity gains? Or, to be fair, potential gains?

    If that was the case we’d be a) already in the future or b) calling out the riot police to stop venture capitalists fighting in the street to press money in your hot hand or c) stymied by an impediment such as the tube drivers’ union.

    In fact productivity gains are generally a surprise. In the case of grooming pistes they are about 20-30% on diesel, about 20-30% more coverage per tractor and better quality snow. For the Farmer Giles in the original article the gains are as impressive and you don’t need to be a cross between Cincinnatus and Steven Hawking to achieve them either.

    Of course, for the price of your tractor you could buy 3 or 4 Bentleys, but that’s another question.

  5. To blokeinfrance: It’s a fair cop. I should have said we need more of our GDP coming from areas with high (potential) productivity, not jobs. You have a point about surprise but agriculture has a record of rising productivity dating back to Turnip Townsend. So no surprise there.

  6. I am no expert but you do not need to be to say that economically it is a no-brainer but politically a no-hoper.

    My neighbours used to work all hours farming about 500 mixed acres but have given up all their rented land and just farm the 100 acres they own as a sort of retirement hobby. They live modestly (Suzuki rather than Range Rover) but at least they can afford to retire. The regime’s stability must have helped them a lot but the two man-days of paperwork a week killed them.
    Down at the big farm however, it is all contractors with road-blocking mega-tractors and fields covered in plastic snow, a successful if not wholly attractive advertisement for getting rid of CAP.

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