CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

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End Work Rules and Job Descriptions

IN ALL THE HUNDREDS of books, articles, and speeches on American competitiveness—or the lack thereof—work rules and job restrictions are rarely mentioned. Such rules forbid a foreman to do any production work, whether taking the place of a worker who goes to the restroom, repairing a tool, or helping when the work falls behind. They forbid electricians to straighten a stud when installing a fuse box. They forbid workers’ moving from one job to another, thus restricting them to narrow, repetitive tasks, e.g., spray-painting the door panel of a car. And they narrowly restrict what a worker may ...

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