Monday, January 30, 2017

"very silly"

"Say 'no' to pointless crap."

~~  a quotation

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

~~  Hunter Thompson


On a news story titled "Travelers Stranded and Protests Swell Over Trump Order" in the New York Times, written by Peter Baker, the following Reader Comment topped the list:

Stephen Kurtz    Windsor, Ontario
------------------------ This  may turn out to be a pattern.  Trump issues an executive order and then the law reverses it.  Trump proposes a wall to guard the southern border but has no idea how it will be paid for. 

Trump wants to spend billions on infrastructure but the Republican Party does not want to add to the national debt.  Trump seeks to scuttle Obamacare but his party has no replacement in place. 

Trump declares, Trump issues executive orders, and all these declarations and issues of Executive orders get trumped by law or common sense or by his own party.  The POTUS is just beginning his very steep learning curve.


"Five ways work will change in the future" was an article in The Guardian-UK, in November 2015.

Six Reader Comments on that:

-------------------------- I'd have to find a link for confirmation, but Time magazine had an article in 1960 that projected what the US economy would look like in 50 years.

They got the overall size of the economy about right, but woefully overestimated workers' salaries by a huge amount.  Unsurprising, as they didn't take into account automation and globalization, the increased availability of credit, the US off the gold standard.

Point is that the money is there, it's just been concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.  It would be a mistake to think that these changes were "accidental" or "evolutionary."  A lot of very rich people lobbied very, very hard for globalization, the attack on workers' rights and so on.

Of course the goods and services still have to be bought to make money, so we've seen the concurrent rise of consumer debt to compensate.  Insecurity and debt keeps the [working people] quiet, too.

The future can be what we make of it -- regardless of automation, there's money enough to go round.  And that's precisely the conversation we're NOT having.

--------------------------- And look at TTIP and all the other 'trade agreements' they do nothing for the common man and hand more power to corporations.

----------------------------- It strikes me that the model is all wrong regarding robots -- they are being presented as a danger to jobs. 

Presumably that means greater unemployment.  So why give the jobs to robots?  To make more money for capital. 

That is the nub.  If we focus on people and what people need, e.g. security, purpose, meaning, a role to play in society, then we can take the focus off efficiency and the need to drive capital ever further upwards. 

Very silly. 

Money after all is an IOU and it essentially does not exist.  People on the other hand are extremely important.

---------------------------- Predicting the future is difficult, especially the future of work.  We were once told that automation would lead to a new leisure society.

Instead, people are working harder for less, some not working at all, and leisure facilities, health and social provision are being cut back.

As I said, future predictions are difficult, but if the erosion of human labour continues and the already obscene levels of income inequality widen still further -- the richest man in Spain is worth 80 Billion euros yet 4 million Spaniards exist on less than 900 euros a month -- the prospects for a harmonious society look bleak.

---------------------------- Point #2 highlights how many fewer jobs there will be.  But point #5 tells us that we will have to work longer [to an older retirement age].

Adding to the workforce while there is a dramatic decrease in available jobs?  This does not compute.