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Old November 7th, 2012, 10:03 PM   #1
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Default A random thought on 'job creation'

So-
We need to create jobs, but how?

Manufacture goods?

We have that already.

Service?

Yup.

Government jobs?

Easiest way to 'create jobs' is to legislate 'Shovel-Ready' jobs that are more like 'Shovel Leaning' jobs.

Could it be, just maybe- that we have more people than it is reasonably possible to create jobs for?

After all, during the recession companies learned they could produce with fewer employees, so not a lot of incentive to hire now is there?

Don't have facts and figures, just something that popped into my head. Interested in opinions of those with more direct knowledge than i have.

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Old November 7th, 2012, 10:17 PM   #2
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It's what they did in the 1930's. Lots of "make work" programs. At least we got some parks out of it and some forests with straight rows of trees. Better than just giving it away as welfare.

It's part of the problem with sending jobs overseas.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 10:19 PM   #3
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It's late and I just got home from league night at the bowling alley so have had a few beers and will be headed to bed soon so don't want to get too deep into it before I start rambling incoherently, but...

I've studied demographic and economic statistics in for years in academic and professional settings for a living and I could go on for hours about this topic. Thomas Malthus may have been worrying about over-population for the wrong reasons. Running out of food and space is not really a problem but running out of useful work for the people we have definitely could be a problem.

However, you run into a real Catch 22 when birth rates start to decline because innovation declines as well. Yes, it's true that because of increased productivity in everything from manufacturing to agriculture that there is little reason to have more than a child or two for most families in the developed world but with each child that is not born, you limit the opportunity for a potential child to develop the next cure for some perplexing disease, come up with the next great technology or manufacturing process, write the greatest book ever written, etc...

Manufacturing processes no longer require the labor force they dead 50 or 100 years ago and it is going to be a rough transition into a more service-oriented and professional marketplace going forward...
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Old November 7th, 2012, 10:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WSU JK View Post
It's late and I just got home from league night at the bowling alley so have had a few beers and will be headed to bed soon so don't want to get too deep into it before I start rambling incoherently, but...

I've studied demographic and economic statistics in for years in academic and professional settings for a living and I could go on for hours about this topic. Thomas Malthus may have been worrying about over-population for the wrong reasons. Running out of food and space is not really a problem but running out of useful work for the people we have definitely could be a problem.

However, you run into a real Catch 22 when birth rates start to decline because innovation declines as well. Yes, it's true that because of increased productivity in everything from manufacturing to agriculture that there is little reason to have more than a child or two for most families in the developed world but with each child that is not born, you limit the opportunity for a potential child to develop the next cure for some perplexing disease, come up with the next great technology or manufacturing process, write the greatest book ever written, etc...

Manufacturing processes no longer require the labor force they dead 50 or 100 years ago and it is going to be a rough transition into a more service-oriented and professional marketplace going forward...
Wow, your mind works like that after a few beers? Impressive.

This is along the lines of what I was thinking, but not really able to put into such great language. The world has over 6 billion people, is there actually the capacity for 6 billion jobs?
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Old November 11th, 2012, 11:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
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....
After all, during the recession companies learned they could produce with fewer employees, so not a lot of incentive to hire now is there?
....
One word: A U T O M A T I O N.

We have a rough road ahead. Not only will there be ever more sophisticated robots taking over manufacturing jobs, Artificial Intelligence is progressing to the point where computers are taking over more and more white collar jobs. Why do you think companies have not rehired all those laid off workers and can get by with less people? They bought software instead. And as AI gets more powerful we can expect more and more jobs to go away.

I have no idea what the president or government or society can or should do to prepare for this. Technology will move forward and this will happen. It is a shame no one seems to be discussing it or how to prepare for it.




here is a link to a robot that anyone can "program" by physically moving it through the desired motions: http://www.technologyreview.com/news...manufacturing/

http://www.technologyreview.com/news...s-do-your-job/
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Advances in hardware and software mean it's possible to automate more white-collar jobs, and to do so more quickly than in the past. Think of the airline staffers whose job checking in passengers has been taken by self-service kiosks. While more productivity is a positive, wealth is becoming more concentrated, and more middle-class workers are getting left behind.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news...ate-or-perish/
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…..As the MIT economist David Autor has argued, the job market is being "hollowed out." High-wage, high-skill employment is still being created—and so are many poorly compensated service industry jobs for food preparers, home care aides, and others. It's the jobs in the middle that are disappearing: certain clerical, sales, and administrative jobs and some on factory floors.
Now a combination of growing computing power and advances in data crunching mean automation is primed to threaten not just tax preparers and travel agents but higher-rung jobs such as those in the medical and legal professions, where software can increasingly do things like analyze images and understand speech more accurately and in more contexts than ever before. Any work that is repetitive or fairly well structured is open to full or partial automation. Being human confers less and less of an advantage these days.

Some economists believe automation may explain why U.S. economic output has grown since 2007 while the number of jobs has fallen. That kind of dislocation is unusual. The U.S. economy has evolved from agriculture to manufacturing to service industries. Each time jobs were destroyed in one sector, they were replaced elsewhere.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 02:00 PM   #6
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Right, so where are the jobs 'elsewhere'?
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Old November 11th, 2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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For each new person that is introduced to the world they will need and desire the goods and services produced and offered. Since the beginning of time there has always been population growth, each generation I'm sure has had this exact same debate. I remember the discussion of overpopulation when the earths population was a "measly" 4b
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Old November 11th, 2012, 03:00 PM   #8
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Previous discussions on overpopulation were more related to how much food could be grown for an increasing population.


I expect to see a shift back to farming at some point.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 03:41 PM   #9
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today's world is one where telecommunications can literally send a message to the other side of the world in 30 nanoseconds. this message can be anything from a support call, to a mammogram to read, to accounting information, to processing an order.

add to that a lack of apprentice type jobs that this country used to have, so we funnel every highschool grad off to the military, college or jail. most learn skills that 'interest them' but provide no real skill set that is in demand. the few that do manage to pull in some knowledge that is in demand are competing against the world now, where often that competition is hungrier, and used to living at a much lower standard of living.

off shoring is only part of the problem at this point, automated billing, ordering, QA/QC for production and packaging lines, stock trading, analysis of demand, logistics, RFID tracking, etc., etc. have all made huge strides in efficiencies which in turn mean less people needed (when things run smoothly)
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Old November 11th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Right, so where are the jobs 'elsewhere'?
My attempt to give cliff notes by using quotes from the articles is a big fail.

The gist of those two articles is that automation (ie smart software) is replacing white collar jobs at unprecedented rates, much faster than replacement jobs are being created. There will be some high skill tech jobs created, but no where near the number of jobs being made obsolete. We can expect this displacement to continue and likely accelerate as computers and software get more and more powerful. No one knows where the bulk of the replacement jobs will come from this time around!
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Old November 11th, 2012, 05:16 PM   #11
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So what do people do who do not have the 'mindset' for hi tech jobs? Not everyone is capable of learning.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 07:20 PM   #12
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So what do people do who do not have the 'mindset' for hi tech jobs? Not everyone is capable of learning.
The evolutionary answer is that those people eventually die off and take their "non-tech mindset" genes with them.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #13
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So what do people do who do not have the 'mindset' for hi tech jobs? Not everyone is capable of learning.
Exactly. I must suck at this since that was kind of the point of the articles and my posts. And even if everyone could be retrained there won't be enough jobs anyway.

The likely reality:
Quote:
What does the economy that we don't want look like?

The spread between the haves and the have-nots continues to grow, and more importantly, the absolute standard of living of the people at the middle and the bottom goes down. That is the economy that I don't want to head into.
The unlikely dream:
Quote:
What is the optimistic view?

Erik Brynjolfsson came up with a great phrase: "digital Athens." The Athenian citizens had lives of leisure; they got to participate in democracy and create art. That was largely because they had slaves to do the work. Okay, I don't want human slaves, but in a very, very automated and digitally productive economy you don't need to work as much, as hard, with as many people, to get the fruits of the economy. So the optimistic version is that we finally have more hours in our week freed up from toil and drudgery.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 09:09 PM   #14
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I understand that the hi tech jobs are being created, but at some point you still need someone to build and maintain the machinery.


The articles quoted sound an awful lot like H.G. Wells 'Time Machine', with the Eloi and Morlocks.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 09:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
What is the optimistic view?

Erik Brynjolfsson came up with a great phrase: "digital Athens." The Athenian citizens had lives of leisure; they got to participate in democracy and create art. That was largely because they had slaves to do the work. Okay, I don't want human slaves, but in a very, very automated and digitally productive economy you don't need to work as much, as hard, with as many people, to get the fruits of the economy. So the optimistic version is that we finally have more hours in our week freed up from toil and drudgery.
Sounds good in theory, but the reality is that the machines are owned by the wealthy few, so they receive the fruits. There are few reasons why they would share those fruits with the "have nots".
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:49 AM   #16
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So what do people do who do not have the 'mindset' for hi tech jobs? Not everyone is capable of learning.
They do nothing and we support them, since it is our fault we took away the jobs.

Or they go do landscaping, haul garbage, learn carpentry, become a cook or one of the millions of jobs that still haven't been replaced. Might not pay the same but thats just the way it is. Not everyone in the country deserves to have it all but they all think they do.
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