Thursday, July 16, 2009

America Conforming to the 80/20 Rule

Listen to this conversation between a guy disputing his Verizon bill with a Verizon rep AND then the Verizon supervisor. The Verizon people simply cannot understand the difference between 0.002 cents and $0.002, thus they charged him 100x what they should have. In the end, the supervisor calls it a "difference of opinion"(!).

How can the republic--and our liberties along with it--survive with this sort of thing going on?

Remember Pareto's Principle, or the 80/20 rule. This rule is that a minority of input produces the majority of results. I suspect that 20% of the population is carrying the other 80%. Twenty per cent work hard. 20% are competent. 20% pay almost all of the taxes.

That is not what made America great.

Harold adds:

I hope someone at Verizon has the good sense to be embarrased at this exchange, which simply has to be heard to be believed. Adam Smith famously said "there is a lot of ruin in a country", and here in this recording of mathematically challenged employees of one of the largest high-tech companies in the world, whose entire business of digital communications is based on the understanding and manipulation of numbers, is a very large example of such ruin. It is unknown how much ruin is too much--Smith did not speculate on that, but I'm pretty sure he would be horrified to look into the future and see the enlightened, educated, and scientifically advanced nation he watched being born turn out illiterates like these two Verizon employees unable to distinguish a dollar from a cent. Maybe their paychecks should be rendered in cents instead of dollars.....

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