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Wipes Tears,

by Cat Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 10:55:30 AM EST

Or I Don't Think "symbolic analytic work" Means What You Think It Means, Mr Rubin.

This is today's SECTION [Church Lady] selection from the interboobz as written by Owen Paine at Stop Me Before I Vote Again.


Invisible value-added? Yes here it comes, Father, as you knew it would -- the IP [read, intellectual property, please. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA] express:

"A growing percent of every consumer dollar goes to people who analyze, manipulate, innovate and create.

These people are responsible for research and development, design and engineering. Or for high-level sales, marketing and advertising. They're composers, writers and producers. They're lawyers, journalists, doctors and management consultants. I call this "symbolic analytic" work because most of it has to do with analyzing, manipulating and communicating through numbers, shapes, words, ideas."

Breathtakingly pompous, eh? Note the follow-up patronization:

"Symbolic-analytic work can't be directly touched or held in your hands, as goods that come out of factories can be...."

My God, he must have Jerry Springer's audience in mind.

"Whatever consumers buy these days, they're paying more for these sorts of tasks than for the physical material or its assemblage. On the back of every iPod is the notice "Designed by Apple in California, Assembled in China...."

And here's the punchline, you illiterate sponge folk:

"You can bet iPod's design garners a bigger share of the iPod's purchase price than its assembly...."

Now comes Walleye Junction. With one eyeball we gotta take in the future, 'cause

"America's biggest challenge is to educate more of our people sufficiently to excel at such tasks.... In decades to come, nations with the highest percentages of their working populations able to do symbolic-analytic tasks will have the highest standard of living and be the most competitive internationally."

Oh, yeah, there is more, following the source material, " The Future of Manufacturing, GM, and American Workers (Part I)".

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a 16th century post-consumer waste recycling vendor, a money maker. Let me shake it.

Lordamercy, where are my tissues ....

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 11:09:05 AM EST
unintended Freudian slip.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 11:10:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"America's biggest challenge is to educate more of our people sufficiently to excel at such (symbolic analytic) tasks....

Great! This will provide excellent opportunities for all those kids who will never make it in the NBA.  Surely there must be much greater opportunity to make it big in "symbolic-analytic" work than in sports.  Just don't quit your day job.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 01:37:54 PM EST
Are you implying NBA players are not "symbolic analytic" professionals? I hope not for fear of politically incorrect inferences NBA professionals may draw, if properly equipped.

aw, hell. Gotta "assemble" a lasgna now. Catch ya later.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 02:09:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you implying NBA players are not "symbolic analytic" professionals?

Perish the thought!  Certainly their success as coaches, announcers, color commentators and analysts after their playing career is finished should refute any such dastardly imputation.  I am merely offering hope (or hype) for our youth who are not also endowed with the requisite athletic prowess and/or physical characteristics. ;-)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 03:04:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure they can bounce an imaginary ball that
can't be directly touched or held in your hands
as well as anyone.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 03:23:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It occured to me, some readers here may not follow my leap from Reich to Rubin (who has advocated a Fed regulatory reform agenda that accommodates "symbolic analytical tasks" of innovation and is one indisputed mentor of current US policy-makers promoting standardization ...BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA).

Paine doesn't mention the finance industry or its members of symbolic analysts. Neither does Reich. There are however a few astute comments contesting the logical conclusions, or benefits, of the IP structural economy that Reich envisions.

For what that's worth in calculating my sense of humor.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 01:50:50 PM EST
Laugh all you want, but symbolic-analytical labor IS largest growth area of above-average paying jobs.  

And yes, Wall Street work is mostly symbolic analytic, as is the work of lawyers, lobbyists, government bureacrats, advertising execs,and other professions that don't actually produce consumable, physical stuff.

A good way of thinking about Reich's hypothesis is that symbolic-analytic work provides an increasing entitlement to society's resources relative to other kinds of work dealing with physical commodities.  This does not mean, however, that if everyone in the world was highly educated that everyone could do symbolic-analytic work.  Rather, it just means that as individuals, cities, regions, and nations compete over the world's resources, those polities with greater proportions of their populations doing symbolic-analytic work will have greater command over those resources, even if they are not in any way involved in the physical production of them.

by santiago on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 06:30:47 PM EST
The article left out motivational coaches, and other con artists.

Just becuase you can sell bullshit, and people will buy bullshit, doesn't mean that an economy that endlessly recycles and generates bullshit is a good thing.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 06:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It also left out bloggers and the Internet.
by santiago on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 09:46:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
now that I realize Ponzi schemes are symbolic-analytic labor.  

I mean, who knew?

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 07:10:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Crooks and pirates can be involved in any kind of labor.
by santiago on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 09:47:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah yup. I'm still laughing ...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 10:25:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Market Trustee. What kind of ça ça is this? (Note: I just got a netbook with a French keyboard for my studio in Paris, so I can now type "ça ça.")

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 05:15:01 AM EST
Show off. My crusty OLD extended keyboard and I can be naughty, too! OPTION + c : Ç as in François.

What kind? You tell me. I t'ink, zee J.D., eet eez one of your people. BWAH!

The area throuwn open by the quality-of-life discourse is therefore a territory of endemic and perpetural under-determination (thouth it was brought into being originally with the intention to cure the vexingly elusive and vague disaffection and anxiety). Ambivalence always generates the demand for expertise; lack of orientation attracts expertise in road-finding. Experts tend to promise a once-for-all, secure excape route from uncertainty, but what they offer in practice is a decision how to 'settle' the present dilemma without in the least reducing its ambivalence. It is precisely because of the fact that the reduction of ambivalence is not in the cards, that only controversial and inconclusive 'settlements' are feasible, that the need for expertise is so acute. We ["laity"] need them above all as authority; as someone we can ttrust because everybody trusts them, so that when acceptting their advice we may be less tormented with doubts or guilty feeling than when we  act on our own responsibility.

-- Life in Fragments (1995)



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 10:23:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I understood that; c'est trop tard pour moi, non?;)

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 10:44:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
au contraire! You are saved. See, how gracious you reply to my poorly typed commentary. That, my friend, is sufficient evidence for me of sturdy, heirloom-quality! thinking symbolic-analytic craftmanship!!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jun 5th, 2009 at 11:40:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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