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 Post subject: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really at?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:54 am 
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It seems to me that our problems do not stem from lack of jobs. Rather they stem from how we organise our productive activity. And how we distribute any 'wealth' that is created.

I think the mantra of 'jobs, jobs, jobs needs to be put down for a while, to allow us to address our REAL problems.

For example, how much of our country's productive effort is part of a chain directed towards producing luxury goods for the wealthy, the FIRE economy, illusory tat, gambling, high powered marketing to make up for lack of real inherent value of goods, and generally things we need like we need a hole in the head?

And who gains the bulk of the benefit from this activity - is it the large proportion of our population who really feel the impact of this recession?

Then, let us think about our concept of 'efficiency'.

Is it efficient to be producing shoe box apartments, shopping centre hell holes, processed muck meant to be edible, disposable gadgetry, things whose economic benefit is short lived and superficial anyway?

Is it an efficient use of a human being to use him as a a cheap substitute for an automaton? What really is in the human being that gives him his real productive value? I would say that it is his capabilities as 'an adaptive decision maker'. Also (and this is really the same thing) as a creative and an imaginative intelligence. I would say that to use him where neither choice nor adaptation nor creativity nor imagination are called for is not an efficient (or human) use.

But we are being sold the solution to our problems as being 'jobs, jobs, jobs'. I have no doubt either that the bulk of these jobs WILL merely use our people as cheap substitutes for automatons. And that they will only be part of a chain producing something along the line of the goods and services I listed derogatively above.

This ends up as being worse than a zero sum game. As it has been for some time, and has lead us down this road we are on. We need more thought and less action imo. There is too much of 'a lot done, more to do' in how we are approaching our problems. The jobs, jobs, jobs mantra is trite in the context of our current predicament. We need to think bigger. Anyway, what is it about this mantra that everyone just laps it up? It has been the FF justification for political malfeasance since the year dot. The other parties are no better though their malfeasance is at present less calculated and more a well-intentioned flailing marked by severely institutionalised thought processes.

What is the problem in unemployment anyway? Is it in not having a job?

Or is it in being unable to access the same level of resources as the rest of one's community? And of a sense of loss of social standing and personal worth? And of having no outlet for one's productive energies?

What if (imagine) the previous generation had devoted all their energies to creating a long lasting automated productive infrastructure that was capable of producing all we need and more, but with little need for human operators. (as opposed to what they did devote their energies to). How would we work out how to distribute the wealth produced by this automated infrastructure if there was no need for anyone to work?

At present, we say that a man is entitled to a certain share if he does a certain work. It is by no means a perfect system since we have seen that if a man chooses to do a work that is inherently cynical and provides an illusion of benefit that can be easily 'marketed', rather than a work that provides a higher benefit (but less profitable) to his fellow man; he will most likely be entitled to the greatest share of wealth.

The above frames just some of the problems as I see them. I think it is ridiculous to frame them in the context of 'jobs, jobs, jobs' at the current juncture.


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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:10 am 
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All of the above is required to keep the mon-fri 9-5 economy going.

People need to accept that this approach is only about 100 years old and coincided with the formation of the nation-state.

We now have a generational (epochal?) opportunity afforded by technology whereby working 3 or 4 days a week should be accepted for and acceptable to most people. Indeed it should be promoted as the ideal.

The problem is creating a society where alternative pursuits - staying with the kids, getting exercise, hobbying - are valued rather than seen as dossing.

There are huge opportunities to improve national health, social cohesion and well, general wellbeing.
In addition, less people working means more jobs for others.
Whether or not we like this idea, mon-fri/9-5 employment, through technology and Eastern competition, is becoming a thing of the past.

Taxes should be substantially raised most particularly on non-performing assets - land tax, capital gains etc...

As I've said before, the dialogue should be about re-imagining or reinventing the state, not trying to get back to the past.


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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:23 am 
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Monday to Friday 9-5 has increased because of technology - most professional service jobs now are effectively selling 24/7 availability because advances in technology allow quicker turn around times and constant access to people


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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:53 am 
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Property Magnate

Joined: Jun 13, 2008
Posts: 748
That sounds like dangerous talk :)

Seriously, you are very unlikely to reinvent the wheel in a place like Ireland, too conservative and not enough reason for revolution, plus there are no easy resources to bankroll such an experiment and not enough glue in society to hold it together.

Ireland is part of a globalised whole, as others have stated many jobs have long moved beyond 9-5. It's technology more than anything has allowed/caused this to happen.
You THINK we should get paid well for a 3-4 day week, but who's going to do the paying. WHO?
In this case you should focus as an individual on what you want to acheive, because trying to acheive a nirvana in a small country like Ireland that is very much at the whims of bigger forces seems impossible to me.


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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:56 am 
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Joined: Sep 14, 2010
Posts: 453
needle wrote:
All of the above is required to keep the mon-fri 9-5 economy going.

People need to accept that this approach is only about 100 years old and coincided with the formation of the nation-state.

We now have a generational (epochal?) opportunity afforded by technology whereby working 3 or 4 days a week should be accepted for and acceptable to most people. Indeed it should be promoted as the ideal.

The problem is creating a society where alternative pursuits - staying with the kids, getting exercise, hobbying - are valued rather than seen as dossing.

There are huge opportunities to improve national health, social cohesion and well, general wellbeing.
In addition, less people working means more jobs for others.
Whether or not we like this idea, mon-fri/9-5 employment, through technology and Eastern competition, is becoming a thing of the past.

Taxes should be substantially raised most particularly on non-performing assets - land tax, capital gains etc...

As I've said before, the dialogue should be about re-imagining or reinventing the state, not trying to get back to the past.


Very eloquently put Needle. Been listening to how technology will shorten our working week for the last fifteen years. If anything people work longer hours and due to mobile technology are effectively on call at the weekends/on holidays etc. depending on your manager.Problem is the 'I was at the office till 8.30 last night' types trying to out bullshit each other. Also, a lot of guys hate going home to the wife/partner and kids and dodge out of their responsibilities with the 'I have to stay late at the office' mantra. As for the assholes who ring you every Friday at 16.59, they seriously need to get a life!


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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:13 am 
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Too Big to Fail

Joined: Aug 22, 2008
Posts: 3549
taipeir wrote:
That sounds like dangerous talk :)

Seriously, you are very unlikely to reinvent the wheel in a place like Ireland, too conservative and not enough reason for revolution, plus there are no easy resources to bankroll such an experiment and not enough glue in society to hold it together.

Ireland is part of a globalised whole, as others have stated many jobs have long moved beyond 9-5. It's technology more than anything has allowed/caused this to happen.
You THINK we should get paid well for a 3-4 day week, but who's going to do the paying. WHO?
In this case you should focus as an individual on what you want to acheive, because trying to acheive a nirvana in a small country like Ireland that is very much at the whims of bigger forces seems impossible to me.

Well the primary reason I posted this was because people were complaining about being at the whim of external forces. Here - viewtopic.php?f=15&t=41192

In my reply on that thread I said that we were not capable of organising ourselves to be economically independent.

And I'd add that as long as we "focus as individuals on what we want to acheive" as you suggest, we have no chance of working with the big organisational (or political) picture. Rather, we must remain at the whim of the present organising power centres.

What I am trying to get at is what we must involve ourselves in politically. What passes for politics here and everywhere at present is pretty much irrelevant, politically. The real question for politics is how do we organise ourselves and to what ends.

At the least, there needs to be a start to engagement in this conversation. But this conversation seems to be too much for most people.

I don't know what I said to elicit the 9-5 remarks or the "You THINK we should get paid well for a 3-4 day week, but who's going to do the paying. WHO?"

These remarks miss the whole gist of what I'm trying to get at.

Neither do I think it realistic that I would just be able to steamroll such a nirvana into 'a place like Ireland' as you put it.

Merely, to try and start a conversation. Even, just to plant the seeds of one. I am not so blind that I do not see clearly the state of play within our current political paradigm and way of thinking.


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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:41 am 
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Well, the Utopia of not having to work or make any economic contribution whatsoever, has already arrived for many. Hundreds of thousands of our population live relatively comfortable lives, with free housing, free healthcare and a host of other benefits, as well as liveable cash income without having to do a hands turn. This "free money" for doing absolutely nothing in return is harmlessly called Social Protection - but in effect it's a massive transfer of resources from the wealth creators (i.e those who bother to get up and do a day's work, paying for everything from after-tax income.)
The penny has now dropped of course and there are attempts being made to end this Welfare madness. But expect the usual whingers like Sean Healey and Co to plead on their behalf with the usual "where are the jobs" mantra. Meanwhile, the guy delivering my pizza has found it worthwhile to come all the way from Indonesia to do this job while Johnny Tracksuit hanging around the shopping centre with his waster mates couldn't be arsed!


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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:11 pm 
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Too Big to Fail

Joined: Aug 22, 2008
Posts: 3549
HiFi wrote:
Well, the Utopia of not having to work or make any economic contribution whatsoever, has already arrived for many. Hundreds of thousands of our population live relatively comfortable lives, with free housing, free healthcare and a host of other benefits, as well as liveable cash income without having to do a hands turn. This "free money" for doing absolutely nothing in return is harmlessly called Social Protection - but in effect it's a massive transfer of resources from the wealth creators (i.e those who bother to get up and do a day's work, paying for everything from after-tax income.)
The penny has now dropped of course and there are attempts being made to end this Welfare madness. But expect the usual whingers like Sean Healey and Co to plead on their behalf with the usual "where are the jobs" mantra. Meanwhile, the guy delivering my pizza has found it worthwhile to come all the way from Indonesia to do this job while Johnny Tracksuit hanging around the shopping centre with his waster mates couldn't be arsed!

While the above is a conversation that has been had on this forum and other places nearby many many millions of times already, however, let's try and put it in the context of the conversation I am trying to foster here.

What might come about if instead of offering Johnny Tracksuit a minimum waged job making burgers that are making his whole community pale, or putting transistors in Palm handhelds destined for his corporate 'betters' (which work a robot would be better doing anyway)... instead we tried to work towards offering him some role in some brave and idealistic enterprise, or offered him a realistic path to become a real craftsman where he could exercise his personal creativity (and educated him to believe he had the talent to succeed), or involved him in a business that was devoted to making nourishing, good value food for his community, while offering him a dignified workplace...

I know it's not so black and white or simple as this. However, would an increased tendency towards such purposes in our economic organisation really be so laughable?

It would seem that is the prevailing consensus. ie. it is laughable.


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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:20 pm 
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roc wrote:
At the least, there needs to be a start to engagement in this conversation. But this conversation seems to be too much for most people.

Merely, to try and start a conversation. Even, just to plant the seeds of one.
Why, you should have been a Presidential candidate!! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Posts: 4142
roc wrote:
While the above is a conversation that has been had on this forum and other places nearby many many millions of times already, however, let's try and put it in the context of the conversation I am trying to foster here.

What might come about if instead of offering Johnny Tracksuit a minimum waged job making burgers that are making his whole community pale, or putting transistors in Palm handhelds destined for his corporate 'betters' (which work a robot would be better doing anyway)... instead we tried to work towards offering him some role in some brave and idealistic enterprise, or offered him a realistic path to become a real craftsman where he could exercise his personal creativity (and educated him to believe he had the talent to succeed), or involved him in a business that was devoted to making nourishing, good value food for his community, while offering him a dignified workplace...

I know it's not so black and white or simple as this. However, would an increased tendency towards such purposes in our economic organisation really be so laughable?

It would seem that is the prevailing consensus. ie. it is laughable.



What's wrong with being a burger flipper? That job is just as important as being an oncologist.

Besides, jobs like burger flipping give Johnny a chance to learn skills, get a taste of what is like to work in the real world and eventually move up the jobs ladder.

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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:36 pm 
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taipeir wrote:
Seriously, you are very unlikely to reinvent the wheel in a place like Ireland, too conservative and not enough reason for revolution, plus there are no easy resources to bankroll such an experiment and not enough glue in society to hold it together.

I'd counter that Ireland is exactly the type of place for such an experiment.
Little point in putting a thin girl on a diet.

taipeir wrote:
You THINK we should get paid well for a 3-4 day week, but who's going to do the paying. WHO?

Well the system would continue as is, really, but the emphasis would be different.
I would (off the top of my head now) increase higher rate personal taxes, tax Social Welfare and tax unearned incomes and unused assets (land, second houses), while at the same time reducing middle and particularly lower income taxes.

HiFi wrote:
Well, the Utopia of not having to work or make any economic contribution whatsoever, has already arrived for many.

Indeed.
And its time that the contribution of housewives, the disabled, carers and others was recognised in our 'Christian' state.

Look I understand and share your frustration; Currently we have an arse-about-face situation where those on the dole can continue to get the dole while those who started small businesses and went under are entitled to fuck all. Its madness.
Its a disincentive to work and an outright deterrent to the entrepreneur.

HiFi wrote:
in effect it's a massive transfer of resources from the wealth creators (i.e those who bother to get up and do a day's work, paying for everything from after-tax income.)

I dont agree with your categorisation of those not working as not creating wealth.
Indeed you could argue that without the bedrock that many of these people create (I've already mentioned) there would be fuck all to create wealth in.
You could also argue that PS workers dont contribution to wealth creation either. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong.
Alas, that role has been lost and co-opted into some catch-all employment scheme; people dont have to grow or learn or change or reflect because they can just sit on their arses in the PS for 30 years. Its hugely dispiriting and damaging to our futures.
(In theory at least, their jobs are to implement and administer a framework whereby wealth can be created. I said, in theory!)

HiFi wrote:
Johnny Tracksuit hanging around the shopping centre with his waster mates couldn't be arsed!

Look, there are always going to be feckless arseholes doing nothing.
You'll find many of them in boardrooms and quangos across the state.
But 'stagnation' , 'no change' and shruggin their shoulders and scowling is surely something they'd be inclined toward?
Blaming someone else is a cop out at any rate.


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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:41 pm 
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Mossy_Heneberry wrote:
What's wrong with being a burger flipper? That job is just as important as being an oncologist.

Besides, jobs like burger flipping give Johnny a chance to learn skills, get a taste of what is like to work in the real world and eventually move up the jobs ladder.

What real world? The world of corporate cock-sucking? The world of "you don't have to think, we have a procedure here to do that for you"? The world of let's make stuff that is no good for people (the lower socio-economic classes in the main), but makes absurd amounts of money for those higher up the economic and social hierarchy? The world of minimum wage in a mindless job? I am thinking here of the multi-national chains. But for sure, it is possible to have a burger joint that makes good food and provides a dignified workplace. They exist. They should be encouraged. But back to your point, what skills do you want Johnny to learn? - I would say independent thought and independent motivation to better his community. And teach him a belief in his own capabilities. As I said in my OP - his capacity to make decisions; to adapt; and to exercise his creativity and imagination. What you're suggesting is a good way to kill these off I would have said. Perhaps that is what is wrong with our society - the way these 'starter' jobs condition people.


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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Homeboy wrote:
roc wrote:
At the least, there needs to be a start to engagement in this conversation. But this conversation seems to be too much for most people.

Merely, to try and start a conversation. Even, just to plant the seeds of one.
Why, you should have been a Presidential candidate!! :lol:

"Fuck jobs. That's not where it's at, people.".

I could see that going down like a shit sandwich.


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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:54 pm 
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needle wrote:
I would (off the top of my head now) increase higher rate personal taxes, tax Social Welfare and tax unearned incomes and unused assets (land, second houses), while at the same time reducing middle and particularly lower income taxes.

There are no lower income taxes in Ireland.

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 Post subject: Re: The "jobs, jobs, jobs" mantra. Is that where it's really
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:08 pm 
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roc wrote:
Mossy_Heneberry wrote:
What's wrong with being a burger flipper? That job is just as important as being an oncologist.

Besides, jobs like burger flipping give Johnny a chance to learn skills, get a taste of what is like to work in the real world and eventually move up the jobs ladder.

What real world? The world of corporate cock-sucking? The world of "you don't have to think, we have a procedure here to do that for you"? The world of let's make stuff that is no good for people (the lower socio-economic classes in the main), but makes absurd amounts of money for those higher up the economic and social hierarchy? The world of minimum wage in a mindless job? I am thinking here of the multi-national chains. But for sure, it is possible to have a burger joint that makes good food and provides a dignified workplace. They exist. They should be encouraged. But back to your point, what skills do you want Johnny to learn? - I would say independent thought and independent motivation to better his community. And teach him a belief in his own capabilities. As I said in my OP - his capacity to make decisions; to adapt; and to exercise his creativity and imagination. What you're suggesting is a good way to kill these off I would have said. Perhaps that is what is wrong with our society - the way these 'starter' jobs condition people.


Quote:
What real world? The world of corporate cock-sucking? The world of "you don't have to think, we have a procedure here to do that for you"? The world of let's make stuff that is no good for people (the lower socio-economic classes in the main), but makes absurd amounts of money for those higher up the economic and social hierarchy?


The real world that the rest of us have to live in and contend with everyday. You don’t have to be a corporate shill in order for that to happen. And how do you know that it is the lower socio-economic classes that buy up all this cheap tat?


Quote:
The world of minimum wage in a mindless job? I am thinking here of the multi-national chains. But for sure, it is possible to have a burger joint that makes good food and provides a dignified workplace. They exist. They should be encouraged.


A minimum wage job is a job that pays you for your skill and ability. If you have no skills or talent, than expect to be paid a low wage until the time you rectify that and train yourself up.

Quote:
But back to your point, what skills do you want Johnny to learn? - I would say independent thought and independent motivation to better his community. And teach him a belief in his own capabilities. As I said in my OP - his capacity to make decisions; to adapt; and to exercise his creativity and imagination. What you're suggesting is a good way to kill these off I would have said. Perhaps that is what is wrong with our society - the way these 'starter' jobs condition people.


Johnny can learn to think and be independent outside of the workplace. While a job is important, it is not the end and be all. These ‘starter’ jobs don’t condition people the way you think they do and anyways we all have to start somewhere.

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