This is a training problem; we have a surplus of workers (and potential workers) with mismatched skills. He should consider retraining willing reentrants before further attempting to crowd a dwindling workforce with outsiders.
There's a lot of computing grunt work that I would love to pawn off on a junior, but our hiring funnel is so messed up...
I'm in a graduate program now and I've become extremely cynical about "college" and "university". The mandatory degree("credentialing") is starting, in my opinion, to look more like institutional fraud than any honest attempt at teaching people anything.
Whoever figures that out, the credentialing part, could go a long way toward fixing that problem. Is anyone working on this?
Take a look at india and china, they have this exact same problem, and it's a result of immense demand for STEM engineers, no matter what.
Marketing employees will have gone through a STEM education on a regular basis.
The way it unfolds is this -
1) If you aren't a degree holder, you aren't employable, there's millions of degree holders fighting for a job
2) you are a degree holder? Well there's 1000s fighting for your position, are you a hard degree or soft degree?
3) HArd STEM? What's your pedigree?
In short - allowing the system to take root (degree as pre requisite for jobs), sets of a vicious cycle.
This cycle only begins when you have a large group of unemployable humans.
To compete and be employed they increasingly turn to signaling. Eventually the old signal (actually interested In learning) gets overwhelmed with people who just want a job.
it's a jobs problem not an education problem.
The thing is, there is a HUGE difference between what I described and actually understanding what one is doing, in the deepest meaning of that word. That's what you go to college for: to pass on that deep knowledge. You don't go to college to "get a job".
So the problem really is with employers: why do they insist on a college degree when they could ask for a technical school diploma, or whatever. There's nothing wrong with college per se, IMO, as I think you'll agree.
In the workplace I definitely experience the difference between one who received a formal education, in the sense of raw theory, and one who studied how to "do" things. Both are useful, but they serve different purposes.
Sure, they can solve ACM-style challenges and spit out Dijkstra on a whim, but I can't recall the last time I needed to deliver on a business objective that mapped to either of those things.
This is not to say that understanding computer science is bad! Having a deep understanding of the underlaying theory and technology is a requirement to attain mastery.
But being able to ship maintainable, well-factored, and properly-tested code in a collaborative environment is far more important to me than having memorized every algorithm in TAOCP.
I mean, if I can have both skillsets, I'll totally take both skillsets, but given the choice between the two, I know that a wizard-level software engineer with very weak algorithms skills will, in general, bring a lot more value to a project than a wizard-level computer scientist that can't write code that the rest of the team can maintain.
About the only time that a computer science wizard is useful to me, is if I already have a team of solid software engineers, so that they can mentor each other and lift the overall skill level of the team.
What universities really need to start doing is including a multi-year track built into their curricula whereby students build and maintain production software over the course of their studies, with quarterly rotation between teams.
The problem is the dog eat dog narrow mindedness of seeing everything as a competition and not learning anything about collaboration and serving others. Something a lot of CS grads would benefit massively from, I know I would have.
I actually think Universities do a disservice to their students if they promise them a curriculum that "leads to a job". You should go to University if you want to continue your formal education, not "to get a job". If you just want to get a piece of paper that lets you get a job, mentor with someone, go to a technical college, learn to "do" something. But Universities should teach how to think, that's about it, IMO. If you can find a job after should have no impact on the curriculum.
I can say now that trusting the adults was stupid idea, I ended getting student loans, got a degree, but no job. I am 29 now and my government job registry is still empty.
I would actually love to see this, but haven't yet thought through in-depth how it would work in the US.
Because right now, nothing like this exists, and until it does, the primary focus of most university students is to indeed "get a job".
Schools attempt to cram as much information as possible in as little time in the overworked and overwhelmed minds of the students. The result is low retention and studying for the tests.
Knowledge and deep understanding come with time and experience in the presence of awareness.
The experiential parts of medical training for example are closer to hazing than anything else. We have enough research to know that the brain needs rest to process learning. Having people work for 24-36h straight does not do anyone a favor, is not sustainable and presents significant dangers to everyone involved.
Yep, I'd absolutely agree. I suppose my problem here is cultural, in a way. I didn't mean to say that I don't think young people (am I old? Maybe I am) shouldn't have to take history classes that are exogenous to whatever they end up doing later in life. I think what I'm trying to say is that there's a lot of room to make specific skills that employers look for separate from the horribly expensive University system. This has to be possible, but maybe I'm wrong.
And what if something goes wrong?
I hear theories that cite insurance (that power company case) and other reasons, and I think they all kind of stink. It's as if higher education is more of a gatekeeper than mobilizer. (In some industries.)
That said, it's been done before...with spoken languages for the Military. Taking the DLPT will give you a rating on your proficiency, and then you get both the credentialing and then additional pay (Once upon a time I took it for Arabic and scored some 0+s). It'd be hard, but I don't think it would be impossible to do it for some kind of development credential.
I wonder if that's disguised ageism. A lot more people are going to college in the last decade than in previous decades.
New age indentured servants.
Lots of analog credentials do exist that should be digitized (the SCUBA one is a great example that I've personally encountered), but I'm talking about a replacement for traditional, outrageously expensive 4-year Universities where a fraction of what you pay for is directed toward what you'll do for work - but more importantly, folks that wish to career switch from whatever they'd doing to a more technical field but lack that 4-year "degree".
Use the fact that you have the experience to sell the consultancy. Then use your army of once non-technical friends as your code farm. You can pay them less than market (since they were otherwise making nothing) and you can charge market.
You're promising an easy market opportunity. And that always raises the question, "If it's so easy, why aren't you doing it?"
You also can't charge full market rate if you are using the equivalent of apprentices/journeymen to do the work.
It's the classic problem of training.
In the trades, they generally get apprentices to do work at full chargeout (with guidance) with final signoff from certified person.
In consulting (IT, law, legal) you can either have tiered rates based on seniority of resource or a mixture of experience types doing "flat rate" job.
And this is why I generally do the work myself rather than getting a tradie in. If I want someone inexperienced to give it a go and probably screw up, I'll screw it up myself on a Saturday afternoon rather than paying $120/hr for someone else to screw it up. At least after that I know how to fix it next time.
A worry about a lot of the people that are just joining the technical scene; they're entering a world where computing has been abstracted so far away from the actual hardware that many of them think the only way forward is to string together plugins (not that that's a particularly new phenomenon) and cloud services.
But for sales, or stocking a warehouse, or operations, or managing a team? Hell yeah I'd hire some of these folks. If only I had a business that needed that kind of staffing...
Hiring a bunch of inexperienced people is not a good idea. Having larger companies sprinkle them around the workforce is better. Also, larger companies are more likely to need enough people to have a regular training program.
And most people don't have the access to capital to start a business.
A bigger problem is that capitalists can easily take advantage of labor arbitrage. But laborers can't easily take advantage of cost of living arbitrage.
So a fifth year apprentice make something like 80% of a journeyman as they should be capable of 80% of his tasks; while a first year apprentice pulls in less than half as he likely knows little of the trade.
Why is this crazy? It's a very important job that actually contributes to society. I have much respect for T-men, Linemen, and Sub Techs.
I guarantee anyone of you here, if remotely physically fit, could get a non-union job in construction. Good luck making $10-15 an hour. Even being a non-union electrican is not difficult. The contractor, will many times, train you, but it just doesn't pay more than retail.
You will see a lot of Contractors. It's not that difficult to get a licence. C-6 electrical being the exception. They are checking experience lately, and elevator mechanics--forget the number.
It's difficult to get into a good union, like local 6 in San Francisco though.
Why is the pay so low in construction, even field like Electrical, and Telecommunications? Partly it's because jobs are just hard to come by. And you gave a Huge swath of people who will apply to that job.
A couple of guys just got out of prison on the 70's. "What should we do now? Most jobs like will check out backround. Yes--they could check background then too. Convicts, "Let's start a landscaping company, or work in construction?" Good idea. Many could do these labor intensive jobs, and pull themselfs back into society.
They can't do it anymore, because there is just too much competition. I won't touch that debate.
If anyone reads this, and want to get into construction, apply to a union. How do you know this? Been non-union, union, and Contractor.
If you have some training, getting your Contractor's license is not that difficult. You will have a hard time making a good living off it. Most of you will fail, but the ones that really market themselfs, and have connections will make a living. You will find most people want to pay you the least amount for your labor, and knowledge. The wealthy are the worst. You will be one of those people who pay minimum wage. I have never hired a guy off the sidewalk though--it's just something I won't do. Why will you just pay minimum wage? You can't compete paying livable wages.
United States has had a huge problem with low paying jobs for a long time.
I have known something is very wrong for a long time. I stopped listening to those employment numbers, they just don't add up to what I see, except the "able bodied workers, but gave up" number".
And as my dad said, if you fall into construction; Electrical is still the best, but it's all backbreaking work. Look into being an elevator mechanic--it's a high paying, interesting field--believe it or not. It's basically a union apprenticeship, and unions are only in big cities. A lot of guys want to get into Carpetry because they like woodworking. On most commercial job sites, you won't see much wood. It's all metal studs, and "get it done." If you do custom homes, yes--you will be able to do some woodworking.
You can teach yourself to become an Electrician. Getting licenced by the states is kinda difficult. You can even make over $100/hr. on certain markets like San Francisco. Union companies will hire you now, because the economy is so hot there. You will be called white paper though, and when the good times end--you will go right back to non-union shops, or another low paying job.
But, in all honesty, can you actually provide what they need? Can you deal with alcoholism, or drug dependency? Can you deal with absenteeism? Can you deal with behaviour disorders that might even be violent?
I'm not saying a candidate will definitely have any of these problems (or others), but I am saying that I have worked with people with all of these kinds of issues before. It is crippling. It's hard enough to do a good job when you are with people who are able to hide their personal problems away for 8 hours a day and concentrate on work. If you have to deal with someone else's problems on top of your own on top of both of your jobs, can you really cope?
If the answer is yes, then please hire these people and help them. If the answer is no, then you're going to have to draw the line somewhere. Where? How much risk are you willing to take on board? How much risk can your organisation realistically deal with? The places I've worked at can barely cope with the problems they already have. Looking for more problems to solve will not actually help anyone if you can't actually solve them.
It sucks to let someone drown, but it is foolish to dive in and try to save them when you can't swim.
No. I am not a mental health professional. I did point out the need for that. It takes time and costs money and our world is not set up to provide it to the bottom rungs of society unless they are in crisis.
>> Can you deal with alcoholism, or drug dependency?
We don't need someone coming to work drunk or high. Again, people need treatment for these things.
>> Can you deal with absenteeism?
That depends. If it's once a week but I get good work 4 days it might be better than not having anyone at all. There are limits of course.
>> Can you deal with behaviour disorders that might even be violent?
Again, mental health issues. There is a pattern to your questions. I stand by my assertion that society has discarded these people. You are right that it's not my companies job to pick up the pieces when we have our own issues (and we do). But whose job is it?
>> It sucks to let someone drown, but it is foolish to dive in and try to save them when you can't swim.
Completely agree. I was pointing out a problem, not offering a solution. It may also be an opportunity if someone can figure out how to tap that pool of people for mutual benefit and not exploitation.
You're probably right about getting flooded with applicants, but I think screening would be extremely difficult with people wanting to overstate their motivation and skills just to get a job.
In the end, everyone has to find their own path. It just seems like we've made that harder than it has to be.
When my grandparents immigrated here, they did scutwork for low pay, but at least they got to work for their employer. There wasn't some layer of middlemen skimming the cream.
For example my desire as a buyer would be to purchase an awesome steak for about a dollar but the failings of our society have again let me down.
"Lobby" congress to right these wrongs perhaps?
Perhaps one day lab-grown meat will decrease the cost of production and make that a reality.
I kinda know what you mean but ... if we structured society to make steak that cheap we'd fritter away resources on something that we don't really need to spend them on, we'd probably destroy a good deal of eco-systems too in the production, deforest to make cattle farms and such. Ultimately we think we'd be happier, but in practice we'd probably not be happier; just have more ecological damage to contend with.
We'd probably be saying we just wish we had cheap carrots instead of steak all the time, probably.
This isn't just a training problem, it's a cultural issue.
Praising charlatans like Scott Adams, and worse, failing to recognize their lack of ability and their motives is another cultural issue.
Ultimately, the reason we have so many unemployed is because we're stupid. We suffer from a cultural stupidity partly the result of longterm political propaganda campaigns by less-intelligent politicians and industry leaders who can't gain support any other way (because they are also stupid). If America wants to slip back to the level of a third world country in terms of political systems and the average education of the citizenry, a higher unemployment rate is just par for the course.
We have people unfit for training.
As an aside, how can the American workforce maintain world class competency and compensation? We need to interact with the best in the rest of the world. Bringing them here and giving them the option to stay in a safe, fair environment is best. On the flip side, engineers need to believe they are being compensated fairly for their efforts, and not take so many pains to prevent the industry from developing better ways of doing things.
Still I think mostly that's just what the system rewards. Hardworking and skilled people with disdain for office politics will either get exploited or never get their foot in the door in the first place.
I'm confused by this part. What does Scott Adams have to do with what you just wrote and how is he (in this context) a charlatan?
Personally I've found his blog to be pretty helpful for understanding the Trump phenomenon better. http://blog.dilbert.com/
Oddly enough no educational program helps with those already affected, retraining program participants have even been observed to fall behind about one day per 24 hours no matter how intensive the training program.
If they would just pull themselves up by their bootstraps like I do then they'd all look 29 for the rest of their lives, I mean can't all macroeconomic problems be solved by lecturing people to all do microeconomic improvements upon themselves, of course if they did that and no one were over age 29, then ageism would simply result in no one appearing to be over 28 ever being employed again, LOL.
I don't understand this, do you mind explaining it to me?
You can tell these at college - they take the easiest classes, they do as little as possible, they'll give you long-winded explanations justifying cheating, they complain about the college rather than taking advantage of the opportunities there, and they avoid math as much as possible.
When they graduate, they are only marginally employable, and offering more training won't help.
This is kind of off-topic and nitpicky of me, but it's something that's been on my mind recently, so I'll go ahead anyway:
For many things in life, condemnations are much easier to make than defenses, but that doesn't mean the defense is without merit.
I once took an upper-level math class where the instructor told us that we were not allowed to receive any help from people who were not currently enrolled in, or administering, the course. I said "screw that" and routinely asked my friend at another university, who had taken a similar course, for advice and clarifications on the subject matter and assignments. As a result I did very well in the course, particularly on the exams (where of course I had no one helping me).
This was clearly cheating, but to fully justify why I felt the rule was unfair, and why I felt it was morally permissible to cheat, would have required a full exposition of my beliefs on the purpose of education and fairness and personal responsibility. Meanwhile, anyone could just say to me, "that's against the rules, it's cheating, and you're putting the people who don't cheat at a disadvantage." Much easier to condemn than to defend.
This is really just a nitpick, though, and I agree with your overall point.
You can't just train/encourage people into that. They are born that way. They'd be scientists/engineers for free if they could. Ironically, this often results in them being very well paid :-)
It reminds me of the fighter pilots who say "I can't believe they actually PAY me to fly these things!"
There's always a shortage of those kinds of people.
What if your mother was a drug addict and your father was a fast-food worker? Would you still be a natural-born scientist?
It's too easy to think "People are born how they are."
and his autobiography:
"Kelly: More than My Share of It All" by Kelly Johnson
Also, the wikipedia page makes it sound like it was all due to his merit:
His parents were Swedish, from the city of Malmö, county of Scania. Kelly was ashamed of his family's poverty, and vowed to return one day in prominence. Johnson was 13 years old when he won a prize for his first aircraft design. He worked his way through Flint Central High School and graduated in 1928, then went to Flint Junior College, now known as Mott Community College, and finally to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he received a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
Who granted him the prize? It's fortunate they were paying attention to his work. How did he attend college with no money? It's fortunate he managed to find a source of income. Nowadays college is prohibitively expensive for those in poverty who don't achieve a full-ride scholarship or loans. And if you entered the workforce and later decide to go to college, you don't qualify for loans.
It seems less useful to say that someone will become something rather than they might overcome X and Y to become Z.
People (especially in America) have choices about their path in life. They are not hapless victims of circumstance and do not follow preordained paths.
Your thesis is that they do: "They are born that way."
It's probably best to agree to disagree as to how much someone at the bottom can influence their situation in the modern day. You're talking about nearly a century ago.
> It's probably best to agree to disagree as to how much someone at the bottom can influence their situation in the modern day. You're talking about nearly a century ago.
You're right it's different today. There's a lot MORE opportunity today than a century ago. Heck, I can get any information I want about any field of knowledge by pushing a button at my desk. How awesome is that? How about all those people becoming billionaires in their early 20s? That was utterly unheard of 50 years ago.
That's a very convenient model, isn't it? If someone fails to make opportunities for themselves, then they must not be very smart and motivated.
It's like epicycles: The model can fit however you want it to fit. That's why it's worth being suspicious of it.
> then they must not be very smart and motivated.
Negation does not work like that. A implies B does not mean that !A implies !B.
I leave you with Feynman noting that you cannot prove a vague theory wrong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIN_-Flswy0&feature=youtu.be...
Your model seems to fit that description.
Because I've been around a long time, and know lots of people over many years. The ones who believe they can make their lives better and take action to do so, tend to get results and are happier. Those who believe they are victims of chance with no choice, tend to take no action, achieve little, and wind up bitter and defeated.
Note I said nothing about their circumstances.
I choose the happy path. If you choose the victim of fate path, I am sorry for you. Feynman is a terrible argument for your position - I've read his biographies, and he always chose the happy path.
I'm glad you've personally achieved success. It's mildly annoying that you attribute your success to your own inborn merits rather than the mixture of hard work and luck that success seems to be derived from, but you're in good company.
You can indeed close your eyes and choose the happy path. I hope you'll never be cut down by forces you cannot control.
I presume you have sound mind and body, and live in the US. That's all the luck you need. Anything else is up to you. YOUR choice. Even your health is about 60-80% under your control, if epidemiological studies are to be believed.
Even your health is about 60-80% under your control, if epidemiological studies are to be believed.
Do you have a source on this?
If you're not failing now and then, you're not trying. The Uber driver has my respect for getting in the game and trying.
Not offhand. But you can start with every health report that comes out that outlines how this disease or that can have its lethal probability reduced by changing lifestyle. Such as quitting smoking, eating healthy, exercising, flossing, getting vaccinations, washing hands, using condoms, quitting meth, etc. The list goes on.
I interviewed a man last week who had a CS degree from a good school and had been working in industry for two years, two different companies. Couldn't answer any of my technical questions. Couldn't describe, even in broad strokes, how his websites worked behind the scenes (as in "request sent to this server, server accesses DB, server sends this response, mail server sends an alert, etc") Couldn't answer basic questions about his own code (I believe he wrote it, but perhaps with a lot of copy/pasting)
I asked him why he majored in CS. He says that the recession had a big influence on him and he wanted to make a lot of money :-p Okay then! That explained a lot. I don't think programming is as hard as it's often made out to be on HN, but it's a really difficult field if you don't like it.
That's the issue in a nutshell. You can tell people they'll make 100k easily but to be a developer you have to like it.
A good developer looks at the problem and goes "that's cool".
A great developer looks at the problem and goes "Huh, let's try that again".
God forbid people have an instrumental interest in getting one of the few decent jobs available?
- Recent grads from other countries are hungrier so they are constantly learning and have a plan. Many here get a sense of entitlement from graduating college because their parents came from an era where going to college was a near guarantee of a good job. Now it means very little as it's a requirement for most people.
- Our universities leave our students with a lot of debt which can be overwhelming. Rather than take a good opportunity with an internship, they're wanting high salaries straight out of college. They're very short-sighted and entitled. When I hire - I'm not going to overpay because you took on a lot of debt. Most small businesses can't afford to hire at what these grads want. I'm personally hiring people with no formal experience in technology with good personalities and a hunger to learn and teaching them.
- Universities are failing because most don't have the professors and curriculum yet to handle the needs of our evolving economy. I've always been interested in the web but they didn't teach any web development or technology when I was at school, so I taught myself instead of going to classes and ran an ecommerce store in 01 when margins online still existed. My brother is much younger than me and his school has these programs so that's a good thing.
A college education is definitely oversold and has been for some time. It used to be an incredible value. As with most things, I think we'll see a return to the older times and apprenticeships will emerge as a competing alternative. I know General Assembly offers apprenticeships where you pay something like $3500/mo for a boot camp graduate and they work on-site for 4 days and spend Friday learning at GA. I haven't tried it yet because I've been hiring in-network but I think that's a pretty compelling offering for both the student and the company hiring.
Universities know what they should be teaching in order for their graduates to be successful in the workforce and in graduate studies. Lesser schools simply dumb down the curriculum to pad their graduation rates. In the case of software jobs, good companies want new graduates with solid fundamentals. There are certainly professors who are clueless but I doubt it's the tenured/tenure track faculty in top STEM departments.
>A college education is definitely oversold and has been for some time. It used to be an incredible value.
I agree with you on this, most schools are simply not worth attending.
> I've always been interested in the web but they didn't teach any web development or technology when I was at school
This is too vocational for a school to teach. Web development frameworks are easy enough to learn on your own and intellectually they are not challenging. Schools must concentrate on the fundamentals and not on ephemeral technologies.
>As with most things, I think we'll see a return to the older times and apprenticeships will emerge as a competing alternative.
I'd say it's more likely software hiring turns into what you see in industries where too many people want to get in such as investment banking, big law, and consulting where employers simply recruit from certain schools. My Summer software engineering internship at a Fortune 500, non-tech company is composed roughly of 75% of students from reputable or name brand schools. Bay area software companies are probably even a greater percentage.
> My Summer software engineering internship at a Fortune 500, non-tech company is composed roughly of 75% of students from reputable or name brand schools
You might be right with the big companies, but even they have had to open their requirements because of the shortage of talent. SMBs can't afford what those reputable school graduates want. So there is a big gap and opportunity which I think the more value priced colleges, boot camps and apprenticeships can fill to add more good paying jobs which will stimulate the economy.
Many American teens are told that they are able to become and do whatever they want and that money, knowledge, education and job stability have very little utility for happiness.
At age 18, "whatever they want" means partying while gaining large amounts of debt and barely passing through a ridiculously easy, but useless liberal arts major.
Based on the number of students who either never attend or fail to graduate due to financial reasons I think most of this could be by our society choosing not to invest in high-quality education and other social support rather than some intrinsic failure of the higher-education system.
This makes no sense to me. The US economy exists to serve the people of the US, and GDP isn't an end to itself.
Those two points, really, have become increasingly hard to argue with my friends the last couple years.
If GDP per capita is the way you're measuring wealth, you're not doing yourself any favor by adding more people to the denominator. Also, having a higher GDP doesn't help if it means everyone is burdened by the additional strain of providing for all the people who are out of work as a result of whatever policy you used to goose GDP.
I wouldn't call a point made less than halfway through the article a "conclusion". He seems to place more importance on incarceration rates; from the final few paragraphs:
As we close this letter, I want to highlight that one bolded paragraph again
As we shall see, a single variable -- having a criminal record -- is a key missing piece in explaining why work rates and LFPRs have collapsed much more dramatically in America than other affluent Western societies over the past two generations...
If we want to see things began to change, we going to have to deal with this variable. Perhaps we should rethink our concept of incarcerating everyone found guilty of using currently illegal drugs. Maybe we need to rethink about how long felony convictions stay attached to personal records.
The key for many is willingness and commitment to it in my opinion. At the end of the day, many folks could retrain themselves with all the tools they have for free online. I find that tech is not a profession you can exactly spoon feed to someone. This is why I think immigrants are an easier solution in some cases.
Of course it won't be possible, but nobody wants to be the first to make a sacrifice for the common good. It's a game theory problem - how to convince them to think more long-term and inclusive while they also compete and are selfish.
I think we should move towards helping people become more self reliant, since there are fewer jobs. Maybe we could bootstrap communities of unemployed to take care of their own needs. Even with all the automation, we still have a job left: taking care of our own family and community.
We could learn a thing or two from Japan regarding re-employing retirees. They feel useful and it keeps them physically and mentally healthy without having to depend on "new blood" to subsidize their lives.
> Judy Banks, a 70-year-old struggling to get by, said she voted for Trump because “he was talking about getting rid of those illegals.” But Banks now finds herself shocked that he also has his sights on funds for the Labor Department’s Senior Community Service Employment Program, which is her lifeline. It pays senior citizens a minimum wage to hold public service jobs.
“This program makes sense,” said Banks, who was placed by the program into a job as a receptionist for a senior nutrition program. Banks said she depends on the job to make ends meet, and for an excuse to get out of the house.
Karma is served!
I've seen much the same thing with people I know who voted for Trump. He's their savior because he promises to "get rid of those illegals". Somehow, it doesn't matter that his henchman Sessions is also going to massively ramp up marijuana enforcement, and this is likely to hit them because they're pot smokers. As long as he gets rid of the illegals, it's all worth it in their minds, even if that means they become a felon and spend a lot of time in a privately-owned prison.
There's a massive part of the population who will not be able to save for retirement. How exactly does one save for retirement when they live paycheck to paycheck?
There is always more work to do. The problem is that there might not be someone willing to pay enough to have it done. This is where the government social program would come in. They basically supplement the income for the person doing the job. The idea being that it is better for the person to work then to just get aid. At the same time, society benefits because that person is being productive.
This is counter to one of the big ideas to solve the problem of loss of jobs, universal basic income. It is good that is being studied to determine if it is a good way to move forward. I think there are people who will make the most of that, which is great. I think there are also people who can fall between the cracks. Within a workfare type program, self motivated people can also be addressed. Perhaps some people's job could be working on their own project, such as open source software or even being a musician.
And I recall reading that there is statistics showing the rates of people improving their situations when working in such jobs, and if I recall right, its no better than compared to people who just get social aid and stay at home. This is one of the arguments in favor of universal basic income when its discussed here.
>I believe that this instinct to perpetuate useless work is, at bottom, simply fear of the mob. The mob (the thought runs) are such low animals that they would be dangerous if they had leisure; it is safer to keep them too busy to think.
The desire to keep people employed is driven by fear, as its known that idle hands are the Devil's workshop.
Completely agree on your idea of a state of affairs being "normal"/optimal/best/whatever....getting everyone to agree on that principle would be a good start.
This particular verb with the word crime--may I ask if you are an American? I've only ever heard people who are not from America say it this way. Americans always seem to say "commit" crime.
I would say that by comparison, the private sector does a better job lately at inventing (bullshit) jobs. The value wouldn't be negative. For example was the CCC negative?
Hopefully choosing such organization would lead to less exploitation and more community value, since there's less profit motive. Also less work on bullshit jobs and commercial crap.
And often, there can be some sort of competition between non-profits, which is helpful too.
One solution is making things cheap.
And one way to make that happen, is by collaboratively creating assets that may have high fixed-cost, but very low variable cost - which what we'll need for BI.
For example, shared community fiber. or on a bigger scale - build together a city ?
The "killer app" for making things cheaper is obvious.
Solve the housing crisis that effects every major city in the world, and you get rid of the biggest expense that humans pay.
It is not even that hard to solve from a technical perspective. Construction costs are pennies on the dollar, when compared to land costs.
The tough part is solving the political problem of convincing all the rich landowners to let us devalue their investment.
By definition, if we make housing cheap, we have destroyed the housing investment of a whole lot of really powerful people.
EDIT:it seems that it's possible legally to start a city with your own rules(as long those doesn't conflict with US/state/county laws):
I don't want to live here when men reach unemployment rates beyond 25% (as the article and book suggest).
As a larger point, I think this diminishes the chances of a "french revolution" style revolution in general, where the huge masses of poor people revolt against the rich. The poor are not well equipped or organized in general, and military technology is increasingly becoming more powerful and longer range. Just think if the richest people were protected by working ED-209's that responded to their command. Even if we had the other 99% fighting them, could they really win?
I would rather be one of 10,000 random Texans with guns than 1,000 national guard.
10:1 are horrible odds in an urban environment against well resourced, well equipped, intelligent insurgents.
Houston for instance is full of chemical engineers, tradesmen, software engineers, and all around handy outdoorsy people. You clearly have no concept of how hard it would be to occupy and hold such a place against such an enemy. I tried to hold territory in Baghdad amongst people who couldn't even shoot straight and we were regular army not weekend warriors and it sucked. It was unpredictable and constantly dangerous.
It'll sort out pretty quickly.
Most of the population will want out. The remnants won't have much by effective resistance.
As the French tankers learned in WWII, superior armour & firepower without coordination and communications as well as force unity doesn't buy you much.
On a side note, I've hunted with Texans before and they put up deer feeders that make noises when they spit out food to draw in the game for easy shots. They also import exotic animals from Africa and stuff them on fenced private property. I don't call that hunting.
Uhhh. I'd check the confidence at the door, here. Places in Iraq (and Afghanistan, where I was) were full of folks who were basically peasants and they utterly baffled us in their commitment and ability to make war. I would absolutely dread fighting an insurgency against a bunch of well armed, well educated, well trained, and freakishly devoted Texans.
EDIT: @remarkEon that's ridiculous. We have ~ 1.5M active troops. Drones, aircraft, firepower and heavy surveillance which these Texans don't have. This is not Baghdad or Afghanistan geographically or politically; it's our turf and everyone would rally around crushing any rogue Texans. Some of you are worried about 10k Texans in some crazy hypothetical situation where they get disgruntled due to lack of job prospects like its the first time that ever happened to the south. Then someone says North Korea is not a threat. I yield.
@remarkEon's history of the US: Scrappily defeats the Redcoats and turns a country into a superpower in a mere 150 years. Survives a Great Depression. Takes down Hitler, the Axis of Evil, Osama Bin Laden. Helps overthrow several dictatorships. Builds the most powerful military in history. Avoids nuclear war with North Korea and other dictatorships. Does not fall due to over extension like most great empires. Ultimate demise: 10k Texans with deer rifles.
A small and highly motivated group of insurgents can completely destabilise a region, rendering it ungovernable. No amount of resources can effectively manage such an insurgency, as we have seen in the quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan. IS and the Taliban aren't very numerous, but they don't have to be. They aren't very skilled, but they don't have to be. They're never going to win by any meaningful definition of the word, but they're not going to lose either. At this stage, an uneasy truce would be a minor miracle.
That's the risk - not a sudden uprising followed by an Independent State of Texas, but a grinding low-intensity war of attrition that drags on indefinitely. Look at the Troubles in Northern Ireland for how such a scenario can play out in a western democracy. The Troubles lasted for thirty dispiriting years. A whole generation grew up knowing nothing but soldiers on the streets, snipers in tower blocks, "peace barriers" and wanton bombing. The vast majority of people in Northern Ireland wanted peace, but a cycle of tit-for-tat is incredibly difficult to break. With enough pent-up resentment and an inciting incident, it could happen in Texas.
It's a lot easier to play a home game than it is to play an away game halfway across the world.
The US could bring a million soldiers to bear in Texas with very little difficulty. With those numbers, they could walk into every part of the countryside with rocks and beat the shit out of any insurgents. More importantly, they could occupy the territory with ease. It's much easier to occupy home turf than it is to occupy people of a different culture, ethnicity, language, and background.
Regarding the Troubles, I don't think that applies here. The Troubles were, at their root, a sectarian conflict. That doesn't exist in the US; it's not like there's a religious minority in Texas that feels oppressed by a government that will never, ever listen to their grievances.
I think it would be much harder. It would be very difficult for the US to keep soldiers committed if they were deployed to Texas. There would be a lot of internal conflict for the military in a civil war situation.
If I see a bunch of gun nuts out there shooting at cops and troops, it's, frankly speaking, an easy call to make whose side I'm on. I trust the government we've got over the one those guys want to install by force.
Anyways this is a fun exercise, not in anyway an exhaustive argument.
Not to mention this whole argument assumes the government isn't siding with the insurrection. Sounds like an odd point to make, but if there was a substantial redneck revolution, which side is Trump's government on? Who will be labeled the rebels?
It's incredibly risky to assume who is on which side of an actual civil war scale uprising. The chances of being wrong are very high, and the consequences are literally life and death.
Have you ever been in a civil war? I have. There are more guns in Houston, TX than there ever was in Baghdad. Local police/fire are cut from the same cloth as the locals, they'd be sympathetic to their neighbors. How do I know? They say so.
Also, there is nothing more terrifying or effective in a civil war than a sniper. Source: been there done that. The U.S. has the largest standing army in the world on opening day of deer season, all with high powered rifles and scopes.
Any uprising could be squashed eventually, but it would take a lot of ordnance, blood, and time.
You also cited Houston which is the 4th largest city that has a crime problem not due to deer hunters, but of inner city folks and saw a crime rate explosion from an influx of people post-Katrina that had lost everything and had little job prospects. You didn't see country people from the gulf area bringing deer rifles into the city shooting people up and starting civil war.
EDIT: to JakeTheAndroid - the parent mentioned as part of their fear - "The U.S. has the largest standing army in the world on opening day of deer season, all with high powered rifles and scopes."
There's no evidence to suggest that those deer hunters would organize in the event of high employment to incite civil unrest which would result in civil war. We saw a rise in crime but did not see civil war when people lost everything with Katrina. And the rural people feared the most didn't do what was suggested.
The crime I'm talking about in the cities, esp. Houston, has existed for a long time. Rising unemployment does lead to more crime in the inner city, primarily by inner city people. I don't see deer hunters organizing and posing a threat. In fact, I'd guess they'd hunker down and protect their property and community and probably assist in any local response to the civil unrest if necessary, not the other way around, posing a threat to other citizens and the government itself as the OP speculates.
In Iraq, the military attempted to take cities in turmoil and were successfully held by normal, everyday people not nearly as well armed as people in TX. You then support the statement by pointing out its already a dangerous place full of armed people being malicious.
OP didn't say deer hunters are the cause of crime, but pointed out normal people there, that well armed with high powered, long range rifles are numerous. They'd likely pose a huge threat.
So, if civil unrest was to break out due to unemployment, this seems like a potentially difficult situation for everyone involved. Pretty plausible to me.
Military workforce by state:
(The map is even still a lie; there are large counties that voted Republican, but the majority of the red by area is tiny little county populations.)
I also don't think that people are particularly stationed by their home state.
First you'd need a political purge of the Army. Anything less would leave the door open to a split in the military. I think history supports this well.
The National Guard will be more representative of their home base, but that is going to be smaller forces that complement active duty, not replace it.
We're talking about a country with 100k+ CCTVs monitoring their own people, loaded with anti-US and anti-South Korean propaganda, forbids internet usage, starves its people, has a top 5 military while being the size of Pennsylvania, and enslaves 200k+ of their own people falsely.
What evidence do you have that they are not a threat?
Hawaii is much closer anyway. Remember what happened when Hawaii was last attacked? We've already deployed radar out of Hawaii earlier this year so we believe it's a threat .
"North Korea is now in possession of a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the US mainland, according to a senior US military official." 
"Despite Pyongyang's apparent progress on a warhead, it doesn't have good enough missile and rocket technology to deliver a nuke -- at least not yet, says Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the Rand Corporation think tank." 
He lost me primarily at this point. From my perspective this makes no sense at all.
I work grueling 12 hour shifts on an assembly line. My fingerprints have worn off some of my fingertips I work so hard; cuts and scrapes all over my hands and arms from handling product and adjusting machines all day. The other day I stood up too soon while ducking under a belt and a sharp edge put a deep gash in my back.
Yet, I have a 2 year degree in mathematics and spend every minute not on the job programming, reading and learning. There is no other opportunity in Western NY for anyone with an associates degree.
I can't afford to commute an hour to work, and I have a broken down vehicle I can't afford to fix because I'm paying tens of thousands of dollars in student loans back for a worthless degree. I live with my parents, who themselves can't get full time jobs (I surmise age discrimination is the biggest factor) with graduate degrees.
America is not what it's made out to be. Neither is this ``education'' that's hyped up in the media and online. While I was growing up my parents couldn't make ends meet while they were both working. Now, as a full time worker, I see that I definitely cannot make enough to live on my own, a single white male.
Obviously, then, the answer is to accept more immigrants, so there's more competition for the dwindling number of jobs mentioned in this article (due to technology...).
> ... the gains in average education and health of the workforce over the last 50 years are unlikely to be repeated ...
Well no-shit sherlock.
People are pitched great promises by institutions and universities, only to find out that there's no job for them after 4 years of their lives and $100,000 of debt have been spent. Basically, they bought another (probably more expensive) house when they can barely afford the one they have. Further, there's likely high competition for anything outside of the medical field.
And good luck getting a job in IT unless you know someone (c.f. the latest SO survey).
I wish you all the best in either getting promoted at work (some jobs actually do) or getting an IT position at another company.
Possibly inspirational for some of you guys: at one point me and a couple of other guys in the IT department where I worked found out the girl who cleaned the floor had an IT degree from Poland an bugged our boss until he gave her a chance. She was good, got a permanent position. (She stayed there for a while, later married and moved across the country and continued to work in IT as a sysadmin.) My point is to be nice and dont give up. I have worked my way up from farm hand through conscription and a few months of construction work as well as cleaning to now being on my way from one Java position to the next. Of course I admit this us probably easier here in Europe but never ever give up.
the theory for increasing the work force is that - the new workers don't displace jobs as much as they also create them.
So those new workers have to eat, sleep and wear clothes.
All of which are needs that have to be met, and so jobs and demand which is also created.
Im guessing, The question is which jobs are taken, and at what wage.
I doubt immigrants raise wages. They increase the supply of local labor without commensurately increasing local demand (immigrants habitually save and/or remit their disposable income, spending as little as possible to get by).
Source? As it seems like a massive generalization that doesn't reflect what I see from my immigrant neighbors.
(I'm not making this last point up by the way. I was warned that if we didn't become more efficient our jobs would be sent to Mexico.)
I'm not trying to be irrational here. I'm just saying that you're thinking at the margin about people's lives, and over time margins get eroded, then eroded some more, then a little more... hence the numbers this person is highlighting.
And, over the course of nearly a century, we see it has dramatic effects.
EDIT: I might also make the point that women entering the workforce definitely, by the looks of these numbers, didn't drive a vast expansion in the number of jobs. Rather, it displaced many men who _used_ to have those jobs, and proved its inflexibility at the same time.
But every time I try and take a stab at this, theres lots and lots of information that pulls in many different directions, and sans a full time economist gig, I don't think this parseable by me (and I've given enough time to it).
So, the theory I mentioned, still holds true - even if someones jobs on the margin are lost.
And at the same time, that loss also holds true, no matter what those theories say.
This is a completely different thing, women entering the workforce did not involve new people entering the consumer market. Immigrants do.
And I mean no offense here, they would need to spend more on housing than yourself in the short term, making them a net positive relative to yourself almost immediately.
Am I missing something here?
Unless you are trying to insult the person you are replying to.
¹Is this the right word? I'm struggling to find the right translation.
Now icebraining can even better.
Moreover, I doubt you're the kind of person who's had to work for anything in your life.
Some of the values younger people are turning to today are hopeful. http://www.generation-online.org/p/fp_bifo5.htm
- Men and women can and should fulfill the same roles in society, a perfect society is one where we have a 50/50 ratio in everything.
- There is nothing we can do about culture/religion, if anything, it is an insignificant factor.
- Economic models work the same everywhere.
- As long as things are relatively stable, they will remain stable, provided we make small incremental improvements.
- Politics still has the same power to change society as it did in the past, and politicians know what they are doing.
- We understand the effects of technology.
just my 50 ¢.
The reasonable take on gender equality is to remove the social obstacles that prevent sufficiently motivated women from climbing to the top of the corporate ladder, or sufficiently motivated men from committing themselves to nurturing their families, as one example. Gender equality is simply the expansion of choice via elimination of constraints generated by too-rigid gender identities.
Let me see.
Laws requiring 30% of election candidates be women? check.
University quotas? Check.
Arguments about "not enough women in <insert random profession here>" because it is not 50% split? Check.
I guess your "No one reasonable is advocating for a mandated perfect 50/50 split." phrase is true, specially the reasonable part, it seems most politicians are unreasonable.
Except for politics, can't be bad at having an opinion ;) Or jobs that any human should be able to perform.
If this is how you believe the world is and it cannot be changed... why the hell do you want to live in it? Why do you care about it? Why do you promote its principles?
My only prerequisite is that no one should assume what my role should me. Lady wants to be a housewife? Awesome. I want to be an engineer? Awesome. All we need is to reduce barriers to that opportunity which I agree to close to complete in America.
I've never heard anyone advocate for a 50/50 split.
What happens instead is that anything that isn't a 50/50 split is assumed to be proof that there are barriers, that someone is telling you what your role should be, etc.
It's lazy thinking, combined with political expediency.
- The same economic model is valid for all markets
Its pretty amazing that Betrand Russel recognized the role of leisure back in his time, when productivity was still not as high as it is today. I imagine that is why he argues for a 4 hour workday, instead of the more radical UBI.
(n.1) Look up school at Dictionary.com
"place of instruction," Old English scol, from Latin schola "intermission of work, leisure for learning; learned conversation, debate; lecture; meeting place for teachers and students, place of instruction; disciples of a teacher, body of followers, sect," from Greek skhole "spare time, leisure, rest ease; idleness; that in which leisure is employed; learned discussion;"
All of those 'avenues of community involvement' are work by this definition. The only problem is if we only define work as something someone is willing to trade their own resources for.... some things are valuable, but don't fit into the realm of something people would pay for (for lots of reasons, in particular if they are public goods that are non exclusionary)
Our current system of markets determining what work is only is applicable for a subset of the things that are valuable to humanity; we use it because it is the best proxy we have at the moment. We need a better proxy in the future.
In other words I agree, I just worry that the people correctly advocating for a cultural devaluation of "work" as an intrinsic good, and possibly for UBI, may also be overlooking people's need for occupation. While it's not an immediate concern, we should still be careful not to advocate for a system which makes meaningful occupation a purely opt-in option that requires significant self-motivated effort. Not everyone will think to opt in or be motivated enough to follow through, and while those people will not suffer from material deprivation they will still suffer, and destabilise and delegitimise the system we're working to achieve.
"1. We want to sing of the danger of love, the daily creation of a sweet energy that is never dispersed.
2. The essential elements of our poetry will be irony, tenderness and rebellion."
"1. We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness.
2. Courage, audacity, and revolt will be essential elements of our poetry."
By any measure of thumos , they are incomparable.
Three months ago I was stopped in Vegas for jaywalking. I was (illegally) searched after not giving consent. I small amount of meth (which I was successfully using for cognitive enhancement for my job as a web app developer) and did 67 days in jail.
I lost everything. All my possessions (I was living at a weekly and they only hold stuff for 30 days). My laptops, phones, clothes, monitor etc etc. I lost my well paying remote job that I had for 2 years and was probably the best job I've ever had. Worse, I lost the respect of my boss whom I enjoyed a fruitful and meaningful professional relationship with.
The remote job was not easy to get as I have prior drug possession felonies in Florida. The idea of having to go through all the hoops to find steady work again 1. at my age 2. as a felon and 3. living in a homeless shelter is almost too much to deal with.
So I am now homeless and unemployed. I am living at the Catholic Charities shelter on Las Vegas Blvd. I recently got a hold of a laptop and am trying to cobble together my resume and find some remote work as I don't drive (I couldn't afford it anyway).
The point? It is going be almost impossible for me to replace the job I had, and in the meantime I'm suffering beyond all reasonable expectation for someone who simply was crossing the empty street with a small of amount of "drugs" on me.
Was this the outcome society wants me to have? To wreck what small success I struggled to get over what amounted to an illegal search and seizure (that's my PD talking, not me)?
Who was the victim of my "crime"? I have been using drugs for almost 40 years and am very experienced on their use for chronic pain relief and cognitive improvement, and to be honest I need it nowadays to keep my productivity high and to help with everything modern webdevs need to keep up with.
So yeah..."Men Without Work" is an ugly issue that keeps free-spirited people like me fucked up for no real reason whatsoever.
I'm in the same boat as you. I have chronic pain and use both morphine and adderall therapeutically. But I have trouble reconciling that you've been using drugs for 40 years and still haven't switched over to legal ones. Street drugs are tainted, often cut, often not even the same substance you thought you purchased. I'm young and I've already learned this lesson. It's unfortunate that it took you 40 years but you'll get back on your feet.
Switch to prescription drugs. Street drugs will cause kidney and liver damage, other organ damage. All kinds of terrible shit in them.
Pharmaceuticals are exactly what you asked for. The FDA is stringent. There are regulations. Big pharma ain't evil, just get the pure stuff legally.
Anyhow, did not mean to preach from the pulpit. I hope you get back on your feet and find a better routine without the unnecessary risk.
This is a major undertaking. Besides the difficulties in the other replies, you also figure that this is expensive. It requires regular trips to the doctor for pain medicine, and possibly regular trips to a psychiatrist for the ADHD drug. For pain medicine, some places force folks to go to a pain clinic, where they drug test you. Smoke some pot to help it out and lose your pain meds.
If you want folks to use FDA approved methods and have actual medical care, that avenue has to be cheaper and easier to use than the illegal stuff and not treat folks like criminals in said system - and for many, it has failed to do this.
Regarding "regular trips", you mean once a month and then probably once every 2 or 3 months once the doctor has established repoire? It is NO major undertaking. Maybe psychologically. Especially with all the rallying on here in support of that notion.
But how many trips is it to visit the drug dealer? And the risk involved with every trip. You are trivializing the mental block by giving validity to what is an easy physical undertaking.
Plus you have to be able to do things like get off work to go to the hospital and have transportation - and he had prior drug convictions, which makes it much harder to even get a doctor to prescribe the drugs.
If these things are "no major undertaking" to you, you've lived a consistently more privelidged life than I have. I might not personally gone his route, but I'd often not be able to get the drugs for myself anyway. Heck, I lived for years without hot water or proper heat because I couldn't afford the gas.
On another note: I'm not familiar with the prices of drugs enough to know if they are actually cheaper than the doctor's office + transport + prescription. Especially with meth, something I've never thought about trying. I am guessing there are more folks in this situation using pot.
Second, I've tried Ritalin and it simply does not last long enough for what I need it to do. I know what works for me and I was very successfully self-medicating myself, and for the first time in a decade I was able to function at a very high level and be comfortable enough to find peace and even happiness.
Street drugs are killing me? No my friend...what's killing me is a criminal justice system and a society that has branded me undesirable and unhireable just because I use substances that they don't think I can handle.
 I am fully aware that most of the readers here are going to pompously laugh at my assertions that I could somehow successfully medicate myself with "street drugs", and even use that as de facto proof that I am insane and/or a hopeless junkie to disregard my situation.
You of course have every right to make such judgements because I too know of many individuals whom are totally unable to function while taking these substances. However, I implore you to not lump me into that group so quickly, and to at least listen with an open mind to the substance of my rants...
You could of gotten a lot of that kind of stuff over the counter fairly easily, and if you were stopped by the cops, you could of given him a bribe and just get out of it.
I don't know how simple that would of been with your prior convictions and all after the fact, but it's an option.
Anyone else in this guy's situation, take it as a lesson and leave the drugs in your house.
OP wasn't asking for your advice about drugs...as a matter of fact dude probably knows more about them than you.
OP was making a point about how the consequences for minor offenses are way too punitive for the crime.
He's right. Having a little drugs on you should NOT be two months in jail...That's insane.
And having a felony should not ruin your life and make it impossible to get a job and take care of yourself and your family.
People make mistake. It's part of being human. But nowdays we have predators in the wings waiting for you to make a mistake, so they can exploit you with moral justification.
Banks, health insurance, governments...
It's really gotten out of hand.
(That being said, maybe this need for "cognitive enhancement" really does arise from an underlying medical condition like ADD. A sane legal system would in my opinion have, instead of jailing, sent this person to a doctor to figure this out.)
The idea of cognitive enhancement is mostly fake. If you're ADD, ADD medication helps, but if you're baseline it doesn't. Get some sleep and go running.
Why has US society adopted this meme that felony possession of, say, cocaine at age 25 should brand you unhireable for much of your professional life?
Obviously, your examples of Portugal and the Netherlands show that there is no overarching societal need for this branding.
It's so fucked how we have this illusion of Drugs being evil pounded into our head from an early age.
When they're not really that big of a deal. Literally like 90% of the country does drugs. Some of the most successful people do Cocaine. Sorry...ALL of the most successful people do it.
You got fucked for being poor essentially OP.
The sick sick part is...it's all exploiting the vulnerable for money. Fines, Salaries, Budgets, Grants for Prisons..
This is all well explored by numerous journalists. I'm not treading any new ground here in my thoughts here though.
Sorry you got trapped in the Murican B.S. O.P.
It is difficult to get a doctor to prescribe you those drugs when you have a history of using meth.
Unfortunately, yes. Drug enforcement and sentencing may be on a slow decline, but moralizing every perceived character defect is on the rise. There's no more effective way to do this than than through policies that not only punish the convicted, but add liability to any landlord or employer that would ordinarily feel that you've paid your debt to society.
Listen I am as cynical as the next guy, but I cannot see why society would want to take a 51yo divorced man, living alone and with 2 very successful grown children, whom had, against all odds, chiseled out a well-paying job and a good measure of professional esteem after many years of rejections, and strip him of absolutely everything he owned and built just because he walked down a street with a substance that our government gives to soldiers and pilots to help them perform their tasks better.
I wasn't hurting anyone...wasn't stealing...my boss loved my productivity and the high-quality of my work. I'll ask again...who is the victim of this "crime"???
I'll go back to the original thesis of the OP and say that why the fuck should people like me even TRY to find gainful employment when all society wants to do is rip it away from us for not conforming to often-arbitrary norms?
Perhaps many of you want to moralize here because, frankly, that's the only rebuttal that allows you to comfortably go back to your chosen life and feel unaffected by the plight of the millions like me whom have given up on trying to find work, but consider one thing...it's not the drugs per se that makes one a "bad" person, it's whatever crappy, hurtful, and illegal things one does to others in the course of one's use that makes one a dirtbag and a "menace to society."
Not everyone acts that way. Stupid is as stupid does.
Tech seems to have a larger percentage of people who approve of (or at least don't condemn) drug use than many other industries, so there's at least some reason for hope. Good luck.
That said, I disagree with the libertarian argument against drug use. Drug laws, aside from their fundamental purpose at enfranchising drug companies and imprisoning Black men, are supposed to prevent a race to the bottom where everyone feels pressure to enhance their performance with dangerous drugs.
You can handle meth? I don't doubt it. I also don't doubt that only 1 in 10,000 can (or whatever it actually is), so in the same way I think we restrict the use of things like cars, cranes, guns, planes, etc., we restrict the use of drugs.
I'm sorry for what's happened to you. Our drug laws are terrible. But legalization isn't the answer.
What is deeply maddening, however, is the fact that the police violated my liberties and right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure. It was an open and shut case according to my public defender and the whole thing was recorded on his body cam, but I quickly realized that I would have spend significantly more time in jail waiting for a trial to beat it then I would by taking a "deal" where the case was dropped to a misdemeanor.
At the core of it, my inability to create loving relationships at this point in my life, the kind that could have helped me bail out in time to not to lose my job, handicaps me in a big way, and surely is a driver of my substance use as well. I have learned a great deal about addiction in my 35 years of using and there is little doubt that the core cause of my use is relationship-based dysfunction.
And yes...I can and do handle meth as I use it almost exactly like caffeine. I worked for 10 months here in Vegas and my boss never even knew I had moved here from Florida...that describes perfectly how little I changed my daily routine.
In that time, I built Facebook and Twitter bots using the latest APIs, decoded and reimplemented an online version of a very complex standalone Medispan pharmaceutical drug database schema, designed/implemented a high-performance PHP MVC framework (and much the code for the actual applications), and designed/implemented a seamless, secure API interface for our Ionic 2 mobile app. Also wrote a standalone subscription-based cart and billing module using the Stripe API.
Oh and I am most proud of the Fastlane integration for the Ionic apps that I personally developed (thank God for the cognitive enhancement for this!) the MS and OSX server scripts to totally automate the creation and submission of 100s of branded mobile apps for all our pharmacy clients. Last I heard, our competition hired two PhD Computer Science professors to attempt to catch up as we totally blew by them with the systems I designed.
But I fully expect no one to believe me, because, of course, “drug addicts” such as myself are simply worthless pieces of shit that have no place in society besides, perhaps, working as minimum wage laborers.
This is the life I live. I don’t recommend it.
Edit: unless it was for medicinal uses, rather then performance.
That aside, the laws are still unjust.
> I'll go back to the original thesis of the OP and say that why the fuck should people like me even TRY to find gainful employment when all society wants to do is rip it away from us for not conforming to often-arbitrary norms?
I could not agree more.
I studied econ in college, and looking at our society and how we judge and reprimand, the dumping of babies and bathwater, we've got to be wasting supra-historical sums of human potential and welfare. But, on the other hand, unintended cruelty seems to be our nature.
Although Ctrl-F shows me a few hits for "criminal" here, I see no substantive discussion of what is arguably the article's tl;dr.
That is, with admittedly some license taken, it is arguably the bloody War Against Drugs that has been destroying the US economy and culture.
If productivity is rising why isn't the costs of goods and services falling?
If the overall costs of goods and services are falling wouldn't that translate to less labor to maintain current standards of living?
If less labor to maintain current standards of living was a reality, why is less labor necessarily a problem?
If the goal of productivity and efficiency gains in the labor market is reduced costs in goods and services, why is price deflation of those goods and services a bad thing like we're continually told?
What is the real goal of a monetary inflation targets of 2%? Why 2% and not 3%?
The 'inclusion' narrative is something to be lauded for sure, but people are good at different things -- if someone is just plain not capable of being an engineer or doing whatever other white collar job du jour, what then?
What if they can't manage a vocational skill either? What if they can, but don't make the effort? Then what?
We have to face the reality here: Most people simply are not needed anymore. If your wages are not rising according to inflation, the market has spoken and your current profession has an oversupply of workers. It is as simple as that.
This is not true.
This can be observed in many "western" countries to different degrees.
Also bodes well for pro-UBC arguments.
I don't think the early pioneers needed "work" to catch food, build shelter, and grow a harvest.
Do you want "pioneers" fighting off rural/suburban families for their land?
>The technology that I’ve been looking at lately (and much of it is not public) convinces me that younger generations are going to live a great deal longer than they now dream possible.
It's certainly possible science will discover a breakthrough, but there's no trends to suggest it yet.
2. Entitlements from the Gov are preventing men from entering the workforce. I know of able bodied people who just collect payments from Medicare and decide not to work, which actually makes a lot of sense. Which would you rather do? Sit around and do nothing for 800$ a month or work minimum wage for 1300$ a month?
This problem will only be exacerbated by an unlimited flood of low-skilled, poorly-educated immigrants, legal or otherwise, into the US. Yet the Democratic party is staunchly opposed to any measures the might stem this flow. Instead, they lecture and name-call one of their former major constituencies, working-class males, who are the big losers in this equation.
Skilled immigrant here, not in America. Could you guys (Americans) please get on with leading the world. This is a tough one. We leave our countries because conditions are not good (to generalise). The root cause is typically bad government. A dictator, corruption or just bad economic decisions. I do think the most sustainable solution is for all countries to attain a level of acceptable governance. Rooting out a dictator is hard, predicting what happens afterwards is harder. I still feel the world is giving dictators/corrupt governments an easy ride.
Before you start saying all governments are corrupt. Again I have to generalise. There is a joke that does the rounds every once in while. I am paraphrasing. African and Asian guy study engineering in the west. Both become ministers of transport in their governments. African guy visits Asian minister. He notices the Asian minister has property and cars well beyond a government salary. He inquires, Asian takes him to window, points at modern highway, winks and says 10%. African guy nods knowingly. A couple years later the Asian guy visits his African counterpart. He too notices the African guy is rich beyond a government salary. African guy takes him to window points at highway, Asian looks hard but cannot see highway. Confused he looks at African guy and says he cannot see it, the African minister winks and says 90%. That is one of the reasons I am an immigrant.
There is some merit to what social conservatives say in that traditional white male masculinity is changing in American society. Ultimately, I view the changes as a good thing, but for those not exposed to a sphere of influence close to them where other acceptable alternatives are promoted by people they trust, they see a void in their lives that are not adequately filled. This is very much a social problem.
I don't know what the solution is - this is merely observations I have had in my interactions on both sides of the fence.
I said "working-class males", not "white men", but your overall point is correct. The problem is, the Democratic party places a higher priority on helping the disadvantaged and downtrodden citizens of other countries over the ones in the US. The fact that low-skilled immigrants are taking jobs that the "Men Without Work" who are US citizens could do is apparently of no concern to them. Nor is the fact that an unlimited supply of low-skilled labor will drive down the cost of low-skilled labor in the US, and hence, the standard of living for those citizens who are not cut out for white-collar work.
People mostly only see what they have now compared to what others have in their social sphere, as it translates to social ranking. When people talk about "better opportunities" it lacks understanding of just what the social sphere encompass.
For example, there was a study in wage differences done in Goteborg (Sweden) which found that in the age group below 25, women generally earned more than men for the same job and education. Between 25-35 there was no wage differences, and above 35 wages slowly started to favor men with the higher differences when people reach over 50. If we then count the number of years people stay in the work force we can easily see that 35+ is significant larger than 25 and under, but is it fair (and empathic) to call it an privilege for young men that old men at 50+ earn so much more money than women over 50?
The Democratic Party and the left movement in general could start to switch rhetoric towards individual needs and disadvantages rather than generalizations of groups. It would still be the same politics but it would include everyone who at some point in life, location, (or any other qualification) becomes disadvantaged compares to others in their social sphere. Young white men without work is their voter group if they just stopped generalizing them into the privileged rather than the disadvantaged.
people only see the delta - how much they used to have, how much they have now.
The difference is the tendency - if this is downward future looks bleak even if "objectively" your life is better than others
And how much others have and they have.
I'm not one to truly believe that she could've created a miracle, but it seems to me that it's better to be sober and encourage retraining sets of people into new jobs related to say, solar energy engineering, instead of attempting to abolish regulations on dying industries (coal) or encourage more industries that are likely to have little job gains due to automation (e.g. manufacturing).
Also, given the access to affordable, if not free online education and incredible resources online (photocopied textbooks, discussion forums, insightful blog posts, step-by-step instructions, high quality videos), I'm left somewhat less sympathetic to people who are completely unwilling to train themselves in other industries that are in demand, when my own dad who truly struggled in an extremely poor family in the middle of nowhere, Asia, and earned a scholarship to study medicine.
I feel this odd dichotomy where some Americans have this 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' mentality (and consequently, dislike things that could benefit everyone like single payer health insurance), have access to an incredible environment(free resources online, no major civil war, clean water and food), and yet don't take advantage of it to its fullest.
People don't want to hear that the old blue-collar middle class jobs are dead. They don't want to believe that automation is what will exist if that manufacturing comes back.
A strong focus should be on "a path to employment", your job is to follow the path and you are guaranteed to have a job. (Which may be following a different education path (retraining))
Welfare, which maybe those voters aren't even on anymore, is demoralizing. It's expecting different results from the same effort; applying for ever 'job' you can see, many of which are simply recruiting agencies and other black holes which won't even end up hiring someone.
Here's another idea. If the millions of people who are in the US illegally and working here were to be deported, and new ones stopped from coming in, it would open up jobs for the millions of American citizens with below-average IQs who are currently unable to find work. And it would increase the wages for all of the American citizens who do low-skilled work.
Of course, would you support a national ID card as a means of combating this variable you accuse?
In the US we pretty much have such a thing already, just without any proper security or identification aspects... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Erp8IAUouus (A short (< 8 min) video by the ever informative CGP Grey on the inanity of US SS cards.)
I blame the federal government, which has willfully failed to enforce the laws that are already on the books.
And the Democratic politicians running these "sanctuary cities" who are willfully thwarting enforcement of federal immigration laws.
The Democrats and their smug upper-class elites have well and truly stabbed the American working class in the back. Anyone who thinks Trump won Michigan and Pennsylvania because of Wikileaks is way off the mark. That's the last thing a man cares about if he has a family to raise and a mortgage and he's only qualified to do manual labor and he's unsure that he'll be able to stay employed to retirement.
Oh, and constantly calling those people racists and xenophobes doesn't help the Democratic party much among those people either.
* Democratic party's actual donors, have the economic interest of having immigration legal or illegal, continue. * If you have unfortunately bought into the meme of Dems being kinder, examine how much wealthy Dem politicians actually donate to charity each year. I bet, as a percentage of income, it is less than you (HN reader) give.
Republican party donors are split on the issue, while Trump's stated interest was on limiting it - thus the R political in-fighting going on and the relative Dem solidarity.
Scrotus Trump has barely addressed education policy which is the solution to allow people to join the new knowledge economy. As a matter of fact he put a completely incompetent person in charge of the dept of education.
Trumps views are either dishonest, predatory, or completely delusional.. I'm not sure which.
The implications of all of them are terrifying.
It's not that at all. Trump realizes that, for example, the steel industry would not employ as many people as it did in the 1970s even if we barred all imports. It simply takes far fewer people to produce a ton of steel today than it did back then.
But for people who would work in steel mills today if the jobs were still around, why shouldn't they get first crack at jobs that are still around today that are not vulnerable to automation and imports, like landscaping or hanging drywall, rather than those jobs going to low-skilled, low-educated immigrants, illegal or otherwise, who in many cases are working under the table, not paying income taxes?
The Democratic party is stabbing those people in the back. Those people don't want UBI, they want decent jobs. And they're being royally screwed by the party to whom they were so loyal for so long.
> Trumps views are either dishonest, predatory, or completely delusional.. I'm not sure which.
> The implications of all of them are terrifying.
Trump's views are based on putting the interests of working-class American citizens ahead of the citizens of other countries, unequivocally and unapologetically.
And the Democratic party and their smug upper-class elites do indeed find that terrifying, as well they should. Trump is not like other gutless Republicans who are either in the pockets of big business, or who are still afraid to be called racist.
And that's why they're going all in to destroy Trump. They realize that if he's successful, it could be the beginning of a sea change that could drive the Democrats out of power at the federal level for decades.
Agri-business wants cheap labor to avoid having to invest in automation for hard to harvest items - thus they benefit from illegal immigration, a source of cheap labor.
If immigration is in fact cracked down upon, then they will invest in automation rather than paying the higher labor rates that will be in effect.
The flaw in your reasoning is that not everyone has the actual ability to be a knowledge worker, as I think you would define it.
By definition, only the top (25% ? 30%? 40%?) portion of the population can do it well. So what happens to the others?
"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half" -Jay Gould
If you are alluding to Mexicans, they will just up and go home. They are here to provide for their families, if they can't do that from here they might as well join their loved ones back in the old country.
Here's some supporting evidence to my claim: http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/11/19/more-mexicans-leaving-...
This problem will only be exacerbated by an unlimited flood of low-skilled, poorly-educated women, legal or otherwise, into the traditionally male US workforce. Yet the Democratic party is staunchly opposed to any measures the might stem this flow. Instead, they lecture and name-call one of their former major constituencies, working-class males, who are the big losers in this equation.
but honest Q: wouldn't (next to job market restrictions) an alternative solution to this problem be better education?
that way they don't have to compete for the same lowskill jobs.
I really don't think so, and here's why:
I grew up in a steel town in the rust belt that was thriving up until the 1980s. Among my peers, almost everyone's father was gainfully employed, but relatively few were doing white-collar type work. (There were plenty of those types in the region, they just didn't live in the same neighborhoods where I lived.) So the people discussed in this article are not some abstract sociological concept to me, they are where I came from. Now I live in a neighborhood and school district that is predominantly white-collar with aspirations of higher education for the children growing up there, but I still have strong ties and frequent contact with my old world. And, from my experience, I know there are many men who are simply not cut out to be "knowledge workers". I don't need an expert or a study to tell me that.
These people saw their opportunities and incomes shrink (or disappear altogether) from an onslaught of imported manufactured goods. And now, they see their already shrunken piece of the pie being taken by immigrants. The Democrats tell them, "college for everyone, go to school and be a computer progammer!"
To which they reply, "Screw you, we're voting for Donald Trump. He cares more about our interests than the plight of poor Mexicans!" (And then they turn on the TV and see some Democratic politician talking about how hateful and racist they are.)
Ok to paraphrase and understand your main point:
The blue-collar attitude is part of the local culture b/c it's so dominant?
In your pov: What paths exist other than showing and creating other possible alternatives? Personally i can't think of any other way than high quality education for the general population. (but obviously super biased here)
These are men who would be farm labor in another era, except that we mechanized all of that. Or they might be steel workers in another era, except that we mechanized all of that and then shipped it overseas. Many of them are tradesmen or warehouse workers and will be mechanized out of a job in the coming decades.
It's not that they don't have anything to offer, but it's that as a society we no longer have a productive use for them.
Honestly, I think a lot of them will become more involved in child care than their wives over the coming decades, and I think that that transition will be hard for us as a society. The only other alternative I can think of involves us colonizing the Moon or Mars, because those are the kinds of places where men like these shine.
While the wives do... what? Work white-collar jobs? We've just been talking about how hard it is for a certain subsection of men to get these jobs, so why are their wives able to fair better? Is it because women are smarter than men? Some other factor?
It's right there in his comment:
> I think the point he's really making is that there are a lot of men who aren't cut out for higher education or technical school. It's not that they're not capable people, but it's that they think very concretely and it's difficult for them to grasp higher education because of all of the abstractions.
Women are actually pretty good at that. I say this as a man who really struggles with it, with a few friends that have the same issue.
But are they just flat out better at it than men? What data do you have to support that assertion? Remember that the majority of programmers are men, and the majority of STEM faculty at research institutions are men. You may struggle with certain things, but there are many men who don't. And of course there are plenty of women who struggle with CS as well.
The generational declining male labor participation rate. The economy is being geared towards knowledge work and has been going that way for some time, yet men are participating less, and women are participating more.
That very dynamic would seem to suggest some underlying issue, and IMO the issue is that generally speaking, a large portion of our society is incapable of doing the type of work the economy is geared towards and rewards most heavily (outside of finance).
Here is an example article about the differences in academic behaviors between men and women.
> Remember that the majority of programmers are men, and the majority of STEM faculty at research institutions are men
I'm trying to speak in aggregate, but I do concede that most of our profession is male. The entire population of our profession as a percentage of the workforce is rather small though, as compared to something much more accessible to the average person like being a truck driver (which itself is going away sometime in the next 5-10 years, only exacerbating the problem being discussed here).
That doesn't mean that all women are participating in "knowledge work" jobs though. K-12 education and healthcare are also two fast growing sectors that have a high proportion of female workers. I doubt that all jobs in those sectors should be considered "knowledge work".
Participation stats for women could also be due to sectors like HR, or just generic office work. Obviously I don't deny the existence of female programmers and scientists. I just don't think there's evidence to suggest that they can do those jobs strictly better than men can.
>a large portion of our society is incapable of doing the type of work the economy is geared towards and rewards most heavily (outside of finance).
I think this is plausible.
I think you missed my main point, to wit, that in any given population, there will be a significant percentage for whom manual labor is their only viable means for doing productive, remunerative work. Consider that the median IQ is 100.  That means that half of US citizens (roughly speaking, since I don't know how that was arrived at) have an IQ below 100. So they're never going to be engineers or software developers or pharmacists. And, yes, there may be a cultural aspect as well, but if that were the only obstacle I would think it would be surmountable.
These people have it hard enough with imported manufactured goods, automation, and soon, AI, reducing the demand for people of their ability level. And the Democratic party wants them to also compete with immigrants who are even more poor and more desperate than they are.
> In your pov: What paths exist other than showing and creating other possible alternatives? Personally i can't think of any other way than high quality education for the general population. (but obviously super biased here)
Another alternative is to recognize the fact that, while unrestricted free trade and immigration may improve certain metrics like GDP, and corporate profits, that not everyone automatically benefits from growth in those metrics. We could structure our immigration laws in a ways that do not further erode the already-shrinking piece of the pie that our citizens on the lower rungs of the achievement ladder are relying on. What might we call this new approach to governing our country? Perhaps there's something catchy that would resonate with those voters. Perhaps something like "America First!"
Oh wait, never mind, Chris Matthews on MSNBC said that phrase is "Hitlerian".
Ultimately, this is the question: people may have "had it" with automation and AI, but are they willing to pay for a product built with more expensive labor? Because in the end, price rules in many people's minds when it comes to the choice of goods they buy. And businesses know this.
You could restrict immigration to zero in my opinion, and this still would be a problem. Most factory floors are heavily automated. It's kind of like many farm crops: it would be foolhardy (more costly, less reliable) to force farmers to replace the single combine with huge amounts of human labor. Likewise, you're not going to replace the machines on the factory floor with people unless you accept a much higher price for the consumer. Heck, you could eliminate all imports, and manufacturing floors still would heavily use machines.
That's why ultimately, it is difficult for me to envision a path for many of these people that does not involve some sort of education, training, or similar. It doesn't have to be STEM type work.
But 1950s style industrial work is not coming back, immigrants or not. Eliminating the immigrants would only open up the opportunity for certain low-salary manual labor positions. While that might add jobs, it won't be the same kind of jobs their fathers had.
Just take Japan's NEET problem and multiply it (at least) a few fold. That isn't just what is coming for us, it's what is here now, and getting worse.
Other commenters have said it better than I could but many people in our society are just not suited to the solution being offered here (and elsewhere), of more education and training. They just aren't.
Additionally, it is not an unchangeable attribute, it just doesn't tend to change. This has more to do with people's circumstances and environment not changing than their inability to change. There is clinical data demonstrating IQ changes of over 20 points within the space of about 4 years. I've read about a number of cases where impoverished children with below average IQs achieve above average scores several years later with improved nutrition and an enriched environment.
Ok, but how many master-level players have average or lower IQs?
Small firms account for 55% of all jobs and 66% of new jobs and 54% of all US sales . Leadership can do a better job of incentivizing entrepreneurs to start new businesses and to help SMBs hire more people. Requiring health care and rising costs coupled with a highly indebted workforce makes it more difficult for both parties. Education can also help prepare more entrepreneurs.
And in the US, it has also created a lot of people who are capable of neither, but are saddled with crushing student loan debt.
He gives off infowars vibes, imo..
Looks like he's sponged up just enough game theory to rationalize madman theory. Make what you will of his page on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Adams
post script: the only thing I know is that attempting to show others what you know/opine makes them know what they already know more intensely. Meaning, if my comment does anything but raise an eyebrow, simply wipe the memory of my comment and discard my opinion. The last thing I'd want is people who like Dilbert to adhere to Scott Adams' beliefs for the sake of having to protect their enjoyment of Dilbert, I guess..
Perhaps if you stayed in school longer or got a degree in something less useless?
Your reply has achieved little more than strengthen my point. And, at that, in more ways than one.
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14017679 and marked it off-topic.
Besides, the parent post didn't lay blame on Trump, it did the opposite - it said that Trump election is the consequence of immigration policy, not its cause.
Furthermore - since we have such a well-tuned two party system, there's always about 50% of people that feel at least a little disenfranchised.
We've had good presidents on both sides and terrible presidents on both sides. Either way, you can rarely tell until you look back through the prism of history. Our media amplifies the divisiveness because it plays off of psychology and works for them.
for reference for other reader: every other comment by this account - either troll or opinion straight from the 50s
in case this is a serious comment:
"brown people party" "slugs and thugs" - most issues (as said outsider here) america faces is because you have too many desperate people not because you have too many races.
imo healthcare, education and other "social issues" for the general population reduce the amount of desperate people.
Our "grab them by the pussy" president, who you apparently just love, actively hurts women AND men by ignoring the fundamental problem of a people without support. You are the problem and you are pathetic for making it somebody else's fault.
Many communities to this day can only afford shaming and there are lots of people raised on the ideals of personal responsibility and staying out of trouble for the good of you and others who would have to support you if shit goes wrong. Suggesting that everybody is to compulsorily pay for bastard children or other avoidable misfortunes is bound to piss them off. That's how your pussy-grabbing politicians rise to power.
Unless personal responsibility in your view only applies to sex? I'll also add the same people who you say are so angry at supporting bastard children seem to take issue with providing universal access to birth control and the choice of abortion when necessary. Doesn't seem like a winning strategy to me.
> Holding people responsible for their actions is cheaper than bailing them out
And Plan B is cheaper than raising a child.
less education -> less opportunity makers -> less opportunities
Yeah, paradox, I know. One can dream, though :)