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When Train Drivers Are Paid More Than Surgeons

Tyler Durden's picture





 

We last discussed the rise of the robot (as a a replacement for human labor) six months ago, pointing to the implicit (and large) deflationary bust that this entails and nowhere is this more evident today than in Australia's outback. As Bloomberg reports, the 400-plus workers employed by Rio Tinto in the remote Pilbara region (driving train-loads of mined minerals) are the highest-paid train-drivers in the world. The decade-long mining boom down-under has sucked up skilled workers, raising wages for engineers to drivers to an average $224,000 per year - as much as a surgeon in the US. This ridiculous situation has led, unsurprisingly, to the mining companies replacing them with robot locomotives.

 

Via Bloomberg,

Train drivers employed by Rio Tinto Group to haul iron ore across Australia’s outback make about the same money as surgeons in the U.S. It’s little wonder the mining company will replace them with robot locomotives.

 

The 400-plus workers in the remote Pilbara region who earn about A$240,000 ($224,000) a year probably are the highest-paid train drivers in the world, according to U.K.-based transport historian Christian Wolmar. Australia’s decade-long mining boom has sucked up skilled workers, raising wages for engineers to drivers at Rio, the second-largest exporter of the mineral, and its closest competitors, Vale SA (VALE) and BHP Billiton Ltd.

 

...

 

“All producers are chasing better margins and stronger returns,” said Chris Drew, an analyst in Sydney with Royal Bank of Canada. “Rio is ahead of the competition in terms of automation of trucks and trains,”

 

...

 

The pace of automation is picking up as the seaborne market is poised for at least four years of gluts. The price of ore, which rose as much as eightfold in the past decade as China added $6.8 trillion to its gross domestic product, will drop to $80 a ton in 2015, according to a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecast. It closed yesterday at $131.40 a ton.

 

Rio, which last year approved spending of $7.2 billion to expand the iron ore operations, is aiming to have the world’s first, fully automated, long-distance and heavy-haul rail system operating in 2015.

 

...

 

Rio’s rail, port and truck movements are all watched over from a control center in the Western Australia state capital of Perth, 1,500 kilometers to the southeast, that has about 250 controllers working three shifts a day. The rail automation is part of the company’s push to use technology to improve productivity and safety and wring out extra capacity from existing assets

 

...

 

Rio also plans to automate about 40 percent of its Pilbara truck fleet by 2016. The goal is to reduce costs to $15.60 a ton by 2020, from $23.10 a ton in the first half of this year

 

...

 

Each train driver earns about A$240,000 a year, according to Credit Suisse. Surgeons based in the U.S. earned a mean annual wage of $230,540 last year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. New York state lawyers on average earned $151,000, according to the data. Rio spokesman Bruce Tobin declined to comment on train drivers’ salaries and the potential cost savings from the company’s automation drive.

 

...

 

"The position we’ve taken is that you’re never going to win the argument against technology,” said Gary Wood, Western Australia district secretary for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, which covers the drivers. “We’re going to work to be involved the protection of as many jobs as possible as a result of any changes in technology.”

 

...

 

“Once Rio has cracked it, I wouldn’t expect BHP to be that far behind,”

 

Is it any wonder this chart continues to diverge...

 

 

 


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Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:17 | Link to Comment Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

soon janitors will make more then educators.....oh i think i'm too late

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:22 | Link to Comment smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

ot...but im i the last one to learn this....russian taking non pubilc pensions

http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2013/10/03/russia-to-grab-pension-mo...

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:36 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

 CEO of Rio Tinto made $58M last year.  That's 232 years of train driver salary in one year.   http://insiders.morningstar.com/trading/executive-compensation.action?t=RIO

And I'm sure he puts his life on the line and puts in a hard day every day and never plays golf.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:39 | Link to Comment Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

The genius of it is, CEO's squeeze the middleclass like pimps, er I mean 'streamline', and they then proceed to tell you they're doing God's fucking work.  

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:45 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

And then we get red meat articles like this telling us we should be pissed that a train driver makes too much money.  Let's automate the CEO position.  It's easy.  Write an algo that fires workers making too much money and offshores their jobs.  An auto golf player would probably hit a hole in one every hole too, and save the company money on first class air fare and "business meetings" at strip clubs.

And the algo could easily be programmed to give a few mill each year to each major political party, as that is the primary function of CEOs of major corporations these days.  And Algos don't need Presidential cuff links, so there's savings there as well.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:50 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

It's the singularity LTER. Robots will do everything and we can all sit back relax. It's going to be awesome. What could go wrong?

I saw a decent documentary on this stuff a while back called "surviving progress". Not bad fwiw.

Please forgive me for taking the bait below with my example. There is so much rot and fraud in the system it does not advance anything to pick out one example.  

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:57 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I get pissed too that a worker without years of schooling makes more than me, so I get the outrage.  But the outrage should be directed first at those who misallocate by bribery.  The train driver is well paid because the bribing, corrupt CEO who makes hundreds of times as much hasn't figured out yet how to fuck the worker.  He's working on it per the article.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:58 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

If I were strong enough to pick up the toll booth collectors corrupt union boss and swing him around and  use him as a blunt instrument to bludgeon the CEO to death would you be okay with that? 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:00 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, but it would be better if you pulled his arms off and used his dismembered arms to bludgeon the CEO.  Metaphorically, of course.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:06 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

let's just agree to agree

good example of innovation by the way.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:22 | Link to Comment SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

people will win this game of chicken with robots

why?

because robots need electricity and stuff

but people can live without electricity or heating or air conditioning or grocery stores or cars or computers or gps or phones or internet

or money

that's what maw-maw says, anyway

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:56 | Link to Comment James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

All that stuff will be automated - high wages or not - those trucks literally drive in circles 24/7. Would be much more efficient to completely computerize the system, most of those major projects are generally computerized as is anyway.

And it's not like folks driving the trains chose between that and neuroscience...get the good money while yeah can!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:08 | Link to Comment JohnnyBriefcase
JohnnyBriefcase's picture

If we get rid of all the CEOs, who'll support the high-class(lol) hooker industry?!

 

Just think of all those unemployed hookers bumming for change on city streets...

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 02:07 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

James_Cole:  +1 for "All that stuff will be automated - high wages or not - "

I chose not to return to uni because I didn't see any sense in signing a blank cheque to a government that could and did alter its side of the contract whenever it felt like it.  The world has one less engineer until I feel I'm in a comfortable position to return to uni.  (Don't hold your breath - 20 years later ... )  The point being that some would-be neurosurgerons may well be driving those trains purely because they were too smart to take on bucket loads of debt, or perhaps they're saving up to go to uni when they get sick of driving trains.  And next time you see a guy digging holes, sorting angle-iron, filling bottles or doing any other menial task, consider that he may actually have the potential to be a neurosurgeon, rocket scientist or whatever, but just doesn't want to spend four years of living on fuckall money while studying hard, going into debt, and signing one-sided contracts which the govt WILL change for the worse, whenever they feel like it.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 04:53 | Link to Comment Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

Very much the situation I'm in, to be honest. I've got a pretty fair width of education; somewhere around 100 separate qualifications at varying levels.

But I stopped short of going for my Masters for the reasons you mention. It would have put me somewhere around 40 grand (£s) in debt, minimum. And at that time, the news about graduates being unable to find decent jobs after graduating were beginning to filter out onto the street, though it was years later before the establishment began to even tacitly admit that this was somewhat the case, slightly. A bit. The odd person...you know how it is? The reality being that more than 60% of engineering graduates in my area were leaving uni with decent degrees and ending up in barely semi-skilled jobs, at best. Didn't seem worth the time, effort or massive debt overhang, to me. I got a factory maintenance engineer job based on the quals I already had and was making just about the same money the graduates were. Better standard of living, actually, since I didn't have a load of debt to service.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:59 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Meh, me and my fellow 'bots will KILL ALL HUMANS! :>D

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 01:23 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

Why get pissed about a worker getting paid "too much"?  Business school teaches that a "fair price" is whatever you can get away with charging.  What's good for the goose is good for the gander.  Do you get pissed when lip-synching, 3 chord  (actually, they just replay someone else's 3 chords these days) popstars get paid squillions more than classical musicians?

If this article is to be more than simple-minded idiot-baiting propaganda, perhaps it should be more informative.  Tell me exactly, how much iron ore is sitting on the carriages of each of those trains?  When the price of iron ore increased 8 fold, was that due to increased  supply costs or increased demand?  What was the profit increase?  How does driver-wage increases compare with profit increases?  What percentage of the proposed price decreases will come about due to elimination of driver wages?

The article seems to assert that if only the train-drivers didn't cost so much then they would save their jobs.  Bullshit.  If only the people with their pack mules didn't charge so much then they would not have lost their jobs to the train drivers.  No matter what the train drivers get paid, the automation is coming and will replace them.  All they can do is make hay while the sun shines.  They're not going to survive the winter by taking home less hay today.

And once again, the assertion is that the workers are paid too much, not that all the other workers get paid too little.  Plus, of all the companies to "feel sorry for", Rio Tinto is not one of them.  "Ooooh, poor, weak little Rio Tinto!  The unions are bleeding them dry!"  Fuck off out of here and give us a break. 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:08 | Link to Comment merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

"the automation is coming and will replace them."

Over a decade ago, I called this 'Technological Inevitability'.  There's no fighting it; there's adapting and prospering for those who can.  As I have long and unsympathetically asserted, anyone who cannot do a useful job, that cannot be done better by a robot, will not have a job, and rightly so.  It's time to purge the useless eaters.  Creative, intelligent humans adapt and continue to prosper; the rest is pollution in the gene pool.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 11:40 | Link to Comment flattrader
flattrader's picture

"If this article is to be more than simple-minded idiot-baiting propaganda, perhaps it should be more informative."

Simple minded idiot baiting has worked so well for the Tylers in the past, why change gears?  Oh, that's right.  We're not falling for it anymore...or at least most of us aren't now.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 07:40 | Link to Comment RSloane
RSloane's picture

I'm having a difficult time getting the entire /outrage position. LTER seems to be /outraged by comments that so far have not been made. Automation is not going to reverse itself, and in fact, will grow in usage. I am not going to rally against technology.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:50 | Link to Comment Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Skynet and the rise of the machines...

"To Serve Man", Twilight Zone 1962.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:06 | Link to Comment trader1
trader1's picture

what makes you think we're not already living in a computer simulation?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:19 | Link to Comment merizobeach
Mon, 10/07/2013 - 18:08 | Link to Comment 1C3-N1N3
1C3-N1N3's picture

I've always suspected this.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:42 | Link to Comment Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

Tylers: This chart you are so fond of (showing corporate profitability) seems to be diametrically opposite of the other one you are fond of that shows S&P 500 profit margins having declined for many years, justifying your bearish view on S&P500 index valuation.  Can you clarify the two seemingly opposite views?

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:00 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

EPS = earnings PER SHARE.  If the earnings are flat but the number of shares outstanding declines, EPS goes up.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 01:08 | Link to Comment Dugald
Dugald's picture

$230,540 for a Train Driver because they are in short supply for the job and work/living conditions. The wage cost per trip pales into insignificance against the value of the train and its load of ore.

$230,540 for a Surgeon because they are greedy bastards, body mechanics with a vaunted opinion of their skill and worth. Vampires exploiting a skill mostly gained in facilities largely paid for from the public purse....

 

 

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 02:15 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

You should have separated those two paragraphs into two separate comments.  +1000 for the first paragraph.  The second paragraph needs a bit of work.  Start by investigating the amount of study / work needed to become a surgeon.  Then look up the price of their liability insurance.  That should do for starters.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:35 | Link to Comment SHEEPFUKKER
SHEEPFUKKER's picture

President O currently presides over this gravy train clusterfuck. 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:52 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

And, depending upon which ass cheek is being kissed, he's doing a bang up job Brownie!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 06:51 | Link to Comment JoBob
JoBob's picture

fixed myself!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 07:05 | Link to Comment MoneyChasingReturns
MoneyChasingReturns's picture

Teachers in Western australia earn over $100,000/yr, ut they also get a bonus for working outside the city and free housing near the school. A salary this low in Australia is hard to afford housing on in the rural areas where the mines are. Level Salary as at December 2012 Salary as at December 2013 Level 3.1 Classroom Teacher $98,887 $103,090 Level 3.2 Classroom Teacher $101,853 $106,182

 

Custodian Salary in australia, (much higher in Western Australia)

Hourly Rate

AU$15.48 - AU$29.09    

National Annualized Data

AU$31,777 - AU$62,093

 

Heres a Mine site Janitor Position for over $100,000/year

QBCT are seeking Experienced Industrial Cleaners  within the Bowen Basin Region to join our rapidly growing team for upcoming works on various mine sites.  QBCT are looking for enthusiastic and reliable people with a strong work ethic.   This position is on a casual basis and requires shift work.   To be considered for this position applicants must possess the following tickets:  
  • Current C class licence (Manual)
  • MR & HR licence is highly recommended
  • Own transport
  • Current Coal Board Medical
  • BMA Induction or Standard 11
  • Current Working at Heights
  • Current Confined Space
  • Current Site Inductions highly recommended
  If you have the current qualifications and think you're suitable to for this role please email your resume to pippaw@qldccs.com.au or by pressing the apply button below.
Mon, 10/07/2013 - 07:26 | Link to Comment N2OJoe
N2OJoe's picture

@ Groundhog Day:

Janitors deserve to earn more than .gov propagandists.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:20 | Link to Comment Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Thomas was a cheeky engine. 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:19 | Link to Comment Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

A surgeon who makes 224,000 is pretty low-rent.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 02:32 | Link to Comment LMLP
LMLP's picture

The US has a serious problem, no doubt compounded by the lawyers.....I agree a reset needs to be done but keep the friggen doors open you idiots!

http://www.worldsalaries.org/generalphysician.shtml

 

 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:21 | Link to Comment johnconnor
johnconnor's picture

former blackberry CEO Thorsten got $56 million for destroying a company... at least they haven't crashed any of these trains yet

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:32 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Thanks for that.  We are supposed to get mad because a train driver is sharing in the wealth in a situation where workers are scarce and profits are HUGE, but we're all supposed to look the other way at CEOs who make more in one year destroying a company than said train driver will make in a life time?  Fucking Rand.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:39 | Link to Comment Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Yes, we can get mad. Bring in slave labor, duh. /SARC

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:50 | Link to Comment stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

i have no idea what you're "supposed" to do, but if the exchange between the CEO and the company is entirely voluntary, then there no issue.

if you find it to be a misallocation of resources, then don't invest in the company, or, short it.

no idea what your rand fetish has to do with anything.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:00 | Link to Comment James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Define 'voluntary' - any ceo of stature is wholly protected by the board, company be damned.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:12 | Link to Comment stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

that's an easy one: a voluntary exchange or transaction is any one in which you willingly participate (i.e., you are not coerced into it through fraud or force / threat of force).

if you don't like how that company is run, don't do business with them - or better yet, start your own business to compete - if they are grossly misallocating funds, then you have an advantage.

 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:27 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

How do you not do business with a monopoly that bribes politicians?  Which aluminum can of beer should I not buy?  And how do you object as a shareholder when shareholder rights have been eviscerated by politicians paid by big companies?  You are arguing free market shit in a captured crony capitalist environment.  Which only proves that you are a mindless ideologue.  I'll bet you give good Foutain head for your boss.  

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:37 | Link to Comment Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The economy is a construct of government - a script written by it and performed by the people.

If you don't like how it's turned out, blame the government. Nothing else is to blame.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:41 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Really, you can't blame the briber for giving the bribe?  Jesus, man.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:54 | Link to Comment James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

It's all the gov! Get rid of the gov and humans will all be perfect rational agents engaging in free market utopias! Gawddamn gov screwed up EVERYTHING!!

Tue, 10/08/2013 - 00:54 | Link to Comment stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

this is one of your stupider comments, even for you, LTER.

as a creative being, i create my own capitalist environment, i do business wtih whom i choose - what is so hard about that for you to comprehend?

and no, i don't have a boss, i own my own company.

 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:30 | Link to Comment James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

"if you don't like how that company is run, don't do business with them - or better yet, start your own business to compete - if they are grossly misallocating funds, then you have an advantage."

Lol one day you will have a visit with reality, will be a glorious day!

Tue, 10/08/2013 - 00:40 | Link to Comment stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

in what way am i being unrealistic?

instead of giving me this weaksauce, vague insinuations about not being realistic, tell me specifically what your objection is to not doing business with corrupt people and organizations?

 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:53 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

The point of the article is not to rouse up the ZH rabble against train drivers that make $224,000 when compared to US surgeons but to point out that workers are slowing being replaced by robotics.

If you want to kick up a piss fit, then talk about that.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:03 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Read the comments and tell me what the article does.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:07 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

""The decade-long mining boom down-under has sucked up skilled workers, raising wages for engineers to drivers to an average $224,000 per year - as much as a surgeon in the US. This ridiculous situation has led, unsurprisingly, to the mining companies replacing them with robot locomotives."

The summation of the situation as 'RIDICULOUS' is there to precisely attack labour for being 'greedy' and thus being rightly punished by having themselves replaced by machines.

The Von Mises crowd love supply and demand until it happens to their detriment in the labour market where it then must be dealt with in a punitive manner to teach the impudent serfs a lesson 14th century style.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:36 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

People can whine and moan and gnash their teeth all they want. They can pretend its about an attack on the labor of some overpaid worker if they want.

Case in point. What if the Austrailians opened up their borders to endless immigration from China like the US has for Mexican workers.

What if they then started offering training in the position of train drivers and thousands of applicants started flooding the mining regions to apply for the job of mine train driver. Wouldn't this naturally start the process of suppressing the wages of train drivers when the supply of labor exceeded demand?

The only reason the salaries of doctors and surgeons are so high is because the AMA limits the number of doctors that can be admitted to medical schools.

So, what are we gonna do. Start bitching because a routine task currently being performed by human workers, a train driver, is replaced by cheaper labor called the robot.

The automotive industry used to hire humans to stamp out aluminum/steel parts, weld them together, and then paint those same parts. Those jobs are now performed by robots. Humans still assemble vehicles but robots are used to deliver parts as needed. The mechanized assembly line was/is a rudimentary robot that was/is used to bring parts to human workers to assemble the parts or install them as needed to make a vehicle.

Human warehouse workers used to drive the forklifts to pull parts but now large warehouses are primarily robot driven with a few human workers around to ensure things work smoothly.

Robots are used at ports to deliver loaded trailers to drivers of semi trucks and there's technology in the works to replace the drivers of semi's on cross country deliveries.

The moral of this story is that human workers are being replaced by robots. Right now its incremental. But, as we saw with the technology of the airplane the evolution from a simple glider powered by a gas engine to that of today's large jetliners was nearly exponential within less than a century.

Just try to imagine how fast things will progress within the next twenty years when it comes to replacing human workers with robots. Your children are no longer needed unless they can act as organic batteries for the robots.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:40 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

What did the CEO of Goldman Sachs do today other than bribe someone and take someone else to a strip club?  Seriously.  Why is that job any different -- because he went to an Ivy League school and his great grandfather stole money from us?  So if all jobs that could be performed by the regular guy are being replaced by robots who make stuff that regular guy is supposed to buy, what happens then?  I'll tell you.  Look at your history books and read about serfs and Lords.  The Lords live in a castle and do nothing other than inherit wealth and use that wealth to pay armies to fuck over guys like you.  

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:51 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Sorry for you, but the universe doesn't believe you're as important as you think you are. You may feel you have exceptional qualities that need to be recognized and cherished, but the world doesn't spin that way.

The tragic fact is that robotics are in the process of replacing human workers. If you can't even get the populace to rise up against a corrupt government. Then how do you plan on stopping being outsourced to some servo-mechanical electronic machine.

And, who really cares if some dipshit like Lloyd made billions of fiat dollars. I don't. Only on his deathbed will he realize that he's wasted the one chance that was his life. He may have no regrets for what he did, but I can't waste my life hating him for what he does.

The universe creates galaxies, star systems, planets and life on a daily basis. So, compare that to some worm on Wall Street and see if it measures up.

You have a short time on this magical Earth, make the best of it.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:04 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Time to put LTER into the "Total Perspective Vortex!" (Oh, I see you already did. :>D)

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:38 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, it is crazy talk that big companies that exist by bribing politicians are fucking workers.  Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are doing God's work and adding to society so very, very much.   

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:26 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"You have a short time on this magical Earth, make the best of it."

So fuck it if the oligarchs are destroying us because life is short?  And you get upvoted for this fucking drivel?

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:45 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Well, when you get off your ass and become the next POTUS and throw all the assholes in prison then come back and let us know what you've accomplished.

The ZH rabble will be more than happy to give you a round of applause.

Until then just keep trying to get the last word in on every comment.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:51 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Okay, President Pure Evil.  Do not what you do, but what you say, yes?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:05 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Was that the last word from you or can I expect a response after this one?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:31 | Link to Comment CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

PE, nice post up thread. Perspective is important. I don't post near as much anymore and I enjoy life a lot more. I am not even 40 yet, but I don't see how life on this Earth when I am 75 (assuming I make it that far) can be remotely like it is now. So much is going to change and who knows where it all ends up.

But on to the reason I posted. I was thinking, ya know, LETR is like a machine on this thread. Then it hit me; the pro-working class lobby has replaced their paid trolls with robots! See, LETR is not really a person, working for the machine, raging against the machine, he is a machine working for the machine raging against the machine!

The fucking brilliance of it all inspired me to dine on home made enchiladas, sip a decent value $10 bottle of wine, and curl up with the fabulous wifey and watch a movie.

Cheers!

Cooter

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:42 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

The fucking brilliance is all in your own mind.  To me you are a fucking coward who doesn't want to justify your point of view with facts or logic.  So go fuck yourself and don't get mad at me because I'm a robot.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:21 | Link to Comment XitSam
XitSam's picture

You're claiming that automation leads to feudalism?

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:49 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Which one of us are you talking to? They way these boxes line up I can't be sure who your target is.

If you're directing your comment to me then I'm not saying anything of the sort. I'm just saying that robotics is currently replacing human workers. How that works out politically will only be determined by future events.

We could all be heading toward Utopia or we could be heading to hell on the road paved with good intentions.

Its all pure speculation. But, based upon current events which claim would you make?

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:52 | Link to Comment XitSam
XitSam's picture

My question was for LTER, who said "So if all jobs that could be performed by the regular guy are being replaced by robots who make stuff that regular guy is supposed to buy, what happens then?  I'll tell you.  Look at your history books and read about serfs and Lords."


Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:11 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

OK, I'm not trying to be a dick, Ok, I really am, but only to LTER. I'm just trying to ruffle his feathers. He's such a pompus ass. He always speaks out both sides of his mouth. The one under his nose and the one between his ass cheeks. He acts likes he's all for the working man, but anyone can tell he'd even take sides if he held a free bottle of bourbon in one hand and had his other arm around a pre-paid prostitute.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:35 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Fuck you too.  Sorry that I challenged your worldview where you are somehow superior.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:33 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

The only thing you challenge is how far you can push your idiotic ideology. You have proven capable of pushing it to rather extreme bias and delusion.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:13 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Ask yourself -- if they have automated stock trading (they have), why does anyone pay to trade stocks?  Why does Jamie Dimon make several tens of millions each year?  Answer that.  What does Jamie do to earn that money?  Other than grease palms.  Seriously.  Tell me.  Explain it to me.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:39 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

You can't honestly critique a system without critiquing it's base premises. The analysis of corporate and crony power can not start without examining first what it is that they are working for. That being the Fiat currency that is being created through the use of force, it's apparent that the whole system is based on immorality. To single out lone individual person in the system is to ignore the whole train barreling down the tracks at you because there's a fly landing on your hand.

You're playing tiddly winks, the rest of us are playing something akin to multi-dimensional chess. I constantly see your posts making the same basal flawed assumptions and using the same fallacies to prop up your premises.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:30 | Link to Comment XitSam
XitSam's picture

First answer how automation leads to feudalism.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:05 | Link to Comment chindit13
chindit13's picture

You can fault Blankfein for many things, but implying he came into this world with more advantages than you---other than what random chance gave him---is not one of them.  His father was a postal clerk.  He lived in some projects.  Your start was worse? He was able to escape that because he was the top performing student in his school.  He was no legacy student at Harvard (yes, some get in even Hahved on merit).  Likely, given the rather un-exalted status his family had reached by 1954, his great grandfather cut his teeth on the Lower East Side, which was not exactly the 2013 Hamptons, and where one was more likely to be stolen from rather than steal---unless it was apples to survive.

Fault the guy for choices he made in his professional life, but implying that he out did you in terms of some societal gauge of success because of circumstances of birth is just some kind of personal rationalization.  If you had had the Al Campanis' "necessities", you could have become Chairman of Goldman Sachs and steered the firm completely away from bogus debt toxification, and toward finance that serves the public good by aggregating capital and directing it toward productive ideas that result in useful goods and services and the creation of jobs.

Pure Evil's first paragraph lays down the law.  The morality, or lack thereof, with which Blankfein has conducted his professional career is his choice.  What allowed him to reach the position he attained, however, is purely a result of the random distribution and combination of advantages (brains, drive) and disadvantages (Lloyd ain't exactly George Clooney, and has been folicularly-challenged from a young age) doled out by random chance or an impish Creator.  Yup, it ain't fair.

Why aren't you getting all over Gisele Bundchen (figuratively, of course, not literally) for her $40 million/year (more than her NFL quarterback hubby), that owes merely to the fact she wears clothes well and has a face some find attractive, since random chance seems to be at the heart of your resentment?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:17 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

That, and he sold his soul to the devil.

I've got it right here.

I'm using it to keep my enormous penis warm at night.

And all that so that he can indulge in the pleasure of scamming little old ladies out of their pensions.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:50 | Link to Comment chindit13
chindit13's picture

I absolutely agree that the professional choices he made are deserving of scorn (and in many cases, legal action), but a good number of these types came from nowhere and nothing.  To me, that is an important point, because it stands in contrast to the common meme around here that some grand cabal has been running the show from time immemorial.  Blankfein shows that low moral character can come from anywhere at an time.

To expand, yesterday in another thread, some guy tried to argue that The Usual Suspects are behind Thai politics and Thai politicians, as if the three billion people of Asia are so inferior that they can be hoodwinked and manipulated by uber mensch white people (which somehow absolves the miscreant Asian politicians of some of the blame).  That view, in essence, is racist.

At the top, the world---everywhere from NYC to Beijing to Rio to Moscow to Delhi---is made up of competitors, many of whom like nothing better than to knock their peers off the top of the mountain. That fact is what makes all the handwringing about such social clubs as Bilderberg, Davos, Bohemian Grove, etc., so foolishly naive.  They all cooperate?  Only if they see a temporary advantage.  In the long run they all want to run each other into the ground, and then stand and piss on the grave of their fellow elite souls.  For the most part they don't give a second thought to the 99.99999% who are not them.  Coldly cruel and callously indifferent is more at play than malice aforethought.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:45 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

You're right, supply and demand works in the manner you describe and what fool would oppose technological advances.

The difference is 'Qui bono?' remains my key question to the above and I would really like to know what happens at the end of this constant venom towards mere workers who at some stage in history (maybe we've arrived there?) start to be refered to as 'surplus-population'.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:17 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Its a cold cruel ruthless dog-eat-dog world.

I suspect that the state will take over the human reproductive function. And, the state will decide who gets to reproduce.

Those that are not allowed to reproduce will be sterilized upon birth. This will probably involve the tying off of fallobian tubes. Some males won't need to be sterilized due to them being used as DNA providers like stud horses currently are. You won't want to destroy the ovaries because they'll want to harvest the eggs for whatever prupose they need.

The population will be allowed to decline naturally until such a point where the state steps in and starts breeding humans based upon specific DNA characteristics and the need for a constant consumer population. DNA can also be manipulated to produce the humans they want just like GMO crops.

This strategy can be implemented rather easily since surrogate mothers can be chosen to be the baby bottle even if they're sterilized due to invitro fertilization. You just need the appropriate Male/Female DNA from preapproved donors.

We who live today look upon this as horror but those in the future will probably accept it in order to live a life of virtual ease, see Brave New World for the dissertation. Of course the state will brainwash everyone into accepting it and dissent won't be tolerated.

You may have a few outsiders in the wilderness that will be tolerated but their populations will not be allowed to grow and threaten the status quo.

Of course we would all like to think that humans can break the chains that hold us to our present course, but I'm not holding my breath.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:21 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

I always wondered what a conversation with Nietzsche would be like, thanks for clearing it up for me!

Jesus, at least in Brave New World they had Soma, you're offering nothing, nothing!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:03 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Well, what can I offer you. Based upon the current mess of our system what do you speculate the future will bring?

I'm not a Nietzschean. I'm an existentialist.

You want the world to be good and pure, you want the lion to lay down with the lamb, you want Jesus to return and smite down the evil doers, you want something the Universe at large cannot offer.

On one side you have a group of people that believe the world should be so and so because it will bring about brotherly love and a fair and orderly society, but on the other side you have a group of people that believe what they're offering is evil, pure and simple.

You could say the aforementioned argument is the same one currently being fought by statists and liberty loving people.

You have the statists that offer security and world peace as long as we give up our liberties and allow government to dictate our lives.

On the other side, people who value liberty see that as slavery personified.

Currently, which way are we headed?

Are we headed to human liberty or human bondage to the state?

I don't have the answers to this age old question.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:48 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Nietzsche was an existentialist, in fact he was the first true one that didn't use religious morality as the basis of his theoretical framework. Schopenhauer had nothing on him.

The only thing statists offer is slavery to their humanist religion. Even an existentialist would be aware of how hollw such a promise of happiness is, and how little gratification can come without living within the realms of Natural Law.

Therefore, I reason that you are not an existentialist, but a humanist, and prone to the same delusional theoretical constructs as they are. AN existentialist would define himself by taking a position and doing something that would liberate himself and oppose the delusion of statism. You probably should have read more of Nietzsche's work. You would have found that he was a primitive Libertarian, and that the too philosphies of Existentialism and Libertarianism are almost identical.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:04 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

Human, all too human...

“Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man”
Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:18 | Link to Comment trader1
trader1's picture

aurora is that you?!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 07:20 | Link to Comment MoneyChasingReturns
MoneyChasingReturns's picture

Case in point. What if the Austrailians opened up their borders to endless immigration from China like the US has for Mexican workers.

50% of the immigrants are weathy Chinese now, we love the Chinese people and country. Our last PM speaks fluent Chinese, Obama can't even find the latest country he's bombing on a map.

 

What if they then started offering training in the position of train drivers and thousands of applicants started flooding the mining regions to apply for the job of mine train driver. Wouldn't this naturally start the process of suppressing the wages of train drivers when the supply of labor exceeded demand?

 

If you Want a Job as a Train Driver come on over and take a short course and do it! The companies will sponsor your residence visas and any nationality is welcome here.

http://www.scrt.com.au/index.asp?fromwhere=Course4&CourseList=yes

http://www.pta.wa.gov.au/employment/traindriverrecruitment/tabid/97/default.aspx

http://www.aatinfo.com.au/STP-Details/21265/171/Locomotive-Train-Driver-TLI40410/?view=stp&i=601

 

You need: Certificate IV in Transport and Logistics (Rail Operations) - TLI40410

And a couple safety tickets, would take under 2 months to be trained up.

Or earn $150,000 in the city driving by remote control: You must know how to shift a manual car, and get a high score on video games.

http://www.seek.com.au/job/25344874

Skills and Experience

As the successful candidate you will possess the following:

  • Minimum of C class manual drivers licence
  • Current or recent experience as a train controller,
  • Competent in the operation of CTC &/or train order systems,
  • Computer literate.
  • Train driving experience or other rail operational experience will be well regarded.
Mon, 10/07/2013 - 01:17 | Link to Comment Dugald
Dugald's picture

The do occasionally crash, there was one a few weeks back due as I understand it to poor line maintenance which is of course a euphemism for cost cutting......

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:46 | Link to Comment merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

"at least they haven't crashed any of these trains yet"

Hm, perhaps Rio Tinto had better transition to the implementation of those auto-trains without any prior notice, even a day..

"Well, Aussie, this will be your last day on the job.. After you park the carriage at the depot, head on down to HR for your cheque, and have a nice life!"

Cue derailments.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:24 | Link to Comment Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

Ok where do we start here? First, in a non-centrally planned economy, technology replacing a worker means the worker is freed up to do more advanced work. In a centrally planned economy, the guy is out of a job. Look up the word "Luddite," workers smashing machines so they could have their old (shitty) jobs back. Secondly, what kind of bullshit surgeon makes 224,000?

Bloomberg news is just more propaganda. They are smart and sneaky - the slip in the Marxism in a subtle way so you think you are reading about "business." You're not. You're reading a bunch of Marxist bullshit.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:47 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

"technology replacing a worker means the worker is freed up to do more advanced work. "

Name the more advanced work a train engineer is going to do.

Believe me, I'm well versed in economic theory of all this, but when the change happens at a pace tha outruns the ability of humans to adapt and retool, there's gonna be pain.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:58 | Link to Comment Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

Oh, I didn't know you're "well versed." Well in that case your knowledge is superior and you won't be needing to look around on http://www.mises.org/ in order to learn about how technological advancement helps everyone in society.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:15 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I don't know if you're "well versed" either, but I'm not going to call you on the carpet on that.  I assume you are, although if you post a link to the VonMises Institue homepage, I have my doubts how deeply versed you are in the subject matter.  

"Freeing up" labor to do more productive things via technology is an idea that has been around for a very very long time.  And, in the long run, it's true.  In the short run, certainly within the span of a single human lifetime, it can be painful if the job you've spent your whole life learning is suddently swept away by technology.

Say I come to your job, at McDonalds, flipping burgers, and replace you with a robotic sandwich building machine.  What are you going to do next?  The guy working the fry cooker will not voluntarily give you his station, so where do you go?  Just suddenly making the transition to WalMart greeter is going to be a bit difficult.  You're competing with much more qualified senior citizens who will work for even less money.  Given your unparalelled skills as a burger-flipper what "more productive" position are you immediately qualified for when your old career is rendered obsolete?  Long run, no problem.  You're dead, your kids find something else to do that probably IS more productive.  Short run, you're unemployed and on the government dole.

 

 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:30 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

Absolutely, but of course you're looking at the situation from the viewpoint of an empathetic human being looking beyond the business argument where only profts matter.

The Von Mises school is for sociopaths with laser like focused economism thus your rounded understanding of the world will have you branded a Marxist, faggot or something else offensive in order to avoid addressing the societal problems created from the above.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:07 | Link to Comment Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

LOL

"The Von Mises school is for sociopaths with laser like focused economism thus your rounded understanding of the world will have you branded a Marxist, faggot or something else offensive in order to avoid addressing the societal problems created from the above."

economism? Is that like Americanism?

Anyways, have I called you names? Please point it out.

Also, please point out how self interest is "bad." Capitalism has raised more people out of poverty than any "ism." The alternative - Statism, has, well, mountains of corpses.

Smash the machines! LOL

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:12 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

You've embarrassed yourself there haven't you?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economism

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:47 | Link to Comment Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

From Wiki

"The term is often used to criticize economics as an ideology"

I see, so you have to be a Saul Alinsky Marxist to be familiar with the term not an economist. Got it.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:50 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

You need to at least read some of Mises's work before throwing around claims like that, and even worse you ignored Rothbard. You know the guy that founded the revival of Compassionate Philosophy based on Morality in the 20th century.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 08:04 | Link to Comment Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

Oh, right.  So compassionate that he thought a woman had the right to kill her unborn baby.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 18:58 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

What like "The Anti-Capitalist Mentality'? That's a good example of the ideology in a concise form.

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:20 | Link to Comment Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

ZH11
No dill snip, there was a guy here who used to use this phrase "Americanism" all the time. It was his catch phrase or whatever. It was like a running joke, I thought you got that.
Anyways, what is it that you want to argue about? Smashing machines as the way to prosperity?

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 19:00 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

'Dill Snip'

Great turn of phrase Cletus.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 21:37 | Link to Comment Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

How did you guess my name? Anyways your superiority is evident, so you win.

Now go smash your shine box. That way everyone will have a job!

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:57 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

If you belive there is any Marxism in the words from Bloomberg you cleary don't understand Marxism.

The Luddites merely argued that it was deeply unfair that with machines one man appropriated the production of say a thousand men without having to do anything but buy the necessary machine. If you look at the US post the massive 'offshoring' of jobs and taxes you maybe have to admit that they were onto something rather important as to vital question of distribution that capitalism wants to ignore for obvious reasons.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:06 | Link to Comment Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

...so should we smash machines and live like cavemen?

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:09 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

No, the advances in humanity should enrich the lives of all humanity not a select few who happen to be owners of capital.

The constant enrichment of the few at the expense of the rest leads to a society that stops having any advancement.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:23 | Link to Comment stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

The constant enrichment of the few at the expense of the rest, as you put it, is a direct result of the violence of the state - extracting the wealth of citizens through taxation and inflation, and funneling that wealth to so-called "crony capitalists", which are not capitalists at all, of course, as capitalism by definition has *minimal* state interference in the market.

so, understand that, please - it's the state that extracts wealth from the people, not private ownership.

the men who control the apparatus of the state can be corrupted and influenced to misappropriate so-called "public" funds; this is "the tragedy of the commons".

the best course of action is to work towards ending the state, and to liberate humanity.

 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:44 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

Western governments are the shadow cast by big business to paraphase Chomsky, thus, it's still Capital calling the shots.

Capital has always tried to get governments to take the blame for their actions but given most western goverments are so obviously akin to client regimes nowadays even you should admit you're being duped to think that if you changed the government a fairer distribution of the wealth would ensue.

 


Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:21 | Link to Comment stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

you seem to have sidestepped, or misunderstood my point entirely.

what i said:

"the best course of action is to work towards ending the state, and to liberate humanity."

what you replied:

"even you should admit you're being duped to think that if you changed the government a fairer distribution of the wealth would ensue."

i don't know how i can be any clearer on this point...i'm not advocating a change in government, i'm advocating eliminating it entirely! it does not serve the people as it purports, it only serves those in power.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:23 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

Change in government was a reference to whatever reorganisation of society you were proposing given you weren't railing against capitalism, thus I supposed it was still included in your new world post the abolition of the republic.

Correct me if I'm wrong, I think I'd like to read your manifesto, anarcho-capitalism?

 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:50 | Link to Comment stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

i am not proposing any reorganization of society.

who am i to know what type of societal structure is best, or to suggest imposing that on anyone?

let's respect the rights of all people to live their own lives and make their own choices, free from coercion, free from threats by men with badges and guns.

given the proper space to be creative and come up with *voluntary* solutions regarding how people organize together, i'm sure many ideas will emerge, and compete.

i don't really have any manifesto, other than perhaps: don't initiate the use of force or fraud against others, and don't support those who do.

i tend to eschew labels, whether anarchist, minarchist, agorist, voluntaryist, libertarian, etc, but i consider them to be kindred spirits.

real capitalism isn't anything special, it's just commerce, it's just the market, it's our own productive activity.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:20 | Link to Comment FreeMktFisherMN
FreeMktFisherMN's picture

Many people still have yet to realize that their old line of work simply might not of as much value anymore. As somebody a few above said, then people can devote energy to tackling new problems, because there is great efficiency in producing things that now probably are staples. 

Nobody has a right to anything but what the market will bear as determined by a true system of voluntaryism. True jobs are going off shore for these incredibly low wages, but America is not a good place to do business in anymore. Taxation and tons of regulation and now 0bamacare. Many Americans have been numbed from the reality that they are living beyond their means and that it is not a result of the marketplace that they get to consume all the Chiense productivity, but rather that the Fed and the MIC have jammed USD down peoples' throats. Thus the attitude of so many that debt doesn't matter. America does not produce, either, as it once did, despite how all these people will say, 'there is only one Apple, etc. If it were all so productive, why is there still such a huge trade deficit per month? It's true of course that there is value in figuring out prudent mergers and acquisitions and things that sometimes get swept away as meaningless paper pushing, but underlying all that has to be something solid; not the case here. 

 

Obviously the Chinese system is corrupt and statism is statism, but one would think at some point they take bigger steps towards actually reaping the benefits of their proclivity to save and produce. Unfortunately for the average person there, it seems the govt will continue to confiscate wealth in its quest to spur investment and boost 'GDP' which does not measure  real value created, as value itself is something individuals subjectively determine through praxaeological processes. And the result of all the unwarranted investment is tons of ghost cities-the epitome of malinvestment. Hence their citizens prudently buying gold to protect their wealth. 

Free trade is always beneficial. Things like NAFTA are not free trade. Free trade just happens, organically. It does not need to be 'instituted' by states. These NAFTA and other entities are pure NWO for the big corporations to get contracts from various states around the globe. It is pure crony capitalism

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:05 | Link to Comment stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

Obviously the Chinese system is corrupt and statism is statism, but one would think at some point they take bigger steps towards actually reaping the benefits of their proclivity to save and produce.

they are in the process of doing so - why do you think they are accumulating so much gold?

americans have short attention spans and are slaves to instant gratification.

the chinese have a different attitude, they play the long game. for them, short term might be 5 years, medium term might be 20, long term might be 50 or more years, perhaps something that benefits the next generation.

they will keep draining gold (real wealth) from the west, until they have drained the last possible drop, then the dragon will roar!

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:54 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Please in the future, leave a space when you use italics as the first line of your posts. It makes it so people can actually vote on your post. ZH has bugs....

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:23 | Link to Comment Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

I heard a story on NPR yesterday talking about classical music in America and they were talking about the problems different orchestras have had lately. Like here in Minnesota a long stike by musicians against a Minneapolis orchestra over wages. Lots of bluff and bluster, but we now learn the average player in the Union is making $108,000 a year wages, plus all benefits. But no, this is not the real story. They mentioned that Stage Hands at a famous New York performing arts theater, sorry I forget the name of it, the STAGE HANDS in a very powerful union are making, get this $500,000 a year! Yes, stage hands making 1/2 million, I almost drove the car into the ditch when they said that.

I seriously do not know about New York. School janitors, at one time. were making $250,000 to $500,000 a year for cleaning the schools. Their pay was so high, that they subcontracted their work and stayed on at their vaction homes all summer, instead of getting the schools cleaned and ready for the coming year. The low wage people the janitors hired did THEIR work. Meanwhile New York taxpayers wre being raped. YET, NOTHING, was done, not even when the story broke loose in all the media.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:31 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Love you man, but no fucking way was a stagehand making half a mill a year.   There must be more to this story.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:34 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

and I don't know about Janitors making that kind of coin. But they do fine. I saw a toll booth collector retire last year at 53 with a 65k pension for life and free healthcare. It cost me $15 fucking bucks to go over the bridge this weekend, and my ass did get a painful sensation when I saw "ez pass paid" on the screen.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 02:48 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

You're pissed at the wages of the toll booth operator.  What about the profits of the company he works for?  If the toll booth operator was paid SFA but you still had to pay 15 bucks, would you be pissed then?  Are you pissed at the mansion that the CEO of the toll booth company owns?  

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 05:53 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

Don't worry.  Due to those high prices and "the magic of the fwee markits", pretty soon a competing road construction company will build a new, more efficient road with toll booths operated by remote cameras and cheap Chinese toll booth operators and your trip will be faster and cheaper.  If not, then another company will do the same and make it even cheaper again.  No?

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:07 | Link to Comment August
August's picture

If the stage hand is at the NY Met, and has seniority, the story is completely accurate.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:17 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Surely there is a news story to support this.  Link?

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:48 | Link to Comment James
Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:24 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

You should have quoted NPR directly!

The $500k is disproved and the details of what they've had to do to get the $420k average explains pretty well why it is in that range e.g. they've worked shitloads of hours through their holidays and during unsocial hours.

 

"According to Bloomberg Carnegie Hall's tax returns show that the full-time stagehands "earned an average of $420,000 in 2011. ... They move equipment in and out of the building and prepare three stages for performances, while operating audiovisual and other equipment. They work on holidays and weekends." According to the Times, tax records show the full-timers put in an average of 60 hours a week."

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/03/228809419/how-do-you-get-paid-400-000-at-carnegie-hall-be-a-stagehand

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:10 | Link to Comment James
James's picture

ZH11, You should Fuck-Off!

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 18:40 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

Sure thing boss.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:27 | Link to Comment chindit13
chindit13's picture

It's pointless to get upset about how much someone else makes (I know you didn't, but here seems the best place to enter this fray).  One might have scorn for those who stole or obtained their wealth or income unfairly, but in positions where the income just seems out of line with the relative value added, it's good to remember that those positions could have been had by anyone who took the time to search them out, apply, and get hired.  Yes, baseball players get paid more than inner city teachers.  Since no lobbyists are involved in that outcome, and it merely reflects the workings of the marketplace, then best to just accept what is.  Whom do people suggest should be the judge of what is too much or what is unfair?  Some government bureaucracy?  I hope not.

Around here folks get praised for max'ing out CCs, buying PMs, then walking away from the debt.  I don't applaud that, but I feel no resentment whatsoever toward someone who saw where the pickings were easy and started picking.  Good for them.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:41 | Link to Comment Big Brother
Big Brother's picture

Osmo Vanska will be missed.  Fantastic conductor.  I hope Carnegie Hall treats him well.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:25 | Link to Comment Parrotile
Parrotile's picture

Nothing new here - under Margaret Thatcher we certainly had London Underground Train drivers making far more than Registrars! They made more than London Bus drivers too - which seemed hardly reasonable in comparison with the "skills" needed, especially the significant skills needed to drive a bus in London rush-hour traffic.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:34 | Link to Comment CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

The Family medicine doc down the street is scraping by at $105,000 and has to pay into his OWN pension, pay for his OWN health insurance, pay out of his OWN pocket for tons of continuing education courses to keep his license up to date and is being crushed by paperwork and regulation.

It's a screwed up culture I think. This is an example. There is less and less incentive for Americans to enter these professions. It's no wonder I read all the time there will be a serious shortage of physicians in the coming years.

He said he is looking at jobs in China that will pay him more then twice that will full benefits. Crazy, right? But I know an MD researcher who left his job in NJ to move to Shanghai for three times the salary! It's a crazy reverse brain drain.

Who in their right mind wants that hassle when you can grab many jobs with min education for the same or greater salary?

 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:10 | Link to Comment Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

But, in the end that is the main point of this article. As robotics become more affordable and accessible to corporations they will start replacing human workers with robots.

Its a sad fact but inevitable none the less.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:11 | Link to Comment Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

Corporations best teach those robots how to run up debt buying themselves houses, cars, educations, and Wal-Mart junk.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 05:15 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

+ 1 billion

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:12 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

I, for one, welcome the robots.  I want production, not jobs.  There will be difficulties, one being that awkward transition phase where the robots can't do enough and too many people are unemployed.  Plus there are many genuine, destructive idiots out there that truly can not handle free time.  

Another difficulty will be when robots do everything so not enough people learn maintenance (because the robots are mostly self-maintaining) and so if something breaks, no-one knows how to fix it.  Imagine if we built 20 billion houses, capable of lasting 100 years without maintenance.  100 years later, things start breaking.  If your kids didn't have to fix anything, would your grandkids know how to fix anything?

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:34 | Link to Comment dudeman
dudeman's picture

Wait until the Aussie mining boom goes bust. It's all tied to China and when China goes down, Australia's goin down with it.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:22 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

The phrase is, "Make hay while the sun shines".

... and then we'll have all these unemployed people living in poverty in a resource rich nation because we no longer manufacture anything and so have lost both the skills and capital necessary to build anything.  It truly is pathetic.

Why do we have unemployed homeless people?  Couldn't they get jobs building homes for each other? 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 03:57 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

They may experience a slow down when the US goes the way of the dodo, but I doubt it will be for long. People still need to buy food, and all of that still takes resources.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:35 | Link to Comment q99x2
q99x2's picture

ObamaCare is going to replace surgeons with robot locomotives.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:50 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

ALready happening even before Obamacare.  DaVinci surgical robots.  They never make mistakes.  They do everything the same, even if the patient's anatomy differs slightly.  Your appendix better damned well be exactly where it's supposed to be!

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 23:16 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

You obviously do NOT know how a DaVinci Surgical 'bot works!  Look it up on wikipedia.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 00:18 | Link to Comment baldski
baldski's picture

I had my colon resectioned by a Da Vinci. It was great. Very little discomfort. I love this machine.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:38 | Link to Comment mijev
mijev's picture

They should automate CEOs. There hasn't been a single innovation in the insurance industry for 100 years and yet CEOs get paid as much as high tech companies where new products have to be delivered every month. 95% of CEOs are worthless and could be replaced by a robot or an accountant.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:50 | Link to Comment Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Innovations in insurance? Its a wealth redistribution scheme and just like the banks and our government, they get a cut. You can't buy a product for less than its costs to provide unless you take the difference from someone else. The healthy and the young will be forced to pay for the sick and the old. It used to be at least voluntary, but now it is law. The only fair way to pay for healthcare is to pay for what you receive, no less and no more. But of course there are millions of people who believe they can make a good living by gambling, now backstopped by taxpayers, rather than actually providing service to others.They would like to believe they are doing Gods work somehow, but it is what it is.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:53 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

That could be the best comment I've ever heard about technology replacing people.  Ever.

 

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 05:12 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

I've asked here before, if we outsource labour to China because it is cheaper, why not politicians?  CEOs?  I believe it will happen anyway.  Sometimes "the CEOs outsource themselves" :

From
http://listverse.com/2010/03/23/10-pretty-stupid-business-moves/

Faced with striking workers at its Chicago factory, Schwinn suits outsourced manufacturing to Taiwan, choosing the aptly-named Giant Bicycle Company to fill the demand. And there is simply no better example of letting the fox guard the henhouse. Since bicycles are a simple technology, labor is the highest cost, and Giant’s Taiwanese workers are the cheapest anywhere. Giant to this day builds 90% of all bikes in the world at the same factory, often storing finished units of competing brands side-by-side. For Schwinn, the Giant outsourcing worked so well that when the strike ended, they continued outsourcing and didn’t upgrade domestic factories. Too bad they didn’t get a “non-compete” clause. Giant learned everything about Schwinn bikes and then some: they soon realized they were the tail wagging the dog. So Giant covertly sent sales reps to every Schwinn dealer in the US with the following sales pitch, in its entirety: “We know you like Schwinn, but we make Schwinn and we’ll charge you 30% less.” Schwinn dealers baled and a panicked Schwinn proposed a joint Schwinn-Giant brand, while pursuing a separate manufacturing deal with a Chinese manufacturer. But all leverage was gone– at the time of the offer, Giant was already selling 300,000 bikes a year under its own name. Schwinn declared bankruptcy in 1991, and today the brand is a shell of what it once was. Giant continues its uncontested reign as the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:43 | Link to Comment ZH11
ZH11's picture

The wages quoted are anomallies in the long-term and are made possible only due to the boom like conditions that are still being experienced. Once the bubble has popped, and it's definietly going to at some point fairly soon,  the regression to mean shall mean that a big dip in wages, well past what they were previously, shall smooth the secular average line to make the present appear as a mere blip against the long-term average.

Plus it's always the wages that are presented without any comment as to the working conditions and the quotidian realities of the jobs. Sure it seems high but would you want to spend long days, in long weekly work shift patterns in the deserted God foresaken parts of Australia where these resources are mined?

The attack on labour is noted again on this site and makes me wonder why it's labour that receives these attacks as to the wages they receive from the commodities boom. When a small percentage of this boom reaches the pockets of the workers there is a problem that needs addressing with a revolution in the technology of the means of production, classic 19th century capitalism. When Gina Rhinehart receives another $1bn in wealth for doing nothing but being born to a father who expropriated land in transactions that amount to theft she is lauded for being another rugged entrepreneur with a keen business eye.

Please note that although the capitalists were warned of continually undermining themselves this push to immaterial labour will pose the final death blow for capitalism. 

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/switzerland-to-vote-on--2-800-monthly-%E2%80%98basic-income%E2%80%99-minimum-for-adults-181937885.html

 

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:56 | Link to Comment Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

The sad part is that whenever humans find a lucrative way to make a living, they always get greedy and push for even more until they have nothing. Like the Aesop fable about the dog crossing the pond with a bone in his mouth, only to notice his reflection in the water with what must be a yet larger bone in its mouth. Immediately he drops his bone for that of his image and ultimately loses both. The train drivers are soon to be a dog without a bone.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:32 | Link to Comment Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

I believe the Aesop fable of the Dog in the Manger is more appropriate . The wealthy,like the dog, want to hoard everything for themselves, even if they cannot possibly use it or spend it, so in the end, everyone, including them, starves.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 02:13 | Link to Comment are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

Double post

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 02:14 | Link to Comment are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

Same story with Detroit assembly workers, or the Twenkie union bakers.

Mon, 10/07/2013 - 04:56 | Link to Comment PT
PT's picture

Yeah, 'cos if only those horses weren't so lazy and greedy, what with them wanting hay all the time, only willing to run a few miles per hour and then wanting rest breaks all the time, they never would have been replaced by the motor car!  The horses could have kept their JOBS!!!

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:45 | Link to Comment NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

The real crime from this article is New York lawyers making $151,000. They produce nothing and suck the blood out of individuals and businesses. At least train drivers are doing something productive.

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 21:52 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

You are making the same mistake I did. I could give you 3 examples off the top of my head that are as bad as the lawyer. The whole thing is broken

Sun, 10/06/2013 - 22:03 | Link to Comment Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Enterprize and trade have always been based on fullfilling another person's needs.  The line becomes blurred between needs and weaknesses. Those who gain the greatest monetary wealth are the ones who most successfully appeal to our weaknesses. Politicians lead this pack,with drug dealers close at their heals. Its no surprise that lawyers comprise the majority of politicians.

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