In response to:

Obama Caves, Sells Out Middle-Class For Wealthy

DuaneUrban Wrote: Jan 03, 2013 11:50 AM
Why do people who are otherwise reasonable and intelligent fall for the workers leaving the workforce propaganda? I'm not sure how other states do it but in Massachusetts when your unemployment benefits expire you are cut off. There is no way to register as looking for work. I believe that is to hide the true unemployment figures. Those people who exhausted their benefits are still looking for work. All this talk about taxes and spending cuts is just another smoke screen to hide the fact that America can not survive solely on a service oriented economy. Unless we figure out a way to bring manufacturing jobs back home our days are numbered.
Fred_PA_2000 Wrote: Jan 03, 2013 9:52 PM
I agree that the government intentionally understates the unemployment rate. And it's not just baby-boomers retiring, either; labor force participation rates are _UP_ in those older age cohorts. It is the young people who are leaving the labor force in discouragement. They are dropping out of a more functional society because they don't think it has any place for them.

But the problem is only partly an overemphasis on the service economy. Services always require a server who _knows_how_to_ perform the service they're paid for. That is, services are inherently knowledge based. And the well-paying service jobs -- like doctor, lawyer, architect, engineer, etc. -- require a high level of mastery. (Continued)

Fred_PA_2000 Wrote: Jan 03, 2013 10:10 PM
(Cont'd). Unfortunately, the distribution of IQ's in the population isn't changing: Most of us don't have what it takes to become brain surgeons. And there's too many "rest of us's" competing for the less skill-demanding jobs in fast food, hotel/motel, retailing, etc.

Manufacturing offered a way out, in that the less skilled worker could greatly multiply his/her output by using smart machines. Unfortunately, there's no way to automate most services (think haircuts). And a worker must be paid from the fruits of his/her own labors. (If he/she is paid more, the difference is necessarily stolen from the fruits of some other worker.) So low skilled service work is poorly paid because it doesn't produce much. (Continued)
Fred_PA_2000 Wrote: Jan 03, 2013 10:13 PM
(Cont'd.) But low skilled factory work can be paid more because the machines -- that is, capital equipment -- allows the worker to multiply his/her output.

Unfortunately, our society (including especially, and curiously, our working class) is hostile to paying anyone a return for providing such capital equipment. Our injuries are very much self-inflicted.
Jeff2422 Wrote: Jan 03, 2013 12:29 PM
Much truth in what you say. I will say there is some hope in 3D technology that is coming out ot the US. 3D tech is currently just labeled as a "printer" technology. But, there are 3D printers that can use over 200 different types of materials to make things like Jeff Dunham's puppets or your coffee cup. Essentially, it is the early version of the Sci Fi/Star Trek "replicator" which took matter and made whatever you asked for, including organic substances. Probably not in my lifetime, but traditional manufacturing will go the way of the dinosaurs. But, I agree, a predominantly service economy will not support a super power for long.
Ron781 Wrote: Jan 03, 2013 12:39 PM
Jeff you are a teckie nitwit. Most things manufactured are made to meet the complex fabrication, handling, shipping, marketing and end user use conditions for products. Not everything can be made from paper and plastics. It’s good to dream and it looks good in movies but the real world does exist.
Ron781 Wrote: Jan 03, 2013 12:47 PM
As I recall in the 1950s they said we'd all be flying now so as to cut down on highway congestion. Can you image the death rate from texting pilots and the airport congestion? Oh yes, we'd have villages on the moon too. Sounds like this nut that wants to start mining asteroids. The laws of physics are brutal reality makers.
Fred_PA_2000 Wrote: Jan 03, 2013 9:41 PM
Ron781;

If I read you correctly, you're very dismissive of 3D printers. You probably should look into that technology more deeply. It's true that most of what we fabricate on these machines is made from plastic, today. But we can do powdered & fused metals, too.

When a deal is bad beyond all pretext, the only thing left to do is spin. Democrats, including Senate lackeys and Administration lummoxes, spin the Senate version of the Fiscal Crap Sandwich to mean absolute victory over Republicans who have "finally" raised revenue (read "taxes.") Republicans spin that they moved to give even more people a tax break in 2013. Both obscure the reality; President Obama sold out the Middle Class for the wealthy.

Obama ran for re-election with a near exclusive message of "millionaires and billionaires" paying their "fair share." While some might have seen this as pure pandering,...