Etats-Unis et gestion de la terre brûlée

Les signes de la situation périlleuse de l'économie américaine sont omniprésents – déficit colossal de la balance des paiements et du budget, chute de l’immobilier et faiblesse du dollar. Un élément qui ne ressort d’aucun indicateur économique pourrait bien être en grande partie responsable : la dégradation de la gestion américaine, qui nuit à une multitude de sociétés mais aussi au légendaire esprit d'entreprise du pays.

Paradoxalement, l'un des indicateurs qui s'est constamment amélioré aux Etats-Unis – la productivité – pourrait être le signe le plus évident. En matière de productivité, soit les responsables investissent dans la formation du personnel, dans des processus de fabrication plus rentables, etc., soit ils prennent des mesures pour semble-t-il donner un coup de fouet à la productivité à court terme mais qui la fragilise à long terme.

La productivité mesure le rendement par heure travaillée. Une société qui licencie son personnel, puis importe l’ensemble de son stock peut paraître très productive – jusqu'à épuisement du stock. Si aucune société ne pourrait agir de la sorte, il n’empêche qu’elles sont nombreuses à supprimer des postes d’ouvriers et de cadres moyens – en janvier 2008, jusqu'à 19 % de plus que l'année précédente.

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