Discussion in 'Human Science' started by sculptor, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Right; he was an example. There are very few people with an IQ of exactly 80. But people with IQ's below 89 make up 22% of the population - and will be a significant number of people to deal with.
    Very little of the population is right at 100. Half the population is below 100 if that's what you meant.
    Right. The problem is that IQ is a Gaussian distribution. Most are near 100. The requirement for skill in jobs used to match that. (Skill does not equal IQ but there is a strong correlation.) Now the skill requirements are becoming bimodal. So there will be room for the baristas and the janitors, and the engineers, programmers and designers. But the middle is looking more and more empty of jobs.
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Those, by definition, are people who are retrainable. Engineers and programmers will need to be retrained one day as well. It's a fluid economy.

    You were arguing that the lower end can't be retrained but now you are arguing that lower end jobs will always be there and the concern is for the middle class jobs.
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    The problem is that those people suited for the middle will (mostly) not be suited for the higher end jobs. They will be suited for the lower end jobs - but again there is going to be a huge amount of competition for those lower-paying jobs. Which will drive wages even lower.
    Of course. The people at the high end aren't generally the problem.

    The lower end cannot be retrained (usually.) All those people who can't be retrained now need those lower end jobs. There are not going to magically be twice as many just because the middle-skill jobs are going away. That will be a problem and will drive wages lower.

    Some will be able to be retrained and make that jump to the higher end. Great. That will not be the majority of those people.
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I disagree. The portion of the middle-end job holder that has to (temporarily) take lower-end jobs will not likely lower those wages. They will probably go up a little.

    What they would do, under those circumstances, would be to displace some lower-end workers much like a minimum wages displaces the less skilled/experienced worker.

    Most middle-end workers can be retrained (why not?). They don't have to be retrained as a degreed engineer (for example). Those jobs are already more or less fully staffed.

    Think about the situation in Germany where someone in high school is either going to go to college or they will be going into a technical training program. Many of those programs are funded specifically by the industry that needs those specific skills.

    Automation doesn't displace every job and it doesn't just displace lower end jobs when it does occur. Jobs aren't just working in a lab with a PhD or sweeping the floor.

    There are many jobs that the average person doesn't even know about or doesn't know that there are such jobs.

    I'm sure you either currently do or have worked for a large corporation and you have access to internal job postings. It's usually full of specific jobs that no one would know to inquire about. Most pay from good to great. For every job that is harder to get if someone doesn't have the right degree/experience there are others just below that level.

    I don't think this is a real problem.
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Not under capitalism. Same demand, greater supply -> lower prices.
    Those lower class workers are going to still want that job. Most will be willing to work for slightly less to keep it, or to get a similar job. Again - lower wages.
    Because most people want to make money, and thus get the best training they can afford and that they can accomplish. They are not going to be able to accomplish more just because their job goes away. Indeed, a 50 year old machinist is going to be far less retrainable than a 20 year old machinist - and a 30 year old single mom is not going to be able to decide to go to a community college for six months to learn a new skill once she loses her old job.

    Again, some will be able to get that retraining and get a better job (the rightside hump of that bimodal distribution.) Most will not. If they could, they would have done so already to garner the higher wages.
    Agreed. It tends to displace lower end and middle class jobs first though.
    Of course. There are jobs in between. Those jobs are going away. That's the problem. What ten machinists could do in five days can now be done by one machinist on a CAM mill in a day. What five skilled modelbuilders could do in a day can now be printed in four hours. What a secretarial pool once did is now taken care of by people who type with autocorrect turned on, people who dictate into voice recognition programs and people who use Travelocity to plan their business travel. That's just going to accelerate.
    It's already a real problem and it is just going to get worse. There are a lot of reasons for this. I listed a few above; a few more are listed below, from a vanishing support network to an educational divide to the problems of raising a family.

  9. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    I totally concur. Owning a food truck is not a notable, nor difficult, achievement. Most any sleazeball drug addict can convince their friends and acquaintances to invest in most any stupid scheme - thus raising the trivial capital necessary to "own" a food truck. More relevant to Monopoly is owning one food truck that throws off enough profit to buy a second (without outside help from a politically motivated "friend"), taking that return and reinvesting... purchasing a third, fourth and subsequent trucks. Can you claim this achievement? If you can, you have the right to say "I got mine, Jack!" Always happy to welcome budding Randians to...

    But how? Who pays?
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I don't need a food truck but yes, I could manage that.

    Who pays for retraining? The government should and in some cases does, the individual can as well whether through their own assets or borrowing.

    Whatever it takes. What is the alternative?
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    ~60% of food truck businesses fail. No doubt those run by sleazeball drug addicts have an even higher failure rate. What then?

  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I wonder what would happen if you took a typical food truck business and then demanded that employees be paid twice as much so that they could earn a living wage?
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    More would fail. Or you could pay them less - and more would succeed. And all those workers would have to utilize government subsidies to feed their families, a la Walmart.

    Which one is "winning?"
  14. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The one that stays in business.
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I don't think a scenario where food trucks stay in business due to all the employees being on food stamps/welfare is a good outcome. That's sort of a lose-lose in terms of that problem I was talking about earlier. It's very close to a UBI.
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Is it your view that capitalism works somewhat for those 2 standard deviation points above the mean (approx) and not so much for the rest?

    There are roughly 196 countries in the world. Which of those would result in higher wages/better lifestyle for the rest of those workers for which you think capitalism isn't working so well?

    Before capitalism wouldn't you say that pretty much the expected standard was for a person to be "poor"?

    What exactly is your objection to any Walmart workers who are on foodstamps? Is it that the government is involved? The government is more involved in almost any other scenario being talked about are they not?

    Do you think, in general, that poverty is a state that people remain in rather than pass though? For instance, you were a bus boy, I washed dishes while young and between schools. I wasn't on food stamps but if I had been, what is the issue there?

    Don't most people in lower paying jobs end up in higher paying jobs?
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    In a world presumptively divided between employers and employees, the percentage of people who could be employers is less than 50 - that's just arithmetic. In a modern industrial society whose economic system allows indefinitely large scale and powerful organizations of capital the percentage would be much less than 50, as a matter of circumstantial likelihood.
    _ - - - - - - -
    And some of the others are not skilled jobs. Yes.

    For years now I've been trying to get that acknowledged on this forum, but people keep postulating a divide between "skilled" and "unskilled" jobs as an explanation for the malignant and continuing growth of wealth and income inequality in the US since Reagan. (and much else - such as the trendline effects of that growth on those caught on the wrong side of those tracks as an explanation for the Republican voter in 2016)
    Neither subjectively evaluated "skill" or replaceability by robot aligns with observation and research findings pertinent to the Divide.
    For starters, it's common to find "skilled" jobs easier and more profitable to fill by robot than "unskilled" jobs. Part of the reason for that is
    No, you aren't. You are responding to my posts, and that's not their focus.
    When you notice that simple and easily replicable observations of a common reality are starting to look absurd, take it as a more of less friendly warning - you've crossed a line somewhere, and careful established physical reality is on the other side of it.
    If you blow it off, this situation, the percentage of your posts that go like this:
    The reader is now unsure of exactly what you think you have read in that and attendant posts - do you, for example, think I claimed that stand-up jobs are never low paid, that all sitdown jobs are highly paid, that no engineers work standing up, or anything else to which that reply would contribute information or a conflicting pov?
    To repeat: the growing inequality of wealth and income (and political power, environmental degradation, etc) in the US seems to align well with profoundly authoritarian and Marx/Engels/Veblen defined class interests, and correlate comparatively less well with merit-assigned compensation. The criteria for accepting this or that demographic on the high side of the Great Divide is not individual or group merit or worth - it's America's habit of using military force (war, and threat of war) and the sociopolitical reality of slavery's legacy (second and third world quality health care, forbidden union powers and zero labor rights throughout the Confederacy, etc).
    A dubious presumption if not tailored to fit specific circumstances. Even given that, in most cases not only arguments but research findings conflict with it. (And of course it is obviously false in the logical extreme - the modern US institutionalized custom of paying more to sitdown jobs causes a lot of consequences over time);
    But not one fundamentally based on "skilled" vs "unskilled";
    and a vague one: consequence of what?

    May be some clues in places like these:
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You're right, it's just arithmetic. It's not factual or even logical. It's just a number that you are throwing out.

    Anyone could start a paper route, mow lawns, save that money and start a food truck, save that money and start a bigger business.

    Anyone could become a real estate agent and then a broken. You could become a plumber and then start a plumbing business.

    Not everyone wants to but most everyone could, certainly more than 50% of the population. Before the industrial revolution most people were in business for themselves as farmers.

    You, like Marx, seem to be against much but not clearly for anything other than life before Reagan or revolution by the workers but not sure what to do after the revolution.
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    They already have.
    They have also already discovered that their new wage scale is temporary only in the sense that life is short.
    Nope. The average height of the populations (one of the best proxies for unmeasurable "prosperity" we have) of countries converting to capitalism often dropped as the conversion progressed, and in the West only centuries later (even into the immediate past generation) has the average height of some industrial societies caught up with that of their taller ancestors.

    In the historical record increasing wealth appears to foster capitalism at least as frequently and strongly as capitalism fosters wealth. For example: What is WalMart's business model if not a fancy grade and legalized extractive mining of the accumulated wealth of mid-sized communities? These monopolies and monopsonies and media brothel festivities are tactics and gear - the strategy is equity-stripping. Big box retail outlets are not pioneers building community wealth.

    And sooner or later it will be stripped to the point of no longer attracting the big boys - whereupon it will become obvious to increasing numbers of victims that it always had been a dead end road, that we had had good maps and expert advice beforehand, that the people who abetted this enriched themselves by visiting hardship and misery on others, that this was a premeditated disaster, and that the responsible are still with us. At that point the choruses of "both sides, left and right, Reps and Dems, liberals and conservatives, everybody is equally to blame, we need to move forward, the good people on both sides must compromise to get things done and since the Reps already have it's the Dems turn, the Dems are playing the blame game, yadda yadda yadda don't forget they are coming to take away your guns" will become a chorus as earsplitting loud as hundreds of millions of dollars dedicated to its amplification can make it.
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nope. It works for everyone, and cannot be "convinced" to have beneficial effects just because that would be a nice outcome. (And by "working" I mean accurately determining the market value of labor and resources. And if capitalistic forces mean your job is worth 1.20 an hour - too bad so sad! You could live 4 to an apartment and eat Ramen noodles for the rest of your life; capitalism doesn't really care about that part of it.)
    That a system that uses capitalism to value labor - AND needs the government to pay enough for them to live - is not working very well. From a capitalistic POV of course it's working great. From the point of view of a sustainable system that gets people out of poverty - not so much.
    Nothing at all. For a great many people, however, that is not a temporary condition.
    By definition yes - inflation means your wages go up over time. But for roughly 20% of Americans, the real value of their salary (i.e. with inflation and cost of living taken into account) they never "end up in higher paying jobs."
  21. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Why should my tax money be used to subsidize the greedy business model of one of the richest families in the world?

    Socializing the expense while privatizing the profits...
  22. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Seriously, where do you come up with this shit? It's like you bought into (pun intended) Thatcher's "There is no alternative" without even a moment's consideration.
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    That right there is one of those reasons that I don't think it's a great solution.

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