I get conference advertisements in my work e-mail a lot, which is kind of strange because I don't go to a lot of conferences--maybe one conference a year.*
One of the most popular topics for these conferences--and I just got another email for one today--is "Doing more with less." This idea, that if we were just a little more efficient... if we worked just a little smarter... if we re-engineered our processes and looked for ways to cut down on overhead... we'd all be freakin' MacGyver.
Can we just stop that lie right here and now? Because every time I hear it, a delicate little part of me gets screwed up a little more tightly. See, there's this belief inherent in the "do more with less" philosophy that we're all idiots and if we just woke up to the fact that we're being idiots, we could solve any problem. Offensive, no?
But "doing more with less" is bad on a whole different level; it is no less than downright un-American at this time. "Doing more with less" is the cornerstone of the lousy economy that we're mired in right now. You heard me. So stop that belt tightening.**
There are companies out there that used to employ 100 people but now get by with 75 because they think they can "do more with less." So 25 people wind up out of work.
(And 75 people get high blood pressure and rocky relationships. They're the winners? Not so sure.)
So what do the 25 unemployed people do? They "do more with less", by golly. They "stretch" meal dollars by not going out to restaurants and not buying high-end groceries. So, the restaurants can't afford to stay open and the grocery stores jack up their prices and cut back on staff, meaning: more people get laid off. And you know where that goes. Thaaaaaaat's right: more reality television with Flava Flav. And nobody wants that.
Hm? Oh, and cataclysmic, world-wide spiraling economic failure. Which, let's face it, isn't much better.
"Do more with less"? How about "do more with more"? Or even "do less with more"? Because that's a slogan I can get behind. How about "do a teeny, tiny bit that you might have done anyway with so much stuff that it might as well be the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark"? Can that be our new rally cry?
Come on, people. If we all do the absolute minimum, while consuming the maximum, we can stimulate this economy into a golden era of prosperity. Really, it's the least we can do!
*cue America the Beautiful with image of flag waving in the wind*
* And, even then, I have yet to be in a water balloon fight or wear a fez. It's disheartening.
** It makes your muffin top that much more muffiny.