Jobs people don't want to do? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The solving of mankind’s problems and abolition of government via technological solutions alone.

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#14460763
I do believe that in general the citizens of a technate would work. Any healthy minded person will do something productive with their life, even with no financial/material incentive. I do however fear that there may be times when certain sequences would be deficient of labor. Well... Aside from allowing more vacation time/lowering retirement age for certain jobs... Why not let immigrants fill in the jobs we need? It sounds messed up, but all kinds of people from all over the world would want to immigrate, and we could utilize the immigrants in order to fill out various positions we are lacking.
#14460871
Maybe it'd be best to abolish the social division of labor.

Let's assume that Pat Devine's classification of labor is legitimate or correct. We'd have 5 types of activity: repetitive and unskilled activity, administering/directing and planning, caring and nurturing, skilled activity, creative activity. If we were to expect everyone to do work within each category over the course of their lives, the social division of labor would be almost abolished. This would result in the distribution of work people don't necessarily want to do by preventing (some) individuals from performing only one category of activity. That is to say that the monopolization of rewarding and intrinsically more interesting work would be minimized.
#14460966
emmitt wrote:Maybe it'd be best to abolish the social division of labor.

Let's assume that Pat Devine's classification of labor is legitimate or correct. We'd have 5 types of activity: repetitive and unskilled activity, administering/directing and planning, caring and nurturing, skilled activity, creative activity. If we were to expect everyone to do work within each category over the course of their lives, the social division of labor would be almost abolished. This would result in the distribution of work people don't necessarily want to do by preventing (some) individuals from performing only one category of activity. That is to say that the monopolization of rewarding and intrinsically more interesting work would be minimized.

So my hairdresser will become nuclear engineer by thirty, mason by forty and neurosurgeon by fifty?
I do not think it would be very efficient and anyway you would have to impose this through force, turning your system into a tyranny.

Personally it took me fifteen years to learn how to do my job approximately well. Yet I am among the smartest ones, I am still ignorant about a lot of things and few people can do my job even after proper training.
#14460976
If you're only interested in efficiency, it won't be very appealing to you. If you're one of the winners of the status quo who does all the intrinsically satisfying work, it won't be appealing to you at all. That's all true. But that doesn't really change anything about the dehumanizing (and socially polarizing) aspects of the social division of labor.

As a side note:

A lot of people already engage in a wide variety of activities over the course of their lives. So it's not that utopian. Women often care for children, engage in creative activities, do both skilled and unskilled work and so forth. The problem's just that they're often not remunerated or appreciated for the work they do in private and that the distribution of the workload is pretty unfair (when it comes to parenting, household chores etc.). I bet you don't care about that either and that's precisely the problem.

EDIT:
I almost forgot something. You'd be expected to do something within each category. You are not expected to do only things within the category of skilled activities as you thought you were.
Last edited by emmitt on 05 Sep 2014 15:28, edited 1 time in total.
#14461030
emmitt wrote:If you're only interested in efficiency, it won't be very appealing to you.

If you're in need of a brain operation, trust me, you will want the neurosurgeon to be efficient. Just as you want your house's architect to be efficient. Just as you want to have a nice purchasing power, which requires an efficient economy (even if the recent evolutions favored redistribution towards the richest, turning to unproductive economy would still impoverish us all).

If you're one of the winners of the status quo who does all the intrinsically satisfying work, it won't be appealing to you at all.

I certainly admit that my position is favorable. Yet it does not change the fact that I do have this position because *I* am *able* to do it.

You can force people like me to work on the factory chain, fine. But the factory worker will never be able to do my job, even (for most of them) if you give him five years of academical studies (and I know few factory workers who would like to undergo that training). By the way I live in a country where studies are free and earn you an income (too modest for a family and a decent life though, studies are still a sacrifice).

The problem you're trying to address is real. But I think your solution is wrong. The answer rather lies in automation, social transforms, universal income, and democracy at work.
#14461037
Nobody doubts that the minimization of unpleasant activities via technological progress is desirable. Unfortunately, it's pretty (e)utopian to assume technology is going to do away with all kinds of disempowering, dehumanizing, intrinsically less rewarding or less interesting activities in the next two weeks. As a matter of fact, it's quasi-religious.

In light of this, a better distribution of the workload is needed.
#14461163
A technocracy is all about efficiency. We must have the best man to fill each relative position. The workload would be so small anyways (roughly 4 hours a day, 4 days a week), that people could engage in various activity that interested them enough anyways. People would have lots of time to pursue interests that suited them. And if at any point they became skilled enough at a certain passion, they could certainly jump into that field.

In a technate we wouldnt force anybody to stay in one career field, nor would we force them to jump around... Atleast not in my understanding of it.
#14461184
Obviously, you don't seriously believe that yourself. Otherwise, you wouldn't have asked what to do about "jobs people don't want to do". (If it were all about efficiency, you'd just force/brainwash the perfect candidate to do crap she/he doesn't like. This suggests to me that there are also other things you value.)

You're apparently quite aware of this problematic tension between efficiency on the one hand and the effective satisfaction of people's preferences on the other.

(And you also seem to realize that your immigration proposal is a quite suboptimal solution.)
---

I might also want to add that the abolition of the social division of labor might actually boost morale(/solidarity) and therefore productivity since everyone would be entitled to an appropriate share of empowering and inherently rewarding/satisfying work.
#14461205
emmitt wrote:Obviously, you don't seriously believe that yourself. Otherwise, you wouldn't have asked what to do about "jobs people don't want to do". (If it were all about efficiency, you'd just force/brainwash the perfect candidate to do crap she/he doesn't like. This suggests to me that there are also other things you value.)

You're apparently quite aware of this problematic tension between efficiency on the one hand and the effective satisfaction of people's preferences on the other.

(And you also seem to realize that your immigration proposal is a quite suboptimal solution.)
---

I might also want to add that the abolition of the social division of labor might actually boost morale(/solidarity) and therefore productivity since everyone would be entitled to an appropriate share of empowering and inherently rewarding/satisfying work.


It is all about efficiency. Naturally people of all sorts of predispositions and backgrounds will fall into various fields, and various interests. We don't need to brainwash anybody, and claiming that, as if that's the best solution for efficiency is a huge fallacy.

I'm certainly aware of the tension between satisfaction/efficiency primarily because of the price system that exists today. In our system, an abolition of social division of labor (whatever that even implies), would be pretty cool. In a technocracy however, we ensuring a VERY high standard of living for all, and are operating a complex, high technological operation, that requires technical professionals on each and every level.

I realize the immigration proposal would appear cruel from certain perspectives... But again, we would be offering immigrants our same high standard of living, and hopefully they'd jump into work they liked doing in the first place anyways.... I bring up this proposal as a question to perhaps find more ideal solutions if I can.

You theory on eliminating the social division of labor is super interesting, and I'm down with that train of thought. But only within the preexisting system. In a technocracy, not only is it not necessary to eliminate the social division of labor, but the whole theory is an opinion in the first place. Your thoughts exist in the realm of subjective values. Technocracy doesn't deal with anything that is not objective.

Also, how do you go about eliminating the social division of labor? It doesn't seem necessary to force that, when people can jump into any field of interest they want.
#14461246
emmitt wrote:Nobody doubts that the minimization of unpleasant activities via technological progress is desirable. Unfortunately, it's pretty (e)utopian to assume technology is going to do away with all kinds of disempowering, dehumanizing, intrinsically less rewarding or less interesting activities in the next two weeks. As a matter of fact, it's quasi-religious.

Societal changes are one thing. They're always slow, whether you want to redistribute the unpleasant jobs or to leverage automation to provide a greater social justice.

But on the technological side many jobs are going to disappear quickly, as soon as the five or ten next few years. And this will quickly include skilled jobs. I do not expect us to still have surgeons, plumbers or fruit gatherers by 2050, and I expect that by that time lawyers and physicians will have been mostly replaced by people with a small technical baggage but good social qualities.

Also, please note that I know a plumber that is quite jealous of my position. His sadistic nature would certainly love to see me does his job. But on the other hand even if he was able to do my job he would hate doing it because my job involves walking in circle for some hours trying to solve logical puzzles. Few people have the nerves for this and this attraction towards abstraction. The point is that you will make me unhappy but you will not make him happy.

The point is that not all of us have the same interests, that people desire jobs that match their hobbies and those jobs have a very small demand anyway, or tend to not desire any job, or only a few hours a week. My point is that you cannot redistribute the work the way you meant it and that redistributing it would not do yield the expected satisfaction anyway. In the same vein I think that most of the problems you're trying to address are rather related to authority and submission, and again this is another topic that would not be addressed by your forced labor.
#14461365
I'm not going to address the rampant, quasi-religious belief in the salvational nature of technology since I think it's childish.

The point is that you will make me unhappy but you will not make him happy.

Nope. That's not the point at all. The point's to develop everybody's potential by preventing her/his marginalization which is the ultimate result of the social division of labor.

The point is that not all of us have the same interests, that people desire jobs that match their hobbies and those jobs have a very small demand anyway, or tend to not desire any job, or only a few hours a week. My point is that you cannot redistribute the work the way you meant it and that redistributing it would not do yield the expected satisfaction anyway.


You're basically just saying that you'd hate to give up even one of your privileges.
#14461404
emmitt wrote:I'm not going to address the rampant, quasi-religious belief in the salvational nature of technology since I think it's childish.

How did we fix hunger?
How did we transition from 80h a week to (in my country) 35h a week with 5 weeks a year of vacation?
How did we make resource extraction and many other jobs far less harder and better for the health?

Technological changes alone are nothing. But they provide the greater lever for societal changes. The technologies I am talking about are already available for some of them, some are already being marketed (like robots who can mimic any task you show them), others will soon be. How long will it take in comparison to convince enough people to seize the power through force and instigate your proletariat dictatorship?

The point's to develop everybody's potential by preventing her/his marginalization which is the ultimate result of the social division of labor.

Once you take into account the lack of "good" jobs (1/3), remove all of those that no one can do but those who already do them (1/3 * 1/5), and all of those jobs that people do not like in the end (because I know masons who prefer to be outside that within a bureau thinking how to see ice cream), the result would be greatly disappointing.

You're basically just saying that you'd hate to give up even one of your privileges.

No, what I said is that many people consider my position as enviable and yet few would like to do what I do (even if they could - and they cannot).

It is sad that you refuse to understand what I am saying because of your prejudices. Anyway I am not concerned by your idea: it will never come to fruition and even if it were in some dystopia I would just escape to another country. Therefore I have no reason to lie. Besides I could question you own interests.
#14461414
1) I already said that "[n]obody doubts that the minimization of unpleasant activities via technological progress is desirable."

2) You still think that the functional division of labor would be abolished.

3) You still think that everybody would be expected to engage in a wide variety of skilled activities.
#14461419
emmitt wrote:1) I already said that "[n]obody doubts that the minimization of unpleasant activities via technological progress is desirable."

But you think it will not happen before your proletariat dictatorship. This is this point that I addressed.

2) You still think that the functional division of labor would be abolished.

Of course not since I assumed that good and bad jobs would still exist.

3) You still think that everybody would be expected to engage in a wide variety of skilled activities.

Of course not since I excluded in my computation the four fifths of skilled jobs among enviable jobs. Which leaves 1/15th of jobs that people could share.
#14461435
Yes, I don't think technological progress will help us in any substantial way right now or in the near future.

Of course not since I assumed that good and bad jobs would still exist.

Eh, what?

Of course not since I excluded in my computation the four fifths of skilled jobs among enviable jobs. Which leaves 1/15th of jobs that people could share.

I said "activities". You said "jobs".

Child-rearing is an activity that's often not remunerated nor appreciated. Once child-rearing is done communally, this activity will have to be shared. Elderly care will have to be communalized as well. Everybody's going to do this kind of stuff. It won't be primarily women who are actually doing most of this (either privately or professionally) right now.

The category of administering, directing and planning will have to be more inclusive as well. The same is true of creative activities. These things are all monopolized at the moment. A more participatory approach will have to be utilized.

And no, voluntaryism is not enough. It would only help perpetuate today's social stratification.
#14461451
emmitt wrote:Yes, I don't think technological progress will help us in any substantial way right now or in the near future.

They substantially helped us in the past and are going to make half of jobs unneeded in a near future and yet they will not substantially help?

Child-rearing is an activity that's often not remunerated nor appreciated. Once child-rearing is done communally, this activity will have to be shared. Elderly care will have to be communalized as well. Everybody's going to do this kind of stuff. It won't be primarily women who are actually doing most of this (either privately or professionally) right now.

I understand the logic but face it: we currently have 20% of real unemployment (taking into account people who're stuck with part-time jobs while they would want a full one, those who are early retired or deemed as socially handicapped, those who are unaccounted because they're out of the system or in jail, etc). Soon enough we will have 40%. And now you want to equally share the workload of elderly care between they and me who work 80h a week?! While at the same time I will still have to provide them with 50% of my income in order to finance universal income and public services?!

Is it really fair?

The only solution for this to work is to alleviate my workload. But since you cannot share it, it means less automation and productivity. Which in turn will increase the need of unskilled and ingrate work.

The category of administering, directing and planning will have to be more inclusive as well.

I do agree on this however. We need to extend democracy, both intensively (better democracies) and extensively (to include the professional sphere). Those are the professional activities that can be shared, although they will not weigh much on the total work time (there are few managers per employee). Note however that many employees hate doing this kind of executive stuff and many employees are not willing to go out of their comfort zone even against a financial compensation ; I have a direct experience of this with technical teams who were asked to take over a part of the decision and executive process. The latter requires more social interactions and many techies dislike it for example. You can distinguish spheres of preferences: manual work, abstract reasoning, social interactions, organization, outdoors, indoors, etc.


The same is true of creative activities. These things are all monopolized at the moment. A more participatory approach will have to be utilized.

They're not monopolized. However:
a) There is a lot more offer than demand.

b) People wants the graphist/composer who made this specific piece. Or this guy who has this very good portfolio. Not random graphist #154684861 or random composer #484464231. Everyone today is exposed on the web, those are the professional and individual consumers who willingly select the same guys. Are you going to remove the freedom to choose to who you entrust a work? More generally, are you going to administratively distribute employees to enterprises rather than let them select who they want to work with? Will you also empty museums of their masterpieces to put random pieces taken from deviantart instead?

c) Anyway only a small fraction of the population has creative skills. This is a skilled activity. But better softwares and AI will help on this point.
#14461465
They substantially helped us in the past and are going to make half of jobs unneeded in a near future and yet they will not substantially help?

I'm not going to argue over semantics here. You obviously mean something else by "near future". Robots are not going to take over child-rearing and elderly care in the next two years (=in the near future).

I understand the logic but face it: we currently have 20% of real unemployment (taking into account people who're stuck with part-time jobs while they would want a full one, those who are early retired or deemed as socially handicapped, those who are unaccounted because they're out of the system or in jail, etc). Soon enough we will have 40%. And now you want to equally share the workload of elderly care between they and me who work 80h a week?! While at the same time I will still have to provide them with 50% of my income in order to finance universal income and public services?!

No, I'm not just interested in abolishing the social division of labor. I'm really not that much of a single-issue guy.

Unemployment could easily be taken care of by creating a job guarantee (JG) which would improve both wages and the employment situation. It would also function as a minimum wage since you would be guaranteed to get a new job if you think you're underpaid at the moment. A JG is also preferable to a traditional minimum wage since it doesn't take a police force to enforce it.


Anyway only a small fraction of the population has creative skills.

Yes, thanks to the social division of labor which results in the stifling of creativity.
A lot of creativity isn't really made possible at the moment since people can't afford to be creative.
#14461786
emmitt wrote:You obviously mean something else by "near future". Robots are not going to take over child-rearing and elderly care in the next two years (=in the near future).

Indeed, those social jobs will not be taken soon. However many other jobs will be, such as most production and logistics work.

Unemployment could easily be taken care of by creating a job guarantee (JG) which would improve both wages and the employment situation. It would also function as a minimum wage since you would be guaranteed to get a new job if you think you're underpaid at the moment. A JG is also preferable to a traditional minimum wage since it doesn't take a police force to enforce it.

The Job Guarantee assumes that unemployment is temporary and results from crises, it is a way to smooth out unemployment peaks.

But it cannot be used as a way to address structural unemployment. What we're seeing is a lack of demand for the unskilled labor. So what you going to make them do? Build stuff that no one will use? And besides of that you want to take the workers we need the most and force them to take over a share of the unskilled labor?! No wonder that communism failed.

Afaik there are only few ways to address this unbalance of work:
* Spread the work. But you will have hordes of people working 10h a week and others working 60h a week, how will you address that?
* Domestication: strengthen wages inequalities and turn the unemployed ones into domestics who will open the doors, press the lift's buttons, etc. This is the current American way.
* Universal income and post-capitalism: everyone gets an income without doing anything. People can freely work for non-profitable or not-for-profit, public or private, activities. Those whose skills are in demand stay in a old-fashion and structured models. The difficulty is to marry both models (especially is the latter one is still capitalist) and provide strong enough incentives for the latter.

In all cases a better education model is needed.
#14461800
Harmattan wrote:Indeed, those social jobs will not be taken soon.



The Job Guarantee assumes that unemployment is temporary and results from crises, it is a way to smooth out unemployment peaks.

The JG is primarily supposed to create full employment and price stability.

But it cannot be used as a way to address structural unemployment. What we're seeing is a lack of demand for the unskilled labor.

The point of the JG is the stimulation of aggregate demand. The JG could either be decentralized or centralized, autocratic or participatory. If you opt for the participatory variety, people could decide what to do. Nonprofits and charities could be invited to offer individuals work on projects in the neighborhood. There are a lot of communities that need help so you can't really argue there's nothing left to do. There is stuff to do but there's also this weird idea that we don't have any money to do something about actually existing societal ills.

As part of the job, the workers could be trained to get new skills which will help them get work experience. This should fundamentally improve their chances of getting a job in the private sector.

Universal income and post-capitalism: everyone gets an income without doing anything. People can freely work for non-profitable or not-for-profit, public or private, activities. Those whose skills are in demand stay in a old-fashion and structured models. The difficulty is to marry both models (especially is the latter one is still capitalist) and provide strong enough incentives for the latter.

A basic income would be useful to increase aggregate spending but it's definitely not superior to the JG. A basic income will probably worsen the situation of drug addicts who shouldn't be given money to finance their drug addiction. Moreover, work can be inherently good since it is beneficial in terms of social inclusion and confidence-building.

I won't even address other problems of the basic income (the problem of increased immigration, the potential problem of inflation, the pernicious effects of unemployment on your employability).

(A social dividend might turn out to be useful both to mitigate socioeconomic inequalities and to supplement low wages and unemployment benefits. Remember, nobody's forced to take a job as part of the JG.)
#14462093
emmitt wrote:The point of the JG is the stimulation of aggregate demand.

Even so it does not change the structure of the demand while the demand for unskilled manpower in logistics and production is heading towards zero. And zero times any stimulation multiplier is still zero.

It's like production and logistics already enjoy (will soon enjoy) infinite unskilled manpower. The things that are left contended for them are (will soon be) the scarcity of resources and energy, talents at the conception and executive stages, physical properties (land especially) and intellectual properties. There is no room for unskilled labor.

At best you would create a few more salesmen and little hands, but this will not amount to much. However you will increase the pressure over the jobs already in strong demand. In the same extent than an universal income though.

There are a lot of communities that need help so you can't really argue there's nothing left to do.

Sure, but since the part about the virtuous circle does not hold, JG just becomes your good old public action. In the end you're just increasing the number of public jobs by increasing taxes until no one is left unemployed against his will.

A basic income would be useful to increase aggregate spending but it's definitely not superior to the JG.

Actually both are pretty equivalent since most people under an universal income would choose to work. But they would work on their own terms with self-organization, using their own judgment to arbiter the allocation of their work (a form of arbitration for problems that are today satisfied by financial balancing). Which is pretty much equivalent to how decentralized corporations would operate in a non-capitalist economy as far as I understand it (a model that encompasses decentralized JG activities).

The only real difference in the end is that with an universal income those who are currently not interested at all by one form of work or another could choose to not work.
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