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These stories are always interesting to read, both from what they say, and what they don't say. For example, do you know that world wide there is a shortage of people in various trades roles[1] ? (Welding, masonry, carpentry, electricians, etc) And why are their young people who are loading up on debt they can't afford to go to Ivy league schools when they can be just as successful going to state schools? How much part time employement might be found if there wasn't a floor on minimum wage? [2] Since we don't have the category of 'extra' or 'part time' job like we used to, current minimum wage policy is geared toward making every job pay a living wage. That prices a lot of jobs out competitiveness for humans and spurs the development of robotic replacements. Not that those jobs are career paths, but they do offer people a bit of extra change in their pocket.

A more intriguing question is to what end might you employ two or three hundred million people? Imagine they are sitting outside your window waiting for your command. Assuming you are paying them a living wage, what economic output could they accomplish that would be "worth" say 5 to 15 trillion dollars a year?

[1] http://facilityexecutive.com/2015/05/u-s-employers-suffer-la...

[2] https://www.cbo.gov/publication/44995

> Assuming you are paying them a living wage, what economic output could [200-300 million people] accomplish that would be "worth" say 5 to 15 trillion dollars a year?

A good thought experiment! My initial thought was a spiritual successor to WPA-like projects of the depression, but I'm not very well-read on the economic outcomes. My layman view at least sees the humanitarian and creative output of such projects.

But your last sentence is key: would it be "worth" 5-15 trillion/year? Is there a way to "measure" such a number of WPA-like projects?

Since the number presented was world wide, I expect just the US would be a smaller number, but it would certainly be interesting to offer young people an opportunity to participate in a service program which was not a military outfit. So you spend 2 years of service shoring up infrastructure or working to rebuild cities ravaged by flood or other disaster. In exchange you get basic clothes, room and board, and perhaps payback on any student loans you have outstanding.


Ah, the old "I've got mine" philosophy. I'd like to see a solution that doesn't add up to "Screw developing countries". And I'm pretty sure what bringing work home means - you and I pay a buttload more for everything, because Westerners have to be well-paid.

And in the end, if every fat cat has to "bring the work home" then they all just raise their prices. Its not the 1% that get hurt; its all the rest of us.

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