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shawn disney

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The answer to widespread unemployment is " Neo- Nepotism".

The success of the Industrial Revolution, combined with AI and robotics, seems to indicate that almost no "Jobs" cannot be automated out of existence. The Business world welcomes this, since employees are always a nuisance, and every one of them you can fire increases your "Profits".
Wealthy families always solved this problem by Nepotism, providing jobs for its members, regardless of efficiency ; keeping them out of trouble is reason enough. Since Biology , as well as Buddhism , indicates that all people are actually related, i.e. "One of Us", the logical answer is to provide jobs for those who need them, regardless of "efficiency". This idea is outrageous to those brought up in a scarcity economy, because of its "Unfairness", but the Wealthy have always cheerfully practised it. Especially since the invention of Thorium LFTR power plants, the scarcity economy can potentially be eliminated, making "NEO-Nepotism For Everybody," a physically possible outcome. I t will become the weatlthy person's challenge to everyone to find something useful to do when they are not forced to, but how could that be "bad"? In such a civilised society, it is likely that the population would fall dramatically, as it has already in advanced countries, which would take some of the pressure off. We should be able to dream up new ventures more interesting than squabbling with strangers over Oil , or religions; I know I can.

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    Sep 23 2012: @John Smith
    >> decoupling productivity from consumption.
    > By that token Wall Street is communist

    exactly how the wall street tries that?
    • Sep 23 2012: Wall Street gets a lot of money for services that are not really in demand (some services are, but many are not) except among its own members and they do it using other people's (or the FED's) money. It's really the same as a communist country paying people to build roads that no one will use, for the sake of maintaining 100% employment.
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        Sep 23 2012: so they do stuff for money. maybe the problem is the one that pays them?
        • Sep 28 2012: The problem lies with both groups. The cops are failing their duty by not going after the robbers, and the robbers are bad ecause they are robbing.
    • Sep 23 2012: Krisztian: An even better example is the invention of "Derivatives" by Wall Street geniuses: which Warren Buffet, no fool, called "Toxic Time Bombs". They were artificial , fraudulent financial securities (imaginary, vaguely related to "Insurance") widely sold thoughtout the world which created paper "profits" for Wall St., which so outclassed tradiitional "Banking" , that political influence was used to enable this fraud to become widely possible among former "Banks". To answer your question , this activity was defined as incredibly "productive", and it certainly produced profits for these "banks" , but asfor actual productiviity for the economy, it was a disaster, with the taxpers footing the bill.
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        Sep 23 2012: and how that falls under the notion of "separate production from consumption"? a derivative is a financial product. behind a derivative, there are other things, like commodities, other derivatives, stocks, bonds. in a functional economy, these tools are extremely useful. they only look evil because an ordinary person can't really understand them, so politicians and freudsters blame derivatives before someone starts blaming them.
        • Sep 24 2012: K; The basic idea is the same: Production is suposed to be (rationallly) related to consumption in the sense that, money wise, the consumption is paid for by some roughly equivalent amount of "production", meaning something useful.. This was the mode of trade for millenia, as Mr. Frum's example of the economices of tomato sales indicates. But what has happened, with such items of "Production" as Derivatives, even if not outright fraudulent, are quite often incomprehensible to the brokers, etc. who handle them. Mr. Greenspan admitted as much before Congress: He overlooked the fraud , but did say that the Theory of Efficient Markets, which works so well with tomatoes, frequently does not work at all with the ever more complex financial inventions of the last generation. Just an example : Jamie Dimon , said to be the "smartest guy in the room", was not able recently to account for losses of billions, even to the nearest billion. And he gets paid handsomely to do just that. How do you imagine that ordinary homeowners are going to be anything like as competent as he is said to be ?! So much of this fantastic bonus money these guys get is not related to any provision of anything "Real" at all. only the Fees, and the Losses to the taxpayers are real.Furthermore , it is well known that the really wealthy do not reallly "Consume" all that much, there are not enough to them to be able to do that. When you think about it, the Wall St. economic model is very much like the Soviet one.It is no doubt true that as you say , behind the Derivatives are OTHER fraudulent, misleading "securities" , usuallly just paper; If they do not relate to anylthing real, how does that help?!
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        Sep 25 2012: first, let us deal with fraud first. it is an activity that grants you stuff. you don't get stuff with no or mistaken activities, so it is not communist in any regard.

        second, derivatives. production is not just manufacture. an actor does not manufacture anything, yet i doubt you would argue they don't contribute. a derivative is just a contract between the endpoints, namely someone having money and someone needing money. it is a tool on the money market. and creating tools is a job. creating derivatives the sell well is a very useful activity that gets paid. the notion that derivatives are incomprehensible for a broker is downright ridiculous. i can comprehend them, and i'm no broker. that is an older than dirt trick, he does not understand the money market, so he claims nobody does.

        so what about the recent big losses? this is the government's job. mr greenspan in person, and his successor, handing out billions of dollars to the banks. the government created laws, regulations and public companies to create false demand and a boom. people bought derivatives because their prices rose. sure it did, the newly created money paid for everything, no matter how expensive. that's why you have hundreds of thousands of empty houses, and that's why derivatives on them never stopped rising. but these artificial highs can not last.

        and now, when the party ends, the same people are not resigned. no no no. they are looking for the scapegoat. "derivatives" they shout. and survive another day in power.
  • Sep 23 2012: That might be the ideal, but what I have heard about is where "Y" is fired, "X" is expected to do the extra work, and the "owner" (?!) pockets late Y's salary.
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      Sep 23 2012: according to this theory, soon only one person will work. why is it not happening? why didn't happen in the last 200 or 300 years? why employment didn't drop to 1% by now?
      • Sep 24 2012: KI: It IS hapening, but since it took hundreds if years to reach its present level, naturally it is going to take some time to happen. The Titanic didn't sink immediately.
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          Sep 25 2012: but again, the jobs repeatedly got replaced, and replaced and replaced in many turns. what makes it end? explain. the titanic went down all the time. it was apparent. it would be strange for it to stop. it would need explanation. but employment never rose in the last centuries, and employment didn't concentrate in the hands of few. so it would be strange for it to happen now. it would need explanation.

          in fact, with the appropriate theory, we can explain why it isn't happening.
    • Sep 23 2012: @shawn disney: If farmer Brown is selling 10 tomatoes for 1$, and farmer Black is selling 12 tomatoes of the same quality for 90¢, whom will you buy from?
      If mason Brown offers to lay 100 bricks a day for 50$ and mason Black offers to lay 120 bricks a day for 45$, which one will you hire when you're building your house?
      If Y can deal with 100 account transactions a day for 100$, and X can deal with 120 account transactions a day for 90$, whose services will you use?
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        Sep 24 2012: to my own benifit.i will hire ther person who can do most work adn charge the least money

        to the whole county,you know now emplayment is not very well,so i will hire tho person who has the lowest efficiency.then he can work for a long time.he won't lose his job. it benefits to the unemployment
  • Sep 23 2012: I sympathize with your point of view, but don't you think it would be more fair,and realistic to call it "Half-Civilised"? After all, we do not get rid of old people by putting them out to sea on ice floes, and Slavery, if not abolished totally, is at least considered barabaric. And certainly we have a lot of the" decadence" of some of the civilisations of the past, like Rome. Some of the virtues , too: we built a lot of useful infrastructure, which will probably survive us. Then there is the whole idea of Law, and the British Police: they may not be perfect, but its a good start.
  • Sep 23 2012: As its base, Communism used money and that created inequality, power bases and reasons for corruption.
    The world has never had pure communism nor any kind of governance that was not corrupt.

    To simply label another idea as Socialism or Communism is to be disingenuous and serves only to demonize and immediately stop any real dialog. This usually happens within those doing the labeling. Those who do so, reveal their inability to think, imagine and desire something other than the same old problems they are only familiar with and thus have become comfortable with. That is what they think of, I guess, when it comes to seeking, working for or acquiring comfort in their lives. Pity, if you ask me.

    Also, we are not civilized. Civilization has not yet happened or begun. To call it so is to continue lying to oneself about the state we find ourselves in.
  • Sep 22 2012: "The answer to widespread unemployment is " Neo-Nepotism"."

    It's AN answer, not THE answer, and a very bad one at that. It would basically mean that many people with friends in high places would perform useless tasks and get paid for it (kinda like today's derivative traders, but with even more people doing it), while many people without friends in high places would be left to die in the streets.

    If we can have a reasonable standard of living with everyone working few hours (and can't add more useful employment because of scarce natural resources), then why don't we just let everyone work few hours? You can't be called lazy for working 20 hours a week if everyone works 20 hours a week, so why bother pretending to do useful work for 40 hours a week?
    • Sep 23 2012: John I agree with you, but I did not mean for Neo-Nepotism to require friends in high places; it would be more equitable, as you say , to include everyone, a la Social Security, both as payees and sharing whatever work might be thought to be needed. Or even not needed, just dreamed up. This is not so revolutionary, if you remember, FDR did something similar in the big Depression: created work for Artists, making murals for Post Offices, etc.
  • Sep 22 2012: "The Business world welcomes this, since employees are always a nuisance, and every one of them you can fire increases your Profits."

    Spoken like a person who has never run a business.
    • Sep 23 2012: John F. Where have you been?! Haven't you heard of "Downsizing"? Or "outsourcing"? And where did all these unemployed middle class workaholics come from?!
      • Sep 23 2012: "Downsizing" means firing the employees or getting rid of equipment that do not result in additional revenue. If "employees are always a nuisance", why doesn't every business owner fire all his employees so that he can keep all the profits for himself?

        Outsourcing is just getting X to do the job of employee Y. X is either a self-employed contractor or an employee of company Z. There is no net loss of jobs if Y is fired in the process.
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    Sep 21 2012: how many names you people can find to communism? why is that, that all you need is a little different wording, and people buys the same theory over and over. no matter how many times communism fails, it resurrects right away with a different set of phrases, but no fundamental change.

    it boggles the mind. if you people believe that, and then no need to redefine it every now and then, and just call it communism. or it is possible that you don't understand it is communism in disguise? in this latter case, how many faces of this idea should fail before you learn to recognize?
    • Sep 22 2012: K.P.: I'm, a little unclear as to how you would distinguish "communism" from fascism. As far as the actual history of it goes. Or are you perhaps talking about Theories of Marxism? I 'm suggesting that the modern Global Economy is orders of magnitude different from the kind of society you are imagining., which is itself a kind of fantasy. The Soviet Union never practised "communism" at all; it was just a slogan they had. And are you saying my example of army service as an examlple of a non-money orented society is "communism"?! "Well , OK, if you want to define it that way.
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        Sep 22 2012: obviously i'm talking about communism as a concept. namely the concept of decoupling productivity from consumption.
        • Sep 23 2012: That's a rather broad definition don't you think? By that token Wall Street is communist
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    Sep 21 2012: I agree, and am not a proponent of the scarcity economy. Capitalism is dying. A new age is coming.