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Comment: Re:Chicken or Egg (Score 1) 42

by DrLang21 (#47154291) Attached to: Science Moneyball: The Secret to a Successful Academic Career
In larger research institutions employing several researchers, it is common for the head of the institute to be put as the last author on all papers, whether they had much of anything to do with the research or not. This is how you get "top researchers" claiming authorship to hundreds of papers. Honestly at that point they aren't doing much research anymore.

Comment: Re:Buggy whips? (Score 4, Insightful) 769

by DrLang21 (#46858275) Attached to: The Koch Brothers Attack On Solar Energy

They will just have to find another job.

I don't really disagree with your points, but this is an extremely naive statement. Many of these people are too old to make a radical career shift that will keep them in the middle class. When ever there is a radical shift in a large employment industry, there is economic devistation for a lot fo families. The steel industry is a good example of this. Yes most of them found new jobs, but the shift in economic buying power was dramatic and lasted for generations.

Comment: Re:Oh please, Indeed. (Score 2) 331

by DrLang21 (#46855367) Attached to: Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

There are a finite amount of houses in the world, and a greater number of people who want a house.

Scarcity is the economic concept that there is insufficient productive resources to meet all human wants and needs. I think we agree on that. I think your contention here is the "want" rather than the "need".

Of course there is a finite number of houses in the world. There is a finite amount of eveything. However, according to the Cenus Bureau, as of Q4 of 2013, the rental unit vacancy rate was 8.2% and more than 300,000 homes are foreclosed and unoccupied according to RealtyTrac. That's 8.2% of rental units that would be making more money than they are now if the rent on them was $10/month and 300,000 homes that are wasted livable space. There is no real shortage of housing in terms of need. People might want bigger and better, but there is no excuse for there to not exist housing that eveyone can afford.

There is no scarcity of food. We throw tons of it away constantly. The only thing holding us back from supplying as much food (with current production levels) as the world could ever need is a societal problem where we cannot bring ourselves to help eachother out. Current food needs are fully funded (by the people who are throwing away food). The only expense that should exist in providing food to low income families is logistics.

The only thing stopping us from solving the human population's basic needs is greed. Our society has been taking great pride in this greed for the last several hundred years and I don't expect the problem to be solved within my lifetime. But humanity should at least admit its problem and lower its head in shame rather than taking pride in climbing on top of other people.

Comment: Re:tl;dr (Score 1) 331

by DrLang21 (#46855259) Attached to: Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

This particular strategy has been twice under Obama and once under Bush.

The pocket change they threw at us was hardely enough to make a serious effort. Between QE1, QE2, and QE3, the Fed pumped upwards of $2 trillion into the monetary system (and rising). That's on the order of $6500 for every man woman and child in the country. If that money was alocated for debt forgiveness rather than creating new debt, it's enough money to make a meaningful dent in personal liabilities to free up cash for consumer spending. $200 one year $400 the next does nothing to this end. It helps (as was shown), but it does not seriously entertain freeing up regular cash for consumer spending.

Comment: Re:Oh please, Indeed. (Score 3, Informative) 331

by DrLang21 (#46853341) Attached to: Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust
Ahh yes. The Neoclassical model presently being used to oppose minimum wage increases. There has been a lot of academic criticism of this model without good answer. Academics aside, it fails to account for the fact that supply and demand is driven by resource scarcity, which has largely been eliminated for basic human needs. The main scarcity still driving these factors is money. Housing, food, water, and even modern utilities are all available in abundance within the developed world. They are simply being wasted in the interest of money.

Comment: Re:tl;dr (Score 1) 331

by DrLang21 (#46852881) Attached to: Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

All that stuff on the shelves in your supermarket will be gone by the end of the week, you just never see it because it's replenished exactly fast enough to keep the shelves fully stocked.

This is wrong. A lot of it is thrown away or donated to food pantries. The model for keeping customers from going to the next door competitor is to never ever let the customer be unable to get something because it's out of stock.

Comment: Re:tl;dr (Score 4, Insightful) 331

by DrLang21 (#46852865) Attached to: Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust
Deflation is relatively easy to deal with, but it would be political suicide to do so. The Fed keeps printing money and giving to to banks to lend out as debt. This only puts a lot of money in the pockets of the super rich who don't spend it. If you want to held deflation, take that money and give it directly to everyone.

Money, in the hands of people who will actually spend it, is the cure. We have seen examples in the past where the government just gives out an extra $200 to everyone filing a tax return. I got that money and spent it. So did a lot of people, and it was credited for creating noticable relief in the economy. Give me $40,000 to forgive all my school debts and I'll have an extra $500 a month to do something with. Sure I'll save some of it, but not all of it. I am sure the vast majority of other people would do the same. Hell I might even be able to save enough for a down payment on a house.

Comment: Re:tl;dr (Score 1) 331

by DrLang21 (#46852797) Attached to: Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

There are over a billion people living on a dollar a day. Claiming that we have "over production" at the global level is absurd.

To be fair, this is just an artifact of a wacky worldwide monetary system. $1 a day doesn't sound like much, but many people are able to live on it. In parts of the world however, this would be impossible even if you took income taxes out of the picture.

Comment: Re:tl;dr (Score 1) 331

by DrLang21 (#46852773) Attached to: Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

To make a long story short, he did in one day what a team of 3 or 4 took a week to do back in the 90s. That's a 75% reduction of workers needed for software development right there. Automation is affecting all workers at all levels; well not the management guys, of course.

It's worse than that. It's a 98% reduction in total work paid for.

Comment: Re:Oh please, Indeed. (Score 1) 331

by DrLang21 (#46852753) Attached to: Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust
The other 78% moved into another high labor demand field, manufacturing. When this happen, there was a real strain on the agriculture industry because of the labor shortage it created. Much of the mechanization in agriculture was out of neccessity, not just for profit. There is no labor shortage in manufacturing driving the mechanization. Labor is being pushed out rather than pulled out by something else.

We are reaching a state in our society where there simply is not enough work for everyone to maintain a middle class livelihood. Maintaining the status of the middle class will require a radical shift where the value of jobs currently seen as low value (such as a store clerk) goes up. You need to be able to make a real career at anything. Different examples of this can be seen throughout the world (such as the skilled fastfood workers in Japan), but they have not all come together under one society yet. Huge leaps in the minimum wage would be a good start, but the problem is a lot more complex than that. Changes in how education is accessed, single payer healthcare, and fundamental changes in the world's monetary systems are inevitably needed. There is no longer the scarcity of resources that once existed, and much of the current scarcity is artificial to keep profitability. This is stupid. People right here in the United States go hungry, but we have more than enough food to make everyone fat.

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