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  1. #1

    Getting Back To Full Employment

    I just finished reading this book by Dean Baker and Jared Bernstein. It was a pretty good read. Anybody else read it? What did you think?

    Should the Fed lower interest rates to 0.0% at this time or should Obama just continue with QEs?

    Would turning the trade deficit into a surplus really be enough to bring jobs back into America? Isn't it our distaste for cheap labor that drives companies like Wal Mart and Apple to make their products overseas?

    We should discuss these things...

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00GOJ9GWO/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1385247479&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70
    Last edited by Vitamin; November 23rd, 2013 at 04:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Civis Americanus Sum Alnitak's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Back To Full Employment

    The economy in shock has been improving because the standard treatment for shock is, to no surprise, more blood. The fed will throttle back when there is significant inflation. Right now there is very little.

    Jobs is a somewhat independent problem now. The economy has not brought the underemployment problem under control like previous recoveries have. The same jobs that formerly employed people are used to are not coming back. Besides a market correction, there was in addition to the recession a correction in jobs. Why? Technology has made many of those workers obsolete. It took a downturn to force companies to fire them and adapt to more efficient business methods. No improvement in the economy will change that. Those obsolete workers, for example file clerks and law clerks with JDs, are just going to have to adapt as well by going back to school or starting their own businesses.

  3. #3
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    Re: Getting Back To Full Employment

    Quote Originally Posted by Vitamin View Post
    this book by Dean Baker and Jared Bernstein
    Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People is available as a free download. (PDF)

    Center for Economic Policy Research

  4. #4

    Re: Getting Back To Full Employment

    Quote Originally Posted by opinterph View Post
    Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People is available as a free download. (PDF)

    Center for Economic Policy Research
    Meanwhile we continue to flood the country with poor and unemployed people willing to work cheap.

  5. #5

    Re: Getting Back To Full Employment

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Meanwhile we continue to flood the country with poor and unemployed people willing to work cheap.
    While these people don't qualify for unemployment benefits and therefore aren't included in unemployment numbers it doesn't seem that they would have much impact irregardless. Most illegal immigrants take seasonal jobs harvesting whatever crop is needed and after the season is over go back to Mexico where the dollar goes way farther. While this does make them ultimately an economic drain on our society as most of the money never goes back into our economy it seems unlikely that they would effect employment numbers by that much.

  6. #6

    Re: Getting Back To Full Employment

    Quote Originally Posted by Alnitak View Post
    The economy in shock has been improving because the standard treatment for shock is, to no surprise, more blood. The fed will throttle back when there is significant inflation. Right now there is very little.

    Jobs is a somewhat independent problem now. The economy has not brought the underemployment problem under control like previous recoveries have. The same jobs that formerly employed people are used to are not coming back. Besides a market correction, there was in addition to the recession a correction in jobs. Why? Technology has made many of those workers obsolete. It took a downturn to force companies to fire them and adapt to more efficient business methods. No improvement in the economy will change that. Those obsolete workers, for example file clerks and law clerks with JDs, are just going to have to adapt as well by going back to school or starting their own businesses.
    Technology could possibly be the culprit, but it is more likely that's not the case in my view.

    It's obvious that the housing bubble directly resulted in the orginal loss of construction jobs. Unfortunately it also resulted in banks becoming reluctant to lend. When banks are reluctant to lend busniess suffers since it needs to borrow money in order to expand for it's survival. In order to borrow more money a busniess may have to cut expenditures someplace resulting in layoffs. So it's not that these jobs will never come back, it's just that the housing bubble needs to be replaced with something more permanent.

    If you look at Germany their employment numbers were mostly maintained during the peek of the finiacial collapse and are actually a little bit higher now then they were before it. If unemployment is increasing due to technology than that wouldn't be the case, but since Germany has a very popular work sharing program employers could cut their expenditures without layoffs.

    Also, technology really hasn't come as far as you think. To use your example of a law clerk it would be impossible at this time to replace them with machines. Contary to the title they do very little clerical work. Law clerks are directly involved in the legal process and work closely with the judge and the litigators giving the former recommendations on cases and drafting proceedings. If we could replace law clerks with robots we might as well replace all lawyers with them. If you know a law clerk who got fired he probably screwed up someplace or he just didn't pass the bar exam.

    Even among workers who actually do clerical work, we're still no where near replacing them as a person still has to enter in the data, and bring up the data when it needs to be reviewed. I just don't see technology replacing a whole lot of workers in our economy anytime soon.

  7. #7

    Re: Getting Back To Full Employment

    Quote Originally Posted by Vitamin View Post
    While these people don't qualify for unemployment benefits and therefore aren't included in unemployment numbers it doesn't seem that they would have much impact irregardless. Most illegal immigrants take seasonal jobs harvesting whatever crop is needed and after the season is over go back to Mexico where the dollar goes way farther. While this does make them ultimately an economic drain on our society as most of the money never goes back into our economy it seems unlikely that they would effect employment numbers by that much.
    That stereotype is plainly wrong. The first item on Obama's and the democrats agenda is permanent legal status for 11 million illegals. Even as we speak, huge numbers are protesting for the right to stay. When they get the vote, their demand is for an endless flood of millions more.

  8. #8
    JUB Addict cm98059's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Back To Full Employment

    ^^ I think this would be especially true in the legal profession, where the signature is very important along with the need to keep original copies of documents. Where I can see electronics making things obsolete in a legal office is in the storage room needed for forms, in that you scan the BLANK forms into a computer and then print the blank forms as needed to be filled out and filed. I also cannot see electronics eliminating too many law clerks either, because you cannot go to the computer and type in some key words to get precedence for a ruling, someone still has to read the cases and ascertain that the ruling is favorable to your expected ruling. No attorney that I know wants to be arguing a case, and cite a ruling as being in favor of his case, to have someone else say that the ruling in fact did not favor his position, and in fact read the opposite.
    Last edited by cm98059; November 24th, 2013 at 06:55 PM. Reason: re adjusting

  9. #9
    Civis Americanus Sum Alnitak's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Back To Full Employment

    Quote Originally Posted by Vitamin View Post
    To use your example of a law clerk it would be impossible at this time to replace them with machines. Contary to the title they do very little clerical work. Law clerks are directly involved in the legal process and work closely with the judge and the litigators giving the former recommendations on cases and drafting proceedings. If we could replace law clerks with robots we might as well replace all lawyers with them. If you know a law clerk who got fired he probably screwed up someplace or he just didn't pass the bar exam.
    I never said they are being replaced by robots.

    They are being replaced by paralegals such as myself So I know full well what law clerks do and yes they are out of a job because of changing job markets have allowed paralegals with Lexis at their fingertips to proliferate.
    Last edited by Alnitak; November 24th, 2013 at 06:57 PM.

  10. #10

    Re: Getting Back To Full Employment

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    That stereotype is plainly wrong. The first item on Obama's and the democrats agenda is permanent legal status for 11 million illegals. Even as we speak, huge numbers are protesting for the right to stay. When they get the vote, their demand is for an endless flood of millions more.
    Ok, I know religious right wingers who hate gays and they're not half as racist as you. You're clearly a liberal troll trying to give conservatives a bad name. Shut the fuck up already.

  11. #11
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    Re: Getting Back To Full Employment

    Quote Originally Posted by Vitamin View Post
    Would turning the trade deficit into a surplus really be enough to bring jobs back into America? Isn't it our distaste for cheap labor that drives companies like Wal Mart and Apple to make their products overseas?
    It might be enough. The thing to remember is that 'returning' a job to the US, which is something that would be required to turn around the trade deficit, doesn't just mean a job here but means that the money stops flowing overseas: it stays here, and does more economic 'work' here. The trade deficit is tightly related to the flow of money in the economy, because money that goes overseas stops flowing here, which means it can't generate more jobs here.

    The place with perhaps the most significance is the energy sector, where we throw billions upon billions are foreign suppliers. If those billions stayed here, they'd pay workers, who would spend them here, meaning that more people would need jobs at the places they'd be spent; additionally, if the things they bought were made here, that would generate even more jobs, with the result that the money for one job producing energy for us overseas, if brought back to the US, generates more than the one job here.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  12. #12

    Re: Getting Back To Full Employment

    We had a huge trade deficit back in the days when the US did not outsource that much. Nixon had to take us off the gold standard in the 70s because the chronic trade deficit was forcing us to deplete our gold supply. It was then a result of our huge rich economy having the ability to buy a lot.

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