More on ProductivityYes, making 'productivity' the highest goal creates a situation in which fewer people are doing more work for the same pay at the social expense of unemployment, lifestyle deterioration (for those who retain their jobs) and customer safety and satisfaction.
Another problem with 'productivity' is the fact that the more useless plastic crap you produce, the more you use up resources and create polution, waste, landfills, etc. And while some of the stuff that's produced is actually useful, a lot of it can only be shoved down people's throats because million dollar advertising budgets convince them they need to have it, often by making them feel they'll be inadequate human beings if they don't. This situation produces pain and suffering in many who can't afford the 'desirable' products and obnoxious egotism in many who can, while perpetuating a system of false values: that people are to be valued not for their courage or intelligence or kindness or perseverance, but for what they own however it was acquired.
There's a quote from a famous American Indian chief (sorry, not sure who) to the affect that, 'Only when the last buffalo is dead and the land and water are destroyed will people discover that you can't eat money.' This belief that money is more important than God, people, animals or the earth is all around us, but I've seen two really glaring examples of it that will stick with me for life.
In the 1980's I was a court reporter, working for a while in probate court, which handled guardianships. A guardian was requesting to resign her conservatorship of a person whose funds had run out. "What I liked was handling the money," she said. "After all, we all know that money is more interesting than people." Everybody in the courtroom was dumbstruck, but I had a strong sense from the looks on people's faces that we were gobsmacked for two different reasons. The judge, the court clerk, one lawyer and I looked at each other like, "Is she nuts? We don't think that!" But a couple of the other lawyers had looks on their faces that said, "Well yes, that's true, but you're not supposed to say it!"
The second one is even worse. A few years ago I heard someone on public radio say, "We must do something about the enormous death rate in Africa, because if these people are dead, they can't buy our products." Yes, I really heard that. 'Uthu billahi min ash-shaitan ir-rajim! Is it really possible to turn this situation around? Can we try? Please?