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LQD: Jobs in an Anglo-Disease World

by Metatone Thu Jul 17th, 2008 at 06:07:26 AM EST

Dave Pollard's blog "How to Save the World" is always a real mix of a vast number of topics.

A recent post caught my eye (and is well worth reading in full, as it touches on many of the questions that ET mulls over about the future) but the following excerpt hit right at something I've wondered about a lot:

What are the jobs in a "post-industrial" or "financialised" or "Anglo-Disease" economy?

And what is the relationship between employment in large firms and small ones?

Diary rescue by afew


How to Save the World

What If You Had 30 Minutes to Teach a Graduating Class?


Here are some of the data I would show them:
  1. Large corporations have, for years, been eliminating more jobs than they have created, and this trend is accelerating. The data supporting this (for the US) are shown above.below. [I moved it to make the quote more readable - Metatone.] Just to keep even with growth in the labour force, the US needs to create 150,000 net new jobs per month, and Canada needs to create 20,000. 
  2. Virtually all the new jobs that will be created in the next decade (all by small to medium sized employers) will be low-paying clerical, administrative, and retail sales and service jobs. The data supporting this (from the US Department of Labor) are shown below.


    Since 1970, the top 5% of income earners have more than doubled their real incomes and net worth. For the other 95%, real income and net worth have decreased. If home prices and stock prices dropped a mere 30%, the majority of the population of affluent nations would have a negative net worth. We have more assets than ever before, but far more debts, and average spending is now 4% more than average earnings. This is despite the fact that, during this period, most families grew from one-income to two-income families.

I find the first graph very interesting, because this move from employment in large firms to employment in SMEs can be presented in a number of ways:

  1. The neo-liberal rhetoric posits it as a great increase in freedom, economic dynamism and goodness and apple pie. Said rhetoric also posits that the change is an inevitability and just "a fact of the natural world."

  2. Some on the left have noted that the decline of employment in large firms is also a decline of employment in firms who have the infrastructure to provide benefits on a "social pooling" model.

  3. What's obsessing me today is that this move of employment from large firms to smaller ones is very often an outsourcing of risk:

For example, a current trend in pharmaceutical firms is to close down research labs and move to a model where small "entrepreneurial" firms (often spun out of university labs) do the risky research and then the large corporation buys them up and take the product to market. It's cheaper in the long run to only buy successful small firms than run your own R&D capacity.

This of course has lots of hidden implications for the kind of R&D that is done, the relationship with the public purse and various other issues. However, I'd like to concentrate on what it means for the group of scientists who may previously have worked in the R&D labs.

Where previously they were likely to have a long career at a middle class salary. The ones who had the luck and skill to come up with good products (say 10% of them) would not gain much by it, whilst the corporation might earn vast amounts from it. The other 90% would do all the running down dead ends for their middle class career.

Now, the process is for people to take their ideas into smaller companies, often with some ownership stake. They tend to draw a decent entry level salary at first, just like they would have in the lab.

10% have some success, their companies get bought out and they are set for life, much richer than they would ever have been in a corporate lab.

But the other 90%... well, they draw that decent salary for a few years and then the company goes bankrupt. And they have to start again from scratch. Probably part of the company was secured on their assets. The cost of failure falls directly upon them and for majority of them they will lose their house, maybe there will be a divorce, etc. etc.

So what I see is an arrangement that allows corporations to proceed, earning more money than before, pushing the risk on to individuals. And these are not individuals to weep for, they are not poor, they are well educated, they are by no means anywhere near being "the downtrodden of society." And yet 45% of them will not manage to attain the financial stability that we've built our notions of a "normal life" upon. Another 35% will manage, but it's likely that the continual cycle of company failure and restart will impose greater costs on their lives than a more stable career.

And yet of course, all focus is always upon the 10% who strike it rich in personal terms...

Display:
from an article in yesterday's Le Monde, by Robert Castel:


Travailler plus, pour gagner quoi?

On assiste, au contraire, à une extraordinaire survalorisation du travail portée par une idéologie libérale agressive qui trouve sa traduction politique directe dans les orientations de l'actuelle majorité, président de la République en tête. La virulence de la critique des lois dites "lois Aubry" sur la réduction du temps de travail après le changement de majorité en 2002 a parfois frôlé l'hystérie. "La France ne doit pas être un parc de loisirs", déclarait durant l'été 2003 Jean-Pierre Raffarin, alors premier ministre. La France est devenue la lanterne rouge de l'Europe, elle s'enfonce dans le déclin parce que les Français ne travaillent pas assez : la campagne présidentielle a été dominée par cette apologie du travail, et l'habileté avec laquelle Nicolas Sarkozy l'a orchestrée a été pour beaucoup dans son succès.

Tout le monde a en mémoire les slogans incitant au travail et portant la promesse que travailler davantage est le moyen à la fois d'améliorer son pouvoir d'achat et aussi d'accomplir son devoir de citoyen et d'aider la France à retrouver la place qu'elle mérite dans le concert des nations. Cela, évidemment, pour tous ceux qui veulent bien travailler, qui en ont le courage. Cette célébration du travail est en effet assortie de la stigmatisation de tous ceux qui ne travaillent pas. C'est le soupçon qui pèse sur les chômeurs d'être des "chômeurs volontaires" pour lesquels on va multiplier les contrôles et les pressions pour qu'ils acceptent n'importe quel emploi. C'est aussi la condamnation des assistés, comme les bénéficiaires du RMI, accusés d'être des parasites vivant aux crochets de la France qui se lève tôt.

Ces positions, au demeurant populaires, pourraient paraître, si ce n'est aberrantes, à tout le moins paradoxale, puisque l'une des caractéristiques de la situation actuelle est précisément que le travail manque et que le plein-emploi n'est plus assuré depuis trente ans. Cependant, c'est dans ce contexte que l'incitation inconditionnelle au travail prend tout son sens.

Il faut en effet penser ensemble ces trois composantes de la situation présente : primo, il y a du non-emploi, c'est-à-dire une pénurie de places disponibles sur le marché du travail susceptibles d'assurer le plein-emploi ; deuxio, il y a une survalorisation du travail qui en fait un impératif catégorique, une exigence absolue de travailler pour être socialement respectable ; tertio, il y a cette stigmatisation du non-travail, assimilé à l'oisiveté coupable, à la figure traditionnelle du "mauvais pauvre" vivant aux dépens de ceux qui travaillent.

Ces trois dimensions fonctionnent d'une manière complémentaire pour impulser une politique pouvant conduire à la pleine activité sans que cela signifie le retour au plein-emploi. Tout le monde doit et pourrait travailler si on abaisse le seuil d'exigence qui commande l'accès au travail. Il faut donc travailler même si le tra-vail n'assure pas les conditions minimales d'une certaine indépendance économique. C'est ainsi que l'on devient un travailleur pauvre, figure qui est en train de s'installer dans notre paysage social. Ce n'est pas très gratifiant à aucun point de vue d'être un travailleur pauvre. Cependant c'est mieux que d'être un mauvais pauvre, un misérable parasite assisté.

Se dessine ainsi une stratégie qui, à la limite, pourrait résorber le chômage en le grignotant progressivement par la multiplication de manières dégradées de travailler. On pourrait de la sorte restaurer une société de pleine activité (mot d'ordre de l'OCDE), sans que l'on puisse parler de société de plein-emploi, si l'on entend par emploi un travail relativement assuré de sa durée (prééminence du CDI), fermement encadré par le droit du travail et couvert par la protection sociale. Le processus est en cours.

The conclusion is important:


Ces formes de sous-emploi sont généralement peu attractives et elles n'assurent pas les conditions de base nécessaires pour mener une vie décente. On conçoit donc que des pressions doivent s'exercer pour faire accepter ces formes de travail : il faut absolument que tu travailles pour échapper au mépris attaché au mauvais pauvre. C'est finalement sur un chantage d'ordre moral autant que sur un raisonnement économique que repose l'orchestration actuelle de l'inconditionnalité de la valeur travail par les autorités qui nous gouvernent.

Il faut continuer à défendre la valeur travail, parce que l'on n'a pas encore trouvé d'alternative consistante au travail pour assurer l'indépendance économique et la reconnaissance sociale dans une société moderne. Mais aussi rappeler qu'il y a travail et travail. Le travail est essentiel en tant que support de l'identité de la personne à travers les ressources économiques et les droits sociaux auxquels il donne accès. Au contraire, l'institution de formes dégradées d'emploi au nom de l'exigence de travailler à tout prix et à n'importe quel prix conduit aussi à la dégradation du statut de travailleur et, finalement, de la qualité de citoyen. Il ne suffit pas de "réhabiliter le travail", comme se propose de le faire le président de la République : il faudrait respecter la dignité des travailleurs.




In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 07:20:49 AM EST
any chance of a machine translation for the linguistically challenged amongst us?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 07:43:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't have tribext, and no time to translate today. Anyone else can help?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 08:11:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have put one up. Sorry, I have no time to go through and correct it, so you get the pure, unadulterated machine output!
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 08:57:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many thanks.  Sometimes the pure machine translation is more fun to read than a professional one because it transliterates the colloquialisms and gives dome idea of local idioms.  From Franglais to Eurolais I say!

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 09:08:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Travailler plus, pour gagner quoi? Work harder, to win what?
On assiste, au contraire, à une extraordinaire survalorisation du travail portée par une idéologie libérale agressive qui trouve sa traduction politique directe dans les orientations de l'actuelle majorité, président de la République en tête. La virulence de la critique des lois dites "lois Aubry" sur la réduction du temps de travail après le changement de majorité en 2002 a parfois frôlé l'hystérie. "La France ne doit pas être un parc de loisirs", déclarait durant l'été 2003 Jean-Pierre Raffarin, alors premier ministre. La France est devenue la lanterne rouge de l'Europe, elle s'enfonce dans le déclin parce que les Français ne travaillent pas assez : la campagne présidentielle a été dominée par cette apologie du travail, et l'habileté avec laquelle Nicolas Sarkozy l'a orchestrée a été pour beaucoup dans son succès.There, on the contrary, an extraordinary survalorisation scope of work by an aggressive liberal ideology which is reflected in direct political orientations of the current majority, President of the Republic in mind. The virulence of the criticism of laws known as "Aubry laws" on the reduction of working time after the change of majority in 2002 has sometimes close hysteria. "France must not be a leisure park," said during the summer of 2003 Jean-Pierre Raffarin, then prime minister. France became the red lantern of Europe, it is sinking in the decline because the French do not work hard enough: the presidential campaign was dominated by the glorification of work and the skill with which Nicolas Sarkozy 's has orchestrated has been instrumental in its success.
Tout le monde a en mémoire les slogans incitant au travail et portant la promesse que travailler davantage est le moyen à la fois d'améliorer son pouvoir d'achat et aussi d'accomplir son devoir de citoyen et d'aider la France à retrouver la place qu'elle mérite dans le concert des nations. Cela, évidemment, pour tous ceux qui veulent bien travailler, qui en ont le courage. Cette célébration du travail est en effet assortie de la stigmatisation de tous ceux qui ne travaillent pas. C'est le soupçon qui pèse sur les chômeurs d'être des "chômeurs volontaires" pour lesquels on va multiplier les contrôles et les pressions pour qu'ils acceptent n'importe quel emploi. C'est aussi la condamnation des assistés, comme les bénéficiaires du RMI, accusés d'être des parasites vivant aux crochets de la France qui se lève tôt.Everybody has to remember the slogans incentive to work and bearing the promise that more work is the way to both improve its purchasing power and also to perform his duty as a citizen and to help France to regain place it deserves in the concert of nations. This, of course, for all those who want to work, who have the courage. This celebration of the work is indeed with the stigma of all those who do not work. It is the suspicion that weighs on the unemployed to be "unemployed volunteers" for which we will increase controls and pressures to accept any job. It is also the condemnation of assists, as beneficiaries of the RMI, accused of being parasites living in the brackets of France that gets up early.
Ces positions, au demeurant populaires, pourraient paraître, si ce n'est aberrantes, à tout le moins paradoxale, puisque l'une des caractéristiques de la situation actuelle est précisément que le travail manque et que le plein-emploi n'est plus assuré depuis trente ans. Cependant, c'est dans ce contexte que l'incitation inconditionnelle au travail prend tout son sens.These positions, however popular, could appear, if not aberrant, at the very least paradoxical, since one of the characteristics of the current situation is precisely that the work is lacking and that full employment is no longer assured in thirty years. However, it is in this context that the unconditional incentive to work makes sense.
Il faut en effet penser ensemble ces trois composantes de la situation présente : primo, il y a du non-emploi, c'est-à-dire une pénurie de places disponibles sur le marché du travail susceptibles d'assurer le plein-emploi ; deuxio, il y a une survalorisation du travail qui en fait un impératif catégorique, une exigence absolue de travailler pour être socialement respectable ; tertio, il y a cette stigmatisation du non-travail, assimilé à l'oisiveté coupable, à la figure traditionnelle du "mauvais pauvre" vivant aux dépens de ceux qui travaillent.We need to think together these three components of the present situation: firstly, there is non-employment, ie a shortage of places available in the labour market that could ensure full employment; deuxio There is a survalorisation labour which makes a categorical imperative, an absolute requirement to work to be socially respectable; thirdly, there is this stigma of non-work, likened to idleness guilty, the traditional figure of "ill-poor "Living at the expense of those who work.
Ces trois dimensions fonctionnent d'une manière complémentaire pour impulser une politique pouvant conduire à la pleine activité sans que cela signifie le retour au plein-emploi. Tout le monde doit et pourrait travailler si on abaisse le seuil d'exigence qui commande l'accès au travail. Il faut donc travailler même si le tra-vail n'assure pas les conditions minimales d'une certaine indépendance économique. C'est ainsi que l'on devient un travailleur pauvre, figure qui est en train de s'installer dans notre paysage social. Ce n'est pas très gratifiant à aucun point de vue d'être un travailleur pauvre. Cependant c'est mieux que d'être un mauvais pauvre, un misérable parasite assisté.These three-dimensional work in a complementary way to encourage a policy that could lead to full activity without that mean a return to full employment. Everyone should and could work if it lowers the threshold requirement that controls access to work. We must therefore work even if the work does not have the minimum conditions of a certain economic independence. Thus it becomes a poor worker, figure that is being settled in our social landscape. This is not very rewarding at any point of view of being a poor worker. But it's better than being a poor poor, miserable parasite attended.
Se dessine ainsi une stratégie qui, à la limite, pourrait résorber le chômage en le grignotant progressivement par la multiplication de manières dégradées de travailler. On pourrait de la sorte restaurer une société de pleine activité (mot d'ordre de l'OCDE), sans que l'on puisse parler de société de plein-emploi, si l'on entend par emploi un travail relativement assuré de sa durée (prééminence du CDI), fermement encadré par le droit du travail et couvert par la protection sociale. Le processus est en cours.
It draws together a strategy which, in extreme cases, could eliminate unemployment in the grignotant gradually by increasing the number of degraded ways of working. It could thus restore a society full of activity (watchword of the OECD), but we can talk about a society of full employment, if it means a job working relatively assured of its duration (rule of CDI), strongly supported by labour law and covered by social protection. The process is underway.
Ces formes de sous-emploi sont généralement peu attractives et elles n'assurent pas les conditions de base nécessaires pour mener une vie décente. On conçoit donc que des pressions doivent s'exercer pour faire accepter ces formes de travail : il faut absolument que tu travailles pour échapper au mépris attaché au mauvais pauvre. C'est finalement sur un chantage d'ordre moral autant que sur un raisonnement économique que repose l'orchestration actuelle de l'inconditionnalité de la valeur travail par les autorités qui nous gouvernent.These forms of underemployment are generally unattractive, and they do not perform the basic conditions necessary to lead a decent life. It develops that pressure should be exercised to accept these forms of work: it is imperative that you work to escape contempt committed to ill poor. It is finally on a blackmail moral as well as on an economic reasoning that lies orchestrating the current value unconditionality of the work by the authorities that govern us.
Il faut continuer à défendre la valeur travail, parce que l'on n'a pas encore trouvé d'alternative consistante au travail pour assurer l'indépendance économique et la reconnaissance sociale dans une société moderne. Mais aussi rappeler qu'il y a travail et travail. Le travail est essentiel en tant que support de l'identité de la personne à travers les ressources économiques et les droits sociaux auxquels il donne accès. Au contraire, l'institution de formes dégradées d'emploi au nom de l'exigence de travailler à tout prix et à n'importe quel prix conduit aussi à la dégradation du statut de travailleur et, finalement, de la qualité de citoyen. Il ne suffit pas de "réhabiliter le travail", comme se propose de le faire le président de la République : il faudrait respecter la dignité des travailleurs. We must continue to defend the value work, because we have not yet found an alternative to the consistent work to ensure economic independence and social recognition in a modern society. But also remember that there is work and work. The work is essential as a medium for the person's identity through economic resources and social rights which it gives access. On the contrary, the institution of degraded forms of employment on behalf of the requirement to work at any price and at any price also leads to the deterioration of worker status and, ultimately, the quality of citizen. It is not enough to "rehabilitate work", proposes to make the president: it should respect the dignity of workers.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 08:52:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have, for my sins, worked for the majority of my working life in a large, rapidly "modernising", rapidly globalising business.  Management theory goes through a lot of fads and phases, but the following policies where explicitly developed and followed throughout this period.

  1. Use technology to automate whatever processes could be automated - in order to improve consistency of quality and reduce labour costs

  2.  Use computer systems to standardise and rationalise business process - to achieve economies of scale and negotiation leverage in procurement

  3.  Outsource all non-core activities to specialist firms - who can generate savings through their own economies of scale and exclusive focus on those activities - e.g. catering, security, transport, maintenance, admin support services etc.

  4.  Reduce "headcount" of core employees (and associated salary and pension costs) by outsourcing all seasonal, periodic peak, and project and exceptional work requirements so that the long term employment/pension commitments of the firm are minimised

  5. Continual refine and reduce the definition of "core" so that in the end even production and key administrative tasks are globalised and outsourced to cheaper labour countries.

  6.  Retain only IP (intellectual property) and brand equity as core competencies/activities and outsource the rest of at all possible.

  7. Outsource risk wherever possible - by setting up subsidiaries or contracting to third parties

The effect of these changes has been to reduce the core workforce to perhaps 10% of the peak - despite ongoing increases in the volume of production/sales.  Initially the outsourcing affected only low skill, peripheral jobs, but increasingly managerial and professional jobs were automated or outsourced as well.

The benefits for the business were the almost total focus on high margin, knowledge intensive activities which leveraged the core competencies, brand assets, and unique selling points of our products.

The impact on society is that very few elite workers can now look forward to a career in extremely well paid  and high skill and relatively secure employments.  However even senior managers are being employed almost exclusively on short term rolling contracts and most have to effectively reapply for their own jobs on a regular basis - as part of twice annual reorganizations which marginally effect how jobs are scoped and defined.

Ultimately this leads to extreme insecurity for all, with everyone looking after their own personal, short term interests - often at the expense of the longer term interests of the business as a whole.  Loyalty to the business - i.e. long service personnel - come to be seen as dead wood who need to be moved on.

The smart guys (and increasingly gals) are ruthlessly self centered in everything they do, make sure that mistakes are perceived as someone else's fault, and move jobs/company rapidly to prevent their short term thinking and mistakes from catching up with them.

Those who play this game successfully get very rich indeed.  The vast majority find themselves having to make very long term personal commitments - marriage, children, mortgages etc. - whilst having only short term security.

Everyone is working an awful lot harder than they used to - and most enjoy the work a lot less - although it has to be said that many of the rigidities of the older hierarchical systems also stood in the way of younger, more gifted, and more entrepreneurial individuals fulfilling their potential.

This "anglo disease" model of business is in stark contrast to some of the more stable business models still found in Japan and continental Europe, but it still seems to be the dominant model world-wide - particularly in global corporations.

There are a lot more opportunities for able, well qualified younger people today, but they also have to work a lot harder, sacrifice a lot more of their social life, and many will ultimately end up in low paying "outsourced" jobs with poor pay and few prospects.

Some will be lucky and find some very well paid niches as self employed or small business entrepreneurs, but the general level of insecurity is much greater for all.  All of this works fine when there is near full employment and there are always other jobs to apply for.  But in the current climate many will simply fall off the employment conveyor belt with few prospects of re-employment - and a lot of debts incurred to fund the long term life decisions which had to be made on the way.

The "anglo disease" has seen a huge transfer of power and wealth to the super wealthy.  Peak oil has also seen a huge change in the balance of power and wealth in favour of Oil/ressource rich nations.  Both will result in the virtual demise of the formally secure middle classes, and the creation of a vast working class with almost no long term job security.

The social and political implications of this are huge - the individualization of society and the creation of "dormer towns" with virtually no community life. The outsourcing of childrearing and care of the aged, and a political instability which will put enormous pressure on Governments to deliver economic growth sufficient to deliver additional jobs in the face of all the headwinds to employment cited above.

There will be an increasing class division between relatively secure and well paid/pensioned public sector workers and increasingly insecure and impoverished private sector workers - all the time obscured by "statistics" which show average private sector incomes growing when in fact it is the wealthy and those few in secure elite employments who are achieving all the growth.

The "privatize the profits" and "socialize the losses" model of economic development is happening at the individual level as well - and resulting in increasing inequalities at every level of society.  Qualifications inflation will make the going tough even for the highly skilled and educated.

Don't get me wrong.  The ancien regime had many crass inequities as well.  However the social supports for those who fail seem to be getting less and less.  It's everybody for themselves now.  Social solidarity went out with the Unions and the socialists.  Remember them?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 07:39:25 AM EST
excellent comment, Frank.

top-notch, concise, and precise summation of anglo disease symptoms.

this is the progress and development the third world is falling over themselves emulating.

makes you wonder...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 08:03:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the USA add in the dolorous effects of the "for profit" medical insurance racket, health care system and ad driven drug sales by Big Pharma.  In many areas, those  in small businesses do not have access to quality medical insurance.  Instead, they get to pay the same as those who do, but get only a maliciously gamed shell of a policy which seems to work until one needs it.

Government employees at almost all levels have "primo" medical insurance, job security, relatively high wages and excellent retirement benefits. This is one reason for the push to "privatize" public sector services where possible. (Another reason being to provide opportunities for well placed elites to suck money out of taxpayers pockets.) In the private sector it is much as Frank describes.  The "core" portion of large and medium companies has shrunk dramatically.  Better be in it or get a public sector job.

The only path I see out of this disaster is to delegitimate the justifications for the current system and put in place tax structures and social and economic policies that favor substantial investments in projects that provide real value to society and that pay a living wage.  Rebuilding our energy and transportation infrastructures would be a start.  If the current "financialization" fiasco continues to collapse as spectacularly as has been the case for the last year, the entire parasitic financial sector could be self eliminating. The challenge is to prevent most people's lives from being destroyed in the process.  This is made all the more daunting by the fact that the relevant supposed regulatory agencies, The Fed, SEC, etc., seem concerned not with the public well being but with protecting the interests of those financial institutions and those who run them.

In the 19th century labor protests regularly met with violence from police and state militias. This continued up through the Great Depression.  One wonders if we have regressed to that state--yet.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 12:23:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know the figures anymore, but windpower in Germany should be higher than 30,000 now (from memory).  That will explode again in the next years, particularly in the offshore field.  infrastructure needs to be built to support the growth, beginning with technical training.

I have no figures for the US, but i'm aware that nearly a dozen, perhaps more, community colleges have opened new training courses for the various jobs involved in servicing and operating windparks.  There are turbine assembly plants going into buildings vacant since the end of the steel industry.  New blade facilities are being built on the order of several a year.  One can conjecture that soon the numbers will add up to something significant for the US.

Just to throw something positive on the table.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Jul 10th, 2008 at 02:36:48 PM EST
I read last year that it was 150,000 for all of the EU, with about half for Germany, and the rest mostly in Spain and Denmark.

With current market growth, we must be close to 100,000. In places like Bremerhaven, or near the border with Denmark, the presence of the industry is rather more than obvious (and I'm not talking about the windfarms themselves, but rather all the heavy industry activity they generate).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 11th, 2008 at 04:28:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Right, currently over 90,000 jobs.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jul 11th, 2008 at 05:18:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's interesting is that windpower in Germany created 20,000 jobs nationwide last year, during the worst year of installed capacity since 2000.  If this isn't a signal of windpower's potential as an economic life raft, i don't know what is.  28.5% increase in one year, and that's before the offshore industry truly takes off.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Jul 11th, 2008 at 05:31:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but not for Europe or for the rest of the world. Exports, baby! At increasing prices!

What has struck me with many Germany players in the industry, both on the development and industrial side, is that these are fairly new companies, started by rather young guys (few gals, sorry) - in effect, you have a whole new generation of industrial entrepreneurs, and quite a few of them are hitting the big leagues now.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 11th, 2008 at 05:46:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How many of these jobs were in the development phase, and how many are the management/operation jobs necessary to keep things ticking over?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jul 11th, 2008 at 10:24:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No wonder the powers that be are opposed to windpower!  It actually employs people . . . something to be avoided at all costs.
by Zwackus on Thu Jul 17th, 2008 at 08:47:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
out of 20 occupations, fully 50% are hands-on, personal contact, yooman to yooman jobs.

things machines just can't do, and are still far from being able to do.

jobs that need, and teach compassion.

as a massage therapist, this makes a whole lot of sense.

perhaps one day robots will do everything a good human therapist can do, just as maybe computers will write their own software and plan and execute their own IT.

perhaps not!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jul 17th, 2008 at 05:23:32 PM EST
The theory of a post-industrial economy is just that, that the most valuable thing is human to human contact...

The reality is that the massage therapist to Brad Pitt, or that at Manchester Utd is earning money commensurate with that idea, however the illegal immigrant Filipino girls at the local salon most certainly are not...

Software is sort of better, but sort of not. The "stars" of software are not workers, but part-owners, which is a symptom of the risk shift and the outsourcing boom has created underclasses, esp. in web and games programming who vary between badly and well paid, but many work in very difficult conditions.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Jul 18th, 2008 at 04:21:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
great points about massage therapists, metatone.

in west hawaii, i was earning $200 a day, with tips, 2 weeks out of massage school, while i heard girls were working in the midwest hotels for $6 an hour. what race i have no idea...

not that money is everything. in thailand therapists were earning pennies compared to that, and doing work as good as many therapists working here in yurp for $75 an hour. they're also a lot happier!

that might be because thailand has a millennial relationship of respect for bodywork, whereas here it still suffers from a myth that it's a bit of a 'pampered princess by the pool' thing.

they say we only use 10% of our brains, or our lung capacity. maybe we are only using %10 of our wellness potential as well, accepting levels of daily stress that shorten our lives, yet hold us in a horrible grip nonetheless.

modern life is so dehumanising, and the yinyang of this certainly creates a complementary premium on any way possible for stressed individuals to reconnect with their bodies, viz the proliferation of spas in upscale hotels.

the challenge for any therapist these days is not to get dehumanised too, as then all you share with clients depends on pure technique, rather than skill and one's own life force, which gets depleted rapidly when working on many people who are out of balance.

the article, garbled tho' it was, made the fundamental point that fascinates me, ie the cognitive dissonance between the 'work ethic' mentality (devils and idle hands) and the emphasis on 'making it', ie getting others to do heavy lifting while talking on your blackberry.

it's a fine line between relaxing (essential lifestyle for rich), and laziness, (what DFH's do).

pondering...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jul 18th, 2008 at 05:50:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Metatone:
The "stars" of software are not workers, but part-owners,

Or maybe both - like this?

The Revolution is Calling

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Jul 18th, 2008 at 05:55:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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