Editor’s Viewpoint: Why we don’t have much time to read or think
Do you rush through your day, careening from project to project, only to end up babbling to yourself as you finally head home? Well, then, it’s likely you also don’t have much time to read, much less think during the day, at least not for too long. We are working in a world without enough people to meet daily demands, which means that “reading” takes a back seat, “thinking” is in the suicide seat for occasional consultation and “doing” is driving us down the road, hopefully in the right direction.
But, don’t think that you are alone. Many businesses operate the same way because staffing cuts have been going on for decades. However, many midsize and large businesses have rebounded significantly. For example, more than three-quarters of Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index beat the estimates reported to Wall Street in the first quarter of this year, and the second quarter profits look like they may far exceed last year’s earnings.
So why did businesses only hire 41,000 people out of the 431,000 new jobs reported in May? Maybe they just are not convinced that the recovery is genuine, and if they do not think the recovery is stable, then neither do their investors. On the day the most recent jobs report was issued, the Dow dropped 324 points because the number of jobs added was lower than expected. With the companies making up the Dow average not hiring, did they expect their lack of confidence in the economy to produce investor confidence? And if they are not hiring, who is going to buy their products?
One reason why companies don’t hire quickly is because of the recently developed hyper-short-term-growth mentality, which led to the birth of the “jobless recovery,” beginning with the 1991 recession and repeated in 2001. Those two recessions changed the patterns of the recoveries in the 1970s and 1980s, where job growth was much faster.
The same demand for short-term growth continues to drive business, which means that any meaningful, long-term recovery will be delayed.
We are all waiting for the recovery to begin to make its way to our offices, so that once again, reading and thinking won’t be the luxury they have become, and that measuring the success of the American economy will at least include how employers — including taxpayers — value their employees.
What do you think? Tell us in the comment box below.