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Jobs Wars - Part III: Revenge of the StimulusFollow

#27 Sep 07 2011 at 6:44 AM Rating: Good
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There are ways it can be done more "cheaply" that via infrastructure development. This is mainly done by lowering the capital required in the jobs it pursues, so that a higher percentage of the job is paid out in wages rather than actual output generation. But then, depending on what the actual outputs of the projects are, you'd be better with an unemployment package where technically *all* (realistically almost all) of the inputs go into paying for people.

A large part of the supposed problem here is that unskilled labor isn't as valued highly as it used to be (For a variety of reasons; market glut, resource pooling, alternative markets etc.), except for in situations where regional arbitrage doesn't work as well. Knowledge work tends to be valued, and a lot of those places are actually hiring. But we're built on a model which all but requires an certain employment level close for sociological reasons, legacy industry requirements etc, and trying to shift from that model is really hard.
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#28 Sep 07 2011 at 6:48 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah, what raving nobody suggested we use deficit spending to stimulate the economy?

Surely he died a penniless madman.
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#29 Sep 07 2011 at 6:55 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm only answering the "doing stuff more cheaply" argument. The whole goal here is really to get people who would otherwise not spend money, to spend money, in an effort to increase utility, not specifically in cost control.

EDIT: for those who don't get why:

Decreasing costs for something increases the multiplier on the usage of labor, ie generating more wealth for a certain input of labor. Private industry is already good at this. Well designed bid contracts will already use this to their advantage.

But if the issue is that labor is not being utilized, unless you change their skill-set to be more appealing to the groups who *are* spending money (Which is something I'm not opposed to, but it typically takes the form of education/retraining investments/subsidization) you can't really get traction in the private sector unemployment numbers by increasing the price of labor.

What you can do, is create temporary projects that end up loosening capital markets, in other non-infrastructure projects, and providing jobs for those who do build the infrastructure. This ends up creating more buyers and making it more desirable to spend, which fixes some various stagnation issues.

Edited, Sep 7th 2011 9:06am by Timelordwho
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#30 Sep 07 2011 at 7:04 AM Rating: Good
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I was talking to Demea.

Quoting might lessen ambiguity, but it just isn't cool.
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#31 Sep 07 2011 at 7:07 AM Rating: Decent
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In which case I ended up answering her question!
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#32 Sep 07 2011 at 7:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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Timelordwho wrote:
In which case I ended up answering her question!

Her? Did everyone on the board get a *** change??
#33 Sep 07 2011 at 7:13 AM Rating: Decent
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Did you not get the memo?
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#34 Sep 07 2011 at 7:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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I guess not. Do you know when I'm scheduled?
#35 Sep 07 2011 at 7:28 AM Rating: Decent
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11 AM.
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#36 Sep 07 2011 at 7:39 AM Rating: Good
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I don't get the feeling that this 'boost' is a part of any long-term economic recovery. I feel like it's goal is very straight-forward - get a chunk of people a pay-check (versus an unemployment check) bring that number down (below 8% would be good), provide Obama a chance at re-election.
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#37 Sep 07 2011 at 8:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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Somewhat relevant:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/09/07/rushkoff.jobs.obsolete/index.html

Quote:
But there might still be another possibility -- something we couldn't really imagine for ourselves until the digital era. As a pioneer of virtual reality, Jaron Lanier, recently pointed out, we no longer need to make stuff in order to make money. We can instead exchange information-based products.

We start by accepting that food and shelter are basic human rights. The work we do -- the value we create -- is for the rest of what we want: the stuff that makes life fun, meaningful, and purposeful.

This sort of work isn't so much employment as it is creative activity. Unlike Industrial Age employment, digital production can be done from the home, independently, and even in a peer-to-peer fashion without going through big corporations. We can make games for each other, write books, solve problems, educate and inspire one another -- all through bits instead of stuff. And we can pay one another using the same money we use to buy real stuff.


No real answers in the article, but it's an interesting read. And maybe going back to bartering wouldn't be such a bad thing.
#38 Sep 07 2011 at 8:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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If you want to depress yourself, read the cover story for this month's Atlantic: Can the Middle-Class Be Saved?

Quick take-away: The income gulf is ever widening, the middle class is ever shrinking and today's "moderately educated" families are becoming more and more economically and socially like families of high school dropouts as they find themselves on the wrong side of the chasm.

Edited, Sep 7th 2011 9:58am by Jophiel
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#39 Sep 07 2011 at 8:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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Yeah Joph, that's pretty **** depressing. Thanks. Smiley: mad
#40 Sep 07 2011 at 10:30 AM Rating: Decent
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That was depressing, and more so because I feel the article, I have 8 years of college over 3 degrees, none of which I have been able to pursue because their just hasn't been the openings in the labor market. So I am working at a factory that is hanging on by the skin of its teeth.
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#41 Sep 07 2011 at 11:08 AM Rating: Decent
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rdmcandie wrote:
That was depressing, and more so because I feel the article, I have 8 years of college over 3 degrees, none of which I have been able to pursue because their just hasn't been the openings in the labor market. So I am working at a factory that is hanging on by the skin of its teeth.

It's times like these that I'm glad I never wasted my money on an education.
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#42 Sep 07 2011 at 11:21 AM Rating: Decent
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That's actually a really good article.

Was I the only one who didn't think it was depressing?
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#43 Sep 07 2011 at 11:28 AM Rating: Excellent
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Debalic wrote:
rdmcandie wrote:
That was depressing, and more so because I feel the article, I have 8 years of college over 3 degrees, none of which I have been able to pursue because their just hasn't been the openings in the labor market. So I am working at a factory that is hanging on by the skin of its teeth.

It's times like these that I'm glad I never wasted my money on an education.


What are you talking about, unemployment listed for different edu levels are stark; 12% for hs edu 4.5% in college edu and 2% in postgrad.
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#44 Sep 07 2011 at 11:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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Timelordwho wrote:
Was I the only one who didn't think it was depressing?

Were you reading it from your golden throne on an ermine-lined laptop? Smiley: grin
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#45 Sep 07 2011 at 11:54 AM Rating: Decent
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Timelordwho wrote:
Debalic wrote:
rdmcandie wrote:
That was depressing, and more so because I feel the article, I have 8 years of college over 3 degrees, none of which I have been able to pursue because their just hasn't been the openings in the labor market. So I am working at a factory that is hanging on by the skin of its teeth.

It's times like these that I'm glad I never wasted my money on an education.


What are you talking about, unemployment listed for different edu levels are stark; 12% for hs edu 4.5% in college edu and 2% in postgrad.

Who said I'm unemployed?
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we all know liberals are well adjusted american citizens who only want what's best for society. While conservatives are evil money grubbing scum who only want to sh*t on the little man and rob the world of its resources.
#46 Sep 07 2011 at 11:56 AM Rating: Good
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No, I just find that knowing the direction of progress allows people to better react to it, giving them a better chance to progress along with it, rather than not.
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#47 Sep 07 2011 at 12:00 PM Rating: Good
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Debalic wrote:
Timelordwho wrote:
Debalic wrote:
rdmcandie wrote:
That was depressing, and more so because I feel the article, I have 8 years of college over 3 degrees, none of which I have been able to pursue because their just hasn't been the openings in the labor market. So I am working at a factory that is hanging on by the skin of its teeth.

It's times like these that I'm glad I never wasted my money on an education.


What are you talking about, unemployment listed for different edu levels are stark; 12% for hs edu 4.5% in college edu and 2% in postgrad.

Who said I'm unemployed?


Good to hear you are among the 88%.
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#48 Sep 07 2011 at 12:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm glad I got my education. Actually I'm glad I did all those internships and work study jobs as an undergrad. There's no way I would have gotten a job in the field without them. Smiley: frown
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#49 Sep 07 2011 at 3:04 PM Rating: Good
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Nadenu wrote:
Timelordwho wrote:
In which case I ended up answering her question!

Her? Did everyone on the board get a *** change??

You've seen the picture, right?

MentalFrog, if you still have that, PM me the link.
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#50 Sep 07 2011 at 3:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
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Just eyeballing the company I work for...

It's pretty ridiculous to attempt to compare a single tech company with infrastructure construction as a whole. On multiple levels.


It's not ridiculous if we're examining the relative number of jobs created for the same operating cost. Which is precisely what I was doing.

Quote:
Quote:
It's worth doing *if* the thing we're spending money on serves some necessary function which justifies the cost

That would be why they spend the money paving roads rather than buying a mountain of cellphones.


Sure. But then that needs to be the argument. We should not be arguing that we'll "create jobs while building infrastructure". The more honest assessment is that we will "build infrastructure but lose jobs in the process". We have to decide that infrastructure work is more important than jobs. It's dishonest to say that we're doing both because the money for the infrastructure work has to come from somewhere. And if that money would have employed more people than it will being spent building bridges and roads, then we are trading infrastructure for jobs.



We don't get both. Jobs are the cost of doing that. We do not gain them, we lose them. You have to look not just at the jobs created by spending on infrastructure but the number of jobs lost by taking the money we spend from somewhere else in the first place. IMO it's because of this lack of assessing the costs of public spending that we are in this mess in the first place. It doesn't matter what you spend the money on. It will cost us jobs. But somehow I doubt that bit of fact will make it into Obama's speech.
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#51 Sep 07 2011 at 4:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
It's not ridiculous if...

No, it is. Really.
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Sure. But then that needs to be the argument.

You apparently misunderstood the argument. Which is nothing surprising.
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