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pleiades's avatar

Could the USA truly sustain a working class which works full 8 hour minimum days 5 days week?

Asked by pleiades (6617points) September 11th, 2013 from iPhone

I’ve got a couple friends who find full time work post college. I just dont know the numbers well enough for the economy to be able to sustain as many full time jobs as the past. I mean with technological advancements it seems it takes less people for a particular job in most common fields.

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14 Answers

LostInParadise's avatar

There are a number of people who feel the way you do. Here is a review of a book that describes one author’s take on this along with a suggested solution. Humans are highly adaptable. I take an optimistic view that somehow things will work out.

Seek's avatar

If people were paid a living wage based on productivity instead of time served, this wouldn’t be a problem.

zenvelo's avatar

Yes, we could. And there are a lot of jobs out there. But they are not desirable, and mostly filled only with migrant and undocumented workers.

There is a shortage of harvesters in the United States.

LostInParadise's avatar

Don’t you think those jobs will also be replaced eventually?

Seek's avatar

There are already tree-shaking machines. But machines come with their own cost. Damaged product, maintenance, another machine to pick them up… then you have to pay someone to sort out the squished oranges…

Strauss's avatar

If the US were to invest in rebuilding and upgrading the aging infrastructure, there would be a shortage of carpenters, concrete workers, electricians, plumbers, pipe fitters, boilermakers, and others. Jobs are undesirable only if the wages are not commensurate with the type of work and skill involved. (Could you perform a job you were morally opposed to do, even with a very high wage?)

DWW25921's avatar

Nope. Lots of folks are out of work. There really isn’t any work…

jerv's avatar

We could, but it would involve returning to the days when CEOs were merely well-off instead of filthy rich.

@DWW25921 For unskilled, correct. For things that require skills that take either education or years of experience and on-the-job training, jobs are far more plentiful. Fortunately for me, my field (CNC Machinist) has people retiring faster than demand is dropping, and there aren’t enough people entering the field to make up the difference. There are other fields thataare the same way; demand outstrips the supply of qualified workers.

@zenvelo The reason few people take those jobs is that many of them cannot pay the bills. When the rent on a cheap apartment is twice your income, what do you eat for dinner? That’s why I do what I do; I can live indoors and still eat at least five days a week. Remember, many parts of the US are far more expensive than the South and Midwest, but none where <55 hours of minimum wage will make rent.

pleiades's avatar

@LostInParadise I’m on board with the optimism. I mean I have no choice. This is the country I want to be apart of that’s for sure I’m currently tired of the inconsistencies and sucking everyones you know what for tips. (Although it’s fast easy money, it’s too inconsistent!)

Blondesjon's avatar

I’ve been doing it week in and week out for the last twenty years.

Over the past twenty years I’ve listened to folks grumble about how horrible the job market is, but, no matter where I have been working, there have always been a slew of new hires. I guess it just boils down to how much of the “working” class is actually willing to work.

DWW25921's avatar

@jerv I had a CNC manual around here at one point. I got confused so I decided not to pursue it. Maybe I should have? I’m just afraid of getting 1 itty bitty thing wrong and screwing up an $800 piece of mahogany. That would be my luck. My first paycheck would be a negative balance owed! Those machines are crazy expensive too.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have read that even if every singlel job in the U. S. was filled, there would still be a lot of people left over who need work.

Personally, I don’t think it has to be that way, but full employment would require a change in the basic way the economy currently works.

jerv's avatar

@DWW25921 On the one hand, once you get past the, “Insert part, push button…”, stage of learning and actually get into real machining, there are few shops that will start you at less than $16/hr, and it goes up as you get better (and more responsible). On the other hand, if you can’t handle a small mistake like typing 3.612 instead of 3.162 possibly costing more than many houses and (if it’s the really wrong place) taking the machine down for weeks (causing further loss in productivity), it’s not the field for you. Screwing up an $800 piece of Mahogany? Try an $80,000 piece of Inconel 718!

DWW25921's avatar

@jerv That’s my luck…

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