"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

-Jonas Salk

Friday, July 8, 2011

Employment infographics.

This one's different. Here's a couple of graphs that came out today.

US employment compared to other recessions:

Fastest growing and fastest shrinking categories below. "Other Information Services" includes “publishing and/or broadcasting content exclusively on the Internet”.

Bodes ill for America, but nicely for Texas, don't it? Well, for a few years, anyway. (Where would we be without fracking? And where will we be once we're all fracked out?)

Does anyone seriously those yahoos in the other party could do better? I seriously doubt it - they're the ones that kicked us off the cliff in the first place, remember?

Growth is over, I think. Back to the drawing board.


manuel moe g said...

Are you serious about going back to the drawing board? I remember you mildly chastising me for getting too "Star Trek: The Next Generation" in my dreams for how a better world might function.

I had a shock recently while reading Steven Pressfield's "Do The Work" (electronic copy free on Kindle, I buy paper because I need my books to survive the upcoming apocalypse ;-). There he said that the Fascists, Communists, and Physiologists were guilty of the horrific fantasy of man and society being perfectible -- horrific in actual body-count or potential shackling of human spirit.

> “I blame Communism. I blame Fascism. I blame psychotherapy. ... They all preached that human nature was perfectible and that, thereby, evil could be overcome.”

It shocked me because it forced me to reconsider my views. I have to admit that Edmund Burke got a lot right.

[What Burke got wrong was the real possibility of a ruling class becoming twits, becoming degraded - how can you tie a splint onto a beam made spongy by termites? But revolution is a last, worst hope.]

So, what is freshly sketched upon your drawing board?

byron smith said...

The mining stats are really quite depressing - direct evidence for the claim that the "recovery" really just means "accelerated ecological decline".

susan said...

Last time I looked at jobs, I saw a lot of growth in health care, particularly at the lowest level, a group I work with a lot (home health aides). Service professions are missing here.

Nonetheless, I agree this is a very sad picture, and American Exceptionalism is leading us down a very dangerous trail. Wealth for the rich, and f*** the rest of us.

Michael Tobis said...

I'm no architect of a new civilization, dude, I am just asking a few questions.

A big question is, is full employment a reasonable policy goal? Under what circumstances might that not be the case? Are we in them?

Is it relevant that any net carbon emission at all is counterproductive? Is it relevant that an enormous amount of capital is tied up in storage lockers doing nothing? Is it relevant that "everything is amazing and nobody is happy"?

If we have enough stuff sitting around in lockers, and the more work some of us do we do the less food there is, the point of most of us working was what again? Remind me, 'cause I thought the reason we started working in the first place was we would get more food.

So, if full employment is the wrong goal, now what? I'm not saying I know the answer. I just wish people would move on to the right question eventually.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Not Texas, North Dakota! I have a friend who is in a conundrum because he joined a company which did not drill in ND. Now he is on well #4 out of 200. He signed up because the company was drilling geothermal wells in Napa. Being sent out to some godforsaken place north of Hwy. 2 in ND has him bummed, but he's making so much money doing it...

Michael Tobis said...

Susan, the health care sector has expanded by about 30% over the decade, which is fast but not fast enough to put it on the graph if last year's growth was representative of that.

Anonymous said...

I've been holding off discussing your employment question because I actually do have some advanced thoughts about this, although the thoughts aren't particularly useful, as they are somewhat radical (like Moe).

Most of my thoughts are about the future of automation, energy depletion, and the Keynesian "ditch digging" theory. I draw heavily on M. King Hubbert. His 'peak' theories are outdated (I love outdated political literature, as I am more of a collector of ideological ideas than an ideologue) now, but where he becomes useful is learning how to maintain energy consumption, increased automation, societal wealth, growth, and progression while having little fossil fuel and automated employment.

Interested parties should start with the Technocracy Study Course. Remember, totally outdated, but 'big picture-wise', useful in theory. Turn to page 100 and look at growth graphs for different energy scenarios.

Anonymous said...

A much easier document to explore these ideas


"A non-catastrophic solution is impossible, Hubbert feels, unless society is made stable. This means abandoning two axioms of our culture . . . the work ethic and the idea that growth is the normal state of affairs. Hubbert challenges the latter mathematically and concludes the exponential growth of the last two centuries is the opposite of the normal situation."

He really was a heretic!

Educator Fran said...

Almost two-thirds -- 64 percent -- of companies with income of $25 million or less do not plan to hire more workers over the next year, the poll conducted for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said. That's staggering. Have these companies learned to do more with less?

Nineteen percent said they planned to add new employees, but only 12 percent said they expected to lose workers in the next year. That figure is well below the 29 percent who said they lost employees over the past year, according to the survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the Chamber.

Sources: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/11/us-usa-jobs-smallbusinesses-idUSTRE76A5TY20110711?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews
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