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unemployed?

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libertygrl
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Posted 04/14/14 - 5:01 PM:
Subject: unemployed?
Hi all, how's it going? Still making my way through school (translation: not much free time on my hands these days), but I came across this image today and thought of you.

http://www.thecouchforum.com/attachments/unemployed.jpg

Curious to know your thoughts? If this is true, what is the solution?
Nihil Loc
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Posted 04/15/14 - 2:18 PM:

You never ask easy questions, Lib. I think Karl Marx would've had a lot to say on the issue.

Having extra stuff doesn't seem to correlate with happiness. Those who have money are often very insecure about losing it.

I think a lot of people feel alone and troubled and do not really understand how to separate fundamental needs from wants. People could live healthier lives with less but we are taught to chase after a certain level of material existence.

Culture plays into it. What is expected of me in the way of social requirements (eg. the type of life to be lived, the frustrating social values of a locality which differs between groups of people).

One must consider the fact that everything is privately owned and that public resources are just another form of private ownership. For instance, in my locality, there is a community building that is under utilized because of the overbearing rules associated with its use.

When we spend money we are causing work to be done and it is often a type of work that is empty (destructive).




libertygrl
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Posted 04/15/14 - 7:18 PM:

Great observations Nihil thumb up

The problem with distribution of property is a pointed one. Here in the Bay Area where I live, there are vast acres of empty forest that are protected by the state, while homeless people pile on top of each other in the city.

Thanks to the internet, barter is starting to become more common and this seems like it might help the "unemployment" situation, but what about folks without access to such resources?

It's a complex problem for sure, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Still pondering...
thedoc
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Posted 04/15/14 - 7:40 PM:

The key to any healthy economy is to keep the money moving, how that is done is often the problem, but if the money stops moving there is no economy to worry about.
Morgena
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Posted 04/15/14 - 11:16 PM:

Well, well, Now I don’t know so much about the situation in your country, but in my country there’s a lot of work which hasn’t been done not because people are lazy or unskilled to do the jobs.
It’s because they don’t get paid for it or very less , just last week a solicitors secretary had taken her boss to the court , because he was paying her € 1,65 per hour.
To my understanding that isn’t a wage at all for a qualified person, it is exploitation, when someone have no outcome with his income.
Those people are forced to live on benefits with all the negative outcomes for the whole society, because in the end nobody can pay tax and the government can’t run communities.
In many cases it’s the industry benefiting from this situation, that’s why I’m thinking, work have to be reconstructed before we are experience another civil war.
Nihil Loc
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Posted 04/17/14 - 6:09 PM:

The "unemployed" are a heterogeneous group. It includes the mentally ill, those who have short or long term disabilities, drug addicts, those who have a criminal history and can't get a job, people who have been laid off from their current line of work, those who can't get a job due to whatever qualities like age, limited skills, (add reason)... It seems to me that the poster might target principally the section of American populace who lost their jobs during the recession, since unemployment ballooned during that time.

Add to this the cycles of boom and bust Capitalism, where speculative demand and global competition shapes industry (eg. the demand for a type of skilled labor) and we see how innovation in the free flow of capital and production may cause sudden unemployment. America's rust belt is a case in point.

The money moves quite freely but the labor is more limited. Labor might move within the country to a limited degree, such with itinerant laborers.

Another issue is the increasing efficiency that has changed industry. Think about how any sector of the economy has changed over a couple of decades and you can see how money has been saved by reducing the need for labor. Instead of going to a video store these days we go to Red Box or stream Net Flix. Stores now even have self-service check out stations.

Technological innovations to cut out the most costly input in Capital production, labor, is also behind unemployment.







libertygrl
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Posted 04/18/14 - 12:58 PM:

Very interesting, thanks everyone for your thoughts. Had to google Rust Belt, that was something I had not heard of or thought about.
libertygrl
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Posted 06/03/14 - 11:05 AM:

came across this article today, it's a long read but plenty of interesting and relevant thoughts in there if anyone would like to check it out:

www.salon.com/2014/06/01/he...ck_and_twisted_new_scheme/
Vagabond
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Posted 06/27/14 - 9:23 AM:

What I find interesting is how you all seem to be keeping your arguments/discussions within the existing economic paradigm. You talk about 'moving money' and the 'distribution of property' and other such traditional concepts about how modern economies work. But imagine, for a moment, a system in which there is no money and in which things do not have a monetary value attached to them. Imagine an economy in which you cannot make a profit on something because there is no way to realise and save (or hoard) excess value. Suddenly, the work that would get done is the work that needs to get done.

Of course, this is a form of communism. And as such, it is vilified by the kind of interests that would be most adversely affected - the wealthy. And the wealthy, although a tiny minority, are the most potent political force in every society around the globe. Communism did not work because it was enforced through totalitarian rule; which in the end was, itself, corrupt. In my mind, one of the reasons why capitalist societies, and especially those like the U.S. in which the wealthy class hold unprecedented amounts of the overall wealth, are so afraid of communism is because it is a powerful idea that makes sense. The only way to keep the status quo is to turn these ideas into boogie men, to indoctrinate people into the belief that communism, like some fabled beast, is evil and will eat their children.

We live in a era defined by our economic beliefs, much like Europe was defined by its religious beliefs during the Dark Ages. We take as given, what clearly is not. Until we can break free from our rigid economic beliefs, we will continue to polarize our world.
henry quirk
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Posted 06/27/14 - 11:00 AM:

The commie (communitarian) would have me be 'one of many' while I prefer to be 'one'.

That’s enough for me to say ‘no’ to communism (and all strains of communitarianism).
Paul
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Posted 01/15/15 - 6:19 AM:

Vagabond wrote:
Communism did not work because it was enforced through totalitarian rule; which in the end was, itself, corrupt.


I'd argue the fatal flaw of communism is the people themselves, who are greedy and corrupt. Capitalism is aligned to the way most people actually behave, with everyone looking out for their own interests. Communism tries to make people better, but history shows the people just work harder and harder at cheating the system and fulfill their greed. And if you put more force into stopping them from cheating, you end up more totalitarian but without much success (considering the corruption levels of regular citizens in communist countries).

Capitalistic socialism, with high taxes used for income redistribution, has been far more effective than communism at helping the poor because it doesn't require people to change their nature.
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