[ExI] Is unemployment the future?

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Sat Nov 7 00:19:10 UTC 2009

On Fri, Nov 06, 2009 at 11:07:55AM +0000, BillK wrote:
> On 11/5/09, Damien Sullivan wrote:
> > That's a big difference though.  "Can't get paid" may simply mean that
> >  the people with money aren't willing to pay for it.  Looking around, I
> >  see shortages of teachers, nurses, doctors, environmental cleanup crews,
> >  public transit bus drivers, people building non-fossil fuel power
> >  plants, road and sidewalk maintenance or upgrades (they get patched,
> >  not sent to mint condition), good science journalists and cross-field
> >  integrators, people working on anti-aging an other research, port
> >  inspectors if we're seriously worried about container nukes...
> >
> >  Lots and lots and lots of jobs that need doing and that AI is nowhere
> >  close to handling.  Of course, a lot of them involve
> >  <whisper>government</whisper>.
> 'Looking around' eh?   I don't know where you're looking but it
> obviously isn't where the 1 in 5 desperate for work are looking. As

I didn't mean that there were lots of job postings in the newspapers
advertising for new teachers etc.  I meant that there is work that
should be done but isn't: kids aren't getting well educated, polluted
sites are still polluted, food and other inspection is haphazard, my
town doesn't have proper gutters and sort of floods every rain, etc.
People being idle is not because there's nothing useful they *could* be

> you say, the few jobs that are increasing are government-funded jobs.
> What does that tell you about the economy?

That agriculture and manufacturing are really labor-efficient and it's
time to move on?  No one every complains about the massive lost of
agricultural jobs.

> And the lost jobs aren't coming back. That's the point of this
> discussion. That's why some people talk about a 'jobless recovery' for

I'm not sure that's been settled.  Jobless recovery started with the
last recession, around 2000; in light of the bubble and crash, one can
wonder if the economy every really recovered, vs. getting papered over
by bad assets math.  Are the jobs gone, or have we been in Keynesian
demand shortfall for the past decade?

> That sums up the future.  People will work in personal services, for
> each other. you cut my hair and I'll do your tax reclaim letter.

Services can be important, though.  Maintenance is *important* yet
typically undervalued.  Education and research are important.
Inspection and accounting is important.

-xx- Damien X-) 

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