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View Diary: Structural Stupidity on PBS, Debunked by Krugman and Baker (123 comments)

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  •  Pump your own gas, (no attendants)checkout your (5+ / 0-)

    items at Walmart, (no cashier) buy your own subway fare card at a machine (no token booth clerk). HOw is this not structural?

    •  Structural v. not structural? (3+ / 0-)

      I wouldn't really like to get into using those words, because I don't know how we are defining "structural" here.

      I do think you've hit the nail on the head, however, in your first sentence.

      Like the 18th-19th century transition of the industrial revolution, "modern" technology means that much less labor seems to be necessary, but this is true then like now only because the maximization of profit is the first impulse.

      It is not true that less labor is necessary--what is true instead is that "consumers" (a/k/a citizens) are getting shafted by a lack of service because no one has figured out how to make a profit out of this.

      One example--if we as consumers (and workers) could start to demand service workers to help with online activities--getting a green card, a license, a passport, a savings bond, applying for a job, and on and on--life would be so much easier.

      As a former reference librarian, I saw these needs presented every day, but we did not have the time--or even the training--to give these people the help they truly needed.  And now reference librarians are also, ironically, being replaced by automation, even as the needs still go unmet.

      There are certainly many other examples than you and I have mentioned of services going unmet because no one wants to cut into profits or pay taxes--debris-strewn highways and beaches, a lack of interstate and state rest stops, and on and on.

      It's really a question of priorities.

      Just because the government keeps a record of real property transfers, it doesn't mean that the government wants to confiscate your home.

      by NCJan on Sun Aug 04, 2013 at 08:17:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Look at what Baker says. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Val, jeopardydd, Roger Fox, JVolvo
      If this claim were true it would mean that there are substantial segments of the labor market where we are seeing labor shortages. That would mean that workers in some occupations would be seeing rapidly rising wages. We should also see industries or occupations where the length of the average workweek is increasing rapidly. Employers would be trying to get the workers they have to put in more hours, since they can't find additional workers. In these industries/occupations we should also see a high ratio of job openings to unemployed workers. There are no major areas of the labor market where we see this evidence of labor shortages. In other words, Brooks is just making this up out of thin air.
      Saying there are no changes due to technological advances resulting in some jobs becoming obsolete would be idiotic. That sort of shit goes on all the time. Saying it's responsible for the bulk of our unemployment is idiocy. What, did we suddenly get a massive influx of technology that magically coincided with the Wall St ripoff of 2008 that sent our economy into a downward spiral?

      That's what this "structural unemployment" line is for; it's designed to get the perps off the hook. Buy into it at your peril. It's a scam.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Aug 04, 2013 at 10:54:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lay it out for all to see (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Great point that in 2008 we magically made technology that put 25 million jobs aside.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sun Aug 04, 2013 at 12:59:15 PM PDT

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        •  Thanks. I mean, what happened (0+ / 0-)

          did the aliens suddenly land in Area 51 and give us 23rd-century technology? Did we extract a chip from the Terminator? did Scotty give us the formula for transparent aluminum? What?

          Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Aug 04, 2013 at 07:13:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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