"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jul 12, 2010


"Furthermore, it is not at all clear that a more relaxed workplace -- including for members of Congress -- would benefit society."

Well, why the fuck not?


Andromeda said...

Let 'em squirm. I've seen a place where there is no toil, no worry, and no fear.

I've BEEN THERE and I WILL preserve it, even in the face of death---and what trumps death? LIFE.

Andromeda said...

Beloved Ones,

As soon as you are truly ready to See Truth, our ship will appear, instantly.

This is the miraculous nature of "time travel"---but we can only appear as humanity is ready to receive.

There must be a joining between One from the Sky and One from the Earth---because this is the paradigm that humanity has created for itself---in order to manifest the change for All Beloved Ones---this means you. Yes, you.

Please rid yourself of your fear and attachments to the lower realms, for the Good and Love of All.



Al Schumann said...

Given the rest of his commentary, that does seem out of place. I assume I have a different understanding of "relaxed workplace". The conception I have in mind is self-evidently beneficial. It would be a shame if Congress benefited from it too, but some things can't be helped.

Andromeda said...

Okay, so... Are you ready to DJ for the party now?

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Well, let me explain myself. I am not sure that Congress does enough to deal with the problems our country faces. So, I would certainly not advise its members to take it easy. Also, I am not sure that having people hang out around a fan while at work would help the country - particularly while the economy is so sluggish. Ta da.

Al Schumann said...

Our economic problems, the immediate ones, are demand-side and distributive problems. They could be fixed relatively easily. An excellent means of doing so would be an increase in paid leisure time and a shorter work week, at the same rate of pay. Cancel a war or two, if we must, to pay for that.

Productivity is not a problem. If anything, we border on Stakhanovite excess. In addition, we have had, over the last forty years, a continuing crisis of overcapacity, overwork, insufficient support of demand and a foreign trade/foreign exchange arbitrage that's been bleeding the country dry.

Over the long run, if we hope to have a country worth working in and for, we need to enact a Citizen's Dividend program (to ensure sufficient, predictable demand) and a distributive program to decentralize and break finance sector concentrations.

I did enjoy and appreciate the thoughtfulness of the rest of your post. That one thing is my quibble.

Al Schumann said...

Those last sentences could use some further explication.

Cox is proposing a hair shirt solution. You were quite right to take him to the woodshed for that. Such solutions help no one and create a toxic space for debate.

Jack Crow said...


Really appreciate the reply. I'd like to say that I had something to add, but honestly Al has given a far better reply than I.

It may be a matter of perspective, as well.

I don't see the State as a solution to the problems we face. More as an amplifier. The way a city amplifies the noise of its given population.

I also don't see most of the human contingencies as solvable problems, because I don't identify them as problems.

Obviously, I think there's a lot wrong with the world - but I don't think more effort will fix it, since it is too much effort and industry which has caused these messes in the first place.

Hence the snarking towards relaxation, which is probably 180 degrees around the circle from your own position.


Thanks, Al. Your summation excelled any efforts I could have imagined, on my own part.



Al Schumann said...

Thanks, Jack.

It looks like I was partially mistaken on one thing. Manufacturing capacity is much worse off than the under-utilization/ nominal overcapacity numbers would indicate. The fixed capital is, basically, being left to die. Modern reindustrialization would take a full blown planned economy. Congress could never hope to manage that, with or without air-conditioning ;-)

Jack Crow said...


I cannot wrap my head around the point of reindustrialization. To provide jobs?

Owned by whom?

How soon until the Creatives and the corporatists get a hold of them, through creatively legislation?

How soon until those jobs, the capital and the currency get pegged to a new war economy?

And so on...



Al Schumann said...

Realistically, there's no point to it. I play around with the idea as part of what one could call a "meliorist hangover". It's a set of what-if-this built on what-if-thats, with the hows and whys and wherefores mainly an exercise in imagination.

Practically speaking, we're on our own.

Jack Crow said...

Alright. I understand this. I've tried to push the thought experiment, myself - but I always come back to power.

So long as someone tells others what to do, and the obey, power reconstitutes itself in what I've taken to calling the stable form, regardless of the social milieu.

Al Schumann said...

Yeah, that's where it winds up when it's taken all the way to the grim conclusion. The best I've come up with is labor aristocracy, democratic super majorities and a distribution system that's generous enough to let people walk away unharmed when the majority decision is unacceptable to them.

Anonymous said...

Al --

Our economic problems, the immediate ones, are demand-side and distributive problems. They could be fixed relatively easily. An excellent means of doing so would be an increase in paid leisure time and a shorter work week, at the same rate of pay. Cancel a war or two, if we must, to pay for that.

I said several years ago that we could solve a lot of unemployment problems -- if "employment" is the big problem, I mean -- if we simply halved everyone's work week.

1 person @ 40 hrs/week


2 people @ 20 hrs/week

doubling leisure time
doubling the number of people employed

and as you said, the "costs" of such a shift could be paid by priority shifts on spending.

Anonymous said...

Now, of course, to follow on the prior comment...

I suggest the problem is not MERE unemployment, but a larger one rooted in the question of:

What is the purpose of work ("employment")?

EXAMPLE: 40 hrs/week in a cubicle, constantly handling consumer complaint calls for DirectTV.

Is that valuable work, apart from the income it produces for the worker in question?

Is the worker fulfilled by that work?

Is the worker feeling like his/her life has meaning and purpose, thanks to the work?

Or is the worker resentful of having to do such soul-crushing stuff merely to get a paycheck?

Economists love to talk about "jobs" as if merely creating more is the solution. Having spent years in the "unemployed" status, I can say that for myself, I'd rather be unemployed than have a job that makes me feel like shit.

And I'd say that the present problem is a combination of:

* unemployment
* under-employment
* employment in undesired jobs

...which suggests it's time to re-examine the purpose of work.

Jack Crow said...

Sign me up for that re-examination.