* Microsoft Escalator Attendants

Creating jobs.

Microsoft’s The Hive website has a headline today that I found humorous:

Report says Windows Vista will create 100,000 new jobs in US alone

I visited The Soviet Union in 1988. I got to see 100% employment in action. I got to see jobs like “escalator attendant” and “clean sidewalk sweeper” (make work jobs). The USSR was very good at creating jobs.

Prisons create jobs when they put chain gangs to work turning large rocks into gravel by hand.

Spammers create jobs for anti-spam companies. Viruses create jobs for anti-virus companies.

Inefficiency creates jobs. Efficiency eliminates jobs. That’s why Wall Street generally rewards companies who cut jobs. It means the companies are getting more efficient, more profitable. The workers displaced by the new efficiency will, in the short term, be worse off, but new jobs will be created because we are all richer when companies become more efficient. New job opportunities will be created due to the new efficiencies.

I’m sure that Microsoft thinks that Windows Vista will make us all more efficient and richer. But somehow I think that some of those new 100,000 jobs will be dealing with the inevitable problems caused by any new operating system.

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