Monday, April 27, 2015

How Much of our Work Is Compliance, Enforcement and Menial Servitude to the New Aristocracy?

It's difficult to estimate the quantity of our work devoted to data-shuffling compliance with and enforcement of perverse regulations and neofeudal menial-servitude to the top 10%.

A spate of recent articles have investigated the nature of today's jobs:

These articles implicitly raise a question: how much of our work is compliance with regulations, enforcement of those regulations and menial servitude to the New Aristocracy, i.e. the top 10% who have prospered as financiers and the technocrats who manage the central-state/vested-interests status quo?

While the technocrat class has been doing better than everyone else, even the top ranks of the work force are experiencing stagnant incomes: Even the Most Educated Workers Have Declining Wages (when adjusted for inflation).

One of the many drivers of this trend to lower-paying, menial-servitude types of work is deregulation, which perversely increases the need for more regulation and low-value paper-shuffling: David Graeber's Utopia of Rules: why deregulation is actually expanding bureaucracy

Another reason is that most of the income gains of the past few decades have flowed to the very top of the income pyramid:

Since the top apex has sucked most of the financial oxygen out of the system, much of the system has adapted by serving the needs of those few who have benefited from financialization.

More education is not the answer--though assistant provosts to the adjunct deans currently skimming huge salaries are anxious to keep their share of the higher-education gravy train.

Despite the ceaseless propaganda about the value of college--translated into English, this means, "please keep borrowing $100,000 for a worthless degree so I can keep my $250,000 per year job as assistant provost to the adjunct dean of academic standards and political correctness in the Educrat Industry"--the reality is the wages of college grads are not keeping pace with the soaring cost of supporting all those assistant provosts to the adjunct deans and shiny new admin buildings on campuses.

Those on the bottom of the higher-education food chain aren't doing as well as the well-paid educrats; many of those who are actually doing the lowly, poorly paid work of teaching students qualify for social welfare programs:

The student debt-serfs who paid for all the shiny new buildings and fat admin salaries with future earnings aren't doing so well, either: "Staggering" Student Loan Defaults On Deck: 27% Of Students Are A Month Behind On Their Payment

Another factor is the rising dominance of industries that are mostly low-value paper-shuffling: healthcare (up to 50% of the costs in the U.S. system is estimated to be shuffling paper or fraud enabled by the blizzard of insurance claims), higher education, which is increasingly a factory for loans and high-overhead issuance of credits and credentials, and of course the debt industry itself: the financial sector and its various pools of predators and parasites.

This leads to a question that must be asked of every post-industrial economy burdened with a regulatory utopia mandated by the state/vested-interests neofeudal arrangement: are we really producing anything? Is the UK really producing anything?

Meanwhile, access to the technocrat class is narrowing. Credentials that were once a passport to a big-bucks secure job have lost their signaling power as the market for credentials is saturated: Burdened With Debt, Law School Graduates Struggle in Job Market.

It's difficult to estimate the quantity of our work devoted to data-shuffling compliance with and enforcement of perverse regulations and neofeudal menial-servitude to the top 10%, but shall we start with 40% and go from there?

Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
go to Kindle edition
Are you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.

And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.

Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

"I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
Laura Y.

Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 

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