View Single Post
Old 2014-02-07, 04:24   #5
ewmayer's Avatar
Sep 2002
República de California

11,743 Posts

I am happy to announce that there is good news on the labor front! Alas, it appears to be confined to the domain of "whitepapers by government economists". As far as the real world is concerned, the following trio of articles paints a less happy picture:

Obamacare Creates Incentive to Work Less; CBO Estimates Obamacare Will Cost 2 Million Full-Time Equivalent Jobs by 2017

Martin Wolf Sounds Cautionary Note on Rise of Robots
Martin Wolf, the highly regarded chief economics editor at the Financial Times, has roused himself to take up the topic of whether robots represent a threat to the economic and social order. He takes the case for concern seriously and lays out a set of potential dangers
Over 1 in 6 Men in Prime Working Years Don’t Have a Job
Best reader comment (IMO):
Field Marshal Macluhan February 6, 2014 at 7:24 am

I am a former news industry grunt, mostly in TV as an assistant and writer. Lost my last professional job five years ago after my employer was convicted of fraud (interesting but long story there) and I couldn’t find anything else in my field. I took retail jobs, tried and failed as an ESL teacher, even spent a year as a bike courier – all while battling serious depression, which my situation was doing nothing to help.

About a year ago, while I was working as a messenger, I had a breakdown and couldn’t keep working. There are no job protections of any kind for an ‘independent contractor’, so it was either move in with mom and dad or find a nice sewer grate to sleep on. I chose mom and dad. After a few months, when I was able to crawl out of bed again, I kept looking for work, but with a deep hole in my resume where a career should have been, I knew I faced towering odds against anything securing better than another menial, bullshit job.

The situation has since taken on a very different character. This summer, both of my parents were diagnosed with serious – in my father’s case, almost certainly terminal – cancers. I now do the majority of the housework, the driving, some light nursing duties, though those will get heavier as things progress. I’ve gone from being the sick one to the caretaker. It’s given me a sense of purpose, of neededness, that I have not felt in a long time. But at horrible cost.

I have gone a very long time without professional, white-collar work. Barring an extraordinary turn of events, I imagine that things will stay that way. When the natural sequence of events has run its course, I will probably go back to school again – the usual scam, as Yves said above, but what else is there? I have been filtered out by a society that simply does not require me to exist, and that, outside of a small (and rapidly shrinking) circle of friends and family, doesn’t particularly care whether I continue to do so. I am the dispensable man.
ewmayer is offline