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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Really Important Question.
Garden Hermit
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# 109

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To me there is a question which I have been asking for years and I have found no one with an answer. I think it is behind all the votes that seem to be going to extremist politicians. The Question is - 'How do we create meaningful and rewarding jobs in an Economy which can be done by an average worker for 37 hours a week which gives them enough money to buy a House and look after their Family.'
15 years ago this was taken for granted. But it seems to be getting further away each day. If Individuals and Businesses can move quickly to where Taxes and Wages are the lowest, then what can any Government do to control them ?
35 years ago when I started in Computing we were regularly told that 'boring' routine work would be a thing of the past and soon we would all be working 25 hours a week with a very comfortable life indeed. I'm not looking for current Political Party answers because I don't any of them will work in practise.

Posts: 1410 | From: Reading UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Not sure this will work on all computers, but this article from Forbes Magazine dissects this phenomenon thoroughly.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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I've just assumed that globally, it's impossible, because it would consume so much raw material and habitats, that the earth would be rapidly destroyed.

Of course, some areas can create wealth, and distribute it unequally to their citizens.

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no path

Posts: 9521 | From: UK | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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The problem is, you end up with something rather akin to Communism. The difficulty is that you have to find genuinely meaningful work for all people, because this has to be autotelic - that is, providing its own reward, because you cannot reward people with more money.

The reason you cannot just pay people to do jobs is that this leads to capitalism, which is growth driven, and so unsustainable. And it makes for inequalities.

It is a good question, because it is so difficult to answer. There is, I think, a balance where inequality is significantly reduced (so ensuring that there is sufficient for all) while retaining a sense of being able to progress (so giving people something to work for). But it is incredibly difficult to do this nationally, and politically complex to do globally.

As so often, the problem is people being prepared to sacrifice for others, for the future. Most people who would need to sacrifice most are reluctant to do so.

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Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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Gramps49
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# 16378

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In the United States, this began with Reaganism. Prior to Reagan the tax structure actually encouraged employers to share the wealth of their companies with their employees by providing a decent living wage and investing in the companies. But, as the tax structure flattened out, letting employers keep more of their own income the middle class became stagnant At one time the income of an employer was not more than 50 times the income of the lowest paid employee in the company on average. Now, the income of the employer is well over 500 times of that of the lowest employee

In other words, we need to go back to a tax structure that puts more income for the lower income brackets first.

This is not communism rather, it is encouraging fair wages.

Posts: 1914 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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I think such a world is possible but I don't think it will happen. I don't think it will happen because I am convinced that most people, including myself, are fundamentally shellfish.

There is no reason why a basically capitalist system, heavily regulated, can not achieve a decent standard of living for everyone in an already rich nation. It's called a mixed economy. We were, as the previous post says, getting there, when certain people decided that they wanted more of the pie.

On a global scale, I'm not sure if it is possible. But I do know this. Those of us who live fat, clean lives while those in other countries or indeed in our cities, are dirty and starving will be regarded with loathing by our descendants, just like the ante-bellum South.

Either that or it'll be Bladerunner time.

[ 21. March 2017, 01:23: Message edited by: simontoad ]

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
I think such a world is possible but I don't think it will happen. I don't think it will happen because I am convinced that most people, including myself, are fundamentally shellfish.

Sounds pretty fishy to me.
[Razz]

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Garden Hermit
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# 109

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Work provides so much more than wages, - it gives self-respect. I can see lots of work that needs doing in the UK today. Tons of litter in the Countryside and Towns, Stiles and Fences on Public Footpaths rotting, many Lonely Old People who would love to be taken out or shopping got, or taught how to use a Computer. I don't think we have enough Volunteers to do even a little part of it. So it has to be paid for, and that means some sort of legislation or taxes. I did read the article above about how 'Middle Income and Rich' people are actually highly subsidised in the USA. To a certain extent that happens in the UK with Higher RAte Tax PAyers claiming higher relief for their pension payments.
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Enoch
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# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by Garden Hermit:
... To a certain extent that happens in the UK with Higher Rate Tax Payers claiming higher relief for their pension payments.

Garden Hermit, I don't think your analysis is quite correct there. I think you may have been swayed by somebody else's rhetoric somewhere along the way.

I may have got this completely wrong, or the system may have changed recently. But as I understand it, your pension contributions come out before your taxable income is determined. They are treated like an extra personal allowance. The philosophy is that people should be encouraged to provide for themselves in their old age. So your pension contributions are deducted from your taxable income when you make them, but you pay tax on your pension when you receive it.

If you think about it, otherwise, you would be paying tax twice, which is not an encouragement to people see to their old age.

The amount you contribute to your pension will therefore affect whether you reach the higher rate threshold or not but apart from that I don't think higher rate taxpayers get another relief.

I seem to remember, though, that there also is some sort of limit on how large a payment one can claim is still an income contribution to your pension - any excess will get no relief at all. Presumably it is being treated as a payment from capital.


In another way, you could say that pension contributions are treated rather like business overheads are if you are self-employed.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7235 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
As so often, the problem is people being prepared to sacrifice for others, for the future. Most people are reluctant to do so.

Fixed that for you.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Garden Hermit:
Work provides so much more than wages, - it gives self-respect. I can see lots of work that needs doing in the UK today. Tons of litter in the Countryside and Towns, Stiles and Fences on Public Footpaths rotting, many Lonely Old People who would love to be taken out or shopping got, or taught how to use a Computer. I don't think we have enough Volunteers to do even a little part of it. So it has to be paid for, and that means some sort of legislation or taxes. I did read the article above about how 'Middle Income and Rich' people are actually highly subsidised in the USA. To a certain extent that happens in the UK with Higher RAte Tax PAyers claiming higher relief for their pension payments.

In addition to self-respect comes the obvious benefit of more people receiving decent wages: a demand for goods and services. What brings about growth in the economy better than higher discretionary spending? The rich can do little more than invest, which drives up the price of property, shares and commodities and save, which drives down interest rates. If those on lower/middle incomes have slightly higher incomes I'm sure the extra will contribute more to economic growth than extra in the pockets of the better off: besides, the better off can afford accountants who can advise them how to avoid tax, which middle income earners can't do.

That's a win for more people, a win for the economy, a win for the government at a cost of some short term loss for the better off, who will reap the benefit of higher share prices when the economy grows.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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HCH
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# 14313

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I have heard this question phrased a bit differently (and more nastily): in the post-industrial society, how do we provide jobs for people not bright enough to run the machines?

Whole categories of employment sometimes disappear as factories are automated, etc. In the near future, many taxicab drivers will be less necessary due to self-driving cars. When I was young, business executives often did not know how to type (and were not expected to) and offices had employees who were simply typists. An office can get by with fewer bookkeepers and accountants when computers record the transactions and spreadsheet programs are available.

One idea is to make the machines easier and safer to use. This does happen; you can use your personal computer or drive your automobile without knowing much if anything about how it runs.

Another idea is to have better widespread education.

Many people are unhappy with the pace of modern life and think they want a return to simpler times, but they nonetheless want modern medicine and they want to be entertained by the WWW and television.

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Garden Hermit
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# 109

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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
I have heard this question phrased a bit differently (and more nastily): in the post-industrial society, how do we provide jobs for people not bright enough to run the machines?


Yes I think this a very important part of it. The Minimum Wage doesn't help. I know of several people with Learning Difficulties who were worth £5 for an afternoon's work breaking cardboard boxes. When the Minimum Wage came in along with pensions and NI, the Jobs disappeared and were done by another employee in a fraction of the time.

Perhaps the 'less intelligent' (in practice those who haven't got degrees including me) become State Employees doing useful work ?

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Garden Hermit
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# 109

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One further point - today it announced that the pay of CEOs in the UK is now 386 times the Living Wage. How can anyone be worth that much ?
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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Garden Hermit:
One further point - today it announced that the pay of CEOs in the UK is now 386 times the Living Wage. How can anyone be worth that much ?

CEO remuneration is like that for any elite, such as city traders, hedge fund managers and footballers. A substantial part of the pay isn't for them to work for you but for them not to work for anyone else.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Ethne Alba
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# 5804

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No one is worth that much.
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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Garden Hermit:
The Question is - 'How do we create meaningful and rewarding jobs in an Economy which can be done by an average worker for 37 hours a week which gives them enough money to buy a House and look after their Family.'

Just wondering first what you're assuming here about couples and singles. If an average couple have enough to pay the mortgage and care for 2 children, does that mean that a single parent eith one child can afford half a house ?

Second, how much of the issue is to do with the below-average worker ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 2978 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Garden Hermit
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# 109

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Garden Hermit:
The Question is - 'How do we create meaningful and rewarding jobs in an Economy which can be done by an average worker for 37 hours a week which gives them enough money to buy a House and look after their Family.'

Just wondering first what you're assuming here about couples and singles. If an average couple have enough to pay the mortgage and care for 2 children, does that mean that a single parent eith one child can afford half a house ?

Second, how much of the issue is to do with the below-average worker ?

You are correct. I should have said that 'average' did not mean average salary or income or average anything. 'Ordinary' might have been better. And yes it is to do with the 'lower' half of Society when income is considered.
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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Garden Hermit:
The Question is - 'How do we create meaningful and rewarding jobs in an Economy which can be done by an average worker for 37 hours a week which gives them enough money to buy a House and look after their Family.'

One possible angle for approaching this:

1. If a country was ruled by a benevolent tyrant who - informed by best-available computer models of the economy - fixed all the prices and wages in the economy and allocated people to jobs, could something like a present-day economy be run such that nobody worked for more than 37 hours a week and any two people's wages were enough to own a house and support themselves and two children ?

2. Can it still work if people have the freedom to choose their own job (within the constraints of the numbers of each type of worker needed) ?

3. Can it still work if people are free to leave and go to the country next door which is run as a conventional mixed-economy ?

4. What has to happen for them to find their jobs meaningful and rewarding ?

5. If the above is sustainable, is there an evolutionary path from here to there ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 2978 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Garden Hermit
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# 109

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At the moment what we've got in the UK, EU and USA ain't working. Massive unemployment in some Countries for 'below' average intelligence workers (and there will always be 50% below average), Social Services like Education, Prisons and Health Care having dwindling resources. Not everyone can get a degree. 'Intelligent' people like Council and Business Leaders seem to be able to manipulate their salaries ever higher on the grounds they have reduced costs (eg sacked workers). I just feel there must be a better way.
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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by Garden Hermit:
I just feel there must be a better way.

The Greens have got some interesting ideas around this - if it wasn't for their policies on the Monarchy, military, public schools and foxhunting I'd vote for them as I agree with them on everything else.

Of course, the obvious thing for me to do would be to join them and work within the party to change the policies on the Monarchy, military, public schools and foxhunting but I can't help feeling that would be difficult....!

As an interesting tangent, I do think there's a natural crossover between the Greens and the paleo Scrutonite Tories which both sides have an interest in playing down. This is most obvious in organisations like the CPRE, which is a heady blend of trots and Tories come together for a common cause.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Garden Hermit:
Social Services like Education, Prisons and Health Care having dwindling resources. Not everyone can get a degree.

This is a symptom of Baumol's cost disease. Those areas are labour intensive. We can't (and don't want to) make productivity gains in teaching - we're not trying to use fewer teachers to teach more pupils. We don't want to replace nursing and social care with automation. People don't want to be cared for by a robot.

In other fields, however, automation has driven productivity very much higher, and so wages rise. This makes people more and more expensive across the whole economy. In areas where automation is increasing productivity, expensive people are OK, as the gains rise raster than the wages. But wages for labour-intensive jobs have to rise as well (or all the teachers and nurses will go and become assembly robot operators), which makes those activities proportionately more expensive.

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davidmikky
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# 18760

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15 years ago this was taken for granted. But it seems to be getting further away each day. If Individuals and Businesses can move quickly to where Taxes and Wages are the lowest, then what can any Government do to control them ?

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malik66

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quantpole
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# 8401

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Interesting map, considering that driverless trucks are going to take over within 10 years. What is everyone going to do?

The thing is it's not in many people's interested to have lots of people with no money. They need the consumers after all. Yes, there will undoubtedly be different jobs that develop, but it certainly feels to me like we're on the edge of something even more significant than the industrial revolution.

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Garden Hermit
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# 109

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As a slight aside I come from Northern Ireland and have discussed 'The Troubles' with many people. We came to the conclusion that it was due to Male Unemployment. NI always had Unemployment at more than twice the rest of the UK, and it reached over 20% when the Mainland was at 9% once. Historically Women always worked in the Linen Mills and Men stayed at home to look after Children and do a bit of Fishing for the Evening Meal. But I offer this as a warning against what seems to be happening. Men's Well Paid Jobs in Factories are going leaving the Woman to do Care Work etc. as the Family Breadwinner. The Devil finds work for Idle Hands they say.
Posts: 1410 | From: Reading UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged


 
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