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posted by janrinok on Monday June 11, @01:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the cheery-start-to-the-week dept.

Good news! Automation capable of erasing white collar jobs is coming, but not for a decade or more. And that’s also the bad news because interest in automation accelerates during economic downturns, so once tech that can take your job arrives you’ll already have lived through another period of economic turmoil that may already have cost you your job.

That lovely scenario was advanced yesterday by professor Mirko Draca of The London School of Economics, who yesterday told Huawei’s 2018 Asia-Pacific Innovation Day 2018 that the world is currently in “an era of investment and experimentation” with technology. The effects of such eras, he said, generally emerge ten to fifteen years in the future.

Innovation in the 1980s therefore sparked the PC and internet booms of the mid-to-late 1990s, and we’re still surfing [SIC - suffering?] the changes they unleashed. “Our current era of mobile tech doesn’t measure up to the radical 1990s,” he said, as shown by the fact that productivity gains appear to have stalled for a decade or more.

[...] “We predict that AI and robotics will lead to some sort of productivity surge in ten to fifteen years,” he said, adding that there is “no clear evidence” that a new wave of technologies that threaten jobs has started.

But he also said that it will once businesses see the need to control costs.


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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:25PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:25PM (#691394)

    Not only is labor participation at the lowest rate in 40 years, labor participation rate has been stagnant for the entirety of the 2010s. There is a Greatest Recession on, whether you want to believe it or not.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @05:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @05:04PM (#691478)

      I know three people who figured out they don't need to work to maintain their lifestyle. Own a house, get a roommate to pay all the bills. One got appendicitis, but it was covered by medicaid. Another finally went back to work, but found that her work health plan wasn't as good as medicaid she was getting.

      Work is for suckers

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @02:28PM (28 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @02:28PM (#691396)

    It's the same kind of thing that has been true in job markets forever: when times are good, it's easy to get a job. If you get laid off (though no personal fault), it's usually due to difficult economic circumstances for your employer, their field, or as often the broader market. Ergo: when you get laid off, you're out on the street with a bunch of people just like you, all seeking job openings that are in very short supply because if they were plentiful, you wouldn't have been laid off in the first place.

    There are, as ever, exceptions - but when viewing the sample set of all involuntary unemployments, those exceptions don't account for as many layoffs as the mass layoffs that occur due to "hard times."

    Then, to complete the loop: the ranks of the unemployed are also suddenly conservative with their capital outlays, further contracting economic growth and opportunity for the broader market.

    Now let's here how lack of personal responsibility is really the root of all problems and the virtue of personal responsibility will protect from these dire straits, and all the while: risk taking is the true way to get ahead in the world. As ever, Scott Adams has a strip about that [dilbert.com].

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Monday June 11, @02:42PM (27 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @02:42PM (#691410) Journal

      Now let's here how lack of personal responsibility is really the root of all problems and the virtue of personal responsibility will protect from these dire straits,

      I gather you don't understand the argument. I imagine somewhere out there, there really is someone who thinks lack of personal responsibility is the root of all problems. I'd just consider it an aggravating factor in most problems.

      Here, you paint a story of a bunch of people collectively going through a boom and bust cycle. If through individual responsibility (or merely foresight), they had saved a bunch of money during good times, then the bad times would be lessened. They would in turn be much less of a problem than a population with lack of responsibility who didn't do anything to prepare for the coming recession.

      Then, to complete the loop: the ranks of the unemployed are also suddenly conservative with their capital outlays, further contracting economic growth and opportunity for the broader market.

      So what? Economic activity (not growth) is not the ultimate goal of an economy. Further, the responsible who have money aren't suddenly conservative because they've been conservative all along.

      and all the while: risk taking is the true way to get ahead in the world.

      It's true. So why the sarcasm?

      I'll note also that risk taking is more effective during recessions. Those who have been more conservative during booms, can take more risks during busts.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @03:00PM (8 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @03:00PM (#691422)

        So what? Economic activity (not growth) is not the ultimate goal of an economy.

        So: positive feedback loop. Which, despite the emotional prejudice of the word positive, is a very bad thing. Booms boom bigger, busts bust deeper, reduction of security, increase of stress, chaos, crime, mental breakdowns, mass shootings, etc.

        note also that risk taking is more effective during recessions.

        Very true, so if you're poor, save your pennies while you make them, then when times turn hard splash out with the biggest investments you can muster, it worked for Manny Diaz [manueldiazfarms.com]. The problem is: it is held up in society as something to strive for, like stardom or professional sports but sold as a semi-achievable dream, and far more people pursue the dream than will ever achieve it, leading to depression, fiscal ruin, stress, chaos, crime, mental breakdowns, mass shootings, etc.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:32PM (#691462)

          But you don't understand. It's the victim's fault!

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @08:55PM (6 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @08:55PM (#691601) Journal

          So: positive feedback loop. Which, despite the emotional prejudice of the word positive, is a very bad thing. Booms boom bigger, busts bust deeper, reduction of security, increase of stress, chaos, crime, mental breakdowns, mass shootings, etc.

          And my obvious rebuttal here is that the responsible people are negative feedback to that boom/bust cycle.

          The problem is: it is held up in society as something to strive for, like stardom or professional sports but sold as a semi-achievable dream, and far more people pursue the dream than will ever achieve it, leading to depression, fiscal ruin, stress, chaos, crime, mental breakdowns, mass shootings, etc.

          Unless, of course, your characterization of it is completely wrong. Then it won't.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @09:16PM (3 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @09:16PM (#691613)

            the responsible people are negative feedback

            In what way? They still get unemployed, they still seek jobs when they're put out of work. If they're independently wealthy and don't need jobs, then, sure, those people are "the solution" to all economic problems, aren't they?

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @10:52PM (2 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @10:52PM (#691653) Journal

              In what way? They still get unemployed, they still seek jobs when they're put out of work. If they're independently wealthy and don't need jobs, then, sure, those people are "the solution" to all economic problems, aren't they?

              Come on, it's not hard to figure this out. You already implied that boom/bust cycles happen because in the "boom" people seek out too much risk, and then in a "bust", they seek out too little. This group runs counter to that and hence, is negative feedback.

              And I already pointed out that I don't believe that responsible people are "the solution" to every problem. So it's a waste of time, yours and mine, to lecture me about that.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 12, @12:28AM (1 child)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 12, @12:28AM (#691686)

                Equating independently wealthy with responsible is your perspective, not mine.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @03:55AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @03:55AM (#691768) Journal

                  Equating independently wealthy with responsible

                  Sorry, didn't happen.

                  Let's instead talk about a scenario. A common bit of advice is that when you start to save money, first save about half a year's salary in something liquid like a savings account. Sometimes this is called "fuck you money" because it's enough of a cushion that you can abruptly leave a job under normal circumstances and still have a very good chance of finding another job before you start hurting for cash. So let's say that Mr. Responsible and Mr. Grasshopper both work at a company (suppose they're the sole breadwinners in their families). Mr. Responsible has the fuck you money and Mr. Grasshopper, well is just barely getting by.

                  If they both lose their jobs during a normal "boom" period, Mr. Responsible eventually finds another job without much drama. Mr. Grasshopper has some tribulation, a lot of stress, and ends up entering his new job with some significant credit card debt, but otherwise still going.

                  During extended economic downturns, whatever bad things happen to Mr. Responsible will happen to Mr. Grasshopper at least six months earlier. So that fuck you money, even if it isn't enough to keep Mr. Responsible afloat, it will at least keep him from being a problem for society for half a year. As I mentioned earlier, that's how financial responsibility can help with societal problems even at the most elementary of levels of responsibility.

                  Now suppose Mr. Responsible had invested a significant portion of his lifetime savings, say several years worth after the inevitable declines in the stock markets. He's still not independently wealthy - an extended period of unemployment will eat those investments. But he has choices that Mr. Grasshopper doesn't. Mr. Responsible can go back to school at the local college and keep his house, for example. He can move somewhere else in the country and still afford to rent a place for a few years. He can start a small business. This is risk taking that Mr. Grasshopper will have great difficulty to achieve. In other words, Mr. Responsible can afford to take more risks than Mr. Grasshopper can.

                  So here's how responsibility well below the level of "independently wealthy" can serve as negative feedback for a boom/bust cycle. During the boom phase, Mr. Responsible held back and saved/invested money rather than just spend it. This lessens the extent of the "boom" phase because he's not contributing as much to the high risk economic activity driving the boom. Then when the bust phase happens, Mr. Responsible is better positioned to take mild risks that can significantly improve his long term economic health. He's not going to suddenly become a compulsive gambler, but in the extreme risk adverse phase of a substantial recession, even modest risk taking can have significant mitigative effects. The combination of the two is the negative feedback of which I speak and which doesn't require one to be independently wealthy.

                  My view is that it is a bad idea to attempt to eliminate boom/bust cycles altogether. In fact, I believe the last few busts have been made significantly worse because some governments were trying to extend the period of the boom phase (at least encouraging higher GDP growth) without actually providing any credible economic benefit to back up their efforts. But with a more financially competent and responsible public, the extremes of booms and busts would be greatly reduced at no cost to society.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @09:32PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @09:32PM (#691624)

            I think the obvious rebuttal is that if the working class organized within a libertarian political system, the working class could demand a sufficient share of the wealth to act as the cyclical dampener you're suggesting. This would probably be a better and more scalable solution than using the political system as a means for working class organization. As wswswswswsws would suggest, this could be achieved by rank-and-file committees working in decentralized cooperation throughout the entire economic. The goal would be economic socialism (the ownership of the means of production by the workers) within political libertarianism (small laissez faire government).

            In fact, this is likely unavoidable as service jobs become automated away by things like self-checkouts, order kiosks at fast food places, and burger flipping robots.

            Where my supposed scalability runs into trouble is when the average human is no longer capable of performing work for economic gain. The working class would need to become a stock ownership class for full scalability. Therefore, the utopian dream may be a working class that is also the ownership class. This may be where strict political libertarianism runs into problems. But then I'd suggest some kind of citizen's dividend where every person is a vested owner of capital (company shares) from the age of majority as the implementation for a UBI. Devil will be in the details as always.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @10:53AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @10:53AM (#691852)

              Socialism implemented inside libertariansim is an interesting idea. Free people organize unions, guilds, trade groups, community governments, and associate or disassociate at will. The groups act in the collective interest of the members and survive or fail based on participation and resources invested by members. It would be chaotic at times, but also self-regulating.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Monday June 11, @04:06PM (16 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Monday June 11, @04:06PM (#691455) Homepage

        If through individual responsibility (or merely foresight), they had saved a bunch of money during good times, then the bad times would be lessened.

        That assumes that, during the good times, they're being paid enough to save significant amounts of money.

        Imagine this scenario as an alternative:
        ------------------
        You're from a poor family, but you manage to work hard in school, develop a talent for writing, and get admitted to college, the first person in your family ever to do so. You get some scholarship help, but most of your degree is paid via loans. You graduate with a degree in marketing and communications, which seems like a reasonable option based on your strongest skills while not being as "fluffy" as creative writing or English literature or journalism. Times are good, so you manage to land an entry-level job and a firm making $35K a year + benefits, with the likelihood of a raise to $50K soon if you do well (this is making your parents proud, because you on your own will soon be making what they both together can make even with their 20 years on the job). On that, you manage to rent a small apartment, pay your bills on time, eat reasonably well, buy a car to get to work (with a car loan, but you're clearly able to pay it down), make your student loan payments, occasionally go out for drinks, and even save a few hundred bucks each year for emergencies. Your net worth is now approximately -$100K, but you're at least functional in the short-term and everyone is telling you that you'll be better off in the long run if you work hard at your job.

        2 years later, because some rich people on Wall Street were extremely irresponsible, your company goes through a round of layoffs, and instead of that $15K raise for quality work you get a pink slip due to your lack of seniority. So you hit the job market, now with a couple years' experience, and find that you're competing with people who are just as desperate as those with 7-8 years' experience and thus just as willing to work as cheaply as you. You are screwed, solely because there aren't enough jobs out there in your field to get employers far enough down the list of potential hires to even consider you. So you do what you can do, namely lower your standards and accept the job in retail or fast food that makes closer to $20K a year and no benefits, you move back in with your parents to say $8K a year in rent, lose the car due to non-payment of that loan, and you also can't pay your student loans right now so you use every deferment option you can come by to buy some time. Your net worth is now approximately -$108K: You paid back $10K back when you were working, but lost $18K due to the student loan deferments.

        5 years later, times are good enough again that your old job is available. But since you've been out of that line of work for 5 years, you're considered "entry-level" by HR drones, and you're competing with all the kids right out of school. Because of those factors, you're back to the $35K, but it's only for a little while, you hope to get to the $50K level faster than you did the last time. And this time, you stay living with your parents, so you are able to pay back a bit more of your student loans and after a few years are at -$80K. And then the economy crashes again ...
        ------------------

        Explain to me where this (admittedly hypothetical but entirely plausible) person was irresponsible. They were reasonably smart. They worked hard. They were employed to the best of their ability the entire time. And the only thing they've managed to accomplish was lowering their student loan debt by 20% in 7 years. At their current rate, assuming that absolutely no disaster befalls them or one of their family members, they'll be in their 50's before their net worth is 0.

        --
        A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:25PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:25PM (#691460)

          It isn't hypothetical, it happens to a lot of people. I'm sure you knew that, but when you use "hypothetical" you give people a way to pretend reality is different than it is.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:42PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:42PM (#691465)

            I didn't really get that sense from reading it. I figured it was a sarcastic jab at the whole notion of "personal responsibility" when compared to the real economic conditions the working class faces. (Especially consider the advantage somebody in his scenario would have if, instead of getting loans for education and transportation, they had been super-duper responsible and born into wealth that would enable them to pay cash for education and transportation. The moral of the story comes through loud and clear: be responsible next time you're up for reincarnation and pick a couple who's loaded (maybe not superwealthy, but consider that middle class really is 500k maybe in the bank and 100k incomes thanks to inflation) for your parents.)

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Thexalon on Monday June 11, @05:53PM

            by Thexalon (636) on Monday June 11, @05:53PM (#691508) Homepage

            It isn't hypothetical, it happens to a lot of people.

            I was using the "hypothetical" here to make it clear that while that story certainly could and probably did happen to lots of people, I didn't have anyone in particular to hold up as an example. Pre-empting an obvious challenge to my point, in other words.

            --
            A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:48PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:48PM (#691469)

          because some rich people on Wall Street were extremely irresponsible

          Some rich people from Wall Street: "We were just taking risks, as we were supposed to, you know, to advance in the world!"

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @05:09PM (6 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @05:09PM (#691481)

          Sorry, not an American, who is the issuer of student loans, and what is the collateral? From the story it seems like you can never default on the student loan, is that right?
          Is such an arrangement you can' get out of even legal, constitutional?

          What happens to you if you just never pay anything back and just spend the every last penny you earn, without ever buying any real estate property or more valuable goods (e.g. rent place you live in, lease car instead of buying one, ...)?
          Will they come for a pound of meat or what?

          And, why aren't Americans fleeing to study in countries from which H1-B visa carriers come and avoid needing loans? If their education is good enough for H1-Bs to get a job, it is good enough for you too, and costs of living and studying are bound to be lower. Your parents or your gigs can probably save/earn enough for that.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Monday June 11, @05:57PM (4 children)

            by Thexalon (636) on Monday June 11, @05:57PM (#691513) Homepage

            Sorry, not an American, who is the issuer of student loans, and what is the collateral? From the story it seems like you can never default on the student loan, is that right?
            Is such an arrangement you can't get out of even legal, constitutional?

            1. The student loan is backed by the federal government, but the profits go to a private bank.
            2. There is no obvious way to have collateral in these kinds of loans.
            3. Under current US law, you cannot discharge a student loan by bankruptcy. The rules are, you have to pay it until the day you die. They can and will garnish wages, seize assets, whatever they think they can get to get the money back.
            4. Yes, that kind of "arrangement" is considered legal in the US. Makes you wonder about all that "rah rah Freedom" talk.

            --
            A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @06:47PM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @06:47PM (#691536)

              Some of the "rah rah freedom contingent" (libertarians, at least) are quite against the current college loan structure. It's not an inherent contradiction, just the usual vested-interests-and-path-dependence idiocy the US usually gets up to.

              • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @07:49PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @07:49PM (#691562)

                libertarians [...] are quite against the current college loan structure

                That would be counter to the "Privatize everything; deregulate everything" mantra of Libertarianism.

                Being able to gouge a client eternally, with him having no alternatives, sounds to me exactly like Libertarianism AKA The Law of the Jungle AKA Only the Strongest Survive.

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @08:31PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @08:31PM (#691585) Journal

                  Being able to gouge a client eternally, with him having no alternatives, sounds to me exactly like Libertarianism AKA The Law of the Jungle AKA Only the Strongest Survive.

                  Then you should be able to point to "L"ibertarians who have supported that particular system for other loan types. I'm not seeing any support for that myself, but maybe you have better sources.

                  There are plenty of loans out there, but only the student loans have this crazy lack of default. My impression is that once the federal government got itself on the hook for hundreds of billions in shaky student loans, suddenly a lot of students got fucked. This is the typical thrashing that government goes through every time it creates an exploitable public good (here, the subsidized student loan).

                  As someone who is partially libertarian, I wouldn't have supported subsidized student loans in the first place, much less set up the current crazy and oppressive system.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:16PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:16PM (#691574)

              Part of the problem is that the loan counseling to get a student loan lies to people considering it. They claim that it can be discharged by bankruptcy court, but I don't know that it's true.

              On top of that, the interest for a government student loan maxes out at 10.5% which is absolutely ridiculous. How on earth is somebody supposed to pay off debt when they're only marginally better off with the student loan that you can't discharge in bankruptcy than putting it on their credit card that can be discharged in bankruptcy?

              The unrequested increase in DoD spending alone could knock off a huge portion of the cost of college, or at bare minimum allow most college students to receive affordable loans if they needed them.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @08:01PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @08:01PM (#691568)

            who is the issuer of student loans,

            Commercial banks.

            and what is the collateral?

            The student's hide, as co-signed by the government.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @07:58PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @07:58PM (#691567)

          Explain to me where this (admittedly hypothetical but entirely plausible) person was irresponsible.

          They chose poor parents. Furthermore, they took a risk reaching beyond their station in life and it didn't pay off. If they had spent those years working retail or other jobs more appropriate to their caste, instead of being -$100K, they could have worked up to assistant manager making $28K per year, able to afford their own car and maybe if they never went out for drinks or spent any frivolous money at all until they turned 30, they could scrape together a down payment for a house. Too bad that they're going to need to find a spouse who also makes $28K+ per year to afford a house payment, maybe they can meet a nice SO at church where they all go to forget about how rigged the system is.

          they'll be in their 50's before their net worth is 0.

          Shhhhh... the plebes aren't supposed to know about that part of the plan.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @08:19PM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @08:19PM (#691576) Journal

          Imagine this scenario

          As another replier noted, a big problem with this is that it is hypothetical. But let's move on:

          Your net worth is now approximately -$100K

          Where did that come from? Should be able to do better than that.

          2 years later, [...] Your net worth is now approximately -$108K: You paid back $10K back when you were working, but lost $18K due to the student loan deferments.

          So to summarize, you borrowed a huge amount of money to start with, then paid back only a little of it when you had money.

          Explain to me where this (admittedly hypothetical but entirely plausible) person was irresponsible.

          a) having a huge student loan debt and b) being out of the job market for a crazy amount of time - recessions don't last 5 years.

          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday June 12, @09:04PM (1 child)

            by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday June 12, @09:04PM (#692102) Homepage

            Your net worth is now approximately -$100K

            Where did that come from? Should be able to do better than that.

            Around $25K a year for 4 years, which is based on in-state tuition, room & board at a public university, minus a few K annually in work-study and summer earnings and scholarships. Any idea that you can work yourself through college in the US is a product of 60 years ago when that was in fact possible.

            2 years later, [...] Your net worth is now approximately -$108K: You paid back $10K back when you were working, but lost $18K due to the student loan deferments.

            So to summarize, you borrowed a huge amount of money to start with, then paid back only a little of it when you had money.

            You borrowed a huge amount of money to start with, because your alternative was a lifetime of working at Starbucks. You then paid back 10% of the loan over 2 years, which means approximately 15% of your income went to student loan repayment, and had you been able to maintain that you would have repaid the loan in 20 years, which is pretty typical for student loan recipients.

            Also, it appears that in khallow's universe, $10K isn't a lot of money. So if, say, his car is wrecked and his insurance won't cover it, no big deal. Got it.

            Explain to me where this (admittedly hypothetical but entirely plausible) person was irresponsible.

            a) having a huge student loan debt

            They have a huge student loan debt because their alternative is working for no more than $15 / hr for the rest of their adult lives. A decision that you've repeatedly criticized people for making.

            b) being out of the job market for a crazy amount of time - recessions don't last 5 years.

            Let me get this straight: You're trying to claim that this [bls.gov], or if you prefer this [shadowstats.com] didn't happen in the last decade? Plus, my hypothetical person is never out of the job market (what's technically called a "discouraged worker"): They're underemployed working retail when they're qualified for white-collar employment, not unemployed.

            --
            A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 13, @12:16PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 13, @12:16PM (#692308) Journal

              Around $25K a year for 4 years, which is based on in-state tuition, room & board at a public university, minus a few K annually in work-study and summer earnings and scholarships. Any idea that you can work yourself through college in the US is a product of 60 years ago when that was in fact possible.

              And yet we still have the choice to not spend those huge sums of money.

              You borrowed a huge amount of money to start with, because your alternative was a lifetime of working at Starbucks. You then paid back 10% of the loan over 2 years, which means approximately 15% of your income went to student loan repayment, and had you been able to maintain that you would have repaid the loan in 20 years, which is pretty typical for student loan recipients.

              Sorry, borrowing that much money remains the huge irresponsibility here. I find it remarkable that you spin this story as being better than not going to college at all. In the latter case, however, the person has been earning money for something like 11 years (most of it at the same or higher rate than they were earning as a college graduate!) and doesn't have 108k debt at the end of that period. And then in the college graduate case, they've been goofing around for five years in the "underemployed" position. Sure, they might still be underemployed at the end of it, but that's a long time to not attempt to better their situation.

              Let me get this straight: You're trying to claim that this [bls.gov], or if you prefer this [shadowstats.com] didn't happen in the last decade? Plus, my hypothetical person is never out of the job market (what's technically called a "discouraged worker"): They're underemployed working retail when they're qualified for white-collar employment, not unemployed.

              No, but let's keep in mind that most recessions don't have a screwy job recovery like that. If we're going to have nasty recessions like that every 7 years for the foreseeable future, then very few people are going to do well. I suggest we don't do that as a society - I would suggest focusing on new business creation and business growth among small and mid-level businesses. That will help our college grad. Personal responsibility will help as I've noted in other threads.

              Even in a situation like that of the last decade, one can improve their lot. It's just somewhat harder.

        • (Score: 2) by ese002 on Tuesday June 12, @01:47AM

          by ese002 (5306) on Tuesday June 12, @01:47AM (#691733)

          5 years later, times are good enough again that your old job is available. But since you've been out of that line of work for 5 years, you're considered "entry-level" by HR drones, and you're competing with all the kids right out of school. Because of those factors, you're back to the $35K, but it's only for a little while, you hope to get to the $50K level faster than you did the last time.

          You are an optimist. Because your last job was entry-level but you are no longer a fresh-grad, HR doesn't know what to do with you. It will be another year or two before the supply of fresh grads gets tight before HR starts to consider "stale-grads" like you. You still start at entry-level but now your are two years deeper in debt and the next crash is two years closer.

      • (Score: 2) by suburbanitemediocrity on Monday June 11, @05:10PM

        by suburbanitemediocrity (6844) on Monday June 11, @05:10PM (#691482)

        Half the population is not competent to manage their own money. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_literacy [wikipedia.org]

        A Global Financial Literacy Test Finds That Just 57% Of Adults In U.S. Are Financially Literate

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2015/11/18/in-a-global-test-of-financial-literacy-the-u-s/#1961293558f0 [forbes.com]

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Monday June 11, @02:29PM (72 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @02:29PM (#691398) Journal
    First, it means that you can save up during good years for the bad ones. You should be doing that anyway, but I'm not your mother.

    Second, it illustrates one of the benefits of recessions. Namely, that it's a time when businesses figure out how to do their business better (and/or get out of the way of the businesses that figure that out) and to create new business.
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @02:34PM (12 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @02:34PM (#691402)

      Where's my "predictable" mod option?

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Monday June 11, @02:42PM (11 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @02:42PM (#691411) Journal
        Arguments don't become less true just because they've been said before.
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:57PM (10 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:57PM (#691420)

          They also don't become more true just by repeating them over and over again.

          Most people aren't saving their money because they don't have any to save. The cost of living has increased massively when compared with the rate at which pay has increased. We've got asshats like Bezos hoarding huge sums of money in order to blow it on space travel at the same time that there are massive issues affecting the poor and the government would rather engage in more illegal wars than do anything about it.With the money we spend on the DoD alone, we could wipe out world hunger, end homelessness in America, provide free college to every citizen, wipe out student loan debt and have medicare for all.And even after all that spending, we would still be spending more than any other country on defense.

          We don't do it because the corporations that provide service to the DoD have bribed politicians.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:03PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:03PM (#691424)

            But but but those poor people are all buying the latest iphones and signingbup for luxury car payments!!! And they have cheap high qualuty TVs! How can they complain when they live better than medievsl kings?????????

            /s just in case

          • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday June 11, @03:15PM (6 children)

            by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday June 11, @03:15PM (#691429)

            > The cost of living has increased massively when compared with the rate at which pay has increased.

            I always struggle with the "cost of living" arguments that float around. When I was poor (student) I quite happily lived off GBP 5k per annum. Even subtracting off a bit of sponging off parents and student discounts I can't imagine how things can be so much more expensive, and I didn't live badly - I still had beer money.

            In central London when I lived there, rent was ~ 5k GBP per annum for a cheap flatshare (okay, 10 years ago so it is certainly more now). I know there are "cost of living" indices run by people like Shelter (homeless charity), but I just really find them hard to believe.

            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:30PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:30PM (#691435)

              10 years is a long time, right around the time of the depression. Things changed drastically afterwards. Also, in the UK you dont have to worry about medical costs, and being a young student is one of the only times you can afford to live so cheaply. Your solution is that fsmilies should pack in 3x to one house so they can afford rent? What if you got unlucky and had unexpected costs? What about the long term stress of not sering much of a way forward in life? These anecdotes are harmful, they downplay the hard times of others and expect that every life takes the same path.

              Wealth inequality is a real thing, and all the pussyfooting around about bootstrapping and personal responsibility only angers the majority of people who very much see the problems all around us.

            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @03:42PM (2 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @03:42PM (#691438)

              I made it through two years of graduate school on $16K USD income plus another $3-4K sponge off of my parents (insurance, gifts, etc.) and that not only paid for my food, shelter, education and transportation, it also financed long overseas vacations in the summers. What it did not do was save ANYTHING for the future, no building of wealth/value in owned property, no ability whatsoever to weather any kind of hard times without outside support.

              When I signed up for $800 per month of PITI on a tiny scrap of land and pile of bricks with my name on it, that started building some modicum of value that I might dip into in the future. It also ended all hope of future 3+ month overseas jaunts, probably forever.

              As for the "cost of things" - in the 1980s I held a part time job in a grocery store stocking shelves. When my dad was at University in the 1960s, working such a job through the summer could provide sufficient income to pay for (I know it's free in the UK, but bear with our backwards economics for a moment) two terms at university, including room and board. By the time I was in Uni, that job stocking shelves would by itself pay barely pay for my rent, food and car, but wouldn't start to make a dent in tuition. Today, that same job pays maybe 50% more in hourly wages, but rent and food are up more like 100%, and I doubt you'd be able to pay for a car with insurance working part time stocking shelves anymore.

              • (Score: 3, Informative) by PiMuNu on Monday June 11, @04:39PM (1 child)

                by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday June 11, @04:39PM (#691464)

                > I know it's free in the UK, but bear with our backwards economics for a moment)

                They started charging for university in the UK. I was in the first wave, and fought to stop them charging - almost got thrown out for it.

                > car,

                Car is a luxury in UK for most students. But we have a different infrastructure.

                I was doing "back-of-the-envelope" style calculation. For south of england (relatively expensive). For a family 2 adults + 2 kids

                1. Rent - 250 GBP per week
                2. Food - 100 GBP per week
                3. Bills - 50 GBP per week
                4. Car - 50 GBP per week

                I guess that quite quickly comes to 25k per annum (after tax) - i.e. you need to have two working adults or one working adult pulling a decent salary (not shelf stacking) just to live comfortably, without saving. So yes, I guess that confirms what others have said. The nasty one is rent. I guess that is why the UK has a massive housebuilding programme going on. Not sure it addresses the structural issues in the housing market, but meh.

                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @08:19PM

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @08:19PM (#691577)

                  Just for fun, around here and "averageish" 2+2 family:

                  Rent - $1200 per month
                  Food - $500 per month
                  Bills - $250 per month
                  Car - $300 per month

                  Of course, all of that can vary - usually the 2+2 family needs 2 cars so that the adults can both have jobs. Rent can be creatively lowered, and bills are highly subject to lifestyle but electricity, phone, garbage, etc. is hard to get away from. So, the US family is looking at $27K/yr post-tax - maybe 20K GBP. Oh, but now let's talk about healthcare insurance....

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @05:01PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @05:01PM (#691474)

              I'm not sure at what time or place accommodation in central London was possible at £5k a year (assuming you mean zone 1 when you say "central") but I've been living in the big smoke for over 20 years and never managed to spend so little except when I was in student halls.

              I was lucky enough to be able to buy a house (well, a 2 bed flat) in London after living in the cheap house shares for 15 years. The only thing I've seen since becoming a homeowner is the disappearance of any houseshares that I could call cheap.

              In the last place I was staying about eight years ago, I was paying £400pcm for a double room in a house share in a zone 3 suburb 10mins walk away from a tube station - that was a very good deal for the time and under 5k/yr, but not remotely central of course. The same sort of room on the same street is now going in the region of £1000-1200pcm. There are practically no "shithole" properties left where you can get anything anywhere near this cheap since they've all been bought and tarted up by private landlords or property management companies in order to justify large price/rental hikes.

              In the zone 3 suburb I'm living in now, rents are cheaper but still in the order of £600-800pcm.

              To put those prices in perspective, minimum wage earns you about £8.75 an hour and "London living wage" (a voluntary recommended level of minimum wage for London workers) earns you £10.20. Assuming an 8hr/day 5-days a week on London living wage (although thanks to zero hours contracts most people in this situation would work considerably less than the typical 40hr work week) then on average you've got ~£1770 a month income, of which you could expect to end up with £1500-1600 after tax (assuming you're taxed at 20% on the ~£10,000 or so that's in scope for income tax, and also assuming you don't have any student loan repayments etc).

              You need to move a *long* way out into the suburbs before rents become reasonable for people who aren't on high wages, and then you're frequently dealing with a long and expensive commute (lots of my cow-orkers who live further out in e.g. Kent or Berkshire typically spend 5-10% of their annual salary on train travel).

              Some links with pages showing the vastly disproportionate rise in house and rental prices:
              http://www.cityam.com/259600/one-graph-explains-horrors-london-house-prices-and-why [cityam.com]
              https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/how-londons-property-market-has-changed-in-20-years-we-chart-average-house-prices-rental-trends-and-a106401.html# [homesandproperty.co.uk] (requires JS and access to jquery)

              The second link in particular is especially revealing; house price increases of over 600% since 1996 are by no means unusual anywhere inside zone 3. Wages haven't remotely kept pace - if they had, the £18,000/yr I was earning soon after leaving university would be just shy of £100k/yr now. The same entry-level position today is actually more on the region of £25-30k.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @08:11PM

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @08:11PM (#691572)

                When I was at Uni in Miami, average low-end 1 bedroom apartment rent was $550/mo, and you could get that down by finding a roommate and renting a 2 bedrooom for $650 per month. I managed to do that one better and rent a room in a house that 6 of us got together to rent and my share was only $150 a month (average shares in that house were more like $200 per month, but my room lacked air conditioning - it wasn't as bad as that sounds.) Even when that lease was inconveniently non-renewed for the 6 of us I managed to find a studio apartment for myself alone advertised on a bulletin board for $250.

                Point being: if you dig, you can find safe, clean accommodation even in big cities for quite a bit below "market rate." Of course, those two cheap spots I lived in had their good and bad points, but nothing terrible - I did look at dozens of potential cheap places to rent that I walked away from... lots of crazy out there.

          • (Score: 2) by suburbanitemediocrity on Monday June 11, @05:49PM

            by suburbanitemediocrity (6844) on Monday June 11, @05:49PM (#691505)

            Most people aren't competent enough to manage money if they had any.

          • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by khallow on Monday June 11, @08:23PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @08:23PM (#691579) Journal

            They also don't become more true just by repeating them over and over again.

            Most people aren't saving their money because they don't have any to save.

            Well, you convinced me on your first argument. Proof by demonstration! There's not really much point to the second argument when it's not true for starters.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:38PM (54 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:38PM (#691406)

      First, it means that you can save up during good years for the bad ones. You should be doing that anyway, but I'm not your mother.

      Advice which makes sense only if the base rate is above inflation.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @02:40PM (37 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @02:40PM (#691408)

        Advice which makes sense only if the base rate is above inflation.

        It makes more sense when the base rate is above inflation, but it still makes sense to store food for winter, even if the value of that food drops by half before winter comes, you'll be glad to have the saved food rather than starving when none is available for harvest.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:50PM (36 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:50PM (#691416)

          You can't store money you don't have. And an awful lot of the jobs that are going away due to robots and efficiency gains are minimum wage jobs.

          It never ceases to amaze me how people that are doing well seem to believe that everybody has the same situation. For an increasing share of the total jobs, the pay is below what it costs to live and still have money left over at the end of the month for frivolous things like emergency savings and health care. If we had laws on the books that required everybody that had a job to be paid at least well enough to be able to afford the cost of living, and people still didn't save, then that's one thing, but you cannot save money you do not have.

          And Khallow is a fucking moron for pretending otherwise. The reason there are so many poor people in the US is because the rich are greedier than in other countries and other countries don't have legalized bribery.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:57PM (7 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:57PM (#691421)

            Awww but khallow's ideology requires that we ignore anything that doesn't back up the ol bootstrap and save fiscal responsibility trope.

            Khallow and friends have swallowed the koolaid and are the greater barrier to effexting change.

            • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Monday June 11, @03:17PM (6 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @03:17PM (#691430) Journal

              Awww but khallow's ideology requires that we ignore anything that doesn't back up the ol bootstrap and save fiscal responsibility trope.

              Like what? You'd have to come up with something first.

              Khallow and friends have swallowed the koolaid and are the greater barrier to effexting change.

              Not my problem obviously. I'm not the fruit loop with the half-baked ideas who needs 100% compliance. Show your ideas work first, then we have something to talk about.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:20PM (5 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:20PM (#691431)

                There is no discussion with a brainwashed fool, the call to discuss ideas is just more bullshit to try and make yourself appear reasonable and open to better ideas. Ive read enough of your opinions to know it is a waste of time.

                • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:43PM (4 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:43PM (#691466)

                  You are doing i wrong and now you are angry and flinging ad hominems.
                  You need to challenge opponents statements by determining where are the boundaries within which they hold true, so that you and the opponent can agree upon the model.
                  Then, you together determine if the boundaries have been crossed. If there is any disagreement along the course of the process, recursively repeat the method.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @07:30PM (3 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @07:30PM (#691560)

                    Nah, sometimes experience indicates that sometimes it is wasted effort to have a real debate. The problems are obvious, the solutions less so. Until khallow can acknowledge reality there is no discussion worth having.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @08:34PM (2 children)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @08:34PM (#691589) Journal

                      Nah, sometimes experience indicates that sometimes it is wasted effort to have a real debate.

                      It's not experience here that keeps you from having a real debate, but its absence. I have two decades of experience with real debate on the internet. You apparently have much less than that.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:56PM (1 child)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @02:56PM (#691929)

                        Oooh two decades of internet discussions!! Nice presumptuous attitude with such shining additional credentials... Lol a bigger jackass than I thought. Maybe try learning about reality instead of circle jerking and flame warring.

                        I'm sure you got some value over 20 years, but internet discussions != reality. I stand by my assessment, fools like you pushing old school brainwashed economics are the biggest barrier to improving our world. Trust me, I get your position I justthink it is flawed.

                        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday June 14, @03:11AM

                          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 14, @03:11AM (#692675) Journal

                          but internet discussions != reality.

                          Since we're doing internet discussions instead of reality, I rest my case.

                          I stand by my assessment, fools like you pushing old school brainwashed economics are the biggest barrier to improving our world.

                          So what? I'm not seeing any evidence you actually disagree with me, much less understand my position or even your own. You haven't said anything qualitative about either your opinions or my arguments.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @03:12PM (10 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @03:12PM (#691427) Journal

            For an increasing share of the total jobs, the pay is below what it costs to live and still have money left over at the end of the month for frivolous things like emergency savings and health care.

            Maybe we ought to help them this time rather than just screw them over again? I suggest looking hard at minimum wage, for example. While I prefer doing away completely with minimum wage (since I think it serves no useful purpose and instead at best just increases the overhead of employing people), I notice that the people who claim to care about a living wage suspiciously ignore that cost of living varies by location. Just as we don't have a fixed one-size-fits-all global minimum wage (what minimum wage would make sense for both Europe and Subsaharan Africa, for example?), we shouldn't have national-scale minimum wages either, particularly for large countries like the US.

            Instead, estimate cost of a set standard of living by reasonable sized districts (such as county/parish-scale) and make the minimum wage proportional to that cost of living and adjust every few years on a regular basis. As a bonus, you get automatic adjustment of minimum wage, reducing the cost of compliance for businesses who now have a fairly predictable system to adjust to or the need to lobby for changes in minimum wage every few years, and the whiny, high cost of living areas get their higher minimum wage standards like they want without bringing down really poor areas.

            If we had laws on the books that required everybody that had a job to be paid at least well enough to be able to afford the cost of living, and people still didn't save, then that's one thing, but you cannot save money you do not have.

            You don't need such laws. Simply don't work for that low of pay or figure out how to lower your cost of living well below that. Most people have it figured out.

            • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:34PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:34PM (#691437)

              GENIUS!!

              "Simply dont work for that low of pay or figure out how to lower your cost of living" ha!! Id like you to go visit Compton in LA and spread your wisdom. Please, bring the wisdom of fiscal responsibility to a neighborhood in need!

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @08:22PM (8 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @08:22PM (#691578)

              we shouldn't have national-scale minimum wages

              That's already in practice [dol.gov], though as with all things it could be further improved.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @09:04PM (7 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @09:04PM (#691607) Journal

                That's already in practice

                Sorry, no it's not. It's a bunch of different governments pushing minimum wage as far as their scope of governance allows. The city of Seattle or the state of California can't mandate a $15 per hour minimum wage for the entire US, but they can for the entire city of Seattle or the entire state of California - and they did. And the federal minimum wage has been imposed on Puerto Rico to its detriment.

                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @09:19PM (6 children)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @09:19PM (#691615)

                  I'm sorry, in the my logical universe

                  we shouldn't have national-scale minimum wages

                  means that there is one minimum wage across the nation, which is not the case, we already have

                  a bunch of different governments pushing minimum wage as far as their scope of governance allow

                  which is one of the great things about a Federal-State-County-City system of government, isn't it? So the locals can raise minimum wage if they feel it's appropriate, and if all the locals raise it high enough then the federals won't have to.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @10:59PM (5 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @10:59PM (#691655) Journal

                    I'm sorry, in the my logical universe

                    In your logical universe, does Seattle and California have the power to decide what the minimum wage should be for any group larger in scope than those political entities?

                    And once again, the vast majority of these minimum wage laws don't operate based on the local cost of living.

                    So the locals can raise minimum wage if they feel it's appropriate, and if all the locals raise it high enough then the federals won't have to.

                    Why again is there a federal minimum wage which is fixed across the entire US without regard for the local cost of living?

                    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 12, @12:47AM (4 children)

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 12, @12:47AM (#691696)

                      In your logical universe, does Seattle and California have the power to decide what the minimum wage should be for any group larger in scope than those political entities?

                      No. Are they actually doing this in your universe? I can see how they might make a case for political change outside their jurisdiction, just as do-good social assistance agencies attempt to "bring up the standard of living" in countries around the globe, but jurisdiction has meaning, outside jurisdiction it's just noise.

                      the vast majority of these minimum wage laws don't operate based on the local cost of living.

                      Imperfect, room to improve, but better than a uniform level for the whole country, right?

                      Why again is there a federal minimum wage which is fixed across the entire US without regard for the local cost of living?

                      Because there's nowhere in the entire US with a local cost of living of zero? And, possibly, the federal government does not trust itself to accurately, fairly, efficiently and effectively determine cost of living across the entire country for purposes of minimum wage determination, so they set it uniformly a little high for some places (which can probably utilize the extra income to stay integrated with the rest of the country and not spiral down into a pit of poverty), low for most, and leave it up to the local governments to raise it where needed?

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @04:10AM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @04:10AM (#691772) Journal

                        In your logical universe, does Seattle and California have the power to decide what the minimum wage should be for any group larger in scope than those political entities?

                        No.

                        Exactly my point. It's yet another point of dishonesty (in addition to your habit of routinely mischaracterizing my arguments) that you equate variation of policy with policy that scales to the actual alleged needs of regions. One-size-fits-all is still the norm for minimum wage policy despite your many assertions to the contrary, it's just that the parties implementing these policies don't have the power to implement them on a larger scale.

                        There are two consequences of this that are particularly troublesome. First, that regions that are low cost of living are massively screwed. Puerto Rico being a good example (I believe Fresno, California will be another, should California fully implement its $15 per hour minimum wage in 2022 and inflation not eat up the difference).

                        Second, that businesses have to contend with massive variation in minimum wage and abrupt changes in minimum wage depending on the whims of all these governments interacting together. My second suggested approach doesn't eliminate the problem, but it at least makes it based on reasonably predictable economic parameters that can be forecast out several years rather than whatever some city or state government cooks up.

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @10:55AM (2 children)

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @10:55AM (#691853) Journal

                        Because there's nowhere in the entire US with a local cost of living of zero? And, possibly, the federal government does not trust itself to accurately, fairly, efficiently and effectively determine cost of living across the entire country for purposes of minimum wage determination, so they set it uniformly a little high for some places (which can probably utilize the extra income to stay integrated with the rest of the country and not spiral down into a pit of poverty), low for most, and leave it up to the local governments to raise it where needed?

                        Sorry, that's nonsense. There are huge differences in cost of living - and we already have the example of Puerto Rico which is getting screwed by the current "little high" minimum wage. Anyway, I looked at state level [pewresearch.org] minimum wage. Every one of them does a fixed rate for the entire state. It's a typical feature of minimum wage law. They just don't care. Now, if there actually is a de facto living wage-dependent minimum wage by region (which I don't grant is true), it's merely by coincidence, not because someone tried.

                        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 12, @01:11PM (1 child)

                          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 12, @01:11PM (#691871)

                          They just don't care.

                          And that's wrong, so vote in people who care about all the people (voters) instead of just the ones with money. Oh, but the Republican fantasy vote for the benefit of the people they wish they were rather than the people they actually are will never allow this. I guess that's a defect in the system that we're stuck with.

                          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @02:22PM

                            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @02:22PM (#691911) Journal

                            Oh, but the Republican fantasy vote for the benefit of the people they wish they were rather than the people they actually are will never allow this.

                            That's ok. You can vote for the other Republican Party, you know, the donkey one rather than the elephant one, and they'll promise to do something about it. That's assuming very generously that you ever cared in the first place. I have yet to see anyone who actually did.

                            I myself vote for where I want my society to be in the future rather than what I personally want. That's why I traditionally vote Libertarian.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @03:30PM (15 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @03:30PM (#691434)

            I think the real truth that can be explored when comparing those with to those without might be summed up as: "What would you do for $10?"

            If you've got a million in the bank and 20K coming in per month, probably nothing at all - it's a waste of your time to even think about it

            If you're homeless and haven't eaten in a week, standing outside a McD's, you'd probably do quite a lot for that $10 - it's VERY valuable to you at that moment.

            Yet, it's the same $10 either way, just worth a lot more to those who have less, so they're willing to sacrifice more to get it. The same principle applies throughout the scale in-between, and if we used Bhutan's GHI along with our deified GDP, we'd be measuring what people are sacrificing to get their food, shelter and smartphones.

            Khallow is a fucking moron for pretending

            And we all know this, but he is also a predictable source of a certain perspective.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @09:27PM (14 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @09:27PM (#691621) Journal
              If only you guys would spend the same sort of effort making decent arguments as you do rationalizing why you should ignore disagreement!

              and if we used Bhutan's GHI

              Which let us note, is being used as an excuse [soylentnews.org] to ignore economic matters rather than illuminate them! I think the only reason Bhutan introduced such metrics is because it would have utterly failed with any attempt at real economic metrics. A nebulous measure of "happiness" is a lot easier to game.

              As to the "$10" thing, even minimum wage jobs quickly rack up more than $10. An 8 hour day at the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour means you get back around $50. That's a quick way to solve the $10 problem for people who can work. I grant that not everyone can work, but I don't grant that it is a large portion of the US population.

              Khallow is a fucking moron for pretending

              And we all know this, but he is also a predictable source of a certain perspective.

              Sounds like an awful lot of projection there.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday June 11, @10:45PM (13 children)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday June 11, @10:45PM (#691649)

                Bhutan introduced such metrics is because it would have utterly failed with any attempt at real economic metrics. A nebulous measure of "happiness" is a lot easier to game.

                A) What's their motivation to "game" a respectable, by your standards, GDP?

                B) Maybe GHI reflects the actual values of the people of Bhutan and they want to shape their policies and international relationships to maximize that, instead of, for instance, trading a valley with an ancient temple for a lake and a hydro-electric dam because it represents "progress" in the opinion a bunch of foreigners'?

                C) I'm sure Bhutan is just as corrupt and imperfect as the rest of the world when it comes to government getting the people what they really want, but they've stuck by this GHI thing for quite a while now, I'm guessing it does make more sense to a lot of their people than GDP.

                even minimum wage jobs quickly rack up more than $10

                There's that assumption that "anybody can get a job whenever and wherever they want" again. Back when minimum wage was $3.25 per hour, I could interview at a dozen places advertising "HELP WANTED" and get turned away from all of them, why would it be any better today for similarly "undesirable" people?

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @11:10PM (12 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @11:10PM (#691657) Journal

                  What's their motivation to "game" a respectable, by your standards, GDP?

                  GDP measures economic activity, which I have already stated [soylentnews.org] isn't the ultimate goal of an economy. That too can be gamed (with the gaming being a significant contributor to boom/bust cycles). My view is that an economy is best measured by how it serves the needs of its participants from the lowest up to the most wealthy. These metrics don't measure that.

                  Maybe GHI reflects the actual values of the people of Bhutan

                  It doesn't, but "maybe" it does. The current measure serves more to excuse poor performance that to help anyone.

                  I'm sure Bhutan is just as corrupt and imperfect as the rest of the world when it comes to government getting the people what they really want, but they've stuck by this GHI thing for quite a while now, I'm guessing it does make more sense to a lot of their people than GDP.

                  Welcome to good propaganda.

                  There's that assumption that "anybody can get a job whenever and wherever they want" again.

                  Yes, and...

                  Back when minimum wage was $3.25 per hour, I could interview at a dozen places advertising "HELP WANTED" and get turned away from all of them, why would it be any better today for similarly "undesirable" people?

                  And you could interview at one place and get hired. Not seeing the point of your story since people were getting hired back then.

                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 12, @12:55AM (11 children)

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 12, @12:55AM (#691703)

                    serves more to excuse poor performance

                    Excuse to whom, exactly? What does Bhutan gain or lose with a good or poor GHI rating?

                    Government makes decisions for large groups of people and metrics like GDP/GHI are one way of rolling up a complex multi-dimensional messy human problem into a linear measure of better vs worse, helping to make those decisions based on a little more than who yells the loudest at the meeting.

                    Not seeing the point of your story since people were getting hired back then.

                    I got hired back then, too. In my late teens, I'd be away at school, grow my hair long, come home for the summer, interview for jobs, get turned down everywhere, cut my hair and get hired at the next place I interviewed - three summers running. My long hair wasn't messy or unkept, or even particularly long - it just wasn't conformant with the culture of the town. Many other things were also not conformant with the culture of that town (a melting pot drawn primarily from New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Ohio), like unfamiliar accents or brown skin - those people never did get hired.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @04:22AM (10 children)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @04:22AM (#691775) Journal

                      Excuse to whom, exactly? What does Bhutan gain or lose with a good or poor GHI rating?

                      The people in charge, of course, benefit greatly. Remember it's first and foremost is propaganda generated to make the current powers look good. With traditional metrics, the country is at best mediocre which would, of course, reflect badly on those in power. With the "GHI" or whatever it's called these days, they can tweak the metric itself to show great performance.

                      Government makes decisions for large groups of people and metrics like GDP/GHI are one way of rolling up a complex multi-dimensional messy human problem into a linear measure of better vs worse, helping to make those decisions based on a little more than who yells the loudest at the meeting.

                      Which is why they're such great propaganda. Who can be against "happiness"? The complex, multi-dimensional messy human problem is well a problem. The index number, particularly for an easy scam like GHI, can be whatever the powers-that-be want it to be.

                      In my late teens, I'd be away at school, grow my hair long, come home for the summer, interview for jobs, get turned down everywhere, cut my hair and get hired at the next place I interviewed - three summers running.

                      In other words, a problem that you fixed trivially by slightly altering your appearance. Tell me again why I should give even the slightest fuck about people who can't get jobs because they can't be bothered to make slight changes in their appearance or behavior. As to the racism you mention, indexes aren't going to do a thing to fix that.

                      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 12, @01:15PM (9 children)

                        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 12, @01:15PM (#691874)

                        reflect badly on those in power.

                        Reflect badly in whose eyes? Anybody who thinks GHI is bullshit already thinks poorly of those who use it, regardless of what it says.

                        If it wasn't working for them, they wouldn't still be using it.

                        As to the racism you mention, indexes aren't going to do a thing to fix that.

                        But it does keep people from getting jobs, even the shittiest jobs in the county, and now you've got people with no other resources than handouts and crime. That's a problem that's much cheaper to fix than to live with.

                        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @02:27PM (8 children)

                          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @02:27PM (#691912) Journal

                          Reflect badly in whose eyes? Anybody who thinks GHI is bullshit already thinks poorly of those who use it, regardless of what it says.

                          Any citizen of Bhutan would be the natural target of that propaganda.

                          If it wasn't working for them, they wouldn't still be using it.

                          Did I ever write otherwise?

                          But it does keep people from getting jobs, even the shittiest jobs in the county, and now you've got people with no other resources than handouts and crime. That's a problem that's much cheaper to fix than to live with.

                          And what does that have to do with happiness metrics again? As soon as I get my civ up to industrial age, I'll fix your New Jersey racism thing. I don't remember why the switch got left on "racism on", but I'm sure it was a good reason.

                          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 12, @04:14PM (7 children)

                            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 12, @04:14PM (#691978)

                            As soon as I get my civ up to industrial age, I'll fix your New Jersey racism thing. I don't remember why the switch got left on "racism on", but I'm sure it was a good reason.

                            Like so many things, making it illegal drove it underground - and like a fungus it continues to thrive there.

                            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @04:55PM (6 children)

                              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @04:55PM (#691993) Journal
                              Earlier you wrote:

                              That's a problem that's much cheaper to fix than to live with.

                              Now you write:

                              Like so many things, making it illegal drove it underground - and like a fungus it continues to thrive there.

                              Doesn't sound so easy now, does it?

                              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 12, @06:02PM (5 children)

                                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 12, @06:02PM (#692033)

                                It is still a problem that is much cheaper to fix than to live with.

                                Simply making things illegal does not fix them, never has and never will.

                                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @06:21PM (4 children)

                                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @06:21PM (#692040) Journal

                                  It is still a problem that is much cheaper to fix than to live with.

                                  Except we have yet to see this fix.

                                  Simply making things illegal does not fix them, never has and never will.

                                  Then why mention it?

                                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 12, @07:45PM (3 children)

                                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 12, @07:45PM (#692079)

                                    Except we have yet to see this fix.

                                    Fixed? No. Progress? Absolutely. The "non-discrimination" laws in and of themselves do very little, except "empower the powerless" to sue in court when they can prove that someone was stupid enough to say that the reason they made some protected decision against the person was because of their protected distinguishing trait (race, sex, etc.) Too bad that the courts are highly biased in favor of the wealthy.

                                    Things that have made real progress at reducing racism include: busing for school integration, certain structural city planning (more prominent in the 1970s than recently) that placed high and low income neighborhoods in close proximity, and, let's be honest, the dying off of people who used to live with open racism and never interacted with people of other races until later in life.

                                    As long as people are segregated along racial, or any other lines, there will be prominent differences - perpetuating the basis of the prejudices.

                                    Simply making things illegal does not fix them, never has and never will.

                                    Then why mention it?

                                    I believe this one started with a quip along the lines of "Anybody can earn $10 with very little effort" - which: A) missed the point that working 2 hours at any kind of a job is a lot more than a wealthy person would ever consider doing for $10, and B) not everybody can get a job to earn an extra $10 over and above their essential living expenses.

                                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 13, @05:10AM (2 children)

                                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 13, @05:10AM (#692230) Journal

                                      Things that have made real progress at reducing racism include: busing for school integration, certain structural city planning (more prominent in the 1970s than recently) that placed high and low income neighborhoods in close proximity, and, let's be honest, the dying off of people who used to live with open racism and never interacted with people of other races until later in life.

                                      Bottom line is that your "fix" is to just live with it and wait for the bad actors to die.

                                      As long as people are segregated along racial, or any other lines, there will be prominent differences - perpetuating the basis of the prejudices.

                                      Assuming they don't kill each other first. And let us note here that this has nothing to do with the thread. It's a non sequitur.

                                      I believe this one started with a quip along the lines of "Anybody can earn $10 with very little effort" - which: A) missed the point that working 2 hours at any kind of a job is a lot more than a wealthy person would ever consider doing for $10, and B) not everybody can get a job to earn an extra $10 over and above their essential living expenses.

                                      In other words, another non sequitur fallacy. Part of a pattern, it is.

                                      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 13, @12:19PM (1 child)

                                        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 13, @12:19PM (#692309)

                                        Bottom line is that your "fix" is to just live with it and wait for the bad actors to die.

                                        No, that's your bottom line. For me it's the slowest part of the solution, but still a major part of what has been implemented so far. Integration is my preferred solution, but I'm not a political activist so I'm not out actively campaigning for change beyond making sure that my family is "out in the world" as integrated with the normies as possible (two kids with autism - not "oh dear, johnny is being self absorbed again" autism - hard core and harder core.)

                                        It's a non sequitur.

                                        Only when you declare it so - it was a normal evolution of a conversational tangent, if you want Roberts Rules of Order to apply, don't reply to me.

                                        Part of a pattern, it is.

                                        When lived as long as I have, see how focused your conversational threads are, hm?

                                        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday June 15, @04:07AM

                                          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 15, @04:07AM (#693325) Journal

                                          it was a normal evolution of a conversational tangent

                                          Which is most most non sequiturs are. Normal, irrelevant tangents that distract from the subject.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @06:40PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @06:40PM (#691532)

            I think this is a case where both sides of the spectrum are right. Wages haven't kept pace with the inflation of health care and housing; most people suck at managing money. I guarantee the hypothetical person making 35k could have done more to reduce expenses and bring in more money. Roomates, moving closer to work and biking/walking, buying a cheaper vehicle, reducing utility costs (thermostat changes), cutting unnecessary services, better shopping skills, etc. Poor people tend to suck more at it because being poor is stressful, and stress causes a decline in decision making ability. The poor often get stuck paying more interest and higher unit prices due to not having the cash to optimize their procurement. It is easy to blame greedy rich people or stupid poor people. What would help is changes to the public school system. Instead of having parents pay for lunches and supplies, the tax base should cover the entirety of school supplies as well as provide three healthy meals a day for students. As far as how to pay for it, lets start with getting rid of ever more bloated administrations and other inefficiencies Everyone who has had a job has seen their employer stupidly waste money. These same people who suck with money (most people) are the same ones managing schools and passing budget bills at all levels of government. If taxes need to be raised, so be it. Who can argue that children, who through no fault of their own, shouldn't have access to proper nutrition and a reasonable education? Make financial literacy a priority starting in elementary school. Make it a graduation requirement. While we are at it, make stress management and interpersonal skills part the curriculum as well.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @02:43PM (15 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @02:43PM (#691412) Journal

        Advice which makes sense only if the base rate is above inflation.

        Which it is for the stock market - even with recessions included.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:53PM (10 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @02:53PM (#691419)

          And where does somebody making minimum wage get that money to invest you fucking moron.

          This advice is well and good if you happen to be well off, but a larger and larger share of Americans works a minimum wage job with no benefits and falling further and further behind as the cost of living continues to increase at roughly the rate of inflation. Meanwhile, most jobs have salaries that have not increased over time. If salaries were increases due to inflation and increased productivity, the minimum wage would be over $20 and hour. And businesses can clearly afford that, if they couldn't afford that, you wouldn't be seeing such massive amounts of profits by so many corporations.

          We're in the middle of another massive bubble and it's only a matter of time before it pops and fucks all those minimum wage workers that are propping up the economy by producing goods and services.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:00PM (8 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @03:00PM (#691423)

            Ya, khallow will be one of the ones with their backs against the wall. No one appreciates apologists of evil. Almost moreso when such apologies are shrouded in suppised common sense.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @04:32AM (7 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @04:32AM (#691776) Journal

              Ya, khallow will be one of the ones with their backs against the wall.

              Let us note here, I've never advocated murdering people merely because they disagree with me. That includes pieces of shit like yourself. Let us hope that you come to your senses at some future date and never get your revolution, or that if you do get your murder spree, that you end up buzzard food in some mop-up operation by people who actually give a shit about the future of humanity.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:08PM (6 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:08PM (#691935)

                Ha, nice to see you finally lose your cool. You try so hard to maintain the calm rational appearance but you obviously mistook my statement. My prediction is your bullshit apologetics would very much piss off people who get desperate enough to revolt.

                I'm so sorry you felt personally attacked, maybe read up on the French and Chinese revolutions and you'll better understand what I mean. Revolutionaries won't care to discuss the nuances behind your personal responsibility and series of contracts beliefs, they'll just see that part of your belief system rationalizes the actions that have oppressed them.

                Just like you don't care about my message and focus on the supposed personal attack calling for your blood. The future of humanity? Ha! Yeah, you're a real saint.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @05:02PM (5 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @05:02PM (#692001) Journal

                  Ha, nice to see you finally lose your cool. You try so hard to maintain the calm rational appearance but you obviously mistook my statement. My prediction is your bullshit apologetics would very much piss off people who get desperate enough to revolt.

                  I didn't mistake your statement. Open fantasies about executions are a common endgame for people who have nothing to say, but have to say it anyway. If your statement had any merit, you wouldn't have to hide behind a gang of imaginary thugs to say it.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @07:05PM (4 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @07:05PM (#692056)

                    You can't say you didn't mistake my statement when I clearly explained it to you. I see your emotional reactions are now overpowering your rational faculties.

                    My point is stop siding with the exploiters, stop pushing ideology that worships pyramid schemes, and start understanding the problems of a massive % of our fellow citizens. If a revolution does come then history shows such apologists as yourself will be treated poorly. You can go back to bed and take your nap now secure in the knowledge that at least THIS anonymous coward is not plotting your demise.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 13, @05:11AM (3 children)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 13, @05:11AM (#692231) Journal

                      You can't say you didn't mistake my statement when I clearly explained it to you.

                      Fine, I'll accept that.

                      My point is stop siding with the exploiters, stop pushing ideology that worships pyramid schemes, and start understanding the problems of a massive % of our fellow citizens.

                      I side with truth as I understand it. The problem is that this narrative is all screwed up. For example, the primary value of ourselves to our society is that our labor can be exploited. It makes no sense to criticize someone for exploiting our labor when that is what we need them to do. Your power to do anything in this world is severely crippled, if your labor can't be exploited.

                      Along those same lines, labor having a relatively hard time is directly a result of not enough demand for labor. You're not going to get any better by making labor even less in demand. That leads to the result that employers are the important part of the economy, not the employees, because they're the scarce part. I'm not talking about making big businesses bigger - that seems to be the natural conclusion taken, but rather greatly increasing the small and mid-level businesses. You don't do that however, by increasing the hurdles to employing people - that has the perverse effect of empowering the large businesses who have the economies of scale to deal with that crap and to bribe government to swing regulation their way.

                      As to "ideology that worships pyramid schemes", that's patently false. The primary ideologies I've supported are capitalism and democracy. They can readily support pyramid schemes, both of the shabby, illegal sort and of the sanctioned, institutionalized sort (such as public pensions), but neither are inherently pyramid schemes in themselves. Further, one merely needs to glance at the most successful parts of the world to see that the combination of the two has been very successful.

                      Now we get to the problems of the "massive %". We immediately run into difficulties. A large portion [soylentnews.org] of that group doesn't understand key parts of their own problems (for example, only 57% of US adults are financially literate). It's not my lack of understanding that threatens to upend this apple cart. I certainly can't help by remaining silent on their tribulations.

                      Huge portions of the world don't have the trouble that the US has. The US isn't even particularly bad for a developed world country, there aren't many doing better.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @08:06PM (2 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @08:06PM (#692506)

                        See I barely even skimmed your response before remembering NOT TO ARGUE WITH A BRAINWASHED FOOL!

                        You are stuck in a system of thought and can't imagine beyond your self-imposed boundaries.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @05:34AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @05:34AM (#691789) Journal

            And where does somebody making minimum wage get that money to invest you fucking moron.

            They don't continue to earn minimum wage, that's how. Merely knowing the basics of showing up to work on time, clean, and in uniform, plus a willingness to work hard can get you past minimum wage.

            Meanwhile, most jobs have salaries that have not increased over time.

            Which is incorrect even when adjusted for inflation. Once you include benefits [forbes.com], particularly health care benefits and Social Security taxes, the cost of hiring an employee is quite in line with their productivity as one would expect.

            If salaries were increases due to inflation and increased productivity, the minimum wage would be over $20 and hour.

            Complete bullshit. Minimum wage, adjusted for inflation peaked at $8.68 per hour [pewresearch.org] (in 2016 dollars) not $20 per hour. That's compared to $7.25 per hour today. And for most of the history (going back to 1940) of minimum wage listed on that site, minimum wage adjusted for inflation was lower than $7.25 per hour. So it's actually on the high side at present.

            Also on an unrelated note, that report mentions dozens of minimum wage laws at the state and local levels. None of the state level minimum wage laws vary by cost of living below the scale of the state. That one-size-fits-all is a glaring example of the flaws of minimum wage advocacy.

            And businesses can clearly afford that, if they couldn't afford that, you wouldn't be seeing such massive amounts of profits by so many corporations.

            Spoken by someone who doesn't have even the slightest clue how to run a business.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:01PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @04:01PM (#691449)

          Which it is for the stock market

          Not due to growth, due to bubble blowing central banks buying corporate bonds and companies engaging in stock buy-backs.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @09:01PM (2 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @09:01PM (#691605) Journal

            Not due to growth, due to bubble blowing central banks buying corporate bonds and companies engaging in stock buy-backs.

            Sorry, I agree that sort of shell game is going on. But you wouldn't have a century of growth as a result. Something real has to be in there for it to work on that time scale.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:11PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:11PM (#691939)

              Ya, the expanded extraction of resources supporting massive population growth leading humanity into multiple crises at once.

              You are such a boob.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @06:44PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @06:44PM (#692047) Journal

                Ya, the expanded extraction of resources supporting massive population growth leading humanity into multiple crises at once.

                Good. The original poster didn't identify a real world economy. You have.

                If that massive population growth continues, then we'll have a future population die-off due to some of those multiple crises, so it wouldn't be an economy with a pretty future. You can't feed people with corporate bonds and stock buy-backs. So there is something real there.

                I'll note here that the developed world would be shrinking in population universally, if it weren't for immigration from the high fertility parts of the world, like Africa, Asia, and to a declining degree South America. If those areas can't control their population growth (my view is that they will be more likely to succeed at population control than not), then they will bear the lion's share of the resulting die-off.

    • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday June 11, @04:54PM (3 children)

      by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday June 11, @04:54PM (#691470)

      > First, it means that you can save up during good years for the bad ones. You should be doing that anyway, but I'm not your mother.

      Pulling a comment up the thread, and editing... I was doing "back-of-the-envelope" style calculation. For south of england (relatively expensive). For a family 2 adults + 2 kids

      1. Rent - 250 GBP per week
      2. Food - 100 GBP per week
      3. Bills - 50 GBP per week
      4. Car - 50 GBP per week

      I guess that quite quickly comes to GBP 25k per annum (after tax). Rent is the big bad one and somewhat irreducible. Looking at UK incomes:

      https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/mar/25/uk-incomes-how-salary-compare [theguardian.com]

      about half of people with families are only just covering the basic bills. So "saving for the bad times" is really tough.

      Meta: wouldn't it be amazing if the comment threads had a many-to-one relationship - i.e. you could reply to many comments with one reply. Might make thread topology complicated!

      • (Score: 2) by suburbanitemediocrity on Monday June 11, @05:54PM (1 child)

        by suburbanitemediocrity (6844) on Monday June 11, @05:54PM (#691509)

        Why do they get to have kids they can't afford and I have to wait? It's very unfair and unequal.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:16PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, @08:16PM (#691575)

          What's forcing you to wait? Or have you chosen to wait until you can afford to have kids?

          In some situations kids are a form of investment: they're a cost now but in 20-30+ years hopefully they'll do better than you have and be able to take care of you.

          I also imagine if the poor waited to have kids until they could afford kids, most poor would never be able to.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 11, @09:09PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 11, @09:09PM (#691610) Journal

        about half of people with families are only just covering the basic bills

        When I looked I saw that the second decile from the bottom for two adults and two children was GBP 26.8k. Sounds like about 75-80% of such families are covering the bills.

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