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View Diary: Skeptical of Recovery? Report to the Ministry of Plenty (43 comments)

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  •  No not really (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Ellinorianne, forgore, GeeBee

    Nursing jobs are scarce, elective surgeries are off, dentists and orthodontists report declining demand. This surprised me because people keep saying that health care doesn't shrink, but with declining incomes, fewer jobs, fewer people with insurance, and hundreds of thousands of kids being kicked off SCHIP, health care is shrinking.

    As far as green jobs, lots of talk, not many jobs.

    There is a God, but he got an MBA. How else can you explain our world?

    by Aeolus on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 05:51:29 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  The issue with green jobs is that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      linkage, Corwin Weber

      ...right now most of our "green jobs" companies hire in groups of, at most, 100.  While our companies shedding jobs?  Lose them at a clip considerably higher than that.

      "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

      by Mister Gloom on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 05:53:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No Solar boom (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phonegery, linkage, Ellinorianne, GeeBee

        No solar boom

        Due to the poor economy, project financing, the life blood of commercial solar has not flowed at the rate the industry requires. Investors and commercial buyers around the world, and in the U.S. are increasingly interested in solar PV systems, but are reluctant to purchase.

        Now midyear, 2009 is shaping up as a year of decline for the solar industry worldwide, or at best a low growth year. Together the markets around the world have been unable to grow at a rate that overcomes this confluence of events.

        There is a God, but he got an MBA. How else can you explain our world?

        by Aeolus on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 06:00:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's the New Economy job equation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DBunn

        All the cool New Economy jobs that Clinton promised us are like that. Biotech, nano, green energy, even the New IT jobs. Small numbers of employees, often with large numbers of advanced degrees between them, working like crazy, being "productive" enough that more employees (domestically) are not needed.

        Productivity means doing more with fewer employees and/or less costly employees. That makes for higher profits, which we all know is the ultimate goal of this system.

        It brings all kinds of fantasy and science fiction stories to mind. Ultimately maybe we have one "knowledge worker" sitting at a computer making all the decisions and clicking the icons that send a million slaves off fabricating the chips in some third world superfactory while another million slaves mine the materials in some other hell on earth. (A more powerful version of the Head Librarian in Sean McMullen's Souls in the Great Machine maybe.) Perhaps that person could even double as the one who operates Cheney's and Rumsfeld's military space platforms, obliterating whole societies with concentrated laser cannon fire when the slaves get unruly or too many refugees are sitting on land where resources need to be pillaged. (Like the "Wizards" in Rosemary Kirstein's Steerswoman series.) Why worry about one person having all that power when the productivity equation is so perfect? (Mordor was probably a model of productivity, too bad J. R. R. Tolkien was too stodgy and blinkered to realize that—One Ring to Rule Them All was the efficient solution after all, the clear path to higher productivity.)

        I'm not sure who is supposed to be the customer in these scenarios, or how they are supposed to be able to keep consuming the products of all this productivity. In that sense the "innovative financial products" that the big banks were all playing with are a fumbling step toward a final solution—since they actually produce nothing, but can be bought and sold for many times the value of whatever physical assets they're loosely linked to. So they point to the next step of monetary evolution where money is free to disconnect from anything physical and keep multiplying in the form of more and more arcane instruments in an endless pyramid based only on itself and the imagination of its owners, with no need for (bad) customers or (worse) workers. The Holy Grail of the labor-despising class.

    •  Health care... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DBunn, linkage, glaser, Ellinorianne

      ...is also something you can't build an economy off of. It's a cost center. An expanding health care sector is bad, not good.

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