The Answers to Globalisation, Automation and the Demise of Outmoded Industry.

 

There is a storm coming. I can smell it in the wind.

 

There is an anger brewing. I can taste it in the blood.

 

The truth is that we are at a crossroads and nobody is making the decision on the road to go. We have problems that need solving and nobody is solving them. People have lost their faith in politicians and experts. They do not believe anything. It is all fake news. They have turned to the witchcraft of populism and Brexit looking for salvation. It only makes matters worse. The division and fury grow. Neither Trump nor Brexit is the answer.

 

The politicians deflect the blame on to terrorists and immigrants, to bureaucrats, to Iran, North Korea and Brussels. But the real problem is them - the politicians. They are not addressing the real problems. All they seem interested in is themselves and power.

 

Automation, globalisation and the demise of outmoded industry has created a monster. We no longer need a large workforce. There are no longer a large number of well-paid jobs. A large chunk of the population are surplus to requirements. They are being thrown on the scrapheap. Worse than that is the fact that all the wealth is being channelled into a small elite who have never had it so good. The sportspeople, entertainers, bankers and businessmen are exploiting the global media to extract more loot than they know what to do with. They give themselves massive bonuses and stash it away in tax avoiding companies and off-shore havens. The multinationals and wealthy hold the governments to ransom by threatening to take their money elsewhere.

 

Here's what we should do:

 

a. Plug all the tax evasion loopholes

b. Put in place a fair but progressive tax regime to create greater equality

c. Limit bonuses and salaries

d. Reduce the working week to 3 days for the same pay and get full employment

e. Use the added tax income to employ more teachers, nurses, doctors, social workers, old people carers, police, council workers, counsellors and get public services working to a high quality (these are the jobs we need)

f. Retrain people to take up these roles

g. Have a huge infrastructure development - road, rail, internet, bridges, schools, hospitals, housing, old people's havens

h. Invest heavily in new technology - alternative energy, internet, biochemistry, genetics, computing, robotics, medicines, food technology

I. Invest heavily in the environment.

J. Invest heavily in leisure and health.

k. Invest in the arts, music, dance and culture

L. Move on from the old ways into a brave new world.

 

If we do not move on and embrace the future the hopelessness, fury, hatred and division will destroy us

Comments

opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:12am
This is a growing phenomenon. We are going to end up with a lot of people either in very poorly paid trivial work in the gig economy, with no security and few rights, or else they will be unemployed.
This does not seem to be a recipe for a successful society.
Leroy Added Jan 12, 2018 - 7:06am
Opher World Redux!
Bembaboy Added Jan 12, 2018 - 8:04am
Sir Thomas More could not have described a better Republic in "De optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia ", On the Best State of a Republic and on the New Island of Utopia"
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 8:12am
Leroy - Hey! Do you smell that too?
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 8:15am
It's east until you smell it then south until you step in it, right?
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 8:21am
Opher - We are already there my friend. We are reaping the whirlwind
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 8:42am
On a personal level I can embrace many of your sentiments, I think you understand that. Our problem always comes in the implementation :) Based on the number of times that we have been presented this script I can offer the following translation. I am not saying to you, friend, that I agree with each and every of these translations. I am telling you that this is what it sounds like to others
 
Now don't tailor your message. I like it when someone who admittedly leans left is simply honest about what they think instead of trying to camouflage it. That way you mostly make my points for me.
 
a - tax
b - tax
c - limit (control)
d - reduce (control)
e - tax
f - retrain (spend)
g - spend
h - invest (spend)
i - invest (spend)
j - invest (spend)
k - invest (spend)
l  -  I will talk about l at the conclusion
 
Whatever justifications you may provide on any of these points does not change the fact that all of this has been tried before. Its not about your ideology. Its about what works. You are trying to sell a Yugo. 
 
Using a completely unscientific metric we at least find a clue to the peril of your plans. A through K represent 11 points. Of these 11 points there are three that tax ( revenue ), two that control ( could be revenue) and six that spend ( spend in this instance meaning "spend").
Pretty elementary math. As to L of your list, I could not agree more. LETS MOVE ON from OLD WAYS....you know. Like things that have been tried and failed repeatedly
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 8:57am
Burger - do you think anything hasn't been tried before?
I fail to see how you can interpret preventing tax cheats from cheating i.e. carrying out illegal activities, as taxing. I find your reduction of my suggestions as far too simplistic and also incorrect. Reducing to a 3 day week is not limiting is it? It is about making maximum use of the surplus population and giving everyone a purpose and income.
We now have a whole raft of technology and social understanding that enables us to do things a lot better than happened in the past. Just because some things haven't worked before does not mean we can't make it work. Just because a number of rockets blew up didn't stop NASA getting to the moon. When something doesn't work you have to work at it until it does.
I'd be interested to hear what your solutions might be.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 8:58am
Bemba - I like utopias. I'd like to live in one.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 8:58am
What's your answer Leroy?
Leroy Added Jan 12, 2018 - 9:13am
"What's your answer Leroy?"
 
Don't make labor so expensive that it is more economical to replace it with automation.
 
We approach government from an entirely different point of view.  Protect me from people who would do me harm and I will take my chances in life.  Whereas you take the point of view that government should provide the necessities of life.  Take from those that have more and give it to those in need.  You have good intentions.   IMHO, your view is incompatible with human nature.  You want to change human nature.  I suppose it can be done over decades and at the business end of a barrel of a gun.  North Korea is a good model for that point of view. 
 
In short, our views are incompatible.  There is no solution that I can offer with which you will agree.
Dino Manalis Added Jan 12, 2018 - 9:14am
China pursues globalization as well.  Even WalMart understands the positive impact of tax cuts and raised wages and bonuses for its workers.  Trump made it possible!
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 9:22am
Leroy - North Korea is my view of hell, same as you.
Making labour cheap (putting more money in the pockets of the wealthy) so that they don't bring in automation simply won't work will it? Machines are cheap and more efficient than humans and they can work 24/7. You'll never pay cheap enough to uncut a machine.
Yes I do believe that if you produce a caring community you get caring people. You can change human nature because most humans are basically kind and good. The ones that are mean, nasty and selfish are the damaged ones. We can create a better world without needing to point guns at them or threaten them - or create a tyrannical nightmare.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 9:23am
Dino - Trump made himself a lot richer!
China is planning to take over the world. That's a form of globalisation. It's right on target too. The USA is making their job easy.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:06am
And they are welcome to it. Tired of wet nursing all you whiny bitches. Oops! Did I say that?
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:08am
I dont mean for that to come off jingoistic, I'm joking, but really who cares? I dont want the mantle of world leader. What for? Like a promotion with a title and no raise, no thanks, I'll pass.
Leroy Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:27am
I'd be happy to let China be the number one target.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:35am
Opher
 
Agree 100%.
 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:37am
BtW:  None of us can judge North Korea or Iran. We haven't lived there. So we better be careful or shut up on stuff we don't KNOW.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:38am
Burger - the thing is nobody asked you. America just assumed the role in order to get its fingers into every pie. I don't think a lot of people appreciated it. Why should America dictate? I think you've been picking up that vibe.
Having said that I do think a cooperation to achieve a better world is the best way forward.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:39am
Leroy - a target? That sounds ominous.
China is not looking for a benign domination. It's looking for domination.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:39am
Cheers Stone - Africa looms!!
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:44am
Well thats how it looks from your house friend. I didnt ask for Uncle Sam to become the world's policeman. Washington, Adams and Jefferson all warned against foreign entanglements and chose a prudent course away from this. You have a beef with US Govt policy and believe me friend so do one hell of a lot of us living here. I dont hang the sins of the East India Company and English colonialism around your neck because you hold a British passport
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:53am
Burger - I don't hold you responsible for American foreign policy. I just think it was the way it was done that rankles. I'm not looking forward to China dominating the world. I think I'd prefer America.
But if you are going to have a body acting as the world's policeman I reckon it should be an international one based on agreement. I've got one in mind that would fit the bill.
Maybe when the US is just another country making up the numbers it will be more in favour of consensus?
As for the British Empire - good and bad - I'd like to apologise for the arrogance, racism and pillaging. Not good. But on the other hand there were many good things too.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 12, 2018 - 10:59am
Indeed there were my friend and that is why I do not fixate on the ills.  All in all I'd say the world has gained a net benefit from you lot :)
 
Beatles, Liz Hurley's breasts, Monty Python....yeah, it's all good. We'll forgive you for Spam too :)
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 11:05am
Burger - always good to focus on all the good things isn't it?
Dave Volek Added Jan 12, 2018 - 11:53am
I am wondering what the world would look like if we had not adopted all these progressive causes since 1848.
 
All I can see is a big underclass living in poor conditions with no chance of improvement and a few big fat cats living a life of luxury and privilege.
 
 
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 12:05pm
What are the progressive causes that you are thinking of Dave?
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 1:19pm
Opher
 
Yep. Africa. You see there's a lot of things I hate there. But one, and the most important thing, is: The people might be trying to profit from you (which is understandable), but they are open-hearted. I lived for more than a year in Mali, and before I got the job as guitarist in a band, we lived on next to nothing. I had no money left in the bank, and I cut contact with my family before because my father was a racist and damned me for going into the land of "monkeys". But people there forgot that I'm a white European. They accepted me as as one of them.
 
Impossible in Europe.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 1:23pm
Stone - yes I can understand that. Shame about your father. My Dad was a racist too - but a really nice guy. I think it was just a product of the times. Racism was rife. It's got a lot better.
George N Romey Added Jan 12, 2018 - 1:33pm
Good initiatives but sadly those holding the power are doing quite well and have no intention of change. A see a dark age coming and life for the next 30 to 50 years will see a noticeable decline in developed living standards.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 1:56pm
George - me too. I think it is looking dire unless something is done.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 2:29pm
Oph
 
True. Probably he was just a product of the environment, but that doesn't excuse shutting off the brain.
 
Whatever......we haven't progressed. Where I work, all the Africans come to me for advice and help. I once asked some why. The reply was: "Not because you know Africa. But because we see that you're open for anybody. And if someone is open he has no prejudice. That's how we see it."
 
I didnt't have a reply to that really. I felt ashamed for some of my colleagues who complained often: "All the Blacks go to you. Wanna make this little Africa ? Since you work here, all those Blacks come here. You write CV's, look for jobs for them, you're always occupied with THEM. And you leave us the rest, Albanians and other crap."
 
The guy who was the most aggressive doesn't work here anymore. And I told the others: Listen, when nobody comes anymore, YOU lose your job. And by the way: You'll never know if you might need help yourself one day - wherever you are.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 2:35pm
BTW:
 
You know what the biggest problem of aging is ? You know a lot, but younger ones don't care and don't listen. When they finally find out that you were right it's too late for you to find appreciation.
 
That's also a thing I like about Africa. The young listen to me, even though I'm a Whitie. That makes me somewhat....proud.
TexasLynn Added Jan 12, 2018 - 2:36pm
OG >> I like utopias. I'd like to live in one.
 
Then I'd suggest finding religion as your only hope. :) Mankind will never create one; being inclined to the opposite extreme.
 
Good luck on that search though... I'm rooting for you. :)
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 2:37pm
BTW2: Sorry for fucking of your subject !
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 2:38pm
up...not "of". I'm too sloppy ;-)
George N Romey Added Jan 12, 2018 - 2:45pm
The world Dave describes has been present throughout history. We are seeing the post WW2 period in developed nations was an exception to history. We are headed back to the traditional organization of society. A very small but very lucky wealthy class, a very small middle class around certain major city centers and mostly the working poor. The Great middle which saw its zenith in the early 70s will continue on a downward spiral.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 2:52pm
George
 
I said: We're entering the age of economic neofeudalism (I don't know if that term exists, but I like it).
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 3:42pm
Stone - Yes - I make no excuses for that generation. I had huge rows with my old man about racism. He was what he was and that is surprising because he was a nice guy,
It sounds like your work is full of intrinsic racism. It wasn't like that where I was. There was a really positive attitude.
I think Africans have a respect for the elderly that has been lost in the West. There experience counts for something. I think it is the huge changes in technology that have created the attitude in the West. The young master the technology and think the old are fools because they struggle. It's stupid because wisdom is about life experience and not being able to send a stupid text message or work a remote.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 3:44pm
George  - that seems to be the way it is going to go unless the majority wake up to what is happening and use their democratic power to put a stop to it. The trouble is that so many people, like lambs to the slaughter, are supporting the system; supporting the right of the rich to get richer at the expense of the poor.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 3:44pm
Lynn - I'll do a pass on medieval superstition thanks. I prefer something that's real.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 4:07pm
Oph
 
Your last comment - spot on !
 
I think Africans have a respect for the elderly that has been lost in the West.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 12, 2018 - 4:46pm
Automation, globalisation and the demise of outmoded industry has created a monster
 
Yet you advocate expanding globalization to ts ultimate end with a one world government......
 
As I pointed out in another thread you truly don't know what you want. 
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 4:55pm
Stone - it's sad isn't it? They don't know what they're missing!
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 4:56pm
A world government would mean the end of variety of cultures. But seen that we're diminishing the animal world, we might as well do the same with ourselves.
 
2050: All people are brown, all wear the same clothes, think the same, use the same newspeak, and the expression of the year in 2051 will be:
 
Huh...erm...eh ?
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 4:56pm
Jeffry - I have a very clear picture. We need a global picture to stop us being exploited. How else do you propose we stop the wealthy exploiting everyone?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 12, 2018 - 4:59pm
Huh...erm...eh ?
 
Precisely. HRH Head Teacher's dream.
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 12, 2018 - 5:02pm
We need a global picture to stop us being exploited.
 
A global government to prevent exploitation by the globalists? Sure.
 
Sounds a lot like the "We destroyed the village to save it" of Vietnam.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 5:12pm
Oph
 
I agree with a "global picture" but not with a global government. If local governments are unable, do you think a global one would be more effective ?
 
And WHO would take part in that ? The guy from Moldavia or Nauru would have the same weight as the one from the US ? Forget it. Take the UN and the "security council" as example...
 
Then....each culture has other values, histories and expectations. Take us Europeans. We can't bring a Finn and a Portuguese under the same hat. Now you want to try the same with a Bolivian farmer and a Japanese salariman ?
 
The more we centralize, the more problems we get. And ..... you might say...equality, human rights.....etc. All ok, but every culture has other definitions on these things. And the US is not quite the example in human rights, NO country is - it's normal.
 
We CAN work with ALL countries and their representatives, as long as we respect them and their culture and environment, their religion and view of the world.
 
For that we need an open mind, tolerance and goodwill, but not a world government....
wsucram15 Added Jan 12, 2018 - 5:17pm
Opher..what you say has some merit.  Leroy has a point also to a point, I dont see any way NOW to salvage the working force with out major training or scrapping technology. (which no one will do)
The shorter workweeks and full employment is an outstanding idea, but people need retrained in the future..not trained in fields that will be eliminated (many of them will be).
To stop the wealthy..you need the people to stop helping them, by buying their things.  Make them self sufficient.  I dont think most of them would last very long..the skills are with the people in the world..not the wealthy.   
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 5:19pm
BTW:
 
There will ALWAYS be some who exploit others. I hate it, but that's nature too. A guy with an IQ of 120 will always be better off than one with an IQ of 80. And due to his IQ of 120 the first will likely try to profit from the other one. Certainly in a time like ours where profit is religion LOL
 
Genetic survival drive in our time. 
 
I don't like it but .... nature again ;-)
A. Jones Added Jan 12, 2018 - 5:55pm
1930s -era, New Deal claptrap regurgitated by ex-hippies won't save us, that's for sure.
 
Your socialist ideas are as outmoded as the industries you claim to mourn.
Bill H. Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:15pm
 
Oph -
Your ideas are great and very logical for sure.
The only problem is that we will probably never get rid of corporate greed, so all of these issues work against their goal of making the most profit with the least amount of expenditures. They would not be willing to give one inch that may result in a lower than expected month-end stockholder report.
George N Romey Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:24pm
SEF I agree the world is too complex for global government. Also there are different cultures and views on society and government. We’ve already seen Democracy doesn’t work in certain parts of the world, it’s just not accepted.
 
Jeanne there will always be homage to the rich. Just read some of the comments on WB. The privilege few will always be with us because of their enablers.
A. Jones Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:28pm
And due to his IQ of 120 the first will likely try to profit from the other one.
 
So in your view, it's a sign of high intelligence to exploit people of low intelligence, presumably because people of low intelligence have so much to offer and create so much value for the economy.
 
Got it.
 
I disagree, but I get your point.
 
It's also quite apparent on which side of the IQ=120 vs. IQ=80 divide you fall. We might say with honesty that it's a common sign of low IQ and weak intelligence to feel that one is always being exploited by "them", those others with the high IQs. 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:42pm
Copy from a thought I posted just now on FB:
 
When did you have the time to find out who you are ? When were you even allowed to try that - by the pressures of your job, by the obligations to pay bills ? What's your life ? You run all day - to catch the train to work, to catch the train to go home. You spend all your cash that's left for the newest gadget, clothes, appearance... to match the image that others expect from you. Are you yourself or are you what others want you to be ? Think. And get out of it for a while. Then you will find out who you are, and you will find the place your soul wants you to be. What was hidden, surfaces.
 
Shit. That happens when I listen to Salif Keita :-)
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:49pm
A. Jones
 
I never felt exploited, if you mean that. I could avoid it pretty good, although some tried to put me into the scheme I described in my comment above.
 
Of course our IQ measurement does not cover street smartness for example. That's why I don't give much about such stuff. An IQ of 120 doesn't help you much when a plane drops you in Bolivia or Botswana and you have no idea. IQ can never match life experience.
 
But it helps.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:55pm
BTW: These tests are zero. I made two, years ago. The first was restricted to 60 minutes, I got about 90 or so. The second time I did another one and deactivated the time limit from 60 hours to whatever...and the result was around 130.
 
Conclusion: Under pressure your brain doesn't work up to its full capacity. Stress isn't too favorable...and we people from Berne/Switzerland are known to be a bit slow....but once it sticks it stays :-)
 
I guess that speaks for itself.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:56pm
If the absolute right gets power, and they may, then reaction to the left may lead to 60 hour work weeks. To the right, work is God and they are as ignorant and as communistic as the left in many ways. I wonder if the whole left was set up for this reaction so we all end up dead or working all the time. Unless you are a very competent mathematician or propagandist, you may not be able to get a job with robots in the economy and therefore be scheduled for destruction.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:56pm
60 hours .... jeez LOL
Doug Plumb Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:57pm
I'm in favour of shutting of the tap rather than finding more efficient ways to mop the floor. This makes me a monetary reformist. The Gentiles still have the courts and I'm suing.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 6:58pm
...after that 60 fluke I hope my IQ isn't 60....oh hi, Mr. Alzheimer ! Long time no see.....
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 7:09pm
Stone - I see it more like the UN with representative - not a government per se.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 7:10pm
Jeanne - I think consumerism is here to stay - people are too addicted.
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 7:11pm
Bill - that is why we have to force them to do it - voter power!!
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 7:12pm
George - it always amazes me the way some people condone the parasites that live off us. It's as if they know their place (or else want to be them).
opher goodwin Added Jan 12, 2018 - 7:14pm
Doug - being scheduled for destruction is an option. We're surplus.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 12, 2018 - 7:17pm
I have explained exactly what to do about globalization. We take the system back with the courts. Its not easy, it is possible. Gentiles still have the courts and we still have the basic right to ourselves. Without that, the science of jurisprudence falls into quicksand and no one will let that happen - especially lawyers.
  Start with understanding the money system recognizing that the income tax is unlawful and then starving the beast.
  I (and the few like me) can't do it alone.
  What people want is an easy, convenient and comfortable solution because comfort is our modern era God.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 12, 2018 - 7:18pm
Its a maxim that the courts are NOT here to protect. They hear claims. If someone starts digging up your front yard and you just sit there, watch and complain among yourselves and you do not object then they haven't broken any laws.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 8:23pm
Oph
 
The UN is the US, or at least the West. There are about 160 countries or so in the UN, but who decides ? The one with the most weapons.
 
Bullshit. Fuck that hypocrisy. Why not talk clear text ?
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 8:24pm
We are animals, like it or not. The stronger has the say. The layer of "civilization" is very thin. So forget all that blather and see the reality. 
George N Romey Added Jan 12, 2018 - 8:35pm
Opher the masses could decimate the elites within days. Stop paying debt and buy only what is needed. How long before the Wall Street and City of London crowd would be screaming “Mommy.” How to get the masses to use their power? Got me.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 12, 2018 - 9:04pm
Stop paying debt and buy only what is needed. 
 
Hehe. The masses are educated to be afraid, trust me. I needed to get 40 to find that out and give them the finger.
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 12, 2018 - 9:36pm

Dr. Jordan Peterson - IQ and The Job Market
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjs2gPa5sD0
A. Jones Added Jan 12, 2018 - 11:45pm
a. Plug all the tax evasion loopholes
b. Put in place a fair but progressive tax regime to create greater equality
c. Limit bonuses and salaries
d. Reduce the working week to 3 days for the same pay and get full employment
e. Use the added tax income to employ more teachers, nurses, doctors, social workers, old people carers, police, council workers, counsellors and get public services working to a high quality (these are the jobs we need)
 
Cool. So you would like full-blown communism but with the economy centrally run by ex-hippies and other "nice people" like yourself instead of someone like Stalin.
 
That's realistic. I'm glad you have your feet planted firmly on the ground and aren't a pie-in-sky dreamer and fantasist like the majority of others on the left. It's refreshing.
 
I especially like these two ideas of yours:
 
1) Increase taxes; and
2) Reduce the work week to three days.
 
Excellent. The second suggestion would obviously cut productivity so much that you won't be be able to sustain the first suggestion. Um, where do you think the ability to pay taxes comes from? Hint: it comes from productivity, so that's the first thing you don't cut.
 
Your fears and fantasies are truly some of the most amusing I've read from the Great Ocean of Kooks and Imbeciles that is the political left.
 
Pot may be fun, and Boodles Gin is fine, but for a real buzz, the left always turns to its favorite addiction: Virtue Signaling. "Look how good I am! Observe how concerned I am about the problems of the world; not just a few of the problems but ALL of them simultaneously. I abhor incremental improvements over time for just one or two problems; I demand a new Final Solution: except instead of a Final Solution that exterminates Jews and Gypsies, I desire a Final Solution that exterminates every possible social problem, including ones that don't exist but which I imagine could exist and therefore frighten me. By the way, have I told you that I'm really a very fine, good, sincere, caring, concerned person? I even wrote about it in 40 self-published books on Amazon.com. Well, that's enough about me. Let's talk about you: What do you think about me?"
 
That's the left in a nutshell (whence it came and where it belongs).
Doug Plumb Added Jan 13, 2018 - 3:53am
re "Put in place a fair but progressive tax regime to create greater equality"
  -Item (1) or (2) in the communist manifesto. Its been done, it started in 1913. Progressivism and equality got us into this mess. You are a communist and so are the elites.
 
re "Opher the masses could decimate the elites within days."
  No way. We have rifles they have aircraft carriers. This hasn't been true since the 30's. No chance of winning a violent revolution against the order followers.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 13, 2018 - 4:12am
In our Christian countries the government offices shut down for celebration of this holiday and the theological basis for Western law. The Revenue Agencies, Canada Revenue Agency shuts down every year for Hanuka. Just let it run around inside your cranium without letting the commie political correctness to impede it.
  The debt is not real. The international banks give no substantiative value and give no promise in return for printing pieces of paper with money on them.
Mohammad S. Moussalli Added Jan 13, 2018 - 4:16am
Nice piece opher
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 4:47am
Doug - I like the idea of using the courts but I can't see that many people doing it.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 4:50am
Stone - at the moment the US dominates but it doesn't have to! It can be made into a better body.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 4:51am
George - except the elites have the army and there would be huge bloodshed!!
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 4:53am
A.Jones - I don't think you've really understood the premise at all have you? With automation and AI productivity will go through the roof. The loot will be siphoned off into the pockets of a small elite and the bulk of the population are surplus to requirements. There is no problem with productivity!!
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 5:00am
Doug - now fairness is communist?? Jesus was a communist wasn't he?
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2011/08/the-wall-o-socialist-bible-quotes/
Or is that testing the blindness of your faith too much?
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 5:00am
Thank you Mohammad!
A. Jones Added Jan 13, 2018 - 6:34am
With automation and AI productivity will go through the roof.
 
One can only hope so.
 
In any case, productivity through the roof is good for financing all those high taxes you love so much. Why would you want to reduce that productivity (and that tax base) by cutting the work week to 3 days? 
 
The loot will be siphoned off into the pockets of a small elite
 
You're an old fear-mongerer and you don't know what you're talking about. For every 1 Jeff Bezos, there are thousands who get to enter the middle class because of his greater efficiencies, higher productivity, and lower prices.
 
This will come as a shock to an economic pervert like yourself but low prices for food, clothing, shelter, fuel, communication, etc., are good for the masses. If those things could fall from the sky like manna — absolutely free and at no cost to to the masses — that would be even better. Then no one would have to work in order to exchange his labor for food, clothing, shelter, fuel, etc.; he'd simply take what he wanted at no cost to himself.
 
Low prices thru high productivity are the next best thing to free goods falling from heaven. And new technologies in AI and robotics will create new kinds of jobs to replace the old kinds of jobs that have become outmoded.
 
and the bulk of the population are surplus to requirements.
 
 
The bulk of the population is also surplus to the labor requirements of farming — in the 18th century, 97% of the U.S. population worked at farm-related jobs; today it's less than 2%, thanks to the higher productivity made possible by technology — and the result was not only that more people now have less costly access to more food, but more people have higher paying jobs peripheral to the farming sector: transportation, fuel, refrigeration, etc. Technology reduced the labor requirements for farming while increasing the labor requirements for hundreds of industries now needed for farming but which also interact with many other sectors. AI and robotics are no different.
 
Your childish simpering and "The Sky Is Falling!" whimpering are embarrassing to watch, as is the disinformation you spread.
 
There is no problem with productivity!!
 
Right. I never said there was a problem with productivity. The fact that probably only a few entrepreneurs will become very wealthy from it in no way contradicts the truth (demonstrated by theory and by history) that everyone else will nevertheless profit by it in the form of lower cost to themselves for the things they want and need.
A. Jones Added Jan 13, 2018 - 6:38am
now fairness is communist??
 
You're not fair. High taxes aren't fair. Redistribution isn't fair.
 
Get off your high horse. You're Virtue Signaling again. You're so accustomed to doing it that you're not even aware that you do it, let alone aware of when you do it.
 
Smoke a joint and listen to some Bob Dylan. You'll be much happier and won't spread so much disinformation to others.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 6:49am
A.Jones - you still don't get it, do you? Machines work 24/7. They don't need breaks, lunch or holidays. They don't need to sleep. They also do not need many people to manufacture, repair or oversee them. They will create goods much more efficiently than humans can do. The extra profits will either just be siphoned off into the pockets of the wealthy or, through a fair taxation system, will be used for the good of the whole society.
The increased productivity would easily support a 3 day week. It would not impoverish anyone. By using mechanisation wisely we can provide better services (education, health, social care, defence, fire, security) and reduce the working week. We no longer need a huge workforce.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 6:55am
A. Jones - your lack of understanding is stupendous. The change from agriculture was horrendous with mass starvation as was the change to machines in the industrial revolution and gave birth to the Luddites. That was because no thought was put into it. People were just laid off. The same that happened with the demise of labour-intensive factories is happening again. We are now going through another major shift. But there isn't a new raft of work for people to go to. They cannot go from the land to the cities. The gig economy does not support children, mortgages or a standard of life.
What I am suggesting is the application of intelligence instead of greed.
Leroy Added Jan 13, 2018 - 8:19am
I suggest that we keep our heads.   No one was complaining until the crash in 2008.  The US economy lost at least $10 trillion in wealth in 2008 alone.  The world economy losses were staggering.  All this loss of wealth has to unwind.  Under Trump, whether you think he deserves credit or not, global wealth has increased to the tune of $28 trillion. This increase in wealth and lower taxes in the US gives corporations the confidence to invest.  We see the direction in which it is driving the economy:  increased employment.
 
We are starting to see improvements in the US economy.  Black unemployment is at historic lows.  Overall unemployment is at a decade's lows.  The loss of wealth is unwinding while the economy winds up.
 
We have always had automation.  Robots are nothing new.  Prior to 2008, automation and good jobs went together.  No one was screaming when low-end jobs were being replaced by automation.  Under O, many people were vying for the low-wage jobs.  And, as we force minimum wages to greater heights, we encourage automation of the low-end jobs.  In truth, the part that really scares us is that high-end jobs are at risk.  Used to be that if you were a doctor or lawyer, you had it made.  It is no longer true.  Lawyers are a dime a dozen.  Many can't find a job in their field.  Law firms can hire people from India to do the leg work today.  Wall Street traders are being replaced by AI.  You don't need a Wall Street banker today to blow up your wealth.  AI can't be any worse.  What we are seeing is wealth being distributed all over the world.  Folks in India and China and Asia in general and Africa are starting to get a piece of the pie.  It's disruptive, but, nevertheless, a good thing.
 
During the start of the industrial revolution, many skilled laborers lost their job.  I'm sure the times seemed bleak.  Yet, look at where we are today.  We have more than at any time in history.  The planet can support an ever-increasing amount of people. 
 
In summary, Opher, I think you "The Sky is Falling" screed is overrated.  Capitalism is not dead.  Quite the contrary.  It is starting to roar.  Unfortunately for you, it is happening under Trump, despite your dire predictions.  His success is your failure.
George N Romey Added Jan 13, 2018 - 9:21am
If in fact we are on an upswing (after numerous false starts) the beginnings started pre Trump. Presidents often get the credit or blame related to the economy by luck of the calendar albeit I doubt Obama did much to positively impact the economy . Is the corporate sector finally walking away from the “shitty job” mentality realizing long term it destroys all? Not sure, time will tell.
 
However, long term automation and artificial intelligence does threaten employment. With the introduction of factory line production a work week went from 12 hours a day six days a week to 8 hours a day five days a week. People had to be retooled from agriculture to production. The same thing could and should happen again to keep social stability. As history shows lots of starving people has nasty after effects.
 
What will ultimately happen? I’m not particularly positive. Last time we had unions and FDR facilitating the shift. 
 
Finally global addiction to debt is the unspoken threat. Large chunks of both public and private debt are totally unpayable. When the day of reckoning comes like it did in 2008 and 1929-1932 it’s not going to be pretty. Central Banks are out of gimmicks to restart the debt fueled economy.
Cliff M. Added Jan 13, 2018 - 9:36am
Leroy,  During the start of the industrial revolution , many skilled laborers lost their jobs. After the Great Recession many skilled laborers lost their jobs.Look at where we are today. Many of those skilled laborers still have not found suitable employment.What happens after the next " Big Hit" when more skilled people get added to the casualty list? It looks things can be setting up for similar circumstances to the Gilded Age encore which did not have a happy ending. We have entered into the age of irrational exuberance once again. What follows this time?
Leroy Added Jan 13, 2018 - 9:44am
Yes, Cliff, it has always been disruptive, yet we have always recovered and achieved new heights.  The economy seems to be recovering.  Jobs are being created despite the cries it will all benefit the wealthy.  It's been an employer's market.  Let hope it now becomes an employee's market.  It's time we start dictating the terms to our employers.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 9:44am
Leroy - I don't think the sky is falling. That is your take. What I am saying is that big changes are taking place and gross inequality is the result. I am suggesting that we need to think carefully about the best way forward instead of sleepwalking into a catastrophe. Automation can be a great thing for us all or a cause of the break up of society. It depends how we address it. I put forward a set of suggestions that could lead to a rosy future for us all.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 9:48am
George - a resurgence in strong unions might help to make the changes as long as they weren't Luddite in their activities. What we need to do is sort a way that the prosperity resulting from automation is used for the good of all and not just a few.
I'm not sure how we deal with this level of debt. It makes everything much more precarious.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 9:51am
Cliff/Leroy - we are looking at the results - the rust-belt. Automation and globalisation has taken away the means of earning a good wage from a lot of people. The old factories are left rotting. New technology is growing. Trump is talking about resurrecting the old. That is futile. The challenge is how to deal with the future - not to re-embrace the old technology of the past.
Leroy Added Jan 13, 2018 - 9:51am
"I put forward a set of suggestions that could lead to a rosy future for us all."
 
Communism has never worked.  Maybe it is just because we haven't put on enough lipstick on that pig, but I don't think so.  I know you don't consider your proposals to be communism, but a rose by any other name...
 
Your path, IMHO, can only lead to disaster.  I know you mean well, and I respect that.  It just won't work.  I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it is true.  It is simply the triumph of hope over experience.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 10:05am
Leroy - and why do you think that a system of progressive taxation and greater fairness wouldn't work?
Leroy Added Jan 13, 2018 - 10:38am
Opher, we disagree on what is fair.  Why should I pay more for a MacDonald's hamburger than someone who makes less money?  We are both receiving the same service.  Why should the rich pay more for the same service from the government? Most people are in favor of simplification.  Different rates for different people complicate the crap out of things.  That how we got to the mess of a tax code that we have today.
 
Here is something you should understand.  When the rich pay more, they expect more.  They get more control.  Property taxes here are based on the value of your property.  The higher valued districts have better schools because they pay more.  The more they pay, the more they expect.  Less for more doesn't cut it.  No matter how much you want it, it is going to happen, unless you are willing to use the barrel of a gun.
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 13, 2018 - 10:47am
Opher, you have touched upon some of the major issues not only of the past, but of the tsunami of labor-replacing economic activity that will be overwhelming us in the next few decades. What happens when the transport industry is replaced with self-driving vehicles? The 3.5 million truckers in the US will join the ranks of the unemployed. And this is one of the pathways towards a middle-class and entrepreneurial lifestyle. You can already see automated order entry machines in some fast food places. Soon it will lead to automated pay (only credit card or device enabled payment allowed, no cash), and yet another layer of human labor will be eliminated.
 
Like it or not, it may soon become impossible to provide gainful employment for large segments of the population. And the places where human labor cannot be replaced, will fall further behind in pay, making it impossible to support a family even on two salaries, let alone one.
 
The world is significantly different than it was at the birth of the US. We need a new economic model that can address the deficiencies of the present and the trends we can logically foresee coming down the road.
George N Romey Added Jan 13, 2018 - 11:02am
Don’t the rich in many ways benefit from government spending? A CEO has roads, rails and airports to move his product to market. Wouldn’t he or she want modernize infrastructure? In contrast how often does the average person ride the rails or fly each year? In what do they care about roads outside their local area. 
Doug Plumb Added Jan 13, 2018 - 11:35am
re "Doug - now fairness is communist?? Jesus was a communist wasn't he?"
 
No, Christianity is based on equality before the law. Communism is based on equality of outcome, wealth re-distribution.
Cliff M. Added Jan 13, 2018 - 11:45am
Massive infrastructure investment is by far the best way to create decent paying jobs. Why has this not been a priority?
Doug Plumb Added Jan 13, 2018 - 11:51am
re "The world is significantly different than it was at the birth of the US. We need a new economic model that can address the deficiencies of the present and the trends we can logically foresee coming down the road."
 
Does anyone see a viable option for this ? Guarenteed minimum income will see most people become drunks or druggies.
Cliff M. Added Jan 13, 2018 - 12:25pm
Doug do you mean those that haven't already?
George N Romey Added Jan 13, 2018 - 12:32pm
Cliff because it’s not a priority of the money class. They are still getting fabulously rich by sucking the land dry-or what’s called rent seeking.
 
And yes Cliff people are using substances to cope, often prescribed by the medical/health insurance complex.
A. Jones Added Jan 13, 2018 - 3:27pm
.Jones - you still don't get it, do you?
 
I get where you're coming from. You fantasized in another thread how "ideal" a hunter-gatherer society would be, even though you did no research about it. A pretentious-mediocrity-no-talent like you, Opher, would starve in such a society unless other hunter-gatherers were guilt-tripped into supporting you with a cave, a bearskin, and a hunk of raw meat.
 
The ideal economic setup would be this (right out of Star Trek):
 
Technology is so advanced and productivity so high, that any consumer anywhere can push a button on a machine and anything he wants — food, drink, clothing, meds, entertainment, etc. — instantly appears at no cost to himself (except the effort of deciding what he wants and pushing the button). Under those conditions, you're probably thinking that you could cut the work-week to zero.
 
However, although you are lazy enough to not work during the week, many people — probably most — will still desire to work at something. Those people will increase productivity even more, because they don't just the leisure time the machine made possible for them; they value the quality of the leisure time and the things they can do with it. So most of them will not be satisfied working zero hours a week.
 
Decades ago, Lord Keynes predicted that the work-week would be cut to only a few days a week because the increasing of automation in agriculture and manufacturing made human labor unnecessary. He was right about the second point, but wrong about the first. Automation made most human labor unnecessary for the things humans labored at in those days, but most humans desired to work at least 5 days a week for the extra wealth the additional productivity made possible. Keynes (and you) assumed that people in the 1920s would be content to have themselves, their children, and their grandchildren, continue living in the economic conditions of the 1920s forever. Wrong. They continued working beyond the productivity made possible by 1920s automation for the sake increasing both the quality and the quantity of leisure time: they could afford more electrical appliances that didn't exist in the 1920s (Television, Personal Computers, Keurig Coffee Makers, etc.) as well as doing things with the greater amount of leisure time they now had: continuing their education, taking up hobbies, becoming annoying political activists, etc.).
 
Let's see where you go with your non-arguments:
 
Machines work 24/7.
 
That's good for workers and the economy as a whole.
 
They don't need breaks, lunch or holidays.
 
Better and better.
 
They don't need to sleep.
 
Good.
 
They also do not need many people to manufacture, repair or oversee them.
 
How do you know that? You're one of the least technologically knowledgeable people on WriterBeat yet you pretend to know all about technology and its economic requirements. You actually know very little but fantasize a lot.
 
They will create goods much more efficiently than humans can do.
 
Much as the horse-drawn plow did for farming. So far, so good.
 
The extra profits . . . 
 
Huh? What extra profits? If everyone except a small elite is unemployed (as you envision) then there wouldn't be "extra profits". Right? Right. And as usual, you're omitting the important point about competition on a free market: as different companies competed in the same market for mass producing raincoats and chewing gum, profit margins always get eroded away to just slightly above their costs of production. Under competition, these super-tech industries will earn the normal rate of profit as any industry today. They can earn "extra profits" on a free market only by constantly innovating and offering something new that consumers didn't have before and persuading them to buy it.
 
But as a wrote above, if everyone but a small elite is unemployed as you imagine, then you don't have masses of consumers able to demand these mass produced products, so obviously, there won't be "extra profits."
 
The increased productivity would easily support a 3 day week.
 
As I wrote above, that same claim was made by Lord Keynes back in the 1920s. He was right that technology and automation would vastly increase production and make much of human labor unnecessary (for the specific tasks human labor was engaged in during the 1920s); he was wrong about the claim that people in the 1920s would be content to live the lifestyle of the 1920s. People continued working a 5 (and sometimes 6) day week because they valued the incre
A. Jones Added Jan 13, 2018 - 3:29pm
The increased productivity would easily support a 3 day week.
 
As I wrote above, that same claim was made by Lord Keynes back in the 1920s. He was right that technology and automation would vastly increase production and make much of human labor unnecessary (for the specific tasks human labor was engaged in during the 1920s); he was wrong about the claim that people in the 1920s would be content to live the lifestyle of the 1920s. People continued working a 5 (and sometimes 6) day week because they valued the incremental increases in productivity it produced. Keynes could afford to "rest content" with the lifestyle of the 1920s because he was a snob who was born into affluence and therefore had the usual snob's contempt for the working classes that desired improvement in their lifestyles, not stasis.
 
You weren't born into affluence, Opher, but you are a snob (like many from the hippie-hippie days of the 1960s) who has shown contempt for working people trying to improve their own economic situation. Your contempt takes the form of assuming that they only way working people can improve their own lot is if they get onto a dole system and wealth created by other working people is redistributed to them.
 
We no longer need a huge workforce.
 
You've made the same error as Lord Keynes. "Need" has nothing to do with it. The workforce will probably get even bigger than it is now as more and more people desire to work 5 days a week under the improved technologies and higher productivity now made possible. They desire to work more than 3 days a week because they see no reason they (or their children) should rest content with a 2018 lifestyle.
Eric Reports Added Jan 13, 2018 - 3:46pm
God controls all.
Edward Miessner Added Jan 13, 2018 - 4:56pm
Opher, an ugly development that may arise out of this ongoing phenomenon is that the entitled upper classes could get half the surplus population to get rid of the other half, rinse and repeat ad exterminationem.
George N Romey Added Jan 13, 2018 - 6:29pm
Opher there is no reason technology can’t be used to reduce the work week. Jones is an idiot.
 
The Triangle Waist Shirt factory took place around 1912. A big room full of women worked 12 hour shifts 7 to 7, five days a week and a shorter 10 hour shift on Saturday. The fire took place on a Saturday. The women all parished as the owners locked them in and returned at night to let them out.
 
30 years later the standard shift was 8 hours. Overtime was common in the past to reach production requirements and workers were happy to receive the overtime.
 
There’s no reason why the work week can’t be reduced again. Not to mention people 100 years ago were being retrained on the job for factory work.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 7:15pm
Leroy - I hear what you say but I think income tax is fair. Nobody should begrudge paying for the society we are all part of. Creating an underclass of have-nots is not in anybody's interest. It leads to crime, violence and nastiness.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 7:16pm
Clock - yes - and they are looking at automated surgery, drones, nursing on line, robot companions. There is virtually no role for humans in the future. It is enormous.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 7:17pm
Cliff - infrastructure projects are indeed part of the solution. Why aren't they doing it?
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 7:20pm
Eric - then he's not making a very good job of it is he?
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 7:20pm
Jones - you're a stupid, rude man. You need to grow up.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 7:21pm
Edward - I wouldn't put it past them - war, disease??? Who knows?
George N Romey Added Jan 13, 2018 - 7:21pm
The money hands don’t money spent on infrastructure. It might drive up wages. 
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2018 - 7:22pm
George - you are right on all counts. He is an idiot and there is no reason why we can't make automation work for everybody. There are just a number of dinosaurs like Jones who don't get it.
A. Jones Added Jan 14, 2018 - 12:01am
Jones - you're a stupid, rude man. You need to grow up.
 
Goodwin — you're a dull-witted ignoramus. You need to educate yourself.
A. Jones Added Jan 14, 2018 - 12:04am
The money hands don’t money spent on infrastructure. It might drive up wages. 
 
Let me see if I understand that sentence:
 
"The money hands" (OK. I think I get it.)
"Don't money spent" (Um, this is so ungrammatical as to be unintelligible. Can anyone translate that into Standard English?)
 
Question for Romey:
 
Is English your first language?
A. Jones Added Jan 14, 2018 - 12:24am
Opher there is no reason technology can’t be used to reduce the work
 
On the other hand, there's no reason technology ought to be used to reduce the work week when people already enjoy the fruits of higher productivity, as well as already having greatly reduced the number of hours of drudge work in their homes (dishes, clothing, cooking, cleaning, etc.); they certainly don't need you, Opher, or Uncle Sam to tell them how many hours or days per week they ought to work.
 
That probably comes as a great shock to you: "You mean, the vast, ailing, socially unstable public doesn't need me? Really? But . . . but . . . but . . . I have an MBA from the University of Maryland! How could they not value my great knowledge, wisdom, and advice?"
A. Jones Added Jan 14, 2018 - 12:54am
The change from agriculture was horrendous with mass starvation
 
Aside from being ignorant, you're lazy, too. See this graphic on the impressive population increase made possible by the change from nomadic hunter-gatherer society to domesticated agricultural society.
 
You don't get vast increases in population by means of mass starvation.
 
As posted previously, your puerile simpering and chicken-little scare mongering are embarrassing. They're the kind of childish display I'd expect from a first-class moron like Romey; not a lout with no class at all like you.
opher goodwin Added Jan 14, 2018 - 6:41am
Jones - being a dork doesn't help. I'll type slowly so that you have a chance of following and only use little words.
The well-paid jobs are going
Lots of people will have no well-paid jobs
They will either be unemployed or doing crap jobs
The productivity will go up
The increased profits will go to the wealthy
We will have a society with a small super-rich elite and a mass of people struggling on subsistence
There will be very few in-between
We either say that's great (your stupid position)
Or we take steps to make automation work for us all
I won't ask for your solution because that would be pointless. I've given mine.
 
opher goodwin Added Jan 14, 2018 - 6:44am
BTW - DUUUUHHH!!! I am well aware of the advantages of moving from nomadic to agriculture and agriculture to industrial. I am referring to the interim change-over period. That's when there were immense problems - particularly with people being replaced by machines. That is what we now have to negotiate.
Cliff M. Added Jan 14, 2018 - 8:29am
The current owners of the budget purse strings see little reward in accepting the burden of the cost of infrastructure development. Another reason current crapitalism is ruining the gains made in improving the overall society of the U.S.. Instead of improving the well being of the U.S. we are on a current track of joining the 3rd world status . The overall improvement of the well being of the global society is being done at a great cost and little consideration for the well being of the ordinary American.
George N Romey Added Jan 14, 2018 - 11:07am
Still waiting for Jone’s masterpiece article on WB that will get rave reviews. By the way Jones enlighten us on your education.
 
A dork and an Internet troll.
Dave Volek Added Jan 14, 2018 - 12:23pm
Opher
 
Another angle to this social issue that many professional and business people are working 60 to 80 hours a week. These positions are often salaried, with a strong culture of career advancement requires longer hours OR a commission of some kind puts more money in these workers' pockets. 
 
Overtime wages discourage businesses from employing average workers beyond regular hours.
 
If there is a reduction in work hours, maybe the professional and business class should be the target. Other educated people could use the time foregone by this group. But I see a nightmare in trying to adminster this.
 
 
 
 
 
George N Romey Added Jan 14, 2018 - 1:23pm
Dave I agree. By the way many of those professionals putting in 60 to 80 hours a week aren’t making much more than $40K yet are exempt from wage and hour laws.
 
They with those in my experience because the company is piss poor run at the top and front line staff and supervisors are forced to make it work. Moreover since so many companies are adversed to paying overtime supervisory staff has to pick up the slack. 
Edward Miessner Added Jan 14, 2018 - 4:47pm
Opher: "I wouldn't put it past them - war, disease??? Who knows?"
 
It could be worse. AI has a huge potential to create whole legions of robotic soldiers and drones whose only algorhythmic purpose is to kill... humans. IMO the rich would be happy to pay for this, just not the current bunch.
A. Jones Added Jan 14, 2018 - 5:44pm
They with those in my experience because the company is piss poor run at the top
 
Am I the only one who finds that sentence unintelligible?
 
What's your native language, Romey? It certainly isn't English.
A. Jones Added Jan 14, 2018 - 6:17pm
The well-paid jobs are going
Well-paid jobs are on the increase but they're going mainly to college graduates. That might leave out the Cliff M.s of the world.
 
Lots of people will have no well-paid jobs
Define "lots" in terms of an actual number. Those who remain satisfied with only a high school diploma — or who dropped out of school before finishing high school — will probably not have well-paid jobs. They'll have to finish high school and a 4-year college to be eligible for those.
 
They will either be unemployed or doing crap jobs
Not if they finish high school and college.
 
The productivity will go up
And prices will go down. That's good for everyone, including those stuck in "crap jobs."
 
The increased profits will go to the wealthy
And the lowered cost of living from increased productivity will benefit everyone, including the poor.
 
We will have a society with a small super-rich elite and a mass of people struggling on subsistence
The numbers show that the middle class is moving economically into the upper classes, not into the lower classes. You obviously have a problem with seeing middle-class people do well. Envy much?
 
Your chicken-little, sky-is-falling scare mongering is as unfounded as the cries from self-styled "progressive" environmentalists that the polar bears are starving and disappearing. The exact opposite happens to be true; you just need to do a little research.
 
Your main problem, Opher, is that you're smug, pretentious, and above all, lazy. Do a little homework now and then, OK? Your off-the-cuff statements of impending doom-and-gloom, based on nothing but your "a-smelling" and your "a-tasting", mark you as a first-class mental stumblebum.
A. Jones Added Jan 14, 2018 - 6:19pm
Still waiting for Jone’s masterpiece article on WB that will get rave reviews.
 
My comments are masterpieces. You'd recognize that if you could think straight . . . and if English were your first language.
A. Jones Added Jan 14, 2018 - 6:20pm
And that should be Jones's, not Jone's.
Bill Kamps Added Jan 15, 2018 - 1:53pm
opher on the one hand, the elites have been running the show since the times of the pyramids, and one could make the case that wealth is actually more distributed on a world wide basis than ever before.  Hundreds of years ago there was one king in the country, and he and his family controlled the wealth.  Now there are many that belong to the "elites" and they hardly speak with one voice.  The poor live better than at any time in history. 
 
On a global scale, people are doing better than ever.
 
Today most of the people in the world are literate, with the rate near 85%.  In 1960 more than half the world's people were illiterate.
 
In 1970 most of the world lived in extreme poverty, today that percentage is down to 15%.
 
Similar improvements exist for people's access to medical care, electricity and drinking water. 
 
Yes there is still more to do, but literally billions are better off than they were decades ago.
 
In the USA, you and George tell us that well paying jobs are scarce, and yet auto production is at a record, home sales are at a record, GDP is at a record, sales over the holidays were at a record, homes in Houston stay on the market an average of two weeks, and  many  other signs point to a reasonably healthy economy, not one that is primed for revolution. 
 
Well paying jobs exist for those with skills. 
 
Of course there are problems, there have always been problems,  but please tell me when the world was generally better off than it is now?
 
 
 
Bill Kamps Added Jan 15, 2018 - 2:07pm
I would also say that Im not sure the "gig" economy is totally a bad thing.  I am part of the gig economy, and have never made more money with less effort.  I have one part time job where I make 80% of my peak salary, and I have another part time job, where I make 90% of my peak salary.  Total combined I work less than 40 hours a week.  How is this a bad thing?
 
I know quite a few other people that work the gig economy.  They work more flexible hours, and make in total more money.  The problem for the statistics are that the statistics dont aggregate the jobs.  The statistics cant tell if I am two employees each working at a part time job for less than we used to make, or one employee working two jobs, for less hours and more money. 
 
opher you and George say this is a bad thing because I dont have one job where I make more than I did before.  However, when I worked a full-time job, I worked more than 40 hours a week.  Now I work part time, which you guys say is bad, but I make more money, which I think is good :)
George N Romey Added Jan 15, 2018 - 4:17pm
Jones your comments are of a pathetic troll. 
 
Bill most people in the gig economy aren’t doing near as well as you. The economy hums along fueled by debt. Ask some of those diners how much they are putting away each paycheck other than their 401K,
Bill Kamps Added Jan 17, 2018 - 9:05am
George, Im not trying to say you are completely wrong, however, I think things are more grey than you believe.  People always buy things on debt, so its impossible to say that now they are buying 17 million cars a year on debt, when ten years ago they weren't.  They always bought cars and homes by borrowing money.  Home loans now require more equity than before. 
 
The elites are not buying 17 millions cars, there are not enough of them.  Cars are generally a discretionary expense, because you can always get the car you have to last another year.  So when people are buying new cars it means they are optimistic about their financial situation.  That is why the industry is cyclical, because they will defer buying when their personal finances struggle.
 
Im not saying the economy is perfect, it isnt and never was.  I am saying that perhaps the gig economy is working better than people think.  Maybe the statistics arent tracking very well the total amount of money people are making.  It just sees lots of part time jobs, but not what people  make in total.   The pot industry for example is pretty  much off the books, because the banks aren't involved.  So how much of those earnings make it into the stats we see from the government.  In Colorado alone the pot industry is a multi-billion dollar business.
 
The economy cant be doing terrible if car sales are high, and home sales are high.  Again doesnt mean all is well, just that we arent on a verge of revolution because of a failing economy.  That doesnt happen when everyone is buying stuff. 
opher goodwin Added Jan 23, 2018 - 6:55pm
Bill - there is no doubt that the gig economy works well for some people but it doesn't work for most. A lot are chasing their tail with no contracts, no steady work, no steady income, no ability to take on a mortgage, no holidays, no good working conditions, minimum wage, poor hours, being at the bosses beck and call and never knowing when you will work. That is the reality for many. That is no way to live a life - particularly if you have a family to support.
Edward Miessner Added Jan 24, 2018 - 4:27pm
Opher, it sounds like not are describing a blend of gig employment and employment in a zero-hours contract. (I learned of this sort of contract on the Automatic Earth; it is not known here in the USA but I heard that it's big in Britain---maybe bigger than God!)
Eileen de Bruin Added Jan 25, 2018 - 5:21pm
Great topic but, as you wrote initially, Opher, the politicians’ drivers are not in our best interests.
 
But, we vote them in. We are the turkeys who voted for Christmas, not vetoed it!
Eileen de Bruin Added Jan 25, 2018 - 5:23pm
Ultimately, economic needs will drive the more equitable way forward. Enlightened self interest is the way in an imperfect world. China might be the next super power and controller, but it is producing solar panels.  The light will get in by stealth and economics! We can be happy about that.