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View Diary: The Myth of the "Consensual" Marketplace (124 comments)

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  •  Manufacturing efficiency is not the problem. (14+ / 0-)

    The problem is that workers aren't allowed a share in the increased productivity that results.  We had a vision in the 1950s of jobs that were easy but still paid a living - but the easier they got, the more people just got fired or their pay reduced because workers have no negotiating power with their employers.

    And, actually, automation isn't even the biggest threat to prosperity - it's cheaper to hand-make solar panels in China than run an automated assembly line.  Low-wage labor not only sabotages the prosperity of the average person, but undermines technological development.  It's bad on every level.

    I demand that you prove you're alive.

    by Troubadour on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 12:19:39 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Well (6+ / 0-)

      The increased productivity is due to de-skilling.

      A cobbler is a skilled trade. Some guy who pushes the button on a machine to make 2000 pairs of shoes is not.

      The guy who pushes the button is more productive, but less skilled. It's easy to find a guy to push a button. Hard to find someone who knows how to make shoes by hand.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 01:06:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. People are treated as commodities (14+ / 0-)

        rather than as the purpose of the economy.  If it's easy to find someone to do a job, pay them peanuts even if what they do is hugely productive.  If it's difficult to find someone, pay them well or, in the case of executives, grotesquely well, even if they do a shit job and leave the company in ruins.  There's no reward for productivity in this formulation - all that's rewarded is bargaining advantage, and all that's punished is disadvantage.  This is dystopic and heinous.

        I demand that you prove you're alive.

        by Troubadour on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 01:09:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Corporate charter schools are de-skilling (6+ / 0-)

        teaching. And some commercial pilots only make minimum wage. Flying is pretty skilled work along with a great deal of responsibility. And Walmart pays retail workers so little that each store requires decent citizens to provide welfare to the tune of nearly half a million per store a year to keep the workers sheltered and fed.

        The price of doing business in a modern society is helping to support that society. One hand for yourself one hand for the ship. We are going to reach a point where the pirates of international finance are going to be just too expensive for the rest of us.

    •  Labor-saving devices (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour

      and technologies... should be saving us all labor.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:13:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Frank Herbert predicted it in science fiction (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, greengemini, dfarrah

        decades before we knew it was a real problem:

        Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.  But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.
        Of course, the practical solution is not as drastic as the one Herbert envisioned - just share the fruits of the increased productivity.

        Business doesn't distinguish between making money and taking money.

        by Troubadour on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:24:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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