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Forum Post: OccupyTheConstitution Jobs

Posted 5 years ago on Jan. 10, 2012, 10:05 p.m. EST by Nanook (172)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The whole issue of JOBS is now center stage in the economy. But there is so much confusion about it, especially when it's whipped up into an emotional maelstrom by the devastation of human lives it causes. Why hasn't society figured this out yet? Because the true underlying issues have not been brought forward and listed in simple clear terms. Let's get that done.

The reason all the bickering is going on about Chinese currency devaluation and sending jobs off shore is that people are being misled by the malicious political rhetoric used to drive elections. Neither currency differences nor low cost wages are the fundamental issues. Here are a few elements to start with.

AUTOMATION

Every day we hear the phrase "sending jobs offshore". This phrase is a malicious political smoke screen. In business, a "job" is defined by a "job description". If one country is cutting sugar cane by hand, the "job description" is something like: using a hand scythe, cut sugar cane and carry it to a weighing station. In another country, which uses machinery, the "job description" is something like: drive a cane harvester and process 250 acres of cane a day. These are NOT the same job. In the first case, one laborer might hand cut only a quarter acre a day. In the second case, the laborer drives a machine which harvests 1000 times as much cane. To logically say we are "sending jobs offshore", they have to be the SAME job in both places. The primary factor affecting the U.S. job market over the past 50 years was AUTOMATION!

As communication and transportation technology improved, global commerce increased. This began with Japan in the '70s and '80s. The U.S. was smug with self pride while Japan learned to produce VERY SUPERIOR products at much lower cost. While U.S. hand labor manufacturing still thought production defect rates of 2% was "normal", Japan began producing products using "automated machines" ( not just cheap labor ) with defect rates less than 1 part per MILLION. They did it at 1/10 the cost of American parts due to AUTOMATION. No equivalent automation "JOB" was sent to Japan because the U.S. didn't have them.

The Irony in all of this is that Japan was taught how to do it by an American quality expert: W. Edwards Demming. American industry REFUSED to pay any attention to him until our country was in recession. By the time the U.S. woke up in the late '80s, Asian quality and low prices were the mainstay for U.S. consumers. And while U.S. companies tried to change paradigms, they were still led by "old world" U.S. executives who still had "old world" ideas. PLUS, Asia had no intention of waiting for the U.S. to catch up. Their slogan was "continuous improvement". To this day, the U.S. has not caught up, and in fact continues to lag farther behind, because we have not let go of our "old world" models. Education and medical care are prime examples. Neither of these has a "clue" about what the Deming quality model is. Sure, they spout the buzz words. But they are clueless about what the words really mean.

CURRENCY IMBALANCE

We are hearing a lot about other countries controlling the currency exchange rate. We are being told by the politicians that this is the cause of the labor rate difference. The irony is that the availability of better goods at cheaper prices is actually a large BOON for the country that RECEIVES the goods. This is true whether the low cost comes from better production methods OR currency pricing. Why? Because the lower cost of goods allows the receiver to ACHIEVE PLANNED GOALS at lower cost. A tragedy only occurs when the country receiving this benefit gets lost in its internal corruption and political wars and fails to use the benefits of low cost goods to IMPROVE its society. And that's what the U.S. has done! Instead of using the BOON in goods to improve our infrastructure, to clean up the environment for everyone, to raise the standard of living for everyone, especially the poor, to improve education, etc. , the value was converted into $$$ by Wall Street and hoarded by the 1%. And because so many of us got a piece of the action, in terms of $$$, we went along with it.

{ Because of its length, the remainder of this Introduction to JOBS is shown below at the END of the discussion. Jump down to http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-jobs/#comment-579860 }

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

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[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

AUTOMATION – How should the amount of automation in the country be controlled? Should it be controlled?

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

AUTOMATION – What jobs should be retained for humans?

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

PRODUCTIVITY – How should society organize and coordinate efforts for all citizens to benefit from productivity and price differentials between countries and states?

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

PRODUCTIVITY – The way the country addresses FULL EMPLOYMENT by manipulating taxes and interest rates is ridiculous. What other approaches can we take that are more direct and don't cause all the related complications in other parts of the economy?

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

PRODUCTIVITY – How can the government help the both our society and the business world get ready for the massive shift in the role of jobs in society which will result from the depletion of resources?

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

PRODUCTIVITY – How can "job hunting" be made a "workers market" rather than an "employers market", while at the same time maintaining the motivation of workers to find work?

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

WORKFORCE EFFICIENCY – Job change, which is increasing in frequency, and which often means loss of knowledge, produces a huge efficiency loss for the nation. How can we address this?

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

[-] 1 points by ChristopherABrown (550) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

Article 5 convention NOW!

Moving people or anything is a waste of energy if there is no real need. The false economy of petroleum makes it look real, it is not. It is worse than fake. The price we pay in the end is a price NO ONE wants to pay. In fact, we need to stop what we are doing now to avoid that, plus the lethal interest to future generations.

Corporate media is not going to tell you about this. If we do it, it's okay. If we are forced to do it, tragedy. If we fail to do it, disaster.

Article V of the US constitution can be used to create constitutional government, which we haven't had for 150 years. With that we can defeine and achieve sustainability.

Lots of facts here about Article V. http://algoxy.com/poly/article_v_convention.html

Article V conference, Lawrence Lessig at harvard 9/25/11-other attendee video comments http://vimeo.com/31464745

http://algoxy.com/ows/strategyofamerica.html

[-] 1 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

QUALITY OF LIFE – How should we define a "sustainable American Dream"? Does the government have ANY responsibility to support it?

( The topic, Quality of Life, is discussed more broadly at http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-quality-of-life/ )

[-] 0 points by Nanook (172) 5 years ago

{ CONTINUATION OF THE INTRODUCTION TO JOBS FROM ABOVE }

ENTITLEMENT - STANDARD OF LIVING

As we approached the year 2000, the U.S. did see a wave of "job" loss to Asia. This was "equivalent" jobs. It was due to lower wages. So? What's the problem? The problem is DENIAL. Americans don't like to face reality. They want to buy products at LOW prices, but expect to work for HIGH wages. They don't want to face up to a unique ONE-TIME advantage that we HAD, and squandered.

As the world emerged from WWII, the U.S. was untouched. We were rich in natural resources. Civilization in Europe, Russia, Africa, China, and the Pacific had been bombed to rubble. Death tolls were measured in the tens of millions in EACH of those regions. The U.S. used its unshattered position to exploit the world. This gave the U.S. a "golden age" during the '50s – '70s. That launched a revival of the "super rich", which repeated the excesses of the "guilded age" of the late 1800s and the "roaring 20s". The political rhetoric fanned the frenzy and promised EVERY American that "they too" could achieve the "American Dream". EVERY American was SPECIAL! The country created an environment in which EVERY American "believed" they went to the BEST high school, the BEST college, and rooted for the BEST team, which, of course, came from THEIR state, which was the BEST state. The "American Dream" got embellished with every retelling.

UNFORTUNATELY, all this frenzy of growth and consumption had its consequences. The U.S. failed to get its head out of the weeds and understand what life was really going to look like with all the new CHANGES. It was only in the last 200 years that humanity learned how to replace human labor with power driven machines. Only in the last 50 years did we learn how to replace human thinking with computers. Once a machine is designed, it takes very little effort to duplicate it to make goods for 1 thousand people or 1 million, or 1 billion. The goods can also be made much cheaper than they can by human labor. Simple! But, humanity DOES NOT WANT TO FACE UP TO THIS! They want to believe in the "nostalgia" of the small family farm, but at the same time, want to pay the low prices only achievable by large automated farms. Our society is living in DENIAL.

We want access to products from all over the world, but don't want to face up to the differences in labor cost and productivity around the world. We fill our houses with so much stuff, many people need to rent storage garages to hold it. When "we", as consumers, don't have any room for more STUFF and stop buying it, "we", as workers, complain that "we", meaning everyone else, aren't buying enough. Our society is living in DENIAL. We believe we are ENTITLED to live like the MODERN American Dream.

As the population explodes into the 7B range, all 7B want more stuff! They want to live like "Americans". BUT, there is a "slight" problem! The earth's natural resources are approaching DEPLETION! All the easy to get resources, which are needed to make that "stuff", are gone: 50% of forests – gone. 90% of fish and wildlife – gone. Clean water – gone. Rare earth and strategic metals experiencing shortages in every category. Medical drugs being rationed because of shortages. 33 nations at risk of social unrest due to food shortages. World oil production on the decline. Country infrastructures in collapse.

SO, what is it that society refuses to face? The hard mathematics of growth and population. READ THIS CAREFULLY! More people are alive on earth today than ALL the humans who ever lived before 1970! That means, to achieve the "American Dream", in the next 40 years, humanity will "need" to extract the same amount of resources from the earth that have already been taken out during the WHOLE LENGTH OF CIVILIZATION! And if we've already used more than 50%, how can we possibly do it?

The point is, this isn't just about U.S. jobs. It's about world wide jobs. Because without natural resources, nothing can be produced. This in NOT a prediction about some distant future. The Chinese, Indians and Europeans are also, already, facing huge unemployment. And as we go forward, things will get WORSE, not better, because key natural resources won't be available. Even the armies of workers Obama wants to employ fixing roads and building schools will be out of work again for lack of material. The entire world, except for food production and basic necessities, will be forced into service jobs. We will all have to become students, teachers, football players and rock stars. And THAT'S what we have to wake up to. We need to provide the philosophical leadership to understand and transition society to a predominantly service economy. Everything will change. What will "jobs" even look like? What will families look like, or careers? We are still hanging on to old social models. If we don't look IN DETAIL at our future and understand world sustainability, we will surely lose it.

All the proposals being presented by all the political candidates are doomed to fail. They are oblivious to the real problems. Those problems are: extensive automation, global competition, saturation of goods, population growth, population expectations, exhaustion of natural resources, AND failure of society to understand the complexity of these forces and how to adapt to them.

What does that mean for today? Here are some examples consistent with all the issues:

  1. Congress should immediately role the standard work week back from 40 hours to 32 hours.
  2. They should strictly enforce overtime, which should be expanded to cover ALL professions. Work hours should be "person" based. That is, if a person works 2 jobs, as soon as they go over 32 hours in a week, they must be put on overtime pay.
  3. The minimum wage should be immediately raised to $10 per hour.

The job shortage would disappear overnight. The plight of many people in poverty would be eased. It's budget neutral: NO TAX INCREASES OR CUTS. NO GOVERNMENT PROGRAM INCREASES OR CUTS.

  1. Congress must start on a program to REDUCE the U.S. population to a sustainable level.
  2. Congress must start a program to create a COMPREHENSIVE computer model of the world-wide economy. Future economic decisions must show SUSTAINABILITY against that model.

To get things going, I've posted some "lead off" comments. You can jump directly to those subtopics using the links below. Jump in there or add additional new comments of your own.

AUTOMATION - how much http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-jobs/#comment-608365

AUTOMATION - what for http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-jobs/#comment-608363

PRODUCTIVITY – national coordination http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-jobs/#comment-608360

PRODUCTIVITY – full employment http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-jobs/#comment-608354

PRODUCTIVITY – changing job roles http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-jobs/#comment-608351

PRODUCTIVITY – job hunting http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-jobs/#comment-608348

WORKFORCE EFFICIENCY – changing employers http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-jobs/#comment-608340

QUALITY OF LIFE – the American Dream http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-jobs/#comment-579892

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )