What is a Goldbricker?
Goldbricker refers to coating something with gold so as to pass it off for something valuable, though colloquially, the term refers to an unproductive person.
How Does a Goldbricker Work?
For example, assume John comes to work late every day, chats with his coworkers about the March Madness brackets, takes a two-hour lunch, sits in the bathroom for 30 minutes, takes a 45-minute break, surfs the internet on personal business, and then leaves early. John is a goldbricker.
Why Does a Goldbricker Matter?
Goldbricking drains money from the economy. The wasted time reduces companies' productivity, which requires them to add overhead, which in turn forces them to either raise the prices of their goods and services or lower their returns to their shareholders.
In the government sphere, goldbricking also reduces productivity, which lengthens the time it takes to provide services and/or raises the cost of providing those services, which the citizens must ultimately then pay for with increased taxes or government borrowing.