[FoRK] Education Union, was: Re: Wall Street Isn't Winning – It's Cheating

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sat Oct 29 13:05:44 PDT 2011

On 10/27/11 1:12 PM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> I think their little utopia is starting to crumble.  Like the macro-world
> around them, their society is solidifying.

The initial novelty is maturing to real world concerns.  And many who had the time and energy to participate were those least 
capable of organizing and functioning coherently.

> o Occupy movement forming a Corporation
> o Using corporation laws to protect from liability
> o Organizing groups looking to sue for recompense
> o Decentralized bickering on how to best spend funds to further movement
> o Internal taxes to collect for communal good that isn't being provided
> o High end natural foods free dinners no longer available because too
>    many "outsiders" and homeless people taking advantage of their camps
> o Crime, insufficient self-policing
> o Dire sanitation issues
> o Conflicting anarchist and marxist world views

And progressive and/or liberal and/or give-the-little-guy-more-fair-opportunities (What would you call this sentiment?) 
tea-party-like views.  Those people I'm sure would rather not get sidetracked by the anarchists and marxists.  The latter are mostly 
immature in various ways in most cases, so there is a chance they can be educated.

> o Infiltration by Larouchites and anti-semites

Oh brother...
> Pretty soon there will be two classes of occupyers, those with acceptable
> group-think who contribute to the agenda, and those who are seen as
> freeloaders and problem people.  They'll cast them out and then blame their
> issues on outsiders and outside forces.  It's 1984, Brave New World, Atlas
> Shrugged, Lord of the Flies, and Animal Farm all wrapped up in street
> theater with a cast of useful idiots.

Potentially useful idiots.  Should be fun to watch.  Different at least from the Tea Party.

> I look at it this way.  Let's say the 90% were Windows users and the 10%
> were those who could afford to spend the extra money on getting a more
> feature-full OSX Mac for a computer.   It's not fair that those Mac users
> get all those great features, so we should charge a soak the Mac tax so that
> anyone buying a Mac also has to pay an extra tax so that they can eventually
> give the money to Microsoft to build Mac features into a better version of
> Windows.  After 50 years of doing this, the only thing that happens is Macs
> get more expensive, the Mac tax grows 10x faster than the price of the
> machine which is actually falling due to improved technology, and Windows
> never gets any better.

Invalid analogy I think.  The core sentiments about unfairness seems to include:
A) Certain professions and businesses are given won't-even-threaten-you-with-jail privilege status in too many cases, plus financial 
bonuses and bailouts that don't seem to be earned or valid at all.  Then they turn around and charge everyone else more.

B) The system often seems rigged so that only the very top performers in professions or small businesses seem to do really well, and 
then only in narrow cases.  The rest struggle far too much and have shrinking protection and buying power, while the top people seem 
to have it better and better.

Some of that is broken perception, but some of it has been true recently in key and high profile ways.

You seem to be complaining about others who are more or less: "We didn't prepare, or we didn't try to stay competitive, or we don't 
think we're capable of being competitive or we didn't have the opportunity to do so.  We may be OK with not being as well off as the 
top, but this is ridiculous and doesn't seem fair even given our lack of effort & opportunity."  Obviously, to nearly everyone 
including most people in those circumstances, they shouldn't have parity with the top.  But it also shouldn't be terminally 
difficult.  We're not triaging for survival anymore.  We effectively have a surplus in every aspect except semi-artificial financial 
constructs.  And clearly we are wasting massive amounts of human potential.  Those at the top have nearly all of the power to 
organize big efforts (i.e. companies).  They could do more, although perhaps it will take some creative changes in the environment 
to make it more interesting than typical corporate moves which doesn't seem to be solving problems for the bulk of the un/underemployed.

I think we're suffering partly from a post-labor-intensive world and that continues to accelerate.  Farming and the food chain used 
to require large labor.  Then manufacturing.  War.  Retail.  Personal, living, and transportation services.  Healthcare.  We're 
optimizing people out of most of those at an increasing rate.  There's still plenty left to do, but we have to be more proactive in 
engineering interest, access, education, and facilitation between people and labor.

Additionally, we have to think about how the economy should work when very few people are needed to supply everything needed for 
society as a whole.  Given China et al, we're there now.  What do the remaining people do?  Trying to hold efficiency back to keep 
people artificially employed won't work, and it's the wrong thing to do.

If housing were cheap, would both people in a couple have to work?  Would twenty-somethings?  Perhaps models where spouses alternate 
between working and education might help (with safeguards against unfair splitting better than currently exist).  Or probably 
better, education rather than unemployment.  We're in a perverse system right now where the unemployed lose all benefits if they are 
in full-time education, and they generally aren't paid enough on employment to avoid draining all of their resources just to 
survive.  It could make sense in a lot of industries to do rotating job sharing with education and/or alternate professions.  
Educational needs and costs are going up and the need for labor is going down.  Educational costs seem artificially high in most 
cases.  This can be addressed in various ways, including more online education (MIT and the three current Stanford classes, plus 
things like Udemy et al) and volunteer inter-education (Code Camp, Meetups).  Some workers are overworked while others are unemployed.

Seems like high time to create an Education Union a la Credit Union, where education is provided at a professional and usually 
certified level but is done in an efficient, non-profit, independent, and creative way.  Using members to teach for pay + credit to 
take other education seems like a great solution.  Such institutions should then be able to get funding (public, private, and 
corporate (perhaps for contingent hires)) and allowance to educate the un/underemployed.


> Greg
> On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 12:49 PM, Stephen Williams<sdw at lig.net>  wrote:
>> Do you agree?
>> Pointed out by a friend:
>> http://www.rollingstone.com/**politics/blogs/taibblog/owss-**
>> beef-wall-street-isnt-winning-**its-cheating-20111025<http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/owss-beef-wall-street-isnt-winning-its-cheating-20111025>
>> Wall Street Isn't Winning – It's Cheating
>> Comment258

More information about the FoRK mailing list