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Old 01-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #121
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Certainly true, though this doesn't come without its own potential causes for reduced overall quality of life. For one thing, on average the entry of women in the workforce and the rise of "two income households" didn't double real income or standard of living, despite working twice as many hours. If you looked at real *per hour* wages, you might see a bit of a different story, at least in part because the "supply" of labor expanded faster than the demand. And if you adjusted it again for being in a higher marginal tax bracket with the second income, it looks even worse. How much better off are you if, after taxes and extra expenses, you work twice as many hours but only have (say) 25-50% more real after-tax income?

And then there are the non-financial or tangentially financial considerations. When women feel financially *required* to work these days (not talking about women who would choose a career even if money were not a concern), that's much less household time to run errands, to be parents to their children or take an active role in their education, to have leisure time. It also might mean the husband does more household chores because his wife is working as much as he is and it's no longer fair that she does most or all of it.

And then there are financial costs of two-income households: day care, more frequent dining out (too tired/not enough time for meal planning and grocery shopping), more costly and less healthy "convenience" foods, that sort of thing.

So there may be more income and maybe even a *little* more disposable/discretionary income, but not nearly enough to justify double the hours worked outside the home, and quite possible with a net *negative* quality of life differential.

Again, I'm referring to women working for strictly financial reasons, not because they *want* to pursue a career. And I'm certainly not suggesting we were better off as a society before women had career options other than teacher, nurse or secretary. "Better off" and "more income" are not necessarily synonymous. "Better off" is also a state of mind, a quality of life issue, at least once you are above the income level required to sustain your family. To that end, we're back to the old "money versus time" tradeoff.
Amen.

I don't know why more people don't take a jaundiced view of the dual worker household, particluarly with kids in the mix. GW and I took a long, hard look at what our lives would be like with both of us working and wanted no part of it. So DW set up a small business out of the house to keep her skills fresh and generate a bit of income and we opted out.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:14 AM   #122
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There's no real need to worry about who should and shouldn't work: Everyone who can, should. If society incurs lower productivity from that, so be it. There are no dividends to society from increased productivity at the expense of utilization. Productivity must be able to stand on its own, to be worthy, not steal from full employment.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:01 AM   #123
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There's no real need to worry about who should and shouldn't work: Everyone who can, should. If society incurs lower productivity from that, so be it. There are no dividends to society from increased productivity at the expense of utilization. Productivity must be able to stand on its own, to be worthy, not steal from full employment.
So are you advocating the elimination of the concept of retirement? So we eliminate stay at home moms?

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Old 01-29-2013, 07:03 AM   #124
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Just read my post and no I don't want to wipe out all the stay at home moms.

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Old 01-29-2013, 07:03 AM   #125
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There's no real need to worry about who should and shouldn't work: Everyone who can, should. If society incurs lower productivity from that, so be it. There are no dividends to society from increased productivity at the expense of utilization. Productivity must be able to stand on its own, to be worthy, not steal from full employment.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:16 AM   #126
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So are you advocating the elimination of the concept of retirement? So we eliminate stay at home moms?
Nope. Neither.

Deliberately misconstruing what people are talking about doesn't help you understand what they're saying. It just makes them care less about what you say in response. My comment was clearly in the context of balancing the benefits (to business) of productivity with the negative impact of productivity on the availability and value of work. Please go back and read my message in that context. Thanks.

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Horsepuckey.
A familiar refrain from those who believe they're worth more than others or otherwise revel in ascendancy of the fortunate over those less fortunate. We'll have to agreed to disagree.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:20 AM   #127
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Deliberately misconstruing what people are talking about doesn't help you understand what they're saying. It just makes them care less about what you say in response.
Interesting that you take no responsibility for the lack of clarity in your post, choosing to blame the reader instead.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:27 AM   #128
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Why would any reasonable person think someone who said what I said meant what he decided to ascribe to it? I didn't say anything about SAHM. I didn't say anything about retirees. I was talking about productivity and the impact on people who work. I could reinterpret what others post in such "everything is black-and-white" ways, but how does that serve the discussion?

Side question: How much do we really want to spend the rest of the thread discussing the discussion?
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:30 AM   #129
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Nope. Neither.

Deliberately misconstruing what people are talking about doesn't help you understand what they're saying. It just makes them care less about what you say in response. My comment was clearly in the context of balancing the benefits (to business) of productivity with the negative impact of productivity on the availability and value of work. Please go back and read my message in that context. Thanks.
I understood your post and I was using those examples to point out the flaw in your logic. It is productivity that raises the standard of living and allows less people to work. In the face of rampant increases in productivity you can allow more people to retire, raise the basic standard of living, or some combination of both. In our society we do a combination of both. Retirement benefits as you age and welfare programs for the poor.

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Old 01-29-2013, 07:35 AM   #130
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I am reminded of this

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Old 01-29-2013, 07:37 AM   #131
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I understood your post and I was using those examples to point out the flaw in your logic.
No. What you pointed out is that the comment could be misconstrued if taken more broadly than the context of the discussion we were having. Let's test your thesis: Are you willing to grant what I wrote with caveats. Because with the caveats, your objection crumbles.

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It is productivity that raises the standard of living and allows less people to work.
I have nothing against productivity. Like any powerful tool, it simply needs to be used responsibly, so that it doesn't harm people.

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In the face of rampant increases in productivity you can allow more people to retire, raise the basic standard of living, or some combination of both.
Productivity doesn't actually do that. Rather, productivity combined with innovation that makes productive use of the resources made available by productivity does that. Productivity in the absence of such utilization of freed resources often leads only to advantage for some at the expense of others.

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In our society we do a combination of both. Retirement benefits as you age and welfare programs for the poor.
Who here believes that welfare is better for the poor than good jobs?
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:39 AM   #132
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I am reminded of this...
+1

Tiresome to see yet another thread where someone apparently wants to bicker for sport.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:40 AM   #133
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With respect, maybe it wouldn't seem that way if you respected a perspective you didn't support, a bit more.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:44 AM   #134
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Also with respect, the perspective isn't the issue, it is watching the repetitive argumentative approach on thread after thread.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:44 AM   #135
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I understood your post and I was using those examples to point out the flaw in your logic. It is productivity that raises the standard of living and allows less people to work. In the face of rampant increases in productivity you can allow more people to retire, raise the basic standard of living, or some combination of both. In our society we do a combination of both. Retirement benefits as you age and welfare programs for the poor.
Pretty much. It has historically been said that 5% unemployment at any given time is generally considered "full employment" by many economists. I suspect we're closer to 7-8% these days, and it wouldn't surprise me in a decade or two if 10% becomes the new 5%.

The bottom line to me is that we can't both have a prosperous society in labor becomes less and less necessary *and* a society that continues to demonize the chronically underemployed as slackers who don't deserve our help. Yes, when employment is "full" and almost anyone of sound mind and body can get a decent job in a reasonable time frame, the "slacker" argument is a bit more convincing. But not these days, and certainly not if productivity gains and decreasing demand for labor (even in a growing economy) continue to chip away at the "help wanted" signs.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:49 AM   #136
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The bottom line to me is that we can't both have a prosperous society in labor becomes less and less necessary *and* a society that continues to demonize the chronically underemployed as slackers who don't deserve our help. Yes, when employment is "full" and almost anyone of sound mind and body can get a decent job in a reasonable time frame, the "slacker" argument is a bit more convincing. But not these days, and certainly not if productivity gains and decreasing demand for labor (even in a growing economy) continue to chip away at the "help wanted" signs.
Yes absolutely. There needs to be a consistent ethos, with both sides of the equation chosen so that they complement each other, not work against each other.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:14 AM   #137
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Where are the cats with pancakes on their heads? I'm tired of working.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:20 AM   #138
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There's no real need to worry about who should and shouldn't work: Everyone who can, should. If society incurs lower productivity from that, so be it. There are no dividends to society from increased productivity at the expense of utilization. Productivity must be able to stand on its own, to be worthy, not steal from full employment.

I do not see how you can change the meaning of what you said...

"There's no real need to worry about who should and shouldn't work: Everyone who can, should."

Seems like a simple statement that others have pointed out seems to be all inclusive.... you might have meant everybody who wants to work, should, but that is not what you said. I think there are many people on this board who CAN work, but choose not to.... that goes against your statement.


Also, I think that the times are a bit different than it was back in the 60s or 70s... globalization has changed the labor force... back in the old days the cost of communication to foreign countries meant that almost all the world was excluded from most jobs here.... heck, most jobs had to be local to the work. IOW, if you had an accounting or purchasing or sales or ... dept., you had to have almost all workers located in the same building... today, that is not the case.

Because the pool of potential employees for each job has increased by a LARGE factor, it is not a big surprise that wages have come down... I do not see this changing in the future...


Productivity is one of the biggest factors that make most workers here worth the middle class wages they are getting... productivity is not bad... it is the reason we have the standard of living we have.... without it we would be a third world country.... I for one think it is the best thing going for us....
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:58 AM   #139
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Side question: How much do we really want to spend the rest of the thread discussing the discussion?
I do not see how you can change the meaning of what you said...
Evidently the answer to my question is "some more than others".

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Also, I think that the times are a bit different than it was back in the 60s or 70s... globalization has changed the labor force... back in the old days the cost of communication to foreign countries meant that almost all the world was excluded from most jobs here.... heck, most jobs had to be local to the work. IOW, if you had an accounting or purchasing or sales or ... dept., you had to have almost all workers located in the same building... today, that is not the case.
Globalization is another force that puts pressure on society's ability to responsibly employ its available labor resources - and one that is actually beyond the nation's direct control, thereby making it that much more important to address productivity in a superlatively socially-responsible manner.

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Because the pool of potential employees for each job has increased by a LARGE factor, it is not a big surprise that wages have come down... I do not see this changing in the future...
To the extent that's the case, it makes what ziggy29 said all-the-more important.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:05 AM   #140
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OK everyone, please ignore any statements made by any poster that don't actually mean what they say.
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