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The era of reduced expectations

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Oppie, Dec 14, 2012.

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  1. Oppie

    Oppie Guest

    Here it is, nearly the end of the year and I'm just thankful to still be
    employed as an engineer.

    Been working most of this year on a 32 hour work week (with subsequent 20%
    less gross even though I wind up actually putting in over 40 hours). My
    medical insurance contributions have increased. I'm spending more time doing
    the jobs of people that were laid off. I've been with this company since
    1982 and helped it to grow. Now trying to keep it from withering.

    Jeez, I hope the economy improves. Ho Ho Ho
  2. Oppie

    Oppie Guest

    We make modular control systems for microscope automation.
    Job listings in the area are just about nil and can't move.
  3. Oppie

    Oppie Guest

    That's my take on it. I'd rather be productive than a victim on the dole.
  4. hamilton

    hamilton Guest

    What area are you talking about here ?

  5. T

    T Guest

    Well - I'd like to correct your anti-Obama screed just a tad. The U.S.
    Congress are the ones who are fiddling while the rest of the United
    States suffers.

    Get it right.
  6. Guest

    Why can't you move?
  7. P E Schoen

    P E Schoen Guest

    "Oppie" wrote in message
    Actually, what you are experiencing will become the new norm, and it is a
    good thing. It is a natural consequence of automation and robotics and
    computer control that workers will become more productive, meaning that the
    same amount of work can be done by fewer people, and the double whammy is
    that the world continues to produce more people. This is to a large extent
    caused by our estimation of wealth by purely material standards, and our
    "Puritan work ethic" makes it seem "sinful" to be idle and enjoy free time
    and recreation. We have been trained to need expensive and disposable
    entertainment and communication "toys" to keep ourselves occupied and "out
    of trouble". And our accepted paradigm of having two wage earners per
    family, as well as the increasing number of single parent households, has
    also diminished the number of jobs available.

    We, as an advanced civilization, have advanced far beyond what is necessary
    to keep ourselves supplied with our basic necessities of clean air, potable
    water, healthy foods, shelter, and security, in roughly that order. Thoreau
    said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation", and it is probably
    even more true now than it was then. We really do not need all the expensive
    material items that we strive to amass over our lifetimes, especially when
    they are for individual use rather than shared among many. The "rugged
    individualist" is not really a lofty goal, and instead we need to embrace
    cooperation and sharing and interpersonal (and intercultural) communication
    on a genuine face-to-face basis. Our technology was supposed to free us from
    being slaves to toiling for our means of sustenance, but materialistic
    capitalism thrives on increasing consumption, and many of us have been
    programmed to want ever more things as status symbols and conspicuous
    evidence of our vain perception of wealth and prosperity.

    Most of us can easily survive on 20% less. So if we would adopt a 4 day 32
    hour work week, our 8% unemployment rate would suddenly transform into a 12%
    demand to fill the vacuum. If 10% of our population would change their
    lifestyles to include sharing living space and expenses with another person,
    their needs would diminish and it would actually be a healthier social
    condition. But we may need to wean ourselves off of our concept of
    individualism and isolation created and reinforced by excessive reliance on
    electronic communication and entertainment, and instead adopt lifestyles
    involving closer relationships with other people and the natural world.

  8. Bill Sloman

    Bill Sloman Guest

  9. Bill Sloman

    Bill Sloman Guest

    What a bizarre delusion. In so far as the US is currently run by an
    oligarchy who concentrate on enriching themselves while passing on the
    bare minimum of the benefits of economic growth to the rest of
    society, the US does look rather like Russia and China. The income
    distribution in the US is highly unequal, with a Gini index of 40.8%,
    between Russia - at 40.1% and China at 42.5%.

    Presumably Obama would like to see it become more civilised - more
    like Germany at 28.3%. Not so much because the population would become
    happier - he's been re-elected, and can't be re-elected again - but
    because the economy would do better making his retirement better
  10. Bill Sloman

    Bill Sloman Guest

    You are a victim - of a bunch of right-wing Tea Party nitwits who
    share Jim Thompson's economic delusions.
  11. Driving home tonight I was thinking how we screwed up shipping all
    manufacturing jobs off to china. We lived high on the hog for a
    on the cheap labor. But to parapharse H. Ford (I think)
    "Who buys our cars?"

    George H.
  12. mpm

    mpm Guest

    Doesn't Jim live in AZ?
    Last I heard, it was overrun by Mexicans.
    Patriotic indeed... :)
  13. Oppie

    Oppie Guest

    You forgot Kurt Vonnegut's "Player Piano"
    which was required reading for engineering students at Clarkson College in
  14. Oppie

    Oppie Guest

    I've been under pressure (from the guy in the corner office) to send my
    circuit boards to a turnkey manufacturer who ships the jobs to China for
    assembly. So far they've done OK but my preference is to keep the jobs in
    the USA and keep US employed.
  15. RipeCrisbies

    RipeCrisbies Guest

  16. miso

    miso Guest

    Scumbag Republithugs hire illegals for cheap labor. Arizonans need only
    to look in the mirror to understand the illegal immigration problem. To
    be specific, illegals that crossed into the country illegally. There is
    another class of illegals that overstayed their visas.
  17. Bill Sloman

    Bill Sloman Guest

    Whereas Jim only sees right-wing news, but considers himself
    thoroughly clueful.
    Sadly, clues aren't what he's full of.
  18. Was immigration status an issue before 1913 (before you needed to worry
    about taxing income)?

    What happened when a Mexican walked into the Ponderosa and asked Ben
    Cartwright for a job? I suspect law and government didn't even invade their
  19. Guest

    Good point--hearty people seeking work, striking their own bargains
    between themselves.

    Today's welfare state changes that to favor poor people seeking
    (everyone else's) support--dragging all of society into it--a
    different dynamic.

    James Arthur
  20. None of the above would be a problem if it wasn't for the welfare state.
    The immigration problem is a creation of progressivism, in taxation and

    Without progressivism, they'd be able to work productively, and helping
    their economic status would be a blow to the cartels.

    But people see the immigrants as parasites instead of viewing the government
    that way. They don't have any grasp of basic economics. The wealth of a
    society is a function of how much productive work is done. It makes no
    difference if it's done by Mexicans, but the government is a behemoth of

    Eliminate the welfare state and I would welcome them.

    After seeing Atlas Shrugged Part 2, my friend and I noted how it was about
    secession by individuals because you can't get enough agreement for a whole
    state to secede. There is a petition in Oklahoma and Texas, but I think
    they're doing it wrong. It should be national, just to allow people to
    express their desire to do a John Galt.
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