Saturday, September 12, 2015

The End of The Job: Tribes Replacing Jobs

Hi! Happy Saturday!

Pumpkin is in season! I can say that because pumpkin just showed up at Starbucks! There is a cultural statement in there somewhere.

Today is a lesson in systemic solutions. America's problems today, and the world's problems today are firstly systemic. Our systems need to be upgraded to scale to the new global economy, the new global workforce, the information age of technology and an ever increasing population.

We need to replace jobs with tribes where the Irreni opening size of tribe is thirty people. We should no longer hire individuals. We need to change our laws such that only tribes can be hired.

John C Goodman is a conservative columnist who recently made a couple of statements contrasting the conservative position regarding no minimum wage vs the liberal position of a $15-an-hour minimum wage:

Flash forward to last Saturday. In an editorial endorsing a $15-an-hour minimum wage, the editors of The New York Times repeat the canard that the typical minimum wage earner is a lone individual trying to “eke out a living” on that wage, ignoring all economic research to the contrary. Then, for the first time ever if memory serves, they make an economic argument for intervention:
"Markets do reliably establish the prices of goods and services when businesses have to compete. When businesses compete for workers, for example, wages rise because employees gain a modicum of bargaining power. The law has long recognized, however, that low-wage workers seldom have bargaining power. An adequate federal minimum wage effectively substitutes for that lack."

Wow. When you walk into Walmart’s, how much bargaining power do you have? Zilch. But is that bad? Not at all. If you want to bargain over price, go to a garage sale. Walmart has low prices -- not because customers have bargaining power, but because it is competing with other stores for customers.

The same thing is true in the labor market. Hourly workers almost never bargain over their wages. It’s typically take it or leave it. But employers compete against other employers – on wages, benefits and other aspects of work. Competition keeps wages as high as they are, just as competition keeps Walmart’s prices as low as they are.
That brings us to Paul Krugman, who repeatedly argues that small increases in the minimum wage do not cause unemployment. Economic studies and even the Congressional Budget Office disagree with him. In fact, David Brooks summarized much of the contrary evidence in a column on the very same op ed page Krugman writes for. And in the Wall Street Journal, Andrew Puzder notes that there are already indications of layoffs because of minimum wage increases in San Francisco and Seattle.

Let us set aside for the moment the fantasy conservatives have about competition in capitalism. Competition is the enemy of business.  Businesses in all markets undermine competition by buying their competition, converging to monopoly, manipulating laws, and corporate collusion to the tune of a recent $415 million dollar settlement this year involving 64,000 workers. Until a conservative admits that every-present competition is seen as the enemy of businesses and all businesses work to eliminate competition by all means legal and financial then it is impossible to have conversation with conservatives about the true nature of  capitalism.

That said, these economic arguments about minimum wage and capitalism are outdated and irrelevant. All the economic arguments put forth by all economists today are based upon decades and centuries of economic data that are irrelevant. The global economy of today has undergone a sea change these last couple of decades. Conditions have change so radically and so fast so as make all historical data on economics irrelevant. The reason economists insist their education is still relevant, however, is that when people spend years studying something they are not going to give that up easily.

Scale has changed everything. I'm going to list just two things have dramatically changed the labor market in the last 30 years. These two changes can be said to have uprooted economics so much so as to make all past economics irrelevant:

  1. Global workforce. 
  2. Automation. 
And there are many more. I picked these two changes because they directly impact labor. Other changes such as global banking also make classic economics irrelevant. For example, today picking a country of your choice to bank with so as to optimize tax strategies is a luxury of the rich and corporations. Tomorrow it will be available to us all. Trust me. Soon everyone in the US will have an international bank account.

Prior to 1990 and the Internet then America's workforce was mostly Americans. Today America's workforce is seven billion large where corporations can hire employees anywhere in the world. That's a sea change. Further, climate change albeit man made or otherwise means the planet cannot sustain every person on planet having a job and enjoying the same consumerism we enjoy in the US today. The planet simply cannot sustain the per-capita consumption, waste and energy use of a typical American scaled to  seven billion people. This means a permanent cheap labor market free of competition pressures.

Therefore the labor market has been completely redefined. Even the smallest company of two people can hire off-shore cheaply. The "American labor force" exists no more and will never return.

Factor the impact of automation on labor markets in with the global workforce on labor markets and the labor market is completely upended. Yesterday's economics don't apply. We need 2015 economics. Today's labor market looks nothing like the labor market that all economists were trained to think about. All economists today are irrelevant.

We need new economic models that meet the demands and changes of the totally different circumstances of the day.

Irreni World Scale meets the challenge of new economic models so as to address the new economic conditions. Irreni calls for eliminating the job and replacing individual workers with tribes. American rugged individualism must die for the sake of humanity. We need to transition to a tribal model that scales.

You may be surprised to learn this but jobs were created using a tribe model. Jobs represented a system where the "bread winner" is assumed to have a certain amount of overhead.  The "bread winner" was typically the male. The male was married and had kids. The job salary was intended to manage a modern tribe, a nuclear family tribe. A nuclear family tribe meant mom, dad and the kids. The nuclear family tribe broke down for good during the 1980s. Prior to 1980 only 40% of women were in the workforce and mostly in part-time jobs intended for mothers. Flash forward just ten years and 80% of women in the US were in the workforce, mostly full-time. The dual-income family became the norm in just 10 short years, sea change. Did classic economics update their textbooks and change their models in real time? No. In fact economic models of today haven't changes since WWII. That is how out-of-date today's economics are.

It could be said that the two-parent working family alone upended economics and invalidated all economics prior to 1990. But there is more. Today we have 60 million single parent-family households in the US.

Machinery and automation have been replacing workers for over a hundred years. However, the pace and the scale of that automation grew exponentially with the advent of cheap computers in 1980.

And now we have burgeoning robotics. It is not science-fiction to say that in one-hundred years robots will provide for us such that no human will need to provide food and shelter. Food and shelter will be 100% provided for all humans by robots. Work will be unnecessary to survive.

What then?

The value of something then can no longer be tied to labor, manufacturing and prices determined individually for a single person. Scale can no longer equate to competition where the scale of supply and demand means success, riches and better wages. Scale can no longer be an objective to drive down prices and encourage ever larger corporations, our modern day tribes. Automation makes scale competition irrelevant. We can see the lopsided economy of scale in the high-tech industry where just a few hundred people can service the entire world.  The focus of the modern tribe we call corporation can longer be a race of size but must change to a focus on community.

Irreni calls for a community unit of a fixed number, thirty. Money paid to the tribe to deliver services factors in all the overhead of the elderly, the children and others who have little or no work capacity.

To bring this conversation full circle then the notion of minimum wage becomes irrelevant because the smallest unit for hire is the tribe. These tribes are fixed at thirty in number. The fairness factor then is not wages but overhead. Each tribe will have a balanced number of workers supporting the rest of the tribe.

The evil of today's tribes is that of ostracising the unfortunate, the ex-cons, the mentally ill, the physically ill, the socially inept. Our greatest tribes today, corporations, take no responsibility for those less fortunate. Empathy for all. Our tribes of tomorrow must have a direct, day-to-day obligation to directly help those less fortunate and not put them out-of-sight, out-of-mind in institutions. If someone needs professional care, as we call it today, then we must become that professional care and that overhead needs to be factored into the price of every tribe. In this way everyone on planet Earth can find meaningful life engagement where today only a minor percentage can find a job and the model of jobs doesn't scale to half the people on the planet.

The economics being bandied about today in the media are totally irrelevant. The world has changed so completely in the last thirty years so as to make all historical economics useless.

Irreni World Scale meets the scale of today's economics by eliminating the job and replacing it with the tribe of thirty. We all must take responsibility for those less fortunate and we can no longer toss the less fortunate aside for "professionals" to deal with. It is time to quit putting our elderly in homes and insisting they be kept with us by demanding a tribal system that requires those capable to be responsible for those who are not. Demand Irreni World Scale.


Think disruption!

Empathy for all!

Moral relativity: think it, breath it!

Prove it or lose it!

Conversations equal consensus! 

Welcome to the 21st century!

Scale your empathy, scale the world! 

Find your tribe!

Be sexy people!

The future is coming! 

Innovate at a rapid pace!

Slow speed ahead!

Well come! and well met!

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