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Author Topic: Work Culture: Good or Bad?  (Read 861 times)

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Offline mookestinkTopic starter

Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« on: October 22, 2014, 07:29:03 PM »
How important is work culture? Do we want our descendents to work at the same pace and with the same urgency that the average person today works? Or should we aim to create a future of idlers, unthreatened by a society that forces everyone to pull their weight (or starve, homeless)?

I ask this slightly out of guilt. I don't work due to a disability, and get a monthly income with no strings attached.  If I want to work, I can, but I don't need to do so to survive. I thrive in this environment, and think it is incredibly unfair that people who don't have a disability don't have the same opportunity that I have. If I could, I would mandate a minimum liveable income for everyone. The exception should be the rule

Offline Zakharra

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2014, 08:30:25 PM »
  I'd prefer to have a work culture rather than one of idlers as you put it.  People that work can be/are productive members of society, paying taxes, helping build and improve themselves and society and such. Idlers, as the name sounds like don't. Idle meaning doing nothing so I am taking the meaning of idlers more or less doing nothing.  The thought of tens to hundreds of millions of people  in the US (where I live) being idlers and being paid a minimum liveable wage just for being a citizen when they are physically and mentally able to work grates on my nerves. It's like you're paying them to be lazy slackers.  I am for financial aid for those unable to work due to physical or mental disability. But those who can work and don't? no. They shouldn't get much if anything.

 Moonstink, something to think about is where would the government get the money to pay out a minimum liveable wage to all of its citizens (those that qualify)? It's from taxes paid by those who do work, and the more that don't work and do get the minimum wage, the more of the burden that falls upon those who do work. That's not exactly a sustainable system unless there is a strong work culture that encourages people to go out and work.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 09:12:02 PM by Zakharra »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2014, 08:40:38 PM »
This reminded me of another thread from a while ago: 

Fundamentals of Slacker Theory

Ultimately it's each person's choice how much or how little they want to milk the system, but there are obviously long-term effects to these choices.

Offline mookestinkTopic starter

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2014, 09:16:39 PM »
Quote from: Zahkarra
Idle meaning doing nothing so I am taking the meaning of idlers more or less doing nothing.
Idle doesn't always mean nothing.  It can also involve play-time, which in turn involves hobbies.  Would you rather spend your time at work making money to survive, or at leisure, idly playing with your hobbies?
Quote from: Zahkarra
The thought of tens to hundreds of millions of people  in the US (where I live) being idlers and being paid a minimum liveable wage just for being a citizen when they are physically and mentally able to work grates on my nerves.
How so?  I think everyone, including starving children, should get an equal pay, just barely enough to live.  I believe that having this minimum level of income would prevent the fear of catastrophe that keeps people from taking risks.  Someone who doesn't worry about starving would be more likely to start a business than someone who is living paycheck to paycheck.  Few people are built for boredom, and will end up working anyway.  The only difference is that the necessities of food and shelter aren't on the line.  There's no impending threat.
Quote from: Zakharra
It's like you're paying them to be lazy slackers.
You are paying them to be human beings, and showing them that they are worth keeping alive.  If they want to be slackers, fine.
Quote from: Zakharra
I am for financial aid for those unable to work due to physical or mental disability. But those who can work and don't? no. They shouldn't get much if anything.
A liveable income is quite low.  Maybe $800 US/month.  They don't get much: but they do get something.  That's all I'm suggesting.



Quote from: Valthazar
Ultimately it's each person's choice how much or how little they want to milk the system, but there are obviously long-term effects to these choices.
Ultimately, any question of morals boils down to personal preference.  What I'm looking for are those personal preferences are.  The "why do you think so?" I'm assuming that you are a utilitarian, by measuring the long-term effects?

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 11:00:21 PM »
Where I live 800 a month wouldnt pay rent so a scenario you describe would be plenty of money to blow while being homeless.

Personally, I do not bust my ass at work to pay for myself and my children as well as other people who don't want to work/refuse to work. Sorry Charlie, that boat just don't float. I do not mind helping those struggling to get by but I am not sugar momma to a bunch of "idlers".

Offline Zakharra

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2014, 11:35:52 PM »
Idle doesn't always mean nothing.  It can also involve play-time, which in turn involves hobbies.  Would you rather spend your time at work making money to survive, or at leisure, idly playing with your hobbies?
How so?  I think everyone, including starving children, should get an equal pay, just barely enough to live.  I believe that having this minimum level of income would prevent the fear of catastrophe that keeps people from taking risks.  Someone who doesn't worry about starving would be more likely to start a business than someone who is living paycheck to paycheck.  Few people are built for boredom, and will end up working anyway.  The only difference is that the necessities of food and shelter aren't on the line.  There's no impending threat.
You are paying them to be human beings, and showing them that they are worth keeping alive.  If they want to be slackers, fine.
A liveable income is quite low.  Maybe $800 US/month.  They don't get much: but they do get something.  That's all I'm suggesting.

 The term idlers gives the impression they are slackers; ie idling, doing nothing. but even if you change the term, paying people who  can work to basically sit on their asses would resound badly for many people. Conversely it would resound well with others (mainly to get their vote and vote to always increase the basic living wage/stipend (bls)). Hobbies are just that, not much to pay any bills.

  Barely enough to survive on? Where? The amount needed to just survive (assuming you're including enough to pay rent for housing/shelter, electric, water, food and clothing) differs depending where you live in the US. Places like NY City, San Fransisco and LA and other large cities are going to cost a lot more than slammer cities and towns or the rural areas. Even in the large cities, where you live can change how much you spend just on housing. Unless you vary that or give -everyone- the same large bls you're going to need a massive bureaucracy just to keep track of who gets what where. Then you will have those who complain about  the inequality of the bls because it does differ.

 People would take the basic bls, then argue they need more to meet their basic needs, and certain political parties would push to increase said bls because the people who are on it need and/or deserve more. 'It's only fair that they get enough to live comfortably on'. You'd also have parents spending their kids bls on stuff for themselves and more, spending it on crap they don't need, but what they want. That happens now on some child support payments, the parent being paid spends the money on themselves, not on the children.


 A human is a human whether they are working or not, young, old, living of dying. They are all still human. Being human is not something that guarantees you a bls. It's not a right either. The 'right' to a bls is not a right of being human. It might be the perk of being a citizen of a nation, but a perk or a right of being a human? Sorry. I'm not buying that. There's no inherent right to survival anymore than their is for any other creature. Still though you have too many slackers or idlers that aren't paying into the system, the system will crash because those who are paying into it will be overwhelmed by taxes to pay for the bls.


 See the second paragraph for my replay on the price of a liveable income.

 Again I reiterate: I'm not against helping those who can't work or need the financial aid until they can work again. I am against people who can work and chose not to. Those people do not deserve any help or financial aid.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2014, 12:27:33 AM »
Work is only ever as important as what is achieved by the work.

Work that exists purely for it's own sake is an affront to human dignity and I certainly hope that future generations will not still be toiling away out of an antiquated work ethic after science and technology make work redundant.

At some point between now and then, I hope that we stop looking at how to create enough work to keep everyone constantly employed and instead start looking at what work is required within our society to meet the needs of everyone and the best way of distributing that labour fairly amongst the citizens. The sooner we look at this the better, with the constant improvement in robotics technology it's seriously only a matter of time before our economy collapses completely without this re-examination.

Offline alextaylor

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 03:23:30 AM »
Screw "work" culture! If you ask me, everyone should not be "working".

The new economy is about utilizing energy to make something. Not about spending long hours doing menial labor.

But everyone needs to do something useful. Not hobbies. If your legs don't work, do freelance data entry or research. Or start an online business. Work at a call center. Zappos was well known for letting people do their call center jobs from home.

Don't do something you don't enjoy, though. That's kind of a crime against humanity imo.

There's really no way for the government to support everyone living on a liveable wage. Things like housing and food prices will creep up too much. And then a rare few will be supporting them. It's possible with ridiculous taxes like in Europe.

You can start a business though. In many places there are enough grants to live on indefinitely, especially if you prove to be proficient in something high profit. Business is becoming cheap enough that everyone is doing it.

Offline Shjade

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 03:25:37 AM »
Business is becoming cheap enough that everyone is doing it.

Everyone who understands how to make it work, that is. Some of us just don't grok it. :x

Offline Lady Laura

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Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2014, 05:00:08 AM »
Work is only ever as important as what is achieved by the work.

Work that exists purely for it's own sake is an affront to human dignity and I certainly hope that future generations will not still be toiling away out of an antiquated work ethic after science and technology make work redundant.

At some point between now and then, I hope that we stop looking at how to create enough work to keep everyone constantly employed and instead start looking at what work is required within our society to meet the needs of everyone and the best way of distributing that labour fairly amongst the citizens. The sooner we look at this the better, with the constant improvement in robotics technology it's seriously only a matter of time before our economy collapses completely without this re-examination.

I totally agree, especially with your first line. I am not against "Work" as such as many things including writing, art and other more fun things are also achieved through work, not to mention things we all like and need such as houses for example.

My problem is what I see in my work place which is work that is being generated for no other reason than to justify that work is being done, adding up how many emails were done, how many phone calls taken, categorizing calls and whatever else, this to me is just insanity, sure some would say it is for good reason but when you are being taken from your actual job to do these tasks only to see your work pile up it just blows my mind.




Offline Iniquitous

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2014, 11:33:08 AM »
I am not sure what to think on the whole "work just to justify working" aspect. The way I view it? I was hired for a job. I was told upon the offering of said job what my duties would entail (and in some cases why those duties are needed). I agreed to doing everything required of me, thus, it is not work just to justify working. It is my job as outlined by my employer. Usually, when upper management sends out the emails telling us to start tracking something (like how many self service emails we are sending out to our customers), it is because that particular part of our job has been neglected by some/most and they are trying to get the numbers up so the upper Upper management gets off their backs. I don't find it to be "extra" work because I knew about it when I was hired and I do that particular task while handling another aspect of my job (multitasking).

Do I know of jobs that will create work for their employees? Of course, though the few times I have encountered that, it was usually work that desperately needed to be done and it was given as a way to keep employees on the clock longer so they could get more hours instead of being sent home early (lose pay).

I do not see work as an affront to human dignity. If anything, I feel dignity at being able to say I have a job - I pay my bills - I buy my food - I am productive. If I didn't work what would I do with myself? Sit and watch the grass grow? Watch tv 24/7 (assuming I had tv of course)? Go out with my friends all the time (on what money?)? I joke a lot that I would love to be able to spend every day laying about reading, but truth is I'd not be able to do it. It would get very boring, very quickly.

And, as was stated somewhere else in this thread, just being human does not mean you are guaranteed a right to be taken care of. I do not believe we were born to sit on our butts and only do the things we enjoyed doing. If that was the case we would have never survived past neanderthal days. Not too mention, if this was the case, as was pointed out earlier, there is no way this would be sustainable because no one would be working which would mean no taxes would be paid and that would mean no money going to the government so they could turn around and pay everyone.

(Also, if we all were just idlers we would have no military -or at the very least a very small military- and thus be open to invasion from other countries. Not a scenario I'd ever want to see happen.)

***Now, before anything negative can be said about my post - I understand those that cannot work and receive a stipend from the government to provide for them. I have no issues with that kind of situation. If you cannot work, then you cannot work. But the idea that every single one of us not work and only do the things we want to do? That goes against everything I believe.***

Offline Caehlim

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2014, 12:51:13 PM »
I do not see work as an affront to human dignity.

I would not describe work as an affront to human dignity. There's a nobility to contributing to the world around you, rolling up your sleeves (metaphorically speaking) and pitching in. It's only an affront when that work is unnecessary. When I said:

"Work that exists purely for it's own sake is an affront to human dignity and I certainly hope that future generations will not still be toiling away out of an antiquated work ethic after science and technology make work redundant."

I wasn't commenting on the present but rather the future. In the coming days, we're going to see a lot of jobs replaced by automation. I predict that between both unions and the government we're going to see a lot of effort at artificial job creation and maintenance after those jobs are no longer required because our present economic system is built around the idea of everyone working (although even at present there currently aren't enough jobs for everyone). It's that idea of trying to keep everyone working once it is no longer needed that I find an affront.

Quote
If anything, I feel dignity at being able to say I have a job - I pay my bills - I buy my food - I am productive.

I think that many people feel this way, and that in order to be able to continue this longterm we will need to change how we look at work. Possibly shorter workdays, or fewer workdays in the week in order to be able to divide the labour required amongst the entire population. Otherwise we will end up with only some people able to have jobs and other people stuck in perpetual unemployment. There was a time when the eight hour work-day was considered revolutionary, but it's helped keep the current job-market afloat.

Quote
If I didn't work what would I do with myself?

Volunteer? There is plenty that can be done that's useful that isn't necessarily financially viable. If we had more free time available I think that many people would choose to make up the rest of their habitual work-time with volunteer work.

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Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2014, 01:31:39 PM »
If one were able to support one's self with one's hobbies - would it still be considered 'idling' to do them?  There are people making (no joke) a million dollars a year making YouTube videos.  Someone who enjoys gardening could feed themselves, their family, and possibly a neighborhood (especially if people like zucchini.)  Many of what we now consider 'hobbies' were once viable employment: sewing, carpentry, metal-work, and so forth.

Offline mookestinkTopic starter

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2014, 02:10:34 PM »
Quote from: Iniquitous Opheliac
But the idea that every single one of us not work and only do the things we want to do? That goes against everything I believe.
Because it goes against everything we believe, we have the best reason to try to see if our standard beliefs are true.  So, are you against it because of some moral principle, or because it is economically unfeasible?



Quote from: Oniya
If one were able to support one's self with one's hobbies - would it still be considered 'idling' to do them?
Yes, that is still idling.  Idling doesn't have to be useless -- think of all the things that seniors do after retirement. People enjoy doing things in their spare time.
Quote from: Oniya
Many of what we now consider 'hobbies' were once viable employment: sewing, carpentry, metal-work, and so forth.
Agreed.  This trend will continue.  At what point should we back off and just let the machines take our jobs?

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Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2014, 02:16:51 PM »
Yes, that is still idling.  Idling doesn't have to be useless -- think of all the things that seniors do after retirement. People enjoy doing things in their spare time.

Except that Merriam-Webster would disagree with your semantics:

Quote
    1.
    (especially of a machine or factory) not active or in use.
    "assembly lines standing idle for lack of spare parts"
    synonyms:   inactive, unused, unoccupied, unemployed, disused; not in use, out of use, out of action, inoperative, nonfunctioning, out of service
    "they left the machine idle"
    antonyms:   working
        (of a person) not working; unemployed.
        comparative adjective: idler; superlative adjective: idlest
        synonyms:   unemployed, jobless, out-of-work, redundant, between jobs, workless, unwaged, unoccupied
        "being idle won't pay the bills"
        antonyms:   employed
        (of a person) avoiding work; lazy.
        synonyms:   lazy, indolent, slothful, work-shy, shiftless, inactive, sluggish, lethargic, listless; slack, lax, lackadaisical, good-for-nothing; rareotiose
        "an idle person"
        antonyms:   industrious
        (of time) characterized by inaction or absence of significant activity.
        "at no time in the day must there be an idle moment"
        synonyms:   unoccupied, spare, empty, vacant, unfilled, available
        "their idle hours"
        antonyms:   busy, full
        (of money) held in cash or in accounts paying no interest.
    2.
    without purpose or effect; pointless.
    "he did not want to waste valuable time in idle chatter"
    synonyms:   frivolous, trivial, trifling, vain, minor, petty, lightweight, shallow, superficial, insignificant, unimportant, worthless, paltry, niggling, peripheral, inane, fatuous; unnecessary, time-wasting
    "idle remarks"
    antonyms:   meaningful, serious
        (especially of a threat or boast) without foundation.
        "I knew Ellen did not make idle threats"
        synonyms:   empty, meaningless, pointless, worthless, vain, hollow, insubstantial, futile, ineffective, ineffectual; groundless, baseless
        "idle threats"
        antonyms:   serious

By characterizing your vision as a 'society of idlers', you are adopting the common connotation of the word - which isn't likely to win support.

Offline mookestinkTopic starter

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2014, 02:22:08 PM »
 
Quote
synonyms:   unoccupied, spare, empty, vacant, unfilled, available
        "their idle hours"
When people have idle time, they have spare time, which they can, at their own leisure, fill with play, volunteering, or nothing at all.

That's closer to my meaning.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2014, 04:20:17 PM »
When people have idle time, they have spare time, which they can, at their own leisure, fill with play, volunteering, or nothing at all.

That's closer to my meaning.

 Having spare time is different than living as idlers as you called them. Living as idlers implies no jobs, no work, lazy people doing nothing but fritter away their time. The idlers you are talking about are basically younger people who -can- work, but chose not to and basically sponge off of others for decades or their entire life.  Basically paying people to do nothing. And you'll never get a consensus on what the minimum living wage would be. $30,000 a year would barely cover many or not at all, while for others it would be more than enough. But this is assuming that the prices of goods doesn't go up as well.

 Those with spare time between their work hours have just that, spare time before they go back to work to earn the money needed to live and get what they want and what they need. The elderly are not idlers because they are at the end years of their lives and are retired, and hopefully have enough money to live out their remaining years comfortably.  The elderly will have worked for their retirement.    The idlers you're talking about are people who will have never really worked yet are being supported when they could work. Basically, they are being allowed to waste their potential for play time.

If one were able to support one's self with one's hobbies - would it still be considered 'idling' to do them?  There are people making (no joke) a million dollars a year making YouTube videos.  Someone who enjoys gardening could feed themselves, their family, and possibly a neighborhood (especially if people like zucchini.)  Many of what we now consider 'hobbies' were once viable employment: sewing, carpentry, metal-work, and so forth.

 I'd think that if your 'hobby' can support you, it's no longer a hobby, but a job you really enjoy doing.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2014, 08:43:01 PM »
If one were able to support one's self with one's hobbies - would it still be considered 'idling' to do them?  There are people making (no joke) a million dollars a year making YouTube videos.  Someone who enjoys gardening could feed themselves, their family, and possibly a neighborhood (especially if people like zucchini.)  Many of what we now consider 'hobbies' were once viable employment: sewing, carpentry, metal-work, and so forth.

Whenever a hobby turns into a primary source of income, it means deadlines, stress, and marketing. 

The average person making YouTube videos is doing an idle hobby.  Those YouTubers making a living off of their videos are doing work.  They may love their work, but it's not fun knowing you need to edit/upload/market your videos at a certain time each week, when you've got a headache, or want to just goof around.  It means schedules, being organized, having a gameplan, networking with websites, self-promotion, etc.

Bringing money into the activity (at least, enough to support oneself) changes the inherent nature of the activity.  It's no different than someone who enjoys video games, wanting to make a living off of it.  It turns a hobby into work, now requiring long-hours of practice and stress.

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Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2014, 08:49:49 PM »
Which only goes further to prove that it wouldn't be 'idling'. 

Offline alextaylor

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2014, 12:43:06 PM »
Everyone who understands how to make it work, that is. Some of us just don't grok it. :x

And the information age makes all that info easily available and searchable! Instant link if you're interested:
http://startupclass.samaltman.com/


But the idea that every single one of us not work and only do the things we want to do? That goes against everything I believe.

IMO, it's more that you should be enjoying what you do. HR's job shouldn't be about negotiating wage to as low as possible. HR should be building a culture that makes people want to come to work. They should be driving up worker happiness so much that people are able to double productivity or more.

There are jobs which cannot be enjoyed. Those jobs should be left to the robots. Or they should be optimized in some form, like what McDonald's did with burger assembly.

But I mean companies shouldn't run on carrot-and-stick motivation. That's industrial age shit. Some day people are going to look back at all that as a form of slavery, the same way we look at serfdom today.

People shouldn't be working just because otherwise they'd be fired and starve to death or be homeless. They should be working because they want to contribute to the world.

I believe everyone wants to contribute. It's just that contribution is seen as a dirty word. If you're getting paid $X to come to work 8 hours a day, nobody wants to work 9 hours. They won't work 6 hours either; that's stealing. They'll work only 8 hours, even when 6 hours is more productive or when 9 hours is necessary for the moment. They learn to pull back on productivity because if you do your best, you're expected to do 110% the next time by a slave driving boss. Overall, this leads to a very unproductive world.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2014, 01:06:10 PM »
There are jobs which cannot be enjoyed. Those jobs should be left to the robots. Or they should be optimized in some form, like what McDonald's did with burger assembly.

In the US, there are many workers who do not have a GED or high school diploma.  At least now they can support themselves a little bit using McJobs.  Over the past several months, there have been many protests to raise the minimum wage.  Due to fears of minimum wage increases, McDonald's stock price took a hit, and in an effort to assuage investor fears, McDonald's stated at their annual conference that they already have automated touch screen technology ready for roll-out if financial reasons warrant it.

From the perspective of unskilled workers, I don't understand how losing these job opportunities to automation would be beneficial for them.  Whether they are enjoyable or not is not the question.  The reality is that for some people (recovering drug addicts, dropouts, those with criminal records, etc.), low-skill part-time labor is perhaps the central way of rehabilitating into society, developing a work history, responsibility, and being productive citizens.

Even apart from that, many people just wouldn't work unless their boss/manager told them to. 

Offline alextaylor

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2014, 01:46:42 PM »
Yeah, it's more on the idealistic side. IMO if the world is productive enough, there should be enough spare resources to feed the people who aren't pulling their weight in society.

Unemployment isn't necessarily a bad thing. Where I live, unemployment exists, but it's only because wages are too low to survive on. So people rather remain unemployed to live on odd jobs and business. Overemployment, with benefits seems like a better option.

I think a lot of the bad eggs (dropouts, convicts) actually make the system worse if you include them in it. It's hard to manage some people, and they drain the motivation out of their coworkers and bosses.

There's a decent book that covers self-motivation and how much more powerful it is in the information age. Nearly everyone is born very curious and enthusiastic about everything. You have to almost beat the self motivation out of people.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2014, 05:06:38 PM »
Over the past several months, there have been many protests to raise the minimum wage.  Due to fears of minimum wage increases, McDonald's stock price took a hit, and in an effort to assuage investor fears, McDonald's stated at their annual conference that they already have automated touch screen technology ready for roll-out if financial reasons warrant it.

For the record, Americans are worried about nothing. Our minimum wage blows anything you're currently discussing out of the water and we have a McDonalds on every street corner still. We also have one of the easiest welfare systems to remain perpetually unemployed on, however despite these two factors combined our unemployment rate is still lower than America's. When I worked at Hungry Jacks (Australia's name for Burger King) I was paid $14.50/hour as an entry-level 16 year old. Corporations aren't really hurting until their voice goes up two octaves ;).

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From the perspective of unskilled workers, I don't understand how losing these job opportunities to automation would be beneficial for them.

Beneficial or not I think it's still going to happen, we need to be ready for it. I used to think the idea of getting rid of serving staff from supermarkets would never happen, and yet every time I visit the local coles I find myself using one of those automated little checkout areas while the few remaining human staff just oversee the process.

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The reality is that for some people (recovering drug addicts, dropouts, those with criminal records, etc.), low-skill part-time labor is perhaps the central way of rehabilitating into society, developing a work history, responsibility, and being productive citizens.

Improvements will be necessary to the education, mental health and criminal systems in order to compensate for their absence. Expecting the corporate sector to resolve these problems, whilst making a profit for their shareholders off of it simultaneously was certainly convenient but far from the best solution.

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Even apart from that, many people just wouldn't work unless their boss/manager told them to.

This is true. As much as I'm a dyed in the wool futurist, I'm still not convinced that everyone would work without a balance between incentive and dissuasion.

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Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2014, 06:09:46 PM »
For the record, Americans are worried about nothing. Our minimum wage blows anything you're currently discussing out of the water and we have a McDonalds on every street corner still. We also have one of the easiest welfare systems to remain perpetually unemployed on, however despite these two factors combined our unemployment rate is still lower than America's. When I worked at Hungry Jacks (Australia's name for Burger King) I was paid $14.50/hour as an entry-level 16 year old. Corporations aren't really hurting until their voice goes up two octaves ;).


Australia actually knows how to properly go about setting a minimum wage.  There are many differences between the minimum wage laws of Australia and the US.  When the US passes minimum wage laws, they generally tend to be of a sweeping nature, applying to all workers in the economy. 

First and foremost, the minimum wage is set accordingly based on age:

    Under 16 years of age  $5.87
    At 16 years of age   $7.55
    At 17 years of age   $9.22
    At 18 years of age   $10.90
    At 19 years of age   $13.17
    At 20 years of age   $15.59.
Source: http://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/national-minimum-wage/pages/default.aspx

Notice how the minimum wage for workers around age 18 is much less than your over 20 minimum wage?  This makes it easier for entry-level workers to find employment, since it gives businesses a competitive advantage to hire younger employees.

Also, let us examine the minimum wage laws in Australia for individuals with disabilities and the elderly:

"The percentage is based on ‘assessed productive capacity’. For example, someone with a capacity of 70% would get 70% of Special National Minimum Wage 1 (ie. 70% of $15.96 per hour)."
Source: http://www.fairwork.gov.au/employment/employees-with-disability/pages/special-national-minimum-wage-for-employees-with-disability.aspx

In other words, Australia's minimum wage policies are done the way it should be done.  It allows for a base standard of living, without creating a scenario where the minimum wage laws ultimately end up hurting the employment prospects of the people it strives to help.  Obviously my knowledge of Australia's economic policies is limited, but it is clear to me that these caveats in the laws play a large role in why it is so successful for your country.

Minimum wage proposals currently in Congress apply to all workers equally.

Offline roulette

Re: Work Culture: Good or Bad?
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2014, 06:23:58 PM »
Below is kind of a personal essay on the topic and how it affects me. So I don't know that I really stay completely relevant and all that.

"Work culture," like many things, is good and bad alike. As someone who is currently disabled and cannot work, I really suffer from the CULTURE aspects of our society, that tell me that unless I'm getting paid, I'm not doing anything worthwhile. I was told that if I succeed in getting disability pay, I should feel obligated to volunteer, to make up for the handouts I'm getting. Because if I'm not, I'm a leech. I'm not contributing anything.

But see, let's be honest here. If this was still survival of the fittest? I would be dead. That's the bottom line. I fit into that category of people that's probably more trouble to take care of than I'm worth. I certainly hope that's not true — that eventually I will be able to give something to the world that is good, and that justifies all the effort and money and so on that went into caring for me. But in the eyes of evolution, I'm one of the babies left out on the hill to die.

For the same reason, it's chilling to consider the idea that the world doesn't owe me anything. Nobody is obligated to take care of me, just because I can't work. Because I was born the way I was or because I had a bad home life. Nobody else should have to feed me. I get that, in a way, and yet it's terrifying to accept that view. Because if I don't have help, I would be dead. I still depend on the assistance of others to live, and while that's acceptable for anyone under the age of 18, my free pass has expired.

So, the culture that tells me I have to have a job to have worth is harmful to me. Even moreso, the high-stress, unfeeling attitude of a lot of jobs is also harmful to me, because they prevent me from getting hardly any work at all. It's not that I honestly cannot work at all, but that I can't work on a fixed schedule (because I get physically or emotionally ill quite often and would not be able to report to work). I also have severe social anxiety and struggle to deal with people. That being said, I am a quick learner and naturally very studious. I take pride in what I do. I learn things because it's fun. I have skill and can obtain further skill and the problem is: there is no system that helps circumvent my limitations to allow me to use my actual abilities. There are two reasons I don't apply for a lot of jobs: mainly because I have a fear of being overwhelmed and getting very ill, but also because I feel worthless. I'd be a horrible employee. So why should I bother, you know? Why should I inflict myself upon them? Why should I expect strangers to attempt to navigate my issues, and then pay me when I underperform?

When people ask me what I want to do, I say that I want to be a writer. I want to publish books. I've chosen that because I think it's the most likely way I'm going to make any money. But honestly? I don't ever want to sell a thing. I'm just required to do so, to feed myself. Because contributing, offering something to the world is not the same as being reimbursed for it.

I just wish work was more flexible. Some people can get by finding odd jobs here and there, but it's the minority. It seems it's so much harder to do anything besides working retail and so on to start with. There seem to be so few manageable options, and there's nobody around to help me find anything else. Etc. A work culture that encouraged everyone to offer what they can, and helped embrace the unique needs and talents of each individual — rather than demanding just a few types of people and essentially condemning anyone who doesn't fit the mold — would be a much better world, I think.