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Old 05-21-2020, 01:56 PM
3,974 posts, read 1,643,851 times
Reputation: 10259


Originally Posted by flyingsaucermom View Post
There is still the psycho and social work. I have to be my kids' psychologist and give them skills of their culture (American/western).

You can cover health care and give me time off, but I still have to parent my kids. Not as much emphasis was put on this concept before the 20th century, because kids were needed for work, or they just came about for lack of education and birth control. Mothering/parenting as we know it today didn't used to exist except for the upper middle and upper classes, if not for just royalty and uber rich. I suppose this is benefit of our overall higher standard of living, but nonetheless it's added responsibility.

I suppose, too, that a good portion of this job went to church staff.. ministers, priests, Sunday school teachers, etc..

That would be an interesting line of research. Is there a qualitative difference on perceived stress levels between being a religious mother and a secular mother.

I wish I belonged to a church community for many reasons, but well, you have to actually believe in the doctrine or it just feels wrong.
I agree- some people are well-equipped to handle a lot of kids but most are not. My parents had 5 and that's how many they wanted (although, thanks to the rhythm method, they were closer together than planned.) It worked out well- our upbringing was comfortable but not lavish and they Put all 5 of us through college. I had one. I would have liked a second but it didn't happen and that's OK. Three would have been out of the question (well, if the second pregnancy had been twins I would have kept them both!).

As for religion- DS and DDIL are evangelical Christians with a very strong church community and they have 3. I asked about a 4th; DS would go for it but DDIL, who home-schools them, thinks 3 may be enough. I know he'll support her decision if she decides she can't do a good job mothering 4. So. even with a strong church community there are limits.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:02 PM
6,922 posts, read 2,056,517 times
Reputation: 11934
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
You think automation is a bust and there will somehow be more jobs in... the next fifty years?
Accurately forecasting 50 years from now is exceedingly difficult.

For example, let's look at 120 years ago at the turn of the century. Over 60% of the US population was directly involved in agriculture, farming, and ranching. Today, it is less than 4%.

Imagine that you could go back in time to 1900 & tell learned scholars, politicians, futurists, and business leaders that in far-off 2020 less than 4% of the nation's population would be directly involved in agriculture.

Then imagine you asked them, "what in the world do you think all the other people will do for a living in far-off 2019?"

Chances are none of those learned scholars and pundits would guess:
  • "network engineer,"
  • "geneticist,"
  • "web designer,"
  • "search engine optimization engineer,"
  • "industrial robot tech,"
  • "radiologist,"
  • "professional MMA fighter,"
  • "professional football player,"
  • "cinematographer,"
  • "sound engineer,"
  • "microprocessor architect,"
  • "telemarketer,"
  • "City-Data forum moderator",
  • "cryptocurrency miner",
  • "social media marketer",
  • "physical therapist",
  • "occupational therapist,"
  • "solid state physicist,"
  • "CPU architect,"
  • "mortgage broker,"
  • "coronavirus vaccine designer"

-- and the like.

We don't know what the future holds -- it is exceedingly difficult to forecast the future, but I seriously doubt either AI or automation or robotics are a serious threat.


How hard is it to forecast the future? Take the Great Manure Crisis of 1894.

Nineteenth-century cities depended on thousands of horses for their daily functioning. All transport, whether of goods or people, was drawn by horses. London in 1900 had 11,000 taxi cabs, all horse-powered. There were also several thousand buses, each of which required 12 horses per day, a total of more than 50,000 horses. There were countless carts, drays, and wagons, all horse-powered and all working constantly to deliver the goods needed by the rapidly growing population of what was then the largest city in the world. Similar figures exist for any great city of the time.

The problem of course was that all these horses produced huge amounts of manure. A horse will on average produce between 15 and 35 pounds of manure per day. In New York in 1900, the population of 100,000 horses produced 2.5 Million pounds of horse manure per day, all of which had to be swept up and disposed of. Where do you put it all?

The problem did indeed seem intractable. The larger and richer that cities became, the more horses they needed to function. The more horses, the more manure. Futurists of 120 years ago estimated that in 1950 every street in London would be buried under nine feet of manure. Moreover, all these horses had to be stabled, which used up ever-larger areas of increasingly valuable land. And as the number of horses grew, ever-more land had to be devoted to producing hay to feed them (rather than producing food for people), and this had to be brought into cities and distributed—by yet more horse-drawn vehicles.

It seemed that urban civilization was doomed and would fall under the weight of all that manure (or drown in the nearly 2.5 gallons of urine each horse produced per day).

In 1898 the first international urban-planning conference convened in New York; one of its goals was to figure out what to do about all the horse manure. The conference was abandoned after three days, instead of the scheduled ten, because none of the delegates could see any solution to the growing crisis posed by urban horses and their waste output.

Obviously, the trend that couldn't go on forever -- and, well, it didn't go on forever.

So when we collectively think about AI and robotics, we do know that by automating more tasks, it frees up people to find better ways to add value to society. In the late 1890s, many people were employed in the collection and removal of horse manure from the streets of major cities. Just two decades later, the total number of people employed doing that had cratered to a tiny fraction of peak manure-removal employment. All those unemployed manure-removal laborers didn't sit around and whine; they all found other ways to add value to society and thereby earn a living.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:18 PM
1,443 posts, read 294,571 times
Reputation: 2452
No such thing as an infinitely expanding economy on a finite planet. When you get those star cruisers up and ready that can transport millions of people to other solar systems at faster than light speed, great. Until then its a dead end.

And like it or not, soon have to deal with AI automation makes most human jobs superfluous. Are we all going to do contact tracing of each other? Or take in each others laundry? Or cook fancy meals for each other? It just doesnt take that many humans to service the robots and sooner or later there will be robots to service other robots. So somebody better be thinking up new economic model. Robots dont buy stuff. Unless you want to program them to buy stuff, then exactly what is point of humans again???
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:22 PM
2,784 posts, read 772,622 times
Reputation: 4510
Okay, a bit of a sledgehammer reply there, but pegging it all on fifty years is misguided.

We are already seeing the results of 'automation' reducing real jobs, and have been since the 1970s, as one tier of work after another falls to vastly more efficient mechanization, automation, roboticizing and increasingly, actual AI.

We are going to see a shocking jump in low-end AI when we come out of hiding.

The seeds of low-end white-collar AI, already planted, have been well fertilized by this as well.

Most people wouldn't know enough about the current and very-near-term capabilities of AI to fill a matchbook cover if HAL refused to open their garage door. (These are often the same people who beller and shout to bring back jobs... in industries that went to 100s:1 mechanized reductions long ago.)

Without simply saying "There's no way to know" in two thousand words, what makes you think this sustained trend, pushed by the strongest economic factors, is in any way going to change... in the next ten years?

White-collar babies?
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:24 PM
Location: Ohio
22,238 posts, read 15,644,070 times
Reputation: 18761
Originally Posted by RationalExpectations View Post
This is a very troubling economic trend:
What's more troubling is why you don't understand how things work.

Originally Posted by RationalExpectations View Post
The economic consequence 21 years from now in 2041 will be severe.
USCIS adjusts the lottery based on birth-death rates.

Fewer women having children means there's more people winning the lottery for Green Cards.

Instead of wasting your time on Wall Street Jackass articles, you should spend more time perusing US Commerce Department publications and research articles, specifically those from the Census Bureau, who does more than just a census every ten years.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:26 PM
Location: Guadalajara, MX
7,994 posts, read 3,834,215 times
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Originally Posted by Mircea View Post
you should spend more time perusing US Commerce Department publications and research articles
Sounds like an amazing way to spend the afternoon. I'll get some beers and call a few friends to come over.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:32 PM
Location: IN
21,716 posts, read 38,110,620 times
Reputation: 14285
This is a key result of economic challenges faced by inflationary costs related to housing prices and educational expenses faced by younger people in addition to wages having not risen much relative to those costs (except for certain select sectors) in decades. I expect to see a further aging of the population and sharply declining birth rates over the next 10-20 years in the US without a doubt. Another key factor is technology and diversions, this has resulted in a sizable percentage of the population increasingly comfortable not going out or feeling as motivated to go out and experience things in person. The pandemic has been a huge advantage for introverts, many self-employed and running online businesses.
As someone who has an educational background and career background in Geographic Information Systems, (GIS), I specialize in economic geography, population demography, and population migrations. One key factor that I have noticed in the US is that the smaller sized metropolitan areas are now experiencing population age structure pyramids similar to a large percentage of rural counties. This is significant because it is strongly indicative that these areas are becoming less economically viable over time- meaning less job growth and a greater outflow of residents instead of inflows. A key demographic tipping point are counties or cities having a greater percentage of the population over age 65 than under the age of 18. Once that has occurred, this does not reverse often or at all. This obviously has economic implications and activity often becomes focused on that age cohort compared to the younger cohorts. This often results in feedback loops, meaning younger residents or families will often move to economically more vibrant metropolitan areas that offer greater overall opportunities.
Technology- the writing is on the wall- just look at what is happening right now with the largest corporations taking over huge percentages of market share during the COVID19 pandemic. They largest companies will continue to monopolize profits and control just about everything- meaning they will have increased profit margins and revenues to be able to automate anything possible- leading to far fewer workers being needed in the future, other than the engineers and technicians to maintain the automated functions for the companies. It will not be dystopian reality, but a reality that people will have to accept that technology won't be stopped, and it will be harder for many to be able to afford a middle class lifestyle that involve having kids.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:34 PM
Location: Florida
7,388 posts, read 3,463,818 times
Reputation: 8946
People seem to forget what kind of economy young people have had to endure in the last 20 years. We are now into our 3rd. Recession in that time frame with the 2008-2009 one literally destroying careers and finding a job with financial stability & healthcare.
Who in their right mind would bring a child into the world in a situation like that?
I have 6 nieces & nephews and only 2 are married.
None have children because they can't afford too.
It's no longer a viable option for many young people.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:40 PM
Location: Camberville
13,055 posts, read 17,915,617 times
Reputation: 22225
Daycare for one infant is more than $2000 a month where I live, and that's bottom of the barrel. The "subsidized" daycare at work (based on income, of which I'm in around the middle tier) is $2400 a month for one infant, $2200 a month for a toddler.

In this pandemic, who is getting screwed the most financially? People of childbearing age, many of whom have less savings to fall back on due to loans, stagnant wages, and just lack of time to save.

I am 32 and have spent years trying to get into position to be able to afford children, despite not having student loans (though my partner has 6 figures from law school alone) or debt and having a middle income career. I suppose I could have just gone and had kids, but with limited savings and retirement, where would I have been if the **** it the fan? And it's hitting the fan right now. Now, that stable career isn't at all stable and my hope to be able to afford a condo in the next 2 years and a baby in the next 4 is right out the window.

My peers have now gone through two once-in-a-lifetime economic crises: the one we graduated into and the one that occurred when we're hitting a good place in our careers. It's hard to imagine how we'll prioritize having kids in the future without serious shifts in policy regarding parental leave and daycare subsidies, forget knowing that we have to save twice as much for retirement because we'll see no social security when the time comes.

The US is incredibly family-unfriendly.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:45 PM
2,784 posts, read 772,622 times
Reputation: 4510
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
Sounds like an amazing way to spend the afternoon. I'll get some beers and call a few friends to come over.
As much as M( as in 'thousand words per post') can annoy me, I agree.

If you want to argue this stuff, some review of the base stats and numbers goes a long ways in building and justifying a sensible argument. Vaguely pontificating on a news article, pretty much any news article regardless of source but much more so for a devalued and untrustworthy shell like WSJ... well, I guess it's entertaining, but anyone who's hanging in the Econ forum for "entertainment" purposes is one deranged puppy.

It often takes no more than seconds to look up salient numbers of more reliability than what some feature reporter thought he read somewhere.
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