Stephen Kinsella: If public sector made pizzas, then maybe it would measure up
IMAGINE this ad. A pair of bored young eyes stare out of the TV screen at you. The camera pulls back. You see the bored eyes belong to a teenage boy, with freckles and spots. He's wearing a white hairnet and has headphones on. He looks bored out of his mind, so bored he'd happily be punched in the face just for variety. The camera pulls back again. You see the boy is standing at a conveyor belt, putting sliced mushrooms on the pizza bases that whizz past him. The image goes black. In large lettering the message of the ad is: STAY IN SCHOOL.
The ad ends.
What does it mean for our poor, bored teenager to be more productive? If he produces more pizzas in the same amount of time, he's being more productive. If he wastes fewer mushrooms, he's being more productive. If he works for less -- meaning the owners lower the costs of their inputs -- he's being more productive.