Jobs Jobs Jobs

1. We do not ask to be born.
2. We need educating to survive in the world.
3. We have to work to survive.
4. To work is generally to sign over the fruits of one’s labor to an employer.
5. Employers are making most of the wealth in the modern world.
6. People generally think the answer is more jobs.
11:59 min.

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  • This is THE question.

    Since you started this, I’ll reiterate what I said a few days ago.  Have the government pay everyone a stipend.  Cut the work week.  It’s a start, and it’s not really that radical.  In the US, we already pay people who don’t work much (Earned Income Tax Credit).  We also employ lots of people doing work that we have deemed productive, but isn’t really.  The postal worker example is a good one, but what about state-funded professors who mostly do “research” and little teaching?  It extends to the private sector – attorneys, accountants, bankers, advertising and marketing people, people making iPhone apps, engineers and construction workers who make roads just so that we have the capacity to allow the attorneys and accountants and bankers and advertising people go to work all at the same time.

    We need to find a way to get the productive work done but also allow them to do things that they enjoy just because the enjoy them.

    There are lots of other things that could be done, but I doubt Rick Perry will entertain any “radical” ideas :)

    • Problemo numero uno –
      Who is going to enforce all this `cut the work week`~? 

      • Lyle

        RUSHKOFF: “America is productive enough that it could probably shelter, feed, educate, even provide health care for it’s entire population with just a fraction of us actually working.”

        Is 1/3 a fraction?  If it is then it seems to me we’re essentially, although far from perfectly, already there.

        The topic is very interesting and thought provoking – and clearly rather philosophical.  My thoughts lead to the idea that work/no work as not being the root problem. Lack of balance strikes me as the root problem – and far far too many people and far too much greed ie imbalance in wealth sharing.

        There are pro’s and con’s for both local and non-local. Farmers need factories to build tools and tractors for example – unless we’re truly considering a march back to the dark ages in terms of “local”.

        I worked for a “Blue Chip” corp for 36 years. Paid well and although it was a pain in the butt to arrive at 8AM every damn day… it was also nice to leave it all behind when I left work each day and weekend.

        I run my own internet business now. Very “local” and it’s damn near ‘with me’ 24/7.  I miss those ‘paid vactions’ too.  :) 

        Obviously ‘jobs’ are much broader in affect to and for human types than just paychecks. I keep thinking the operative is the word ‘too’. ( excessive )

        Cities are ‘too’ big. ‘Too’ many people. ‘Too’ little education. ‘Too’ much imbalance in most all things – and all the old systems of societies are breaking down… too. ;-)Enjoyed the reads!Have an observant and enlightened week-end y’all.  :)  

        • I think one thing to remember when we think about this, is that `things ain’t what they used to be`.

          This 10% unemployment thing is not going to go away (it will probably drift up to 15%).  This will drag down the remunerations and conditions for everyone working (except the very top girls and boys). 

          The money system has already come under strain (followed closely by the political system).
          Something is going to change.
          But what, how and when………Who knows~?

          • Lyle

            Having heard a saying: “Pain precedes change” – I think we all can agree – there is a great deal of both going on now and a far greater amount to come.

            Many may be able to ‘adjust’ to whatever comes. We can easily project than many many more will not.

            Having been born in 1949, indeed I can certainly attest to “things ain’t what they used to be”. :)

            The only thing/s that seem to remain a constant is human instincts – which usually leads to some rather nasty outcomes – sooner or later.

            • People need leading.
              When not led, they are a danger to themselves.

              They are not being led.
              (entropy time)

      • In the US there is a 40 hour work week.  Make it 39, 38, whatever.  The government enforces it now at 40, for all practical purposes.

        • Do you see any problem in the government dictating the length of the work-week~?

  • Jantje

    Going local is the answer.

    I am already laughing at that one world order politicians that want bigger and bigger unions of countries and concentration of power, and a world currency.
    Good luck if everybody goes local.
    Getting local also means healthier food, more relaxed working, no euro, no dollar. And no, then you do not buy an xbox, or iphone.

    • We are not going to live to see `local`, but unfortunately, we may get to see the transition to there (not pretty~!).

  • Willem

    Now you are getting somewhere, a new paradigm is what needs to be set in place, surprise me with your “out of the box” thinking!

  • CSArichardo

    “Abundance” as per Rushkoff is “Age of Plenty” as per social credit movement

    Not alot of differecne in thinking here.

  • Anonymous

    The outlook for future ‘jobs’ is bleak indeed.
    We are entering a ‘transition phase’, but transitioning to what is an unanswered question.
    I see it going two ways, factories will become more and more automated and the goods they produce will continue to fall in price. At the same time food will become increasingly expensive as the price of energy skyrockets. The people who can, will grow their own food using traditonal methods and many who can’t will starve(sorry but it’s true).
    The old education system is also running into trouble, as it was set-up to produce drones for ‘jobs’. In order to survive in the ‘new economy’ people will have to educate themselves.
    Get ready while you can, clear any debts, be prepared.

    It won’t be a disaster for everyone, some will do very well (as they always do).

    • CSArichardo

      The best survival skill in our society is the ability to learn, apply it and then learn something new again and apply it.  Constant craving I mean craving to learn !

      • Anonymous

        Yes, the ability to learn.. but equally important will be the ability to apply new learnings in ‘unorthodox’ ways.
        ‘Modern’ humans have almost lost their ability for creative thinking… schools do not teach it, those in ‘authority’ despise it, and yet, if one happens upon it, it will see you through the worst of times.
        Don’t think ‘outside the box’ or ‘inside the box’, better to ask why there is a box in the first place.

        • There has been no need for 21st. century man to have the survival skills of 19th. century man.


          • Anonymous

            Ah!… “There has been no need”.  Thus far maybe, but the 21 Century is dawning a new age of uncertanity.

            The survival skills of the 21st century will differ from those of the 19 century. Some of the old skills will re-emerge,traditional farming methods and localised raw material production. Other skills such as understanding complex systems will be sought after.

    • Guest

      There’s a problem with food that many people aren’t switched on to: that animal products (meat, fish and dairy etc.) are killing us. Our increased consumption of these products are directly responsible for the increases in cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many other degenerative diseases. Animal protein, found in meat and dairy, acts like a fertiliser for cancer growth. The science on this is pretty conclusive and all one has to do is read The China Study by Prof. T. Colin Campbell to really understand what is going on. There is a small, but growing and very vocal segment of the population that knows this and are trying to educate the public. If they are successful it would mean a massive shift in farming and agriculture. Currently more energy is expended growing crops to feed livestock rather than to feed humans – if this was reversed food could get a lot cheaper.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, but unfortunately countries like China are ‘aspiring’ away from a vegetable based diet to one based on meat.
        Should you convince humans that to eat vegetables and grains maketh a superior human, then there would be a massive shift in farming and agriculture.

  • CSArichardo

    What is a job ?  It something you get paid to do so the government can tax your income.

    Being a home maker was never really considered “a job” because you never made money, which was taxable. 

    The fact that the family unit saved money (and probably alot) by not requiring a maid, a cook, a babysitter, a cash crop garden, etc seemed to not be relevant.  Today having a job and paying other people to be a maid, eating out fast food, using child care workers, etc has just enslaved people in the have a job mentality.

  • Guest

    Very interesting post today – many things you’ve said mirror some of my own thoughts. Pretty much like you said, we’re taught from an early age how to be employable – that’s what the school system does. That seemed to be a big part of what my school life revolved around – my parents and the teachers constantly drilling in to me that I had to study hard and pass my exams or I’d be on the dole and wouldn’t be able to find a job. The idea that I might find a profession or career I would actually enjoyed and excel at never seemed to come up – it was always about avoiding unemployment. One well meaning teacher told me I wouldn’t be able to own my own company until I was at least 40 and I’d have to go to university first (I was 13 and I think I stated that I wanted to start a skateboard company and cited this as my future career path and justification for not giving a toss about homework – lol). During a brief period of unemployment in my early 20’s a chap who owned his own business told me he thought the only reason for getting a degree was to help get a job working for somebody else – I agreed. Working in IT, I’ve worked with colleagues who’ve had degrees in geology of all things !?! And I have to ask myself why did they study that subject – nothing they learned in their 3 years of studying for the degree is of any use at all in making websites or writing applications. Equally, I’ve interviewed a lot of people for vacancies in my companies and even though they have IT related degrees these people just aren’t employable. When it comes down to it, there seems to be very few “useful” people out there who enjoy what they do – just an awful lot of people doing jobs they don’t like to earn money because that’s all they’ve ever been taught. Most of the people we interact with daily are this kind of people. Personally, I no longer fear unemployment even though I have no academic qualifications. I’ll always be able to find a way to earn money because I’m useful and there’s always a need for useful people. I can turn my hand to just about anything and do a damn good job of it. 

    The other point you touched on – do we need jobs? – was just as important. I think a lot of people don’t need to work as much as they do if only they realised it was possible to live a simpler lifestyle and be just as happy – probably more so. A lot of what people buy these days are not life’s necessities. I think people buy sh*t they don’t need with money they don’t have because they get a temporary feeling of happiness and a respite from the drudgery of their daily lives. It’s a vicious circle: they choose a career path at an age when they know little about life and get in to debt to fund the qualifications they need to pursue that career. Then they end up working a job they discover they don’t like much after all and their reprieve from this daily grind is to buy stuff. Buying stuff is like taking a drug – it gives them a temporary high and like taking drugs the dosage has to increase to get the same feelings. So it starts out with a new DVD player on the credit card and grows until it reaches a mortgage of 10 times their salary for that 5 bedroom house with 4 bathrooms that they just have to own despite living on their own in a far away city where they don’t know anybody (because that’s where the work is). Do they need jobs? Only to take part in this messed up game of life they’re playing. Their labour is the entrance fee all the competitors must stump up each week and that means they need jobs. Industry and the corporations who want to sell them the sh*t they don’t really need wants them to have jobs so they can keep spending – they just don’t want to hire them themselves because that’s an expense they can do without. Government needs them to have jobs so they can keep paying taxes. 

    Do I think they need jobs – NO. I think they need a different outlook on life and they need to make themselves useful – to both themselves and others.

    • I think I will spark off the word `useful` and see where I get to.

      OK…Big projection – The world will get more `global`, or it will shrink into more `local`.

      If it gets more global…..and we continue to distribute money to the people who do useful global jobs, then the West is going to be distributing a lot less money than it used to (or, is used to).

      If it gets more local….it will be `the local` that will say what is useful. 
      This will be a very delicate transition, because, as you say, most people are programmed to be drones….not actually `useful`.


  • Jetser

    As the gains from technology go to the owners of capital, the bottom 80% (in the US) had less wealth (but more smartphones and blue-ray players) in 2009 than in 1983.

    But how many of the 80% would vote for policies which made the economy less efficient? How many would vote to have their working week limited by the government? I’d love a shorter working week! I can’t get a job which demands less than 8 hours per day. I’m sure the people who employ me would rather work 6 but they work 8 and expect everyone else to. It seems that when someone invents something which makes us more efficient we’re allowed to have smartphones and blue-rays but not allowed to have more time (unless the invention makes other people more efficient, in which case we get an extra 8 hours per day of free time and no smartphone).

    • Me thinks…………..Not got none, but are not those smart phones and blue-ray diskers cheap~?
      That is not where the money is going surely~!

      The point is (I think, maybe…)……..that `capital` is doing very nicely out of every hour you work, so the more hours they get out of you the better~!

      That’s it.

  • Capital is becoming too productive. This reminds me of Marx, when he said that the point where capitalism is to be transcended by communism is where society is productive enough to provide all the needs and wants of its people with minimal work. When I was reading Marxist publications they always talked about how after the revolution there would only be four hour work days or three day work weeks and things of that sort. I think that’s definably possible to do. But I still don’t think communism, as it’s thought of by Marx and Marxists, could work. People don’t get along, they’ll always find someone to compete with. Unfortunately the only way I could see it working is within a group/nation of like-minded, unified, individuals with as little ethnic diversity possible and with an external enemy that forces them to cooperate together, a sort of National Communism.

    Marx also talked about how capitalism gets around the problem of excess production is by creating destructive wars that recreate scarcity, so that’s the problem with todays economy; not enough wars soaking up all that excess productivity. But I think there are more than a few capitalists and statesmen working on that problem, Zbigniew Brzezinski being the main reference.

    • Yes, we are for sure sounding off a Marxist drum.  (Note:  This is my second comment reply of the morning.  The first was to Collapso who referred to that idiot woman who wrote about John Galt.  There is a big problem in referring to people who got something right……..and that is, that it is then necessary to point out all the things that that person also got wrong; because people have this odd notion, that if you thought someone was right about one thing, you will also think they are right about other things (maybe even everything~!)). 
      Anyway –
      Marx right about some things…..yes~!
      Right about the four hour day….no~!  (people just don’t share like that)

      War~?  (Shit yeah~!  Must watch those bastards~!!)

      The problem seems to be – We share wealth by `job done`. 
      `Job done` includes lawyers, politicians, bankers and paper boys.
      `Job not done` includes nice, educated, would-be-hard-working people who cannot find a job.

      • CSArichardo

        Not sure on that.  In the US they currently have a very generous unemployment and food stamps program.  Is that not sharing the spoils of labour ?

        Also what makes getting paid to watch TV not a job ?

        • The challenge is to think a bit deeper.

          People are paid via their job and pay taxes via their job.
          Everything revolves around `the job`.

          Is it that jobs are for the good of society~?

          Jobs are paid out on a `commercial` basis.

          Is there no other basis we can think of~? 

          • CSArichardo

            Jobs keep people busy so they have less time to break the 10 Commandments !!

    • In the US we don’t need wars, we have Football.

  • Bigcollapso

    This “End of jobs situation” is precisely the “John Galt” situation. The working people I know are so swamped and overworked that they are nearing the breaking point. In fact I am now certain that the breaking point is being reached with at least one of my friends.

    • I have to admit, the whole thing is a bit `Galtish`…….on the poor side (but anyone who thinks they would be doing the world a favor by letting a load of big-headed-robber-barons make the world into some sort of digital feudalism, should think again…..and again~!).

      • Bigcollapso


  • snedmeister1

    Good morning Nick…!!

    I am a bit un easy about this conversation…..
    Ok, we must admit that a lot of progress has been made with respect to people doing a “job”, through advances
    in technology we have better health, and ways of making our day to day lives easier etc….

    Now, I can agree that the system has flaws, all of the capitol has moved to one end of the spectrum, and the people
    are not enjoying all the fruits of their labour as they could, but surely, just a better balance is needed then…??

    The “Jobs” thing has given us good progress ( I suppose that is opinion though ), and my life would probably be a lot
    harder if others and I didn’t just get up in the morning and do our “jobs”…..

    I will say that I can see problems are developing, but I think many would be a lot worse off if it went “local”…

    There is one big danger in the ones with power ( I mean the ones with the Capitol, not us! ) talking about these topics….

    The Labour force may see it as either not enough jobs, or that we need to share the amount of hours worked around fairly, but
    there are many others, who may just as easily come to the conclusion that there are too many people….!!!

    Lastly, although you do not really touch on this specific point, some members of society have become very 
    wealthy out of our system, does that matter if we all benefit…???
    Is it not better for everyone to be better off ( overall ), even if the benefits are not evenly spread, rather than everyone
    being worse off, but on a more even playing field…??? 

    I am not too sure about my last question, it is something I often ask myself though…!!!

    • Good Sned morning,
      If everyone benefits (even if some do much more than others) then yes, no worries.

      But this post was putting across the idea that – 
      It will become more and more difficult to find people jobs.

      But even one back from that –
      Are jobs the best way to distribute wealth~?

      So, we come to the Global or Local question –
      Will Global make for more jobs~?
      Will Global make for more wealth distribution~?
      Will Global make for more people feeling as though they are benefiting~?
      …….Global is the way we are going now. 
      …….The West is out of money and ideas and is going to get absolutely creamed in a `jobs off` with the East. 
      …….They will probably never admit to this, so will probably pick a fight with them.

      Long-term, it is the way the world will go.
      We can get there the nice way, or the nasty way.

      • snedmeister1

        This is a very delicate subject, and the terms are very important for me to get right here….

        I would say “jobs” is the best way to create wealth, but a “system” is required to give better distribution…
        BUT, that does not mean all wealth must be shared equally……
        There should be process or systems in place to stop such polarisation of capitol as we see now….

        Global or local…???

        I say Global is best. 
        Trade between cultures, distant neighbours, distant countries etc is what lifts everybody’s lifestyle overall….

        When we talk about “local”, do we mean closed economies…???

        What about those who have no natural resources…???
        Or enough land to feed their own populations…???

        We may be on an unsustainable path, but closing inward can only accelerate our declining living standards….( IMO ).

        I think that going local would reduce the living standards of everyone overall ie macro level, but agree things are
        not going well now…..!!!

        • “I would say “jobs” is the best way to create wealth, but a “system” is required to give better distribution…”
          *By wealth, you mean people getting televisions and potatoes and stuff, yes~?
          *Question – How does a job create wealth~?
          *Creating wealth comes before distribution.
          *(tricky that one, eh~!?)

          “BUT, that does not mean all wealth must be shared equally……”
          *No, certainly not. 
          *But what should be the basis for distribution~?

          “There should be process or systems in place to stop such polarisation of capitol as we see now….”
          *The polarization of capitol (money) is the natural outcome of `Global`.
          *To over-rule a `natural outcome` needs a lot of force.

          You hit at the heart of the matter with – “What about those who have no natural resources…???”
          *Either individuals or countries.
          *The natural system says they have to go to the bottom of the pile…….and work their little bottoms off.
          *They are marvelous fodder for the capitol class.
          *Over 2 billion `bottoms` have entered `Global` in the last 20 years.
          *The massive weight of those bottoms are pulling the old middles down, with only the capitol getting ahead.

          • snedmeister1

            On your first paragraph,

            I consider wealth to include far more than just stuff to buy…I consider it clean water, homes to live in, good infrastructure, but also potatoes yes…. TV’s, I am not decided on…
            TV’s are a little bit luxury, and should maybe be used as a measure of wealth ie the more wealthy a nation is, the
            more luxury items they will have…??
            Not sure totally, but there is something fundamentally different between potatoes and TV’s…:)

            Jobs create wealth by people digging water wells, building homes, bridges etc etc, education and so on…

            I also class quality of life to be very important…. 

            So, I would say that people are required to do jobs, to provide these things…. For all, but not on equal measure…

            If there were no jobs, who would build roads and maintain them for example… And run the hospitals…??
            ( without returning to Kings and slaves…!! :) )

            Medicines have progressed through people having a job as a scientist for example….

            “Jobs” have enabled us to make leaps forward, but in doing so, have uncovered further issues… Moral issues….

            Do I think this means “jobs” should dissapear, and we go back to local villages etc…?? 
            Most definitely Not…

            Do I have the answers to the new problems…??? 
            Most definitely Not…!!!

            :) :)

            Good topic again Nick…. And on a weekend again..!!  
            If it was down to me, I would give you a full time job doing this…!! ( just teasing )… 

            • “If there were no jobs, who would build roads and maintain them for example… And run the hospitals…??( without returning to Kings and slaves…!! :) )”
              *Whoah dude….Stop right there.  Who said anything about `no jobs`~?
              *Obviously me, or you wouldn’t have written it……so, let me clarify –

              *The angle is, we distribute money depending on what job you….can we not do better~!?
              *This was worked out by TPTB a long time ago
              *Capitalists have money, they own business and people work for them.  Give the workers as little as possible and our industry will out-perform `their` industry.  We will get lots of lovely money coming into the country and the top people will be rich, rich, rich (so rich, they could even give the workers more if they kicked up rough (buffer).
              *This has worked nicely for the West and our countries got richer than their countries.
              *This started to fall apart after WWI, but with the start gained the West used cheap energy to hold its advantage.
              *Now the cheap energy is going, along with any residual advantage……the West has very little going for it~!
              *We are now entering the stage where the West is having to drive down wages and conditions of its workers to compete directly with the East.
              *The last advantage the West had, was that it spent lots of money……..That is now gone.

              *If the West insists on continuing the game they started – `Capitalist wage slavery`, then they are going to be down to two bolls of potatoes a day before you can say `maybe austerity was not a good plan`.
              *If no one comes up with a better way to distribute the wealth, then there will be a very quickly decreasing amount of wealth to distribute.
              *The Capitalists changed their game plan thirty years ago and are trying to stash away enough for the inevitable crash.
              *Every one else is going to get boiled in a bag.

              • snedmeister1

                Ah, appologies, I thought you meant no “jobs” when talking about localising….

                I pictured bartering etc, but could see no remedy for the manpower created via jobs, to create large scale projects….

                So, back to the question you asked, “are jobs the best way to distribute wealth?”..

                I take “wealth” to mean the physical and essentials required to live…. Money is part of that wealth picture, but the physical, fundamental wealth ( farmed land, water wells etc ) is, in my opinion, best created by people doing jobs…

                And the best way, again in my opinion to compensate these people, is to pay them money…

                The balance is the key, ie what you have without a job, and what advantage you get by receiving money by
                performing a job, compared to those that do not work….

                Again, how the balance is achieved, I do not know….???

                But I can think of no better incentive, or efficient method of creating the physical infrastructure etc required for
                the needs or demands of a modern society….

                Perhaps, we all need to accept that we can not all have the luxuries we once had, and accept that if we want them,
                we must compete for the shrinking number of jobs out there…??  

                • It always falls back to two facts –
                  The government will do this, that or the other.
                  And the inconvenient one……..that governments are a tad short of dosh for the moment. 

                  (I’m sure that when they are all flush again, the global roadshow will cruise on up, but till then, it’s `shrinky time`~!)  

  • Anonymous

    ‘jobs’ has been extremely effective in cramming many people on to the rock. The peeps with capital only too happy for this growth as long as consumption can exceed production. Thing however now a wobbles… production can now exceed consumption.

    The world will not be quite as full with less ‘jobs’ and the bourgeoisie will be a little more jumpy.

    I think jobs it must be.

  • Excellent lecture today, thanks very much.
    We have come a long way since hunting-gathering. I hope our children won’t have to fall back to that basic form of existence.

    • I fear that `they` will have to sort out the jobs problem, debt problem and energy problem…….and then, they may be able to avoid falling back to a basic form of existence. 

  • Garryentropy

    I can
    remember Mr Gibbons, careers teacher at St Kevin’s RC school for boys saying
    much the same thing in 1978, he used to say that by the year 2000 all the
    manual jobs that secondary school kids are destined for would be done by robots
    and machines and that people would only have to work two days a week. He used
    to read us Philip Marlow stories instead of giving us careers advice. Mr
    Gibbons, who used to do a very passable Bogart voice, did not take into account
    the naughty machine owners who refuse to share out the wealth with the now
    jobless workers. What to do about the great unwashed, the thickoes who used to
    assemble things, Soma? Let them grow strong dope and leave them to play
    computer games?

    The problem
    is people like to do stuff, like making sheds or gazebos. All machines which do
    the dreary work should have some sort of tax, a sabot tax, and with this money
    schools of art, music, and culture should be founded, where people can go to
    make useless things of beauty, sounds crazy, well how about another big trench
    war that will reduce the numbers, mass sterilization? birth control? We need a
    new plan, trouble is the commies tried that one and as always it ended up with
    people exploiting their positions of power. So we are scared of big plans, but
    can we delegate a computing machine with this the ultimate job? A new HAL 9000,
    Sadly we return to that Greek fella in his cave of shadows, Quis
    custodiet ipsos custodes?

    • Hello Garry,
      I think the problem is that the world is at different stages.
      Where some `plan` may sound feasible in some village, town, state…maybe even country; that plan will not work where the area is in competition with another area.

      I fear that the world will always be at different stages, so no plan will ever work.  It will always be a competition between one area’s plan and the other area’s plans.

      The only way to `crack it`, would be for one area to have a plan that so obviously superior to all others, that all others adopt it……….but, it does not take long to see that even this falls down due to the `different stages problem`.

      No, sorry old Ga……we is and will ever be different and therefore in competition with one another.
      There will be no plan.
      There will be no peace.

      We have done well since WWII………but, as soon as the cheap energy goes, all the hopeful projections will go and we will get back to fighting each other.
      Area versus area.
      Plan versus plan.

  • Windcutter

    If you take away jobs, then you remove a bit of Maslow’s pyramid. In fact, quite a bit.

    People like to feel useful and get rewarded. In fact, I regard it as a personal responsibility to create as much work for others as I can. This doesn’t always go down too well, but as devil makes work for idle hands it’s important to keep’em occupied with less devilish work. Mainly so I can pursue the devil’s designs myself.

    I think with just a few more years technological development we can have the majority of the population immersed in ‘my second life’ type experiences. It won’t be far before the internet speed and games programming will have reached the level where the line between the online and real experience starts to merge. If, indeed, is hasn’t already. Just imagine it, there is no limit to the number of virtual jobs, with promotion, rewards etc. And all the virtual-salaries can be spent on an infinite supply of v-real estate.

    I know a few people who are already more interested in the ‘virtual space’ than in having real jobs. Unfortunately they spend their time roving the galaxy and forming teams to destroy the bad guys.

    There are infinite possibilities.

    And even ways to exploit real humans.

    This has been going on for a while

    And there is even the possibility to tax them.

    Maybe a way forward?

    • “If you take away jobs, then you remove a bit of Maslow’s pyramid. In fact, quite a bit.”
      *Errr… Yeah, which bit exactly~!?  (and that is even accepting someone said to `take away jobs` (which they didn’t~!)).

      “People like to feel useful and get rewarded.”
      *Yes, of course, but does this mean `job` and being paid money for `job`~?
      *People are carved up by their `job`…..What do you do~?

      That is another thing we would do well to grow out of~!

    • One doesn’t need to take away jobs, as such.  If people want jobs, they can have them doing things that they find interesting and useful.  The ability of our society to create the things we need with fewer people allows more people to do things that aren’t necessities.  Of course, people do many jobs now that needn’t be done,  but for the most part the determination of this work is dictated by the people who control capital.  If capital was distributed more evenly, more would have a say in how reward is earned.

  • Windcutter

    Here’s AEP,
    The Chinese are not stupid.

    They do not want debt which cannot be repaid except in depreciated USD’s and returns no interest. I’m amazed people are still buying the stuff, maybe the Bernank will become the biggest holder?

    • You know the system –
      The Chinese save 50%….So the government takes all those savings and gives them to Americans who will spend them.
      This is a rut that will take a long time (and a lot of pain) to get out of~!

  • AuntyEstablishment

    Jobs are becoming obselete. Employers want to reduce labour costs, so they get machines to do the work or they ship the jobs over seas to where the cheaper labour is. Now even the cheaper labour is being replaced by machines. (example: Foxconn) We need a totally new system that is designed to take modern technology into account. Unless we go back to the horse and buggy days, we need to embrace technology and design a new system around it. I am in favor of a “Resource Based Economy” similar to what the Zeitgeist Movement is proposing. I have done a lot of research on this topic and the ZM is the best solution I have found so far.

    • Are you on the `members` list………so I can make you an `author` (then you can do a / some posts to tell us about it)~?
      Because ideas are badly needed~!

      • AuntyEstablishment

        Yes, I am a member, I see my self in the members list under Gary S

        How do I post under my own member name? I only see a “post as”
        button under the comment window.

        • You are AuntyEstablishment and now an `author`.
          I did a video which may help kick you off –
          Any other problems, there is a contact message thingy on the right margin of OTP.

          My biggest warning to people who post is – “Be prepared to be ignored” (otherwise, most everything goes).

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the very good video (and comments)  about the nowadays fundamental problem of wealth distribution by jobs while jobs become more and more obsolete (by improved technology and efficiency).

    Indeed, contradictory forces at work:
    On the on hand there is a strive to make productions costs as low as possible by automation and very cheap (slave) wages. On the other hand people need sufficient bying power to pay for the produced stuff to let the game (business as usuall) go on. Crossing lines of gradually decreasing buying power and increasing automation in a context of more and more expensive energy and resources… 

    I agree with the view that we need a new system in which jobs are not the way of distributing wealth. Maybe not so popular, but in my view it is almost inevitable to focus more and more on basic necessities and giving people more basic control about their lives! 

    Nowadays people (especially in the Western world), have become job slaves in their little golden cage.
    Real estate has become relatively very expensive, so that a lot of people are enslaved to pay for where they live.
    Almost everything is monetised! People do need the means to have some basic control about their lives. That at a basic level they have the means to care for themselves.

    I think the end of cheap energy/resources era will force us more and more to become more localized and that specialized work (in the form of jobs) become more and more obsolete. Maybe, hopefully, much more people will feel more happy in a les materialistic way of living but more control about their own lives. Not being a slave in world were almost everything is monetised to (in my view) control the people.

    But how to transition (step by step) to a much more sustainable system?….not an easy question…very difficult to give a constructive answer.

    • I think we only have to see the Euro politicians in action to know that nothing is going to be planned.
      I guess we will rattle from one cock-up to the next……..Jerking, jerking and more jerking.

      It may smooth out a bit, when they realize the inevitability of `local`, but till then…..Jerky Jerky~!

  • Windcutter

    Something is going wrong here…. So much wealth and so little distribution. Where will it lead?……..”Demand for emergency food has soared in many parts of the country. Coventry food bank fed almost 800 people in July – up from 171 in April. In Bournemouth, the figure rose from 168 in April to 348 in August. And in Norwich, the numbers given food jumped from 122 in April to 335 last month.The total given emergency food boxes will rise from 61,000 in 2010 to an estimated 100,000 this year, according to the trust, which predicts that half a million Britons will need help by 2015. The latest available figures reveal that, in 2008-09 in England and Wales, almost 2.4 million people applied for crisis loans. Only 1.7 million received an initial award, meaning almost 700,000 were left waiting for a loan or had their applications turned down.A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said yesterday that the scheme would “signpost” claimants for help. “Jobcentre Plus helps thousands of people every day. As part of that work, we will be happy to signpost those people who need it to the Trussell Trust or other organisations that provide additional help.”Rebecca Waller, 21, from Salisbury, took part in a pilot when she was unemployed earlier this year. “I applied for a crisis loan, which was turned down. I found myself absolutely broke. It was embarrassing having to use the food bank but the people there made me feel really comfortable. Although I only used the scheme once, I’m not sure how I would have coped without it.”Oxfam research shows that up to 6 per cent of Britons report they have enough to eat only “sometimes”.Helen Longworth, Oxfam’s head of UK poverty policy, said: “It’s shocking that more and more people in the UK are being forced to go to food banks to be able to eat … In this day and age, nobody should be forced to choose between paying a bill or feeding their family.””……Crisis loans for 1,700,000 Britains??I did not even realise they existed. But they do indeed.

  • Windcutter

    From the FT I came across this comment

    “One way to save the system is to force a rewrite of the outstanding sovereign bonds of the endangered countries. For example, force a rollover of all PIIGS bonds into a 10, 15 or 30 year bond with interest payments of say, One percent or ZERO percent. You would exit the market to force this scenario. Do this for Italy and Spain immediately and also Ireland, Portugal. You figure out how to structure Greece….the whole thing might be a default—its a subprime loan as they dont seem to have the ability or willingness to pay.

    This would resolve the immediate crisis and you could then argue for decades about how to undo or redo this…. You see, this kind of idea would put a “floor” on the perceived losses—-meaning, if everyone who holds sovereign bonds from a country that “might” default—suddenly understands that at least they would get their money back—then there would be a more orderly and gradual sell off of these bonds, over time. 

    Put a floor in the deal, thats what the market (people who own the bonds) wants. Panic is caused when people have no idea how much of a loss they will be forced to take. Make the loss the interest only for the time being.””

    I wonder if it would work?

    • The problem (as always) is the banks.
       If these forced haircuts are shown on the books, they become even more insolvent than they are now.
      Or, you could imagine that these bonds are held by pension funds….and work out how they are to cope with that.
      All in all, there is no painless way of getting round this…no free lunch….UNLESS there is plenty of growth over the next five years~!?

      Imagine…Everything (in 2007) was projected to be in a place that did not include four years of crisis.  We are miles below projection already……..Throw in defaults and more years of weak growth and nothing is the same anymore.  It is not a question of losing a few percent here and there…..The whole edifice is crumbling~!

      • Windcutter

        Mauldin came up with this in his weekly yesterday.

        (register here

        “Let’s look at just one country. French banks are leveraged 4 times total French GDP. Not their private capital, mind you, but the entire county’s economic output! French banks have a total of almost $70 billion in exposure to Greek public and private debt, on which they will have to take at least a 50% haircut, and bond rating group Sean Egan thinks it will ultimately be closer to 90%. That is just Greek debt, mind you. Essentially, French banks are perilously close to being too big for France to save with only modest haircuts on their sovereign debt. If they were forced to take what will soon be mark-to-market numbers, they would be insolvent”

        These are horrific numbers.

        If they can’t force a roll-over of the debt at an interest rate the debtors can pay. Then surely the “Swedish solution” is the only one left?

        Nationalise the banks.

        I suppose it would also put the money creation back where it belongs, in the hands of the governments, which theoretically at least are working for the voters and the ‘profits’ would then be used for the people.

        Or maybe not. Probably not. No, not at all.

        Because the governments are inept at doing anything other than fudging. But if they could manage to install decent management teams and run the mortgage and commercial lending arms of the banks in the way the unfortunately defunct building societies were run before they deregulated the financial industry, then the profits from lending could be recycled back into the economy. Maybe that is a solution, or part of a solution?

        It is all looking bleaker everyday.

        More on the non-existent pensions.

    • Separate note:  Greek bonds are a wee bit strange because they are `Greek Law` bonds, so it will be easier to shove out the maturities on them (without causing such a big explosion).