Monday, December 14, 2009

Waste recycling workers: tremendous added value

From the New Economics Foundation:

"In this report nef (the new economics foundation) takes a new approach to looking at the value of work. We go beyond how much different professions are paid to look at what they contribute to society. We use some of the principles and valuation techniques of Social Return on Investment analysis1 to quantify the social, environmental and economic value that these roles produce – or in some cases undermine."

They look at six professions: bankers, childcare workers, advertising executives, hospital cleaners, accountants, waste recycling workers.

Their conclusions?
  1. Waste Recycling Workers: for every £1 of value spent on wages, £12 of value will be generated.
  2. Hospital cleaners: for every £1 they are paid, over £10 in social value is generated.
  3. Childcare workers: For every £1 they are paid, childcare workers generate between £7 and £9.50 worth of benefits to society.
  4. City bankers: While collecting salaries of between £500,000 and £10 million, leading City bankers to destroy £7 of social value for every pound in value they generate.
  5. Advertising executives: For a salary of between £50,000 and £12 million, top advertising executives destroy £11 of value for every pound in value they generate.
  6. Tax accountants: For a salary of between £75,000 and £200,000 tax accountants destroy £47 of value for every pound in value they generate.
Well, of course, many will gripe about the methodology: as anyone can see, it's impossible to really put a monetary value on the value of many things. But it's just as valid an approach as - and maybe more valid than - the mainstream measurements that are routinely used.


Blogger Physiocrat said...

I have no love of bankers, advertising executives, etc but why are so many of those who are really highly paid doing jobs that are, on this estimation, almost worthless? Who is paying them and why? Where has this money come from? Where does it go to?

2:27 pm  
Blogger Neale said...

I think the answer is "subsidies".

Our fiscal and monetary systems create perverse incentives and rewards.

Bankers and land owners get a free ride on the backs of those who generate the value in our society.

Tax accountants are, in my view, subsidised. We have a tax system where a tax accountant can turn income taxable at 40 (soon to be 50) percent, into a capital gain taxable at half that.

The bigger the saving to their client, the bigger the share of that they can charge for having produced "value" for their client.

It's not surprising that their activities destroy value.

3:03 am  
Blogger Physiocrat said...

Neale - we need a tax system in which there is no place for tax accountants. Then they can apply their no-doubt considerable talents to productive activity.

1:33 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home