Archive for April 2012

Birth rates increasing among the one percenters

April 22, 2012

Ever on the lookout for man bites dog stories, liberal columnists have been claiming that the wealthy are having more children.

Well apparently there is some truth to claim. In the US at least, the top 1-2 percent are having more children. Further down the income ladder though, the news isn’t so good.

The recession is having an adverse effect on birth rates among educated women, while poorly educated women continuing to have more offspring than their graduate counterparts.

I fought the EIC and the EIC won (for now anyway)

April 20, 2012

In the first of what may turn out to many battles between young Americans and the Education Industrial Complex, a group of enterprising law graduates have been defeated in their attempt to sue their law schools over misleading marketing claims.

Universities throughout the English-speaking West have been churning out horse shit about graduate employment outcomes for 20 years now,  and it’s high time graduates started taking them to task.

Hopefully the efforts of these students will encourage others to start taking a stand.

 

White males and welfare

April 14, 2012

In Mala Fide contributor Columnist points out a big problem with the libertarian argument that men should oppose the welfare state.

He makes a good point that since most private sector companies have now signed on to the anti-male, anti-white agenda of the public sector, white males are in a very economically vulnerable situation in terms of employment. Therefore it isn’t in their interest to spurn welfare and downsize the welfare safety net.

In reply a Swedish commenter pointed out the welfare state is hardly a safe sanctuary for right-wing white males either.

So just what position should white males adopt in regard to welfare?

Given the uncertainty of the economy and the pervasive anti-male ideology which infects it, white males would indeed be foolish to call for an end to welfare per se. Few people can take their jobs for granted, and unemployment benefits can be an essential life line in times of uncertainty. Forget the Puritan masochism.

Having said that, I’m not a fully fledged nihilist how believes everyone should go and welfare and bring down the whole rotten system (well not quite yet anyway).

Welfare comes out of taxes paid by other people like you, so if you access welfare for self-indulgent reasons you’re also dragging down your own team. On the other hand if you do need it, take it and don’t get hung up about it. Unemployment benefits only account for a relatively small percentage of welfare spending. The lion’s share of welfare spending goes on families headed by solo mothers and pensioners.

Secondly, if you do go on welfare, don’t just waste your time, sleeping, drinking and playing video games, do something constructive. If you end up on welfare because you’ve been fired for political incorrectness and you have some anti-establishment magnum opus to write, by all means cash in your dole cheque and start typing.

Remember also that just because you support basic unemployment benefits doesn’t mean you have to support every insane feminist aspect of the hyper liberal welfare state.

Women shouldn’t be able to have multiple kids on welfare and saner governments (such as those in East Asia) don’t support such dysgenic insanity. There’s no contradiction between receiving a modest amount of welfare if you need it, and opposing extravagant welfare spending for those who stupidly or self-indulgently design their whole lives around it.

Declining masculinity

April 13, 2012

1970s middle class rock band

 

 

 

 

 

 

1980s middle class rock band

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contemporary middle class rock band

Premature birth percentages starting to decline

April 10, 2012

One of the problems with too few smart, successful people having children and too many poor, unsuccessful people having children has been an increase in the percentage of premature births (women from low-socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to have pre-mature births).

However, after trending upwards for several decades, the percentage of pre-mature births (in the US at least) has peaked and is now starting to decline slightly.

Premature infants are more likely to suffer from a range of physical and mental health problems including low intelligence, Autism, ADHD, heart defects, and diabetes.

Music break

April 7, 2012

Great Commonwealth guitarists

 

 

Technology and jobs

April 5, 2012

Ever since the Luddites were defeated in the 19th Century, we’ve pretty much assumed that technology creates more jobs than it destroys. Through most of the last 150 years technology has led to greater productivity in primary industries which in turn has created greater prosperity and a bigger demand for a wider range of goods and services.

But today the old rules don’t seem to apply. In just about every sector you look at, technology seems to be slashing the demand for labour.

The industrial revolution did liberate people from drudgery without causing mass unemployment, but early machinery was inefficient, unreliable and unintelligent. Most machinery needed constant supervision and maintenance. It often needed to be repaired and many simple finishing tasks still needed to be done by hand.

Now the reliability problems which plagued early factory machinery, motor vehicles and electronics are no longer a big issue. Modern machines can function without problems for long periods of time, and when they do breakdown, they can be repaired more quickly, thanks to diagnostic tools and modulated components.

Technology is also much smarter than it in the past. Machines and computers can be programmed to do a wide range of tasks and often reminds users when they need servicing. A single computer can now handle complex tasks that previously would have required a small army of clerks to complete.

These days just about sphere of economic activity is scientifically organised to run smoothly and efficiently. Vehicle maintenance is divided into a number of sub-specialties, like wheel balancing and tyre fitting, and most tasks can be completed quickly by semi-skilled workers. In the past such tasks were by a skilled mechanic who needed to know all aspects of motor vehicle repair, and rarely had the necessary parts in stock.

In recent times the construction and service industries have soaked up a lot of unemployment created by rising productivity and efficiency in other parts of the economy. But even in these sectors technology is steadily shedding labour.

Automated checkouts are reducing the need for retail staff and librarians. Online websites, ATMs and electronic ticketing are doing away with much of the need for bank clerks, ticket inspectors, travel agents, government clerks, and bricks and physical retail stores and warehouses. Pretty soon you’ll be able to buy a customised car and have it delivered to your door from a national delivery centre without visiting a show room. Construction is more resistant to change since most houses aren’t mass-produced, but CAD programs for architects, tool improvements and low-maintenance fabricated components are steadily reducing labour needs.

The health sector is regarded as a growing area of employment due to the aging population, but as health care becomes less affordable to access, there will be greater pressure to introduce more labour-saving technology to make it more affordable.

Of course, new technology is creating some jobs, but increasingly these are highly skilled jobs which only a small percentage of the population are willing or able to do. So with all this labour-saving technology reducing the total amount of employment in the economy, we need to reconsider how much economic activity we outsource to other countries.

One activity that I don’t think should be out sourced is call centre work. Not only does outsourcing call centre work destroy jobs, but it provides a poor service to the consumer. Discussing technical issues is difficult over the phone at the best of times, but discussing technical problems with people from a different culture who don’t even speak English particularly well is an exercise in mental torture.

Recently in Australia, redundant Westpac call centre staff have been forced to train up Indian workers who are going to replace them. This is not only de-moralising for staff, but from a wider perspective it’s long-term economic suicide.