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

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sat Oct 29 13:19:21 PDT 2011

On 10/29/11 1:05 PM, Stephen Williams wrote:
> ...
> 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.

> "In 2007, I think it was 44 percent of the graduating class from Princeton took jobs in the financial services industry. Really 
> talented kids who could be doing useful things — instead they're competing to see who can forecast what the asset price will be 10 
> seconds sooner than the next quickest forecast," Frank says. "We don't need that many people seeking those positions."

There's a lot wrong with the fact that while we dropped most layers of middlemen in most industries, we've got this thick layer of 
middlemen skimming apparently huge amounts at the financial level.  The fact that the financial "industry" is also skimming (half in 
this case!) the best and brightest who could be doing actually productive things is almost criminal.  The financial industry is very 
important in a lot of cases, but their outsized profit taking and apparent talent black hole is probably not nearly as efficient as 
it should be.  Their job is supposed to be to wring efficiency out of the system, but they seem unable, to paraphrase Starling, to 
"Shine that powerful intellect upon yourself."  They are addicts in denial who cannot help themselves.

> Finally, any steps that improve the job market could help. The 1990s, when employers had to compete for workers, produced some of 
> the biggest gains for people in the middle of the income ladder. Bernstein says the best recipe for giving working people a bigger 
> slice of the economic pie is full employment.

The best recipe without changing the playing field.  While wary that most changes have worse unintended consequences and gaming 
holes, in the face of a lack of need for workers I think changes to the rules of some kind will be needed.  Where changes to the 
rules could be something like a new kind of company, tax changes, particularly creative union concepts, etc.

> 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.
> sdw
>> 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
>>> POSTED: OCTOBER 25, 9:26 AM ET
>>> Comment258

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net stephendwilliams at gmail.com LinkedIn: http://sdw.st/in V:650-450-UNIX (8649) V:866.SDW.UNIX 
V:703.371.9362 F:703.995.0407 AIM:sdw Skype:StephenDWilliams Yahoo:sdwlignet Resume: http://sdw.st/gres Personal: http://sdw.st 
facebook.com/sdwlig twitter.com/scienteer

More information about the FoRK mailing list