Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Computers, Unemployment and Wealth Creation

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the the-big-questions-of-life dept.

Businesses 948

Andy Oram writes "Anyone who writes programs or plans system deployment should start thinking, "What can I do to bring average people back into the process of wealth creation?" A few suggestions."

cancel ×

948 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Fixed Link (1, Informative)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085218)

I emailed the on-duty editor but it looks like they didn't catch it. There's an extra / in the link. Try this one:

http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/3812 [oreillynet.com]

Cheers,
Justin

Moderators: Why mod this up? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085241)

The link given in the story works, even with the double / Mod this guy down, redundant.

KARMA WHORE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085243)

um, the original link worked just fine you fucking idiot.

Re:Fixed Link (0)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085256)

Strange, the first time I tried the "broken" link, it gave "internal server error" but now it seems to work (even though it's the same link). Maybe the error was unrelated (I know that unix systems will usually parse paths with //'s in them. Netcraft says they are running linux and apache so maybe it's just unrelated.

Sorry guys.

Karma level= (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085278)

Fucking karma whore.

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085219)

eat it gnaa!

wealth creation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085220)

You need a printer with very good resolution for that.

Re:wealth creation (4, Insightful)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085469)

Actually, printing money is the only way that the suggestions in the article are going to work. Given that you accept all of the premises, the suggested solutions are likely to prove counter-productive:

Write free software for individual industries

The increased productivity caused by computers is one of the reasons cited for rising unemployment rates. Isn't this new software likely to replace efforts now being done by hand and make the situation worse, not better?

Create a truly public key infrastructure ... People have been trying to get corporate communications and negotiations online for years, and probably the biggest beneficiaries of such a move would be small businesses and individual contractors. After all, who finds it hardest to pay travel costs and conference room fees for expensive legal help?

Assuming that we did manage to get corporate communications online, what happens to the current infrastructure that grew up to support widespread business travel? Airlines, hotels, etc.

The argument is that increased productivity causes unemployment, therefore we need to increase productivity so that small businesses can function more efficiently and cut costs, thus paving the way for more small businesses. I don't think you can have it both ways. Increased productivity can't be both our bane and our salvation.

Re:wealth creation (1)

WatertonMan (550706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085541)

Actually, printing money is the only way that the suggestions in the article are going to work.

Hold it, I thought open source money was illegal? At least that's what my investigation with the Secret Service suggested...

I got a PROCESS, it's called SUCK MY COCK! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085221)

And after you are done? BEND OVER boy, DADDY IS CUMMING HOME!

Anyone who writes programs or plans system .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085224)

etc etc.

Why? I'm in the business of earning MY money, not other peoples.

Re:Anyone who writes programs or plans system .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085253)

Why? I'm in the business of earning MY money, not other peoples.

Amen to that.

Right now my state is considering passing a law that would make it practically impossible to hire temporary workers. Instead all new contracts should have no termination date and if I wish to fire someone, I must have a damn good reason for it. And no, "I do not have enough money to pay his/her salary" is not a good enough reason.

Re:Anyone who writes programs or plans system .. (1, Insightful)

hardpack (655741) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085335)

This is all fine and good because that is the nature of capitalism, but you also then have to believe that capitalism works. I'm not sure if it does, and I see that when I look at the world economy and then the injustices of wealth distribution in America. Granted, it's not pure apocalypse, but it's not great. I like to see a marketplace of ideas where, by virtue of a capitalistic metaphor, the economic system can be improved. It's not just a simple "I make my money for me" model, and I'm sure that a lot more goes into that calculation... Including a social element. Also the beauty of markets is that there HAS to be people who follow one model and don't follow another, there must be competition, so that there should be people who say "my money for me" and people who say "my money for everyone."

Yes, but most /.r's don't get it. (-1, Troll)

jbottero (585319) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085399)

Most Slashdotters live with their parents, so creating wealth is not a concept they understand. For example, the concept of Open Source. They are cool with it because they don't have to pay the rent.

Likewise, they are cool with ripping off the RAII via P2P because.... They don't have to pay the rent.

Average people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085229)

And why exactly should "average people" be involved in the wealth creation?

Wealth Creation: BLOW ME BABY! I'm a /. Mod! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085270)

I got some PROTEIN for YOU, you little faggot geek boy, I know you want me to RIDE YOU. I'm sorry I SHOT my LOAD all over your face last night, but you sure LICKED IT UP like a champ. Oh, you're a SLASHDOT MOD???? Suprise!

Re:Average people? (2, Insightful)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085313)

Because average people are the mass of this nation.. a wealth creating population is a wealth creating nation. Money needs to circulate.. money is the lifeblood of a nation.

A wealth hoarding population creates a lack of wealth a creation of classes and ultimately a failure of the system.

Easy : Abolish income taxes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085405)

The government can just use defict spending, sell bonds and manipulate the interest rates to ensure adequate revenues. It's what they're already doing now, they're just currently using it to loot the country for the richest 0.05% of Bush's cronies. There's no reason joe sixpack can't get in on the deal too!

Re:Easy : Abolish income taxes! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085481)

The government can just use defict spending

You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

Check out how well US was/is off during Nixon, Reagan and now Bush.

It's just you bleeding-heart left-wing whinger liberal traitors [amazon.com] who always see something wrong in a militarily strong and economically prosperous country.

Off Topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085349)

Please MOD this +5 OFF TOPIC. Where's the SCO story??????

Re:Average people? (1)

ninthwave (150430) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085382)

Because it creates more wealth for the society the average people are in. As we move away from a labour based populace we need to constantly find new markets to do this we need more people creating wealth. Or we need to explore wealth creating in third world communities. This creates new markets but displaces the current markets. The system is in a point where it is cutting employment and services to create efficiency and more profit, if the markets were to expand to non traditional areas you could increase profit and efficiency but still need to keep or expand employment. The problem is to expand markets you need to spend. And at this economic point the nerve to spend is not there. The winners in the next two decades economically are going to be the ones investing into Third World economies as they are cheap now. The will balance out with the 1 st world countries either by the 1st world standard falling or the third world rising or a combination of both. In the US this means little of the population will be involved in the new economy other than to service the people making the money overseas, jobs will be selling goods, transporting goods, selling services. What this does to the US society can be debated but it will create a have and have not two tier environment. Once you can have China and India affording to buy commercial goods at the same rate as the average US consumer you will not need to keep US people employed for US business to make money.

This means the businesses to exist in the US in the future will be the ones that can afford to enter the new markets the ones that rely on the western consumer market will slowly fade with their consumers power.

If average people are involved in wealth creation they can enter these world markets or create sub markets locally that become part of the economy. By staying in the market and creation of wealth stream they can keep a standard of living or increase it even with the outflow of focus to other markets.

From a corporate proposition the place to be now is Asia. The populace is there and the mechanism for the pupulace to spend for the next 100 years is coming into play. The cycle in the western world is already costing more than it should.

Average people -- wealth creation? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085237)

Impeach Bush! That will help.

Jobs instead of efficiency? (5, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085262)

This seems like a ridiculous suggestion. This is essentially backwards capitalism, which quite simply, doesn't work. I could create plenty of jobs... I could throw out my business' computers and instead hire a few people to track inventory by hand and place orders by manually counting inventory. Sure, I'd create more jobs, but those jobs would be very short lived, ebcause I'd quickly go out of business. Efficiency, in the long run, *does* produce wealth. That's how capitalism works. We may not see "wealth" growing in the US, but in the economy (which is now a world economy), wealth is most definitely being created. Standards of living are rising exponentially around the globe, even as they slip in the US. Nothing's broken. Nothing to see here. Go back to work.

Re:Jobs instead of efficiency? (2, Insightful)

ninthwave (150430) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085437)

Know the point isn't replacing current business it is augmenting them. Wealth creation by having more processes active.
In a global economy should there be an industrial approach for all markets.
Is it McDonalds world wide
or is it each local restaurant having the technology to minimise its costs to compete with the industrial produced goods. To have communication systems to purchase at best cost up to the minute. To have the accounting and in house automation to reduce its staff to lesson its cost and increase its profits. To create many companies in the many markets that exist in a global economy, instead of trying to shape the global economy around the markets of already existing businesses.

Re:Jobs instead of efficiency? (0, Offtopic)

wkitchen (581276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085461)

Off topic? What idiot moderated this off topic?

Not everyone will agree with the post, but it would be difficult to be any more on topic.

My post, however, is admittedly off topic, so moderate as you see fit.

Re:Jobs instead of efficiency? (1)

jbottero (585319) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085522)

The problem is the "mods" are Prima Donnas. And don't fool your self, it's Michael and Timothy acting like little tin Gods here at the all-powerful Slashdot.

Suprise! Most people WORK for a living, and of those who do, many actually want to be PAID for writing code.

Re:Jobs instead of efficiency? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085465)

In case anyone's fooled, the link in NineNine's signature is not to anything interesting. It's one of those pay-per-click scams that he's trying to perpetuate on Slashdot. Go ahead, click on it if you like ads.

Re:Jobs instead of efficiency? (3, Interesting)

hardpack (655741) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085479)

It might work; it might not. Neither model--capitalism or any kind of backward capitalism--has been proven to work, but capitalism is the rules of the system we're currently in. An issue is that it *is* the survival of the fittest, and in a capitalist world those who care and are willing to sacrifice their own needs-fulfillment for the needs-fulfillment of another should lose and die. They don't deserve, by the rules of the game, to pass on their genes.

But it's a healthy dynamic to have those who buck the system. Everyone can't be a winner. Maybe the non-capitalists *will* survive as the fittest; maybe capitalism is here to stay and the wealthy will live at the top of the heap. I've made the decision that my time and resources are best served helping other help themselves (not *just* helping others); others should and will make their own personal decisions about the resources appropriately. I can generate sufficient wealth to succeed in the system, but I can also generate sufficient (unquantifiable) personal wealth in terms of goodwill, friendship, gratitude, and loyalty through my sacrifice--and these are elements of a "morality" that makes me happy. Perhaps this morality is weak, and so I'll die off and my genes will disappear. But it doesn't hurt to try.

The same thing everybody else should do (5, Insightful)

stomv (80392) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085263)

Make as much money as you can*, and then use it to do some of:

(a) Buy stuff. Other folks are employed making it or serving it.

(b) Invest. This results in capital for businesses to hire more people employed making or serving stuff.

This method works. Simple, really.

* Within ethical and/or legal standards, of course.

Re:The same thing everybody else should do (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085304)

Ok. And how do you support public health care and/or transportation with that business model?

Privatizing strategic resources like railroads, health care, prisons or energy production has always been a disaster (why do you think the military has never been privatized - because it wouldn't work!).

Re:The same thing everybody else should do (5, Insightful)

Bull999999 (652264) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085378)

After close to 15,000 deaths due to the heat wave in France, the government admitted that their health care system is overly complex and is in need a overhaul. Is this the model we are supposed to follow?

People complain that politicians are evil and corrupt, yet want them to run everything? Only people who'll benefit are the ones with ties to the government officials.

Re:The same thing everybody else should do (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085420)

overly complex and is in need a overhaul. Is this the model we are supposed to follow?

Overhaul is OK, but that does not necessarily mean privatization. If health care is privatized, how do you guarantee equal care for each and every citizen (which they do deserve simply based on human rights).

Re:The same thing everybody else should do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085482)

You can only guarantee a minumum standard of health care.

Look at Canada's health system. Being abused to the tune of billions of dollars by expecting parents wanting three dozen sonograms so they can have cute photos to show grandma, or decide whether to paint the nursery pink or blue.

All because the government pays for it, not because there's any sort of medical necessity or complication with the pregnancy.

You have a legitimate health concern, fine. You want a cute little picture for the baby book, pay for it yourself.

Yes, having more money buys you more things.

Re:The same thing everybody else should do (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085540)

You have a legitimate health concern, fine.

Decided by whom? The insurance company who has the bottom line, not the best of the patient, in their mind.

I like to compare the abuse of a health system to the crime: we can never get rid of it.

Hence, when it comes to crime, the western civilizations have adopted a stance that it's better to let a thousand guilty go unpunished than unfairly punish a single innocent.

This, to my mind, fits perfectly the abuse of a health or any other social security system, too.

The abusers, like criminals, will always be a minority. Yes. The abuse will cost the tax-payer (me!), but it's still better an alternative than a system where someone who really needs the treatment does not get it because of a suspicion he/she might be lying and thus hurt the insurance company. It's a price worth paying.

Re:The same thing everybody else should do (5, Insightful)

*weasel (174362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085476)

America's privatized health care has created the world's leading health care industry. Why do you think every foreigner who can afford to, comes to US clinics for surgeries or treatments?

Yes, americans don't all have the best insurance, or any at all for that matter - but the care you get uninsured for $40 at the outpatient clinic down the street is vastly better than what most of the world gets.

Competitive privatized industries have -never- been a disaster.

The simplest example, is comparing price/performance and advancement of the rail industry (government sanctioned monopolies) with the airline industry (competitive free market).

the 'disasters' you must be referring to regarding privatized prisons and energy production are not examples of privatized industry at all. They are the examples of a private company operating in a government funded monopoly. Privatized power generation in California hasn't hit a snag since the conversion was completed (which was caused by government imposed limits on power generation which were enacted before sufficient alternative companies had their generation online).

And while the bulk of the military itself has never been privatized (for the same reason the government hasn't - to keep policy decisions out of the hands of private industry and to keep soldier loyalty directly under the decision-makers), you would probably be amazed at how much -has- been privatized. The government hasn't made its own weapons (or commandeered industry to do it) since WWI - and the improvements in weapons and decreases in cost have been astronomical. Compare american military technological advancements to that of any other nation on the planet. These are all due to private industry research and development.
Private industry air and ship capacity is also used to transfer military personnel and equipment overseas in times of high need. Then there's military body armor, telecommunications gear, medecine, reconnaissance, etc.

Contrary to your claim, free-market privatization has proven to be the biggest asset of every American endeavor it has been a part of.

The method works, but... (1)

karji (114631) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085327)

recessions tend to get worse and worse.

Unemployment IS Bush's Friend: +1, Patriotic (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085370)

Fire [bushrecall.org] the
Moron-In-Command [whitehouse.org]

Thank you and have a nice day,
W00t

"Investing" rarely is (4, Insightful)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085386)

Investing doesn't really give money to companies unless you:
a) Participate in the IPO
b) Buy bonds directly from the company during its offering

Trading stocks with other stockholders doesn't give any money to the company. It's like trading baseball cards. Sure there are some side effects of having stock prices go up for a company, but usually a high stock price doesn't give any financial benefit to a company (except for subsequent stock issues, which don't happen that often).

If you really want to invest in a company, buy bonds when they are issued (don't trade bonds, because trading them just gives money to the bond holder - not the company whose bond it is!).

That said, the best form of investing in a company is to purchase their product.

Re:"Investing" rarely is (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085440)

Sure there are some side effects of having stock prices go up for a company The cost of capital springs immediately to mind. The more value your company is perceived to have, the easier and cheaper it is to borrow money.

The problem is not with "lack of wealth" (2, Informative)

karji (114631) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085269)

...as it is in its distribution.

Techies ought to focus on how to take money from the wealthy and decrease the world's dependency on corporations, or even private companies (that later become corporations), by building cooperatives and collectives.

Re:The problem is not with "lack of wealth" (3, Funny)

icebones (707368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085325)

Techies ought to focus on how to take money from the wealthy and decrease the world's dependency on corporations

Hacking bank accounts comes to mind

Re:The problem is not with "lack of wealth" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085462)

Why don't you just sell things to wealthy people?

You know, the non-communist way to make money?

Re:The problem is not with "lack of wealth" (1)

jwachter (319790) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085466)

Techies ought to focus on how to take money from the wealthy and decrease the world's dependency on corporations, or even private companies (that later become corporations), by building cooperatives and collectives.
Workers of the world, unite [anu.edu.au] !

+5: Socialism Advocate (5, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085503)

Not surprised to see this one modded up, given the prevailing sentiments here...

How sad is it when people are encouraged to take other people's wealth instead of create their own?

Why beat around the bush and just come out and suggest that everyone forks their paycheck over to the government so that they can give everyone an equal share (minus whatever government believes it is entitled to)? That's really what you're advocating, so why not come out and say it?

Re:The problem is not with "lack of wealth" (1)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085504)

Yeah, we can invent a new economic system. We'll call it "socialism." Maybe we can try it in the old Soviet Union. Their old system collapsed and they need something different.

That's easy... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085274)

Grow a pair of big ass titties like Danni Ashe. Then:

1. Take off clothes
2. Buy webcam
3. Profit!

Re:That's easy... (0)

fussman (607784) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085426)

2.5 - charge admission

We hate rich people. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085276)

Rich people are all evil Republicans who want to rape other countries for their oil supply under the guise of leadership and freedom. Screw that. I don't ever want to get rich, because rich people are all pricks and I'll be one, too. Oh wait... no I take that back. *I* wouldn't do that if I were rich. The problem with rich people is that the wrong ones are rich. All the stupid people managed to get rich and while all the smart people stay poor.

Re:We hate rich people. (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085348)

All the stupid people managed to get rich and while all the smart people stay poor.

Interesting... I would say you have your arguement backwards. Seems smart people figure out how to make the $$. Of course, there's the unethical people (Enron execs) who made it dishonestly, but I would hardly call them stupid.

Stupidity seems to lie in the folks who did nothing for their money.. those that inherit old money. And even then, it's more simply those that inherited, and didn't bother to educate themselves (Forbes, for instance).

Very true (2, Insightful)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085280)

I believe this article is extremely relevant today. People need to understand that you can't just expect a job to come falling into your lap, you have to get up and find it. If there is no job, create the job you want yourself. Don't just wait and say how bad the economy is, do something about it.

computers and work. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085281)

I read the article, I think it's the same crap. Maybe this person is trying to justify their own employment by writing about computers?

Anyway, for the most part, computers cause a lack of productivity at work. Slashdot, AIM, IRC, ssh sessions, etc. I regularly find myself bored with the task at hand and reloading /. or news.google.com (maybe it has something to do w/the recent article about news/information junkies).

I think that if the Internet was removed, all flashy programs blocked, and only Word, the frontend to our database, and various other necessary apps were included, I would be far more productive than I am now.

Wait, probably not, I would most likely then move on to other forms of distraction.. Like talking to people in the office, being the "office wanderer", or using the bathroom after drinking multiple cups of coffee/water...

Nothing will help the falling marketplace except money being poured in. No money is going to get poured in when governments are holding back the pay of workers to refund what they had lost.

Easy.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085282)

education. It used to be that a four year diploma got you a good steady job for the rest of your life. Look what it gives you now: a chance to hop between jobs every two years, and a chance to compete with people who will work without airconditioning and shit in an outhouse. You gotta stay one step ahead of the competition, so I'd say education is one of them.

The gist of the article (0)

borius (711380) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085293)

Seems to be: use open standards and release your source. Seems obvious enough. If everyone has access to your material and can work with it, support businesses will grow up around it and other people will use. Hoarding your secrets will only make people invent the wheel every time.

Basic economics (5, Insightful)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085301)

As the wealth of nations increases, those who have lost jobs or had to accept menial ones over the past three years are left with only a wealth of culprits to blame: financial scandals, wars, tax cuts, stagnation, etc.

For a start, a 3-year sample isn't big enough to draw any meaningful conclusions. We're just in the down phase of the economic cycle, that's all. Smart people salted away some of the high salaries and bonuses that were easy to come by in the recent boom years, when shortness of staff drove up the price of labour. Now, some people look for blame - but it's hard to see how some of these can be blamed. Wars and conflict drive up employment in the engineering and aerospace sectors. Tax cuts can't increase unemployment except amongst government workers, and there have been no reports of government layoffs - if anything, the government is busily hiring.

Let me make this clear: wealth is not created by governments. It's created by risk-taking entrepreneurs. Right now, the markets need to recover from excessive risk-taking in the late 90s. This is perfectly natural. When sufficient capital has become amassed, the cycle will begin again and there will be another boom.

But capitalism is atrocious at distributing the fruits of innovation

I was in a store the other day, I saw a 3-megapixel digital camera for GBP 99, a DVD players for GBP 49. 5 years ago, these products cost hundreds of pounds. That's what capitalism delivers: more and better for everyone. The "poor" in a capitalist society are far better off than the "poor" in any other system - and capitalism generates the surpluses that fund the entire welfare system.

Each labor-saving device means the idling of thousands of people, wasting their years of experience, rigorous training, and practical insights.

Yawn, they said exactly the same things when the car started to replace the horse drawn carriage, when mechanical looms replaced hand-operated looms, when automation was introduced to farming, in fact whenever any technology has revolutionized an industry. Getting laid off is always a little disconcerting (yes, it has happened to me so I know what I'm talking about) but unemployment is what you make of it.

And meanwhile governments, businesses, venture capitalists (what are you doing with all that money your pets in Congress and the White House brought you, tails all awagging?),

Ah, now we see the author's real agenda - I should have realized when I saw the words "tax cuts". I will merely point out that the dotcom bubble economy was created under a Democrat president and began declining in mid 2000 - there is nothing Bush or Greenspan could have done to prevent it bursting.

Re:Basic economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085356)

I was in a store the other day, I saw a 3-megapixel digital camera for GBP 99, a DVD players for GBP 49. 5 years ago, these products cost hundreds of pounds. That's what capitalism delivers: more and better for everyone.

Oh yeah!

I'm sure the 17% of your population who live under the poverty line [cia.gov] are really grateful for that.

Re:Basic economics (1)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085475)

You ding-a-ling, the whole point is that under any other system, there would BE no 3-mp cameras for GBP 99.

And you don't think the "17%" who are under the poverty line in the U.S. are better off than most of the rest of the world?

Re:Basic economics (2, Interesting)

CowBovNeal (672450) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085365)

This was a reply to the article(http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/user/view/cs_ msg/24782)

"the vast majority of those folks that lost their jobs over the past three years shouldn't have had a job doing what they were doing in the first place and the (lack of) success of the companies that they worked for and the "products" they produced showed that.

The amount of fly-by-night IT "professionals" that were born in the dot-com days was retarded. And now that companies are no longer hiring just to fill slots so that their company could break the 1000 employee mark in 30 days or less or so that the manager above them would be happy that they filled a position with "someone", people are looking for answers.

As with any bad situation, there has been plenty of collatoral damage, with good IT folks getting the boot. But the vast majority of so called "technolgists" that are out of work really don't belong in the industry in the first place.

Your article trying to "find a new place" for these folks is a sad attempt at trying to make them feel good about their situation. Maybe if they really want a job in the IT industry, they should build some real skills." -anonymous

Re:Basic economics (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085422)

You are my hero.

Wealth creation is overrated (5, Funny)

Ikeya (7401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085303)

I tried creating wealth with my scanner and ink-jet printer once, but the government didn't like that very much.

Or.... (5, Interesting)

crumbz (41803) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085308)

How about reducing the population? The Economist magazine had an apropo cover story a few months ago entitles, "Can the World Afford 500 Million Americans?" The article went on to explain that by 2060, the U.S. population would exceed 500 million and given current consumption trends, what that would mean for the rest of the world. Not to bash Americans, but what is the optimal population (or carrying capacity) for the Earth? A rhetorical question, sure, but one that needs more serious study than the oft neglected WHO reports.

Work SMARTER, not HARDER! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085456)

Those idiots are just as stupid as the club of Rome!

The world NEEDS 500 million American consumers to drive the economy that creates wealth for the rest of the world! It's not a zero-sum game, the example of efficiency gains should be enough to put that hoary old Dr. Malthus out to pasture.

Re:Or.... (1)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085464)

How about reducing the population? The Economist magazine had an apropo cover story a few months ago entitles, "Can the World Afford 500 Million Americans?"

Did you happen to notice what the estimated population for the rest of the world would be by 2060?

I seem to recall reading an article that suggested the world population would double in significantly less than 57 years. Given the current population of the USA is nearly 300e6, the rate of growth of the population of the USA appears to be quite a bit less than the rest of the world.

The article went on to explain that by 2060, the U.S. population would exceed 500 million and given current consumption trends, what that would mean for the rest of the world.

Seems to me that feeding a dozen billion people would be more of an issue than a piddly little half-billion.

Complete rubbish (4, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085309)

It is just me, or is that article rubbish?

It is not my goal to place restrictions on investment or innovation; it is only to present a new way of thinking that some people may find stimulating.

Here's looking forward to some creative new thinking...

Write free software for individual industries

What the f***? How is that supposed to help reverse falling unemployment?

Slashdot - if you're going to post links to economics related subjects, can you please make sure it is written by someone with a clue about economics?

Re:Complete rubbish (2, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085438)

What the f***? How is that supposed to help reverse falling unemployment?

Most businesses are small businesses that can't afford (until very recently) SAP and similar software, so creating free systems that target their needs is a way of lowering the bar to increased effiency and productivity, therefore helping them grow.

Or it could be bollocks. I don't know, I'm just a clueless programmer.

Good grief... (4, Informative)

CommieLib (468883) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085310)

Yet another cry out that changes in technology are going to "historically" destroy jobs.

I'm too bored with this line of thinking to even trot out the buggy whip analogy. Please save me the effort and just read this:

Creative Destruction, again [libertyhaven.com]

This has happened a thousand times before, but somehow, this time is different. Whatever.

Re:Good grief... (2, Insightful)

pdbogen (596723) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085350)

Yeah, and I forgot; Just because it's always been this way means its the best way.

Re:Good grief... (1)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085492)

Just because it's always been this way means its the best way.

Absolutely correct. Things that work outlast things that don't. That's true in technology, it's true in economics and it's true in evolution. That principle is baked into our very DNA. If something better comes along, you won't have to worry about whether it will supplant that which presently exists. It inevitably will.

Capitalism is a powerful economic system precisely because this concept of competition is harnessed. Economic systems that attempt to suppress competition are unable to deal with it when it eventually confronts them. Capitalist entities, whether individuals or corporations, face competition every day, and have become very, very good at it.

Black adder (1)

Eric Ass Raymond (662593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085392)

A: Right, everybody out! Smash the Spinning Jenny! Burn the rolling Rosalind! Destroy the going-up-and-down-a-bit-and-then-moving-along Gertrude! And death to the stupid Prince who grows fat on the profits!

(He tosses a lighted bomb to the Prince. The audience scream and run for cover, except the Prince.)

Artical Text (0)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085311)

Information technologies are implicated in a worldwide and world-historic crisis: falling employment. As the wealth of nations increases, those who have lost jobs or had to accept menial ones over the past three years are left with only a wealth of culprits to blame: financial scandals, wars, tax cuts, stagnation, etc. But there is little doubt that a large contributor to rising unemployment is rising productivity, which in turn can be laid to advances in computerization and communications. I can no longer avert my eyes from the consequences of the field I have chosen, and no one else who programs, administers, or promotes the use of computers can morally avert their eyes either.

The gigantic combine of capitalism has always obsessively pursued efficiency, and computers make the pursuit almost child play. Capitalism has succeeded in sowing a cornucopia of innovation up and down society. But capitalism is atrocious at distributing the fruits of innovation. Each labor-saving device means the idling of thousands of people, wasting their years of experience, rigorous training, and practical insights.

People who work with computers remain fixated on efficiency. Every week I hear the debates over whether businesses should use Linux or Windows, the commentators always wrangling over which systems will save the most money. I find this battle increasingly tiresome. I'm more interested in finding the systems that will put more people to work.

I have a sinking feeling that we can't wait for the next upturn in the employment cycle, as optimists would have us do. I sense that this upturn may never come, unless people in a position to influence innovation make a conscious effort to involve the worker. Anyone who writes programs or plans system deployment should start thinking, "What can I do to bring average people back into the process of wealth creation?"

It is not my goal to place restrictions on investment or innovation; it is only to present a new way of thinking that some people may find stimulating. I am simply stretching a new canvas on which others may spread their oils; I am not providing a frame for the canvas. Just to illustrate what's possible, though, I offer a few tentative suggestions.

Write free software for individual industries

A lot of programmers are pounding their treadmills in the free software movement in order to create pleasant desktop experiences and improve general-purpose applications. These help everybody and are worthwhile in themselves, but think how society might benefit if a few hundred of these programmers took a trip down to small, local, cutting-edge businesses and asked the proprietors, "What would you like on your computers to make you more productive?" And think of what would happen if the programmers went on to write industry-specific software that solved immediate, felt problems and distributed it for free.

Businesses can afford to pay for software. But small businesses cannot pay as much as one would think, and specialized packages can be incredibly expensive. Proprietary packages also suffer from limitations, bugs, and lack of guarantees that they will meet user needs. Free software opens more possibilities, and perhaps can drive the expansion of job-creating businesses.
Make devices more responsive and easy to customize

Personal devices and cellular phones are growing in power and complexity, particularly as Java applications become available, but they still don't provide the flexibility to augment the ordinary user at work (as visionary Douglas Englebart first suggested in the 1960s). I would like a computer to plan ahead for me, track things that are too much trouble for me to remember, and combine inputs to suggest efficient courses of action. My desktop computer has software to do some of that, but my cell phone does not. And soon I'll be able to have a dozen devices in my office with the hardware capability to augment my intelligence--I'd like to have the software capability as well.

In the previous item I suggested very specialized software. But very generalized software on cheap, available devices can also be liberating. I am reminded of the power that desktop publishing brought to ordinary writers in the 1980s, a power that made a social force out of the same Apple Computer that is currently doing innovative things to make a mass movement out of another medium with even more relevance and social impact--video. It's nearly impossible to overestimate the advances that users can make when they are presented with flexible, open-ended technologies. Maybe it can make more of them into productive members of society.

A key part of the solution is easy scripting languages. Current languages always seem to develop tangled syntax; they look easy enough for "Hello, world" applications, but as soon as you start to work with real data and serious tasks into which you can sink your teeth, they slap on braces and other indigestible characters. I want a scripting language that is really simple enough for a kid to learn and powerful enough to run a small business with.
Create a truly public key infrastructure

People have been trying to get corporate communications and negotiations online for years, and probably the biggest beneficiaries of such a move would be small businesses and individual contractors. After all, who finds it hardest to pay travel costs and conference room fees for expensive legal help?

The move online has been held up by deep and serious problems in the processes for validating users and dealing with such issues as certificate revocation and non-repudiation--social aspects of security, or what I call the social infrastructure for technology. But perhaps we're asking too much. Perhaps the average user could be happy with a less universal and less ambitious system.

When you want to contract with some professional or service, it might be enough for you to verify that he or she is a dues-paying member in good standing in some association. Individual associations could provide authentication services for this. Perhaps a contract could be sealed by the combination of recorded voice messages and a digital signature on a computer file. We have to be flexible and creative.

Those ideas are here just to get people thinking. We don't have all the time in the world. Already, educated professionals are griping about jobs moving to other countries, a form of heightened national and racial tension that not only bring their own horrific consequences but dampen the spirit of exploration that can raise everyone's opportunities. And meanwhile governments, businesses, venture capitalists (what are you doing with all that money your pets in Congress and the White House brought you, tails all awagging?), universities, and NGOs seem paralyzed in the face of this economic disaster.

earn more money by clicking these links! (2, Insightful)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085315)

Seriously, I'm not sure imnproving efficiency will help the unemployment rate, at least not in the short term. Generally, improved efficiency means fewer jobs. Of course, the idea is that the company makes more money, and there is more wealth to spread around.

Corporations, though, don't spend in the short term on warm bodies. They are cautious about economy fluctuations. They do love to take advantage of cost cutting benefits though. It just seems to the pencil pushers that cutting costs starts with eliminating workforce.

To few money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085344)

The real problem is
that there is always to few money.

Here is how we can solve it. [u-net.com]

Knud

Re:To few money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085486)

Let me guess, you and few of your cronies, co-horts, etc... are moving to a large piece of land in Montana?

welt creation? a fate worse than debt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085346)

that right. we won't be needing any more phonIE/FraUDuleNT payper liesense hostage ransom stock markup felon billyonerrors right away.

the wons we already have are doing enough/pleNTy of damage as IT stands now. none of US, can afford the excesses of the greed/fear/ego based execrable, whois in charge of US?

so, thanks anyway, but we prefer not to be coached on new ways to steal other folks real money.

mynuts won: sponsored ?pr? ?firm? stock markup talknician hypenosys.

Wrong (1, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085347)

The question is what can I do to increase MY wealth... That's how all the rich, successfull people in life think... and I wouldn't know, as I'm a poor sap sitting at work, trying to come up with a whitty comment so I can be a karma whore, only to realize that my boss is going to fire me for not working enough, and posting too much on slashdot... dammit.

Does he not undersand?? (2, Insightful)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085355)

which systems will save the most money. I find this battle increasingly tiresome. I'm more interested in finding the systems that will put more people to work.

Putting more people to work means paying more people which means lower profits unless those people are able to increase efficiency or sell more product. How can you expect any business to strive to spend more money if there is an alternative? It may work for the government, but if businesses go out to their way to use more workers and pay more people they won't be around very long. There needs to be an economic reason (aka an incentive) for businesses to hire people. They are not going to, and can't, do it out of the kindness of their heart.

What if... (1)

Hanul (533254) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085358)

... computers (and automatisation, robots) and the ever-increasing effiency lead to the elemination of all jobs, except the ones in arts and research, meaning the creative ones? Can the society provide jobs for all? Are all human beings capable of doing a "creative" job. I don't think so. Yes, a lot of SF works already dealt with the question. But did you find the answer satisfying?

This article scares me... (4, Insightful)

malakai (136531) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085361)

This article scares me...

It's a plea to socialize the software industry. Don't work on what you want to work on, work on what society NEEDS you to work on. But do it for SOCIETY, that is, do it for FREE. This will allegedly help a struggling 'cutting-edge' business grow. Give them free software, and all will work out.

This is hogwash. And the article goes all over the place. It starts off with blaming "financial scandals, wars, tax cuts, stagnation" on why people have lost jobs "or had to accept menial ones". But then concludes "there is little doubt that a large contributor to rising unemployment is rising productivity". We see this every new age. This guy is bordering on a Luddite. He's also overly dramatic which makes me dislike him even more "I can no longer avert my eyes from the consequences of the field I have chosen" so noble. "... and no one else who programs, administers, or promotes the use of computers can morally avert their eyes either" oh jeez.

It gets worse, "The gigantic combine of capitalism has always obsessively pursued effiencey..." yeah, that's the point. That's why it works.
"Capitalism has succeeded in sowing a cornucopia of innovation up and down society. But capitalism is atrocious at
distributing the fruits of innovation"
No, Capitalism is atrocious at GIVING AWAY the fruits of innovation. It doesn't reward people who don't partake in it. That is why it's so efficient. Add _YOUR_ efficiency to the overall efficiency and you will be paid for its value.

This really frightens me:
"People who work with computers remain fixated on efficiency. Every week I hear the debates over whether businesses should use Linux or Windows, the commentators always wrangling over which systems will save the most money. I find this battle increasingly tiresome. I'm more interested in finding the systems that will put more people to work."
Great, lets all make inefficient processes and software to run those processes so that costs will skyrockets, and we'll be beat by someone with a more efficient process. You can't do that in a free market. It's the whole point of the free market. The market balances between efficiency, cost, and quality. If you artificially try to create more jobs by making it take 5x as many more people to assemble a car, you will collapse that business.

"I have a sinking feeling that we can't wait for the next upturn in the employment cycle, as optimists would have us do"
gut instinct huh? Thanks for sharing that. I'm sure we can all base decisions on your gut instincts.

So his solution boils down to three ideas:
1. Write free software for individual industries (ie, give custom built small business software away for free). His thinking is this will help the small business get started and they will in turn hire more people. But damn the person who wrote the software, he's SOL. But it was for the 'good' of the 'people'.
2. "Make devices more responsive and easy to customize", he request: "I would like a computer to plan ahead for me, track things that are too much trouble for me to remember, and combine inputs to suggest efficient courses of action" OK so he wants smart agents. What this has to do with this article is beyond me. I think he just threw it in there because he wanted to.
3. "Create a truly public key infrastructure" I don't understand why he feels the need for a 'truly PKI is so important. It seems to go along with his socialist viewpoint. I guess it would make on line filing of unemployment that much easier when he plans leads to the failing of a nations economy.

He ends it with more FUD: "We don't have all the time in the world. And meanwhile governments, businesses, venture capitalists (what are you doing with all that money your pets in Congress and the White House brought you, tails all awagging?), universities, and NGOs seem paralyzed in the face of this economic disaster"

Automation (1)

spudchucker (680073) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085366)

I thought the purpose of writing programs was to automate human tasks in order to reduce costs by replacing people with machines.

You could "monetize" Linux (1)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085367)


That would certainly create a lot of wealth according to Darling Darl et al.

Overtime (3, Informative)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085372)

Want to give more people a job. Then stop forcing them to work overtime. That way, more people will have jobs and more time can be spend with the family, or doing a hobby.

one area of "industry specific" free software (0)

civilengineer (669209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085374)

Is there Open source software available for building industrial simulations with good animation? There are some tools which do simulations, but none provide graphics like commercial windows versions as far as I know.

us=labor controls the capital that controls labor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085375)

Ooops. No we're not. We got outsourced !!!

Go away or I'll replace you with a shell script... (-1, Troll)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085388)

Computer programs put people out of work. Always have and always will.

The main function of most business software is automating a task that used to be done by a person. As soon as the program is put to use, less manhours are needed to do the same work, and then the layoffs come. Any questions?

Urrr....but, but... (2, Insightful)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085389)

"People who work with computers remain fixated on efficiency. Every week I hear the debates over whether businesses should use Linux or Windows, the commentators always wrangling over which systems will save the most money. I find this battle increasingly tiresome. I'm more interested in finding the systems that will put more people to work." ...more people just muck things up!

Seriously, if competition is the engine of capitalism, then surely efficiency is the fuel.

Editor Mod -1(Off Planet)

It's never about computers (2, Insightful)

teutonic_leech (596265) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085402)

.... it's all about 'people using computers' to increase productivity and shift their daily tasks from repetitive grunt work to intelligent information management. Also, let's factor in that in this brave new world of computers how much time is actually being spent on battling viruses, appying patches, re-installing new operating systems, learning applications, etc.. We are in some ways more productive, but we also pay a certain price for being able to instantly communicate with someone on the other side of the planet. One can debate this issue to death, but I personally feel that I'm a lot more powerful in my capabilities and my creativity than I was just 10 years ago. Some of that can be attributed to my own growth, but a lot of it is based on me being able to write a Java servlet for a form, open an illustration in Illustrator, work with my spreadsheet on some business projections, download movies with Kazaa (oooops ;-) - anyway, you get the drift. The current cycle is exactly just that: a cycle - and it will swing back up again in its due time (when, if I just knew I would live on my own island and charge a lot of money for that info). Of course the world has changed and the new EC, NAFTA, terrorist attacks, corporate greed and corruption, Microsoft, George Bush, Bill Gates, you picks it, all have an hand in the current economic situation. So do you and I - who knows any one of us might come up with this amazing new idea that gives IT a renewed boost and changes things to some extend.
I personally don't focus my attention on 'computers' or any other tool I work with. It's all about creativity and good ideas - getting the job done. Has the computer changed my way of doing things? Yes, and so did the invention of the gun powder - we use what we can - but in the end wealth creation depends on people not tools.

Manna, by Marshall Brain (1)

JusTyler (707210) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085411)

Interesting this topic came up, as earlier I stumbled across a 'story' (prediction?) by Marshall Brain, the guy who started 'HowStuffWorks.com', all about a future where robots ruled all. It reads like this stuff actually happened, although it's set about twenty years into the future. You can read it online here. [marshallbrain.com] It's called "Manna."

It starts out talking about a computer program called "Manna" that companies start to use to run their processes. Each version gets better and better, and it eventually becomes smart enough to fire idle workers, and outsource. The steps from there to the incarceration of humankind are presented well.

The main character is then offered an 'escape' to a world where robots are slaves, as opposed to humans, and where the concept of money does not exist. Anyway, all great mind stretching stuff, and still a work in progress, as the next "installment" isn't out till October 15th.

Arrogant elitism - a.k.a. why IT jobs leave (1)

Cyphertube (62291) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085416)

Despite what many seem to think here, most people do have brainpower beyond that of the average monkey. In fact, a lot of them can make very rational decisions when they aren't bogged down in trying to find all the information.

It galls me, despite years of working in IT with developers and sysadmins, how awfully elitist most American IT people are. I've dealt with my share of clueless users, but it seems that a large vocal number of IT professionals would rather turn up their noses than educate people.

Having worked overseas, I've found that there are some great IT professionals from many so-called second and third world nations. They're truly professional, working with people to solve problems and smooth along the process, highlighting potential risks along the way, but not in an arrogant manner.

Developing programs and systems that really let users gather information quickly would result in a lot of things going well, from managers making better-informed decisions, to people being able to solve basic helpdesk issues themselves. Never mind being better able to see potnential partnerships, pending budget crises, or maybe even being able to have enough time to really think rather than work around bugs and perhaps come up with some great ideas.

I've thought along these lines for a long time (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085432)

That's why I encourage open source and hiring a maintenance developer over proprietary and perpetual service contracts in every case in my current position. Simply put, we'll pay less (and be more secure) if somebody WE trust is auditing our code and making bugfixes/enhancements.

Proprietary is great if you're doing something where you'll never need to customize anything, or do anything slightly outside the norm (or you just don't care if it works.) BUT, if you're like most businesses, you probably have some weird process that doesn't fit some package you're paying for, and you have in turn come up with a workaround. This may or may not achieve the same goal as a well-written, configurable software package would have, but you don't really know until there's a problem some day.

Why is "making work" a good answer? (1)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085433)

It seems like the problem was quite clearly stated and then simply dismissed as unadressable --capitalism is not a just system of distribution.
Why is the answer to that problem to "make work?" That's a rhetorical question because obviously the reason is the author is unwilling to consider an alternative to winner-take-all as the only way for society to operate.
The answer to inequality in the face of hyper efficiency is to distribute wealth in an equitable manner? Abundance is only a problem if you slavishly assume that hard core capitalism is the only answer. But that's a personal issue, not a logical problem.

Huh? (0, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085436)

When have average people ever had a hand in wealth creation? They're not interested in wealth creation...they're freaking average people! What kind of socialist mumbo-jumbo is this? This kind of muddled thinking belongs in a 300-hits-a-day web log...not slashdot.

I've just come from China, where they do have this sort of "job creating by not using computers". Yup, people have jobs all right. Jobs taking plastic parts out of injection molding machines. Jobs assembling plastic parts together. Jobs welding with no eye protection. Thanks, but no thanks...I'll take mechanization and innovation any day.

Rubbish (3, Insightful)

DOsinga (134115) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085467)

The article is typical example of the lump of labour fallacy, which usually goes something like this: we produce all this stuff to make society run. Now, if we find a way to make the same amount of stuff with less people (using computers), we'll end up with less employment.

If this was true, almost everybody would have been out of work by now. 2000 years ago the work of almost everybody was needed just to grow enough food for everybody. The truth is, that there is no limit to the amount of possible work. What matters is total production of society and how we divide it. Computes will raise total production of society, so it could make us all richer. If we succeed in distributing the wealth in any kind of just way, employment could rise. Or we could choose for a society where the rich have a lot and the poor are unemployed. But that choice does not have anything to do with the amount of efficiency improving computers do.

- - - - towards a lawyer free interent [douweosinga.com]

Trivial Solution (1)

notcreative (623238) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085472)

The idea of trying to create jobs instead of increasing efficiency is a poor solution to the problem of unemployment. If creating jobs is all that matters, let's just start building highways and then tearing them out. The solution is to find ways to use excess labour productively. Personally, I think the net result of the unprecendented white collar unemployment that we've seen in the last few years will be some entry of geeks into politics, and perhaps the renewal of unions as a force in the labor market.

Wealth creation? (5, Interesting)

winkydink (650484) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085477)

The only person I'm interested in creating wealth for is yours truly. If others get wealthy in the process, good for them.

Over 50% of my income goes to taxes of one form or another. I'd say that's subsidy enough for the other guy.

Commie bastards. 1/2:)

...what planet is he from? (4, Insightful)

Artful Codger (245847) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085480)

wealth does not equal jobs, and good jobs is what the world lacks.

There's alot of wealth, but at present the western system is optimised to cause wealth to drift up and get locked-up in the economic upper-crust.

There's tons of work that needs to be done! Examples - teaching arts and music, daycare, senior care, cleaning and renovating neighbourhoods, rehabilitation of ecological damage... but the powers refuse to see these as priorities or raise the minimum wage so that a person can actually make a living at one of these jobs.

The author first slams us for being clever and writing efficient stuff, then tells us the answer is to just run out and program more/ charge less. Oh, and let's run everything on scripting languages too. That'll help...

*shudder* (1)

dmuth (14143) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085489)

I saw the phrase "wealth creation" and nearly parsed it as weath building [google.com] , which is used in way too many "Make Money Fast" schemes and spams.

Interesting idea, BAD choice of words. :-(

Keep Microsoft in business. (1)

w3woody (44457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085490)

The article asserts that increased productivity costs jobs, so logically we should use inefficient and bloated software that crashes periodically, contains numerous security holes which cost time and money to fix, and is riddled with user interface inefficiencies which make it frustrating and hard to use. That way, productivity drops, and more people are required to do the same job.

I never thought I'd say this, but it sounds like Microsoft has been doing the economy a favor all this time...

Software that creates wealth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7085498)

For only $5 you too can have a copy of my wealth creation software, v2.0. Its user-friendly and efficent, no longer will you have to toil away in underground caverns to your Russian overlords just get a loaf of bread and some poorly filtered water. Don't worry if you don't have a computer! I've taken into account that those in most need of Wealth Creation Software are drop dead poor. You can run my software on any standard abacus. Don't have an abacus? All you need to know is how to count and have at least 5 digits on one of your hands! Its as simple as that!

Just send $5, cash only, with a self addressed envelope to:

1337 H4X0R
5167 Port Ave.
Sitka, Alaska

It's easy, become a conservative. (2, Insightful)

dankdirk77 (690855) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085518)

The more you learn about creating wealth, the more you realize that the tax code is designed to enslave the middle and lower classes. Become a good conservative and fight the liberals who put big government over freedom.

I don't get it (1)

GreenCrackBaby (203293) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085526)

From the article, three ways to bring wealth creation back to the average person:


1. Write free software for individual industries

2. Make devices more responsive and easy to customize

3. Create a truly public key infrastructure



Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I don't see those three things leading to "wealth for the common person." Certainly there are some businesses out there that would love to have free software, or not have to pay for basic encryption for POS systems. However, providing them with free software or no-cost encryption isn't going to "create wealth", just reduce the cost of business for those select businesses. Whooptee-doo.

If the cost of business is so high that the business is not valid, then perhaps that should be your first clue to find another way to make money. Like credit card fees, debit fees, store rent, bar code readers, employees, etc., software costs are just another cost as part of your business. While I'm sure it would be nice to reduce those costs, it's hardly a barrier preventing the common person from opening their own business.

If anything, businesses that need custom software are a wealth-creating opportunity for those of us who create software.

The easiest way to create jobs... (1)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7085538)

The easiest way to create a job and create wealth for other people is by quiting your own job so someone else can do it.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>