The Future of Work and the Role of Climate Change

Yves here. This article addresses a lapse that readers regularly point out: the failure to include the impact of climate change along with technological developments. One issue it does not make explicit is that America stands apart from other advanced economies in that most citizens use increases in income to consume more, while in other countries, increase in income are devoted largely to having more leisure time.

This is part of a series at Pacific Standard, “a special project in which business and labor leaders, social scientists, technology visionaries, activists, and journalists weigh in on the most consequential changes in the workplace.”

By Juliet B. Schor, a professor of sociology at Boston College. She known worldwide for her research on the interrelated issues of work, leisure, and consumption. Her books on these themes include The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting, and the New Consumer, and Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (retitled True Wealth for its paperback edition). Originally published at Pacific Standard; cross posted from Triple Crisis

Over the last year or two I’ve noticed that conversations about the future of work are now mostly about machines—how smart ones will do fantastic things to make our lives better, or how they’ll make human labor redundant and create a jobless dystopia. My training in economics has led me to be skeptical of both sides in this debate. After all, during the Industrial Revolution extraordinary labor-saving technological change had both good (cheaper products) and bad (pollution) effects. It also resulted in a tremendous increase in hours of work. The lesson from this historical episode, and plenty of others, is that technology doesn’t determine incomes, distribution, employment, or quality of life. It’s one factor in a much larger context.

Today, that context must include consideration of climate change, which has been almost totally missing from discussions about the future of work. The most obvious reason climate change matters is that it promises to be extremely disruptive. Even if the global community can pull off the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass and limit warming to two degrees Celsius, plenty of climate chaos is still in store. At this point, a future of four degrees of warming is more likely, given current national pledges for emissions reductions and considerable uncertainty about them.

This implies catastrophic sea level rise, drought, plummeting agricultural yields, frequent extreme weather, and human migrations on a large scale. These will lead to some predictable changes in the world of work: more need for first responders, health professionals, civil engineers, and aid workers, among other occupations. Climate chaos will also have large macroeconomic effects, reducing investment, consumption, and employment. A just-published study in Nature found that more than a fifth of GDP will be lost by the end of this century, much more than previous models have predicted. Another increasingly likely scenario is the bursting of the carbon bubble, once reserves already priced into fossil fuel company valuations are recognized to be unburnable and these companies’ assets collapse. Climate mayhem leads to economic mayhem. The operative word for the future of work would be shrinkage.

But this apocalyptic future is not our only option. Acting forcefully on emissions today could dramatically increase the likelihood of not only containing warming, but also making work more sustainable, satisfying, and productive. To see how, we need to consider the connection between working hours and carbon emissions, a key link that has been absent from all climate models and the climate change conversation.

In my research I have found that countries with higher average annual hours of work have higher carbon emissions after accounting for other factors. The converse is also true: lower hours are associated with lower emissions. The main reason is that opting for shorter schedules puts a country on a trajectory in which production, with its associated energy use, is not maximized. There’s a leisure/GDP trade-off, and short-hour countries are opting for more free time. A second dynamic is at the micro level—households who are time stressed (due to long hours of work) tend to use more energy and have higher consumption. By contrast, acting sustainably typically requires more time. An obvious example is transportation. The faster one wants to travel, the more energy one must use. There’s an energy ladder from walking, through buses, trains, and planes. Existing models suggest the effect of hours on emissions is large. One study estimates that a modest 0.5 percent annual reduction in working hours through 2100 could eliminate between a quarter and a half of the projected warming that is not already locked into the system. My research also finds that shorter hours should be a key component of emissions-reduction strategies.

Right now this approach may seem infeasible. Employer-paid health insurance is a major barrier to shorter hours. When benefits are high, employers prefer a smaller number of long-hours workers. We are also in a political moment when working less cuts against a conservative, pro-work ethic. But if we could open our imaginations to a society in which good jobs did not come with killer schedules, we’d reap many benefits. In addition to reducing carbon pollution, both men and women could achieve that elusive “work/family balance.” Social and family life would improve, stress would be reduced. People would have time for hobbies and passions and to participate in political life.

How could we pay for it? Partly by the gains in lower pollution and less climate damage, and partly by slowing the upward ratchet of consumer goods and services.

There would also be a benefit in the labor market—shorter hours will help alleviate unemployment. When jobs are structured with shorter schedules employers need to do more hiring. (The effect isn’t one to one. Reduced worktime leads to higher hourly productivity. But that’s a good thing, and one more way a policy to decrease hours can be paid for.)

This brings us back to the machines. If it’s true that computers will increasingly do the work of humans, and I think it is, then both sides of this debate are probably right. There will be enormous benefits. And jobs will become scarcer and scarcer. Unless of course there’s a way to equitably share the work that does exist, by asking each of us to toil only as many hours as production requires. In the digital future, that may be only a few.

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35 comments

  1. Jim Haygood

    ‘partly by slowing the upward ratchet of consumer goods and services’

    Yeah, that should be wildly popular.

    One hopes that hair shirts will still be produced. We’ll be entitled to one every five years, with a federal coupon.

    1. jrs

      Actually it might be wildly popular if people had more leisure time (the whole article basically), if people were allowed to trade more goods for leisure time they might prefer leisure, but it’s not like we live in a system that allows such choices. Of course this doesn’t apply to those who are too poor to meet their basic needs at present, obviously they would prefer meeting their basic needs.

      1. BEast

        Indeed. Remember the famous unit at Kellogg’s who was given the choice of laying people off or working four days a week? They all took the four day schedule, had more time with their kids, did more for their communities, never wanted to go back to five day work weeks.

        Of course this presumes they could maintain a good standard of living on the four-day-a-week wage, but they could, so they were happy with the arrangement. IIRC, that unit wasn’t closed down until the 1980s, and not because the workers wanted it to be.

        I’ve read articles about women in high-earning professions who want to keep working in those professions, but end up having to choose between that and having kids. They may want to keep working full time after their maternity leave, but at 35-45 hours, not 60-plus. But the spoken or unspoken expectation is that those positions come with the excessive work hours. And so some of these highly educated and ambitious women choose to stay home with their kids because they also have a high-earning corporate husband and at least one of them should be able to see the kids while they’re awake.

        This gets presented as a gender problem or a “work-life balance” issue, but it’s really about what the expected hours are for a given job and how much of your life a corporation is allowed to demand for the privilege of a paycheck. (For “on call” cashiers and salespeople, the answer seems to be “all of it”, even if the paycheck is zero a given week because the poor marks got zero hours.)

        And while businessmen aren’t supposed to complain about such things, and have often been socialized to think a distant father role is just fine as long as the bacon gets brought home, it’s also bad for them. Even if they’re not fathers, they’re still working on wrecking their cardiovascular system and all non-work social ties.

        And all this hard work Puritanical all-work-no-fun-makes-Jack-a-good-boy malarky is used to load up individuals with several persons’ workloads, for no or little more pay. Productivity!

        1. participant.observer.observed

          The crazed work culture x gender scenario was also reviewed in detail by Suzanne Braun Levine (former Ms Magazine editor for a decade+) in her book on “Women in their Second Adulthood.”

          She observed that women tended to do more professional, productive, and interesting work after age fifty (post child-rearing) which often led to relationship splits with men who were basically worn out at mid-life and wanted a spouse to putz around with during retirement years.

          It would be interesting to see if reduced work hours were more prevelant among worker-owned coop enterprises.

  2. jgordon

    But this apocalyptic future is not our only option. Acting forcefully on emissions today could dramatically increase the likelihood of not only containing warming, but also making work more sustainable, satisfying, and productive.

    I would just like to point out that this presumes that there exists unlimited cheap fossil fuel to pull out of the ground, and that the only constraints on more carbon entering the atmosphere are constraints that we impose on ourselves.

    This idea is ass backwards. We will cut carbon emissions because our access to cheap fossil fuels has dried up. The energy return of the expensive fossil fuels that are left in the ground can no longer support the complex technological infrastructure required to extract them. Our present situation is analogous to burning off the last of the fumes left in the gas tank right before the engine gives its last sputter and we rolls off the road for good.

    The second part of the quoted comment is very apt though. The loss of access to limitless cheap energy can drastically improve the quality of our lives. But the only question is how we are going to deal with that reality, not whether it will happen or not. As is though, people seem determined to make that transition as unpleasant as possible.

    1. Ian

      We have the technological know how to dramatically reduce fossil fuel use and provide cheap energy. What we lack is the political will too.

    1. akaPaul LaFargue

      Yes! The ‘movement’ for better pay (and $15 is NOT it, $25 is more like it+free health care, etc.) needs to be complemented by a ‘movement’ for retrieving our time. What we need is a Politics of Time as André Gorz advocated 30 years ago, or more! Working a crappy job each day for 4 hours would be more tolerable, for sure, but let’s face it, crap jobs are a total drain on resources and only a UBI makes sense.

    2. evil is evil

      Privately paid physchiatrist, highly regarder,I registered under a phony name, paying 1/2 again as much as the last daily appointment. One of the mean ones that make you actually do something; List every job you have held and for how long. That was hell. Then she attacted it. I COULD NOT WORK 6 MONTHS A YEAR. explaining that I lived in a car or truck about every other year wasn’t acceptable. Two meetings, no more, she had no idea of how not to work and I was not going to be a successfull conversoin to a 9 to 5.

    3. tongorad

      One could argue for a shorter work week, as the IWW did 100 years ago, and/or the abolition of the wage system, which was another IWW position.

  3. tegnost

    “This brings us back to the machines. If it’s true that computers will increasingly do the work of humans, and I think it is, then both sides of this debate are probably right. There will be enormous benefits. And jobs will become scarcer and scarcer. Unless of course there’s a way to equitably share the work that does exist, by asking each of us to toil only as many hours as production requires. In the digital future, that may be only a few.”
    Sadly I don’t see human nature being able to deal with this sort of parity, unless it’s in the form implied by the Convoy post where the oligarchy gets it all and distributes a little less than the absolute minimum equally among the rest of us. I get a kick, in relation to that point, when the author claims “enormous benefits” with such certainty

    1. James Levy

      I don’t think you can invoke human nature here. For 9/10th of our time on this planet as a species we were hunter-gatherers living in smallish bands of 10-50 people. People really all did work about the same and their was neither a worker nor a leisure class. Deep in our genetic makeup that template lies, dormant perhaps but not dead. Agriculture put it to sleep. But it is quite likely nascent, and given the right culture and environment could be the only viable (adaptive) ethic. You are right, however, about the comical statement about the enormous benefits of throwing most people out of work so that we can have zippy machines do much of the grunt work of society. Only one sure that they won’t be one of the victims could be that blithe.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        What ever one calls it, humans tend to work together, especially on an equal footing, only when circumstances absolutely require it for survival and to work both opportunistically in the short term and competitively in the longer term for leveraged benefit at all other times. So much so that it is hard to believe that even prior to agriculture there wasn’t significant division of labor and a wide range of individual expression from selfishness to altruism that went along with it. We know, for instance, that making many types of stone tools was highly skilled work and that likely not everyone could or did do it. At a minimum, there was likely a strong inclination to self interest and advantage all while submitting to the restraints imposed on and enjoying the comforts and protections rewarded to members of tribe. Our traits of self interest are too strong and too ingrained to be merely recent appendages to human nature.

        Be that as it may, technology seems to be lifting any remaining restraints imposed by the nation state as evidenced by the insistent interest in such agreements as the TPP, (which would be impossible without technology) which frees our opportunistic nature to exploit advantages of leverage over each other to the destructive point where our nature goes after apparent self interest with the ferocity of the coyote’s kill instinct when seeing an animal attempt to flee – regardless of hunger, in total contradiction to our own well being insofar as we still all rely on tribe/nation state/civilization for survival.

        1. reslez

          Pre-agriculture there was no surplus to steal. Elites and hierarchies did not exist until that occurred, which the research shows. What the “skilled” stoneworkers got was admiration and recognition from their fellow humans. Not piles of material goods. There was strong pressure to share, and those who did not were shunned… which ultimately means death to a social species like our own. There’s no reason we can’t return to a similar way of life. And if we continue to destroy all our arable land we will.

      2. Carlos

        I don’t see how human nature changed in the transition from hunter gatherer to agriculture.

        Rather agricultural society developed when human nature was placed in a new environment. Humans had to contend with the new concept of staying put and defending property.

        Society changed again when humans were placed in the new industrial environment and adapted to big city life.

        Now robots are replacing a large chunk of industry, we see workers displaced into new types of efficient work processing centres like call centres and large shopping centres. Occasionally, if there is low supervisory content and a suitable incentive program you get the ‘treat’ of working from home. Peripatetic service jobs like door to door salesman or gardener have changed little through the years.

        More robots just means more of the same, any services that require property and human to human interaction get consolidated and centralised in the name of efficiency. Home services remain more or less the same. Leisure activities have become more and more commercialised.

        I see a future of creative home services, more eating out and more paying for organised leisure activities. When robots do the mundane what’s left that can function in the form of an economic market and provide work? We don’t much like paying for other people’s thoughts. The only question is: Will we be designer renovating our own homes and eating at the latest pop up noodle shop or trudging up the hill to doff our caps at m’lud and serve at his banquet.

  4. Jef

    “The operative word for the future of work would be shrinkage.”

    Well this economist got one thing right or at least partially right. It should read;

    The operative word for the future of life on planet earth would be shrinkage. Whether we like it or not.

    Unless we can ramp up that “non-material economy” some clown was predicting.

  5. susan the other

    Another 20% of GDP will be lost to mitigating global warming? I think that is very optimistic. I would guess that the Great Recession already accomplished the first 20% decrease. It hasn’t been recouped so GDP is going to be a shadow of its former self. I think the most important question is just what “goods” do we want to produce and why. And shouldn’t we have a planned economy to achieve our goals? Free-for-all markets would defeat sustainability before it even gets started. It is going to be Karma if the clean industries we are destined to promote turn out to be leisure and entertainment whose product relies on human creativity and not heavy manufacturing. Or leisurely science. Kinda like that vision of an economy. Just think, so many of us love to garden that agriculture could become a leisure activity.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think it can be an acquired taste.

        We should have National Gardens, like National Parks.

        The government prints money and buys lands to give to the people to farm, like community gardens you see around us, but now on a much bigger scale. I would suggest buying sports stadiums and use them for farming.

        That might stop more football injuries.

    1. Anarcissie

      Farming as we know it is pretty hard work. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who did it (as a significant source of food or income) who thought it was any form of leisure. And that’s the with assist of fossil fuels, which we assume are going to become prohibitively expensive.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I read somewhere, or maybe I am just thinking this myself, but that agriculture spread to hunter gatherers not voluntarily…that it was forced upon them.

        In that case, no one, or not too many (or some) didn’t like farming that much.

      2. participant.observer.observed

        True, but some people make it more pleasurable than others.

        This is a somewhat extreme example, but in the upper Khumbu of the Mt Everest (Sagarmatha) region of Nepal, local people when not involved in the trekking and climbing hospitality businesses and related labors, do some basic farming of potatoes and grass (animal feed during winter), and the work is often done in communal groups moving from field to field over planting and harvest seasons, with plenty of beer breaks and card games. These work seasons are followed by major holidays of singing, dancing, religious fun/social activities (mostly Buddhist with masked dances, puja, etc), and lots of high stakes card games.

        This is all done at 12,000 ft plus altitude, where there are no roads, and limited fossil fuels, so tilling is done by human or animal. But, there is sustainable electricity from hydropower plants. Locals have refused to allow added roads and airports, preferring to keep the environment and economy preserved in balance.

        There are still issues to deal with, but there is a lot of social coherence available and international well-wishers who are always making efforts to improve life.

  6. washunate

    Great read. The social costs of overwork, from undermining public health to environmental destruction, is a fascinating policy area that doesn’t fit neatly within established economic thinking.

    most citizens use increases in income to consume more, while in other countries, increase in income are devoted largely to having more leisure time

    Just speculating here, but I think there actually is a pretty clear at least partial explanation to that. What makes the US different is that we have implemented specific public policy choices whereby workers are owned by employers to a much greater degree in the US than elsewhere in the industrialized world. Most US workers would rather have more leisure time if given a choice. But they do not possess that choice, even at the top 10-20% of the wage scale.

    1. jrs

      It is absolutely clear. There is healthcare of course. But also in some other countries there are labor protections that protect workers that choose to go part time and ensure they will not be punished for such (beyond just taking a commensurate decrease in pay of course).

      They’ve created a society with little to enjoy but consumption (no time for anything else for one thing), which is only so enjoyable, and then we get moral lectures when we surrender to taking the only stinking thing they allow us (consumption). “Choose” – yea right.

  7. Ranger Rick

    And what about farmers? Climate change is going to move where they can actually practice their profession into other countries. Is immigration law going to change for this?

  8. Eric Patton

    And jobs will become scarcer and scarcer. Unless of course there’s a way to equitably share the work that does exist, by asking each of us to toil only as many hours as production requires.

    I like Juliet Schor a lot. But there is absolutely an answer to this question: participatory (or horizontal) planning. (Professional economists should read this link on participatory planning instead.)

    In an economy with market-based allocation (professional economists, read this link on markets instead) — with or without private ownership of the means of production — workers are compelled by the logic of the system to work more, even if literally everyone wants to work less.

    If you reject markets as a mode of allocation (which I do — markets have caused more death, destruction, and suffering than any other human invention), that leaves you with one well-known option, central planning, and one unknown option, horizontal planning.

    The reason no one has ever heard of participatory economics (professional economists should read this link on parecon instead) is because there is a third class in the economy.

    Marx was a genius, and he got a boatload of stuff right. But there are not just owners and workers in the economy. It’s not just the 1% and the 99%. It’s more like the 1-2%, the 18-20%, and the 80%.

    That 18-20% in the economy — the coordinator class — is loathe to see itself as a separate class in the economy. Like anyone else who’s privileged — whether men, for example, or whites — coordinators do not like to acknowledge or even see their privileged station in the economy.

    But workers are acutely aware of coordinator-class privilege and power. The means of production in any economy of scale are too big for the owners to run themselves. That’s the job of coordinators. Coordinators have tremendous say over their own work lives, as well as tremendous say over the work lives of the working class.

    But but markets and central planning as modes of allocation in an economy necessarily give rise to the existence of a coordinator class.

    But to Schor’s original point, parecon actually mentions her (mind you, I’m sure she already knows this):

    In a market system more work is compelled even if literally everyone would prefer to slow down. Competition demands that each workplace maximize profits. But profits go up when employees work longer and more intensely. Owners and managers therefore seek to compel, cajole, entice, or otherwise generate longer and more intense work by employees, and endure similar pressures themselves, even if their personal preferences run in the opposite direction. Marx described this central attribute of markets with the pithy admonition that for capitalists their drive was to “accumulate, accumulate, that is Moses and the Prophets.” Juliet Schor in her book on work and leisure in America provides an instructive indicator. Considering the US from the period after WWII—the golden age of capitalism—to the end of the twentieth century, Schor notes that per-capita output approximately doubled. She points out that an important decision should have been made in conjunction with that increase in productive capability. That is, should we maintain or even expand the work week to enjoy the much bigger social product that increased productivity made possible? Or should we retain the per capita output level of the 1950s, using the increase in productivity per hour to reduce the work week by establishing a schedule of working one week on and one week off, or working just two and a half days a week, or a month or a year on and a month or a year off, with no reduction in overall output per person. You do not have to decide which option you prefer to note that in fact no such democratic decision ever took place because the issue never arose. The market ensured that work pace and workload climbed as high as they could without causing the system to reach a breaking point. It is the market itself and not a conscious collective and free choice that yielded the outcome.

    Do you really want to put the fear of Allah into elites? Honest and for true? Do you really want to see those f-ckers get what’s coming to them?

    Then I tell you truly, your best bet is to start reading about parecon. You will, however, have to acknowledge that there is a coordinator class — and that you, as a reader of this site, stand a good chance of being in it.

    Are you willing to see your own privileged position in the economy? Are you willing to acknowledge that doctors really do have a helluva lot more power and privilege than nurses (not to mention nurse aides)? Are you willing to acknowledge that the managers at Kroger have more power and privilege than the cashiers?

    And can you see that this would be true even if Kroger were tomorrow magically nationalized, and was no longer owned by a few capitalists?

    Ownership does give rise to a class relation. But so does management. The next argument against parecon will then be, “Well, gee, let’s just make everything smaller. Let’s have everything be local, and not have any economies of scale.”

    That’s been dealt with too.

    Pareconish theory has been around for at least 25 years. But it’s been essentially completely ignored — not because it’s too weak, but because it’s too strong.

    1. Carlos

      I like the concept, the problem is that the 1% use the disciplined and hierarchical warrior class with the threat of violence to enforce property ownership. That’s what happened in the transition to Agriculture and is implicit in our society today.

      Unless you can rein in the warrior elites and get them onboard, redefinition and redistribution of property ownership can’t get implemented.

  9. dave

    The place I always get stuck is wondering what powers the machines. Coal? And then – Bush Gore, I think it was USA Today that published a map showing the US; the districts that Bush won were colored red and the districts Gore won were blue. Almost the entire country was red; there were some thin blue streaks along the coasts. And I believe it was reported Gore won the popular vote. And I remember thinking, when the seas rise, that’s a huge amount of infrastructure that will have to be abandoned. And all those people will have to move. The other stuff, I don’t know if it will matter too much at that point.

  10. Sandwichman

    Juliet Schor: “we need to consider the connection between working hours and carbon emissions, a key link that has been absent from all climate models and the climate change conversation”

    Not absent from ALL models. Present in Peter Victor’s LowGrow model (“Managing Without Growth”) also incorporated into the U.K.’s Sustainable Development Commission’s 2010 report, “Prosperity Without Growth?”

    Of course, Juliet Schor knows this. What she means is absent from the “official” models that govern the conversation — the Nordhaus D.I.C.E. model and Stern’s IPCC model.

    Juliet Schor’s analysis is among the best out there. For that reason I hesitate to point out that it still relies on a residual heap of wishful thinking. Somehow, the wish urges, technology can continue to provide us with a good deal of it benefits even without the humongous consumption of fossil fuel. It seems to me, though, that most extant technology is either directly or indirectly dependant on continuing fossil fuel consumption. Without gas in the tank, a tractor is an elaborate hunk of sculpture. And this is before we even begin to think about the fossil fuel dependence of the global financial order.

    What very few critics of the mainstream status quo even fail to realize is that the Say’s Law principle of the “reabsorption of workers displaced by machinery” is inextricably linked to the Jevons paradox of an energy consumption rebound from gains in energy efficiency.

    Supply doesn’t necessarily create it’s own demand. BUT when the supply of one commodity (fossil fuel) is an input into the demand for another commodity (wage labor), it becomes impossible to “solve” one problem without exacerbating the other. Solving BOTH problems simultaneously requires the abolition of wage labor AND the abandonment of industrial technology. A tall order to say the least.

    Marx assumed that the abolition of wage labor would unleash the untapped productive potential of industrial technology. In other words, he thought abolition of wage labor was both the necessary and the sufficient condition for the attainment of the realm of freedom. It may be necessary but it is not sufficient.

    The future of work/climate change problem may in fact be intractable at a “global” or even a national level. That is to say that it may not be so much a problem that can be solved as a condition — or a loss — that we need to learn to carry. Denial of the loss or false hopes of a magical solution may only make the consequences of that loss more severe.

  11. kevinearick

    History: A Conspiracy of Ignorance

    I have had a great life, and expect better for my children, having spent many an hour reading, and then moments sampling, the WSJ, not that its particulars where particularly unique. What one sees in the black hole depends upon distance, time, when and how long you take the snapshot. From Virginia, the symptoms of one atrocity created after another merge until the cause is lost upon the weary, with growing consumption as a cratering respite.

    My favorite, obviously, is Les Mis, which I could read continuously, and replay the Rochester performances endlessly. Since this sub-phase began, with the assassination of JFK, by oil, for having the temerity to move the imagination of youngsters like myself from empire media stupidity to practical space exploration, I have directly sampled over 1000 organizations.

    What I have learned, from my perspective, is: you can only change yourself, an example others may or may not follow, a little, and with tremendous effort, intelligently applied; space exploration is a psychological, not a physical or intellectual problem; and the universe responds, “why should I allow you to traverse that which is beautiful when you are so determined to remake everything you touch into something ugly, dirty and cheap?”

    What I think is irrelevant; what you think is important, to me, communication. I write for kids, like myself, who began to buy ‘crap’ and eke out a living at age nine, recycling whatever made sense at the time. From seaman to ensign to admiral, what I learned was that there are two types of males, those that are serious about marriage and those who are not, and those who are not are headed to war, willingly or not, and what women do amongst themselves is their business, unless they happen to be your daughters, and you still keep your mouth shut, and open your ears.

    Until recently, I kept my mouth shut. Back in the day, I was the latest and greatest golden one, and am still referred to as such in a few remaining quarters of the physical world, where I still talk less than 10% of the time. But now day fades to night.

    Am I my brothers’ keeper or my daughters’ father? Does anyone really think that labor needs anyone to print and account for money? Why do the objects of money think that moneychangers change the money, a self-correcting transaction medium if left to reach its equilibrium? In the process of self-inflicted pain and misery, some do get stronger, but are they the strongest?

    The two things I know is work and looking for work, to fill the queue. Babies shoot at their own frames/sec, so if you are anxious and see children as competition for scarce resources, instead of the solution, as communists do, you have lost before you began. Whether Grace or the communists holding her are caught in the trap is a matter of perspective.

    If the American version of communism is so exceptional, why must the State kidnap my children, in violation of its own laws?

    Funny, the communists make Grace sick, turn her into a science project, and can’t find anything medically wrong with her, not that I mind them teaching her that communism is repugnant right out of the gate. I have advanced the DNA in my line and that’s my job; let God sort out the rest. Grace has no fear of communists, and, theoretically, she is in the worst possible position.

    Money is not a yardstick. Money has created the least effective healthcare, education and criminal justice systems in History, unless you are measuring by obesity, ignorance and corruption. Never again have so many been paralyzed by denial, anger and depression, watching their evolution of the next Hitler, as Russian, Chinese and European communists stalk their prey, more communists marching to the DNA churn pool.

    Hold them to gold or hold them to the dollar, WSJ or no, it matters not because what man knows in the end is but a grain of sand on a beach, subject to the will of an ocean. “The water below was thus separated from the water above.” The US Navy was always seeking AI code and a bomb for Wall Street, to suppress the latest insurrection. With gold on Pluto or paper, I think not.

    I am not here to persuade communists, caught in their own emotional trap, of irrefutable facts. Communism is the noise you filter out to see what you seek, which the planet is far better at managing than I. So long as communists can arbitrarily inflate sunk asset prices and roll over accelerating depreciation, their money is worthless, hence the participation rate.

    “This is the fastest rate in 25 years, excluding the final blow-off phase of the Lehman boom,” a parallel bazooka with all cylinders firing, into a black hole, assuming there is a brake, crack me up. The communists make a movie and talk to each other like it’s life, hoping no one is so ill-mannered as to point out the obvious, measuring confidence on shrinking volume is not production. But thank you for your thoughtful response.

    So, in Spokane the other day, with an apprentice, and some morons at the bus stop are yelling that everyone is going to hell but them. Get on the bus, and everyone starts talking to each other about the value of mercy, my wife’s favorite subject. Do you remember that girl in the front row of English class, with a collection of devotionals, who always had her hand up, and always answered that people are beautiful and wonderfully made?

    Balancing my wife is not for the faint of heart, but if the communists want to try, they are certainly welcome to do so. It’s like watching Mr. Magoo in a dress, in 28 parallel universes, created by the State.

    Fiat assets as a store of value?…and we come full circle again. Back to the Wizard…I don’t follow story lines well anymore, but that star kid on the broom is the Fed, and the wizards controlling the game are in the stands. They haven’t revealed themselves yet, but they will, because they can’t get out. Careful, when you play with other people’s technology.

    Thieves voting self-serving rights to others, in a sandbox they stole, is not an economy. And communists going to war is not a crisis; it’s the status quo. From the perspective of labor, selling the future short, the history of communism and fascism repeating itself, is neither good nor evil; it’s just stupid.

    A Brit gets a Nobel Peace prize in economics for stating the obvious, labor is being hunted; be afraid, be very afraid. Like any juvenile peer pressure group, the communists become increasingly fascist as they try to force the remainder to participate. The Fed knows exactly who isn’t participating, courtesy of Silicon Valley, the latest and greatest example of military intelligence working for moneychangers, and if you think the Fed is going to win WWIII, you haven’t read your History.

    Funny, the history of communism is punctuated by mass suicide, by consumers with nothing to consume but cardboard food in a cardboard box. Build all the robots you like, on the way to Japan, assuming that labor is a cost. Chess is not life, and the Queen is not powerful.

    An empire is nothing more than a shared illusion; there is no safe public debt instrument in an actuarial ponzi at the end of an empire cycle. Never saw that coming.

    (Hint for the trackers: my apprentice was with me twice, for 15 minutes.)

    1. Massinissa

      So… You hate Communism and Banks at the same time… And somehow the two are related…. Im very confused. You realize the Communists didnt have banks? Im so confused at what your unintelligible 20 paragraph rant is actually talking about.

  12. Gaylord

    The timeline in this article is wrong. We can not expect civilization to continue to the end of this century, given the methane monster that has been unleashed. All the other talk about adaptation is pie in the sky.

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