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Should "Jobs" be artificially created, since most people seem to need them?

The whole idea of the Industrial Revolution is replacing physical labor by mechancal power, computers, robots, electricity, etc. Summed up by saying : to eliminate jobs. (for humans) This process seems to be accelerating, not slowiing down. We very well might face an economy with lots of "Productivity" , but few consumers,or "jobs". Analogous to what wealthy families have always been like. Except that they usually " take care of their own," i.e. create jobs for those who need them, however useless and inefficient. So, are we willing to face the consequences of doing that for everybody?! We would have to drop the idea of efficiency , or "merit"Just as in the Army; they pay you and feed you regrardless. Call it Radical, or Nepotism, which?

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    Jan 11 2013: Shawn, Under keynesian Economics don't we already do this through big government. There was absolutely no need for 32 new czars in our government but they were installed along with staff. There is no need for a staff 5,000 and a budget of $80 billion dollars for a department of education that has a mission statement of set educational policy and is questionally Constitutional as it is limited by the 10 Amendment. Billions are spent on Homeland Security as illegals pour across the boarder and recieve benefits from the states and are a polical ball while in violation of state and federal laws that are not enforced.

    Not only do we 'manufacture jobs" but we over pay them to do it.

    The private sector could not afford this "loss". The government has no problem burdening the citizens with this "loss".
    • Jan 11 2013: Robert: I'm afraid that we do NOT do this , or anything like it. I am proposing that we have something like Harry Hopkins creation of about 4 million jobs in about 4 months in 1934. In other words, you show up at an office, and you get a job , no questions asked, and no one turned away. As to our not being able to afford it, if we can afford to waste 1/3 of the National Budget on "wars" that are not even wars, then we can certainly afford to employ our own citizens, temporarily, in a time of need.
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        Jan 11 2013: Wars are funded by the Senate and you are right we cannot afford them. However, the Democrats do control the Senate and if they wanted to stop the wars ... as they say .. then don't fund them. At 16 trillion and 4 trillion more projected in the next debit ceiling raise ... Obama's projection ... we cannot afford anything.

        The fed is spending us to death on more stimuluses via QE 3 and the buy up of the acid loans on money that does not exist ... depression is all but guarenteed ... inflatuations a drop of the hat away .. and the administration does not understand what caused the fall of Argentina.

        We have developed the same welfare mentality and government sponsorship that has taken most of the EU down and yet we still do not understand. Obamacare the "free" medical answer will bankrupt 28 states that have made statements to the impact. But we still want "our free stuff".

        You want to solve some of the issues ... reduce the government ... reduce spending ... reduce the generational wefare and the entitlement people it has spawned ... stop Obamacare as employeers are already laying off people to compensate for the loss ... stop killing small business ... stop all the taxing, policies, directives, that are driving the jobs overseas ... make right to work a reality and return unions back to their root causes .. get the feds out of the states business as the 10th Amendment demands.

        No welfare reciepent would give up all they get for a minimum wage job that is about $70, 000 VS 20,000 in kind monies. Obama has promised education, welfare, medical, citizenship, and protection from existing laws costing the taxpayers billions and breaking states.

        Start with these and then we will have the funds for the people.

        Another program is not my opinion of a solution.

        Sorry if that sounds rude ... gotta start some place .. if we survive this and that a maybe.

        Bob.
  • Jan 6 2013: I think artificially created jobs are fine on a temporary basis for those scraping by to meet their basic needs of food shelter clothing - but rarely lead to meeting an individual's higher level need for self actualization. An exception is volunteer work if it in fact meets real societal needs.

    The presumption here is that more productivity is the main cause of this - but another major factor is the "baby boom"
    which will soon enough pass into perhaps a "baby bust".

    I think a more relevant solution to "not enough jobs" is "spreading the existing jobs around". In the US a major obstacle to this is medical care which is primarily tied to full time employment. The cost to an employer for providing medical care is the same for part time employees as it is for full time employees - so "career" part time work and "job sharing" are not done. I think if we had government provided health care not tied to employment and policies that encouraged less than full time work for those that desired it we would have all kinds of "jobs to spread around'. This would be particularly beneficial for young parents that want to "cut back" to better care for their young children and older workers that want to ease into retirement.
    With government provided, single payer, healthcare we also address the US problem of global business competitiveness. The US spends about twice the level of GDP that other developed countries with government provided health do - yet health outcomes are no better. If we bring our health care cost differential more in line we are more competitive and fewer jobs will be exported over seas.
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    Gail . 50+

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    Jan 6 2013: It can work on a small scale, but not on a large scale.

    In Oregon, for instance, law requires gas station attendants to pump people's fuel. This created a lot of new jobs, but not nearly enough - and they were all low-paying. There really seems to be no way to do this on a large enough scale to maintain enough consumers to keep our economy afloat. Government would have to be the employer, and that's a form of communism based on a cruel fiscal model. It doesn't work either. The cold war was an economic war & USSR lost.

    Also consider that our current fiscal paradigm was intentionally designed to benefit the wealthy and reduce the number of poor people through what was called "natural law". Poor people - especially the children of poor people - were intended to die in large enough numbers (of poverty-related causes) to keep the system working for the wealthy.

    The problem is not jobs. It's money itself.

    Money is a man-made social construct. We can devise other social constructs that are not as harmful and dangerous, but we are not yet willing to. Few are able to even conceive of how a moneyless society works. Because of this, the very idea of shifting over to a moneyless society is terrifying. It need not be, but I understand why it would be if we wait until the economy collapses (which is is guaranteed to do) before we make the shift. But if you control the crash and pre-plan, it need not be terrifying at all. It can be inspiring because freedom always is.

    When you combine increased automation (that increases dramatically with every recession because automation is cheaper than human labor and robots don't need health care or retirement plans) with spiraling population, you have a recipe for disaster. Add to that a fiscal system that doesn't care whether you live or die if you don't have enough money (food/clean water/heat in winter/clothing) and the stage is set for disaster.

    I advocate fixing the system before the system fixes us
    • Jan 7 2013: You have described a lot of the problems. But, "Money" is nothing more than a clever form of book-keeping on exchanges. of value. It isn't necessary to abolish it, just make sure everyone has enough, which in a society which doesn't have any particular limits on "Productivity", should not be difficult. Being in the Army: it is in effect , a moneyless society. No one is in want, but those who happen to have money do not get any outlandish power on account of it. As to previous experiments, I would not count the Soviet Union as anything more than a modernized autocracy. There never was any serious
      egalitarianism, except in demolishing the former class structure, and replacing it with a Party elite. No real change there, other than propaganda wise. I am not advocating a Spartan kind of State, that was just an example that many could relate to.
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        Jan 7 2013: Being in the army, who pays your salary?

        The money that pays your salary is not created by fiat. It is borrowed from private banks who "invent" it into existence, and then interest is attached. (The interest part of the debt is never printed, so there is no way to pay it off.)

        Money has value for as long as the people believe that it has value, because people think that money is backed by value, thought it is not. Money is backed by a promise to pay (hence the dollar is really a promissory note). If too much money is borrowed, lenders will refuse to lend. So who pays your salary then?

        Only a government could undertake what you suggest, but as our credit rating has already been down-graded (Lenders risk goes up, their willingness to lend goes down so interest rates go up so there is more debt due with no printed money to pay for it.)

        I know this sounds bizarre, but that's how the system works.

        Add to this factional banking, and look what happens

        The US borrows a billion from the national bank that can lend 90% of its assets at interest (Its seed assets come from buying US bonds). Let's say that the bank turns around and buys 1 billion worth of bonds in order to get more $$ into the economy. It then lends 900 billion to other banks, who can lend 810 billion to other banks who can then lend 720 billion to other banks, etc. (each level increases the debt by 90%). Each of these debts carry interest that is never printed so it can never be paid without borrowing more money - because, again, the US doesn't print money into existence - it borrows it into existence and bankers invent it from thin air.

        What lender would be willing to invest in a skyrocketing national debt that would exist if your suggestion were to become fact? No lender. The global economy would collapse in a heartbeat - as it probably will sooner rather than later in any case.
        • Jan 8 2013: "The US borrows a billion from the national bank that can lend 90% of its assets at interest"

          It amazes me how much you ALMOST know what you are talking about.

          It is PRIVATE banks that borrow from the FED, who in turn, can loan 90% of that out to consumers and businesses. However, private banks don't necessarily loan out 90% on a whim. They assess risk in a free market way.

          The concept you are sort of talking about is called the money multiplier. It is why the FED can buy $100 Billion in bonds and it's effect on the money supply can be as much as $1 Trillion. The FED can do the opposite as well. It can sell bonds and reduce the money supply in exactly the same way.
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        Jan 7 2013: PS: If the federal government were to create money by fiat (congressional decree rather than borrowing), and it were to create fiat money in the amount that is now required to pay off all loans by American citizens and companies in order to invest it into the economy to create jobs, it would have to print so many hundreds of trillions of dollars that our dollar would have no value. We would be just like Germany before the rise of Hitler. A wheelbarrow of 1,000 mark notes would not buy a loaf of bread. Inflation would be uncontrollable. That means no $$$ to buy fuel to bring food/goods to market, so as was the case during the Great Depression (started by the banks), food would be rotting in the fields as people died of starvation and malnutrition.
        • Jan 7 2013: TED L: I'm trying to follow your logic. You believe that money, yes is created out of thin air by "Banks" and "Lenders". And it is quite true that uncontrollable inflation can occur, especially if governments like Zimbabwe's do it. If money is really backed by the value material in the society, which the government can tax, how could it be that the government could not afford to pay off its lenders? (Unless, of course, it wastes all its money in useless Imperialistic enterprises, as ours is doing now.) And the idea that "Banks" and "Lenders" create all this value at issue is basically wrong. The value is created by the productivity of the economy, Note that Germany in the 1930s, after the inflation had ruined the middle class , and wiped out all savings, made a strong comeback before the War, but it was not due to "Banks and Lenders", but rather vigorous FDR type government programs. So did the Soviet Union for that matter. Not that I'm recommending that route. But it was the militarism that killed them, not the lack of Capitalism.
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        Jan 7 2013: A better understanding of U. S. fiscal policy would help you understand the impracticality of what you suggest. Notice that I did not say "lenders" can invent money out of thin air. I said banks can. BIG difference. As the US government has given away the authority to invent money into existence and given it (at your expense) to private banks, the US is REQUIRED to borrow money to pay off the interest on the money that it has borrowed, so it can never get out of debt. Not mathematically possible. It wouldn't affect you if Zimbabwe did this

        This fiscal model would work if things hadn't gone so wonky - in part because of government-encouraged outsourcing, TBTF, automation, oil, incentives for wealthy to hold $$$ off-shore in secret bank accounts.. Oh - and by pols selling you out for money $ & power.

        This is not 3rd world I am discussing. It is our own. Germany made a strong come-back when Hitler threw out the banks, created fiat money, and based the value of the dollar on an hour of labor rather than a promise to pay as we do. When he printed a mark, a mark was put into circulation. There was no interest to pay on top of it. After WWII, banks were reinstalled. Germany is having its problems 2

        What gave U the idea that U. S. money is backed by taxable material goods? Far from it. 5 banks = 60% of GDP through automated trades. (No human involvement after the algorithm is in the computer). Untaxed trades. The next 5 largest banks make it 77%. Govn't is a big spender, but small by comparison.

        Lenders know how to look beyond the propaganda fed 2 you 2 keep U silent.

        As to militarism being the death of the USSR, you're misinformed. It WAS an economic war. We won because people in USSR worked for government. Productivity suffered. Quality suffered. Creativity suffered. People waited in line for hours to buy a pair of jeans or a loaf of bread. The black market thrived.

        WWII fixed our economy. Not FDR. Our economy is war-based.
        • Jan 7 2013: TED:These all powerful Banks" you posit as the source of our wealth, only exist because of government charters, which could be revoked. Or SCOTUS might say that corporations only have a life span of whatever . What I meant about backing the currency is that only the government has the taxing power, not the banks. "The power to tax is the power to destroy". If the govt. nationalizes banks, it is a drastic procedure, but if the banks do not submit to taxation, it is "crimiinal." Of course, as in Nazi Germany, the banks may take a different route.
          And the S.U. was certainly defective, but it took 70 years to collapse. You seemed to be suggesting that there was some fundamental economic reason why we couldn't at least modify our "system".
        • Jan 8 2013: TED Lover: You may want to refresh your Econ 101...The creation of money by the Fed (not private) is monetary policy, not fiscal policy. Also, bank transactions between each other are NOT computed in GDP.

          GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government spending + Net exports

          Lastly, the USSR allocated too many resources to the military out of fear of what the US was doing. They had too many gun makers and not enough bakers. It wasn't due to any kind of government worker inefficiencies. Even the private sector has bureaucracy.
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        Jan 8 2013: Shawn, I believe that the system could be modified, but I don't believe that it will be modified. You would have to cap the disparity between rich and working poor. (the evidence says that the greater the disparity, the more social problems a nation has) You would have to change tax law to embrace economic growth of small businesses - but that requires re-defining what a small business is. Right now, Donald Trump is defined as a small business. You would have to embrace tariffs for imports from those countries who make it impossible for American workers to compete while sustaining our economy. Our politicians would have to respect the value of American citizens and distance themselves from the very people & organizations that pay for their political career. They would also have to submit themselves to the laws that they impose upon us. They would have to "become" one of us. Do you see that possibility?
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        Jan 8 2013: Brock:

        The federal reserve banks are private,for profit institutions. The Federal Reserve board is not a bank.

        The thousands of trades (stock market) per second are part of the GDP. that is what I was referring to. The biggest 10 banks are responsible for 77% of GDP. Is that sound fiscal policy?

        As to Russia, I've was there soon after the fall of the USSR. I saw the conditions. I remember thinking that if I were to move here with $2,500, I could be a multi-multi-millionaire (this was before billionaires) in less than two years. The blank looks in peoples' eyes. The stooped shoulders. The lack of ability to see opportunities where I saw them everywhere. These people seemed to be in a state of learned helplessness. A few saw them after they had a chance to travel outside of the country. The number of millionaires skyrocketed only a couple of years later.

        Because the USSR spent too much on military spending as a result of perceived threats by the USA, that makes it an economic war. We simply outspent them to the point where they couldn't continue. It wasn't that they had too many guns and not enough bankers. It was because people had too few ideas and no ability to think outside a very narrow box.

        Yes, even the private sector has bureaucracy, but in a system of true capitalism (no government subsidies and favors), the market takes care of them and forces them to adapt. Today, if you are a large enough company, the tax-payers take care of you rather than consumers. Most big businesses no longer respond to the people's market demands. They respond to political favors in the form of advantageous tax policies. And because of the close alliance between them and our politicians, they get to decide (and even write the laws that effect) the type of government support that they want.

        If big businesses responded to market demand, they would stop out-sourcing and being hiring more consumers who can afford to buy their products.
        • Jan 8 2013: The Federal reserve banks are not privately owned and they are not a for-profit organization. Their authority comes from congress and they are subject to congressional over-site. You can read more in the "FRB: Who owns the Federal Reserve" FAQ at:

          http://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/about_14986.htm

          As for GDP

          The value of a Stock trade is NOT computed in GDP. At most, the service fee for the trade is, but that doesn't even come close to being significant.

          GDP is a measure of the final production of goods and services produced within our borders. By final, I am referring to the end products that people buy. i.e. if you buy a new tire for your car, that is counted, but the tires produced for a new car are not counted - the new car is what is counted. GDP isn't a government conspiracy, it is a term invented by economists (economics is a science) to provide a meaningful way of tracking production.

          GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government spending + Net exports

          Private consumption is approximately 70% of GDP. It is the measure of what we buy at the store, or the Wal-mart. Only new goods count - a used car doesn't.

          Gross investment is the capital expenditures companies make in preparation to do business. Examples of this include a pizza oven for a restaurant, robots for a factory, etc..

          Government spending within GDP is what the government buys or pays to its employees. It doesn't not include transfer payments (money that is moved from one place to another - i.e. welfare, unemployment benefits, etc). It does include things like military expenditures, teacher salaries, etc..

          Net exports is the value of goods leaving the country minus the value of goods coming into the country.

          As for USSR,

          You are arguing semantics. Also, innovation and thinking outside the box is only necessary when you can't simply steal the ideas from your competitors. The USSR didn't allocate enough farmers and bakers. They would have survived if they did.
  • Jan 30 2013: Don: I agree with you, absolutely. But I am aware that , especially in a Diverse Society, we can't expect much agreement about just which jobs are significant and which are useless. So we might as well get used to the idea of allowing everyone their special interests. Why not? That's what wealthy families have always done. And it is now theoretically possible to have the resources to allow this to happen. (think Thorium LFTRs)
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    Jan 30 2013: Why even consider creating pointless/artificial jobs when there is real world projects that are needed?

    *National water exchange line/channel:, so when one state has floods they could send some of the water to states that is having a drought.

    *A Nation Major Disaster Response Force: instead of helping people rebuild after a disaster, how about helping them survive a disaster.

    *National home insulating service: a government service that bring ever home in America up to a recommend R-value.

    *National pollinator aid program: to reduce the current stress levels on pollinators like bees by planting flowering plants and their migration paths and were needed.

    * Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.
  • Jan 30 2013: We all have to have certain minimum resources in order to live. Your question really boils down to whether we should all have to provide for ourselves or whether someone should just give us everything we need. The fake jobs you want to hand out really just involve paying people to do work that doesn't need to be done. Why have them work at all?

    Once the question is boiled down to whether or not people should have to provide for themselves you have to ask a big question. Where will the resources to support the non-workers come from? The only possible source is those who actually work. This then leads to more big questions. Why should those who work have to support those who don't? Who decides who works and who doesn't? Isn't all of this just slavery hidden behind a vale of democracy or socialism or whatever other ism you care to employ in your rationalization?
    • Jan 30 2013: Robert: I sympathize with your view, being some kind of German myself. But you are totally ignoring the realities of modern "productivity". You ask , who will provide all this stuff that we need to live. Well, if the answer is , robots, automation and computers, how will we then be able to say that "we", or anyone, doesn't "deserve" a living? It is developing into the rich families' dilemma: if you have deadbeat relatives who "don't want to work", do you just let them drop dead in a ditch? Especially since in this developing scenario, it is not that people don't want to work, but they are being replaced at all levels by machines, and it will continue that way. So the jobs, economically speaking, no longer exist. Look at the steel industry: in my lifetime, it went from employing hundreds of thousands , down to negligible. But steel was stilll produced in quantity. If the jobs don't exist, unemployed people cannot be blamed for not having them . True, people do need jobs, for psychological reasons. So they will need to be created. "Useless" or not. Or would you prefer that they all become drug addicts or criminals?!
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        Jan 30 2013: you are a complete failure. you said that a few weeks ago, i explained why it is wrong, then you just dropped it, didn't reply. fast forward a month, and now you repeat the same mistakes again, like nothing happened.
      • Jan 30 2013: You are making the false assumption that robots can do all of the work that is worth doing. That is not the case. It is a falisy that improving technology always results in less need for workers. The opposite is more often the case. An example that I read somewhere comes from early American history. The initial settlement of the west was supplied using mule teams that carried much of the needed supplies over the appalachian mountains. This employed hundreds of mule herds. The invention of the railroad resulted in all of the mule herds losing their jobs. But in their place many times more jobs were created in constructing and tending the railroads.

        One of the reasons that many people like to work is because they want to be useful and they want the independence that comes from paying their own way. If that is taken from them I suspect most of them won't want to work anymore.
        • Jan 30 2013: Robert: you are quite right about past history. But that is not always a wise guide. Consider France in 1919: they had endured a grueling war, unexpectedly lost a million men in trench warfare, so they said "we won't let this happen again" and spent themselves halfway to bankruptcy by building the "Maginot Line" , a super modern fortification system they wished they had possessed in 1914. It was all for nothing; technology made the whole thing useless. I am suggesting the the process of increasing jobs , and other opportunities, which clearly happpened over the last several hundred years, is now in the process of reversing itself, as far as employment goes. Vast numbers of people who would formerly have been "middle class" are now working at walmart, taking jobs away from those who have less education. But: "Productivity" is booming, as it has for the last few hundred years. I see very little in the economic picture which would entice employers to hire people if there is the slightest chance that a robot could do the job. Do you?
      • Jan 31 2013: Employment is booming in many countries around the world most of them are just as modern or nearly so as the USA. In the USA you are seeing the consequences of a country that has lived beyond its means for decades. All of that borrowed prosperity is running out and it is time for the USA to become a truly productive nation once again. The current problems are merely part of the the pain that will wake people up to the need for a change in direction.
        • Jan 31 2013: Robert: the Boom you are talking about is part of the process, but notice that even China, and long since Japan, are being faced with the "Race to the Bottom" of cheap foreign competition. What makes you think that China, India, etc. will not , in X years, be faced with the same dilemmas that we face now? And isn't it true that the automating ,"money-saving" robot revolution is likely to accelerate, not slow down. Or do you seriously believe that the leaders of "Industry" (Wall Sreet) will see the wisdom that Henry Ford exhibited a hundred years ago, and one day double his workers pay, without being asked, since he believed that it was necessary for workers to be able to buy things for our system to work. I see no signs of this now. Do you?!
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    Jan 9 2013: brilliant...well said...obviously i agree...It is interesting how this idea begins to change into everything but what you suggest...just the fact that its so unattractive an idea,when in my opinon it is the absolute best i have ever heard is interesting,,,,why is inventing of stuff to do so unattractive to us when so much of what we do is toxic,self important, eliminates jobs, and damages alot of other species changes for survival...I will suggest maybe if you reword the idea you will catch more fish....i dont know what you call it but most people dont say specific things they actually know they say things they read about or theorize about,so while im sure everyone cares about the jobless...creating jobs to allow everyone to feel useful is not the language of thought you will hear within ...I could list hundreds of jobs that should exist that dont...I am not a statistical being...I am an inventor,and an artist, and obsessed with allowing those of a lesser aggressive nature to grow outside of the aristocracy lottery world in which we currently reside
    • Jan 10 2013: carolyn: thanks for the kind words. I know it is probably tactless to put it so bluntly, but if I were one of those wealthy people I refer to, I wouldn't hesitate a minute. Far better that someone should do something "useless" (a vague idea anyway) rather than something damaging to themselves or others, like becoming a drunk. Do you have any suggestions as to how to frame it better? It wouldn't do to pretend. and institutionalize lying. The junk and consumer economy is so obviously unsustainable that it is not a great loss anyway.. But I realize that it is a very scary idea to have to decide for yourself what is worth doing with you life.
  • Jan 8 2013: As a computer science major, I can say without doubt that the dilemma you refer to is real. Marx considered the problem as well, 150 years ago. I am constantly trying to think of new ways to replace human efforts with automation. For example, a project that I am working on could soon change the way people learn math - all without the need for a teacher.

    When WWII started, the US government dramatically increased it's role in the economy. It became a major consumer of production and a key provider of jobs. The consequence was good as well. For the first time, labor markets were tight enough to allow unions to become effective. This accelerated the growth of our middle class which in turn, increased overall demand for goods and services.

    It is good policy to keep the labor markets tight. There are plenty of projects that can be imagined - more roads, better mass transit, more education opportunities by hiring more teachers and building more schools, NASA, Hospitals and clinics for all, solar on a massive scale, and the list goes on and on. I don't think it is necessary to artificially create anything. I listed off a few useful things, but I bet you can also think of some things too. Many ideas can end up being very pro business by making the cost of doing business in the US cheaper - transportation costs, electricity prices, etc. It just depends on how creative we want to be.

    The key thing is this: The government should be the example on how to treat employees. That is, good pay, good benefits, safe work environment, etc. I think the real future is ultimately going to be shorter work weeks and more leisure time for most.
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    Jan 7 2013: A better understanding of U. S. fiscal policy would help you understand the impracticality of what you suggest. Notice that I did not say "lenders" can invent money out of thin air. I said banks can. BIG difference. As the US government has given away the authority to invent money into existence and sold it (at your expense) to private banks, the US is REQUIRED to borrow money to pay off the interest on the money that it has borrowed, so it can never get out of debt. Not mathematically possible. It wouldn't affect you if Zimbabwe did this

    This fiscal model would work if things hadn't gone so wonky - in part because of government-encouraged outsourcing, TBTF, automation, oil, incentives for wealthy to hold $$$ off-shore in secret bank accounts.. Oh - and by pols selling you out for money $ & power.

    This is not 3rd world I am discussing. It is our own. Germany made a strong come-back when Hitler threw out the banks, created fiat money, and based the value of the dollar on an hour of labor rather than a promise to pay as we do. When he printed a mark, a mark was put into circulation. There was no interest to pay on top of it. After WWII, banks were reinstalled. Germany is having its problems 2

    What gave U the idea that U. S. money is backed by taxable material goods? Far from it. 5 banks = 60% of GDP through automated trades. (No human involvement after the algorithm is in the computer). Untaxed trades. The next 5 largest banks make it 77%. Govn't is a big spender, but small by comparison.

    Lenders know how to look beyond the propaganda fed 2 you 2 keep U silent.

    As to militarism being the death of the USSR, you're misinformed. It WAS an economic war. We won because people in USSR worked for government. Productivity suffered. Quality suffered. Creativity suffered. People waited in line for hours to buy a pair of jeans or a loaf of bread. The black market thrived.

    WWII fixed our economy. Not FDR. Our economy is war-based.
  • Jan 6 2013: "Should "Jobs" be artificially created, since most people seem to need them?"

    Why not just shorten the workweek? To us a 20 hour job (there could be two of those instead of one 40 hour job) might not seem like a real job, but a worker from 1850, used to working 72 hours a week would say the same about our 40 hour jobs.
    • Jan 7 2013: John: shortening is a good suggestion, but it won't solve the problem. In the formerly booming steel industry, something like 7/8 of the former workforce was laid off, with no loss in productivity. Is it feasible to have millions of people working 5 hours a week? Of course, it could be done, but I'm guessing that it would not have the same "feel" as a 20 hour week. What I am suggesting is that the whole meaning of "Work" has got to change. Just as it does in wealthy families, where no one actually MUST work, except, as someone said , for self-development. Interesting factoid: Many great names in the sciences in England in the 19th century were just such "rich kids" who felt like doing something meaningful, even though they didn't have to.
      • Jan 7 2013: 5 hours per week might be too little, but you could fiddle around a little more by lowering the retirement age and increasing the number of holiday days. It'll be a long time before working 20 hours a week, 160 days per year between the ages of 25 and 55 will still leave a lot of people unemployed. When that time comes the world will be so different that people won't "need" jobs anymore, they'll be content doing other things to keep busy (everyone could be a 100% devoted parent, a caregiver, a fulltime surfer or videogamer or an amateur artist), which is probably already true for a large segment of the population.
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    Jan 6 2013: Given how often this has been done, taking the WPA as an example, I don't think one could consider it radical.

    What has received more focus recently, though, is how in every corner of the globe entrepreneurship continues to arise in the sense of people's figuring out things they can do that offer other people value.

    There was a recent TED talk about the informal economy, for example, which I will link if I can find it. http://www.ted.com/talks/robert_neuwirth_the_power_of_the_informal_economy.html
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    Jan 6 2013: how many jobs there are today, in the US? around 150 million. that is approx 40% of the total population. how many jobs have destroyed since the formation of the US? almost all of them. majority of US workers were farmers in 1800. today, less than 5% works in agriculture. how is that? why job count is not down to 5% then?

    because new jobs have been created. who created them? nobody. jobs are just there. jobs are things to do. jobs are things that can be done in order for us to have a better life. better can be more healthy, safer, more entertaining, whatever. whatever we desire to have. the possibilities are endless. if is incomprehensible that at any time, people will be out of ideas how to make each other's life better. any idea how to make things better: a job.

    but we don't have enough time to to all the jobs. we do the most important jobs, and simply skip the less important ones. so as soon as one job gets automated, work hours get freed up, and we can put those work hours to some other tasks. and the result is, more of our desires can be satisfied.

    so no, it is not nepotism or radical, it is just false.
    • Jan 6 2013: The number of hours worked per capita has decreased a lot since 1800, that's a good thing and much of it was the result of state or union action, I just hope people won't forget about that when deciding how to react to continued rises in productivity. It would be a shame if people started believing that reduced working hours came out of nowhere and will do so again in the future.
    • Jan 7 2013: Krisztian: you are basically right, I was just suggesting that in the future , we are going to have to drop the "bottom line" thinking about Subsistance, and the "value" of a "job". I didn't quite understand your last line. Perhaps I should have added that in an economy of vast overproduction , there need not be any particular "wage discrimination" i.e. paying more more for one job rather than another.;
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        Jan 7 2013: so you are saying what i say is right, but false?

        i don't know what dropping the bottom line would be. i also don't understand that why would anyone have to accept lower living standards in the future. the opposite is happening for 200-300 years. what will change?
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    Jan 6 2013: Not artificially created if you mean work that need not be done, but if you mean create them as in pay for them and organize them thru non private means? Yes why not? There are huge numbers of projects that could employ millions from unskilled labor to any field. One would be to create shore works to minimize storm damage and the effect of ocean levels rising, another would be the retro fitting of the nations dams to include fish ladders locks for river borne commerce, and wet lands to replace those flooded by construction. Another would be a network of high speed rails that connected the USA internally. There are plenty of jobs to be done, and it would not be very hard to finance them, sell shares in a rail line, create dividend bearing T-bill for the dams that you renovate, sell the power commercially. Invest the money spent bailing out a company on the shoreline project.Create a government factory to build electric cars, with the battery stations that are discussed in the ted talk about electric cars....damn I can't recall who by I'll look it up and add it, hire people to make them and give each worker one as part of salary, excavate and recycle the massive landfills of the past 200 years to mitigate toxic wastes and to recover valuable metals plastics ect.
    • Jan 7 2013: russell: I agree with you , basically, but I must insist that a lot of "jobs" really do seem to be "useless ", such as inventing clever ways to kill people. But why not be generous about it? If we can afford all kinds of silly jobs , like inventing Beanie Babies, why argue about which ones are serious and which are not? It would be a scary, boring society where everyone agreed on all artistic and philosophical points. That is never fun. And only in the "Scarcity Societies" of the past has it mattered.