American innovation, jobs and productivity

The issues of "jobs for Americans" and "American innovation potential" have increasingly gotten the official - and public - attention in recent times. It is a subject that I have written upon quite often here in my blog in the past seven years or so. My posts apparently are pretty much ignored. So here goes another one.

I won't again go deeply into the long term intense suppression of grass-roots innovation in American technical field worker, caused by the widespread and even standard mis-use of the so-called "employment agreement" signing over all rights to the employee's innovations to the employer, related to the employer's job being done by the employee or not. There is just no incentive to innovate if it is automatically stolen from the employee, with no commitment to do anything with the innovation.the "employment agreement" is supposed to protect the employer from the employees running off with the company's ideas and using them on their own; but companies have very tight means of protecting their own ideas and designs, without any need of such an agreement. So the agreement, normally required as a condition of employment, seems to only be to make life easier for management, with nothing new and unexpected to interfere with their careful flow chart schedules. But it wipes out the grass roots innovation potential of Americans, and has been at it for many decades and we are increasingly feeling the tragic effects. I have many blog posts on the subject, here on this blog, if anyone is interested.

This post mostly is to briefly explore the subject of "jobs." "Jobs" usually implies "employer" and all that 'employer" implies - management, supervision, ownership, facilities, profits, sometimes investors - all get a cut of what the one doing the job achieves. "Overhead" expense is typically more than what is paid to the one doing the job.

There is another way of achieving things, that I have experienced. It leaves out the wannabe bosses and bullies; instead, everyone is cognizant of the overall task the group is to achieve, and as the project progresses, whoever is free at the moment then pitches in to do the next thing that obviously needs doing. This implies participant versatility and wide skill level as well as the continuing urge to achieve the common goal of the group, in an acceptable quality way.

Some people who are better at one kind of task tend to do that kind of task more than those who are less skilled at it. But this is significantly different from the conventional job separation mode under a chain of owner-management, where peopel go to college specializing in some field and then when employed, that is the only kind of thing they do.

I have also explored, using the freedom of science fiction writing, a way to have a group of people become self-governing in productivity, in my novel "Building Up", where a group of people are abandoned in a wheel-type space colony in low earth orbit, so they develop a way to get it done themselves, partly letting the computer handle some management tasks.

And I have described the "Home internet-linked manufacturing workstation" concept in this blog, and have a paper on it available on Scribd. This seems to be a way quite fitting for existing technology to enable bypassing much of the conventional business costs of facilities, commute time & expense & energy cost, and especially to get the unemployed and under-employed to contribute to the productivity of the nation.

But all of these ideas have been ignored and possibly suppressed. I assume that is because it significantly reduces the need for the in-person middle management, which is where people get preferential treatment by being bosses, superior to the underlings, well paid and ego-boosting. Those types of people are expensive to the productivity system. Unfortunately they are also influential (I suspect many were schoolground bullies when younger) and they are experts in manipulating things (such as keeping this blog post from reaching those who would benefit by reading it.)

OK there it is, I did my duty. This post briefly points out big problems and big possible solutions. Details are elsewhere in my blog and am available for questions. Do I expect it to get past the trolls? No.

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