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Thread: Thinking out loud

  1. #1

    Default Thinking out loud

    I've been meditating on the state of the job market and came up with an odd comparison.

    Think of a group of kids playing a board game. It's meant for a specific age group. The problem is while the new group who should be playing up next, the older group isn't cleaning and resetting the board.

    As for the answers that I see it come in a couple of ways.

    1. Game goes into "Rush rules" IE forced retirement. Doing this allows the new players to play while they still have the time (Age range) If players come in too late the problem starts all over again.

    2.Get another game. The hardest of the answers require that we add in addition jobs. These jobs need to be actually worth while ranging from 30,00 to 50,000 a year. I say this amount so people have the money to not struggle and still lead happy lives.

    3. Players are eliminated by other means. The darkest of answers, but more likely to work. By ridding the world of people you make life cheaper for those that remain.

    Some not feasible like raising minimum wage. By doing this it allow people to live okay for a few months before businesses raise their prices, so it's a extremely short answer to say the least.

    I would like to hear thoughts on this

  2. #2

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    I don't know about that, but one way to reduce unemployment would be to implement 6-hour working days instead of 8-hour ones.

    Or replacing most social-welfare benefits with a fixed income paid to everyone, regardless of whether they had a job or not.

    I remember seeing old films from the 1960s that suggested that, with the advancement of computers, robots, and so on, all our menial tasks would be done by machine, freeing us up so that we have lots more leisure time. Maybe we should tax processing power, so the more work that a capitalist business owner can automate, and the less they need to pay workers, the more they should pay in tax to ensure that automation works for the benefit of everyone in society.

    One of the problems with the economic systems in Western societies is that they're based on exponential growth. That's why the government give tax breaks to married couples, parents, etc., and are keen to have high immigration rates to pay for the ever-increasing pension costs. It's not really sustainable now we are reaching such relatively high population-densities.

    I don't think people should be forced into retirement. You can't just force people out of work. And any "darker" answers are clearly too immoral to contemplate. It might be decided that it's better to "get rid of" anyone who's unemployed; anyone who's not currently a productive member of society. Be careful what you wish for!

  3. #3

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    Getting rid of people doesn't open up new opportunities. The economy is, by and large, linked to population. More people means there's a need for more stuff: food, toiletries, electronics, services like hair care, cars, etc. etc.

    The problem tends to be one of allocation and overly speedy change. For example, 200 years ago, in order for there to be enough food, most of the population had to do physical labor. Today, only a tiny portion of the population has to do farming work to provide enough food for everyone. That's great from an efficiency perspective, but if you transition too fast and have a bunch of people with skill in farming and no other skills, they can be stuck with nothing to do. The version of the problem we're having today is that there's significant need for experts in engineering, healthcare, and computer programming. But those are specialist skills that take a fair amount of time to develop, especially for many people who have spent their lives doing old-fashioned manufacturing or service jobs. It tends to lead to a few people being much better off while a bunch of others are all stuck competing for scarce spots at non-expert positions.

    Add on the fact that expert training itself requires a significant capital investment and, perhaps more importantly a focus investment (meaning that even if you could pay to enroll in a class, if you're not well enough or free enough to focus on study, it's not worth doing), and you wind up with our current situation.

  4. #4

    Default

    Obviously my more evil side is doing the thinking lately. I just don't see any change anytime soon. Plus it seems like no one is really trying. It pisses me off and causes my darker side think of rapid possible answers. Usually they're deadly ideas, but I've been able to keep it in check. A little regression time should do the trick.

  5. #5

    Default

    I like the way you think, Tiny.


    Quote Originally Posted by tiny View Post
    Or replacing most social-welfare benefits with a fixed income paid to everyone, regardless of whether they had a job or not.
    That is probably the most realistic approach to sustaining western culture into the forseeable future. The problem is that those who have the money also have the power, and they would rather die with "their" money than use it to support those that make their wealth possible.


    One of the problems with the economic systems in Western societies is that they're based on exponential growth. That's why the government give tax breaks to married couples, parents, etc., and are keen to have high immigration rates to pay for the ever-increasing pension costs. It's not really sustainable now we are reaching such relatively high population-densities.
    Every thinking person knows that population growth can't continue much longer before it collapses in on itself, but we don't officially address this problem. Climate change might have a devastating effect on humanity but over-population will have a devastating effect. Nuclear annihilation is a potential threat to human survival but over-population is an observable reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KryanAshford View Post
    Obviously my more evil side is doing the thinking lately. I just don't see any change anytime soon. Plus it seems like no one is really trying. It pisses me off and causes my darker side think of rapid possible answers. Usually they're deadly ideas, but I've been able to keep it in check. A little regression time should do the trick.
    If it reaches the boiling point with enough people there will be a revolution or civil war. Because of all the enemies the U.S. has made in the world I don't believe the country could survive either. A more practical approach would be to use the brains that evolution, or God, has given us in a more productive manner.

    I'm not holding my breath.

  6. #6

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by KryanAshford View Post
    Obviously my more evil side is doing the thinking lately. I just don't see any change anytime soon. Plus it seems like no one is really trying. It pisses me off and causes my darker side think of rapid possible answers. Usually they're deadly ideas, but I've been able to keep it in check. A little regression time should do the trick.
    Ha ha! You know in old cartoons, where a character has an imaginary "angel" and "devil" on either shoulder, whispering conflicting things into each ear...? Well... I hope you don't mind me saying, but... whenever I look at your avatar, the pointy horns ears, cheeky grin, and fiery red hair... it just makes me think of that little devil sitting on my shoulder!

    I think it's interesting to discuss dark ideas, as a kind of random philosophical musing, as you did. I don't think anyone really took the idea of "culling" people seriously, so it's all cool. But... on a serious note... if you don't value humanity and life itself... where are your values coming from...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Argent View Post
    Anyone ever watched Humans need not apply?

    https://youtu.be/7Pq-S557XQU
    Interesting -- I saw a documentary that was very similar.

    But, yeah -- this is why we need to have some kind of idea as to how our future societies/economies will function. Unfettered capitalism won't survive when most jobs are done by machines. But seriously, what kind of politician is really going to care when their careers are so short-term? It's better for them to gain 1% extra in "prosperity" while they are in office, than to secure a 10% increase for decades to come.

    I travelled by aeroplane for the first time in years, recently, and noticed that most of Passport Control had been replaced with unattended body-scanners, passport scanners and CCTV. I felt like I was in some kind of sci-fi film. But, despite being a bit discombobulating... it was nice not to have that weird, grumpy face-to-face grilling that you used to get before the machines took over. :-/ I actually felt a bit guilty about how quick and pleasant the mechanised experience was... :-/

  8. #8

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    The idea of every citizen receiving a barely livable wage has been discussed in the Washington Post and other places. They idea behind it is that as jobs are replaced by robots and foreign, cheaper competition, big business, through taxation, will have to create a sustaining salary for society. The theory goes that each person can still work and that salary would be added to their basic living stipend.

    I think it makes sense. Big business needs a population that has some spending power, the ability to purchase the products made by businesses. Since BB would only be hiring and employing engineers, computer programmers and IT personal, we would have the masses living on the streets, something that would not be sustainable for society. In a way, it's the same as government taxing big businesses at maybe 85 percent needed to sustain a massive welfare state.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Argent View Post
    Anyone ever watched Humans need not apply?

    Was just about to bring up Humans Need Not Apply. Seriously, anyone who has not seen it needs to click on the link and go watch it.

    Forget about your jobs being sent overseas. It's the robots and automation that's going to make you lose your job. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/21/u...tion.html?_r=0

    Even in places like China, the biggest bogyman of job theft, automation is stealing jobs over there. https://www.ft.com/content/1dbd8c60-...0-67655613c2d6

    So sorry factory workers in the Rust Belt. Your jobs aren't coming back.

    This is why I am strongly in favor of a basic income. My biggest fear isn't automation, but the backlash to automation and the resistance to adapting solutions such as basic income because of people freaking out about "THIS IS SOCIALISM!", "WELFARE STATE!", and screaming "BOOTSTRAPS!" and "LAZY BUM! BE BETTER THAN THE ROBOT OR STARVE IN THE STREET!". Really hope that people start taking note that this is happening and don't freak out and make things worse.

  10. #10

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    Tiny to answer your question, My head is a little muddled. A lot of years of neglect, and abuse has left me a little messed up in the head. Due to me fighting most of my life for what I have, so my mind is more programed to protect myself over all else.
    Last edited by KryanAshford; 17-Mar-2017 at 09:20.

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