Re: It doesn't take a flashy report with pretty graphs...
"people making minimum wage put in minimum wage effort." "You get what you pay for"
This is converging closer to reality, now.
You can make economic criticism from both the right and left, talk about effective take-home wage vs what you're actually paid (in which case, tax cuts are an obvious stimulus to the economy from a 'consumption' point of view), or the 'widening gap between rich and poor' in which case there's apparent exploitation going on [as has happened in the past, ca "robber baron" era].
But each of these is an inadequate explanation on its own, as they're interrelated. When the employees don't have enough $ to live on comfortably, it screws with their psyche, and when this causes a perception of "have vs have not" envy, making things worse. [keep in mind that high tax rates on 'the rich' are actually on upper middle class WAGE EARNERS, and tend to WIDEN that gap, because it keeps upper middle class from BECOMING 'the rich' - prior to last December, 'the rich' were getting away with paying LOWER taxes because the income wasn't WAGE income - but I digress].
Here are some of the negative aspects that create productivity problems, in my view:
1. Hiring the wrong person. This is ALWAYS expensive. There are many reasons why, from race/sex/whatever quotas [gummint mandates and lawsuits] to HR incompetence. "What Color is your Parachute" talks about this, from what I recall.
2. Actual collusion to pay people less - this happened in Silly Valley a while back.
3. Inefficient management - too many meetings, for example, or focus on "social" instead of "work output". You can 'feel good' about it all damn day and NOT get a damn thing done! This isn't helping anybody.
4. Punishing achievement and rewarding mediocrity. This is a complex issue, because it happens in the tax code [work more/harder, less effective $ per hour], and seeing promotions based on something OTHER than merit (like race/sex/whatever quotas). Productivity and quality must be rewarded, or else you get "who gives a flying FEEL any more" with dead-end jobs and looking to go elsewhere all the time.
5. "Process of the week" involving the latest new, shiny way to do engineering work, like "Agile" done wrong by everyone that attempts it. Scrum meetings in which "the junior guy" gets an equal say, for example, and management going along with it because it FEELS good to let 'the newbie' get a chance to contribute.
Anyway, that's my $.10 on it. You basically can't point at a single thing, but when you look at ALL of it, there could be a pattern...