More Jerbs

What if, instead of pushing to create “more jobs” we pushed for a shorter work day with more shifts so more people would work those same jobs we already have?  Of course, that would require an increase in wages so that people could survive on it.

Seriously, take a 40 hour work week (90% of which is probably unjustified or wasted if we’re being really honest about a lot of jobs).  Make it 4 10-hour work weeks for 4 people, all of them getting enough money to actually be comfortable with just that one job.  Suddenly 3 jobs added to the economy not to mention all the extra time each individual has for them to take up a second job if they so desire, perhaps become entrepreneurs.  If that’s not enough, retail and entertainment should be all over this too, think of how many more hours in the day for everyone to shop, eat, watch and overall consume if they were to choose to do that?

Shorter work day more + people earning living wage = improved economy across the board?

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Lazy Donkeys

When Trump was elected there was a very brief uproar from everyone and I saw a lot of “it’s the education system failing!” For reasons why Trump won the election.

Instead, as someone who was not supportive of Trump but, grew up and lives in areas that Trump carried, I cannot help but think about the win coming not from education but from laziness on the part of the Democratic party. Instead of only focusing on the winning areas, what would happen if the party spent more money in these distinctly conservative areas and listened to the problems.

The issues out here in the boonies are essentially the same but, out here Federal and, sometimes even state, support and programs are hard to come by or see. If one lives in North Dakota and the nearest government office for whatever is in Denver, Colorado, how likely are they to get that service? As such, those groups never see the services and don’t get access to them so it feels like their tax dollars are never returned to them and they receive no benefit from those taxes. In affect, by default making them opposed to taxes (taxes being the easy example).

Just thinking, what if some time was spent in these other areas instead of just blaming them.  What if some of those people did spend some time learning how a farm actually operates, learned how to enjoy going cat fishing all night long, learned to appreciate the skill required to do a real, physical task, I imagine they might actually learn how to connect a little bit better and perhaps begin to understand that the issue isn’t just “education.”

Shorter Hours

What if unions took up the fight for shortening work hours again and then just making it so that people had a liveable wage on it? It seems that most companies are trying to “uberize” overall which leads to unstable-yet-flexible schedules which is fine but, those groups also are not making enough to actually survive most of the time and, if everyone becomes a taxi driver will there be anyone to actually take those taxis? So, instead, why don’t we as a society just decide to move towards this scheduling but make it so that people actually make enough money on it to live? How many jobs would be opened up by say, a normally 8 hour long open company being able to do 3, 4-hour shifts of different people who then can potentially, have their own side jobs that they create outside of that if they so choose.

Retail and Entertainment companies should support this move too because, most likely, many people will simply use that extra time not working to watch TV, shop and eat thus moving money to them, so, why don’t they also support this along with unions, the original fighters for flexible scheduling?

Student Debt

What would happen if all students with debt simply decided, at one time, to stop paying the loans back?

Seriously, if every, or nearly, every person with student loan debt simply stopped making payments, what would happen? Can government/enforcement organizations seriously go after every single individual with student loans? I know that’s loans are based on an assumption and trust of the system working but, it seems that everyone thinks that this system isn’t working anymore so why continue with it?

Or, how about if our government bails out those with the loans when this bubble does finally burst instead of the banks?

Just a thought.

Rights vs responsibilities

Are we focusing on rights at the expense of the responsibilities that come with them?

What if, along with the Declaration of Human Rights, there was a Declaration of Human Responsibilities to go along with those rights? A key issue with current rights talk is a lack of understanding of the responsibilities that go with them.

These responsibilities are those of the individuals though, not just the sometimes assumed responsibility of the state(s) to respect those human rights. I am talking about the responsibility required of each individual human and group towards their rights too. For example, one of the human rights is for shelter and food, a basic human need. But, as an individual, I have a right to have access to those things, even maybe be provided with those things but, I also have a responsibility to take care of my shelter and not waste my food or squander my resources in such a way as to make it impossible to access the food. If I, as an individual, am not taking my own action and at least attempting to be responsible for myself in that way, can I still claim the “right” to food and shelter? I would say no, that due to my irresponsibility I have forfeited that right until I change my habits.

This idea can expand outward and upward too. Human Rights are meant to protect human dignity. Dignity, I think, is the human potential to be virtuous. But, one does not simply become virtuous without putting in effort, that is the responsibility attached to human dignity and its protection. If one is going to have rights they must also responsibly use or enact those rights. As an easy example, in the U.S. we have a “right to vote,” the problem is many do not vote which is their responsibility as U.S. citizens.

Luckily, this right is enshrined in the law so it is not lost due to lack of use but, in order to truly protect this right, one must also actually take responsibility for their actions and vote.

The question is, have we focused so much on rights that we have somewhat forgotten the responsibilities which also come with those rights? How would that change how we all look at our rights and lives as citizens?

Customer Service and Egotism

What if our current state of customer-centeredness is helping cause problems in society? People point towards Facebook and social media promoting “echo chambers” and egotism but, what if that is simply a digital manifestation of ideas promoted in the real world with so much customer service and customer centered actions.

First, this is assuming that the customer is NOT always right, which I believe to be true. The customer can be wrong a lot of the time, they are not employees, therefore, they do not truly understand how the company works and sometimes what the customer wants may not line up with what the company can provide. Sure there are polite ways to go about telling the customer the problem but, if the customer comes in thinking that they are always right and the company is there to provide services only, the mindset will be very different than a customer walking in knowing that a service can be provided by the company but they do not necessarily know every detail or have a right to have all of their wants met all the time.

But, we live in an on-demand, what the customer wants sort of economy now. How does that support egotism of the individual? If it seems like the whole world revolves around their wants and desires, on-demand they can get whatever it is they want it would seem that those people would also show similar habits on social media.

How about relationships with doctors, scientists, etc? If we began stepping away from a mindset of the consumer always being correct at all times, how would that change how people interact with their doctors? Would they perhaps begin to actually listen to their recommendations to start eating healthy? How would that change teenager attitudes to an extent away from “I can do whatever I want.”?

So, what would happen if we began shifting away from being a service economy all of the time?

On Demand Work

I think that on-demand customer service is perhaps the least stable sort of economy to be based on. The awkward on-call-but-cannot-be-doing-anything-else situation that many part time people are being forced into is not good for a stable economy. Those individuals will not have a stable level of income since it will wildly fluctuate with time nor will they necessarily even have a stable, consistent schedule. Without those two things how can someone possibly start planning for a future very well? In 20 years how is that level of stress and inability to prepare through consistency going to influence healthcare costs, retirement costs and overall efficiency?

A lack of stability like this is also detrimental to family life, children especially need stability in order to begin to grow and succeed in life. If their parents are constantly in-and-out with various part-time, on-call jobs trying to make ends meet, how can society expect them to provide that stability and support to help the child succeed?

It is just a question of what sort of future does this sort of situation produce, the benefits of simply having my ride, coffee and new pants on demand at whatever time I want does not seem like a fair trade for instability at all levels at all times.  Yes, a certain level of instability is required to have mobility up and down but, it seems that this more extreme instability does not lead to more extreme mobility, simply more loss. Eventually, sure, a lot of these sorts of jobs will be taken up by robots/A.I. but, that still leaves the problem of what are those HUMAN BEINGS going to do without a job at all or an even more unstable version of it?