One in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a wage. - Buckminster Fuller
... via https://github.com/globalcitizen/taoup
Finally, nothing in evolutionary biology teaches us that human beings ought to work. Studied hunter-gatherer societies are as multi-faceted as agrarian and technologically driven ones, but they all seem to share a 20 hour work week and a strong affinity for story telling and art.
Honestly, if you followed evolutionary biology we all should be working quite a bit less and producing way more art. The idea that people will fall into dissipation without work is supported by very little science, and certainly no biological science.
Human beings need missions, not labor, to be fulfilled. The market economy seems capable of only supporting a very narrow slice of mission oriented work, the rest does seem like drudgery to me.
If you inconvenience 100 million people by costing them 15 minutes more a day, or a few dollars more for lack of competition, then the cost per person may be low, but the cost altogether will be high.
This is the essential problem I see with the articles, they say so many jobs are useless, but often they're useful but only a small part of what is visible.
"Just pay teachers according to the intrinsic value of their profession." But it's not immediately obvious what this means in practice. Suppose wages were set not by congress and not by the market. According to your moral calculus, what is the correct wage and how is it determined?
Similarly, hypothetically speaking, perhaps teachers are the most valuable profession to society, but if there's plenty of people willing to become a teacher, and plenty capable, there's no reason to reward these people with vast extra sums of money for the sake of their value.
Such a system would lead to extreme inefficient allocations of resources, an oversupply of teachers.
Yes, if teachers are valuable and you can't find people willing or capable to do the job, then by all means, raise their pay. That's the reason I think many teachers deserve more pay. Not because they're intrinsically valuable.
Public sector workers can leave for private wages, and for most comparable jobs, are paid similar wages, perhaps more so when adding benefits of most public sector jobs compared to volatility in private equivalents.
So maybe the wage is not the result of public artificial restriction, but of the value placed on the jobs themselves in the open job market.
Also not US teachers are among the highest paid in the world, certainly the OECD, likely because of Baumol's Cost Disease (which would imply US teachers are intrinsically overpaid, but receive the wages they do because schools must compete with outside even higher paying jobs to attract teachers). So perhaps it's not simply the US or public systems, but this is around the value on such skills worldwide.
So either the entire planet places similar utility on teaching as measured by pay, or the entire planet, public and private, has reached the same wrong conclusion.
a. Are accurately pricing teacher pay (if the upper bounds of private schools are any indication, we are not)
b. The downstream effects wouldn’t be catastrophic.
Certainly most American parents could not afford to properly educate themselves enough to do this job, let alone educate their children.
Finally, a miseducated generation of children would probably end up costing us trillions of dollars in incarceration, health care, etc.
You must think about the nth order effects of these things. Hence our completely inaccurate valuation of them.
Why would you look at the upper bounds?
> Private school teachers make way less than public school teachers. Average salaries are nearly $50,000 for public, and barely $36,000 for private.
Another problem with this line of reasoning is that people assume that they can always utilise 15m in a productive way or that not doing anything is not productive. How many times do you need a break everyday? How many times would a 15m break to relax and refocus or meditate actually benefit you rather than trying to force some work?
Of course people would get by, but their lives would be worse and advocating for making people's lives worse is kind of a shitty thing to do.
Also see both my points. You don’t know if their lives would get worse. You’ve just assumed that the main goal of everyone is to hyper optimise their lives.
 Because they have said they do, repeatedly, with their wallets.
Many jobs are quite meaningless, and the only reason people work them is because they have bills to pay.
On the other hand, creative people will find something meaningful to do that may or may not ever be a contribution to society.
Yes, and in pretty much every conflict against hard working agricultural societies, they got wiped out.
Who is we? Who sets the price?
People obviously don’t see more value in teachers or caregivers, price should not be mandated by law
And given the marijuana legalization trend as of late, I really don't believe that people see the value of locking people up we are angry at. People we're afraid of, sure, that's a different story. But a non-violent marijuana offense shouldn't get a 15 year sentence.
Let's be clear, government should control the market, not the other way around.
But I agree that in most countries prisons are true hellholes
In the US laws mandate certain level of care, and government prefer to pay someone else than handle the costs: unions, pensions for those prison staff
That's part of how we got here. Prison is just one option. Fines and orders to curtail freedom is another. E.g. Court ordered monetary restitution and loss of one driver's license are examples.
Here's a short version of how we got here:
1. Make more crimes to felonies subject to incarceration.
2. Imprison more people.
3. Remove felon's right to vote to make change to the current system.
4. Build more prisons
5. Privatize the prisons because government needs so much more of them now.
6. The prison lobby now argues for more harsher sentences.
7. GOTO 1.
Missed this one in my earlier comment
A particular job being important in aggregate does not entitle each individual who does that job to a salary higher than people who do some other job that might be less important in aggregate.
Oxygen is very important and it's free. Certain comic books are expensive despite being of very little importance to our survival. The value of a thing is the price of one additional unit of that thing, not some statement about the moral significance of all of that thing in aggregate.
Practically speaking, voters do because we live in a democracy.
It is perfectly fine for a society to decide "a full time job should have to pay enough to cover a person's full-time living expenses", to define all those terms reasonably, and presto enforce it as law.
Comparing it to a holistic societal value (quality of life, family time, other non-monetary factors) is a disservice, that I believe negates the (subjective) "effective and adaptable" value measurement of the free market.
Otherwise you're just distilling people's lives and communities down to a dollar value, which in many people's eyes is the dark/down side of capitalism and how we ended up here to begin with.
Taking an example from a parent post - caregivers do NOT have high relative economic value. Anyone over 18 can become a caregiver without even passing high school and become a certified home care aide. Enforcing a higher pay through law will is only likely to increase un-employment. The market on the other hand is self-correcting.
The federal government being the lender for loans has only lead to higher cost of loans and un-employed arts graduates who cannot get a job and cannot payback those loans. Without the federal government backing, those loans were un-likely to have been offered in the first place, unless there was current/future demand for arts graduates.
I strongly believe that most aspects of living (for people and communities as you put it) indeed need a dollar value otherwise un-realistic and un-workable economic expectations come into play.
We have seen this play out in the past with failed governments and we will continue to see this in the future.
What's wrong with that? Our resources are finite. Our attention is short. We have to prioritize society's investment. How can anyone decide on the relative priority of two things without casting them to some common unit? It's only when we describe people's lives in terms of dollars that we can make intelligent decisions about where to apply society's scarce resources.
Not some social welfare activist or even some elected representative of the party in power.
At a political / social impact / behavioral hacking level, there's probably an argument to make near human grade medical services for domestic pets free, as it would likely assist with the reduction in human population growth (aside from companionship, etc.).
I am consistently amazed how cheap and fast medical services are in developing countries. The equipment costs so much less outside of western regulatory oversight, and to the consumer standard blood test batteries are often ~5-10 minutes and ~free.
This makes me wonder how much other countries indirectly benefit from the regulatory oversight that exists in the west. It's the regulatory oversight, compounded with capitalism, that produces medical equipment. Then the oversight over its usage probably adds to the cost of deploying the equipment.
Does the lack of, or reduced, latter oversight contribute in any major way to the pricing discrepancy for procedures for which that medical equipment is necessary?
On the other hand, not only does the east manufacture many of the pharmaceuticals sold in the west, it is a vast market which provides additional revenue with a convenient geographical separation which is difficult to arbitrage (Ibuprofen costs nothing in India compared to the US, but you don't see Indians flying to the US with suitcases of pills for sale).
This is a common misconception of what healthcare services are. People pay more for unsafer cars every day or decide to travel by plane that carries life&death risks for the pleasures of tourism. Life is a currency we pay with anything, from eating garbage to smoking and drinking and fundamentally, taking risks.
That being said, I don't like commuting by bike because of all the dorks going 50-60mph in a 35mph area. Not worth it. Also makes you think twice before slamming the accelerator when I myself drive. Something like every 10mph faster you go equates to like 50% higher risk of fatality- and when your knees and back are the crumple zones, no thank you!
Risks are an inherent part of life. I've dealt with a popped lung before- likely because of athletic activities- and I wouldn't not do those because I might get hurt. If you don't take risks, are you really alive?
Also, wages in the low wage jobs ARE GOING UP, as mentioned throughout the comments
I do a lot of hiring. You are correct and further - literally any gap at all is viewed as suspicious. And there aren't many reasonable explanations that help the situation.
I walked off one job, and went traveling for six months. Another job I was on the losing end of a political maneuver, and used my severance to take another six month sabbatical.
Each time I returned to the market I received 20%+ compensation over what I had before. The second time I was promoted into management with hiring authority.
Let me know who you turn away for gaps in their resume. Maybe I'll hire them. :-)
Maybe I am misunderstanding here.
I once, as an intern, had an HR assistant bring my application for a permanent position back to me because she wanted an explanation for why I was unemployed between June and August of the previous year (a year in which I was enrolled at a university.) I explained that I was in school and most companies don't hire people for only 3 months over the summer so I spent that time learning a programming language. She walked away looking annoyed.
We never got to choose how our economic/productive output is valued or disposed of, we just were born into this highly unequal and unfair system and had to play along or die. I'd find that a lot more frustrating than the proposal that, if the technological and resource capacity exists to provide enough for all, it should be shared relatively evenly.
Bastiat said it long ago: men have the tendency to overvalue their own work and diminish the work of others. There is no better system known to man to solve that issue than the free exchange and refusal of services between them.
When someone says that a farmer that can produce food for a thousand people thanks to productivity gains should mean that people eat for free, does he mean the farmer should not get paid, or does he mean that there should be no farmer? Clearly the idea that because productivity is up there is free labor is a fallacy.
Simply taking their economic output is not incentive
Especially random_compat (145 million installs) and sodium_compat (6.5 million installs + WordPress 5.2).
My revenue for all of this OSS work was precisely $0.00.
When was the last time any of us looked something up in Encyclopedia Brittanica instead of Wikipedia?
The carrot-and-stick incentive model doesn't work for fully self-actualized adults.
I posit that it only works when you use an oversimplified model of human behavior, rather than the messy truth that is humanity.
Your revenue may be, but people behind Gstreamer, Linux and other important serious opensource product do it for money (sometimes pretty big money, Linus has $2millions income).
> When was the last time any of us looked something up in Encyclopedia Brittanica instead of Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is looking for money constantly, the have sponsors, donators, without them it would cease to exist.
Also Wikipedia's quality often is pretty abysmal, especially when it's not in English.
> The carrot-and-stick incentive model doesn't work for fully self-actualized adults.
Sure, let's suggest to abolish patent system and see how many fully self-actualized adults will oppose.
Cryptography patents makes us all less secure, because nobody uses patented cryptography. It's a net-negative in my industry.
Call me when you start building houses for free. ;-)
But for those who could be fully self actualized but arent yet and have to exchange time for food and shelter?
To explain: I said it doesn't work with people who are X. Then I posited that it only works in condition Y. Y covers all cases, including non-X, and therefore answers your question (with respect to what I'd posit).
If your mental model of humanity is deeply flawed, you expect carrot-and-stick motivations to work. It doesn't matter if they're self-actualized.
If anyone is still confused, this might be worth a read: https://www.amazon.com/Drive-Surprising-Truth-About-Motivate...
What does that mean? Supporting all the rest at 1970 first world living standards? And how is that a fact exactly?
And in most cases a broader community of people working jobs! Huh, turns out those jobs ARE useful. (Sorry in advance for sarcasm.)
Maybe it's not something to be so proud of. If people are having to come out of the woodwork to take jobs that aren't moving the average wage up, maybe they're doing it because they have to, in order to get by.
Is it a good thing that a 60+ year old goes back to work at a low paying job because he/she can't pay the bills?
Furthermore, we are reaching the limits of what monetary stimulus is able to achieve in driving the economic wellbeing of everyday Americans; history has shown that fiscal stimulus is better at that. A decade of easy monetary policy and balance sheet expansion has yielded a large divide in inequality and asset inflation. The non-asset owning working class have effectively been left behind, with now a larger wall to climb in order build relative wealth.
I personally don't think unions and collective bargaining are the best solution, as it can in some cases be overbearing on industry---and the burden can be non-uniformly applied across industries. Also, due to globalization, there is effectively a fixed marginal cost for labor: any inefficiencies will be arbitraged abroad. Even if unions and collective bargaining were the solution, there is no inherent law that labor demand and labor supply will always be near parity---especially with increased automation.
I think the best solution to resolve this, both uniformly and with minimal aggregate complexity, would be expand the Federal's reserves responsibilities into the fiscal space.
The Fed currently has two mandates: low unemployment, and stable currency. I propose a third mandate: wage and productivity parity. This would be facilitated by direct fiscal policy in the form of a floating universal basic income. This would enshrine the fed with ability to affect fiscal policy without politics. The stimulus could be progressive, but would be much more uniform---unlike today's pork projects that have a smaller share of winners.
This coupled with universal health, easing the burden of hiring and firing, consolidation of existing entitlement/social programs, could really open up the economic landscape.
This is a very complex solution for a problem we already have the tools to solve. Politicians should just execute proper fiscal policy instead of leaning on the fed for every solution. We already have a decent system for this, which has historically worked, but no one is using it.
Other countries are able to execute proper fiscal policy without complex central banking paradigms or measures.
The real issue is our inability to plan long term fiscal policies at almost every level of our political system.
Even today, the European Central Bank is signaling that it has effectively done all it can do (without permanently harming the banking sector with negative rates), and that it is time to open the doors to fiscal stimulus; but, Germany, which is going through a manufacturing recession, is loath to update their constitution to facilitate fiscal stimulus.
By what means would you give this third mandate to the Fed? Surely, politicians give this mandate, through the voters. In which case: how can you say it’s “without politics”? Because politicians create the laws that govern central banks, central banks cannot be said to be politically independent.
I guarantee you, if a central bank — any central bank — stopped monetizing its government’s bonds, the currency produced by its member banks would quickly lose its legal tender status and tax privileges.
What you are implying is that "low unemployment" means people who didn't want to work are being forced to. But that is not what the usually-quoted (and quoted here) unenmployment number means. When people quote "unemployment" they usually mean U3, which is the number of people who are actively looking for a job.
If what you describe were happening, that dire economic conditions were forcing more people to look for work, the "unenmployment rate" would go up, not down.
The unemployment rate is not the labor force participation rate. And even the labor force participation rate is deeply misleading, because it encodes demographic statistics in a way that has complex effects that are hard to account for.
I just watched the documentary "American Factory" (highly recommended), and it's pretty clear to me that doing repetitive manual labor work in a factory is grueling, mind-numbingly boring, dangerous, and not something we should be doing if we can automate it - not to mention low status and low pay. I'd bet that most of the politicians idealizing manufacturing jobs have never worked a manufacturing job before. It's absolutely nothing like any cushy office job. At the end of the movie when they talked about how they were replacing the humans with robots, that should be something to celebrate (but it's not because our society forces people into employment to make a living).
Those workers were making $12/hour at the Chinese owned company despite having made $29/hour in their unionized jobs at GM before it closed. It's not as if the $29/hour jobs were some utopia, but it's a massive difference in pay that affords one a middle class lifestyle. And as a worker, feeling like you have no representation and no say can make any job soul crushing.
Yet politicians talk about "jobs" as some unequivocally good thing as if we're all partners at law firms with corner offices making six figures or whatever they're used to (not that I'd ever want to be a lawyer). They're so clearly out of touch.
As for whether it is something that should be done or not: why should programming be done? How do most apps benefit the average person. I'm willing to argue that FAANG companies have been detrimental to society.
I've also been well-payed at the factories I work at, but $20/hr in rural Iowa goes way further than in LA or wherever. There were quite a few people who had moved from cities to work where I was at.
The idea that automating these jobs is a good thing demonstrates how out of touch you are. A lot of people were worried that long-term our jobs would be automated or moved to Mexico.
 This may depend on what is being done and more importantly on the age of the company.
Great, if you like working in a factory, then all the power to you. Personally I'd probably be contemplating suicide if I had to work on an assembly line in a work environment similar to how the film portrayed the factory in China, working 12 hour days with only 4 days off per month for crap money.
I never claimed that all programming benefits society.
> the idea that automating these jobs is a good thing demonstrates how out of touch you are
The fact that you'd write such a dumb baseless insulting comment shows how out of touch you are. Since you didn't provide an argument, I'm not going to waste my time trying to decipher whatever your reasoning was and respond to it. Also it doesn't even really matter if it's a good or bad thing because it's happening, and there's nothing you can do to stop it (unless you're suggesting some kind of ludditism movement of breaking machines for the sake of preserving jobs, which is just flat out stupid).
That's such a ridiculous statement for someone on HN. If we were to believe such a thing, why would you want to advance at all, if not for removing/reducing the work load imposed on people, or, equivalently, improving productivity per working hour?
EDIT: An article in the NYT regarding this topic came to my mind - about automation/robots etc. in Sweden. Can highly recommend it: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/27/business/the-robots-are-c...
Unskilled labor isn’t worth a whole lot, and our country has a lot of it.
How do you make everybody an engineer? or... is it not even possible? Are some (most?) people mentally incapable of being engineers with the proper education?
It's just the kind of marketing that happens to work with the Protestant mentality of the majority of people here. And that's slowly starting to change, with Sanders and other progressive politicians asking about the well-being of Americans as opposed to raw numbers about whether they can work 4 part-time jobs or not.
A 60 year old who is voluntarily retired is not "unemployed". If they later end up taking a job due to financial hardship, that changes the unemployment rate very little; it just adds 1 to the denominator of people in the labor force.
Edited to add that there's a further problem: it's hard to find work when you're 70, and it's even harder to find 'knowledge work' for most 70-yr-olds. So the 70-yr-olds I know looking for work are working freelance or contingent sorts of things, or working retail/post office/food service -- and some of those jobs are physically difficult. One guy I know was doing a 6-week temporary USPS gig, working 4 am-noon shifts loading things from here to there. He mentioned he'd never been as sore in his life as he was the first few weeks. Many people would not be able to physically do this work at that age, frankly.
Even if there are, that's not going to lower the unemployment rate significantly; it's more likely to raise it. Say there are 100 million people in the labor force, of which 4 million don't have jobs. The unemployment rate is 4% (4/100). Now 10 million previously retired people suddenly realize that they need to go back to work, and they all get hired instantly. The unemployment rate falls to 4/110=3.6%, not a huge change. And in reality all of those people won't get jobs immediately, and while they're looking they're counted as unemployed. If 1 million out of the 10 million former retirees haven't found jobs yet, the unemployment rate rises to 5/110=4.5%.
Why have people doing crap jobs that are better automated just because they can’t afford to live otherwise? The system is broken, in that we need to better support the folks on the fringes so we can just automate away a lot of mindless, repetitive boring work. The remaining jobs can pay well, and we can stop benchmarking the economy of how many people we put to work regardless of the meaningfulness of what they’re doing.
Why waste a human life flipping burgers or banging away in the mines? Make robots do that, and let’s provide a solution to the displaced, like for instance basic income but totally open to alternatives.
Because we don’t have the technology to actually do that? We don’t even have the technology to replace the guy taking drive through orders. (“You want one Big Mech?”).
This discussion is pointless and premature. There are enormous economic incentives to automate away every job that can be done efficiently though automation. It’s just that our technology is actually very primitive, and that shows when trying to apply it to replacing service workers.
Yeah we do, touchscreen menus (or ATM style pushbutton menus in places with bad weather).
There are factories that assemble frozen mini burgers for supermarkets. There are pizza vending machines out there. So an entire fast food restaurant could be turned into a vending machine with current technology.
(My own guess is that touch screens are still more expensive and buggy than humans, and machine-made food still trades off novelty to be profitable. But I don’t know.)
I'd also be curious to see any user interface studies on these touchscreens. In my limited experiences, they are completely slow and thus an awful experience. They clearly are trying to sell more at every step instead of being useful and efficient for the end user.
You will ultimately order on your phone or a kiosk
Most people don't have savings like they should. There are older folks who are gobbling up jobs tat were historically what younger kids would work. Those benefits are not large sums, so one could imagine someone working into the late 60's to maximize the actual retirement cash flow.
For those who did save... likely don't need to start pulling benefits early.
Over all... wages rise if there is competition for talent. Even if it is on the low end of entry level jobs. If there should be so many low end jobs, without 'normal' benefits... is another really good question.
Someone who is not working by choice is not unemployed.
It's part of the marketing used that also seeds self-doubt into many citizens and saves politician's faces:
"How can something so complex (at scale) and studied as unemployment be wrong? I must be the problem finding gainful employment, everyone else is doing great based on these numbers, I guess I need to work even harder to pickup my slack. My representatives even tell me everyone is doing great, look at the GDP and DOW soaring! What am I doing wrong?? Why cant I find a job, I guess I'll have to take whatever I can get." etc.
If the retiree didn't get a low-paying job (Uber driver etc.), his neighbors would be forced to care for him through social welfare taxes. With a job, he supports himself. All the resources freed up can be put to more productive use.
They don't discuss the important details because it doesn't drive votes. They also as a challenger during the election want to hold the incumbent to a standard they might not be able to maintain. Politicians, as a breed, are adverse to "live by the sword, did by the sword." As a result we get politician-speak as the normalized standard.
90-60 = 30
30 is 0.5 of 60.
And in the most recent years, wages are going up across the board at the low pay tier:
It’s utterly ridiculous to call these things “market failures.” Every single one of those areas is not a market but is heavily regulated in a way that limits supply. Education mostly a government service, even at the tertiary level. Fully 50% of college students attend a public school.
These are actually IMO all examples of Baumol's Cost Disease as healthcare, child care, and education simply do not scale or require less workers with improved technology (at least so far). The fact that BCD hits so hard is evidence of most of the efficiency gains over the last decade(s) not being shared with the majority of people.
This is hardly a market. Even if people wish to move their children out of public schools en masse, it's not like governments are going to reduce property taxes accordingly.
It's actually even worse than that because you pay for public education even if you don't use it.
So in that regard, if you send your kids to private schools, you're paying for their education twice.
This makes it very difficult to compete, and as a rayiner pointed out, isn't a real market.
I think the best solution to this is vouchers, which is a nice blend of public dollars but competitive schools.
Private systems aren't outcome orientated, they're profit orientated. If a public school and a private school are both given $n to educate a kid, the private option will maximize the proportion they get to keep.
Elite schools are a different story because they have significantly more resources.
The free market is good at some things, but the public wellbeing isn't one of them.
Maximizing your profit margin is one strategy for increasing profits, but growing market share by producing higher quality outcomes is another (arguably more common) strategy.
This is the case because markets have competition, which the public sector lacks. It’s why spending on public education continues to rise despite decreasing quality of outcomes.
This argument falls on deaf ears to be honest, considering Amazon deals with a very similar situation due to rampant fakes and yet it's more profitable for them to simply do nothing.
The problem is that for-profit industries only work when the consumer and business interests are aligned. In education the best way to earn a profit is by offering a low quality degree and spending the least on teaching, facility etc. That's the entire reason why McDegrees exist. Considering schools are also highly tied to physical locations, there's less possible competition than you think.
Amazon's infrastructure (1 day delivery) is good and valuable, but their service (products, etc) are severely lacking. It would be beneficial, in the free market sense, for the government to break up Amazon, split out that infrastructure part make it rentable, and have the rest of Amazon compete with other providers to provide a service on top of this infrastructure.
Same goes for all natural monopolies (e.g. gas pipelines, optic fibre internet, rail, ...).
Part of this is due to the fact that there isn't (and probably shouldn't be) a singular national system for education. Another part is the fact that quality education is insanely high-priced because a parent has to pay for the public and the private system concurrently. This pressure pushes private tuitions upward and makes the private schools more exclusive because they can't take on kids below certain income thresholds at all.
This is one case where I believe regulation has actually hurt the US citizens a lot. No child left behind was a staggering failure, and most people would be better off making their educational choices for their children based on what makes the most sense for them, not based on a legislated prescription of certain topics (or the intentional avoidance of others, namely human health and biology...)
How does that hurt public schools? I would assume that would help public schools. Because instead of the top 50% of kids (e.g.) going to private schools, now only the top 10% of kids go to private schools. Thus public schools are filled with smarter kids.
Because of this, what actually happens is the top half of students that can't go to private schools get an underwhelming education. Compounding on that, local districts can mismanage funds and security to an extent that reduces the likelihood of a student's success in the classroom to near-zero.
Net result - <10% of students get a great education and greater opportunity. 40% come out 'fine' but not particularly ready for entering the workforce or higher education. The rest come out with an education that is measurably substandard, resulting in a significant hardship.
Example numbers, based on your comment.
Based on what I've read about the US education system (primary schools), one of the main problems is the "no child left behind" policy, which makes the public system not "outcome oriented" either - kids simply have no incentive to even try (and are disruptive instead), as there's no valuable outcome to achieve - the (fake) "outcome" is the same for everybody (finishing school), regardless of their actual level of education.
It's a hard problem.
How do you define everyone, access and good?
Does access === free where I currently live?
If parents can’t afford to live in an area with good schools should they be forced to get better jobs or moved to LCOL area so their kids get a better education?
or no matter where you live or how you live a third party should make sure your kids get a proper education?
Everyone means everyone. Access means that based on where you reside, there is a school within a reasonable distance, or transportation to one. Good is more tricky to define for me because I'm not an educator. The US has metrics and tests for math skills and reading comprehension. I'm sure we can gin up something. Use other developed countries as a benchmark.
>Does access === free where I currently live?
> If parents can’t afford to live in an area with good schools should they be forced to get better jobs or moved to LCOL area so their kids get a better education?
The whole point of my comment is that people shouldn't have to make that decision.
> or no matter where you live or how you live a third party should make sure your kids get a proper education?
parents should have to send their kids to a nearby school. The rest should be taken care of.
You're introducing way more complexity into this. Good schools vs bad schools, HCOL vs LCOL. Not every school has to be exceptional, just bring up the average.
The problem lies with evaluating the quality of education. Children aren't very capable of evaluating the quality of their own education (and if they are they often aren't taken seriously or they don't have any choice in the matter anyway), and parents are too far removed or often don't know the subject matter very well themselves. The only way (and even that is an inaccurate way) to evaluate schools is by doing statistical analysis on outcomes. The crucial point is: the only data you have is outdated by years, perhaps even a decade or so. Education is a strongly reputation-based sector for a reason: reputation is the only way people have to evaluate your product. I don't believe there's a way around this.
In a for-profit corporation, particularly in a publicly-traded one, there's often pressure to optimize profits on the short term. So if I'm the unscrupulous CEO of a for-profit school, I can always deliver very easily by simply cutting costs even if it dramatically hurts the quality of the education, confident in the knowledge that by the time the effects start getting noticeable I'm long gone. The short term profit motive of a publicly traded corporation works perversely here: there's always the temptation to sell the reputation you built up yesterday to turn a bigger profit today; no one will be any the wiser until it's too late (and they paid a lot of money for sub-par education).
Of course public or non-profit institutions are also vulnerable to bad management, but at least no one has a strong incentive to gut their expenses, as no one stands to gain.
Still there are a few issues that would need to be fixed, off the top of my head: (1) the function should simply be a mean, to make schools focus on desired outcomes (e.g. the minimal (or 5th percentile) education) - otherwise they'd just focus on producing a few outliers, like VCs; (2) there needs to be a "default" funding available (e.g. average of all schools) to enable innovation (starting new schools); (3) there needs to be some funding available for "non-profit" education (e.g. art) but maybe there should be a limit on the number of people that can attend such schools (for free).
Keep in mind I was replying to a critique of "Education and health care are out of reach for many" which obviously implies higher education
If we fix these I'm sure the equation changes a lot for many, many, people.
If the market is broken for pricing these main things, then even if everyone suddenly gets an income increase, it probably wouldn't matter much.
Do away with, or at least reduce, this bogeyman and I wonder how much economic activity we’d unlock.
There’s a supply and demand problem. Limited supply (real estate), lots of demand, therefore prices go up. Those who can afford it do pay it and are competing with each other to pay for the property they want. Why would New York or Bay area housing ever go down?
Time for more people to admit they can’t afford to live in the best + most popular places and instead move to “less desirable” places, like Iowa.
This is just artificially limited, because existing home owners don't like to see their property prices fall due to increased supply.
Certainly not on housing. The cost of housing/rent is predicated on a shortage of hoarded, largely untaxed land.
Not everyone makes makes minimum wage.
I am of the opinion that low wage jobs are a form of UBI. In this manner, individuals are paid a basic income in exchange for their productivity. However, these jobs are not meant to create wealth. They're meant to provide subsistance. This is much the same goal of UBI.
For those that say that benefits (health, retirement, sick pay, family leave, vacation) are necessary in addition to low wage income which often does not supply many or any of these benefits, I would say that is the case for UBI as well.
For UBI to work, there must be a base of benefits to support the UBI. As such, I see UBI and low wage as fairly synonymous except that UBI is seen as providing income without any productivity required of the individual, and low wage being UBI with required productivity.
In many ways UBI and low wage work come at odds. The more that UBI is offered, the less that individuals would want to do low wage work. Rather than pushing up wages for low wage work, dis-incentivization of low wage will push employers towards automation. As such, low wage is a support of employment generally. The more that employers move towards automation, the more that low wage jobs are eliminated, the more that UBI becomes the only alternative to low wage. As such, low wage jobs do provide a necessary function in the economic system.
This is just food for thought.
UBI promotes subsistence but crucially allows someone enough time to find more substantial opportunities.
And UBI won't necessarily kill low-wage work – in some ways, it makes space for it. I'm an EMT, and I make minimum wage, and I work 48-72 hours a week on the ambulance. UBI would make it so that I don't need another job to support a family, and could live healthily and with dignity on just those 48-72 hours a week.
That is the goal of all jobs, high, low, middle
Employers are not charity, they do not employ people so they can have a good income.
Employers employ people because they need work done to make money off that work, the second you cost your employer more than they make off your work you are out of a job.
Sometimes that cut off is more direct (i.e if you make widgets your per hour the rate of manufacture can easily be factored into the cost of making the widget) but if you some do something more nebulous like cleaning the floors, or filing papers, that can be harder to calculate but every business does.
I'm not even a proponent of UBI, but I immediately see a few problems with your argument here:
1) They often don't provide subsistence, hence the necessity for many people to have multiple jobs. While we can adjust UBI accordingly (to some extent, obviously CoL is a thing), it's significantly more difficult to adjust around people working multiple jobs.
2) You're missing a critical component of UBI, which is that people are free to pursue whatever they might like (including nothing at all) without the fear of losing basic necessities. Low wage jobs obviously preclude you from doing that--because you're, well, spending your time working those jobs.
This is hyperbole of course, but we may very well be missing out on a modern-era Emily Dickinson or Darwin because they're spending all their time working minimum wage jobs.
3) Everyone's already moving heavily towards automation. Corporations don't employ people out of the goodness of their hearts. The second it becomes cheaper to automate something, those jobs will disappear. You can already see this to some extent with automated checkout lines, internet vs. retail shopping, etc. Unless you do something drastic ala NJ and Oregon with enforcing low-wage work like gas station attendants, those jobs quickly fade away.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this. UBI allows people to pursue what they are passionate about, work where they truly want to, and help start a new business. The data backs that people will not work less, but be able to have more freedom in what job they do work in. I highly recommend Yang's book about this: https://www.hachettebooks.com/titles/andrew-yang/the-war-on-...
Personal gratification in the form of extremely boring, demeaning, repetitive work which barely gives you enough money to live in poverty?
> However, these jobs are not meant to create wealth. They're meant to provide subsistance.
Minimum wage jobs are not meant to provide subsistence. They're meant to extract maximum profit from financially vulnerable people.
> Rather than pushing up wages for low wage work, dis-incentivization of low wage will push employers towards automation.
That's already the case regardless of UBI.
> As such, low wage is a support of employment generally.
Not really, I doubt Google's software engineer hiring gets harder or doctors go out of work if less people are willing to work minimum wage at Walmart.
If anything, a UBI enables low-wage work, especially when that work provides satisfaction to the employed. It also can increase economic productivity because the labor market will be able to distribute labor more efficiently.
Lastly, the benefits point you made does make sense, except a "retirement" benefit shouldn't be needed (it only exists because eventually you can't do work but need money - basically what UBI already is)
Also to add to your points above, in the scenario where all possible low wage jobs are eliminated through automation, this would require a dramatic restructuring of the labor pool and economic environment. This is further evidence of the role low wage plays in current economy.
In the situation where low wage jobs are fully eliminated, all that remains are concentrations of high wage / self-employed pools and a very large amount of automation systems that would require management.
Perhaps one alternative to UBI is the creation of patronage systems that can support human endeavors where no productivity output is required, but human creativity output is desired. Something to think about.
On the other hand, a low wage job takes up the same amount of time as a regular job but doesn't provide many of the benefits (e.g. financial security, sufficient discretionary money to pursue your goals, the ability to purchase a house, etc.).
My position pays well and I'm an expert. I can choose my job to a certain degree and people are looking for me to keep me.
This is luxury. You are at the grace of your shift manager.
Our society needs a way to ubi to find a new more fulfilling future with tons of automatization. Like in Star trek.
UBI allows people to be productive in ways that haven't always been appreciated by society such as raising children, producing a profound portfolio of art, or caring for the disadvantaged.
When unemployment is high, the house organs lament the poor people out of work. When unemployment is low, the house organs lament that it’s the wrong kind of employment. And always, the problems can be solved with putting my candidate in charge with access to a lot of other people’s money.
That's because the US housing market is open to the richest people around the world who are looking for a place to store value. US property rights protect value better than property rights in China.
Development and renting it out locks you into contracts where you can't flip as quickly (low liquidity). So you don't develop or use the land, just wait for your investment to accrue.
Some subgroups, like minorities and young adults, have been plagued by much higher numbers which are a problem. Someone who can't get a foothold in the job market will likely have lifelong challenges.
A rate of 3.5% almost certainly mean improvement for these subgroups.
(eg, they include college age students when they are usually left out because things like increase college enrollment would skew the numbers).
All their distributional data and numbers for what counts as low wage workers comes from a 2012-2016 Census Bureau survey. They then claim without much justification "we think it is unlikely our finding would change significantly if we considered more recent wage data" for the 2017-2019 period.
strangely enough they exclude graduate and professional student, but still include 18-24 year olds in high school or college. And they exclude self-employed for reasons similar to why you would want to exclude 18-24 year olds. And that 18-24 year old group accounts for only 4% of mid and high wage work, but 24.3% of low wage work, so it is clearly skewing the results.
And the largest category of low-wage workers (a plurality) is classified as "low-wage workers in a family with mid- to high- wage workers". I'm not really sure we care about that as much.
Reading more, they have some very strange inclusion/excisions, such as they exclude professional and grade students because they are seen as having a career path, they include "springboard jobs" because some might not transition out of them. That's just sloppy and lazy.
Sounds like some serious data hacking going on.
While it's theoretically possible that they might have spontaneously started doing these jobs if a UBI program had been initiated I'm not aware of any example where this has happened.
Caring for the elderly, caring for children, my elderly neighbour who sometimes picks up trash on the street, etc.
There are all kinds of crucial work our society desperately needs done, but which are often not even conceptualized as work because there's no wage attached to it.
For example, suppose in the past one spouse worked a job for a wage/salary and the other spouse cared for some of the couple's ailing parents, provided childcare, and cooked for the couple's children and parents. Now instead, the second spouse also works a wage job, both spouses pay higher taxes some of which go to caring for the old people, and with the extra income they instead purchase prepared food and pay for daycare. The economy grew a lot because formally unpaid labor is now being paid for, but is everyone better off?
Note: I don't think women should be limited to being homemakers, this is just an example.
If you don't like your job and you don't think it's actually worthwhile it serves as a reminder that you're wasting your potential, and that can be incredibly detrimental.
"Oh, you want more jobs, great! here you go! We'll cut the hours by 1/2 and employee twice as many people!"
Unemployment goes to 0% but so does quality of life. So the real question remains, what are the metrics we really value as a society and what do we need to do in order to optimize for them?
Unemployment isn't a useful metric anymore.
# of households in America + average household income?
I honestly don't know what it would be (happiness, freedom, life expectancy, etc) but that's the goal.
A measure of how many households live above the poverty line would be a step in the right direction, but also frankly the poverty line in America is set too low. People 10% above it are still too poor to live comfortably on their income.
The civil rights act prevents minority only businesses ta boot!
The worst thing to happen to minorites in the US was the civil Rights Act of 1964.
That's an...interesting perspective on what most consider to be landmark legislation in American history. So I looked it up, because I didn't know what you were talking about.
"Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees were originally allowed to continue discriminating under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Equal Opportunity Employment Act of 1972 changed the law to require all businesses with 15 or more employees to adhere to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."
I'm still shocked that discrimination is allowed for any business at all. But you weren't entirely correct.
Also, the Act's other benefits have to be weighed against allowing discrimination in small businesses. Small businesses that were racist and discriminatory before the Civil Rights Act could continue to be so after it, but could only grow up to a certain size. That's still an improvement on what existed previously, which was that they could be racist and discriminatory forever and always.
If I was a minority in the 60s I'd consider federally guaranteed right to vote, equal education, stay at any hotel, use any public water fountain or bus, and be considered on an equal basis for federal jobs, private sector jobs in 15/25+ employee firms, loans, assistance programs and the rest to be a massive gain over the status quo. You're entitled to your opinion on the CRA of 1964, but to most people it's going to sound bizarre. Sorry.
> The civil rights act prevents minority only businesses ta boot!
I don't know what "ta boot" means so the meaning of this statement is unclear.
If a minority runs a business and only wants to hire minorities they have a greater risk of being sued because it is easier for a person in majority race to prove discrimnation.
It increases the cost of doing so, which is really the point. People and businesses respond to incentives.
> small businesses account for the most employees.
That's not been remotely true for the past 26 years (you're welcome to find data before that). Businesses with up to 19 employees (i.e. the ones exempt from the Equal Opportunity Employment Act of 1972) employed only 20% of employees in 1993. And that share has fallen over time - it was about 17% in 2019.
And even if it were true, all the other benefits of the CRA would still outweigh this one flaw. I think you underestimate the effects of generations of violent voter suppression, and segregation in education, businesses, housing, and other opportunities.
> If a minority runs a business and only wants to hire minorities
A small business (< 15 employees) that only wants to hire minorities would also be exempt from the Equal Opportunity Employment Act wouldn't they? I'm not a lawyer, I still can't believe this is actually legal, and maybe there's some other law elsewhere that makes this illegal. Discrimination is wrong, no matter who does it. But what you're saying wouldn't happen either.
The CRA increased the incentives to discriminate for small businesses as I am trying to illustrate above and below.
> That's not been remotely true for the past 26 years (you're welcome to find data before that). Businesses with up to 19 employees (i.e. the ones exempt from the Equal Opportunity Employment Act of 1972) employed only 20% of employees in 1993. And that share has fallen over time - it was about 17% in 2019.
It is not about the mandates in law. It is about reality and risk. If I want to sue my employer for firing me due to racial reasons, I have to prove in court(or EEOC has to prove) using company statistics(unless explicit evidence exists) that they have a practice of discrimination. This is easier to do against larger employers with more employees. For me to sue a small employer, whether they employ 100(52% of jobs are attributed to 100 employee or less businesses according to Texas Law Now;2012) or 19 employees the statistics are harder to prove because of the small sample size. Employers know this. That establishes a difficulty for minorities to sue small businesses, which allows small businesses to discriminate.
Combine that with the fact that if an applicant does not get hired, it is incredibly difficult to even begin a suit without internal knowledge of the company, ergo it is less risky for employers to not hire minorities to begin with.
> And even if it were true, all the other benefits of the CRA would still outweigh this one flaw. I think you underestimate the effects of generations of violent voter suppression, and segregation in education, businesses, housing, and other opportunities.
I find little comfort in being able to vote, go to school, etc if it results in poor opportunities to be gainfully employed. As I stated before, prior to the CRA wealth(power to influence vote/education/business/etc) of the largest minority group in the US was rising; according to Thomas Sowell.
And as I showed, small businesses make up a minority of employment opportunities. The CRA increased employment opportunities literally everywhere else such as in government jobs. To go from "100% of businesses discriminate" to "50% of businesses discriminate" is an improvement in absolute terms. It didn't take away job opportunities that existed. If a small business was racist before, it would continue to be racist afterward. Do you have proof that small businesses began discriminating more after the CRA than they did before?
> This is easier to do against larger employers with more employees.
> For me to sue a small employer, whether they employ 100...or 19 employees the statistics are harder to prove because of the small sample size.
Citation needed. In a business that small, everyone knows everyone else. It should be way easier to gather data.
> That establishes a difficulty for minorities to sue small businesses
Whereas before the CRA the option to sue didn't exist at all and all businesses, of every size, could discriminate with impunity.
> I find little comfort in being able to vote, go to school
Fortunately most people disagree with you.
> As I stated before, prior to the CRA wealth...of the largest minority group in the US was rising; according to Thomas Sowell.
That would appear to coincide with the post-WW2 economic boom. I imagine every group in the US got wealthier in that period. I'm not well-versed with all the factors and history after the CRA, but correlation ain't causation.
So was I. My logic is simple to explain:
Pre-CRA - 100% of employers (small businesses, large businesses, medium business, non-profits, governments) could discriminate, and many did.
Post-CRA - < 100% of employers could discriminate
Therefore, the number of jobs available to everyone (minorities and non-minorities alike) went up. It's simple math.
I don't understand what your logic is. Because you've said both:
"Small business owners do not hire minorities because they risk being sued when they fire them."
"If I want to sue my employer for firing me due to racial reasons, I have to prove in court that they have a practice of discrimination. This is easier to do against larger employers [than]...a small employer. That establishes a difficulty for minorities to sue small businesses, which allows small businesses to discriminate."
So minorities find it harder to sue small businesses, but, also, small business owners don't hire minorities because they risk being sued. What? And small businesses only worry about lawsuits by fired employees, but not ones by candidates who feel illegal bias was a factor in their rejection. Why?
> I would have a hard time trying to find sources that are going to admit to discriminating publicly
Don't necessarily need that. Economists have all sorts of ingenious ways to tease out this information from other labor and employment data, EEO surveys that many employees and candidates fill out, and other things. If there's any evidence of what you're suggesting, there would be clues in that data.
> I'm done.
Me too, friend. Take care and a (slightly belated) happy new year. :-)
Well this is certainly an interesting take of the situation.
While your comment does not add much to the conversation, I appreciate your skills in ambiguity.
Life in those days were in extreme poverty by today's standards.
>The majority of low-wage workers (77%) have less than a college degree,
So there are 53 (1-0.77) = 12.2 million workers with college degrees who are only able to earn "barely enough to live on".
Poor instruction or irrelevant majors in college? Or drug use, criminal convictions, disabling disease or injury after college? Long term career success has a lot to do with parents, friends, spouses, and children as well as a large helping of luck.
Did over 12 million people in this country really get worthless degrees or become incapacitated?
Getting a "good" degree might not matter so much, if so many other people also got those degrees. One could say that degree is therefore no longer so good, but there is not an endless train of "even better" degrees for people to move on towards.
Long term failure also has a lot to do with parents, friends, spouses, and children as well as a large helping of luck.
Further advancements in AI and automations will make more and more jobs obsolete. Therefore, we will end up with high unemployment, low pay jobs, and fierce competition for decreasing number of available positions. The owners of businesses will mostly benefit from the automation. It would be a good solution to introduce convenient life long education and universal basic income. Since businesses benefited most from the progress it is reasonable to tax them in order to pay for social policies.
I am afraid, as soon as we tax businesses more they will move to the countries with low taxes, that are less social towards their citizens. The automation actually can make that move fast and not expensive.
In the end, it will be win for companies and loss for the citizens of both countries.
Is such scenario realistic? What can we do to counter it?
In 1000BC men and women did flour of wheat manually. They do no more, these jobs are obsolete.
In 1000AD men and women did butter of milk manually. They do no more, these jobs are obsolete.
In 1500AD men and women did threads of fur manually. They do no more, these jobs are obsolete.
In 1940s women did manual calculations and typing for military, science departments, newspapers. They do no more, these jobs are obsolete.
The whole history of humanity was full of obsolete jobs. Could people in 1000BC ever thing that women would write programs in Python instead of beating wheat? No, they could fancy neither Python nor computer.
People will simply explore other possibilities being free from obsolete jobs, making more services available, more possibilities open.
Two hundred years ago a massage would be totally unavailable for an avg peasant. Today you could have a massage any day because automation let more people do it getting the price down, as well as overall welfare up.
Future is pretty bright exactly because automation, technology would make some jobs obsolete, so more people could navigate spaceships or do other stuff we couldn't even fancy yet.
In the old days even the dumbest man could carry grain from one place to another or push a plow. Even the dumbest woman could churn butter or milk a cow when told to.
These low-IQ individuals do not have the mental capacity to switch to Python programming - regardless of education.
So the "IQ floor" of the economy is rising. The result is that the high IQ people are fine, but low IQ people end up simply unemployable at any job. It's only in the last 50 years that the IQ floor rose above an undeniably noticeable chunk of the population. 10% of people are under IQ 85, which is too dumb to join the US army (by law). Too dumb to be trusted with powered construction equipment.
Leftists can't conceptualize this problem because of their egalitarian worldview, and rightists either talk about bootstraps or might not even care, seeing it as a sort of justified Darwinism.
This. So much this. And it would take a Julius Cesar for everyone to see the truth… With physical force. But this hypothetical ruler that saves the day would be an unseen actor, its ideology nonexistent as it corresponds directly with truth as it functions; in contrast to any flawed human character that reasons from humanity, that is, from emotion, prejudice, and mistaken bias. Not seeking glory and fame but instead, letting go of lustful passions, giving what must be given and withholding what must be stored or withheld—achieving balance with the Force. So this implies that the brave Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker was actually Julius Cesar.
I bet this is a wrong implication. Agriculture is way harder than writing php.
> The result is that the high IQ people are fine, but low IQ people end up simply unemployable at any job
Even if this implication were true, there is a whole bunch of new jobs that don't require you to be smart.
You could do sports, train people, be a waiter or a beauty blogger or a web programmer or a politician. I would dare say that the amount of stupid work is growing.
And avg person is not dumb at all, never was. The dumbest few always would find some way of doing some service job, especially when service field is growing. All kind of grooming does not require you to be especially smart, even chimps can do that.
an illiterate man can pull potatoes out of the ground.
You need to put it there first, and do so avoiding the eruption of soil. Agriculture is very hard and requires much knowledge. Without knowledge you'll destroy both the crop and the land.
It's like the difference between programming (fulfilling tasks), and system architecture, which is something I can't do because I don't have experienxe with huge enterprise stacks.
For a visual example, look at John Malkovich's character in the film version of Of Mice and Men. He's mentally retarded. But people tell him - "carry these bags over there". And he does it, and he's useful. There is no job like this now. He's too dumb to be a barista or a gas station attendant or a line cook.
But x% of us will live really well.
The stakes in agriculture are higher. Who ever thinks manual labor is easy doesn't know what they are talking about. Apart from the tiredness, fatigue part of it. You also get injured, could lose crop to disease, floods etc.
Agriculture is harder than writing code. In fact that's the whole reason why so many of us chose to write code than be a farmer.
A person who cannot read and write in any language cannot, by definition, write source code.
However, that same person can still receive a verbal command telling them to pull a potato out of the ground. Or move a box from one place to another.
This statement has nothing to do with the detrimental aspects of manual labor. Sitting at a desk as a programmer also has detrimental aspects.
You may want to keep an eye on the global protest trend.
Sure, you could then say food, home and healthcare wouldn't be much worth(inflated). Then yeah that's the whole point. That's where we want to be.