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Author Topic: A Good Country to Emigrate To?  (Read 5359 times)

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Offline kylie

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #75 on: January 06, 2014, 11:45:45 PM »

I'll be honest though, this thread feels more like a roleplay brainstorming session for where a character should emigrate to, rather than a realistic discussion about how feasible emigration really is.  It's a fun thought, but until I see more consideration of the issues I raised regarding residency issues, taxation, visa qualifications, as well as necessary resources - it is difficult for me to take some of these views seriously.
       Well I agree it's difficult to make a solid recommendation without knowing just what kind of resources someone does have.  But you could take it more as just a bouncing around of places to look at.  Though I do wish I knew a bit more about just what sort of lifestyle he wants.  We may be dancing past some rather obvious points without that.   

Quote
It is a bit ridiculous to suggest someone to emigrate [emigrate out of? -- I don't think that word stands alone] the US, simply because they can't find employment in 2 American cities.  If you have student loans, you are now going to have moving costs, along with the loan payments (given the hopeful assumption that you'll somehow find a better paying job overseas than in the US).  It's very risky, and not simply a theoretical matter about which country is better.
       I'm not recommending for him; he came asking where people would consider interesting (or just maybe, feasible) to live. 

       I was just saying it's not always that easy to stay afloat in the US, either.  I don't know if he has lots of stuff to move or next to nothing.  I had next to nothing left and no way to hold onto even that without help from the informal economy (aka friends in this case).  Sure, I could have taken one last roll of the dice but if it failed I was going to have zero mobility and maybe zero home.  So a lot of those things you're worrying about didn't really apply to me.  It's not all that risky to keep moving in my experience, if all you are looking for is a teaching job -- so long as you can pay for transportation to the next gig.  It's not so different from a mediocre contractor or low-level academic following their industry around the US wherever the money pops up next, except that in my case I don't have all that stuff to pay to ship.  Now, I don't pretend to know various countries' regulations for IT projects and higher tax brackets, though.  And we don't know what "I" is or isn't moving.

      One thing I can say is, you get quite a tax exemption in the US if you are middle income but paying taxes of any kind in another country. (It was like no taxes on the first $75k, some years ago.  I haven't checked just recently.)  So it makes some sense if he is really worried about the financial setup in the US, to go somewhere better.  Of course, what that means for people who can't afford to start up a business and how much wealth is being moved basically out of the country period, well there must be other threads about that.   

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #76 on: January 07, 2014, 12:39:45 AM »
       Well I agree it's difficult to make a solid recommendation without knowing just what kind of resources someone does have.  But you could take it more as just a bouncing around of places to look at.  Though I do wish I knew a bit more about just what sort of lifestyle he wants.  We may be dancing past some rather obvious points without that.   I'm not recommending for him; he came asking where people would consider interesting (or just maybe, feasible) to live. 

Exactly.  I really wasn't looking for a discussion on the merits of emigration, or of saying, "America sucks compared to ________."  Just (to use nation names randomly), "The universal healthcare system in France is really wonderful," or "Avoid Brazil, the cost of living is through the roof and there's pollution everywhere," or "Come to lovely Australia, the women are gorgeous and taxes are low."  From people who actually live (or have lived) in those countries.  I don't want to go by rose-colored or shit-colored glasses (like romanticizing certain places/destinations because of movies, or hearing the right-wingers here claim Britain's NHS hospitals are a modern-day Auschwitz).

Online Neysha

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #77 on: January 07, 2014, 08:05:12 AM »
Maybe when America collapses, you can declare independence from the United States of America and declare the sovereignty of your community? That'd make for an interesting RP... I mean life choice. ;)

Offline Oniya

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #78 on: January 07, 2014, 11:03:24 AM »
It worked for Key West...

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #79 on: January 07, 2014, 11:11:45 AM »
Maybe when America collapses, you can declare independence from the United States of America and declare the sovereignty of your community? That'd make for an interesting RP... I mean life choice. ;)

Actually, that is a possible outcome of the current situation.  The national debt soars past $50 trillion/200% of GDP.  Foreign buyers start wanting more realistic interest rates on U.S. securities as they're just not perceived as totally secure anymore (that one development alone, long-term interest rates rising even 2%, could seriously put a hammerlock on the U.S. fiscal situation).  The federal government can no longer function effectively.

Given this country's Right leaning, I think "abler men" coming in from Monsanto or Goldman Sachs and taking the reins and steering us to fascism is a more likely outcome than the dissolution of the United States.  But it's still possible.

EDIT: Which is why I favor emigration.  I just don't see the current situation ending nicely.  If I thought the most likely outcome was some sort of breakup where California, the Reno metro and maybe Oregon broke off from America and went their own way reasonably peacefully, I'd stay.  But Americans falling in line with the corporatist goose-step is a much more likely outcome.  People here are too nationalist, and too servile to the rich, for things to go another way besides fascism.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 11:15:13 AM by IStateYourName »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #80 on: January 07, 2014, 12:22:06 PM »
There is merit to your claim that US debt may continue to increase and confidence in US bonds may decline.  You're also probably right in saying that long-term rates may increase.

But how do you figure that Goldman Sachs (or another global banking firm) is going to "take the reigns" and topple our election and political process?  And what does that have to do with your opinion of this country being right-leaning?  If anything, most Constitutionalists would describe themselves as more right-leaning, and they certainly are not fans of fascism.

You may be correct in saying that too many people are servile to the rich, and ignorant of what is going on.  But do you really think that most multinational corporations will sit by idly as free-market capitalism goes by the wayside?  Absolutely not - you better believe they'll be actively trying to avert a shift towards fascism with lobbying - since capitalism (and having a consumer base) is ultimately the basis for their wealth.

There are a lot of people hoping to create new independent countries after the supposed fall of the US.  There's even this fringe white nationalist movement in the Pacific Northwest trying develop a "white homeland" encompassing Oregon, Idaho, and Washington.  I wouldn't take all of these very seriously.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #81 on: January 07, 2014, 12:31:25 PM »
There is a part of me that would love to emigrate out of the US (I am a naturalized citizen, was not born here) and go back to Germany, possibly Norway. However, there is an old saying that I always keep in mind:

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Leaving the US might be all sunshine and roses for the first small bit of time, but reality will sink in sooner rather than later and you may find yourself worse off. Or feeling the effects of being isolated from everything you know and everyone you know.

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #82 on: January 07, 2014, 12:42:17 PM »
There is merit to your claim that US debt may continue to increase and confidence in US bonds may decline.  You're also probably right in saying that long-term rates may increase.

But how do you figure that Goldman Sachs (or another global banking firm) is going to "take the reigns" and topple our election and political process?  And what does that have to do with your opinion of this country being right-leaning?  If anything, most Constitutionalists would describe themselves as more right-leaning, and they certainly are not fans of fascism.

Because we're already there, really.  Do you have any idea how much the Fortune 500 corporations pump into U.S. elections?  Our political process is already corporate-owned.  They even bought off the Supreme Court (Citizens United) to make it legal.  And the problem with the Constitutionalists is that they don't understand human nature.  You get rid of the government (which is basically what they want to do) and who is going to move into that vacuum?  The Duck Dynasty fanbase, each wanting to cling to their own fiefdoms and Bibles and guns?  Or the multibillion-dollar conglomerates who have their own private armies and already own most of the political machinery?  I think the answer is clear.  So as far as I'm concerned, operationally the Constitutionalists are fascists too--they just don't know it.  Their approach is just the long road.

Quote
You may be correct in saying that too many people are servile to the rich, and ignorant of what is going on.  But do you really think that most multinational corporations will sit by idly as free-market capitalism goes by the wayside?  Absolutely not - you better believe they'll be actively trying to avert a shift towards fascism with lobbying - since capitalism (and having a consumer base) is ultimately the basis for their wealth.

Uh...I hate to break it to you, but the big corporations don't want free-market capitalism.  They want crony capitalism, which is the early stage of fascism.  They've spent billions on buying the political process.  Have you seen the shuffle of suits between High Finance and the federal regulatory agencies?  Dinos' Bar and Grill and small businesses want free-market capitalism.  But they don't count in the big scheme of things.

Quote
There are a lot of people hoping to create new independent countries after the supposed fall of the US.  There's even this fringe white nationalist movement in the Pacific Northwest trying develop a "white homeland" encompassing Oregon, Idaho, and Washington.  I wouldn't take all of these very seriously.

For now, I don't either.  They're more likely to be co-opted into the whole "keep your hands off my Bibles and guns" crowd, which will have its own (carefully managed and controlled) lobbying presence in the New Corporate State or whatever they call it in Washington.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #83 on: January 07, 2014, 01:16:01 PM »
Unfortunately, you are making some very extreme categorizations of political beliefs.  You are referring to a "Left-wing" and "Right-wing" as constructed by the corporate-owned leaders you refer to - which has played heavily in constructing the modern day establishment Democratic and Republican parties.  By strict definition, Constitutionalist in no way implies that one is a devout Christian.  In fact, a pure reading of the Constitution would probably better be defined as Libertarian, if you really want to attach a monicker to the view.

You are absolutely correct - crony-capitalism is the problem.  But I am sure we can agree that legitimate, honest, capitalism (devoid of government/private business collusion) is what makes us a free country, and promotes opportunity.

There is some truth to your claim that corporations want crony-capitalism, but everything is like a pendulum.  True fascism does not permit competition among multinational private companies, meaning that private companies are dependent on consumers having sufficient expendable income, or credit available, for making purchases.  Meaning that within a given industry - say the smartphone industry - Samsung, Apple, Windows, and Google all have a vested stake in consumers having choice.  A fascist society wouldn't permit open competition between these 4 companies.  One would likely dominate the others in a truly fascist society - leaving 3 very unhappy CEOs.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 01:22:55 PM by ValthazarElite »

Online Neysha

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #84 on: January 07, 2014, 01:33:34 PM »
Lets go with that.

Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and Google.

How many of them, could we suppose, are crony-capitalist to the point of being fascist in their upper leadership?

Samsung isn't even an American company, it's South Korean. Will they be allies in this fascist regime?

And Goldman Sachs is interesting, being a multinational investment firm. When talking about the interplay exchange of high finance and government regulators, not only have Goldman Sachs officers ended up in the Treasury Department or US Federal Reserve, but they have also ended up in high positions pertaining to the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Portugal, the Bank of Greece, the Czech Ministry of Finance and Trade, the Italian Cabinet, the Reserve Bank of Australia, the South African Reserve Bank, the European Comission, the Swedish Ministry of Finance and the European Central Bank. And that's just Goldman Sachs... who knows how deep the corporatist state grip is not only upon American financial regulators and central banks, but those across the developed world.

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #85 on: January 07, 2014, 02:19:54 PM »
Unfortunately, you are making some very extreme categorizations of political beliefs.  You are referring to a "Left-wing" and "Right-wing" as constructed by the corporate-owned leaders you refer to - which has played heavily in constructing the modern day establishment Democratic and Republican parties.  By strict definition, Constitutionalist in no way implies that one is a devout Christian.  In fact, a pure reading of the Constitution would probably better be defined as Libertarian, if you really want to attach a monicker to the view.

There's truth in that.  However, the irreligious pure Constitutionalists are a rather small slice of the political pie.  For every one of them, there are five or six followers of "Republican Jesus."  I'd be shocked to find more than 5% of the polity were secular Constitutionalists; I'd bet more like 3 to 4%.  They're enough of a force that the "New Corporate State" will pay them lip service and channel their angst into astroturfed Tea Party-type groups.  But they're going to be, at most, the child in the back seat with the toy dashboard thinking he's driving the car, given a few minor posts and outright sinecures.  Mom and Dad will toot the horn in unison with the kid from time to time, but that's about the extent of it.  Kiddo is not going to be in charge of anything important.

Quote
You are absolutely correct - crony-capitalism is the problem.  But I am sure we can agree that legitimate, honest, capitalism (devoid of government/private business collusion) is what makes us a free country, and promotes opportunity.

It's what made America free in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.  The outlook here in the 21st is considerably more murky.  One big issue we're going to be confronting is the value of human labor decaying to zero by the middle of the century--if not a decade or so sooner--as computers get more and more powerful.  We're already feeling the effects of this trend.  How is the free-market model going to distribute wealth when an increasing percentage of the population are--through little or no fault of their own--no longer competitive with machines and AI?  Do the handful of people inventing the machines become gazillionaires whilst the other 99.96% of humanity starve?  I'm not going to pretend I know the answer to this, but I think wealth is going to have to become, at least in part, a basic social benefit--anathema to the pure capitalist model.  America is rather poorly positioned, intellectually and philosophically, to adapt to the end of the Protestant work ethic--to the "hardest, most loved by God/the free market" worker in most industries being based on silicon rather than carbon. 

Quote
There is some truth to your claim that corporations want crony-capitalism, but everything is like a pendulum.  True fascism does not permit competition among multinational private companies, meaning that private companies are dependent on consumers having sufficient expendable income, or credit available, for making purchases.  Meaning that within a given industry - say the smartphone industry - Samsung, Apple, Windows, and Google all have a vested stake in consumers having choice.  A fascist society wouldn't permit open competition between these 4 companies.  One would likely dominate the others in a truly fascist society - leaving 3 very unhappy CEOs.

True.  But then again, there are always purges whenever "abler men" take the reins.  There are always Trotskys and Strassers that have to fall by the wayside...

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #86 on: January 07, 2014, 02:48:38 PM »
Do the handful of people inventing the machines become gazillionaires whilst the other 99.96% of humanity starve?  I'm not going to pretend I know the answer to this, but I think wealth is going to have to become, at least in part, a basic social benefit--anathema to the pure capitalist model.

Not a bad thought there.  For example, I was reading that the trucker industry as a whole will probably disappear by the 2050s, with so many safer, self-driving vehicle alternatives by then.

But I don't think the solution to this is to suddenly make wealth a social benefit.  As egalitarian as this may seem, this would kill any remaining independence and sense of self-sufficiency we have, and concentrate even more power within the state (since they will then decide the rationing of wealth).  In addition, making wealth a social benefit would deter the natural survival principle of breaking out of one's comfort zone, and developing the new skills necessary to adapt to the new jobs.

The much more ideal response is to invest more resources into education and jobs-of-the-future programs today, so that these blue-collar workers are better equipped to take on new information-age jobs.  As expected though, this is not happening, so all things considered, greater dependency on the state is likely what is going to end up happening.  Kind of unfortunate that such a great country of freedom and self-sufficiency is slowly changing course.

Offline consortium11

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #87 on: January 07, 2014, 02:53:32 PM »
And Goldman Sachs is interesting, being a multinational investment firm. When talking about the interplay exchange of high finance and government regulators, not only have Goldman Sachs officers ended up in the Treasury Department or US Federal Reserve, but they have also ended up in high positions pertaining to the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Portugal, the Bank of Greece, the Czech Ministry of Finance and Trade, the Italian Cabinet, the Reserve Bank of Australia, the South African Reserve Bank, the European Comission, the Swedish Ministry of Finance and the European Central Bank. And that's just Goldman Sachs... who knows how deep the corporatist state grip is not only upon American financial regulators and central banks, but those across the developed world.

There's somewhat of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" aspect to this however.

I've got personal experience (on both sides of the fence) dealing with financial regulation in the UK and put simply the regulators were woefully under-equipped for the change in financial services from a gentleman's club to a ruthless meritocracy (albeit often short term). Prior to the Big Bang the financial service industry in the UK was very much an old boys network with progress decided by what your family name was and which (school) tie you wore... and the same occurred with the regulators. Thus you had school friends sat on either side of the divide with regulation and decisions often done over a glass of wine at the private club they both shared with neither side willing to rock the boat.

Then came the Big Bang... and the regulators were blown out of the water.

The Big Bang brought in a change of mentality and attitude. Suddenly it didn't matter where a banker (to use the catch all term) had come from or what school he (and at the time it was invariably "he") went to... what mattered was how good they were and how much money they could make. Regulators weren't dealing with "gentlemen" who went shooting at the weekends... they were dealing with exceedingly clever, exceedingly ambitious people who didn't care about the old boys network, who didn't see the regulators as a personal friend and who were willing and able to work through the gaps in legislation and approach.

And the regulators couldn't cope. They weren't prepared or equipped to deal with this. They didn't understand the sort of technical instruments and vehicles that were being created or the mechanisms that were being put in place... they didn't understand how they worked on a technical level or what the implications were. One doesn't have to look at high finance to see this... it took the FOS (a sort of quasi-regulator body in the UK) years to work out quite how big PPI was when anyone in the industry could have told you the issue from the moment PPI first started to appear.

So where do you go to to find people who understand the industry they're meant to regulate?

The industry of course...

And that's the problem. Yes, bringing in people from Goldman Sachs and other financial companies of that stature means you're getting people who understand the industry... technically, strategically and mentally... but you also get the issue we have now where it appears a two year spell working for the regulator is simply another step on the career ladder for many in financial services. To take the FOS again, their former operations director (who previously worked for Barclays Bank) now works for Santander (another bank). The former chief regulator in the UK resigned... and a few months later was working for Barclays (although I note he's had to resign from there due to stress... the financial industry works its staff a lot harder than the regulator does).

Offline consortium11

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #88 on: January 07, 2014, 03:00:15 PM »
The much more ideal response is to invest more resources into education and jobs-of-the-future programs today, so that these blue-collar workers are better equipped to take on new information-age jobs.

Here's the issue though... and it is a genuine issue.

How many information-age jobs are there?

We don't know quite when it will or won't happen, but technology improvements mean there simply won't be as many jobs... not just that the jobs have moved sector. With automation of many services and 3D printing coming forward the majority of "manual" jobs will disappear... it's pretty much inevitable. And that leaves us with what? How many lawyers, stockbrokers, IT guys, psychologists, artists, writers does the economy need... or, more importantly, can it support? Because supply in those sectors would almost certainly outstrip demand.

I'm not a communist in the slightest... hell, anyone who's read my posts on here will see I'm actually a fairly mild libertarian... but Marx was certainly right in one thing. Capitalism greatest success will also be its greatest failure. The dream of capitalism is to be able to produce something at virtually no cost and sell them for a large profit... but when you can produce goods or services at virtually no cost there is no ability to sell them (let alone at a profit) because there are no consumers with the income to purchase them.   

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #89 on: January 07, 2014, 03:34:44 PM »
With automation of many services and 3D printing coming forward the majority of "manual" jobs will disappear... it's pretty much inevitable. And that leaves us with what?

You're right, a lot of the manual jobs will disappear - it is inevitable.  But for every new technology, there will be a corresponding rise in new employment sectors.  Many of these new employment areas will not be blue-collar though, and will require immense education and specialization. 

The concern isn't a lack of jobs due to the technological progress, it is the nature of the jobs themselves.  We really can't afford to have 30-40% of high school students dropping out with the way future employment prospects are looking.  The current state of higher education is also abysmal in the US.  While I don't agree with IStateYourName on everything, he's right in saying that we've got a perfect storm awaiting us in the near future.

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #90 on: January 07, 2014, 04:02:08 PM »
You're right, a lot of the manual jobs will disappear - it is inevitable.  But for every new technology, there will be a corresponding rise in new employment sectors.  Many of these new employment areas will not be blue-collar though, and will require immense education and specialization. 

I wouldn't count on this in the long term.  What happens when the computer on the desk in front of you is as smart as you are (or close to it)?  Retraining is a short-term answer.  There's simply not enough of the dwindling deck space on the sinking industrial Titanic left for all the soon-to-be-unemployed drivers, fast-food workers and assemblers to pick up their deck chairs and move to.  What jobs will they get?  Building the robots that replace them?  What happens when the robots are built by other robots?  And what happens when AI gets to the point that improvement in its capabilities is recursive

Quote
The concern isn't a lack of jobs due to the technological progress, it is the nature of the jobs themselves.  We really can't afford to have 30-40% of high school students dropping out with the way future employment prospects are looking.  The current state of higher education is also abysmal in the US.  While I don't agree with IStateYourName on everything, he's right in saying that we've got a perfect storm awaiting us in the near future.

I'd say the capabilities of IT are going to price most high-school graduates out of the job market by the early 2020s.  Less than a decade from now.

Okay, so we send everyone to college.  With no end in sight to Moore's Law, how long until the AI puts your average bachelor's degree holder out of the market?  Five years beyond the point the high-school students lose their jobs?  Seems a reasonable estimate, since IT technology would get about three to five times as powerful in that timespan.  That means if we send the high-schoolers to college and they get a four-year degree, they've got a year to work until they're uncompetitive once again with the machines.  So what next?  A master's degree?  A mandatory Ph.D.?  Wouldn't even matter--by then, the machines get smarter faster than the humans do.

Face it: the industrial model of wealth distribution is dying.  It's got another two decades at most, and it's going to start to come apart at the seams in the next few years.

Offline Torch

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #91 on: January 07, 2014, 04:03:07 PM »

So where do you go to to find people who understand the industry they're meant to regulate?

The industry of course...


Wall Street (the entire financial services industry in fact) has always been incredibly incestuous on this side of the pond. Mr. Torch has worked in investment management for over 25 years. He's worked for seven different firms over the years, and the only job he actually "applied" for was his first, directly out of college. Every other position he's been hired for has been the result of networking. It is very much a "who you know" industry, and always has been.

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #92 on: January 07, 2014, 04:21:38 PM »
A lot of jobs,  or careers rather, are find via networking. I doubt the financial sectoris exclusice in this regard. It maybe exceptional via the regulators, but that point was already summarized in excellent fashion by Consortium.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #93 on: January 07, 2014, 04:58:43 PM »
Face it: the industrial model of wealth distribution is dying.  It's got another two decades at most, and it's going to start to come apart at the seams in the next few years.

What you are saying is very true, but I feel that you are letting your interest in sci-fi overtake the need for rational policy at present.  What you are describing is very real, but this would be akin to people in the 1800s discussing the theoretical basis of how mass global transportation would affect cultures and the economic ill-effects globalization would cause.

I am actually a strong proponent against this concept of higher education for all individuals.  What we need though, is a more robust K-12 system that teaches the types of skills necessary in the future (a.k.a skills that will not be reproducible by machines during our lifetimes).  These skills include emotional intelligence, the ability to critically think, creativity of thought, and rational/situational thinking.  I work in higher ed, and some of these students are like drones, with none of these skills.  If you look at people who are chronically unemployed (2-3 years), the reason for their unemployment is often a lack of these fundamental skills.

We've got a shot of preparing today's blue collar workers and their kids for the jobs of tomorrow.  Those jobs won't be blue collar, but will likely require a modified education system that heavily deals with specialized trade labor - which involves a lot of intellectual work.  But I agree with you that the likelihood of such positive changes occurring is slim to none.  As such, what you describe will ultimately turn out to be the reality.  I'm just saying, that that isn't the ideal outcome, nor does it necessarily have to be the case.

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #94 on: January 07, 2014, 06:00:12 PM »
What you are saying is very true, but I feel that you are letting your interest in sci-fi overtake the need for rational policy at present.  What you are describing is very real, but this would be akin to people in the 1800s discussing the theoretical basis of how mass global transportation would affect cultures and the economic ill-effects globalization would cause.

Except we're not talking changes that are many decades to centuries away.  We're looking at something which is already underway, and which will be coming to fruition within our lifetimes.



Quote
I am actually a strong proponent against this concept of higher education for all individuals.  What we need though, is a more robust K-12 system that teaches the types of skills necessary in the future (a.k.a skills that will not be reproducible by machines during our lifetimes).  These skills include emotional intelligence, the ability to critically think, creativity of thought, and rational/situational thinking.  I work in higher ed, and some of these students are like drones, with none of these skills.  If you look at people who are chronically unemployed (2-3 years), the reason for their unemployment is often a lack of these fundamental skills.

I'm in favor of reforming the education system to improve the quality of life for those it services, but this is going to be of little use in fighting the future.  Yes, by all means go for it to achieve the marginal improvements it will eke out during the next decade to decade and a half.  Retrain workers displaced by technology, help them pick up their deck chairs and move them further up the Titanic so they can work a few more years before being made underwater and obsolete once more.  After that, in two decades at most, the machines are taking over.  A child born today will come of working age in a society where no one drives cars, the top ten supercomputers are the most intelligent entities the planet has ever seen, most companies have computer networks whose intelligence rivals that of humans, and where his or her own computer will have an intelligence somewhere between that of a dog and a chimpanzee--and a processing power hundreds to thousands of times what PCs have today. 

Quote
We've got a shot of preparing today's blue collar workers and their kids for the jobs of tomorrow.  Those jobs won't be blue collar, but will likely require a modified education system that heavily deals with specialized trade labor - which involves a lot of intellectual work.  But I agree with you that the likelihood of such positive changes occurring is slim to none.  As such, what you describe will ultimately turn out to be the reality.  I'm just saying, that that isn't the ideal outcome, nor does it necessarily have to be the case.

I think this is a good approach for today's teenagers and younger displaced workers.  For someone in their 50s losing their job, they're better off retiring.  For now though, we need to begin planning for the future.  We need to formally acknowledge that most of the jobs lost in the recession are not coming back, and that there will not be nearly enough jobs to replace them.  We need to accept that the structural unemployment rate is already likely 5 to 6%, it's likely to rise about half to three-quarters of a percent a year for the next decade, then rise faster and faster (recursive improvement in AI), and that nothing can stop this. 

Once we recognize the industrial system is dying, there's lots we can do to improve education so people have a better quality of life, developing their creativity for creativity's sake rather than how effective it is as stamping widgets or sitting in an office 40 hours a week.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #95 on: January 07, 2014, 06:28:23 PM »
You are using legitimate facts to make questionable conclusions.

The graph you posted demonstrates exponential growth in "calculations per second."  No one denies this.  But that does not suggest that in 10-20 years (as you claim), that computers will have empathy, situational judgement based on non-empirical data, and emotional intelligence.  I hope you are joking when you suggest that computers will "take over" our economic system in 20 years.  Employability is not related to IQ, so I am not sure why you keep citing computational power - since niche labor markets represent the future (if we can get our act together).  You are not providing any evidence to suggest that computational power alone can replace the complexity of immeasurable skills that human beings can accomplish.  In the short-term, your claims are speculative at best, and pure fear-mongering to push forward a very suspect economic agenda. 

Offline IStateYourNameTopic starter

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #96 on: January 07, 2014, 07:35:14 PM »
You are using legitimate facts to make questionable conclusions.

The graph you posted demonstrates exponential growth in "calculations per second."  No one denies this.  But that does not suggest that in 10-20 years (as you claim), that computers will have empathy, situational judgement based on non-empirical data, and emotional intelligence.  I hope you are joking when you suggest that computers will "take over" our economic system in 20 years.  Employability is not related to IQ, so I am not sure why you keep citing computational power - since niche labor markets represent the future (if we can get our act together).  You are not providing any evidence to suggest that computational power alone can replace the complexity of immeasurable skills that human beings can accomplish.  In the short-term, your claims are speculative at best, and pure fear-mongering to push forward a very suspect economic agenda.

There will no doubt be niches that human intelligence holds onto, even by the middle of the century.  But that really doesn't matter.

Consider dehydration.  You don't have to lose all or even most of the water in your body to die from dehydration.  Lose 5%, and you will suffer profound thirst.  Lose 10%, and you will be quite ill and unable to function normally.  Lose 15%, and you will end up in a coma.  Lose 20%, and you will be dead.

Machines don't need to replace all or even most humans to throw a spanner into the whole industrial labor-based wealth distribution economic model.  When machines render 5% of the population permanently unemployed, we will have an ongoing economic malaise, a declining standard of living, and underemployment (sound familiar?).  When machines render 10% of the working-age population redundant, you're talking tens of millions of people on permanent government relief.  When machines render 15% of the population unable to work, you will have well north of 30,000,000 Americans in a perpetual underclass.  At 20%, the system breaks down.  You have a critical mass of the population with no wealth, no access to income, and no prospects for improvement.  Too many to put on relief--especially in a right-wing country like this, where the Rush Limbaugh-type talking heads will call them lazy moochers even though they bear little if any responsibility for their predicament.  This is the point revolutions usually ensue.

At the end of the day, you don't need "situational judgement based on non-empirical data" to make the trains run on time.  You can't run an industrial society unless the vast majority--better than 90%--of working-age people have access to the means of production and can earn a decent living exchanging their labor for wealth.  And the process has been underway for quite some time now:


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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #97 on: January 07, 2014, 07:55:17 PM »
I understand what you are saying.  My area of contention is - should we acknowledge that some people are only capable of blue collar work (as you claim), and modify the economic system to match the reality that they will systemically be unable to find work, OR do we take this on as a challenge, and embrace a society where computers perform previously blue-collar work, and transform our education system to train this previously uneducated labor force into alternative roles.  These alternate roles would be the result of entrepreneurs progressing society at an exponentially greater rate than previous decades, due to improved efficiency of labor.

I realize that all factors being taken into consideration, the 2nd suggestion is rather unlikely.  However, I think it's worth an honest effort in improving the various institutions in our society, before flat out giving up on our economic system.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 07:57:14 PM by ValthazarElite »

Online Neysha

Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #98 on: January 07, 2014, 08:20:47 PM »
I'm not sure how any of this is related to emigration since it seems to be a worldwide issue, at least in any nation that you would realistically emigrate to.

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Re: A Good Country to Emigrate To?
« Reply #99 on: January 07, 2014, 08:29:16 PM »
I'd agree with ISYN (okay?) that it's a big and tidally rising problem when changes to the economy make more and more people superfluous as far as the work they used to do, have the know-how to do. If 10 or 25 per cent of the grown-up population have almost no realistic chances of finding steady work in something they are good at, then it's going to send society and daily life into convulsions. There's no way one could have one out of four or five adults on permanent dole or welfare without both locking them down and injuring their self-esteem and their ability to exist as citizens. After a while, might breed both crime, vandalism and political extremism.

But maybe there's not simply shortage of work that needs doing, and couldn't be done by machines. What if, rather, there's lots of work that needs to get done but which can't be edged into the model of (trained) skills -> labour -> wages? Work that won't fit into a market evaluation system, or can't be done profitably on a market, even though it wouldn't have to be expensive when it happens (anything where you can't specify in default terms exactly what you want, or where you want the opportunity to learn or know yourself from the guy who will do it, to take notes and learn, is a bit difficult to arrange on an open market, but it might be easy to arrange with someone you know personally, like your kids fixing something on the computer...)

I'm not sure how any of this is related to emigration since it seems to be a worldwide issue, at least in any nation that you would realistically emigrate to.

Fair enough, but I figure these problems are common to many countries these days. The key to merging into a new country or a new city, to establishing your foothold, used to be: getting a job that provides security for you (and your family, if there is one). And that's less and less easy to take as a safe bet these days.