Waste of human resources

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Unproductive use of human resources
Wastage of human capital
Under-investment in immaterial resources
Erosion of human capital
Loss of human resources
Human resources are wasted under the capitalist system because of its basic motivation for profit rather than social welfare. The major profits of production return to the non-productive section of society - the artificially created property-owner class, the bourgeoisie. The proletariat, unable to acquire property, are denied self-development and therefore remain dependent wage-earners. With developments in science and technology, machines begin to take over the role of human labour, which is found to be too expensive in the quest for ever higher profits.
The personal or immaterial ([ie] mental and moral) capital is of far greater importance than financial capital, and this explains the amazing rapidity by which countries often recover from the effects of a devastating war. So long as the country has not been depopulated, the character and skill of the people and the necessaries of a working life being unchanged, there are all the essential conditions for a speedy recovery. It was Adam Smith who first included the acquired skill of the people in the fixed capital of the nation. He argued that "the improved dexterity of a workman may be considered in the same light as a machine or instrument of trade which facilitates and abridges labour, and which, though it costs a certain expense, repays that expense with a profit".

Most economic debate so far has failed to recognize that, in the new global economy of round-the-world capital markets, with worldwide sourcing of companies, the critical determinant of a nation's industrial success is the skills and talents of its people. Where 200 years ago capital was the scarce resource, with labour simply a commodity (employees virtually interchangeable), now capital is a global commodity and highly skilled labour is the critical resource. The pathway to national prosperity is one of education, skills and continuous retraining. It is not the white heat of technological revolution that matters as much as the liberating potential of the learning revolution. In this way we move from traditional capitalism -- which implies the dominance of capital in wealth creation -- to an economics based on people.

Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
08.03.1997 – 00:00 CET