U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-12-2008, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Chino, CA
1,458 posts, read 2,959,630 times
Reputation: 546

Advertisements

A growing economy requires increasing innovation and efficiency which ultimately results in increasing productivity.

Total Productivity = Outputs/Inputs

Which means an increase in productivity results in more outputs using less or the same amount of inputs. So, what does that mean? We can produce more and more with less inputs. What are inputs? Labor is a major input.

Year by year labor productivity is growing exponentially averaging 2.5% per year in the last 7 years. Year by year, it requires less people or the same amount of people to produce more. The redundancy you hear about with corporate layoffs, consolidations, mergers, etc. improve efficiency and productivity and as a result requires less labor.


Productivity Growth by Major Sector, 1947-2007. Bar Chart

Meanwhile... on the flip side... population is increasing exponentially at approximately 1% per annum.


Demographics of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So, over time production requires less people, but, as a population we continue to grow. These two concepts are at odds with one another and more people will eventually fight or compete over fewer production input roles... or jobs. I've read that productivity increases, automation, etc. eliminates more jobs than outsourcing.

"Business Week estimates that 1% productivity improvement can eliminate up to 1.3 million jobs. With U.S. productivity growing at an annual rate of 3-5%, the reason for the jobs shortfall becomes clear. According to Forrester Research, of the 2.7 million jobs lost over the three years, only 300,000 have been from outsourcing."
http://www.jimpinto.com/writings/productivityrace.html

As a society, eventually we will have to deal with this. Either the population has to stop growing, productivity has to fall requiring more inputs, or we can live in a society of surplus - where we can produce a lot with very little input and somehow manage the issues about economy (distribution of resources?).

What are your thoughts on this dubious trend? Sociological and economical.

-chuck22b
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-12-2008, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles Area
3,306 posts, read 3,453,539 times
Reputation: 592
The dubious trend? Haha.....

Under this line of reasoning employment should be almost 100% by now.

Back in the day almost everyone spent their time on farming and things of that nature. As productivity in agriculture increased did these people just set around and do nothing? I hope not, because everyone you know is likely to be one of them. No, they went into other industries many of which didn't even exist before. The only way new industries can be created is if current industries become more productive.

Of course, we could all go back to farming and such. I'll tell you want though, I'll let you pick the cotton my hand.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2008, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Chino, CA
1,458 posts, read 2,959,630 times
Reputation: 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humanoid View Post
The dubious trend? Haha.....

Under this line of reasoning employment should be almost 100% by now.

Back in the day almost everyone spent their time on farming and things of that nature. As productivity in agriculture increased did these people just set around and do nothing? I hope not, because everyone you know is likely to be one of them. No, they went into other industries many of which didn't even exist before. The only way new industries can be created is if current industries become more productive.

Of course, we could all go back to farming and such. I'll tell you want though, I'll let you pick the cotton my hand.
I agree, and I know new industries come about... but are new industries coming about producing jobs faster or just as fast as the increase in productivity, population, and outsourcing combined? Even in the "next" driver forum... some are stumped as to what would be the next economic driver.

I know technology and adaptation will eventually ensue, and people adapt and grow to survive. But, as it is the Darwinian concepts in capitalism is leaving quite a few behind. Perhaps crime would be a better avenue than the "legal" and noble route of self improvement.

My job requires that I produce, analyze, and build technology that make people more efficient and reduce redundancies. As a result, it "frees" up time but sometimes eliminates jobs that otherwise would of been performed by some individual. My concern is as productivity increases... many people won't be able to adapt and move forward - especially older folks.

Eventually if they aren't able to move on... the loss of jobs from productivity would result in them having to take on unemployment or other social safety nets which ultimately effects everybody. Ultimately, I believe productivity is good. But, new industries have to be formed that can absorb the number of jobs lost. As it is, unproductive industries cropped up in the last decade to take up the slack... but now we're back at square one.

-chuck22b
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2008, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles Area
3,306 posts, read 3,453,539 times
Reputation: 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck22b View Post
I agree, and I know new industries come about... but are new industries coming about producing jobs faster or just as fast as the increase in productivity, population, and outsourcing combined? Even in the "next" driver forum... some are stumped as to what would be the next economic driver.
I would suggest those that are stumped lack imagination and/or knowledge about science/computing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck22b View Post
My job requires that I produce, analyze, and build technology that make people more efficient and reduce redundancies. As a result, it "frees" up time but sometimes eliminates jobs that otherwise would of been performed by some individual. My concern is as productivity increases... many people won't be able to adapt and move forward - especially older folks.
Look at the world 200 years and look at today, has adapting been a problem so far? No.


You are also missing a bit in your hmm...'analysis'. The number of hours people need to work goes down as productivity increaes throughout society. Compare working hours today to those 200 years ago....people have far more free time today. In the future, as industry becomes more and more productive people will have even more free time.

The world isn't going to stand still for you....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2008, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,498,448 times
Reputation: 27565
No, but there will be alot more of us standing around.

I do agree that population is increasing faster than job creation. We are still waiting for "the next big innovation" although all the scientists an analysts that cheered outsourcing to free up our scientists couldn't articulate as to what that next great innovation would be.

I don't see an answer nor do I read too much about any solutions.
Mass die off is the only thing that comes to mind that would solve it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2008, 05:07 PM
 
Location: WA
5,395 posts, read 21,393,457 times
Reputation: 5893
Productivity is the result of investment... better procedures, equipment, tools, information, training, etc.

A worker with a bulldozer is much more productive than a dozen with shovels. A worker with a computer system and network is more productive than many with pencils and ledger books. etc. etc. The trend allows society to have more resources for less effort with each worker sharing in the benefits directly or indirectly.

The whole issue of productivity and creative destruction is not seamless and there will be short term pain during periods of restructuring leading over the long term to more wealth for society.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2008, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Chino, CA
1,458 posts, read 2,959,630 times
Reputation: 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humanoid View Post
I would suggest those that are stumped lack imagination and/or knowledge about science/computing.
Society is far more complex and diverse than just technologists, scientists, and engineers. This is both a good and bad thing as variety and diversity allows humans to have a better chance at adapting to future consequences. A society full of a single culture/personality type or group would be even less imaginative.

I think people are stumped not because they lack imaginations or knowledge, but the exponential rate of productivity increases, ideas, and mass knowledge (Internet) has greatly reduced the marginal ability to bring up new ideas and innovations... either that, it could be analysis paralysis.

It was far easier to think up of new ideas, businesses, industries, and issues after WWII when the world was destroyed vs. after 50+ years of relative growth and stability.

Quote:
Look at the world 200 years and look at today, has adapting been a problem so far? No.
I wish it was so simple. A lot of people are falling through the cracks... like I said, especially the older people, laborers, and less educated folks. The world is far more complex and information is traveling faster and further in the last two decades than it ever had in the last 180 years.

Quote:
You are also missing a bit in your hmm...'analysis'. The number of hours people need to work goes down as productivity increaes throughout society. Compare working hours today to those 200 years ago....people have far more free time today. In the future, as industry becomes more and more productive people will have even more free time.

The world isn't going to stand still for you....
So, what would they do with the free time? They need to do something to survive? Interesting enough though, there was I think a slight reverse in this trend. In the last decade or so, 9-5 has become 8-6, and for some 50+ hour work weeks aren't uncommon.

In an ideological world where input costs become nil and we live in surplus it would eliminate a need for economy (management of scarcity). But, on our way there.... I see increasing poverty, social and economic disparity. Those that adapt will succeed, but those that don't.... I don't know... will steal?

It's the management of this disparity and gap that will be interesting and will truly mark human progression - civility.

-chuck22b

Last edited by chuck22b; 12-12-2008 at 05:36 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2008, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Keller, TX
5,663 posts, read 5,170,131 times
Reputation: 4076
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck22b View Post
...the population has to stop growing...
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Mass die off is the only thing that comes to mind that would solve it.
Yes and yes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2008, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles Area
3,306 posts, read 3,453,539 times
Reputation: 592
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck22b View Post
Society is far more complex and diverse than just technologists, scientists, and engineers. This is both a good and bad thing as variety and diversity allows humans to have a better chance at adapting to future consequences. A society full of a single culture/personality type or group would be even less imaginative.
Huh? What does this have to do with my comment? My point was that the people that can't think of what the next "driver" could be aren't thinking very hard, or are simply ignorant of current science.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck22b View Post
(Internet) has greatly reduced the marginal ability to bring up new ideas and innovations...
No...its lack of imagination and knowledge. There are so many technologies that are on the cusp of breaking out its just odd to me that people think that there is going to be a lack of future "drivers".

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck22b View Post
I wish it was so simple. A lot of people are falling through the cracks... like I said, especially the older people, laborers, and less educated folks.
Yeah, god forbid people actually learn something. I don't care if people are falling through the cracks because they refuse to learn something new. Let them fall and hope they don't reproduce.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck22b View Post
So, what would they do with the free time? They need to do something to survive? Interesting enough though, there was I think a slight reverse in this trend.
What do you do with your free time? Do you manage with some free time? I imagine you do. Would mange with some more...I'd imagine you would.

Its hard to know what you are trying to say with the rest for comments. They are odd to say the least.

As I said before, the world isn't going to stand still for you. So play your cards accordingly. New technologies are going to happen whether you like it or not. They will transform the world as we know it whether you like it or not.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-16-2008, 05:35 PM
 
3,679 posts, read 4,203,857 times
Reputation: 2184
Default The inconvenient truth about productivity in America

Best topic on this forum!

Just wanted to mention that reported productivity gains are as exaggerated as home prices were during the Housing Bubble. Matter of fact, I resigned from a Fortune 10 company because they were grossly manipulating productivity numbers even though they had an ethics agreement with the US government.

Productivity doesn’t increase on a linear curve and as proof all you need to do is look at your own work place. Productivity really only increases when you get a new software program or an exceptional employee or maybe even a new printer but never at a steady monthly pace.

Productivity numbers in the United States are a sham and should be taken with a grain of salt. All they prove is they we as Americans have become better liars but not any more productive beyond the effects of computers in our work place.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top