How many people do you see here actually working?
Have you ever stopped to think about all the jobs there are in this country, around the world even, that don't directly produce anything?
For example, there are people who mine the raw materials that go into making the steel and rubber and plastic that will eventually become a car. Engineers add their smarts, some make the parts, and finally others screw it all together.
Eventually, waa laa....CAR! All those people DIRECTLY add to the economy. They PRODUCE something of value. Same with the geeks at Apple. They dream up things....they're part of the process....that eventually PRODUCES iPhones and iPads and such.
But along the way there exists a huge workforce comprised of what I call the "hangers-on". They don't DO anything except watch the people who do the work.
For example, the Human Resources folks don't produce anything, they just make sure you comply with all the rules imposed on you by other people who likewise don't produce anything. (Full disclosure: K works in HR.)
I can understand a "safety officer", but why a "safety inspector" AND a "safety manager", too? Why do we need layer upon layer of hangers-on watching workers work?
Consultants are everywhere, many because they're just unemployed producers themselves. Don't even get me started on the bean counters and their "generally accepted accounting pricnciples", which is code for "What do you want it to say?" They can obfuscate anything.
Yes, I know there is societal value in making sure polluters don't mess up our air or water, and to putting out fires and locking up criminals, even though you can't put a price on how much those jobs add to the economy. But IMO too much time is spent making sure the file cabinets are full of cover-your-ass paperwork in case a lawyer (another large group of non-producers) comes along and wants to extort a few mil.
By and large most hangers-on are simply necessary liabilities, not assets. They take their paychecks and buy those cars and computers and TV's produced by others, and that's a good thing, but really they're just the "filler" in the economic smorgasbord, not the "entree".
Now don't get your knickers in a knot. Before anyone gets their feelings hurt, know that I consider much of what I did for nearly 40 years was of the "filler" variety, too. I'm just calling 'em as I see 'em.
Did you know my city has a guy whose job, one of them at least, is to go around and make sure all the construction site porta-potties are properly staked down per ordinance?
In France there are laws that dictate how large the signs painted on store windows can be. And field inspectors who go from store to store with tape measures to make sure all are in compliance. How is that adding anything of value to the economy?
Remember the book Future Shock? It mentions a time in the future when more and more of the work will be done by fewer and fewer of the people. I think we've found that time is here right now.