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  • Governments don’t determine national productivity levels – business managers do


  • However, governments can and do do many things to help managers, including:

  • Managers are principally responsible to their employing organisation – they must try to get the most out of its limited resources – they must try to minimise the costly resources they use, including labour i.e. they must minimise employment


  • On the other hand, government ministers are responsible for all a nation’s resources, especially its people – they must try to maximise employment  – it’s a vote-winner too


  • This conflict of priorities was splendidly illustrated by Adam Smith with his example of productivity at a pin factory and the macro retort from Bertrand Russell ‘in praise of idleness’









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