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Topic: A Dying Industry -- But They Still Get to Kill Us Post Reply | Post New Topic
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 12:06pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

WashingtonPost
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 12:25pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

What's really pathetic is listening to the "free market" types defend a President who wants to bail out a dying industry being killed off by the free market. 
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Robbie Parry
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Joined: 17 June 2007
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Part of me thinks the narcissistic bastard is only doing a lot of stuff out of spite (he seemed to hate Obama and have an obsession with him).

Is this the presidential equivalent of "I have a toy but because it belonged to someone I hated, I am going to break it"?

I really detest the man.


Edited by Robbie Parry on 09 October 2017 at 1:45pm
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 3:44am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

As usual, first remove the functional fix in place.... THEN try to find a solution to the problem. Health care, Afghanistan, Iran's nuclear program, and on and on... let's screw things back up, and after that, we'll have a yuge solution. Best fix ever.
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 7:37am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Pandering to the coal constituency works in several areas where he needs support. Even though maybe 70k people are employed by coal *now*, there are many who were once coal miners, or their fathers and grandfathers were.

It's filthy, dangerous and deeply unhealthy work, but these people did it for generations.

Dems would be smart to honor that and speak to their dignity. Most of them know coal really won't ever come back, but they need something to believe in. Tragically, Trump is the only one who's been giving them that.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 7:43am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I could be wrong, but couldn't a country come up with a rule where coal workers are given priority in transferring across to non-coal jobs? Am I missing something?

I don't know how the rules work, of course. But there must be similar jobs they could do in more green industries.


Edited by Robbie Parry on 10 October 2017 at 7:44am
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 8:21am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

You can't really give workers in one industry priority for rehiring if they lack the necessary skills. This is a problem in terms of workforce development.

That said, there are programs to help workers in many industries transition to new careers. Many of them are state programs partially subsidized by federal grants--and a lot of these are being closed down in the new budget, far as I can tell.

So the programs aimed at helping these people will go away or be scaled back.

This is how Trump is looking out for "his people."
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 8:23am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Yeah, I suspected so.

I know there's probably not a direct equivalent in the green sector, but I'd like to think anyone made redundant could be given some sort of priority.

Not just with coal, either. When driverless cars become mainstream, taxi drivers and lorry drivers are going to need to look for work.
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John Byrne

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 8:25am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

It often seems this is all too-little-too-late. Tens of thousands of jobs have disappeared over the centuries, but now, suddenly we are aware of each new one.

I'm reminded of something I read a long time ago, that pointed out the arrival of sound in movies put thousands of piano and organ players out of work, but at the time not many people seemed to worry about it.

Coal's time is past. Instead, it's time for massive education programs, to free those workers, and their children, from their dead end lives.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 8:36am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I used to work for HMRC (the UK equivalent of the IRS). I used to input paper tax returns (personal tax and corporation tax). As more and more people uploaded their tax returns digitally, there was less use for people like me to receive tax returns, input the details, etc.

But we didn't realize until it was too late.

I don't know that much about alternative energy, but I know we should be trying to seek alternatives.
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 8:59am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Green energy jobs are a fast-growing sector of the energy industry. It would be helpful to promote them, especially in areas that have been hard-hit by the rise of natural gas (i.e., coal).

Some people will want to get that kind of retraining, others will not. But we need to do more in this area, because the market will not sort it all out for us.
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Aaron Most
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 11:40am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

And in related news, the automobile makes it's debut!  Better watch out on your morning constitutionals!
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Dale Lerette
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Joined: 24 March 2010
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 1:41pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

As technology continues to replace the work force, more and more people are finding themselves out of work. You don't have to subscribe to conspiracy theories to get a sense that we're building a perfect beast that doesn't include us.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 1:48pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

As technology continues to replace the work force, more and more people are finding themselves out of work. You don't have to subscribe to conspiracy theories to get a sense that we're building a perfect beast that doesn't include us.

***

It does concern me. 

I've even heard of clerical positions becoming redundant.

I saw something about drone delivers of groceries. With driverless cars, are we heading for mass redundancies of shelf-stackers, drivers, etc?

I'm sure cops, nurses, care assistants, midwives and firefighters are safe. Not sure how you can outsource those jobs to technology or apps.

But a lot concerns me. 
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Shane Matlock
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Joined: 12 August 2012
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 11:59pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

My local power company made a huge blunder by investing in a fledgling company that is based entirely on electrical power through coal and as a result we have some of the highest rates in the state. They ended up firing the chairman of the power company but they should've fired the whole board as far as I'm concerned. Idiots!

Edited by Shane Matlock on 10 October 2017 at 11:59pm
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Bill Collins
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Location: England
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Posted: 11 October 2017 at 8:02am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I may be too cynical,but i doubt drone deliveries will
take off(Pun intended!) the sheer volume of drones
needed to deliver on Amazon``s scale would make such a
thing dangerous,then there`s weather conditions,fog,wind
etc.
On a related note,i lost my job in the steel industry at
Christmas 2 years ago after 25 years in the job.The Job
Centre were pretty useless,very keen to bung you on zero
hours contract,low paid agency work.I found myself a
decent job working for a major high street store that i
enjoy and feel appreciated in,so jobs are out there if
you are prepared to adapt and embrace change.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 October 2017 at 1:44pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I agree, Bill. And sometimes a change can be good.

Thinking about this topic, it does seem very odd, in 2017, that we are still digging up coal and oil. Most bizarre.
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Michael Casselman
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Joined: 14 January 2006
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Posted: 11 October 2017 at 2:08pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

'Green' jobs are all well and good, but you have to come up with a technology that reliably and cost-effectively replaces the existing non-green technology. You have to come up with a similar reliable and cost-effective transmission system to get that green power to the masses.

My local area has been torn asunder by the prospect of windmills being erected, and being opposed by just-as-green environmental groups concerned about how they will effect the migratory patterns of birds and how tourism my be impacted. These windmills bring no long-term jobs to the area, and may also impact the radar systems of a local military base (which happens to be one of the areas largest employer). The existing grid/power lines aren't able to handle the full load of what the windmill developers claim they'll be generating.

Solar? Costs are prohibitive, and while solar might sound good in some southern states, the further north you go and in areas where you'll spend more manpower in shoveling snow off of panels.

Electric cars? Until they can come up with one that can get me out of a snowy ditch with all/4wd, I'll have to pass.

We have a very long way to go.

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Michael Sommerville
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Posted: 11 October 2017 at 8:35pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

The cops, nurses, firefighters etc, may seem like safe jobs, but people sometimes forget the do not truly contribute to the tax base. Loss of private sector jobs to technology will affect them.


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Dale Lerette
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Joined: 24 March 2010
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Posted: 11 October 2017 at 10:06pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Robbie Parry: It does concern me. 

I've even heard of clerical positions becoming redundant.

I saw something about drone delivers of groceries. With driverless cars, are we heading for mass redundancies of shelf-stackers, drivers, etc?
__________________________

All joshing aside for a moment, it does concern me as well. 

Years ago I read a book called The End of Work by Jeremy Rifkin. It was very thought provoking. Many critics said he was sensationalizing the situtation,  falsely so in my opinion. And I think one very pretigious Science magazine even placed a very large spread amongst its articles denouncing the work. 

One thing I am personally noticing is that as more jobs are replaced by technology, there doesn't seem to be sufficient jobs being created to replace them. Bank tellers being replaced with ATMs is just one example of many. There are some aspects of society/industry that are leaning in the direction of a self-perpetuating technocracy that doesn't even realize it exists.      
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 11 October 2017 at 10:29pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

The idea that many jobs will be lost to automation and artificial intelligence is why even some libertarians and conservatives are exploring the concept of universal basic income, something that would be decried as socialism only a few years ago.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 October 2017 at 6:06am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

One thing I am personally noticing is that as more jobs are replaced by technology, there doesn't seem to be sufficient jobs being created to replace them. 

***

Like I posted earlier, I used to work for HMRC, the UK equivalent of the IRS. We had countless tax offices throughout the country. I did data entry/mailroom duties pertaining to income tax and corporation tax. Tax returns came in via post and I dealt with them.

As time went on, taxpayers uploaded their tax returns digitally. So they didn't need people like me to receive paper copies/input them. And there are very few tax offices left in the UK now.

Lots of banks are closing. I was with Natwest for a while. My local branch closed down. A branch 3 miles away closed down. My only branch is 6 miles away in the city centre, which means a drive or public transport if I want to put a cheque in.

Some petrol stations are self-service, no staff at all (you pay via debit card after filling up, although not sure how that stops people filling up and then driving off without paying).

Lots of apps have or are eroding jobs.

My GP surgery is moving towards a system where you book an appointment with the doctor via an online form/app. Will doctors' receptionists be needed in a few years?

All worrying. We should consider a debate (a debate at least!) about Universal Basic Income.
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Dale Lerette
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Posted: 14 October 2017 at 6:30am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Robbie, a colleague at work and I were talking about this the other day. Here in Canada we are actually trying it. Universal Basic Income
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 14 October 2017 at 6:58am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I find many critics of UBI come out with clichéd statements like, "No-one will want to work" or "Everyone will just sit at home all day." 

A lazy person will be lazy whether you have a system of UBI or not.

It's an incredibly complex situation. I'm not saying it'd actually work, but maybe we need the debate (a debate never hurts!) given the automation in jobs. 

Lots of people work unpaid for charities, in their communities, for politicians, etc. If you have a passion for something, you'll do it.

I don't have all the answers about UBI, but some British journalists and think-tanks seem to want to stifle debate. When has a debate ever hurt? We can debate it. We may (and this could well include me) decide it won't work. We may debate it and not proceed. But why are some think-tanks and tabloids so against at least having the debate?
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Dale Lerette
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Posted: 14 October 2017 at 7:28am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

I think Debate is good Robbie. I am generally for it, but would have to investigate it more thoroughly.

On the negative side, I think there are probably some who would abuse it in the same way the welfare system can be abused today. But overall, I generally think it would have a positive effect on people, especially the down trodden.

My own primary concern would be the system of controlling it's maintenance and ensuring others to not abuse it. Would a criminal for example then have their status revoked? And what if someone was falsely accused, even limiting people along certain political spectrums? So long as the system was indeed fair I think it could have a positive effect on society.       

Edited by Dale Lerette on 14 October 2017 at 10:32am
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