Month: February 2016

Kirkus Review: “Shrivers: The Substrate Wars 3”

Shrivers Kindle Cover

Shrivers Kindle Cover

It takes a long time to get one of the legacy review companies to review a book, so finally Kirkus has posted their review.

KIRKUS REVIEW

A third adventure in a sci-fi series follows idealistic rebels who can manipulate reality using quantum portals.

Ten years ago, college students Justin Smith, Steve Duong, and Samantha West led a revolution that invented quantum teleportation and used it to eliminate the Earth’s nuclear arsenal. Now, that same technology, which involves tapping “into the computational substrate that runs the Universe and determines how matter and energy appear to interact,” allows them to live on New Earth. This planet is just one of over 100 worlds humanity has settled throughout the galaxy. Thanks to less condensed populations, the watchful, artificially intelligent Guardians, and replicator programs that provide food, shelter, and clothing, “crime and hunger are almost unknown.” Trouble arises, however, when decimated alien civilizations begin appearing in galactic surveys. Because Justin, Steve, and their programmers can’t find any thriving alien races, they suspect that another intelligence is manipulating the substrate. When Eddie, an artificial intelligence, makes itself known to Kat, Justin and Samantha’s 10-year-old daughter, dire truths trickle in. A race called The First, which lives immortally within the substrate, decides which civilizations get to upload and join it. Determined to test humanity, The First now sends its Shrivers—an AI death squad—toward every planet that the revolutionaries helped settle. Kinnison (Nemo’s World, 2015, etc.) bursts wide the scope of his continuously rewarding series in this latest entry. As in the previous novels, he challenges his characters to evolve morally as well as technologically; when Justin and Steve appear secretive about the discoveries on an alien ship, NASA astronaut Maddy Rahama reminds them why they fought the United States when she says, “I thought you guys were going to be the most transparent government ever.” Keen sociological insights are crucial to the plot, as when Justin says, “Just because no one goes hungry, doesn’t mean people stop envying and hating.” The narrative, despite approaching war, proves riveting in the classic mold of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein’s works, in which action never eclipses heart and intellect.

A novel about a galactic threat that offers an addictive barrage of lofty ideas infused with soul.

Pub Date: Nov. 25th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9961833-2-1
Page count: 360pp
Review Posted Online: Feb. 24th, 2016

Shrivers: The Substrate Wars 3

 

Levellers and Redistributionists: The Feudal Underpinnings of Socialism

Levellers' Manifest - Wikimedia

Levellers’ Manifest – Wikimedia

In the United States, we inherit much of our Constitution and political thought from English common-law models. Throwing off the tyranny of inherited privileges, every citizen was deemed equal under the law, with basic rights that were not to be trampled by government; government’s role was to defend those rights against infringement by others, whether other citizens or external states. In Enlightenment England, the Crown came to be viewed as the abstracted ideal of government power, to be used only for the mutual benefit of all citizens. The US Revolution further clarified this doctrine by eliminating the Crown and replacing it with the written Constitution.

So whence came the impulse to take from some citizens to give to others who had been treated unfairly? One of the early movements in the English Civil War, the Levellers of 1645-46, were intellectual forebears of the idea of redistribution. They wished to remove the special rights of nobility and landed gentry, and make all citizens equal under the law, a radical thought at the time. But of course the system they were rebelling against was, by our standards, a kleptocracy, with the privileged early warlords taking and holding landed estates which were the primitive support for the early centralized governments. In return for providing fighting forces and support for the Crown, local warlords were given title to large territories and worked the land using serfs, collecting taxes for the Crown. Under the feudal system, trade and industry were looked down on, and wealth could be stolen by authorized brigands from those who had worked for it, since power came from arms and ultimately could not be held without the protection of the Crown. So the tale of Robin Hood, seen today as stealing from the rich to give to the poor, was a story of a true social justice warrior, taking from the tax collectors and the wealthy thieves of feudal government, returning wealth to those who had earned it, the serfs and free citizens.

Much of the belief system of European-style Labor and Socialist parties dates back to the feudal days when the Balzac quote was true: “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime,” which morally justifies efforts to redistribute wealth from rich to poor. The United States went further than England in establishing a system of free citizens, equal under the law, who could usually rely on the protection of their rights and property by the new government. Inherited titles and lands were absent and power and wealth more broadly distributed and more often acquired through hard work and intelligent enterprise. Until recently, the US was home to great wealth generated primarily by free enterprise and innovation, and there was little moral justification for redistributive policies.

There are many places left in the world, however, where wealth is generated by government influence and corrupt monopolies, where business must bribe and pay tribute to pols, and where the wealthy support the corrupt government that has favored their special privileges. And some of that corruption is coming back to the United States as our corrupt pols have figured out how to peddle their influence to foreign powers and interests in return for contributions to their own power and campaign financing. The Clintons have been especially successful at this, with just one example being their Haitian exploits. In the late 1990s, kickbacks from the Haitian telephone monopoly enriched connected Clinton Democrats at the expense of every poor Haitian family calling relatives in the US.

The Clintons and their foundation are at the center of a new feudal network of patronage and influence-peddling. Vassals do their dirty work and protect them from consequences, and in return get contracts or jobs with nonprofits or government agencies. Protected by their influence, the Clintons and their minions lie, cheat, and cover up malfeasance with impunity.

Kleptocratic regimes grow very slowly if at all, with advances mostly due to imported technology. Individuals in kleptocracies know hard work that raises them to the level of being noticed will result in a powerful person stealing what they have earned, and often killing or exiling them. The explosion of growth in the West only came about because the rule of law and protection of property rights became more reliable there; and the most ambitious people in poorly-governed countries around the world worked to reach the US and other liberal states to escape the punishment of success in their homelands.

As this lesson has been buried under layers of permits and bureaucracy in the US, the rule of law has degenerated into rule of administrative law, with smothering red tape and overregulation. The black markets in labor and goods that are prominent features in kleptocracies are becoming more and more important here, with cash labor combined with social welfare payments keeping more people in the gray zone, dependent on government and trapped by the high price of going aboveground.

Growth has been steadily declining across the developed world, with central bankers trying to keep the game going by artificially pumping created cash into the economies and mispricing debt to force investment in more risky enterprises. This has inflated stock and property markets and made the already-rich richer at the expense of workers and savers. The levers of the power squelching growth and limiting new housing in desirable cities are held by an elite class of property owners, government, and academics, and the situation of young workers in places like San Francisco and New York is analogous to the situation of serfs in feudal systems: attracted to the cities by opportunities and the clustering of other young creative people, they work hard and spend all of their income on bare survival. Like the Levellers, they wonder how the deck was so stacked against them by the previous generations, and call for a new deal. And like the Levellers, many see theft from the wealthy as just, never having been taught economics or the horrendous history of socialist regimes, because their schools were dominated by progressives who indoctrinate them in the goodness of government solutions to the problems of global warming, pollution, and economic inequality.

The better remedy is removing most economic activity from the grasp of government. Having thrown off the monopolies imposed by Britain on tea, for example, the framers of the Constitution did not include regulation of commerce among the enumerated powers, and until the New Deal, it was common for the Federal courts to strike down state and local laws that tried to restrain commerce by granting monopolies or fixing prices. But since the New Deal, FDR’s effort to run a managed economy, the Supreme Court has allowed almost every kind of commerce to be regulated by Federal and State law, applying a rational basis test — if there is at least some chain of reasoning provided that connects the law with a general government purpose, the court has deemed the law constitutional. This has given us restrictive zoning, rent control, local cable TV and telecomm monopolies, local minimum wage laws, licensing of even the most harmless services like hair-braiding, and set up legislators as the ultimate collector of tolls on business in the form of campaign contributions and lobbying.

Of course there are externalities requiring regulation; the most obvious example is pollution, which imposes costs on others that justify regulation. But laws that were originally promoted for the general welfare, like zoning, eventually were used to capture benefits for certain people — notably owners of existing homes and buildings — at the expense of others, notably newcomers and landowners. When the word “unregulated” began to be used as a scare word by popular media to imply danger in any commercial activity not regulated by a bureau or government, the triumph of the bureaucrats was complete; now we pay more and get less for everything from housing to medical care to cable TV and Internet service, because competition in those areas has been suppressed by law. Incomes are high for many of those employed in those sectors, but millions of young people are un- or under-employed because the businesses they might have worked for can’t start up under such restrictive conditions.


Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.

 


More reading on other topics:

Jane Jacobs’ Monstrous Hybrids: Guardians vs Commerce
The Great Progressive Stagnation vs. Dynamism
Death by HR: How Affirmative Action is Crippling America
Death by HR: The End of Merit in Civil Service
Corrupt Feedback Loops: Public Employee Unions
Death by HR: History and Practice of Affirmative Action and the EEOC
Civil Service: Woodrow Wilson’s Progressive Dream
Bootleggers and Baptists
Corrupt Feedback Loops: Justice Dept. Extortion
Corrupt Feedback Loops, Goldman Sachs: More Justice Dept. Extortion
Death by HR: The Birth and Evolution of the HR Department
Death by HR: The Simple Model of Project Labor
Levellers and Redistributionists: The Feudal Underpinnings of Socialism
Sons of Liberty vs. National Front
Trump World: Looking Backward
Minimum Wage: The Parable of the Ladder
Selective Outrage
Culture Wars: Co-Existence Through Limited Government
Social Justice Warriors, Jihadists, and Neo-Nazis: Constructed Identities
Tuitions Inflated, Product Degraded, Student Debts Unsustainable
The Morality of Glamour

On Affirmative Action and Social Policy:

Affirmative Action: Chinese, Indian-Origin Citizens in Malaysia Oppressed
Affirmative Action: Caste Reservation in India
Diversity Hires: Pressure on High Tech<a
Title IX Totalitarianism is Gender-Neutral
Public Schools in Poor Districts: For Control Not Education
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
The Social Decay of Black Neighborhoods (And Yours!)
Child Welfare Ideas: Every Child Gets a Government Guardian!
“Income Inequality” Propaganda is Just Disguised Materialism

The greatest hits from SubstrateWars.com (Science Fiction topics):

Fear is the Mindkiller
Mirror Neurons and Irene Gallo
YA Dystopias vs Heinlein et al: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Selective Outrage
Sons of Liberty vs. National Front
“Tomorrowland”: Tragic Misfire
The Death of “Wired”: Hugo Awards Edition
Hugos, Sad Puppies 3, and Direct Knowledge
Selective Outrage and Angry Tribes
Men of Honor vs Victim Culture
SFF, Hugos, Curating the Best
“Why Aren’t There More Women Futurists?”
Science Fiction Fandom and SJW warfare

More reading on the military:

US Military: From No Standing Armies to Permanent Global Power
US Military: The Desegration Experience
The VA Scandals: Death by Bureaucracy

If you have a good story or anecdote from your organization, please email it to jebkinnison@gmail.com. I can use a few good tales (anonymized, of course) to illustrate the problems.

Death by HR: The Simple Model of Project Labor

Death by HR

Death by HR

We need a simple model to inform our discussion of productivity and the effect of incompetent team members on performance when employment is based on hitting diversity targets rather than choosing the most productive.

Imagine a bucket brigade. Ten people who pass buckets down a line from one to the next, always succeeding in passing it along in one second, so one bucket per second is moved from one end to the other.

There are two types of worker: fast and slow. Fast workers can pass along one bucket per second, while slow workers take two seconds.

Suppose one worker on a bucket brigade ten is slow and takes two seconds; in that case, every person after them in the chain has to wait two seconds for the next bucket, and production is *halved* at one every two seconds. The chain can produce no more than its weakest link.

Recognizing this, the chain is reformed: the slow person is cut out, the rest reach a little extra, but can only pass a bucket every 1.1 seconds. Still, by leaving out the weakest link, production is increased from one every two seconds to one every 1.1 seconds, with everyone working a little harder. The slow worker is idle.

Now suppose there are five slow people. The fast five can’t reach far enough to move the buckets from one end to the other; the best they can do is form a team of eight, three slow and five fast, and production is decreased to one every two seconds. The fast people, reaching a bit further, can produce at one per 1.3 seconds, while still limited by the slow to one per 2 seconds speed. Two slow workers do nothing.

But then: the brigade leader realizes the fast five can move at 1.3 per second then split the buckets between two lines of two slow people each, alternating. This allows the fast people to work at their higher speed of one per 1.3 seconds, passing the bucket alternately to each slow line. Not limited by the slow, total production is now one per 1.3 seconds.

Now imagine hundreds of bucket brigades. Each brigade leader is tasked with recruiting and paying the team members, then taking payment for the buckets moved (Production) and disbursing it to team members at the agreed-to rate of pay.

For simplicity, we’ll assume the payment for each bucket delivered is the same, $0.05. The resulting model starts to look like firms in a competitive industry. The talent pool is continuously refreshed with new people with no performance record; some of them are strong and coordinated even at first, while others learn over time to move faster and more surely. Some will always be slower, or unable to focus on the task, or lack coordination. The brigade leader is Management: the job is to decide what work to do, how to do it, and with what workers.

Brigade leaders have a variety of strategies to choose from. The obvious strategy is to go after those workers who have demonstrated how productive they are previously, and offer them higher pay. A brigade with all fast members will move the full one bucket per second, or 28,800 per eight-hour day. At the end of the day, the brigade leader collects $0.05 per bucket, or $1,440, and if each worker is paid the same, they can be paid $140 each, enough for food, shelter, and clothing in our simple model’s factory town. (We’ll assume our brigade leader also works the brigade line for now, and collects a little off the top for the extra job of managing it.)

But another brigade leader tries to fill her crew with the best workers and discovers only a few are available. She decides on a different strategy: hire some cheaper and slower workers and hire more of them, then use her organizational skill to set up the line to produce as much as possible with the workers she has. She is able to hire five fast workers for the competitive $140/day salary, but then hires four slower workers at $80 a day each, so her payroll is 700+320=$1,020 a day, and by using her fast workers in a single line then having her slow workers split into two lines which alternate handling the buckets coming from the fast line, production is slower than the all-fast team at 1.3 seconds per bucket moved versus the fast team’s 1 second per bucket moved, so in an eight-hour day her team can produce only 22,154 buckets vs the fast team’s 28,800, and they are paid only $1107.70 for their output. But that’s more than she’s offered to pay her workers—so she can collect an additional profit and put to use workers who would otherwise be shunned as slow. Those workers, true, are paid less—and perhaps they have to live near the railroad tracks in smaller, cheaper rooms and eat less expensive meals—but they have work which keeps them fed and healthy, and companionship as they work, and the opportunity to get better with time and practice so that their pay can be raised.

This simple model shows how important it is to be able to pay workers in accordance with their productivity in any business, and how management can reorganize the flow of work to use those who are less productive.

This model also has the feature of the real-world job market requiring each worker to prove their worth before commanding their fair salary. A new worker with no experience will tend to get paid much less than even the slow workers, then rise in pay to the level commensurate with their productivity as it is recognized and becomes common knowledge; a brigade leader (manager) who fails to raise that worker’s pay will find that worker has been hired away by another brigade at a higher rate. And those workers who slowly get more productive will eventually find their new skills recognized in pay, or also be hired away.

Now suppose the town’s mayor comes by and discovers some of the workers are paid less for the “same” job of moving a bucket from one hand to the other. The mayor has been watching MSNBC, and reading Marx, and finds this intolerably unequal—so he returns to Town Hall and has the Town Council pass a law fixing a minimum wage of $120/day. They believe workers will thereby have more money to spend and the town will boom as all these new dollars are spent.

The result is different. All of the strategies managers have used to organize their teams to use less-productive workers are defeated—the only way a brigade can make it is if every worker is fast. All of the slower workers are let go, and teams scramble to reform with only fast workers. Since there aren’t enough fast workers to go around, there are fewer brigades, and the town’s total production falls. Even some brigade leaders are out of work, and none of the remaining brigade leaders will take a chance on a new worker who might cripple their production. The brigades that remain are doing well, and perhaps a shortage of the product even increases its price and thus the profits of the brigade leaders/owners, which allows an increase in the remaining workers’ $140 pay to $150.

But the town is full of unemployed workers, and they demand relief from the Town Hall, who already took responsibility for their welfare by ruling low pay illegal. Retail businesses are suffering as the total spending of the town’s workers falls. More shop workers and owners also find themselves unemployed.

We’ll end our parable here, before the mayor announces a new job retraining program or decides to attract a major-league sports team by borrowing money to build a new stadium.

Most work is vastly more complicated than a bucket brigade, and it is generally more difficult to tell which workers are the most productive when you look at more abstract products like software or engineering design. If a key role in a modern software team is occupied by a less competent worker, that software will not only be produced more slowly, it may never see the market at all. Managers often can’t tell whose failures are damaging a team’s work output until it is too late, and it is far harder to tell whether a new hire is going to be a valuable addition, or a regrettable mistake.

Software is a special case where some programmers are hundreds of times more productive than others, and some are actually negative producers—bottlenecking their teams, derailing meetings, and demanding management attention while making other team members less productive. Fred Brooks wrote The Mythical Man-Month about the mistaken belief of managers that a programming project could be sped up or rescued by adding more programmers. He came up with Brooks’ Law: “Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.”

The highest-quality programming projects are generally designed and prototyped by a single visionary or a very small team, and as more programmers are added, the clarity of design and implementation are lost and the code balloons in volume and is more prone to errors. When the programmers are mediocre and there are many of them, as in most government-contracted software projects, the entire effort may collapse and be scrapped after millions (or billions — see the examples of catastrophic failure in [chapter number], including healthcare.gov) of tax dollars have been spent. This is just the most extreme consequence of bureaucratic project management which views employees as equivalent cogs; in many other fields, the consequence of mediocre team members is low productivity, poor quality, and wasted effort, but the result may function well enough—for government work.


Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.

 


More reading on other topics:

Jane Jacobs’ Monstrous Hybrids: Guardians vs Commerce
The Great Progressive Stagnation vs. Dynamism
Death by HR: How Affirmative Action is Crippling America
Death by HR: The End of Merit in Civil Service
Corrupt Feedback Loops: Public Employee Unions
Death by HR: History and Practice of Affirmative Action and the EEOC
Civil Service: Woodrow Wilson’s Progressive Dream
Bootleggers and Baptists
Corrupt Feedback Loops: Justice Dept. Extortion
Corrupt Feedback Loops, Goldman Sachs: More Justice Dept. Extortion
Death by HR: The Birth and Evolution of the HR Department
Death by HR: The Simple Model of Project Labor
Levellers and Redistributionists: The Feudal Underpinnings of Socialism
Sons of Liberty vs. National Front
Trump World: Looking Backward
Minimum Wage: The Parable of the Ladder
Selective Outrage
Culture Wars: Co-Existence Through Limited Government
Social Justice Warriors, Jihadists, and Neo-Nazis: Constructed Identities
Tuitions Inflated, Product Degraded, Student Debts Unsustainable
The Morality of Glamour

On Affirmative Action and Social Policy:

Affirmative Action: Chinese, Indian-Origin Citizens in Malaysia Oppressed
Affirmative Action: Caste Reservation in India
Diversity Hires: Pressure on High Tech<a
Title IX Totalitarianism is Gender-Neutral
Public Schools in Poor Districts: For Control Not Education
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
The Social Decay of Black Neighborhoods (And Yours!)
Child Welfare Ideas: Every Child Gets a Government Guardian!
“Income Inequality” Propaganda is Just Disguised Materialism

The greatest hits from SubstrateWars.com (Science Fiction topics):

Fear is the Mindkiller
Mirror Neurons and Irene Gallo
YA Dystopias vs Heinlein et al: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Selective Outrage
Sons of Liberty vs. National Front
“Tomorrowland”: Tragic Misfire
The Death of “Wired”: Hugo Awards Edition
Hugos, Sad Puppies 3, and Direct Knowledge
Selective Outrage and Angry Tribes
Men of Honor vs Victim Culture
SFF, Hugos, Curating the Best
“Why Aren’t There More Women Futurists?”
Science Fiction Fandom and SJW warfare

More reading on the military:

US Military: From No Standing Armies to Permanent Global Power
US Military: The Desegration Experience
The VA Scandals: Death by Bureaucracy

Death by HR: How Affirmative Action is Crippling America

Locked Cogs: Death by HR

Locked Cogs: Death by HR

I’m starting a new series of posts on a new book tracing the decline of competence in organizations due to affirmative action hiring, and how it is leading to economic stagnation and declining growth for everyone.

It’s a new Age of Incompetence, with deadwood managers at the heart of our government and regulated institutions like banks and hospitals leading to costly failures and decay in performance of their functions. From the mortgage meltdown that brought down the world’s economy in 2008, to the disastrous launch of the healthcare.gov website for Obamacare, major segments of business and government in the US have grown more expensive and less competent over the past few decades. Billions of dollars of waste in government contracts for IT projects, weapons systems, and service failures at the VA are in the news every day. Public schools are widely seen as mediocre, and in the poorest urban districts they are failing to provide a decent education for the students who need good schools the most. Costs for regulated services like schools, colleges, medical insurance, drugs, courts, prisons, and infrastructure like roads and bridges rise far faster than inflation, while times to complete major projects stretch out to decades, and many fail completely and are cancelled after billions have been spent.

We will trace the factors that have hobbled growth and damaged organizational competence. From overregulation to HR departments that actively sabotage the hiring of the best candidates for jobs, bureaucratic mindsets and by-the-book mediocrities placed in positions of responsibility are crippling the organizations affected.

Silicon Valley and the tech industries are the next targets. If you’re a manager at a tech company, we’ll suggest some ways to protect your people from HR and its emphasis on credentials and affirmative action over the best fit for a position. Corporate leaders need to be sure their HR departments are managed to prevent infiltration by staff more interested in correct politics than winning products. And we’ll show why appeasement of diversity activists is a dangerous strategy that may make your organization a target for further extortionate demands.

The idea for this book came from the author’s personal experience seeking a mortgage from Chase Bank in 2012. I owned a large house free and clear which I was selling, and was trying to get a mortgage for a much smaller and cheaper house because rates were so low—2.75% on a 15-year fixed mortgage. Given that I had much more than the amount of the mortgage in stocks and cash, plus a more valuable house for sale with no mortgage, I assumed it would not be so difficult. But the amount of paperwork required was enormous, with every detail of every account documented multiple times. Unexplained, lengthy delays took months. This was true everywhere in the country, as every lender had to sell to one of the government buyers — Fannie, Freddie, or VA, which were the ultimate funding for nearly all mortgages being made, and where crackdowns on the low-documentation (“liar”) loans and sub-prime loans had led to an overreaction.

After months of drama and repetitive responses to their information requests, the loan was funded just in time to complete the purchase of the house. All seemed well, but I got a letter one week later demanding proof of insurance, which had already been provided to the bank and approved by Fannie Mae in the packaged-up loan. I had been working with a executive-level expeditor (one key sign of problems is that Chase had to set up an office of expeditors just below upper management to force its own bureaucracy to make reasonable decisions), so I got him on the phone, and he set up a conference call with a VP in their servicing division, a woman with an uneducated accent who stonewalled — “That’s just how we do it, Sir.” No amount of talking would get her to concede that Chase’s approval and sale of the loan to Fannie Mae was ipso facto evidence that insurance coverage on the house had already been proven as of a few weeks earlier. Both I and the expeditor gave up on her and I never heard from them after that. While it’s true that the VP title at a bank is handed out to thousands of managers, her complete lack of interest in common-sense solutions to prevent waste and customer anger was a sign that efficiency and customer satisfaction were of little concern to her.

I started to investigate and discovered that a generation of affirmative action policies has placed mediocrities at major decision points in most large companies, government agencies, and highly-regulated institutions like schools and hospitals. A small percentage of deadwood can be routed around, but over time feedback effects from the generalized lack of accountability and lowered standards for performance cripple the institution. We see this in the failures and extreme cost overruns of almost all large government projects and a tolerance for incompetence so long as policy manuals are followed to the letter. This effect is largest in government and education, but also visible in larger companies where HR departments are staffed by progressive sorts who believe in correcting non-progressive thoughts. In high tech, women and minorities dominate HR in part because companies wanted to balance their male-and-Asian-heavy engineering staff to make their numbers look better, but now are just realizing they’ve created an internal enemy to product quality and excellence in staffing engineering teams. (A corporate manager comments: “How do you know HR is lying? Their lips are moving…”)

The diversity activists want group identity to replace competence and merit in hiring — or they want to collect contributions and consulting fees to harass some other organization instead of yours. Whether your company satisfies them by dumbing down your teams or pays them off, you will find it harder to compete when hobbled by their demands.

From Healthcare.gov to the VA, billions of dollars of tax money are being wasted by governments more concerned with politics and the skin color and sex of the work force than competence. The last engines of growth, tech companies, are under pressure to hire based on diversity rather than performance. It’s time to say no to mediocrity.


Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.

 


More reading on other topics:

Jane Jacobs’ Monstrous Hybrids: Guardians vs Commerce
The Great Progressive Stagnation vs. Dynamism
Death by HR: How Affirmative Action is Crippling America
Death by HR: The End of Merit in Civil Service
Corrupt Feedback Loops: Public Employee Unions
Death by HR: History and Practice of Affirmative Action and the EEOC
Civil Service: Woodrow Wilson’s Progressive Dream
Bootleggers and Baptists
Corrupt Feedback Loops: Justice Dept. Extortion
Corrupt Feedback Loops, Goldman Sachs: More Justice Dept. Extortion
Death by HR: The Birth and Evolution of the HR Department
Death by HR: The Simple Model of Project Labor
Levellers and Redistributionists: The Feudal Underpinnings of Socialism
Sons of Liberty vs. National Front
Trump World: Looking Backward
Minimum Wage: The Parable of the Ladder
Selective Outrage
Culture Wars: Co-Existence Through Limited Government
Social Justice Warriors, Jihadists, and Neo-Nazis: Constructed Identities
Tuitions Inflated, Product Degraded, Student Debts Unsustainable
The Morality of Glamour

On Affirmative Action and Social Policy:

Affirmative Action: Chinese, Indian-Origin Citizens in Malaysia Oppressed
Affirmative Action: Caste Reservation in India
Diversity Hires: Pressure on High Tech<a
Title IX Totalitarianism is Gender-Neutral
Public Schools in Poor Districts: For Control Not Education
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
The Social Decay of Black Neighborhoods (And Yours!)
Child Welfare Ideas: Every Child Gets a Government Guardian!
“Income Inequality” Propaganda is Just Disguised Materialism

The greatest hits from SubstrateWars.com (Science Fiction topics):

Fear is the Mindkiller
Mirror Neurons and Irene Gallo
YA Dystopias vs Heinlein et al: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Selective Outrage
Sons of Liberty vs. National Front
“Tomorrowland”: Tragic Misfire
The Death of “Wired”: Hugo Awards Edition
Hugos, Sad Puppies 3, and Direct Knowledge
Selective Outrage and Angry Tribes
Men of Honor vs Victim Culture
SFF, Hugos, Curating the Best
“Why Aren’t There More Women Futurists?”
Science Fiction Fandom and SJW warfare

More reading on the military:

US Military: From No Standing Armies to Permanent Global Power
US Military: The Desegregation Experience
The VA Scandals: Death by Bureaucracy