Archive for April 30, 2011

Fake Jobs Hurt The Real Economy

April 30, 2011 7 comments

I am making this old post sticky, for a day or two, because it is relevant to an upcoming post about the dangerous synergy of fake jobs and metrics.

The vast majority of people cannot seem to separate the concept of having a job from income, even in high productivity systems, thereby creating a multitude of problems and perverse incentives.

One of them is the negative impact of fake jobs on the real economy.

So what are ‘fake jobs’ anyway? In my opinion, a jobs is useless if the sudden death of people performing that job would not adversely affect activity necessary for the continuation of human civilization?

Examples of useless jobs include naturopathic and chiropractic doctors, realtors, environmental designers, the vast majority of government employees, the vast majority of private sector workers, cupcake makers, MBAs, most accountants, most architects, flower shops, the majority of lawyers, CEOs and banksters. Their jobs, professions and businesses are not necessary for the maintenance or progress of human civilization.

Their only contribution to humanity comes from their ability to consume products and services, and is the main reason behind my idea of a Minimum Consumption Entitlement.

So, how do fake jobs hurt the real economy?

They do so in two ways.-

1. They divert resources and talent away for areas that are actually useful.

Would you become a scientist or an engineer if it was possible to make far more money in areas like banking, law or management? What percentage of our economy is based on financial bullshit, legal scams and other assorted nonsense? Do you really think that this shift has no adverse consequences?

2. They hinder and disrupt the progress of those who do productive and innovative things.

We have entire industries based around stealing from the productive (corporate law), abusing them (MBAs) and fucking the over (banksters). These scumbags work in concert with a government which is captive to their interests and a bureaucracy which is filled with greedy, short-sighted, power-hungry morons.

In my opinion, paying people who currently have fake jobs to not do them would lead to a better, and less fucked up, world.


How 30 Became The New 20

April 30, 2011 23 comments

You might have heard people say that 30 is the new 20. In my opinion, this statement is mostly true- if in a somewhat undesirable way. Let me explain..

You see, from the dawn of civilization to the 1980s most people starting living fully adult lives sometimes between their late teens and early 20s. So they had reasonably stable “careers”, wives, kids etc by the time they were in their mid-20s. Of course, there were wars, famines etc- however for the most part adulthood started at sometime from 17-24.

Adulthood does not start until your early 30s in developed countries, and is increasingly so for developing countries.

Today people finish high school at 18-19, do an undergrad or multiple years of community college, start a few shitty job in their mid-20s, reevaluate their career choice, do some further training etc and IF they lucky.. find something worthwhile by their early to mid-30s.

To put it another way- we have delayed adulthood by a decade, if not more.

While there are a host of popular reasons to explain this shift, most people miss the obvious one.

There are simply not enough well-paying jobs for everybody.

Technological advances have increased productivity to levels where we can make and service more with fewer people. This trend is not new. Prior to the second phase of the industrial revolution, child and adolescent labor was essential in many industries because of their low productivity. Indeed, compulsory education for children was meant to reduce the available workforce rather than educate kids. Laws against child labor were also motivated by economic considerations.

The third phase of the industrial revolution increased productivity still further giving us the, now universal, 40 hour work week. Western Europe went one step further with 6 week vacations, work sharing arrangements etc. There is, however one catch, with making 30 the new 20.

It is far more disruptive that banning child labor, introducing 40 hour work weeks or giving 6 weeks of paid vacations.

Most human cultures did not expect 14-15 year olds to be adults, nor was working only 8 hours per day undesirable. If anything, the results were largely positive and increased consumption of goods and services. Delaying family formation till your 30s does however introduce a whole host of problems, and then some more.

For starters, many men are pretty jaded with women by their late 20s. Combine that with feminism, job instability, sexual promiscuity and easy divorce make family formation a losing proposition. However a significant part of the economy, and economic predictions, depend on the continuation of family formation patterns which are now essentially dead.


Another Dance Performance: April 30, 2011

April 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Isn’t it odd that the mothers of these talented dancers are their biggest promoters.