hst2

Work has far more power over us than the government does, with little pay-off

62 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

"...we often speak of employment contracts as agreements between equals, as if we are living in Adam Smith’s eighteenth-century dream world.... But such characterizations...do not reflect reality; most workers agree to employment without any negotiation or even communication about their employer’s power or its limits. The exceptions to this rule are few and notable: top professional athletes, celebrity entertainers, superstar academics, and the (increasingly small) groups of workers who are able to bargain collectively....employment contracts create the illusion that workers and companies have arrived at a mutually satisfying agreement, the increasingly onerous restrictions placed on modern employees are often presented as “best practices” and “industry standards,” framing all sorts of behaviors and outcomes as things that ought to be intrinsically desired by workers themselves.


...The rise of staffing or “temp” agencies...undercuts the very idea of a direct relationship between worker and employer.... millions of workers now labor under subcontracting arrangements, which give employers even greater latitude to abuse employees.... much “temp” work is not even temporary. Employees sometimes work for years in a single workplace, even through promotions, without ever being granted official status as an employee. Similarly, “gig economy” platforms like Uber designate their workers as contractors rather than employees, a distinction that exempts the company from paying them minimum wage and overtime. Many “permatemps” and contractors perform the same work as employees, yet lack even the paltry protections and benefits awarded to full-time workers.

https://newrepublic.com/article/141663/united-states-work

Time to get rid of idea that work means personal liberty. It doesn't.

Edited by Baltimatt
Too long a quote

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Posted (edited)

And replace it with what?

 

Scraping work altogether is not going to turn out well.

Edited by SemiAuto

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Posted (edited)

The delusion:

Since people in this new world would no longer have to earn a salary, they would, Livingston envisions, receive some kind of universal basic income. UBI is a slippery concept, adaptable to both the socialist left and libertarian right, but it essentially entails distributing a living wage to every member of society. In most conceptualizations, the income is indeed basic—no cases of Dom Pérignon—and would cover the essentials like rent and groceries. Individuals would then be free to choose whether and how much they want to work to supplement the UBI. Leftist proponents tend to advocate pairing UBI with a strong welfare state to provide nationalized health care, tuition-free education, and other services. Some libertarians view UBI as a way to pare down the welfare state, arguing that it’s better simply to give people money to buy food and health care directly, rather than forcing them to engage with food stamp and Medicaid bureaucracies.

If work is optional then where is the food and housing and healthcare going to come from? They are not just things that can be collected like leaves in a forest.

 

Is this satire? Somebody having a go at 'Animal Farm'?

Edited by SemiAuto

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And replace it with what?

 

Scraping work altogether is not going to turn out well.

I don't believe hst2 suggested scrapping work all together... or did I miss something?

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And replace it with what?

 

Scraping work altogether is not going to turn out well.

Replace human labor with Robots

http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/where-machines-could-replace-humans-and-where-they-cant-yet

 

Give everyone a guaranteed minimum Income

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/08/why-arent-reformicons-pushing-a-guaranteed-basic-income/375600/

 

Automation has already begun replacing humans with robots

 

Guaranteed Income could eventually become a necessary reality

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And replace it with what?Scraping work altogether is not going to turn out well.

We can't have work without capital's repressive control over it?

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Posted (edited)

Replace human labor with Robots

http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/where-machines-could-replace-humans-and-where-they-cant-yet

 

Give everyone a guaranteed minimum Income

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/08/why-arent-reformicons-pushing-a-guaranteed-basic-income/375600/

 

Automation has already begun replacing humans with robots

 

Guaranteed Income could eventually become a necessary reality

The automation article is speculative. It even posits that in some cases more automation has lead to more employment. Sure, there may come a day where a 'Star Trek' like replicator could supply you with any basic necessity but the US is not even close to that, much less so for the rest of the world.

 

I didn't get to your basic income article.

Edited by SemiAuto

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Posted (edited)

We can't have work without capital's repressive control over it?

Of course we can. Capital is not repressive.

 

Mr. Livingston proposes scraping work all together. That is delusional. Even with the level of automation currently available I doubt you could put food on everyone's table, a roof over everyone's head, and health care and education for all without a good number of people working at it.

But with work being optional, this is a system not grounded in reality.

Edited by SemiAuto

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Posted (edited)

Of course we can. Capital is not repressive.Mr. Livingston proposes scraping work all together. That is delusional. Even with the level of automation currently available I doubt you could put food on everyone's table, a roof over everyone's head, and health care and education for all without a good number of people working at it.But with work being optional, this is a system not grounded in reality.

So none of us repressed at work due to the power of capital?

 

Why do you think healthcare is so costly?

 

Profits.

Edited by hst2

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The automation article is speculative. It even posits that in some cases more automation has lead to more employment. Sure, there may come a day where a 'Star Trek' like replicator could supply you with any basic necessity but the US is not even close to that, much less so for the rest of the world.I didn't get to your basic income article.

Yeah, but kind of Employment? The repressive work with wages that keep everyone in debt employment?

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Of course we can. Capital is not repressive.

 

Mr. Livingston proposes scraping work all together. That is delusional. Even with the level of automation currently available I doubt you could put food on everyone's table, a roof over everyone's head, and health care and education for all without a good number of people working at it.

But with work being optional, this is a system not grounded in reality.

What?  You mean the government can't just print money and hand it out to everyone forever while we all do nothing?  This will be crushing news to some people.

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Posted (edited)

When automation merely meant a steady decline in certain kinds manual labor jobs, sure, workers could re-train and do other things including new jobs that were enabled because of the automation.

 

The problem is that now automation has been accelerating beyond manual labor and into all kinds of knowledge-worker jobs as well. It is getting much harder for society to accommodate the pace of change.

 

This situation is only going to get worse especially in the USA where our educational system has been failing for decades. In the coming years we're looking at a new gilded age consisting of a small fraction of outrageously wealthy people and huge swathes of "serfs" (serf is perhaps too generous a term because that implies a laborer).

 

There has always been a wide distribution of wealth, but as the middle class all but evaporates we're going to hit an inequality limit. You may all disagree on where the limit is but eventually something is going to break and it will be ugly.

Edited by dogstarman

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Posted (edited)

And replace it with what?

 

Scraping work altogether is not going to turn out well.

 

I think you should re-read his statement

 

"Time to get rid of idea that work means personal liberty. It doesn't. "

 

 

That is a truism in the computational economy.

 

For example - simply licensing the right to allow other people to execute computer code is astoundingly lucrative - no work done by the licensor (all the software development in the world is useless if nobody executes code)-- yet lots of wealth created

 

As another example, It takes about an hour to put a cryptocurrency mining rig together.  After that, the computer does the work. - rinse, scale, repeat for lots of $$$ with no work.

 

The same principle is applicable to 3-D printers

 

Human labor is becoming insignificant and obsolete.

Edited by karlydee2

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We can't have work without capital's repressive control over it?

OOOOhhhhh I just love it when you talk dirty.

It is so so sexy. ;):D

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Yeah, but kind of Employment? The repressive work with wages that keep everyone in debt employment?

This is appropriate.............

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Posted (edited)

There was an interesting article on TV about just this whole thing.

 

One thing that stood out in my mind as I listen to it is the speed of change we are now dealing with. I think that they said that up until the late 80's. Technology had been pushing the common laborer out the door. But it was at a pace that could be  adjusted to and absorbed.

 

Translation; yes a person could lose a job as a laborer. But there will still some of those jobs around and if one chose...you could re-train to do some up and coming thing and stay employed.

 

Also, back then, companies INVESTED in their employees and trained and upgraded their skills. That... like the gold watch is gone. It is totally up to the employee (for the most part) to on their own and own time and own expense upgrade their skills. Kinda tough if you are putting in 8 or more hours a day and trying to raise a family.

 

Since then, things are moving so fast that even with the best effort and the hardest study it was very likely that by the time you were trained for that job it was already on the way out.

 

I personally experienced this sort of thing in IT while working for companies like Digital, Compaq and HP. I don't know how many times I need to learn a new platform or a new coding language etc. And yes maybe I got certified in that product and was good for MMMmaaaaayyyybbbbeee 1/2 a year or so. Then it was back on the treadmill to relearn and retool. And over the years it went from in-house training on the companies 'dime', to put in you 8-10-12 see you tomorrow. Don't know the new product? Why not? See yah.

 

Now with my background, degrees and experience I struggled. What is it like for a laborer?

Edited by Guido2

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So none of us repressed at work due to the power of capital?

Some people may feel that way. If you don't like your job then you are free to find another.

 

Why do you think healthcare is so costly?

 

Profits.

Healthcare is expensive because it is heavily protected and paid for by third parties.

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I think you should re-read his statement

 

"Time to get rid of idea that work means personal liberty. It doesn't. "

 

 

That is a truism in the computational economy.

 

For example - simply licensing the right to allow other people to execute computer code is astoundingly lucrative - no work done by the licensor (all the software development in the world is useless if nobody executes code)-- yet lots of wealth created

 

As another example, It takes about an hour to put a cryptocurrency mining rig together.  After that, the computer does the work. - rinse, scale, repeat for lots of $$$ with no work.

 

The same principle is applicable to 3-D printers

 

Human labor is becoming insignificant and obsolete.

I'm not sure what your getting at. Hst2's slogan are just that. Mr. Livingston in the article was talking about scraping work altogether. You'd get a basic wage, food, rent, health care, and education. Automation is nowhere near being able to provide all of that and I'm just talking about the US. Go to less advance countries and it is just wishful thinking.

 

It is delusional to think that automation has done in manual labor. It has done in some of it but it has a long, long ways to go. Work is going to be around for a while.

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What?  You mean the government can't just print money and hand it out to everyone forever while we all do nothing?  This will be crushing news to some people.

 

The military industrial complex will be hardest hit.

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...

It is delusional to think that automation has done in manual labor. It has done in some of it but it has a long, long ways to go. Work is going to be around for a while.

So you're saying that automation has to replace all manual labor before it becomes a problem ?

 

Sorry, dude, but it is causing employment problems right NOW and it's only going to get worse for both manual labor and knowledge work.

 

Work is going to be "around"-- the problem is that there's going to be less and less of it for fewer and fewer people. The question is how far down that path do we have to go before it becomes intolerable?

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Some people may feel that way. If you don't like your job then you are free to find another.

 

Healthcare is expensive because it is heavily protected and paid for by third parties.

Healthcare is expensive because it's for profit.  When you have a profit motive in something that EVERYONE HAS to use that's just asking for high prices

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Fascinating piece. 

 

 

An anti-statist streak runs through several of these thinkers, particularly the Levellers and Paine, who viewed markets as the bulwark against state oppression. Paine and Smith, however, would hardly qualify as hard-line contemporary libertarians. Smith believed that public education was essential to a fair market society, and Paine proposed a system of social insurance that included old-age pensions as well as survivor and disability benefits. Their hope was not for a world of win-or-die competition, but one in which open markets would allow individuals to make the fullest use of their talents, free from state monopolies and meddlesome bosses.

 
For Anderson, the latter point is essential; the notion of lifelong employment under a boss was anathema to these earlier visions of personal freedom. Writing in the 1770s, Smith assumes that independent actors in his market society will be self-employed, and uses butchers and bakers as his exemplars; his “pin factory,” meant to illustrate division of labor, employs only ten people. These thinkers could not envision a world in which most workers spend most of their lives performing wage labor under a single employer. In an address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in 1859, Lincoln stated, “The prudent, penniless beginner in the world labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself, then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him.” In other words, even well into the nineteenth century, defenders of an unregulated market society viewed wage labor as a temporary stage on the way to becoming a proprietor.
 
Lincoln’s scenario does not reflect the way most people work today. Yet the “small business owner” endures as an American stock character, conjured by politicians to push through deregulatory measures that benefit large corporations. In reality, thanks to a lack of guaranteed, nationalized health care and threadbare welfare benefits, setting up a small business is simply too risky a venture for many Americans, who must rely on their employers for health insurance and income. These conditions render long-term employment more palatable than a precarious existence of freelance gigs, which further gives companies license to oppress their employees.

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Posted (edited)

It is delusional to think that automation has done in manual labor. It has done in some of it but it has a long, long ways to go. Work is going to be around for a while.

 

What types of manual labor have  *** not *** been replaced by automation in at least one instance?

 

Not even the oldest profession has escaped automation

Edited by karlydee2

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Some people may feel that way. If you don't like your job then you are free to find another.

 

Healthcare is expensive because it is heavily protected and paid for by third parties.

 

 

Go from one repressive workplace to another. That is no solution, and you know it.

 

Work, the cornerstone of your sainted private property, which, in turn, is your source of personal liberty, serves more to enslave than to liberate.

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Go from one repressive workplace to another. That is no solution, and you know it.

 

Work, the cornerstone of your sainted private property, which, in turn, is your source of personal liberty, serves more to enslave than to liberate.

That you are your own owner is not so much sainted as it is basic human decency. That is the cornerstone of personal liberty. What you do with it and the results you get are up to you. How that is enslaving is a mystery.

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