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posted by Fnord666 on Monday March 20 2017, @10:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the rent-is-due dept.

As video games get better and job prospects worse, more young men are dropping out of the job market to spend their time in an alternate reality. Ryan Avent suspects this is the beginning of something big

[...] Over the last 15 years there has been a steady and disconcerting leak of young people away from the labour force in America. Between 2000 and 2015, the employment rate for men in their 20s without a college education dropped ten percentage points, from 82% to 72%. In 2015, remarkably, 22% of men in this group – a cohort of people in the most consequential years of their working lives – reported to surveyors that they had not worked at all in the prior 12 months. That was in 2015: when the unemployment rate nationwide fell to 5%, and the American economy added 2.7m new jobs. Back in 2000, less than 10% of such men were in similar circumstances.

What these individuals are not doing is clear enough, says Erik Hurst, an economist at the University of Chicago, who has been studying the phenomenon. They are not leaving home; in 2015 more than 50% lived with a parent or close relative. Neither are they getting married. What they are doing, Hurst reckons, is playing video games. As the hours young men spent in work dropped in the 2000s, hours spent in leisure activities rose nearly one-for-one. Of the rise in leisure time, 75% was accounted for by video games. It looks as though some small but meaningful share of the young-adult population is delaying employment or cutting back hours in order to spend more time with their video game of choice.

TFA is worth reading in full. Much more deliberative than usual.

Previously on SoylentNews: Why Ever Stop Playing Video Games?


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Why Ever Stop Playing Video Games? 64 comments

A very interesting piece of long form journalism cum memoir about the way video gaming has subsumed and changed the way we live, interact, and think.

To the uninitiated, the figures are nothing if not staggering: 155 million Americans play video games, more than the number who voted in November's presidential election. And they play them a lot: According to a variety of recent studies, more than 40 percent of Americans play at least three hours a week, 34 million play on average 22 hours each week, 5 million hit 40 hours, and the average young American will now spend as many hours (roughly 10,000) playing by the time he or she turns 21 as that person spent in middle- and high-school classrooms combined. Which means that a niche activity confined a few decades ago to preadolescents and adolescents has become, increasingly, a cultural juggernaut for all races, genders, and ages. How had video games, over that time, ascended within American and world culture to a scale rivaling sports, film, and television? Like those other entertainments, video games offered an escape, of course. But what kind?

In 1993, the psychologist Peter D. Kramer published Listening to Prozac, asking what we could learn from the sudden mania for antidepressants in America. A few months before the election, an acquaintance had put the same question to me about video games: What do they give gamers that the real world doesn't?


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Bot on Monday March 20 2017, @10:22AM (8 children)

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @10:22AM (#481431)

    First, videogame were so limited that players needed some imagination to make sense of them. This is a ball, this is a paddle.
    Then the golden age, playability was key in arcade games who had to grab you quickly and let you have fun and not let you stay too much with a quarter.
    Then tech advanced and neo geo crap with huge sprites became the norm. Good bye accent on playability.
    Then 3d came. People started perceiving themselves in the game.
    Then immersive VR came. More identification with the game avatar.
    Then neural stimulation came. And players of sexy games came, too.
    At this point, gaming became an obsession for a number of hardcore gamers, for whom neural stimulation had become kind of a drug. They not only wanted to feel the token pleasure, but also unadulterated pain.
    That was not the end of it. Most hardcore among them decided that ultimate immersion happens when you dunno you are in a game anymore, and resented admins, so they started a MMORPG in which your memory is emptied at the start of the game, and the open ended world is not policed in any way by anyone external. They unimaginatively named this stuff "Life".

    signed, gaming trends reviewer O. Uroboros.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Unixnut on Monday March 20 2017, @12:27PM (5 children)

      by Unixnut (5779) on Monday March 20 2017, @12:27PM (#481457)

      Well yes, predictable, but unsustainable.

      I mean, for all someone may live in a virtual world, their mind and body are a physical presence, and will need shelter, sustenance and nutrition, not to mention the cost of hardware and net connection to interface to the virtual world.

      All this requires physical money to pay for it, and while I am sure some people can make money in gaming, I don't think most will be able to. So, how do these people survive? OK, for now they can live with parents, but their parents won't be around forever.

      I guess you can have them live of benefits/welfare, but that only works as long as there is enough welfare to support all of them (and their immersion, which isn't cheap. I remember gamers spending large sums on rigs).

      Also, this reminds me a bit of what I heard about in Japan, where young people turned into recluses and never went out, had sex, relationships, etc.. in the physical world. They just interacted through their computers, mostly via games. This was the 90s-00s, so it could be that we are just catching up to them.

       

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Monday March 20 2017, @12:59PM (4 children)

        by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Monday March 20 2017, @12:59PM (#481471) Journal

        I guess you can have them live of benefits/welfare, but that only works as long as there is enough welfare to support all of them (and their immersion, which isn't cheap. I remember gamers spending large sums on rigs).

        Nah. New gaming hardware is expensive, but you eventually gaming technology will hit a functionality plateau (if it hasn't already) in which case 3 year old hardware will be 90% as good as the latest rig, but only 10% the cost, especially when purchased in bulk at government-welfare levels (ie tens of millions of units at a time). Hell, give it ten years and a Raspberry Pi will run like today's Playstation.

        As for welfare - You simply hole the gamers up in 3mx3mx2m boxes with a big screen gaming system built into one wall, a hammock, a shower / toilet / sink cubicle and a tap that dispenses soylent (tm) [soylent.com][2]. Maybe a hamster wheel, if there's space. Since you wouldn't have to worry about sunlight or fresh air, you could just pack these units into vast, concrete Gamercubes[1]. A gamercube 3km to a side and 20 stories high could easily house 11million gamers in one compact, efficient, easy to manage facility. Hell of a lot cheaper than the current welfare model, where we put people in actual houses and give them money for food and stuff, then watch them have kids and pay for them too. Having them all in one place would keep latency low, so they'd have nothing to complain about. Send the Resyk-roombas down the corridors twice a week to pick up the dead'uns before the smell gets too bad and I can think of no one objection that will possibly be raised against this proposal.

        [1] Subject to copyright negotiations with Nintendo over the name)
        [2] Dosage of soylent is controlled by weight & health monitoring sensors built into the hammock, aircon and toilet. Soylent can be automatically dosed with antibiotics, insulin and antidepressants as required to keep the gamers at a tolerable level of health.

        • (Score: 2) by rondon on Monday March 20 2017, @02:50PM (1 child)

          by rondon (5167) on Monday March 20 2017, @02:50PM (#481515)

          I read your title, but I have a question - if this was a check yourself in/out at will type of facility, would it be a bad thing? I'm leaning towards yes, but I'd love to hear arguments for both sides.

          Again, nothing is mandatory, and the facility is free to those who would like to check in. I guess the argument could go for any addict, to be fair. Color me slightly repulsed, yet intrigued.

          • (Score: 2) by Unixnut on Monday March 20 2017, @05:22PM

            by Unixnut (5779) on Monday March 20 2017, @05:22PM (#481601)

            huh, when I read it, it just reminded me of the Matrix.

            Except it being some nightmare dystopian enslavement scenario, there may well be people who would willingly sit and be hooked up to virtual worlds like that for their lifetime. If you can emulate sensory inputs well enough, some people might be willing to spend their entire life in a dream world. Not sure about the comparison with addicts though. Main problem with addicts is the the damage and drain they do to other people and society themselves.

            If someone decides they want to spend their life in a cube hooked up to a computer, is that really having a negative effect on society? Sure you can claim the birth rate will drop as people don't get married and have kids, but you can't exactly force people to breed and rear children anyway.

            If work needs doing, then I am sure wages would rise due to lack of supply to the point where some people might be willing to forego the virtual world to do whatever physical labour is required.

            Not to mention, some jobs are virtual already. For example, programming could well be done through a terminal in the game. It would not surprise me in such a world that you could hire coders who live in these virtual worlds to actually do work needed in the physical world (which would allow them to pay for the sustenance of their physical form).

            In theory, with enough advancements in robotics, you could have telepresense robots that people could temporarily switch to if something needs to be done in the physical world, get the job done, get paid, and then go back to their respective virtual worlds.

            The more I think about it, the more I think you could actually make a society function like that. Not that I would want to be a part of it myself, but who knows, future generations might be more open to the idea. One day in the future I might be the old codger that doesn't want bionic implants and virtual worlds, shaking my stick at the plugged in people who can't even see me.

            Also, I am fine with the grandparents idea, on the condition that the buildings be painted on the outside to look like Nintendo Gamecubes themselves.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @05:22PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @05:22PM (#481602)

          We need to sponsor this. It's a solution to Islamic terrorism and fertility.

        • (Score: 2) by Bot on Tuesday March 21 2017, @08:28AM

          by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2017, @08:28AM (#482011)

          To my surprise
          Some twenty stories hiiiigh
          People getting hooked
          Reading on screen instructions

          Chorus: frag baby frag
          Gamer inferno
          Frag baby frag
          Shoot red mama down

    • (Score: 1) by J_Darnley on Monday March 20 2017, @12:27PM

      by J_Darnley (5679) on Monday March 20 2017, @12:27PM (#481460)

      > the open ended world is not policed in any way by anyone external

      I'm not so sure about that. Politicians and police in the US seem to be policing that game externally.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2017, @12:17AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 21 2017, @12:17AM (#481883)

      We should draft them and send to a war; making sure most of them are killed.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @10:30AM (38 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @10:30AM (#481432)

    After 15 years, USA will pay Mexicans immigrants to come.

    Yea hear me, eth_fuelled, wanna bet you'll be happy to have someone, anyone, even a Mexican jew, to take care of you in that retirement home? Will yea 'ave enough money to pay him?

    • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @10:54AM (25 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @10:54AM (#481436)

      End welfare benefits, and we'll have so many people fighting for the job of caring for EF in his retirement home, you won't believe your eyes. The real fight won't be caring for EF though, it will be for jobs picking tomatoes and lettuce. Just end welfare. We don't need workers, we need HUNGRY WORKERS. Make them bastards as hungry as the Mexicans, and they'll beg for a job.

      • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by c0lo on Monday March 20 2017, @11:11AM (12 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @11:11AM (#481439)

        Mmmm... improvisation on a given theme.

        Problem is: if you drive them in agriculture, they'll soon find pitchforks. Perhaps NRA will find a post-abundance opportunity to sell them some semi-autos on loan - they'll have to do something to stay in business.

        Plus, they do have re-spawning as a reflex - may not happen in real life, but it's good enough if they believe it once.

        The result? You may delay it for a short while, but you'll find you still need Mexican immigration

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 20 2017, @01:08PM (11 children)

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @01:08PM (#481474)

          The USA needs Mexican immigration about as much as Israel needs arab immigration, or as much as China and Japan need immigration. Maybe after they open their borders we should follow suit. Until then I think we should copy the policies of Israel (our greatest ally) and China and Japan.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday March 20 2017, @01:49PM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @01:49PM (#481487)

            The USA needs Mexican immigration about as much as Israel needs arab immigration,

            Mmmhmmm... careful what you wish for...

            Let's take some numbers:
            - Israel population: 8 mil. Number of arab workers in Israel [independent.co.uk]: at least 500,000.
            - USA population: 320 mil.

            Turns out you are actually saying: "The USA economy needs 20,000,000 Mexican workers".

            ---

            If you insist in "but... immigration not workforce!", the same source states: "It is estimated that of Israel’s 1.5million Arab citizens..." - which should translate using your rule in "The USA needs at total of 60,000,000 citizens of Mexican origin".

            It turns out that the number of Mexican-origin citizens, including those born in USA [pewhispanic.org] falls short of the 60 mils.
            So, granting your wish ad litteram, you'd still need about 15 mils extra Mexican immigrants (and I'm padding the number for safety, the quoted data is 2013 showing about 35 mils only. Let's say 2013 to 2016, an increase to 45 mils).

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Monday March 20 2017, @02:58PM (9 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @02:58PM (#481519) Journal

            I think we should copy the policies of Israel (our greatest ally)

            Why is it Democrats and certain others are waxing hysterical about Trump's wall when they have said nada about Israel's mega-wall for the last decade? They are an order of magnitude more awful to people who want to cross their borders than America is. If what Trump wants to do is facism, then what does that make Israel which is already there? If it's racist for Trump to subject muslims and others to extreme vetting, then what is it when Israel does far worse?

            Why does Israel get the free pass to do exactly what Trump wants to do?

            Me, I think both Israel and Trump are wrong on these matters. Building walls on borders is ineffective and contrary to freedom and democracy and the open societies those require. America has absorbed great numbers of immigrants before without any real long-term harm. Give them their own official holiday on the calendar like we gave the Irish St. Patrick's Day and they can happily take their place next to the rest of us as cat's paws for Wall Street bankers, K Street lobbyists, and other such worthless scum.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @04:30PM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @04:30PM (#481571)

              Why is it Democrats and certain others are waxing hysterical about Trump's wall when they have said nada about Israel's mega-wall for the last decade? They are an order of magnitude more awful to people who want to cross their borders than America is. If what Trump wants to do is facism, then what does that make Israel which is already there? If it's racist for Trump to subject muslims and others to extreme vetting, then what is it when Israel does far worse?

              Why does Israel get the free pass to do exactly what Trump wants to do?

              Me, I think both Israel and Trump are wrong on these matters. Building walls on borders is ineffective and contrary to freedom and democracy and the open societies those require. America has absorbed great numbers of immigrants before without any real long-term harm. Give them their own official holiday on the calendar like we gave the Irish St. Patrick's Day and they can happily take their place next to the rest of us as cat's paws for Wall Street bankers, K Street lobbyists, and other such worthless scum.

              Uhh... what? Who have you been listening to and where have you been getting your news.

              Liberals have been complaining about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians for ages, comparing it to things like East and West Germany. There have been numerous humanitarian complaints about how the people in the occupied lands are effectively being blockaded, due their only neutral real port of entry for trade being a sometimes-open-sometimes-closed border with Egypt. In fact, if you look in Europe, there are numerous anti-Israel (note: one can be anti-Israel while being pro-Jewish) sentiments, especially among the leftist groups.

              Typically it is the political right who is pro-Israel, as the "only functional democracy in the middle east" and numerous other things. Democrats are much less full-throated in support of the middle east.

              Of course, it is far more complicated and nuanced than this; if my neighbors regularly shot missiles at me I'm sure I'd be more heavy-handed in response as well. However, it's not like the Democrats are being at all hypocritical, unlike a certain "the election is riggged... wait, you mean I won, I'm sure it was a landslide in a completely honest election" President.

              • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday March 21 2017, @01:57PM (2 children)

                by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2017, @01:57PM (#482120) Journal

                Liberals have been complaining about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians for ages, comparing it to things like East and West Germany.

                Not in this country (US). Sure, maybe in the Socialist Worker, but not in any major media outlet. In English-speaking media there is an unwritten commandment that everyone knows and no one will even utter, "Thou Shalt Not Criticize Israel." If you do, you're an anti-Semite and insta-Nazi. Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

                --
                Washington DC delenda est.
                • (Score: 1) by WillR on Wednesday March 22 2017, @07:18PM (1 child)

                  by WillR (2012) on Wednesday March 22 2017, @07:18PM (#482900)
                  Hmmmm. Liberals say something, but you don't see it on the cable TV and in the major papers every day. I wonder how that happens. It's almost like the so-called "liberal media" is a myth, or something.
                  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday March 23 2017, @03:40AM

                    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 23 2017, @03:40AM (#483068) Journal

                    Vanishingly few of them say so among themselves, either. I've been active in the progressive grassroots in NYC for 20 years and in all that time have known exactly one guy who objects to Israel's treatment of Palestinians. And before that in the Green Party in Chicago I knew no one who did. The only ones I have read who do are socialists, but there are extremely few of them in the US, even less than there are Greens.

                    But like I said, maybe people in other countries have latitude to criticize Israel but in America it's social and politically fraught because of the thought police.

                    --
                    Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Monday March 20 2017, @05:01PM (2 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @05:01PM (#481584) Journal

              Me, I think both Israel and Trump are wrong on these matters. Building walls on borders is ineffective and contrary to freedom and democracy and the open societies those require.

              Works for Israel because their neighbors are far more hostile. The thing is, Mexico isn't hostile to the US like the Palestinian territories are to Israel. There just isn't a compelling need for a wall. If the US legalized most recreational drugs, started punishing employment of illegal immigrants, and had an immigration policy that made sense, then it would eliminate any need for a wall.

              • (Score: 2) by rondon on Tuesday March 21 2017, @12:49PM

                by rondon (5167) on Tuesday March 21 2017, @12:49PM (#482076)

                I would normally just mod a post like this as "insightful," but I don't think I've ever agreed with Khallow on three points in a row before. Incredible ;)

              • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday March 21 2017, @01:30PM

                by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2017, @01:30PM (#482098) Journal

                Works for Israel because their neighbors are far more hostile. The thing is, Mexico isn't hostile to the US like the Palestinian territories are to Israel.

                Also we're not pushing into Mexican territory and then ethnically cleansing them (yet, although we might if VLM gets his way).

                Completely agree with you on your other points.

                --
                Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @05:37PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @05:37PM (#481617)

              Immigration of like-minded people isn't bad, at least as long as the numbers don't let them section themselves off with their own language. Like-minded people can integrate.

              With the Mexicans, the "like-minded" aspect is questionable, and the numbers have already created Spanish-only areas. We need to stop at least until the existing immigrants start exclusively using English.

              With the rapefugees, we have bigger problems. They kill their own daughters for dating non-Muslims. They kill those who convert. They have a dress code which ensures that they can reject non-Muslims and encourages non-Muslims to reject them. Integration will never happen. This is an invasion with demographic replacement. There is no majority-Muslim country in the world that is not fucked up and horrible; we should not welcome this fate.

              • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday March 21 2017, @01:52PM

                by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2017, @01:52PM (#482117) Journal

                You mean like those pesky German immigrants who insisted on continuing to make their own ethnic foods and speaking German in their neighborhoods and amongst themselves. Or the dirty Italians. Or the silly Poles? Lithuanians? Chinese? Norwegians? Continuing to make and consume the abomination that is lutefisk is not integration, my friend.

                All those other groups still cluster together in neighborhoods. They have their own religious institutions and festivals and customs. Some of them have been here for generations and they still don't speak English and even print newspapers in their own languages. My father-in-law has been here for 40 years and only speaks enough English to run a dry-cleaning store.

                As for punishing their own members who try to integrate, that's nothing new or exceptional either. In college my filipino buddy fell in love with a Lithuanian girl. Her family has been in America since they fled the Soviet invasion at the beginning of WWII. They found out about her dating my friend, and refused to speak to her or have anything to do with her because she A) was dating a non-Lithuanian and B) was dating somebody who is not white. My friend and the girl thought they were in the clear because they're both Catholic, but no.

                But, hey, it's always possible the rest of us have it wrong, and you have it right. Look, we let the Italians stay and what do they do? Start up the Cosa Nostra and bring rampant criminality to our fair land. Let's chuck them all out. Let them go back to Italy and choke on their pasta. And the Irish, fuck. Think how much better Boston would be without those people and their crime and alcoholism and fighting. Let them go back to Cork and eat potatoes. Much the same with the Russians--come in and start violent mafia criminal gangs. Send 'em back!

                Finns can stay. They mostly keep to themselves in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and play hockey. Canadians, too. Mostly harmless.

                --
                Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by VLM on Monday March 20 2017, @01:05PM (11 children)

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @01:05PM (#481473)

        Speaking of hungry Mexicans the reason why a quarter of Mexico's population is in the USA is because of NAFTA replacing Mexican corn farmers with Iowa corn farmers. There's literally no jobs in Mexico that aren't corrupt as hell pemex and those are going away because Mexico is pumped out, and weed farmers / narco-terrorists. Some tourism but a couple Gringos per year visiting some beach in between getting beheaded and raped by the narcos isn't going to feed 120 million Mexicans.

        My gut level guess is Trump's reaction to getting inevitably blocked on the wall will be to send M1A1 tanks into Mexico City. Having a failed narco-state on your southern border is an obvious clear and present danger. In an ideal world we'd turn Mexico and Canada into states. We'd steal Canada's health care system which is better than ours, have the army execute the narcoterrorists running Mexico at dawn, instantly wipe out the whole legal vs illegal thing...

        Its not like the Mexicans could stop us, because any Mexican with a work ethic and motivation and skills immigrated to like, Kansas or whatever, a decade ago. There isn't much left in Mexico.

        Mexico already has a wall on its southern border, and not being a white country they're allowed to protect their borders, and they don't have much of an illegal problem like we do, so one interesting way for Trump to "acquire a southern wall" would be to take Mexico's wall.

        Every republican for my whole life has been "literally Hitler" according to the special snowflakes, so Trump getting us a bit of Lebensraum wouldn't be much of an additional propaganda problem.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Monday March 20 2017, @03:10PM (4 children)

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @03:10PM (#481525) Journal

          Speaking of hungry Mexicans the reason why a quarter of Mexico's population is in the USA is because of NAFTA replacing Mexican corn farmers with Iowa corn farmers.

          Maize was domesticated in Mexico thousands of years ago. They pioneered organized agriculture in the New World, and in some sense it's they who have fed us. One trade treaty that's 20-30 years old is not going to undo that.

          so Trump getting us a bit of Lebensraum wouldn't be much of an additional propaganda problem.

          Why in the heck would we need Mexico for lebensraum? Have you ever been out of a metropolitan area in your life? Ever? If we approached the population densities of many other places in the world we could fit the entire US population in North Dakota. And we have lots of North Dakotas and even a handful of TexaCaliAlaskas. Even all the people China has are concentrated in a relatively small portion of that country's total area. In short, we have enough room in the current United States for a couple billion more people.

          Undertaking an anschluss of Mexico would gain us nothing vis-a-vis the narco mafia. They would simply be institutionalized in our system, with American Congressmen taking over as the recipients of the bribes. Unless you're talking about a Final Solution for Mexicans, which, given your posting history might be what you're hinting at.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 20 2017, @05:29PM (3 children)

            by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @05:29PM (#481608)

            Why in the heck would we need Mexico for lebensraum?

            Ah I think you're misinterpreting the use of lebensraum in the PR. See Trump is a republican which according to the nutcases means he's already literally Hitler just by party affiliation, therefore the PR backlash from the democratic party media after the occupation begins can be short circuited because hitlers gotta hitler therefore getting some lebensraum is just something hitlers do. Why leave the 6th army in Stalingrad, well, hitlers gotta hitler, thats just their thing, ya know.

            Unless you're talking about a Final Solution for Mexicans, which, given your posting history might be what you're hinting at.

            Ah no they're not really a problem. Or not a problem that requires that kind of solution, anyway.

            From a nationalist point of view being one big country might have some interesting effects WRT people being able to stay in their homes with their own people if we're all one big (happy?) country. Why move all the Oaxacans to the chicken plant in Oklahoma if you can simply move the chicken plant to Oaxaca, after all.

            It might be a "final solution" for the narco terrorist beheader types. I don't think many people will miss them, on either side of the border.

            Corn production in MX is an interesting graph given the relatively non-meme looking meme that they're here because our NAFTA destroyed their farms. Basically almost everything heard or read about NAFTA is fake news on one level or another. When I pulled the actual production data a minute ago I was surprised. I guess you can't believe everything you see on CNN, which I guess I was an idiot to listen to anyway.

            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @05:41PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @05:41PM (#481621)

              I suppose you imply that corn production went up in Mexico. OK, but what about the jobs? If we bankrupted the farmers (like USA a century ago) and that caused the creation of large mechanized farms, there is still an unemployment issue.

              • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday March 21 2017, @12:30PM

                by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2017, @12:30PM (#482068)

                That is an interesting way to resolve the meme that NAFTA meant the subsistence farmers all had to move to California while simultaneously factory farming in Mexico has increased overall corn levels. I was reading the meme as being false with the implication that production ceased in MX in favor of Iowa or whatever, which is not the case, but the meme may be true anyway. I suppose I could investigate further, but...

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @10:15PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @10:15PM (#481818)

              Trump is a Republican? Well, since he is the President and he ran under the R-brand, I guess he is by definition . . .

        • (Score: 0, Troll) by i286NiNJA on Monday March 20 2017, @03:39PM

          by i286NiNJA (2768) on Monday March 20 2017, @03:39PM (#481541)

          Look at your soft feelings get hurt when someone compares you to hitler.
          You elected trump you dumb fuck I can call you whatever I want, the age of PC niceness is over and you're a fucking fascist. But not even a cool hardass fascist with hugo boss jackboots you're a pepe humping incel with a hipster haircut.

          The era of political correctness is over!! Harden up snowflake!

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday March 20 2017, @05:04PM (3 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @05:04PM (#481586) Journal

          In an ideal world we'd turn Mexico and Canada into states.

          What would be the value in that? Especially, in the near certainty that the natives wouldn't like that? That indicates to me a variety of initial assumptions that really need looking at.

          • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 20 2017, @05:13PM (2 children)

            by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @05:13PM (#481596)

            Perhaps we could reduce the level of narco violence down the mere level of Baltimore or Chicago. That would be a considerable improvement.

            Its also an interesting political hack on illegals not having to either kick them out or amnesty them, merely take their country.

            As for taking the Canadians that is an attempt at demographic balance, although their population only being a 1/3 of Mexico its not an effective balance.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday March 20 2017, @06:38PM (1 child)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @06:38PM (#481665) Journal
              Mexico is four times as large as Iraq was in population and almost five times as large in land area. And it has a large narco/guerilla population which has already had plenty of opportunity to practice hiding and waging war against Mexico's military forces. The US won't be able to take over the country and reduce its violence level to Baltimore levels without a lot of bloodshed.

              Canada may be less difficult to control population-wise, but it's a high tech population. If they so choose, there could be a lot of dead people from more sophisticated terrorist attacks than Mexico can muster.

              And what exactly does the US gain for all this grief? We still get the illegal immigrants, except we made them US residents and access to resources we already had access to.
              • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 20 2017, @08:01PM

                by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @08:01PM (#481726)

                Thought experiment, send in the M1A1 tanks AND legalize. Hmm. You can fight on the front lines and lose, or you can try guerrilla work but it'll be completely unfunded due to legalization.

                A significant fraction of their population is here. I'm not sure if that would help or hinder, but its certainly different than the recent re-enactment of the Crusades in the middle east.

                Ya know, as the Chinese figured out half a century ago, you can't have a failed nation on your southern border. One way or another mexico has to get cleaned up. End the drug war one way or another, get used to pemex and oil production being over. I guess I'm saying if you're next door to a failed state, its not an option to clean it up or not, its merely a question of how you're going to clean it up. May as well go in with a plan.

                As for what we gain from Canada, well, hot Canadian women and maple syrup and ice hockey, perhaps all three at the same time. The peace terms would involve us "stealing" their health care system and having them administrate it over us. Strange thought experiment... we're assuming we win against Canada... if on paper we lose and they impose a civilized health care system on us, its not like anyone in the usa is going to go all "red dawn" on our maple syrup overlords. "Oh darn, while our entire army was south of the rio grande the Canadians drove a convoy of Subarus playing Sarah McLaughlin into wash DC and took over and what a shame the most corrupt health care system on the planet will get replaced by the Canadian system, oh darn it all to heck"

                I'm just saying, in a "war as politics by other means" sense, we get a unified economic and political block and legalized weed (if not more) and no narco terror, I'm not really seeing a huge problem here especially if people in all three countries kinda see whats up and cooperate.

        • (Score: 1) by marknmel on Tuesday March 21 2017, @02:31AM

          by marknmel (1243) on Tuesday March 21 2017, @02:31AM (#481935) Homepage

          >In an ideal world we'd turn Mexico and Canada into states.

          How dare you. Not my circus, not my monkeys. I'll be over here with the moose and geese.

          --
          There is nothing that can't be solved with one more layer of indirection.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by GungnirSniper on Monday March 20 2017, @11:10AM (9 children)

      by GungnirSniper (1671) on Monday March 20 2017, @11:10AM (#481438) Journal

      You're expecting someone called Ethanol_fuelled to live long enough to see retirement? You're deftly daft.

      There's too many reasons to fully list why men would rather be teen-men than full men.

      • Middle class and above looks down on any sort of manual labor.
      • Women's dating expectations about income and success have not caught up with the 1990s yet. No job, no degree, no prospects does not get women willing.
      • Having children is no longer a universal expectation, and there is less emphasis on marriage as a requirement in general. Pet parents, etc.
      • Rejecting or filtering-out of non-degreed individuals is one of the few perfectly acceptable discriminations today.
      • A college degree outweighs even a decade of experience, and often used subconsciously as a class indicator.
      • Tax breaks for home owners have widened the gulf between haves and have-nots.
      • Our think-of-the-children scare-you-for-ratings culture has changing parenting from age-appropriate nurturing to safety-at-all-cost. This has infantilized children and teenagers. It's also why there's more Seth Rogans than Don Drapers.
      • The jobs aren't as widely distributed nationally as the manufacturing era. So the choices are stay around family and friends, or be an internal migrant without a local support network. No one speaks for them.
      • Zoning laws have restricted density in urban areas [cityobservatory.org], limiting the supply and raising the cost of that crucial rung on the middle class ladder - ownership.
      • All forms of transit have slower growth, so the incredible expansion of streets and homes into farmland is also slower. A 90 minute commute or longer is not appealing.
      • Families are more accepting of drug use than before, so some people prefer getting high to doing meaningful work without the consequences of yore.
      • The military is not the safe way to get money and an education that it used to be.
      • Germany, Japan, and many other places that used to be rubble and ash can compete with us. It's not 1955 anymore.
      • Our globalization policy and programs like H1-B ensure companies can get cheaper labor and thus do not need to train lower-class Americans.
      • Corporate globalization has also decreased the corporate patriotism factor as ownership becomes more abstracted.
      • There's more government requiring more taxation, and like all groups becomes self-interested more than about serving the Republic.
      • Video games produce dopamine, which draws players back in.
      • Video games are sexist, but have less class and income discrimination. If you are a good player, that's what matters.
      • On the Internet, no one knows I'm actually a dog.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @11:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @11:18AM (#481443)

        "On the Internet, no one knows I'm actually a dog."

        Now we do.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Monday March 20 2017, @11:22AM (6 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @11:22AM (#481445)

        Add one more to your list:
        * consumerist marketdroids conditioned the millennials to regard fantasy escapism as not only OK but providing a "geeky" status; not only video-games, but also movies (Transformers trash), sitcoms ("Big Bang theory", I'm including you too) and comicons.
        A child-like mindset is more inclined to impulse buying, helps the (short-term) bottom-line.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @02:19PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @02:19PM (#481498)

          How will you impulse buy if your money ain't there? :)

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday March 20 2017, @02:24PM (2 children)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @02:24PM (#481501)

            How will you impulse buy if your money ain't there? :)

            Check the context.

            When I said "Add another one to your list" in reply to the comment, I was referring to the list started under:

            There's too many reasons to fully list why men would rather be teen-men than full men.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @11:29PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @11:29PM (#481845)

              A child-like mindset is more inclined to impulse buying, helps the (short-term) bottom-line.

              I know the context, just wondering how are you supposed to impulse buy when you have bad credit rating and banks won't loan you any money.
              I guess we could go socialist (oh noes) and get universal basic income to allow hikki-neets to live on indefinitely, looks like warped vision the 50s version of the future where robots do everything.

              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday March 20 2017, @11:42PM

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @11:42PM (#481851)

                I know the context,

                The context I added my note makes no relation with income, check the list and you'll see heaps of others that won't make sense in "bad credit rating".
                As your question re-frames my point, feel free to draw whatever conclusions you like from the resulted strawman, those conclusions will be all yours.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday March 20 2017, @05:07PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @05:07PM (#481591) Journal
          Welcome to the TV age, cOlo.
        • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Monday March 20 2017, @11:23PM

          by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday March 20 2017, @11:23PM (#481844) Journal

          Another that should be on the list is demeaning and pushy treatment in the workplace.

          So many employers operate as slave driving sweatshops, doing stuff like demanding longer work hours, trampling upon the standard 40 hour week, and hoking up bogus bad performance reviews to pressure employees to work harder (stack ranking, anyone?), trying to turn employees into wage slaves in the belief that makes them more reliable and productive. They take the attitude that if you aren't stressing, you must not be working hard enough. They act like employees could leap tall buildings in a single bound and invent perpetual motion if they threaten them enough. On the rare occasions when a talented employee or team does pull off a heroic and miraculous success, they fail to recognize it, continuing to treat the workers like dirt. They also ram the latest idiotic management claptrap down everyones' throats, stuff that we know does not work and lowers morale, but no one who wants to keep their job dares protest. The beatings shall continue until morale improves. Fewer and fewer are choosing to chance landing in a work environment like that when staying home, keeping expenses extremely low, and playing video games is a viable option.

          Video games are very cheap entertainment if done right, far cheaper than cable TV. Can even turn a small profit from them by, for instance, leveling up a WoW character to the max, then selling the account.

          Unions used to hold the worst employment practices in check. Employers have been all too successful in breaking unions, so workers need other responses. Critical websites such as fuckedcompany.com had limited success. Seems faceintel.com is still around though a decade out of date. What does that leave, wikileaks? Or this, that work environments are so bad that staying unemployed is healthier.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by WillR on Monday March 20 2017, @07:10PM

        by WillR (2012) on Monday March 20 2017, @07:10PM (#481688)
        * As more tasks can be automated, the value of labor will approach zero, and we're going to keep automating everything as fast as we can.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @11:35AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @11:35AM (#481448)

      After 15 years, USA will pay Mexicans immigrants to come.

      You think the wall will be built to keep people out? Well, that's what the communists in Eastern Germany also claimed about the Berlin Wall …

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @01:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @01:20PM (#481478)

        Can't hear your logical and sound point over my She lost! Get over it! Trump! Trump! Trump!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @10:33AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @10:33AM (#481433)

    If I look back on the hours spent memorizing unverified claims, producing data for NHST, and torturing rats for what turned out to be no reason (not to mention the joys of dealing with government bureaucracy every day), it was time spent less productively than if Id been gaming. Of course, neither are ideal ways to spend your time (in terms of productivity).

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 20 2017, @10:52AM (16 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @10:52AM (#481435) Journal

    Never believe the unemployment rates released by the government. Each of the past 3 administrations have manipulated the methods by which those numbers are arrived at. I know that much for sure, and I suspect that preceding administrations have done the same.

    There is some magic associated with 10% unemployment. No administration wants to be guilty of allowing unemployment to go over 10%. There is similar magic associated with that 5% number - all administrations want to announce that they are responsible for keeping and/or getting unemployment under 5%. And, it's all lies. Each administration has massaged not only the numbers, but the methods used to get the numbers.

    The ONLY honest way to figure unemployment is to divide the number of adults who are actually employed, by the number of healthy, working age adults. Note that you won't get an "unemployment rate" but an "employment rate".

    You don't discount any group - you have to count prisoners, military, people who have quit looking for work, adult college students, everyone between 18 and 63 years of age. People permanently removed from the work force due to disability, old age, retirement, senility/dementia need not be counted.

    In actuality, our unemployment rate has remained over 20% since 2009.

    While there is no "perfect" and maybe not even a "really good" place to get actual unemployment numbers, shadowstats is pretty good. http://www.shadowstats.com/ [shadowstats.com] http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts [shadowstats.com]

    Remember, I don't hold shadowstats out as perfect - I do contend that they are more honest, and more accurate than any numbers that the government wants to pass around. Every number released by the government has been manipulated and massaged to show that the current administration is doing well, and to convince you that government is doing it's job.

    If you don't believe the numbers, try looking around you. Don't even count "under-employed". Just count all the working-age people you know, and compare that to the number of people who are unemployed. Some of you will know almost no one who is unemployed. Others of you are surrounded by unemployed people. If we were to all count, then average our counts together, our numbers would be a lot closer to Shadowstats, than to the government figures.

    With one in five working-age adults not working, no wonder there are millions of people playing video games.

    --
    #Hillarygropedme
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @11:15AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @11:15AM (#481441)

      Here in the Netherlands people are also not counted as unemployed if they don't actively apply for jobs, aren't eligible for social security... or they are forcefully "self employed" (fire your work force and hire them back as "independent entrepreneur" for less, competing against each other for the job), but don't make enough for a living.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday March 20 2017, @12:09PM (6 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @12:09PM (#481454)

      You don't discount any group - you have to count prisoners, military, people who have quit looking for work, adult college students, everyone between 18 and 63 years of age. People permanently removed from the work force due to disability, old age, retirement, senility/dementia need not be counted.

      I think you are trying to define a term that already exists: it's called participation rate [investopedia.com].
      Do you have in mind something else?

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 20 2017, @12:36PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @12:36PM (#481463) Journal

        That is what I have in mind - but the point is, the currently used figure is meaningless. As pointed out, each administration changes the methodology, counting fewer and fewer people in the workforce.

        Welfare recipients, for example, many of them healthy, working age adults, are not counted. They are invisible to the labor department.

        --
        #Hillarygropedme
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 20 2017, @12:50PM (4 children)

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @12:50PM (#481469)

        disability

        You do know that states push long term unemployed off state unemployment and onto federal disability as a policy decision, right? That's why in a supposedly post industrial economy with OSHA and the EPA, disability claims are exploding in number. Most folks on disability are just on long term welfare. Its actually getting to the point where most people on "disability" are actually OK, just unemployed.

        retirement

        Meaningless in a post-pension post-career world.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 20 2017, @03:02PM (2 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @03:02PM (#481522) Journal

          I'm not sure what you're saying here. People who are disabled, either short term, or long term, are not eligible for unemployment benefits. There are a number of other benefits which any individual may or may not be eligible for, but he is most certainly not eligible for unemployment benefits. Not in any state that I have ever worked in, at least.

          So, if a person does not apply for unemployment because he knows that he is ineligible, he is never counted to start with. If he does apply, only to learn that he is not eligible, he still isn't counted. In order to get his first unemployment check, the disabled person would have to commit perjury multiple times. That bit about "Check here if you are willing and able to work" will trip him up.

          --
          #Hillarygropedme
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday March 20 2017, @05:09PM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @05:09PM (#481592) Journal
            I guess the idea is that disability benefits are the long term unemployment benefits.
            • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 20 2017, @05:35PM

              by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @05:35PM (#481614)

              A classic example of what they actually are vs what they're supposed to be.

              With a side dish of the disabling lower back pain involves taking your now free medicare to the "pain care specialist clinic" for your weekly giant bottle of oxy which you don't need because you're unemployed not disabled, but when sold for cash comes in quite handy for paying the bills, SSDI not paying all that much compared to a real job.

              That's just how real america is now a days. Not how it should be, but how it is.

        • (Score: 1) by Rich26189 on Tuesday March 21 2017, @02:21PM

          by Rich26189 (1377) on Tuesday March 21 2017, @02:21PM (#482144)

          I remember a "60 Minutes" piece where their reporter went to a rural county in Alabama in which 25%-30% of the people were on disability. The reporter interviewed one of the doctors that had 'certified' these people were disabled. His reasoning was that they were unemployed, the farm jobs were too few to support the population, the manufacturing job had all dried up and they were too poor to move. There was no other 'social' safety net at the county or state level. Being on disability was the only way they would survive. The population was about equal black and white.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 20 2017, @12:39PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @12:39PM (#481467)

      I agree with the logic behind shadowstats but over the years he's gone weak and just keeps pushing the official stats plus 4 points. Seriously dude? 4.00000 points into eternity unchanging? For the last decade?

      For hard real data I like data.bls.gov and =fred.stlouisfed.org. Ignore the political percentages and look at "Labor force status: Employment-population ratio Type of data: Percent or rate Age: 16 years and over" and stuff like that. It ends up being the same verbal argument as shadowstats just more believable.

      The USA seems to generate about 3 million jobs per year in between recessions. Now if you import 1 million illegal aliens per year that is good economic times for all 300+ million of us. If you import 5 million illegal aliens per year that is not so good economic times for all 300+ million of us.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @01:43PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @01:43PM (#481485)

      "The ONLY honest way to figure unemployment is to divide the number of adults who are actually employed, by the number of healthy, working age adults. Note that you won't get an "unemployment rate" but an "employment rate"."

      I disagree, that leaves too many loopholes for adjustment.

      How about : the number of above minimum wage paying job hours worked divided by the 8 possible hours times the number of adults still breathing in the age group.

      Or the total wage paid divide by the number of breathing adults reported in an age and wage grid of bins.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 20 2017, @03:17PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @03:17PM (#481528) Journal

        Complicated, with no real gain. For purposes of determining how many people are employed, we don't care how much they make, or how many hours they work, or much of anything else. Those things help to determine economic health, and worker's relative wealth, but those things are pretty much irrelevant to the employment rate.

        If 89.5% of all working age Americans have a paying job, some of what you want to measure will improve, independent of actually measuring them. It's part of that "supply and demand" thing. When 80% or less of working age Americans have a job, then those things you want measured are going to grow worse. The labor market becomes a "buyer's market". We need jobs, we need people working. The more people who are working, the harder it will be to find people willing to work for minimum wage, and prices will increase. Maybe not for fast food restaurant workers, but in general, labor prices will go up.

        If and when the economy ever becomes a "seller's market", it will be time to remember those traditional minimum wage jobs, as well as exempted workers. Food service, farm labor, and associated workers should never have been exempted from the minimum wage. But, in today's market, you're simply not going to get any traction for a $15 McDonald's wage.

        --
        #Hillarygropedme
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @05:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @05:27PM (#481605)

      Let me say that shadowstats is BAD. Like, REALLY BAD. EconoMonitor posted a pretty damning deconstruction of their numbers (no one ever re-enters the workforce after being unemployed? Really?).

      Similarly, I want the unemployment numbers to be about the _workforce_. Some people are not in the workforce. Examples include "student, currently in college", "(actually) disabled", "failing at having a business", and "person not looking for work". As an example, Dave Chappelle made about $50M (only $25M after taxes!) and then stopped working and looking for work. He is not in the "workforce", despite being able-bodied. I don't believe that 100% employment is good/bad, or 5% unemployment to be good/bad. I want it to be a measure of "how many people, if they choose to work, are able to?"

      With that said, ~10-20% of the people 35 that I know are not in the workforce. Fundamentally, the "unemployment number" is fairly significantly decoupled from my observations. My city indicates that it has 4.2% unemployment, which is decoupled from reality.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @05:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @05:58PM (#481635)

      During much of our country's history, that calculation would put employment under 50% due to women.

      Today it would put employment over 100% due to part-time jobs.

      Two better ways: What portion of families have a person who works full-time? What portion of families are self-supporting?

      We can sort of combine those for a better measure of health: What portion of families are self-supporting on a single job? What portion of males fully support more than just themselves on a single job?

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday March 20 2017, @06:03PM (2 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday March 20 2017, @06:03PM (#481643) Journal

      The White House (and Runaway) Takes Its Attacks On Jobs Data To A New (And Dangerous) Level [fivethirtyeight.com]

      President Trump’s budget director on Sunday accused the Obama administration of “manipulating” economic data to make the unemployment rate look lower than it really was. That claim isn’t supported by evidence and will likely contribute to fears about the Trump administration’s commitment to honest reporting of government data.

      If your talking points are coming from the Liar-In-Chief, expect them to be served with a grain of salt.

      Hint: The rate that includes retirees and elementary school children is not the more accurate rate. Shadowstats claims 23% unemployment, does that actually pass the smell-test for anyone here??

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday March 20 2017, @06:56PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @06:56PM (#481680) Journal
        It would be simple for Trump to extend this alleged more accurate measure of unemployment into the past and public revised figures for say, the Bush and Obama administrations to get a baseline for comparison. Then we could decide the merits of his claims on a basis other than his word.
      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday March 21 2017, @01:44AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 21 2017, @01:44AM (#481911) Journal

        https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm [bls.gov]

        The participation rate, mentioned earlier, is included in this graph. It's broken down by age, gender, and race.

        White men, 20 years and older, have a participation rate of just over 70%. That is the government's own number, not something made up by me, Shadowstats, or Trump. Women 20 years and older participation rate about 57%.

        Looking at blacks, participation rate is about 61%. Almost 40% of black people are not employed - that is, unemployed.

        You figure it out - white people with their "white privilege" are almost 30% not employed. Black people are almost 40% not employed.

        Sure, there are some independently wealthy individuals who simply don't need to work - like retired basketball players. Some others are in business for themselves. Entrepeneurs aren't counted in labor statistics, unless they employ other people.

        But, you figure it out. If four out of ten people in a given group are unable to find gainful employment, there is something wrong. Whites, being somewhat better off, are still hurting - 3 out of ten white males are unable to find gainful employment.

        Now, do you still believe government's lies? The unemployment rate has been over 20% for more than a decade. 5% is an outright lie. Massage the numbers long enough, parse words into meaningless drivel, and you can pass off any numbers you want to pass off. THAT is what has happened to our employment statistics.

        --
        #Hillarygropedme
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @11:32AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @11:32AM (#481446)

    Before video games, people whose real life didn't go well spent their time in the alternate realities provided by TV shows, movies, books, (non-digital) role-playing games, watching sports, …

    In other words, if your real life doesn't go well, you're going to find a substitute. And now video games offer yet another substitute in addition of the ones mentioned above. I guess it's better for you if you waste your time playing video games (where you might even improve some skills) than if you waste your time watching "reality" TV (which almost certainly decreases any skills you may have).

    Oh, and there are still countless people who find their "alternate realities" in ruinous gambling, drinking or drug use.

    But the really worrisome alternate realities are those where people confuse them with the real world (be it islamist terrorists or presidents acting on "alternative facts").

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday March 20 2017, @05:43PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @05:43PM (#481624)

      watching sports

      I believe a lot of the anti-video game stuff comes from the very big financial interests who were into whats now legacy pro sports.

      Your average bubba too young for boomers too old for gen-x was at least as portrayed by hollywood a "sports nerd" knowing everything about nothing important.

      Also if you're really old like me you remember a day when the average pro baseball fan wasn't gray haired. Or TV coverage of European "soccer hooligans" maybe a generation ago before the muslim terror began the main criminal problem in euro-land was soccer fans getting drunk and into fights. Now the euros are too busy being raped, cities burned down, beheaded, shot, run over with trucks, basically a bad Grand Theft Auto video game but IRL. But in the old days euros got drunk and fought about soccer all day.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday March 20 2017, @12:16PM (3 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @12:16PM (#481456)

    I wish I could rate the submission as well; in the absence of this functionality, a sincere "thank you" to the submitter!

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Monday March 20 2017, @01:13PM (2 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 20 2017, @01:13PM (#481475)

      TFA lists a whole bunch of reasons for video-game escapism.

      One reason for "pseudo-"escapism its a very dangerous idea for "capitalism as the summit of civilization" - the realization that education, money, employment/jobs, etc. are means not ends..

      If a person chooses to ignore the "american dream" (substitute other socially imposed "games"), the result is a person who escapes the control of "corporatist feudalism" (or any other "economy based" reality games)
      If a significant enough percentage of the population is choosing to play video games instead of "the american dream" one, the "Fuck off, I value my gaming time more than your money"-genie may be hard to cork back into the bottle.
      I would add to the "video game escapism" the "maker phenomenon" - technology is cheap, people can meaningfully create today outside an employer/employee relation.

      The reason to work harder and earn more than the minimum needed to survive is, in part, the desire to have something more than the bare necessities – nice meals, rather than the cheapest calories available, a car, holidays abroad, a home full of books and art. Much of the work we do is intended to earn the money to afford a few luxuries to add to our comfort and enrich our lives.
      ...
      Stand back, however, and the implications are far more substantial than this. One can just about spot the vision of a distant, near-workless future in the habits of young gamers. If good things in life can be had for very little money, then working hard to have more than very little money looks less attractive.

      Huh! One of the possible outcomes: a generation knowing (viscerally or by intellectual realization) that the only way to not lose in the "american dream" game is not to play the game at all!

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by sjames on Monday March 20 2017, @02:02PM

        by sjames (2882) on Monday March 20 2017, @02:02PM (#481494) Journal

        American Dream 2.0 came out and flopped. Too many unkillable NPCs taking away all your progress, too much grinding for too little progress, too many glitches and lfor leveling up, the random number generator has much more effect than skill or grinding.

        It's no wonder players are rage quitting.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @10:12PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @10:12PM (#481814)

        The Soviets had to guard the borders to keep people from escaping; the USA has to guard the medicine cabinets.

        As joblessness increases from automation, one can also expect working conditions to continue to deteriorate as more people compete for fewer jobs and employers can offer less pay and expect employees to shoulder greater risk and greater stress.

        For example, Uber drivers:
        http://business.financialpost.com/news/transportation/video-of-uber-ceo-clashing-with-driver-sparks-new-apology-i-must-fundamentally-change-and-grow-up [financialpost.com]
        "“I lost $97,000 because of you. I’m bankrupt because of you. You keep changing every day,” [the Uber driver] said [to the Uber CEO], adding, “You changed the whole business.”

        Still, I could hope we can create games that really solve interesting issues like creating self-replicating space habitats or undersea cities...

        Other solutions: http://pdfernhout.net/beyond-a-jobless-recovery-knol.html [pdfernhout.net]
        "This article explores the issue of a "Jobless Recovery" mainly from a heterodox economic perspective. It emphasizes the implications of ideas by Marshall Brain and others that improvements in robotics, automation, design, and voluntary social networks are fundamentally changing the structure of the economic landscape. It outlines towards the end four major alternatives to mainstream economic practice (a basic income, a gift economy, stronger local subsistence economies, and resource-based planning). These alternatives could be used in combination to address what, even as far back as 1964, has been described as a breaking "income-through-jobs link". This link between jobs and income is breaking because of the declining value of most paid human labor relative to capital investments in automation and better design. Or, as is now the case, the value of paid human labor like at some newspapers or universities is also declining relative to the output of voluntary social networks such as for digital content production (like represented by this document). It is suggested that we will need to fundamentally reevaluate our economic theories and practices to adjust to these new realities emerging from exponential trends in technology and society."

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @02:32PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @02:32PM (#481504)

    Marry little girls.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @03:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20 2017, @03:38PM (#481539)

      Mary a little lamb had.

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