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Comment Re:Wages as share of GDP dropping since 1972 (Score 1) 754

Good for the owner. If someone is unemployed and unemployable, then they are contributing nothing to society at that point. It is everyones responsibility to find someway to contribute. They get to set a price or their contributions, and if others agree on that price, they get paid. If you can't do anything that you can get paid for, what good are you to the rest of us?

There will come a time when the majority of people have nothing to contribute to society that has any value. Most of the people who I work with fall into that category. Many of them like myself believe that they could in fact contribute if given the chance, but I have no illusions about where I would stand in that world, and I fear I will live to see it. The owners of mention are not any more qualified or any more fit to survive, but they are lucky enough to fall into the position they are in, and be the ones with the assets. The rest of us will have to fight (literally) to survive.

Comment Re:Not this shit again (Score 1) 754

I think there will always be something for people to do, but I think it's quite possible that for a lot of people it's going to wind up being "come up with something that you think other folks will like enough to buy and see if you're right".

And to make it interesting: If you guess wrong, you starve to death. Good luck contestants.

Comment Re:Not this shit again (Score 1) 754

New technologies don't decrease the number of available jobs; wealth sequestration among the super-rich does. With the Middle Class having less and less money to spend, the demand for products -- and the jobs required to create them -- goes down. We've been seeing this over the past thirty years, which just happens to coincide with the rise of the computing industry.

New technology is the primary vehicle that the wealthy use to acquire more wealth. The greater the disruption the technology causes, the faster it increases the disparity between the wealthy and the poor.

In the past, we have used progressive taxes to combat this trend. Today that mechanism is broken...

Comment Re:Kodak: only 130,000 jobs? (Score 1) 754

Of course, digital photography keeps far more than 13 people employed too.

The totality of digital photography employs far fewer, than just the 130k Kodak employed. The only way you can make the numbers say anything different is if you give credit for the totality of the cell phone industry to digital photography, or something equally absurd. The new industry that replaced photography is social networking, which employs far fewer people, and will employ even fewer as the inefficiencies are worked out while the industry matures.

Meanwhile, the population keeps growing. Under capitalism, supply and demand trumps all. That is why wages have stagnated, and will in fact begin to drop soon.

Comment Re:This has been going on for hundreds of years (Score 1) 754

The point, that you have missed in all of this, is that economic evolution does in fact come with a cost to society. Although job losses in one market have given rise to new jobs in new markets, the effect on the overall economy is to polarize the population into the extremes of poverty and wealth. It actively destroys the middle class by making its individuals either wealthy (the lucky 1%), or gradually poorer (the other 99%). It is no accident that ours will be the first generation to fail to live the American dream (lower standard of living than our parents). This is because the forces that stood between 99% of us and the poverty line have been slowly eroded. Those forces included unions, social security, and the protection of workers rights under the laws. The result is that middle class and working class jobs are being eliminated by improvements in technology, and the only people whose standard of living is increasing are the 1%. Everyone else is slowly sliding backward. How many people out there are making the same today as they were 20 years ago after inflation? Where I work, all of the jobs pay the same actual starting wage as they did 20 years ago! My employer hands out 1.5% raises for everyone who is merely average, and if you were to somehow invent a cure for cancer, you might get 3% that year. In inflation adjusted dollars, I make less than I did when I started, and the new guys coming in make 25% less than I did when I started. This is because there is an oversupply of labor at all levels, and the company has no reason to pay more. We can however lay claim to the prize of having the most profitable 5 quarters in the history of the company. Our CEO makes 7 times what the CEO made 15 years ago, meanwhile the rest of us are expected to pay 20% of our medical and dental benefits out of the less-than-15-years-ago wages we get now.

The only way to fix this is to correct the imbalance. Either do something to increase labor demand, or do something to reduce the supply. I would strongly advocate for a forced reduction in the acceptable work week from 40 hours to 30. Enforce that by making time worked over 30 hours pay double rate, and end overtime exemption for *all* employees. Prices would change, companies would adjust, and the stock market would take it in the shorts, but considering that the stock market got 30 years of ill gotten gains by siphoning off the wages of the workers, I'm not really that sympathetic...

Comment Re:Hard to say. (Score 1) 754

It's a stupid premise and a fasle dichotomy IMO.

The industrial revolution DID cause unrest. Only an idiot would think that wasn't the case. A whole body of famous literature is about said unrest, that people I would suspect are aware of even if not history in general. The Labor movement was an expression of unrest, as was the communist revolution.

It didn't take long for it to improve things overall, and not many sane people want to go back to a pre-industrial world, but to pretend it didn't cause job loss and unrest before job gain and improvement is absurd. I think that's what both the Luddites and the Futurists get wrong, there will be pain, there will be suffering, then there will be benefit. Markets take time to adjust, and attempts to short-circuit that adjustment time have historically gone terribly wrong (e.g. great leap forward).

At some point, we reach what is known as The singularity. After that point, there is nothing to require human involvement in society at all. As such, we damn well better have a new type of economy, or the "haves" will dispose of the "have nots", and soon there will be far fewer humans around (if any).

Comment Re:Wages as share of GDP dropping since 1972 (Score 5, Insightful) 754

If a CEO gets the owner one million dollars per day, the owner can afford to pay that CEO $999,999 per day and still pocket $1 a day. It's not your business. The owner can decide if the CEO is worth it. The CEO can decide if the pay is worth it.

Employees are free to sell their labor elsewhere. They have the right to order their affairs and sell their time as they see fit, finding the most advantageous deal they can. The employer can decide if the labor provided is worth it. The employee can decide if the pay is worth it.

Uh oh. I see the problem. Where does the 3rd party fit in? Some other person, like a government bureaucrat, intellectual elitist who doesn't actually do work for money, or politician pandering for popular votes... where can that person inject their bullshit in this scenario. A problem indeed!

What happens when the majority of economic activity requires no workers at all? Then the owner gets a pile of profits, pays no workers at all, and only owners can afford anything because everyone else is unemployed and unemployable...

Capitalism is inherently flawed just like any other economic system. The underlying set of assumptions for capitalism has been reasonable so far, but it will not remain so. Capitalism will fail for the same reason that communism fell. Both systems make fundamental assumptions about the nature of economy, and both sets of assumptions are not always true.

Comment Re:really? (Score 1) 262

Consumers are dumb. They'll say "oohh, they're almost sold out! I need to get one while I can!"

at those prices, consumers are a lot more discerning than MS thinks. That's why they fail almost every time they try. The upper limit of consumer stupidity is (in my experience) around $200-$300 USD. anything more than that is beyond the amount of money people are willing to spend on an impulse buy. People coughed up a ton for the iPhone because they needed a phone anyway, and could justify the higher price tag because the difference fell below that magic threshold. The iPad was something of an anomaly, and MS thought they could produce the same results as Apple, but MS does not have any of Apples glitter, and should in no way expect to be able to sell to the top of the market any time soon. Even Samsung isnt trying to sell product with the same margin as Apple because they have smart people in marketing who tell them that their products are not so well positioned that they can charge a premium for the name. MS marketing is either lying to management and telling them they can sell to a market segment they have no hope of penetrating, or management is ignoring their experts... Either way, MS is trying to sell to the highest margin segment of the market, but there is only one way to get into that segment: You get there first with exceptional products. Everyone else has to settle for eroding the margins.

Comment Re:I feel safer... (Score 4, Insightful) 411

and I don't even live in the states

You wouldn't feel that way if you lived here...

These people (Clapper, et all) don't even comprehend that what they are doing is wrong. They genuinely believe they are doing good! These people are far more dangerous than all of the terrorists combined because they are slowly and surely handing our country to a future tyrant who will commit more atrocities than all of the terrorists combined. In spite of that they believe they are on the side of righteousness.

Those that support these programs will not wake up to the reality of what they are doing / have done until it is too late to undo without massive bloodshed. We have the opportunity to stop it now, but I have little faith that the unwashed masses can be brought to understand what the "think of the children" mentality is doing to our country.


Comment Re:Wrong way round. (Score 4, Insightful) 182

Little bit of insider information, most of it is from that Wall Street Journal article from around Jan 2011 talking about the decision. I can't find the article right now and there is a chance they may never have published it online.

Translate that as: I'm lying out my ass, and will duck any attempt to call me out on it...

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