Technological Progress Means Permanent Increasing Unemployment

College graduates working as waitresses, jugglers, baristas, and improvising craftsmen are not signs of an economic downturn the way we tend to think of it. It is just an inevitable symptom of mechanization and rising efficiencies due to technological improvements. Mechanization is not just the biggest cause of unemployment domestically (compared to usual scapegoats like outsourcing) but internationally as well if you look at all of human population as a whole.

Research and development of more efficient machinery to replace human workers has not stopped with Henry Ford’s death. The subsequent results do not just affect blue collar workers of course. The internet and constant breakneck improvements in communication technology systems are constantly eroding white collar sector and driving down consumer prices.

Although economic/political system of United States is very inefficient at providing higher education infrastructure at an increasingly affordable price ( one of the more visible signs of supply not fulfilling demand as intended), mechanization makes itself felt nevertheless. The quarter of Americans who somehow acquire the resources to get a Bachelor’s degree are increasingly finding themselves doing “service sector” jobs that don’t need even a high school diploma. There is the fact of cut throat competition that human replacement brings (with the corresponding rise in power of the capitalist class that buys the labor).

This is tired old news but the problem of mechanization would not be solved even if the state built thousands of grad schools to make sure that the new generation of workers all have PhDs. Germany and France provide most of their people with access to higher education through advanced state capitalist economic schemes yet each country had relatively higher unemployment compared to United States. The only reason why United States did not have Eurozone levels of unemployment in the last 20 years is because the elites restricted supply of new university construction. If American public was supplied with education that it craves then we’d see the same riots, car burnings, student movements, and street protests as in Germany and France.

European oligarchs have long decided that keeping their poor citizens uneducated is too blunt in terms of spitting in the face of the general public. Considering that even the relatively technologically backward Russians were able to provide education for most of their society within 2 generations, German and French authorities could not deny their people the same without facing revolt. Considering it is also a spit in the face to ask a chemist or a media major graduate to serve food and booze, the elites in Berlin and France also provided welfare provisions and emulated United States with plugging menial labor gaps with immigrants. These measures have worked for a few decades and now are also breaking down as technology makes most people and their labor unnecessary. Obviously most people in the world (or France for that matter) can’t be neuroscientists, investment bankers, software database experts, or consultants even if they were certified for that. American elites are facing an even greater crisis since the economic system of United States was only sustained by class/race inequalities and decades of ideological state propaganda.

[A sidenote: provision of graduate level schooling, health care, and affordable housing to everybody in a country is but a logistical engineering problem that can be solved very cheaply (in terms of energy/labor expenditure) with today’s efficient tools. It is not even a problem of the state needing to own all means of production and distribution. 2009 technology allows the state to control just a bit of the vertically integrated industrial chains in order to rapidly build up the however many university buildings needed (besides the sheer cheapness to create a national standardized internet curriculum and the supporting broadband architecture).]

At the beginning of 20th century, many workers decided that although they could work 15 hours a day, they didn’t want to. They wanted to work just 8 hours a day by virtue of being alive in a resource rich sovereign state. The economic system of the time of course easily fired those who wanted some time during the day to themselves. The result was that thousands of workers engaged in years and years of strikes, skull crushing violence in the streets, and appeals to reason (“this is horrible human condition, I don’t like this, change it since technology allows more time during the day”). The oligarchic reforms, such as creation of 8 hour workweek and some safety nets, are well known. The efforts to prevent social instability and violence are repackaged as saving capitalism (and demonstrating capitalism’s adaptive qualities) in today’s history books. They also show that society did not collapse when the shift to an 8 hour workday occurred. Technology made it more than possible. When less than 1% of the population are needed to grow food and ( less than 30% of population needed to make knives, cars, computers, plates, jeans, and umbrellas) humanity can finally engage in mass reduction of daily energy expenditure.

Although one of the world’s dominant economic experiments (free market capitalism as nicknamed by its ideologues) stagnated a lot of technological progress through inefficient distribution of education and key infrastructure, technology kept advancing exponentially nevertheless at least on micro consumer level. Mass unemployment is coming regardless of shifts to and from center-left or center-right socioeconomic structures. Even if the state started to aggressively employ millions of people, it would just delay the inevitable effects from mechanization. Although many of the rich and economic experts expect everybody to be content with doing service jobs for one another ( with the Marxist mantra of “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” repackaged as “I’m a biology major but I can cook let me bake you a pie. I’ve studied computer repair but can cut hair let me be your barber”) the authorities know this is not sustainable in a profit driven system. The current slide into an international economic depression will reshape the world even more so than the depression of 1930s. Oligarchs will try once again to preserve capitalist structures by reducing unemployment through provision of new welfare safety nets, reducing competition between workers through idling them in universities or sending them to war, and shifting political support towards more state capitalism.

As more engineers, scientists, researchers, and mathematicians publicly realize just how much more efficient 21st century direct state provision of goods and services is, it’ll be increasingly difficult for governments of the world to justify their efforts at placating the rising tide of unemployed and underemployed. State capitalism can only go so far in the face of material reality. Rising unemployment among large swaths of the population, social stagnation, falling profits is the only outcome of 19th century Laissez Faire economics grafted on top of 21st century scientific possibility. The rich will have to decide whether to push the world’s rising unemployed further into suffering and possible violent revolt or to provide a livable stipend and thus try to preserve personal power and some profit.

Living and Working in Germany

Germany’s a great place to live and work, whether for a short period or for the longer term. A lot of people are interested in visiting or moving to Germany.

Factors such as a strong economy, good salaries, high standard of living and social benefits, a modern infrastructure and affordable, high quality housing, all play a role.

Germany has the biggest economy in the EU and that means a large number of employment opportunities.

However, the German way of doing business is more cautious than the UK or US. Things happen here more slowly. Employees change jobs less frequently than people do in the UK. Partly this is due to German employment legislation, which discourages “hire and fire” styles of recruitment as found in English speaking countries.

On the other hand, all this means that when you do find a job, it’s much more likely to be a secure one.

Most job opportunities are in the big cities and surrounding regions in Western Germany. The capital Berlin has relatively high unemployment rates and job openings are also fewer in the eastern cities.

Salaries tend to be similar to London’s, but in skilled professions can be higher. However, German tax rates are also higher than the UK’s. Compulsory health insurance is an additional cost you will have to factor in. State pension insurance deductions are also high.

But you can still enjoy a higher net disposable income than in the UK.

Living costs too tend to be lower: eating out is often cheaper than in Britain, transport is cheaper, and not least, rents are also lower. This latter point is one of the big pluses of Germany – the large supply of mostly modern, good quality housing at reasonable rents.

Another plus about living and working in Germany is the health care system. Health provision is of a higher standard than in the UK. However, this does not come cheap. Health insurance in Germany is expensive.

You might be surprised to discover that the German work culture is less inclined towards working long hours of overtime than in the UK. Holiday allowances are also more generous, with around 6 weeks vacation as standard.

On the other hand, Germans tend to start work very early. Even in offices people can be at their desks as early as 6 or 7am. But they often prefer to leave earlier in the afternoons.

Language is not so much of a problem. Most younger people in Germany speak reasonable or passable English. However, you’ll need to learn at least some German. You will find more employment opportunities open to you if you can demonstrate some ability in German. Speaking the language will also help you get the best out of the country.

Or course, it’s not all perfect in Germany. High levels of bureaucracy and inflexibility, career rigidity, high social insurance and taxes, a more abrupt manner and relatively poor levels of customer services are a few examples of the downsides to living in Germany.

But overall, the advantages far outweigh any disadvantages and English-speaking people tend to feel at home here. On the whole, Germany is a very good location to move to, whether you’re looking to emigrate longer term or just to spend time living and working for a while in another country of the EU.

I lived in Germany for many years and I have to say I’m glad I made the decision to move there. It’s been well worth it and I’d recommend Germany as a destination to anyone else thinking of living and working abroad. For more information and advice about living and working in Germany, visit http://AllAboutGermany.NET

French Riot an Unemployment Explosion

Recent French riot in the streets of Paris suburbs and other parts have awakened the world, that even unemployment can be a reason for unrest among the population. Before, burning cars and stores the French government never realized there could be the problem of unemployment crisis too with such a developed country. Thanks to media for its efforts to spread information. French is always ahead for the revolutions and this riot is the revolution that made Government to rethink of its policies. It is beginning!!!!

There is ethnic division in the country but has less effect on the country’s culture. People in this country are more modern and understanding so ethnic or racial crisis is negligible. People believe their weekends in seacoast rather than going to church. Most churches are empty even on Sundays but recently some Muslim communities have begun their presence effective. Nearly 10% of population is Muslim from Africa or other parts, and 10% are Chinese, east European, Sri-Lankan, and other Asians. All together form 20% of total population of the country. 90% of them have sheltered in urban cities and 70% of them live in poverty.

Therefore, we should not blame racism alone for the riot rather the blame should go to inequality due to wide gap between poor and rich. Major crisis among these communities is the lack of suitable opportunities to upgrade their standard of life. They have to content with limited choices. Governments have never tried to uplift their standard of life. They find employment problems due to ineligibility for better opportunities. They are not still improved enough to fit into French economic growth and the government too has not initiated to promote them.

Working class including the white population is unhappy, as there is wide gap between the demand and supply of employment opportunities. Because of high supply of employment with less demand, most of them work in minimum salary. Trade unions can only fight for the minimum salary but the issue is different. The main issue is lack of demand for employment to determine worth of job. Automation has reduced the scope of employment opportunities. I visited one liquor industry in Normandy and found 2 people running the show, also the self service in many sectors have contributed to reduce employment opportunities. Therefore, the government has to reevaluate the situation and open more areas and scopes of employment opportunities.

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Five% of total working population is in agriculture and 25% in industries, indicates the education system is in relation to urban service sectors that consume nearly 70% of the working population. Major percentage of rural agricultural and industrial employment is taken-care by automatic units. Excessive usage of automation is curse as long as people sit without employment.

The country is in socialist pattern, yet governments’ protection is for big groups. Therefore, super giants like Carrefour, Leclerc, Auchan etc monopolize the market to squeeze farmers and small manufacturers to make high margin. Competition minimizes the work force. Big groups get bigger and bigger on the other hand working class goes poorer and poorer. Living expenses are too high and to maintain they need enough salary to meet minimum requirements. Small entrepreneurs’ claim 35 hours working law is a black spot to the economy. My plea to this is the claim is baseless, when major population is involved in service sectors and even the industries run by least work force. Governments need to consider distribution of equal opportunities and resources to match needs of the population. Excessive of automation is unsuitable to any country as long as the population does not have employment.

Excessive burden on entrepreneurs towards the contribution to social security, medical insurance minimum salaries etc cause them to retain less and less employees and seek more and more work from them. A good employer indirectly pays nearly twice to the employee. With the same amount entrepreneur could keep two people. By reducing the percentage and increasing retirement age, would ease the entrepreneur. Generally, when the employee reaches the age 50 considered of no use, at least this is the practice in many industrial set ups. Early retirement is no solution for improving employment opportunities rather this only increase number of unemployed in the country. Retired person ends up becoming burden to the government.

Very soon, French Government is going to face this situation until retirement age increased to minimum 68-70. Nearly 10 million of the total population is over 65 year old and are retired unemployed, this number to grow further as between age group of 20-64 are nearly 35 million that means more than half of the population. Indirectly, 35 million between age group of 20-64 have burden of rest of the population. They have to pay more taxes to maintain standard of rest. If the retirement age increased, they too would contribute their share for economy. Social security measures to unemployed are good as long as completion of minimum working hours fixed to 27,000 or 15 years whichever is before.

Mechanization in many areas is unwanted; they only help to minimize employment opportunities. Service sectors and small-scale sources could be the best choice to promote employment opportunities among less or non-technical educated class. Minimum required contributions towards employees account discourage the employers. Increased number of minimum serving years automatically reduces the burden on the employers. Many manufacturing industries shifted recently from France to other countries. High cost of production in relation to high taxes and employment cost forced them to move their set up. They can be brought back on incentive based.

Illegal immigration is among the serious issues in this country. They like country’s democratic pattern, human rights, and standard of life that may be least in their own county. For them France is heaven so taking risk to enter the country is worthy. However, for Government it becomes hell of problems to handle. They have to deal necessarily to curtail such problems by introducing necessary legislations.

France, Germany and other developed European countries are facing hidden economic crisis, has to deal differently to overcome. They have to minimize excessive government expenses, curtail corruption, and minimize dependence on manufacture, storage, and sales of weapons etc. The saved expenses used as subsidy for generation of employment. Despite of all the pressure from EU or WTO agencies, it has to introduce the subsidy in certain sectors to invite employment-based economy. Subsidies, besides bringing more employment to the country would also bring competitiveness in the world market. Only subsidies can invite entrepreneurs to bring their set up back to the country. More the people of the country employed more the generation of direct and indirect taxes to Government.