The following discussion clip is from the Occupy Wall Street demand summary list.
As I mentioned elsewhere about jobs, when we create the image of sending jobs over seas, or outsourcing, the words are misleading us. So, what can we do to get jobs back in America? This is actually a much more complex and much, much more serious a problem than we are being told.
All the proposals being presented, by either political party, are doomed to fail, because they are oblivious to the real problems. Those problems are: automation, global competition, saturation of goods, population growth and expectations, exhaustion of natural resources, AND failure of society to understand and adapt to how these forces interact.
In short, during only the last 200 years, humanity has learned how to replace human labor with power driven machines. In the last 50 years, we have learned how to replace human thinking with computers. Once a machine is designed, it takes very little effort to duplicate it to make goods for 1 thousand people or 1 million, or 1 billion. The goods can also be made much cheaper than they can by human labor. Simple! But, humanity DOES NOT WANT TO FACE UP TO THIS! They want to believe in the “nostalgia” of the small family farm, but at the same time, want to pay the low prices only achievable by a large automated farm. Our society is living in DENIAL.
We want access to products from all over the world, but don’t want to face up to the differences in labor cost and productivity around the world. We fill our houses with so much stuff, many people need to rent storage rooms to hold their “excess” stuff. When “we”, as consumers, don’t have any room for more STUFF and stop buying it, “we”, as workers, complain that “we”, meaning everyone else, aren’t buying enough. Our society is living in DENIAL.
As the population explodes into the 7B range, all 7B want the machines to make more stuff! They want to live like “Americans”. BUT, there is a problem! The earth’s natural resources are approaching DEPLETION! All the easy resources to get are gone: 50% of forests – gone. 90% of fish and wildlife – gone. 50% of hospitalizations are due to lack of clean water. Metals are experiencing shortages in every category. Medical drugs are now being rationed because of shortages. 33 nations are at risk of social unrest due to food shortages. SO, what does society refuse to face? The hard mathematics of growth and population. READ THIS CAREFULLY! More people live on earth today than ALL the humans who ever lived before 1970! That means, in the next 40 years or so, humanity will “try” to extract the same amount of resources from the earth that have already been taken during the whole length of civilization! And if we’ve already used more than 50%, how can we possibly do it?
The point is, this isn’t just about U.S. jobs. It’s about world wide jobs. Because without natural resources, nothing can be produced. So, in only a few years, the Chinese, Indians and Europeans will also be looking for work because key natural resources won’t be available. The armies of workers Obama wants to employ fixing roads and building schools will be out of work again.
The entire world, except for food production and basic necessities, will be forced into service jobs. We will all become students, teachers, football players and rock stars. And THAT’S what congress has to wake up to. We need the philosophical leadership to understand and transition society to a completely service economy.
What does that mean for today?
1. Congress should immediately role the standard work week back from 40 hours to 32 hours.
2. They should strictly enforce overtime, which should be expanded to cover ALL professions. Overtime should also be “person” based. That is, if a person works 2 jobs. As soon as they go over 32 hours in a week, they must be put on overtime pay.
3. The minimum wage should be raised to $10 per hour.
The job shortage would disappear overnight. The plight of many people in poverty would be eased. Budget neutral: NO TAX INCREASES OR CUTS. NO GOVERNMENT PROGRAM INCREASES OR CUTS.
4. Congress must start on a program to REDUCE the U.S. population to a sustainable level.