A federal fill-in workforce system for retirees and unemployed to boost the GDP

20090523 JEDCline

Wondering now about what is happening nowadays, regarding approaches to solving big problems coming up. Besides those of energy supply needs, need for independence from offshore energy supply, imbalance of trade, inadequate usage of human resources, unrecoverable damage to the world ecosystem through resource depletion and contaminants widespread, need for housing and efficient ground transportation that is time efficient, among others, which I also pointed out possible solutions,) a new one has appeared, that of lots of people about to retire and the social security fund is projected to run out eventually. Part of this is that younger employees are being told that they are going to have to work hard to pay for the social security of all those retirees, and then when it is time for them to retire too, there won't be any money left for them; this of course upsets them, and they seek solutions, which tend to be not very hospitable.

It seems to me that a better solution than shortening the life-spans of retirees, is to enable them to be part of the workforce, contributing to the Gross Domestic Product according to their capabilities. The whole country is improved and the strain is taken off of the fears of the younger workforce.

This is an achievable thing. For example, I have suggested a fairly worked-out way of doing this, and have told of it in this blog as well as elsewhere; but it does not seem to be being heard. This is a common response I have gotten over the decades; and each of the problems I foresaw and offered ways to solve it in time, were also ignored; and the situation is upon us and we still seem to think that the problem will go away by itself and all will be OK as it was before. Decades ago there was a song called "Manana" that expressed this attitude; it is also like saying why bother stopping to fill the gas tank, the car is running fine now so why stop and gas up, even though there still is a very long way to go?)

So I wonder, why are normally intelligent, responsible, and educated people responding this way? Planning ahead is something that lots of esteemed folks supposedly do; and indeed, demand total authority - but not responsibility for the overall effects.

In wondering about this, letting it simmer in the back of my mind, I once again have come around to the same possible cause that I came around to before, a few times.

It has to do with how we learn to interact. Complex subject, sure; yet some basic ways seem to appear: we learn to interact by watching others interact; by playing games; and finally by being trimmed up by the brute facts of ongoing individual life experiences.

We learn from watching our parents interact with each other and with other people, including with ourselves; we learn from interacting with siblings, if we have any. In school we add to the observations from watching teachers and classmates. These all condition us to respond as individuals to the outer scene.

Before sports training, teamwork ways get conditioned by being part of the family team, given instructions by parents; then by teachers in school; finally by bosses on the job.

All these things presume there are no big problems needing solution by a large number of people. We learn about how to function as part of a team largely thorough team sports, both participation and observation of others playing the games. The game of football can be used as an example, although other team sports such as basketball, baseball and soccer are some of the other examples. Football embodies the concepts of territories (the two halves of the football and their respective goal posts) and scarce commodities (the football) and the need to coordinate the team members so as to achieve their common goal.

I wonder, why have a basic sport involving pitting one team against another? Probably because that makes the resulting strife quite complex and pitting against the other on several levels, including physical fairly violent action. But it requires the concept of "opponent" to play the game; the "we are all on the same team" does not work in such activities as team sports like football or basketball. Just as much as the team sport teaches how to function as part of a team, it also equally teaches the principle of actively preventing the success of others (the opponent team.) The principle of acting to cause the failure of others' efforts is an intrinsic part of this mode of how people learn to interact.

And in real life, people are responding to others in the ways they have learned. And having been taught that one succeeds by causing the failure of the opponent, this becomes a mode of response. While the concept of the nation being one whole team, this lacks the basic part of the concept of "opponent" with which people know how to interact as taught to them.

Political turmoil provides a sufficiently familiar mode, the other political party is the opponent team to be thwarted in their goals so as to have one's own political party win. This is more than just the differences in ways to solve a mutual problem nor even agreement that there is a problem to be solved. This prevents the nation from functioning as a whole team in solving the nation's problems and providing the needs of the people of the nation. It is well known that "a nation divided against itself cannot stand" yet the political divisiveness persists; some groups are more into the deliberate sabotage of the other sides efforts than others who are responding more to the needs of the nation instead of those of a particular political group.

Even war can be a means to unite a group of mutually hostile people, as has often happened down through history. "War" grabs the attention of the sparring folks and they realize they must put down their petty differences and work together to "fight the enemy team" or they will be overrun and all will lose, so they work together in wartime. The use of the word "war" has been used in other related ways, such as war on drugs, war on cancer, etc, in an effort to get people to work together to resolve some problem, by defining the opponent team (another nation, or some lesser foe such as "drug escapists") so as to unite the folks to be a team working together.

In other words, it is looking like many, maybe most, people need to see themselves as part of a team that is assaulting folks who are on an opponent team, in order to know how to function as a team. And that this behavior is acquired from the games of team sports.

So bringing this into the context of the original concern discussed here, that of why are people not responding to solve the productivity crisis coming up as expressing in several ways including the anticipated social security funds dwindling, the response as taught by football (for example) is to assault the opponent to cause the opponent's failing in their goals. The opponent becomes all those retirees seen as leeching off the younger workers having to work hard to support the hordes of retirees. The ingrained responses from team sports produces this response of how to perceive and handle the problem.

And thus suggestions are simply not part of their comprehension, suggestions as to how to have retirees (insofar as they are supported by the social security system; some have become wealthy somehow and thus not need the social security system, but few do so) to continue to contribute at a reduced effort rate, instead of dropping out of the nation's productivity system.

The people seem to have to comprehend it all in terms of teams fighting other teams so as to receive the winnings for life activities. Even corporations have to compete with other corporations, and not just to make a better product but also to spy on the efforts of the opponent corporation and even sabotage the other's efforts per the rules. Meanwhile using advertising to cheerlead themselves on to create the customer's desires; such as the auto manufacturers using the advertising system to get people to want to buy the hulking SUVs even for the daily commute - self-defense against collision by those opponent hulking SUVs out there on the road, for one thing - even though the SUV design was intended for the rare sport of taking on expedition into the wilderness areas rough roads, and consumed huge amounts of fuel - again missing that 2/3 of the nations fuel has to be acquired from other parts of the world and somehow paid-for via balance of trade, even when we are not having our products bought so as to balance that trade; thus the nation has to borrow yet with no apparent means to pay back, lacking products other nations want to buy from us.

Is "conflict" the only means for people to move off the couch potato mode? What happened to the mode of ever tidying up, planting seeds, tending the garden, keeping all in good shape and checking it out to make sure of it, and building onto what is, and occasionally bringing in some completely new interesting activity? Could it be a problem primarily due to the "football" interaction model as being the primary instruction for teamwork - which unfortunately includes the principle of teamwork activity to cause the failure of the other team's folks?

Thus the problem, in this case, becomes one of how to get such folks to take on the problem of how to support retirees - including the young workers now who will eventually become retirees - on into the indefinitely distant future.

The social security system is there because most folks do not have enough surplus from their daily life to put into savings that will definitely be there upon "retirement" age; so the nation's government enforces the savings via the social security system; and it works. A few folks are lucky enough to win big and thus have much surplus to live off of when they reach retirement age, some even retire when still quite young when they happen to financially "win big" somehow - but for the majority of people, they can save some for retirement but the needs of the present during those years requires most of their earnings. (I have conjectured into harsh alternatives in some of my science fictions writings, such as "The Ark of 1984's Future" in which everyone has to work or "go early to the digestion tanks.")

So the definition of the problem expands from that of how to cover the costs of a growing pool of retired folks dependent on social security, to include the response to the problem as conditioned by the need to frame it into team sports pattern of behavior which requires the mode of working to prevent the success of others efforts to achieve. That inclusion into the problem would account for the lack of ongoing actions such as by starting up something like the "Home internet-linked manufacturing workstations" concept (which I have written about, including in this blog back about January 2009; it includes partial product manufacturing equipment as part of the home workstation, among other additions) for efficiently keeping the retirees and the unemployed actively contributing to the gross domestic product of the nation.

Another factor is that quite possibly people expect that the business employers are the only ones who can provide meaningful productive work for people; yet businesses do not consider it is their responsibility to enable all people to work to their optimum comfortable productivity level so as to expand the GDP of the nation, but instead the businesses are out there just to make a fast buck the easiest way possible, that is all they do. Is unreasonable to expect the businesses, corporations, to take on the whole job (and it would be like the proverbial "trying to herd cats.") Perhaps there could be a large corporation created that takes the job on, to fill in all the cracks left by businesses which have staked out their territories of products and services, from the the overall nation's needs, as is done now. But those are just the unwanted areas, unprofitable seemingly, yet of major importance only to the nation as a whole. Thus seems appropriate to be a government function, to define it, get it going, and either continue to run it or to step back to be an overseer function while a more normal corporate business type activity actually does the work.

And that work would be to keep all people busy to some extent (those who are not otherwise adequately employed or fully self-supporting) exercising skills, learning new skills, learning new knowledge, practicing producing goods and services as coordinated by the employer who would be the federal government, which in turn has the responsibility to leave no one out of the GDP system's productivity. Regular employers, corporations and small businesses, would continue much as at present, except when they want to expand and hire more people, they would get the new employees from the pool of employees of the federal GDP-stimulating workforce. And similarly, when a business lays people off, the people would simply move into the federal (or state) fill-in employment system.

Internet-Linking of the workforce seems capable of providing the means of coordinating the non-private-employed folks, so that they can remain at their homes (thus reducing fuel and time wasted by commute to centralized work-sites) while employed by the fill-in federal (or, again, including state) workforce system. Some forms of the federal fill-in workforce system jobs could be outside the home, involved in physical activities not suitable through simulations on the home computer; for example, actually doing the proverbial "digging holes and filling them up again." kind of thing; but these involve the expenses to the nation of energy and time and material costs and thus not as efficient; but for some activities - such as the actual experience of digging a hole and filling it up again - that might better be done on some real job as part of a private business employer's OJT for specific jobs to be done.

What is the likely response to what I have written here? (Beyond the usual "we don't know you, you are nobody, we are the great ones" usual ego thing, of course.) Most likely those who think that the email ads for "work at home" activity will solve the problem; along with already existing telecommuting activity; so, forget it. Such a response indicates totally not understanding what I have said here; and most likely, not wanting to understand; because of the conditioning such as via teamwork being taught through team sport conflict focus. Yet this is written in case there are still some Americans for America, somewhere out there, who might stumble upon this not-well-written item, much like a note put in a bottle and set adrift in the sea.

In summary:

a. The need to focus on individual American productivity evaluation and sustained increase. This as different from the up-to-now focus on individual productivity only as arranged by employers in corporations and small business. The productivity as arranged by employers in business, typically corporations guided by profit and territory, are not beholding to the nation to provide the nation's productivity and the individual's productivity maximization except what happens happenstance in the process of making a profit in their business territory. The matching of productivity with the salable products and services tends to guide productivity via reality-testing - that is, do others pay money for the produced goods and services happening as a result of productivity, the exercise of productivity - like the proverbial digging holes and filling them up again - would fill in the blank areas that are not currently utilized in the profitable goods & services provision and sale, keeping the individuals - all Americans in this case - exercised and experienced. This conflicts with the system of better-than-others that motivates the majority of people, so that needs to be taken into consideration too somehow. (Related to this concept is an interesting email this morning from about what they call "brain-fitness" - analogous to "physical-fitness" brain-fitness would have businesses have teams that regularly take time out a few times a week per their idea to participate in online games designed to exercise the brain. So building on this idea, incorporating my prior idea here, would be called "productivity-fitness" perhaps.)
b. The current high unemployment stems from the aggregate businesses waiting for business to ramp up again to re-hire the workers, most likely; and thus would not approve of anything that would absorb those potential workers before their former employers take them back.
c. Again recalling the effects of teamwork being taught via participation in such team sports and football, baseball, and basketball; yet in each case, just as solidly as the concept of practicing mutual support to achieve common goals (goals set by the game's rules) it equally solidly ingrains the concepts of acting toward thwarting other people from attaining their goals. What is the effect of that instruction & practice (via the sports games) doing to civilization's progress, could it have to do with the wars and the building of enough nukes to wipe earth out from the planet, that sort of thing? Is it not possible to teach wisdom along with teaching knowledge?

Awareness of, and responsibility to, the overall system, the "big picture" needs to be done.

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