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newdefault
Posted on 2003.12.19 at 12:44
Mood: cynicalcynical
Music: soul position - fuckajob
http://money.cnn.com/2003/12/17/pf/q_nomorework/index.htm?cnn=yes

just don't stop driving cars, people, because thankfully sending *those* overseas to get fixed is not yet cost-effective.

is this the ultimate downfall of a consumerist society?

i've seen more than one commercial lately- persons A and B bought the same product, and B launches himself through a plate-glass window, or something similarly unpleasant, because he paid more. sure, we all want to maximize our dollars, but shit- even with a slight self-esteem deficiency, it never even *occurred* to me to be insecure about whether or not i'm a "good enough shopper".

but as said, nobody can blame any of us for wanting to get the most we can out of the money we've earned (or otherwise acquired)- so what do we do when the logical buying decision is to sell every job that doesn't fall under the category of "locally required service" out from underneath ourselves?

hopefully the next step isn't for all the morbidly obese americans to stop eating fast food and start walking everywhere, because then we'll be really fucked.

Comments:


betternewthings at 2003-12-19 18:28 (UTC) (Link)

we used to have millions of steographic secretaries and other clerical workers. now most of those jobs are done by IT. unemployment hasn't changed that much in the last twenty years (well, since carter broke the economy).

technology makes some jobs obsolete - but it also makes more jobs than it destroys. that's why it's adopted, because people want the new stuff more than the old stuff.

also, jobs going to india is in the long run good. think of the marshall plan.

imagine a world where jobs didn't go to japan and germany because they were not rebuilt. imagine a world where japan and germany had the economic productivity of a communist country.

sure, japan and germany wouldn't be undercutting our auto industry - but they would also not be buying ciscos.

we're going from a world where we average $40k GDP/cap in america and $4k GDP/cap in india to a world where it's $60k and $20k.

yes, we won't be nearly as dominant over the indians - but we'll all be better off, because those indians are going to turn around and buy american goods.

imagine, for a second, a world in which there were no railroads (takes away jobs in the horse industry!) and the south was never reindustrialized. do you think the north would be richer, or poorer, in this world?
Generation Y's Howard Beale
dk at 2003-12-20 11:55 (UTC) (Link)
we used to have millions of steographic secretaries and other clerical workers. now most of those jobs are done by IT.

from my experience, i think it'd be more accurate to say that these jobs are now automated processes managed by IT workers. i'm not stating this as a good or bad thing, just that's how it looked to me.

technology makes some jobs obsolete - but it also makes more jobs than it destroys. that's why it's adopted, because people want the new stuff more than the old stuff.

i don't buy that. to use your example above, to replace all those stenographers and typists, we needed what? someone who knows how to load a printer driver. technology is adopted if it can cut costs. in today's world, that's the make/break- accountants in the 1970s and 80s didn't care that the xeroxes back then weren't necessarily faster than a steno, just that they didn't have to pay them an hourly wage.

sure, japan and germany wouldn't be undercutting our auto industry - but they would also not be buying ciscos.

heh. you're probably more informed about our current trade deficit than i am- how's it looking, and what's the trend?

imagine, for a second, a world in which there were no railroads (takes away jobs in the horse industry!) and the south was never reindustrialized.

to me the focus of this article semmed less on losing jobs to technology and more on them simply shifting overseas because that's where our consumable purchases have started sending our money.

not that i'm advising anyone to "buy american"- there are reasons i drive mainly german and sometimes japanese cars... i'm just worried about the growth of the "unskilled workers" category as skills that have in the past provided people with means to live become irrelevant.

i don't want to sound like a socialist, but we will reach a point when/where making sure the masses can be gainfully employed becomes a matter of protecting self-interest; and from what i'm seeing we're creating yet another deficit.
betternewthings at 2003-12-20 19:39 (UTC) (Link)
i don't buy that. to use your example above, to replace all those stenographers and typists, we needed what? someone who knows how to load a printer driver. technology is adopted if it can cut costs. in today's world, that's the make/break- accountants in the 1970s and 80s didn't care that the xeroxes back then weren't necessarily faster than a steno, just that they didn't have to pay them an hourly wage.

The result of technology is higher efficiency. Higher efficiency means that a few workers get laid off, but the company makes the same ammount of stuff. This leads to the remaining employees getting paid more (increasing loyalty) the company having more reserves, and the stockholders getting more profits/growth.

What does this money do? Create more demand for services.

Probably 80 percent of the jobs that existed after WW2 are obsolete, plus we've shipped a huge number of jobs off to Japan and Germany, and recently India and China.

In the most recent quarter, the unemployment rate dropped below 6% again.

i don't want to sound like a socialist, but we will reach a point when/where making sure the masses can be gainfully employed becomes a matter of protecting self-interest; and from what i'm seeing we're creating yet another deficit.

Pop quiz: Think of the parts of the world with the lowest unemployment. Correlate that with labor-market restrictions.
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