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opebo
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« Reply #50 on: August 15, 2011, 12:49:29 pm »
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IC.  Well, the solution of course, is to just ship your jobs overseas that are hourly, and for salary earners, well they won't keep time sheets. I assume it would be illegal of course to hold two jobs as well. Probably most corporate headquarters and E suite folks, will have to move to England or Canada or something. Hollyweird will have to leave too. Those folks work crazy hours. 

'Solution'?  No, your confused - the problem for which we are seeking a solution is a depression caused by lack of demand, excessive inequality, and inadequate leisure.  If you just want to break the law, that's hardly an argument against the law.  We'll just have to find a way to stop you. 

In the first place, no more 'free trade' in my world, so 'shipping jobs overseas' is right out.  As for your white-collar crimes - we'll just have to keep investigating you in great detail every step of the way.  It is good economics and creates employment anyway. 
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« Reply #51 on: August 15, 2011, 12:55:29 pm »
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Define 'serf'.

It was obviously a rhetorical flourish, Al, but the essential point is I think valid - that the modern wage-slave has a rough equivalency in terms of 'freedom' to the medieval serf, and that the claims to the contrary we constantly hear from the Right are mostly deceptive and blatantly self-serving.

What do you know about Mediaeval serfdom?
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« Reply #52 on: August 15, 2011, 12:55:42 pm »
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Do you remember that movie about climate change, The Day After or something, where hordes of folks were trying to cross the Rio Grande going south due to the US becoming a "bad place" Opebo?

 I am going to assume that your wet kiss of totalitarianism immediately above was just performance art on your part.
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opebo
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« Reply #53 on: August 15, 2011, 01:08:06 pm »
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What do you know about Mediaeval serfdom?

Apparently more than you know about making an argument.  You can't expect people to chat with you, Al, if you're too lazy to actually post anything.
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« Reply #54 on: August 15, 2011, 01:48:41 pm »
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I am going to assume that your wet kiss of totalitarianism immediately above was just performance art on your part.

Not at all.  Tory, your class is currently in charge of a totalitarianism - naturally you dread being removed from power.
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« Reply #55 on: August 15, 2011, 01:55:20 pm »
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I am going to assume that your wet kiss of totalitarianism immediately above was just performance art on your part.

Not at all.  Tory, your class is currently in charge of a totalitarianism - naturally you dread being removed from power.

Tory, Torrie, Torry, and so forth. Is my "name" that hard for you to spell opebo?  I mean, you claim to be sober most of the time, so what is your excuse?  Use "Steve" if my screen name is too much of a challenge for you.

I don't dread anything opebo, not even death. Have a nice day.
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« Reply #56 on: August 15, 2011, 02:01:40 pm »
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many subsistence economies long before our industrial or even civilized age(s) began had "work weeks" much shorter than 40 hours.  of course back then "work" and "life" were not separate spheres.

That is of course true. But what is to be done about it?

Thing is, no one actually wants to spend their winters shacked up with their relatives in a state of semi-hibernation. As was common in some places as recently as the first half of the nineteenth century, of course. Because that's the sort of thing that's the trade-off for hardly working most of the year (with brief periods of extreme activity). So even if you could do anything about, who would actually want to?

I'm not married but if I ever do get married I can see how work would be a great place to hang out for about 8 hrs a day.  Cooped up in a suburban McMansion with a woman and children for days on end?!  Errr... no thanks.
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« Reply #57 on: August 15, 2011, 04:50:56 pm »
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Not at all.  Tory, your class is currently in charge of a totalitarianism - naturally you dread being removed from power.

Tory, Torrie, Torry, and so forth. Is my "name" that hard for you to spell opebo?  I mean, you claim to be sober most of the time, so what is your excuse?  Use "Steve" if my screen name is too much of a challenge for you.

I don't dread anything opebo, not even death. Have a nice day.

I honestly didn't mean to be 'personal' - I didn't mean you literally dread, but rather that the right-wing argument that socialism is a totalitarianism fails to recognize the same when it is on the other foot (capitalism).  Thus, the right-wing 'dreads' this reversal and calls it totalitarianism, while closing their eyes to the fact that for the poor capitalism is a prison.

I often use rhetoric meant to be interesting and communicative, and forget that it might be offensive or irritating.  As for the misspelling, well as you know I'm very prone to that - even more so with other poster's names than yours.

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« Reply #58 on: August 16, 2011, 07:38:27 am »
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I'm confused - if you have cut supply in half, how will you increase demand? In fact, in general, how will the overall welfare of society not be drastically reduced if we only produce half as much?

And will your favourite prostitutes also have the choice of working only 20 hours a week? Or are these rights not for those damn women?
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« Reply #59 on: August 16, 2011, 12:07:02 pm »
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I'm confused - if you have cut supply in half, how will you increase demand? In fact, in general, how will the overall welfare of society not be drastically reduced if we only produce half as much?

Production would increase, Gustaf, and unemployment be eliminated.

And will your favourite prostitutes also have the choice of working only 20 hours a week? Or are these rights not for those damn women?

Oh good lord man, they obviously work far less than 20 hours a week. 
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« Reply #60 on: August 16, 2011, 05:14:53 pm »
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I'm confused - if you have cut supply in half, how will you increase demand? In fact, in general, how will the overall welfare of society not be drastically reduced if we only produce half as much?

Production would increase, Gustaf, and unemployment be eliminated.

And will your favourite prostitutes also have the choice of working only 20 hours a week? Or are these rights not for those damn women?

Oh good lord man, they obviously work far less than 20 hours a week. 

So...you think everyone working half as much as before will not lead to half as much being produced. That's interesting. How is that to come about exactly? (And of course unemployment would not be eliminated, but that's another issue)

And I apologize for the bit about prostitutes. What you say might be true for those high-end prostitutes rich colonialists like you employ. I forgot that you don't really mix with the lower classes that much. 
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« Reply #61 on: August 17, 2011, 11:57:24 am »
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So...you think everyone working half as much as before will not lead to half as much being produced. That's interesting. How is that to come about exactly? (And of course unemployment would not be eliminated, but that's another issue)

Gustaf, our problem at present is far, far too much productive capacity and far too little consumption - hence unemployment and deflation.  Most work that people do is 'busy work' which could easily be eliminated anyway - and increasing the cost of labor is the way that we incentivize 'business' to invest.  For example by using robots, more machinery, etc.

I do hope you understand that my critique is of the fact that the work-week has not been decreased from 40 weeks (in the 1930s) to 20 weeks (at present) by gradual increments, to reflect and deal with the concurrent productivity increases (as well as encourage even greate such increases).  I have never proposed that in one day it be altered so drastically. 
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« Reply #62 on: August 18, 2011, 05:40:00 am »
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So...you think everyone working half as much as before will not lead to half as much being produced. That's interesting. How is that to come about exactly? (And of course unemployment would not be eliminated, but that's another issue)

Gustaf, our problem at present is far, far too much productive capacity and far too little consumption - hence unemployment and deflation.  Most work that people do is 'busy work' which could easily be eliminated anyway - and increasing the cost of labor is the way that we incentivize 'business' to invest.  For example by using robots, more machinery, etc.

I do hope you understand that my critique is of the fact that the work-week has not been decreased from 40 weeks (in the 1930s) to 20 weeks (at present) by gradual increments, to reflect and deal with the concurrent productivity increases (as well as encourage even greate such increases).  I have never proposed that in one day it be altered so drastically. 

How could I know the details of your craziness? That's like expecting me to understand which castle in France a mental patient thinking she is Marie Antionette claims to be currently residing in.

So, if I read you correctly you think that half of the current work has 0 productivity? Why then is it even done? There seems to be no clear gain for either employers or employees from people hanging around the office without getting anything done.

And it's nice that you want to further hurt the working-class by making their work redundant.
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« Reply #63 on: August 18, 2011, 06:55:21 am »
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gradual increments

How could I know the details.

Gustaf, there's no need to be so rude.  The concept of gradualism in economic reform is so universal as to almost go without saying.  We all assume some basic common sense or simple economic background in our interlocutors, and I've done the same in your case.  Please try to make good arguments and cease with the lazy straw-manning.

So, if I read you correctly you think that half of the current work has 0 productivity? Why then is it even done? There seems to be no clear gain for either employers or employees from people hanging around the office without getting anything done.

In practice of course your first sentence is an exaggeration, but there is a great deal of truth there as well.  I can confirm, as I think most of us can, that in our offices, about half of the time actually spent there is on face-book, playing computer games, etc.  A good deal of the 'inefficient' behavior in offices comes from the fact that our weekends are far too short (absurdly short really - what's the point of just two days off?  You can't really go on a proper holiday).

You have to remember that had we had a proper diminishment of the working-week over the last 60 years from 40 hours to 20 hours, productivity would be far higher due to greater incentivization of investment in measures and technologies to increase same.

And it's nice that you want to further hurt the working-class by making their work redundant.

Another straw man!  I want to mandate for them a gradually ever-shorter working week while maintaining (or if possible gradually increasing) their income.  This doesn't 'make their work redundant'.
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« Reply #64 on: August 18, 2011, 07:08:51 am »
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gradual increments

How could I know the details.

Gustaf, there's no need to be so rude.  The concept of gradualism in economic reform is so universal as to almost go without saying.  We all assume some basic common sense or simple economic background in our interlocutors, and I've done the same in your case.  Please try to make good arguments and cease with the lazy straw-manning.

So, if I read you correctly you think that half of the current work has 0 productivity? Why then is it even done? There seems to be no clear gain for either employers or employees from people hanging around the office without getting anything done.

In practice of course your first sentence is an exaggeration, but there is a great deal of truth there as well.  I can confirm, as I think most of us can, that in our offices, about half of the time actually spent there is on face-book, playing computer games, etc.  A good deal of the 'inefficient' behavior in offices comes from the fact that our weekends are far too short (absurdly short really - what's the point of just two days off?  You can't really go on a proper holiday).

You have to remember that had we had a proper diminishment of the working-week over the last 60 years from 40 hours to 20 hours, productivity would be far higher due to greater incentivization of investment in measures and technologies to increase same.

And it's nice that you want to further hurt the working-class by making their work redundant.

Another straw man!  I want to mandate for them a gradually ever-shorter working week while maintaining (or if possible gradually increasing) their income.  This doesn't 'make their work redundant'.

It's amusing how you assume that everyone works in an office. Of course, plenty of workers don't have the kind of job where they can surf away at Facebook. If you're driving a truck or operating a fork-lift or performing brain surgery there will be a lot less time wasted. And of course your assertion about office workers, yet to be backed by any evidence, is certainly not true for a great many office workers as well (say phone salesmen).

Furthermore, the incentive to increase productivity would be rather strong regardless. In fact, possibly more so - a given increase in productivity would only generate half as much production and revenue under a 20 hour workweek.

Also, you ignore fixed time costs involved in working. Or the costs in education and training involved in having to keep multiple staff. Then you have informational costs involved in having to coordinate people. And, finally, human capital loss that follows from working too little.
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« Reply #65 on: August 18, 2011, 07:15:10 am »
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Also, you ignore fixed time costs involved in working. Or the costs in education and training involved in having to keep multiple staff. Then you have informational costs involved in having to coordinate people. And, finally, human capital loss that follows from working too little.

But all of your arguments militate for a 60 or 80 hour work week just as much as they do for not decreasing it from 40 to 20, Gustaf.  Why not increase it?  (and of course we have in practice been increasing it ruthlessly since the advent of the neo-liberal era).
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« Reply #66 on: August 18, 2011, 07:18:57 am »
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Also, you ignore fixed time costs involved in working. Or the costs in education and training involved in having to keep multiple staff. Then you have informational costs involved in having to coordinate people. And, finally, human capital loss that follows from working too little.

But all of your arguments militate for a 60 or 80 hour work week just as much as they do for not decreasing it from 40 to 20, Gustaf.  Why not increase it?  (and of course we have in practice been increasing it ruthlessly since the advent of the neo-liberal era).

Eh...no. There is also fatigue that sets in if the week is too long as well as a simple decrease in marginal utility from leisure which makes it less worthwhile for people to give up another 10 hours of leisure if they are already having preciously little of it.

This also varies from profession to profession. Consultants and bankers for instance have to work 60-80 hours per week, largely because so much of their work requires human capital specific to the individual.

All of the above is why my first post said there was a reason we have a 40 hour week. It is the week that strikes the roughly correct balance between these different effects.

And, of course, I do not want the week to be a certain length. I want people to decide on the market how much they want to work, instead of forcing them to abide by some arbitrary rule set by you.
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« Reply #67 on: August 18, 2011, 09:30:17 am »
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Eh...no. There is also fatigue that sets in if the week is too long as well as a simple decrease in marginal utility from leisure which makes it less worthwhile for people to give up another 10 hours of leisure if they are already having preciously little of it.

So it is merely a matter of preference and degree.  I find that for myself, 20 hours is the maximum I can toil without experiencing the sufferings of the damned, and given the profound and pervasive dissatisfaction in modern society, and the near universal hatred of 'ones job' (not to mention many a pop song which idealizes and longs for 'the weekend'), I can way with confidence that I am not alone in abhorring the 40 hour week.

All of the above is why my first post said there was a reason we have a 40 hour week. It is the week that strikes the roughly correct balance between these different effects.

Perhaps, but only for the purpose of maximizing the amount of production which can be extracted from the worker (a dubious purpose to say the least, and one which serves only the interests of the empowered, namely the owner, and, after all, completely neglects the equally important demand side of the economic equation).

And, of course, I do not want the week to be a certain length. I want people to decide on the market how much they want to work, instead of forcing them to abide by some arbitrary rule set by you.

Obviously the 'choice' you imagine is unrealistic - they must work however long the employer forces them to work for the subsistence level wage.  The only way for powerless people  (workers) to alter their working week would be through political change which removes some of the power from their employers and relocates it to the worker.

Nothing about my proposal 'forces' workers to do anything - it would merely abolish the current system, which forces workers in most jobs to work at least 40 hours.
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« Reply #68 on: August 18, 2011, 09:57:03 am »
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Eh...no. There is also fatigue that sets in if the week is too long as well as a simple decrease in marginal utility from leisure which makes it less worthwhile for people to give up another 10 hours of leisure if they are already having preciously little of it.

So it is merely a matter of preference and degree.  I find that for myself, 20 hours is the maximum I can toil without experiencing the sufferings of the damned, and given the profound and pervasive dissatisfaction in modern society, and the near universal hatred of 'ones job' (not to mention many a pop song which idealizes and longs for 'the weekend'), I can way with confidence that I am not alone in abhorring the 40 hour week.

All of the above is why my first post said there was a reason we have a 40 hour week. It is the week that strikes the roughly correct balance between these different effects.

Perhaps, but only for the purpose of maximizing the amount of production which can be extracted from the worker (a dubious purpose to say the least, and one which serves only the interests of the empowered, namely the owner, and, after all, completely neglects the equally important demand side of the economic equation).

And, of course, I do not want the week to be a certain length. I want people to decide on the market how much they want to work, instead of forcing them to abide by some arbitrary rule set by you.

Obviously the 'choice' you imagine is unrealistic - they must work however long the employer forces them to work for the subsistence level wage.  The only way for powerless people  (workers) to alter their working week would be through political change which removes some of the power from their employers and relocates it to the worker.

Nothing about my proposal 'forces' workers to do anything - it would merely abolish the current system, which forces workers in most jobs to work at least 40 hours.

All this job hatred and dissatisfaction you're talking about is just a sad projection. Most people I know are quite happy and enjoy their work.

And, of course, it's not about maximizing the production. Since workers tend to be paid their marginal productivity it's about where they think the value of an hour of leisure is equal to the value of what they could produce in that hour (=to what they would be able to buy with it). Subject to the above constraints that I mentioned.

And you seem to have no idea how real work-life functions. People aren't forced to do much of anything (excepting people like prostitutes of course).

I'm still unclear on where the resources come from in this society. You want half as much to be produced and yet expect demand to sky-rocket? How will that work exactly?
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« Reply #69 on: August 18, 2011, 10:11:46 am »
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And you seem to have no idea how real work-life functions. People aren't forced to do much of anything (excepting people like prostitutes of course).

Everyone must toil or starve to death, Gustaf, except for the rich.

I'm still unclear on where the resources come from in this society. You want half as much to be produced and yet expect demand to sky-rocket? How will that work exactly?

Its called a good economy, Gustaf.  I understand at your age you've never seen real economic growth, but I can tell you it once existed, back in the seventies.
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« Reply #70 on: August 18, 2011, 02:43:43 pm »
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And you seem to have no idea how real work-life functions. People aren't forced to do much of anything (excepting people like prostitutes of course).

Everyone must toil or starve to death, Gustaf, except for the rich.

I'm still unclear on where the resources come from in this society. You want half as much to be produced and yet expect demand to sky-rocket? How will that work exactly?

Its called a good economy, Gustaf.  I understand at your age you've never seen real economic growth, but I can tell you it once existed, back in the seventies.
[/quote]

Sweden has had very good GDP growth during most of my life time, so that's not correct. I see you have to resort to vague mumbo-jumbo so I take it you've given up this silly debate.
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« Reply #71 on: August 25, 2011, 02:26:54 am »
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"The purpose of production is consumption."

- Adam Smith

Guess what: If you produce half as much stuff, you can only consume half as much stuff (in the long-run).

A much better proposition is switching the standard work week from five days of eight hour shifts to four days of ten hour shifts. That could potentially boost productivity among individuals (people may be more productive doing forty hours spread over four days with three days of leisure at the end of the week being a huge motivation) while cutting unproductive costs for all involved (e.g., less space required in office due to staggering of shifts which implies lower energy costs, less driving to and from work for individual workers, and many, many more examples I am sure).
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« Reply #72 on: August 25, 2011, 02:35:36 am »
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By the way, some folks on here are espousing socialist/communist ideas. My questions to them:
 
When did you last visit a DMV?
How about a public toilet?
Do you think public toilets are better than the private toilet you access on a daily basis?

Do you really want most everything to be publicly owned with politicians and bureaucrats in charge?
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« Reply #73 on: August 25, 2011, 08:47:12 am »
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By the way, some folks on here are espousing socialist/communist ideas.

My pearls! My pearls! I must clutch my pearls!
 
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When did you last visit a DMV?

I don't have a car (or a driving licence) and am not an American, so... never.

Quote
How about a public toilet?

Don't you think that's a bit of an odd question to ask random strangers? Are you from the 1950s and on hunt for cottagers in order to prosecute them? In which case I'm going to have to disappoint you; I'm not really into that type of thing.

Quote
Do you think public toilets are better than the private toilet you access on a daily basis?

That may just be an even stranger question. So strange, actually, that I have no sneering come-back line ready to throw at it. Bizarre. Are you on ketamine?

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Do you really want most everything to be publicly owned with politicians and bureaucrats in charge?

Absolutely!
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« Reply #74 on: August 25, 2011, 12:08:26 pm »
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By the way, some folks on here are espousing socialist/communist ideas. My questions to them:
 
When did you last visit a DMV?

I've visited them here in Thailand within the last year, and at the USA within the last three years.  In both cases I received prompt, brisk, friendly service.
 
How about a public toilet?
Do you think public toilets are better than the private toilet you access on a daily basis?

Buddy, I thank the good lord for public toilets every day!  What do I care if they are slightly less clean than my toilet at home? (in fact in my case it is probably the converse as I've never cleaned a toilet and don't intend to start now)  The point is when you need to go, there they are - the public toilets.  And if you have even a hint of IBS, as I believe I may, such edifices are manna, however pooey.

Do you really want most everything to be publicly owned with politicians and bureaucrats in charge?

Heck yes!  Politicians and bureaucrats are infinitely more responsive when you're broke than are the capitalists.
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