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Old 10-20-2009, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,732,385 times
Reputation: 1696

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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximusmgm View Post
Whats your definition of real work?
Whether it's work or not isn't the point...service which is not oriented towards production or support of production is essentially superfluous, and subject to severe pullbacks.

As an example, paying to have your nails done or for a maid to clean your house is nonessential economic activity...when push comes to shove you can stop using those services with little effect on production in the economy. Likewise, selling the contents of our garages to each other, or selling stocks back and forth to each other in a day trading parlor just results in moving money back-and-forth without producing much of anything.

OTOH, the diesel mechanic working in a western slope gas field and the nurse working in a Grand Junction hospital provide services that keep the means of production (transportation equipment and human capital) operating.

I agree with Bideshi that the service economy--particularly those nonessential services we've grown so fond of in the age of illusory false wealth--is very vulnerable to a powerful contraction.

 
Old 10-20-2009, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,818,309 times
Reputation: 9316
Bob from down south wrote:
I agree with Bideshi that the service economy--particularly those nonessential services we've grown so fond of in the age of illusory false wealth--is very vulnerable to a powerful contraction.
One would think just that, yet in reality it is the diesel mechanics working in a western slope gas field who were among the first to lose their jobs. The haircutters and nail polishers are still working, but with a reduced customer base becasue the diesel mechanics can no longer afford to have their nails done....
 
Old 10-20-2009, 02:08 PM
 
2,437 posts, read 7,260,427 times
Reputation: 1512
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bideshi View Post
I sincerely apologize if my concerns for the future insulted anyone, but I really believe our service economy is going to continue to contract. I don't think it was ever sustainable. My field also falls into that category (quality control). When there is nothing actualy being produced anymore, quality control is no longer needed, and so it goes.
The only problem is that your definition of 'service' jobs is really skewed. You mentioned 'cube-dwelling' jobs in your first post on the matter. Some cube-dwelling jobs are indeed reliant on unnecessary services, but most aren't. Conversely, many people who do physical work are doing so in traditionally service-based industries. Either way, I think everyone would agree that jobs based on luxury services, like 'organic-pet-food-sales' or 'stainless-steel-appliance-smudge-removal' have less certain futures than jobs like 'pediatric-nurse' or 'tenured-teacher'.
 
Old 10-20-2009, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,732,385 times
Reputation: 1696
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
Bob from down south wrote:
I agree with Bideshi that the service economy--particularly those nonessential services we've grown so fond of in the age of illusory false wealth--is very vulnerable to a powerful contraction.
One would think just that, yet in reality it is the diesel mechanics working in a western slope gas field who were among the first to lose their jobs. The haircutters and nail polishers are still working, but with a reduced customer base becasue the diesel mechanics can no longer afford to have their nails done....
Where do diesel mechanics get their nails done...Brokeback Fountain??

Of course no sector is immune, and local dynamics are unique...but the diesel mechanic can still find a job elsewhere (lots of unmet demand still for a skilled mechanic), where as the nail polisher can take it elsewhere and face stiff competition from the same broad pullbacks.

Also, the guys in the gas fields lost their jobs a ways into this crisis as the commodity bubble popped...the nonessentials had been taking it on the chin for a while before that.
 
Old 10-20-2009, 04:14 PM
 
13,263 posts, read 25,414,285 times
Reputation: 20226
I work nights in a psychiatric hospital. Am I contributing to human capital? Half the people are SSDI who probably could work but don't and haven't because some social worker put them in for all these benefits years ago. I move a lot of paper around (and soon, a lot of electrons, as my job adopts one of the clunkiest electronic record system ever invented some 20+ years ago). I help keep the whole system going, as I have no idea except for medications what actually helps people.
And if insurance doesn't wanna cover people or keep them in hospital for more than a day or so, it doesn't matter if I provide something essential or not. Do I do "real work?"
I had a boyfriend once who said that the only "real work is farming and carpentry." What do you think he did for a living? (Hint- he was not a farmer.")
And yes, if I lost my job, the first things I'd cancel would be my Central American monthly cleaning service. No nail salons to cancel. Charity would go next, and the occasional lunch out.
 
Old 10-20-2009, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Canon City, Colorado
1,331 posts, read 4,512,973 times
Reputation: 677
Well...one of the few "professions" I can think of that cannot be replaced by computer,etc,..is......Hairstylist.......one can hardly hook someone up to something that clips or cuts like the Jetsons! JMO of course!!
 
Old 10-20-2009, 06:40 PM
 
548 posts, read 1,274,922 times
Reputation: 468
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I work nights in a psychiatric hospital. Am I contributing to human capital? Half the people are SSDI who probably could work but don't and haven't because some social worker put them in for all these benefits years ago. I move a lot of paper around (and soon, a lot of electrons, as my job adopts one of the clunkiest electronic record system ever invented some 20+ years ago). I help keep the whole system going, as I have no idea except for medications what actually helps people.
And if insurance doesn't wanna cover people or keep them in hospital for more than a day or so, it doesn't matter if I provide something essential or not. Do I do "real work?"
I had a boyfriend once who said that the only "real work is farming and carpentry." What do you think he did for a living? (Hint- he was not a farmer.")
And yes, if I lost my job, the first things I'd cancel would be my Central American monthly cleaning service. No nail salons to cancel. Charity would go next, and the occasional lunch out.
I worked as a psych nurse as well and wondered the same thing......what is the point of this job? What bothered me the most was the 'repeat customers.' Most of the 'pts' I admitted had been there before or other psych units numerous times. Lots of them homeless, or like you said, on SSDI and they simply know the system - go in the ER and state you are going to kill yourself and they (ER Docs) have to admit under EMTALA laws.
 
Old 10-20-2009, 08:33 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,745,548 times
Reputation: 9129
It makes me laugh when I hear people talk about the "service economy." What the United States has really become is a "self-service" or "no-service" economy. One of the reasons that I think so many Americans (and Coloradans) feel so stressed and harried is that they have to work as dual-income households, endure nerve-wracking commutes to and from their crackerbox McMansions to get to work or shopping, plus deal with the stresses of raising often-spoiled mall rat children who don't want to do anything . . . and THEN have to deal with the fact that they have to do virtually everything self-service to exist. And, we've been brainwashed into thinking that this is "the good life?"

See, I remember when there were teenagers glad to have a part-time job doing things like filling one's gas tank, unloading one's grocery cart and bagging the groceries, mowing one's lawn, shoveling the snow in winter. Or how about when you could actually get appliances and electronics repaired locally by a repair person? Or when a doctor actually made house calls?--one of those fellows saved my life when I was a little kid--I probably wouldn't have made it to an emergency room.

Most people call those of us who remember those things "nostalgic old fools," but just because something has not been around for awhile and is called "passť" by people who haven't experienced it doesn't mean it wasn't a good thing. Honestly, I don't have the bar set very high anymore--I would just like it when I call customer service to have someone who can speak English from North America answer the call. You can hardly even get that anymore. Service economy in the US? If you call financial Ponzi-scheme builders "service," then maybe. Otherwise, nope, not really.

I read on another thread that even the brothels in Nevada are losing business severely. That's about as basic a service business as there is. I wonder how long before we start "outsourcing" that . . .
 
Old 10-21-2009, 07:43 AM
 
1,742 posts, read 2,686,833 times
Reputation: 1925
Agreed Jaz, we have killed this generation with kindness and they are certainly living up to out lowest expectations. We have also demonstrated that you can be rewarded for failure. (tarp acorn gm etc). RP
 
Old 10-21-2009, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Canon City, Colorado
1,331 posts, read 4,512,973 times
Reputation: 677
I agree with Prove and Jazz!!!
It is best to be really rich or really really poor...more benefits!
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