U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
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 08-21-2011, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 78,418,746 times
Reputation: 36331

Advertisements

Walk down a suburban street at 2 PM knocking on doors--there is nobody home. All adults are gone to work. What the hell do they do all day?

Fifty years ago, one person working a full week from each household of five, created all the goods and services needed for national productivity. Now, it takes two workers from a family of three. What are they doing?

Walk in a store, there are no clerks. Self service items on the shelf, but no American is making them. No checkouts, they're automatic scan. The bank doesn't tally my accounts and send me a statement, it's done by a machine. Phone any office, there's nobody there to talk to you on the phone. Nobody repairs anything, everything you buy is disposable, replace it with something taken off a ship from China, by a robot, no stevedores. No agricultural worker, one farmer can work 400 acres driving his machinery by himself. No laundry workers, machines are automatic in every home. Nobody even slicing McDonald's onions, they come in a plastic bag, already sliced by a computer-controlled machine in Indiana.

What are all those people doing who have jobs?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-21-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Here.
15,454 posts, read 14,020,146 times
Reputation: 18080
Those jobs you listed are low-skill jobs which have been exported (or replaced with robots). That is why the unemployment rate is high in the inner city (24% here in Detroit) where most low-skilled workers reside.

However, the higher skilled jobs still exist. Office workers, machine shops, licensed residential services, etc.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-21-2011, 04:18 PM
Status: "But in the aggregate..." (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,337 posts, read 69,519,228 times
Reputation: 37344
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post

Fifty years ago, one person working a full week from each household of five, created all the goods and services needed for national productivity. Now, it takes two workers from a family of three. What are they doing?
Close.
Now it takes TWO workers to earn the same **purchasing power** as what ONE salary used to earn.

Remember the cries for equality? They got it.
Now *everyone* can get paid crap.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-21-2011, 04:43 PM
 
Location: The Ranch
23,420 posts, read 26,643,486 times
Reputation: 9733
Quote:
What are all those people doing who have jobs?
They are sitting in Incident centers (similar to a call center) watching computer screens for glitches in the system. And then there are the people who are watching more computer screens watching these computer screens verifying they are doing their jobs and responding to issues in a timely manner. Then there are the people who carry PDA's and each time an incident occurs, it gets transmitted to that PDA and get to watch it too.

Did you really think that each time to swipe your credit card, that there isn't a group of people somewhere watching for the transactions to flow to their correct locations (servers)?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-21-2011, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 78,418,746 times
Reputation: 36331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post

However, the higher skilled jobs still exist. Office workers, machine shops, licensed residential services, etc.
But what do they do in offices? People in offices used to sit at high desks with rubber bands around their sleeves, writing things with pens dipped into inkwells. What takes all their "highly skilled" time now? Machine shops? Every part of every machine used to be made by hand, in America. How many people now work in machine shops? What do licensed residential services do? Cut grass? It takes ten minutes now to cut a lawn with a 6-foot wide mower with an airplane engine running it. Did you ever mow a lawn with a push mower with a cylindrical blade? "Highly skilled"?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-21-2011, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,470 posts, read 18,192,512 times
Reputation: 4343
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Fifty years ago, one person working a full week from each household of five, created all the goods and services needed for national productivity. Now, it takes two workers from a family of three. What are they doing?
You are speaking as if the standard of living is the same today as it was 50 years ago, but its not. People made due with much less 50 years ago than they do today.

Today a single income family can have a better standard of living than they would 50 years ago, so it doesn't "take" two incomes instead people decide they want more. They want a bigger home, they want two cars, they want more toys for their kids, they want more expensive vacations, etc.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-21-2011, 09:53 PM
Status: "But in the aggregate..." (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,337 posts, read 69,519,228 times
Reputation: 37344
Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
You are speaking as if the standard of living is the same today as it was 50 years ago, but its not. People made due with much less 50 years ago than they do today.

Your argument has merit but it jumps too many steps. To maintain even the more modest standard of the past still requires more hours being worked than it used to. A lot more hours.

Once the commitment is made (collectively or family by family) to give up all the other benefits of having only one wage earner that creates a desire or even need to be compensated extra for that loss. But it still doesn't happen.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-21-2011, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,470 posts, read 18,192,512 times
Reputation: 4343
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
To maintain even the more modest standard of the past still requires more hours being worked than it used to. A lot more hours.
Except that it doesn't. Real wages have increased over the last 50 years so on average family would actually be wealthier with the same number of hours being worked.

The real issue here is that people tend to inflate the standard of living from 50 years ago, if one truly lived like they did 50 years ago you could easily duplicate it.

50 years ago average folks:

- Raised 2~3 kids in homes that were around 1,000 sf.
- Had one TV
- Had one car
- Had no computers, no extra gadgets.
- Washing machines and especially driers were a luxury

and so on.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-22-2011, 07:17 AM
Status: "Enjoying the winter" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
33,896 posts, read 61,703,471 times
Reputation: 37789
It sounds like the OP has not had a real job or would know what people are doing. Go to any downtown medium-large city and you will see hundreds of multi-story office buildings filled with every kind of job from lawyers to administrative people, sales staff, marketing people, accountants, engineers,
business managers, real estate professionals, and so on. These are the people living in the suburbs that are not home during the day.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-22-2011, 08:32 AM
 
8,265 posts, read 11,196,577 times
Reputation: 4788
Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
You are speaking as if the standard of living is the same today as it was 50 years ago, but its not. People made due with much less 50 years ago than they do today.

Today a single income family can have a better standard of living than they would 50 years ago, so it doesn't "take" two incomes instead people decide they want more. They want a bigger home, they want two cars, they want more toys for their kids, they want more expensive vacations, etc.
Bingo.

You take a middle-class American family today, get rid of expenses for internet, cell/smart phone, cable/sat TV, netflix, give them one simple car, a smaller house, eating out becomes the rare exception, no buying computers, no video game console and the $60/pop games for it, etc. they'd make it on a single income just like people did in the 50s and 60s.
Rate this post positively 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

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:34 AM.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - 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, 36, 37 - Top