jobs

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Automating Ourselves To Unemployment

How shortsighted policies are creating a long-term crisis
Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 9:39 PM

In this current era of central planning, malincentives abound. We raced to frack as fast we could for the quick money, while leaving behind a wake of environmental destruction and creating a supply glut that has killed the economics of shale oil. Our stock exchanges sell unfairly-fast price feeds for great sums to elite Wall Street high-frequency-trading firms, and as a result have destroyed investor trust in our financial markets.  The Federal Reserve keeps interest rates historically low to encourage banks to lend money out, yet instead the banks simply lever up to buy Treasurys thereby pocketing vast amounts of riskless free profit. The list goes on and on.

One particular malincentive has been catching my attention recently, one that feels especially pernicious because it does not seem easily reversible, if at all. For US employers both large and small, it's becoming increasingly less appealing to employ human labor.  » Read more

Podcast

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Ed Butowsky: Calculating The True Cost of Living Increase

Why it's much higher than we're told/sold
Sunday, March 20, 2016, 1:06 PM

Over the past decade, we've been told that inflation has been tame -- actually below the target the Federal Reserve would like to see. But if that's true, then why does the average household find it harder and harder to get by?

The ugly reality is that the true annual cost of living is far outpacing the government's reported inflation rate. By nearly 10x in many parts of the country.

This week, we welcome Ed Butowsky, developer of the Chapwood Index, to the program. His index is a 'real world' measure of how prices are increasing much faster than the wages of the 99% can afford. » Read more

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Mass Layoffs To Return With A Vengeance

How safe is your job?
Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 4:58 PM

Remember the mass layoffs of 2008-2009? The US economy shed millions of jobs quickly and relentlessly, as companies died and the rest fought for survival.

Then the Fed and the US government flooded the banks and the corporate sector with bailouts and handouts. With that crap-ton of liquidity sloshing around, as well as taking on massive amounts of new cheap debt, companies were able to finance their working capital needs, hire workers back, and even buy-back their shares en mass to make themselves look deceptively profitable. The nightmare of 2008 soon became a golden era of recovery.

Well, 2016 is showing us that that era is over. And as stock prices cease to rise, and in fact fall within many industries, layoffs are beginning to make a return as companies jettison costs in attempt to reduce losses. » Read more

Podcast

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Charles Hugh Smith: Fixing The Way We Work

Closing the wealth gap with meaningful work
Sunday, November 15, 2015, 2:34 PM

Charles Hugh Smith returns to the podcast this week to discuss the theme of his new book A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All.

Automation and artificial intelligence are changing the landscape of work. Tens of millions of jobs are on track to be eliminated over the next decade or so by these advancing technological innovations in the US alone.

The way in which our current economy is constructed, the fruits of those cost savings are likely to go into a very small number of private pockets, while the millions of displaced workers will find themselves with no income and no work to do. It's a huge looming problem that is not being address in national dialog right now.

But there's opportunity to course-correct here. To use our new technologies to increase total productivity in a way that empowers rather than diminishes the individual worker. » Read more

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2014 Year in Review

The year we piled up risks like a global game of Tetris
Friday, December 19, 2014, 12:27 PM

I have not seen a year in which so many risks—some truly existential—piled up so quickly. Each risk has its own, often unknown, probability of morphing into a destructive force. Groping for a metaphor—I love metaphors and similes—I feel like we’re in the final throes of a geopolitical Game of Tetris as financial and political authorities race to place the pieces correctly. But the acceleration is palpable. The proximate trigger for pain and ultimately a collapse can be small, as anyone who’s ever stepped barefoot on a Lego knows. » Read more

Insider

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The Trouble with Numbers

Our 'good' data worsens the closer we look
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 12:06 PM

According to the ever-strident popular press, the world is in recovery. The stock market says so, the bond market says so, and the politicians and monetary bureaucrats all say so.

The only trouble is the central banks continue to flood the world with liquidity, something they shouldn't need to be doing if a true recovery were really upon us. » Read more

Podcast

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Steen Jakobsen: Expect A 30% Stock Market Correction in 2014

Presaging economic lows in Q1/Q2 2015
Sunday, June 1, 2014, 5:25 PM

This week, Chris talks with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Investment Officer of Saxo Bank. We wanted to see through the eyes of a professional economist, which Steen kindly allowed us to do.

Steen agrees that central banks have largely failed in their misguided attempts to boost growth via trickle-down programs. Pretty much all the benefits of the recent years of money printing have gone to the upper echelons, with the true engines of growth and jobs -- small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) -- getting very little.

As a result, financial asset prices have been driven up too high, which Steen anticipates will correct at some point in 2014; likely by 30% or so. » Read more

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The Rise of New Models of Community

Why they're emerging & what they need to succeed
Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 12:14 PM

In my previous series on the erosion of community, I surveyed a number of conventional explanations for this decades-long trend and discussed 10 other potential factors in the decline of social capital. I concluded that economic need would likely be the driver of a resurgence of community—a need that will only become apparent when the Central State and the debt-based, consumerist-corporate system are no longer able to fulfill their implicit promises of welfare, subsidies, endless credit and secure jobs. In this next installment on community, we look at the possibility that new models are arising beneath the mainstream media’s master narratives that Everything’s fine and The Status Quo is both good and eternal. » Read more

Insider

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How Life Will Change

Logistics and values in the post-industrial future
Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 5:16 AM

Executive Summary

  • In a future defined by diminished economy, due to depleting resources, what can we expect?
  • A return to "old-style" cultural norms looks inevitable for:
    • Spirituality
    • Trust & Reputation
    • Values & Virtues
    • Leadership & Order
    • Education
    • Commerce
    • Jobs & Work

If you have not yet read Are You Crazy To Continue Believing In Collapse? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The journey to where we’re going, the transition to the next economy and the society that comes with it, is liable to be harsh and disruptive. Network breakdown will be the order of the day. Money and goods will stop moving. People will lose a lot. They’ll lose property, imagined wealth, comfortable routines, faith in institutions and authorities. In some places they may lose personal security or freedom. Depending on how disorderly politics gets, we may lose family, loved ones, and friends. People will be very unsure of who or what they can depend on. We might expect pervasive desperation, anger, and despair.

One thing I fully expect is... » Read more

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You've Got No Job!

A glimpse into the future of (un)employment
Friday, February 7, 2014, 2:45 AM

Today, the pundits are a-buzz making sense of the latest lackluster jobs report. Expect much hand-wringing over the impact of the 'polar vortex' and that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow.

But most of us care more about the state of one particular job: our own. How relevant is this latest bit of data to that? Not very.

So, to better understand the trends in the work environment most likely impact our own paychecks, it will help to look at another bellwether similar to our fuzzy groundhog friend: AOL. » Read more