Jobs, Work, Wages, Unemployment

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One third of all British workers to be replaced by machines in just 20 years

by Xavier Connolly - 11 November, 2014

In what must be bad news for anyyone earning under £30,000 per year (and that’s about 90% of the working adults in the UK) thisismoney.couk today revealed that a third of all British jobs could be replaced by machines in as little as 20 years because of rapid advances in technology, according to a new study. The research, carried out by two Oxford University academics, and commissioned by management services conglomerate Deloitte, which was published earlier this week, found that repetitive processing and support service jobs are most at risk of being replaced. Rapid advances in computer intelligence puts jobs at high risk of disappearing, the researchers found. “High risk” work areas also include office and administrative support, sales and services, transport, building and extraction, and production; just about everything then. This is not only related to increased automation and advances in 'artificial intelligence' (parsing data very rapidly) of course. Offshoring work to low labour cost economies and the ever widening wealth gap betwen rich and poor are also taking their toll. Forty percent of UK jobs(mostly in London) however, are reported to be at low or no risk , the researchers said, including positions in senior management, financial services, computing, engineering and science, education, legal services, community services, the arts and media, and healthcare. The study also found that jobs paying under £30,000 a year were almost five times more likely to be replaced by machines than jobs paying more than £100,000. In some ways this makes sense but its hard to see how a Filipina domestic on £30 a week, two pot noodles a day and a folding bed in the garage, or a Romanian women trafficked here to fill a vacancy for a sex worker, can be replaced by machines. OK, so there are plans to give us all a robot sex toy but such things will be a lot more expensive that a Romanian slave. Another big question is left unanswered too, one that always strikes me when these speculations about a futurist utopia in which the needs of the elite are serviced by robots. How are all the high paying jobs going to be sustained and corporate profits kept in growth if a third of the working population have no jobs and hence no money to spend in a consumer driven economy that will completely collapse if it is allowed to stop growing? 10% unemployment is a bad news but 30%plus?

National Minimum Wage doesn’t work, never has, never will

Just reading this report by the Equality Trust reinforces the fact the National Minimum Wage (NHW) is a completely useless piece of soundbite law designed to keep the poor quiet and their employers happy bunnies. Here’s a useless fact for you – If a Worker was paid the NMW he/she would have to work until September 2nd 2357 to earn the average annual pay of an average FTSE 100 boss. More interestingly though is if the NMW had risen at the same speed as FTSE 100 CEO pay it would be worth £12.33 an hour today, almost double the current £6.50. Worse, Compared to the NMW’s 81% increase since it’s implementation, the price of a loaf of bread has increased by 149% and the price of gas by 192% – so in effect the NMW is going in reverse compared to actual living costs. If NMW workers were paid the national Living Wage of £7.65 an hour instead, they would receive an extra £2,182 a year – which would help. No good news for the low paid at any of the party conferences suggested that politicians are even thinking about reducing income inequality. In fact, a raft of policies announced on pensions, welfare and housing by Dave, Ed and the other one would likely see it increase – well done them.

Lord Freud urged to explain disabled wage comment Labour is demanding that Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud come to Parliament to explain his controversial suggestion that some disabled workers are "not worth" the minimum wage. The Conservative peer has been allowed to remain in his job after apologising for the comment, which sparked furore among disability charities and was branded "offensive" by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. But he has been withdrawn from scheduled frontbench duties in the House of Lords today, in a move which Labour said indicated that he does not enjoy the "full confidence" of Prime Minister David Cameron. Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves said it was "unacceptable" for Lord Freud to remain in his post. In a letter to the PM, she demanded to know whether Mr Cameron had spoken to the peer before giving him "a clean bill of health", and whether any work had been done by Government departments on proposals to allow disabled people to be employed at below the £6.50-an-hour minimum wage. Lord Freud was recorded at a fringe meeting of last month's Conservative Party conference responding to a Tory councillor who suggested that people with mental health problems may be unable to work because employers are unwilling to pay them the statutory minimum. He replied: "You make a really good point about the disabled ... There is a group - and I know exactly who you mean - where actually, as you say, they're not worth the full wage and actually I'm going to go and think about that particular issue, whether there is something we can do nationally, and without distorting the whole thing, which actually if someone wants to work for £2 an hour, and it's working, can we actually..." Mr Cameron flatly disowned the peer's remarks when ambushed by Labour leader Ed Miliband at Prime Minister's Questions and later ordered him to apologise amid opposition calls for his head. In a statement last night, Lord Freud offered "a full and unreserved apology", adding: "I was foolish to accept the premise of the question. To be clear, all disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage, without exception, and I accept that it is offensive to suggest anything else. "I care passionately about disabled people. I am proud to have played a full part in a Government that is fully committed to helping disabled people overcome the many barriers they face in finding employment." Mr Clegg said Lord Freud's comments had "cause huge offence", telling LBC radio: "I think what was so offensive to people ... was when he used this word 'worth' and he said some people with disabilities weren't worth the minimum wage. I think that is what has, quite rightly, touched a raw nerve because it's making a comment about someone's individual value." The Deputy Prime Minister said the peer's comments were "deeply distressing and offensive to people". But he added: "That shouldn't stop any of us having a discussion and, frankly, a difficult discussion - because some of these issues are difficult - to get more people with disabilities and with other disadvantages in life into the workplace." Asked if it was wrong for people who wanted to work for £2 an hour to be allowed to do so, Mr Clegg said there were examples where it was accepted that people were paid below the usual level of the minimum wage. "As a society, we say it's acceptable to pay apprentices a different kind of minimum wage. We have a minimum wage operating on a different scale depending on your age," he said.

How the Malign, Totalitarian Left Played the 'Disability' Card to Brand an Innocent Man a Thought Criminal Another day, another "full and unreserved apology" forced on someone in the public eye by the leftist Offence Police. This time the mea maxima culpa comes from a minor government minister called Lord Freud who, apparently, has been caught out saying something truly, dreadfully, almost unforgiveably evil about disabled people. His statement says: “I would like to offer a full and unreserved apology. I was foolish to accept the premise of the question. To be clear, all disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage, without exception, and I accept that it is offensive to suggest anything else. I care passionately about disabled people. I am proud to have played a full part in a government that is fully committed to helping disabled people overcome the many barriers they face in finding employment. I am profoundly sorry for any offence I have caused to any disabled people.” We all care about the disabled. But "passionately?" This is no ordinary apology. It's redolent of the kind of thing you might write with a knife held to your throat by Islamic State; the sort of confession you'd make after months of reeducation in a North Korean POW camp; the stuff you might say at a Kim Jong Un show trial, shortly before being thrown into a cage of fifty starving dogs. What it most definitely isn't is the language you'd expect any person to have to use anywhere outside a totalitarian state. It's just not how real people talk. Not only is it too strained and hyperbolic but it's intellectually dishonest and politically extreme. Why, for example, is it "offensive" to the point of total unacceptability to argue that there are some occasions where it makes sense to pay disabled people below the minimum wage? Surely there are times when it is both economically sensible and compassionate? Sam Bowman makes a good case here: Many severely disabled people who would like to work thus can not do so. Markets are amoral. If a severely disabled person cannot produce more than the minimum wage’s worth of work, no employer will be able to profitably employ him. Some generous ones might do so at a loss, but we cannot assume that there will be enough of them. What Bowman is restating here is the point that Lord Freud was trying to make at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference, where his remarks were recorded by a Labour party activist and then used by Labour leader Ed Miliband in parliament yesterday to ambush David Cameron. Lord Freud's point was a perfectly reasonable, caring and practical one: how do you best incentivise employers to take on disabled people who want to work but whose productivity rate may not be the equal of able-bodied employees? In a Soviet style command economy, the solution would be simple: the State would simply force employers to absorb the costs of taking on relatively unproductive disabled staff. But we don't (yet) live in a Soviet style command economy. We live in a free market one where businesses not unreasonably expect to maximise productivity and minimise costs by recruiting the best available staff for any given job. It is not their role to provide a welfare safety net for the less fortunate. Indeed the law actually forbids them from doing so because corporate entities are legally obliged to pursue profits for their shareholders. So what in effect we have is a situation in which a blameless minister has been castigated for telling the truth - and then compelled by the Prime Minister into issuing a grovelling, humiliating retraction.

Economy Booming, Unemployment Dropping So Why Are So Many People Out Of Work?

by Phil T Looker, January 21, 2014

Unemployment is in freefall the latest government figures say. So why aren't we feeling it?

People are working, but work doesn't pay. Employment is up, but tax revenue is down. The economy is humming again, yet Britain is still in debt. What exactly is going on? The latest statistics, published today show unemployment rates have fallen to their lowest level in five years. The Coalition has presided over an incredible boom in employment, with Britain gaining jobs at the fastest rate of any country in Europe. This week David Cameron even resurrected the old dream of “full employment”; our own leader column calls it a “jobs miracle”. So why isn’t it doing us any good? Even with more people in work than ever before tax revenues aren't what were predicted. Why? The usual suspects are involved, part time working, zero hours contracts, and the statistical trick of only counting those claiming job seekers allowance as unemployed and classifying the long term unemployed (jobseekers allowance runs out after two years,) as not economically actice. Count the real umemployed rather than the 'scientifically' umemployed and the figure has dropped little since its peak in 2009. As it happens, two analysts at Citigroup - Michael Saunders and Ann O'Kelly - have been considering exactly this question. They found that the problem is not corporation tax – higher profits mean revenues have grown at almost double the rate they were predicted to this spring. Nor is it VAT, which has grown by exactly as much as expected. Stamp duty has gone up by 34 per cent. Neither high-rolling executives nor ordinary shoppers have slowed down their contributions. You can read the full analysis with charts in this Daily Telegraph article. It is an excellent analysis and confirms all of the suspicions cited by busness managers and accountants. It will be useful however, for the benefit of those who are not accountants, to expand on the bare statistics in order to highlight where the under-employed, and those who claim the lion's share of working tax credits, are coming from. See this report created by a statistician with the help of a Freedom Of Information request. Yes, its another indictment of uncontrolled immigration and the eagerness of main pary politicians to smooth the path of those who arrive in our country illegally, to full residency rights. The problem with the Government / Office of National Statistics methodology is the manner in which the UK assigns 'nationality' to anyone who wasn't born in this country, and excludes naturalised British citizens (i.e. it doesn't include non-UK born children who were naturalised). From Table 2 in Saunders and Kelly's analysis it is notable that of lower income tax credits families with children - i.e. whose awards include both Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit - over a quarter (27.13%) are migrant families. From Table 3 this group of lower income families with children forms almost half (48.25%) of all migrant families claiming tax credits. Lower income families with children form a smaller proportion of non migrant families claiming tax credits (39.14%). From Table 3 a slightly lower proportion of migrant families are out of work families with children (26.5%) than non migrant families (31.4%). However, from Table 2 migrant families comprise nearly a fifth of tax credits families who are out of work couples with children (19.49%) but only half that proportion of out of work single parents (10.59%). The key issue however is that despite the increase in employment numbers there has not been a corresponding increase in the income tax take. Clearly there has been an increase in low paid low skilled jobs. The influx of labour from eastern Europe and the subcontinent combined with Gordon Browns working tax credits has meant that the elasticity of labour supply has depressed wage growth and it may be simply that the treasury models have incorrectly forecast, in their models, this effect. Secondly, there has been a significant increase in self employment, many of these self employment jobs have been created by East Europeans typically your Polish/ Romanian builders and as such the tax take from such employment is generally much lower than PAYE as a result of cash transactions etc. Additionally, at least from my experience, much of the self employment increase has also been driven from higher Salary earners particularly in the media and IT sectors (so fed up with high levels of Tax and what they see as Government waste) that they opt out of PAYE employment and take on contract work under IR 35 where they can reduce their Tax charge by as much as 30% to 40% as well as their NI charges. Thirdly, the very low even negative yields on fixed income investments that have resulted from the strength of the dollar must have a significant impact on the tax take.

5 Reasons Why This Pagan Won’t Vote for Barack Obama

A man must be unshackled from the fetters of dependence to achieve his full, divine potential. - Gerald Gardner, founder of modern witchcraft

A man named Gus diZerega who describes himself as an “elder” of the Gardnerian Wiccan tradition and a “Brazilian shaman” wrote a piece for Patheos describing five reasons Pagans need to vote for Barack Obama. His arguments were basically MSNBC talking points devoid of any statements of faith. Republican theocrats hate women, want to destroy the environment, and live to transform America into a giant cathedral where everyone would be forced to buy copies of The Watchtower on pain of death.

This appears as the “Pagan” view but really only a subset of Pagans embrace these politics. There are in fact many conservative Pagans whose voices tend to be drowned out by the shriller and more activist Left; I know this because I’m one of them.

I have five reasons why I would never vote for Barack Obama — or any Democrat — and, unlike Mr. diZerega, my reasoning reflects the rational, political expression of my faith, not Internet memes popular among the uneducated.

The first reason is I believe in the freedom of all people to practice their faith and worship the divine as they choose. Obama’s attack on the Catholic Church is not just a political fight between pro-life and pro-choice. It is the government trying to claim the right to force people to betray their god and abandon his teachings. This is an outrageous and unconscionable breach of those Catholics’ First Amendment rights. The state must never be allowed to believe itself the arbiter of any groups’ theology or how it is expressed. Religion must be experiential; each person must experience the divine personally and be allowed to act in accordance with that understanding. Unless a religion is actually hurting other people, like say committing almost 20,000 terrorist attacks worldwide since 9/11, the state has no business involving itself with adherents at all.

And I challenge liberal Pagans to name one time when the “theocratic” Right has not only demanded that you change your religious doctrine, but then passed a law forcing you to do something you thought ran contrary to your religious beliefs.

The second reason I won’t vote for any Democrat, including Barack Obama, is that I believe in life. I believe that life is sacred and the so-called pro-choice movement has devolved into a transmitter of nihilism and anti-humanism. Unlike some of my pro-life cohort, I don’t actually believe that abortions can ever be made illegal. More importantly, I believe the legality of abortions is a symptom of our unhealthy and unnatural views of sex, parenthood, and children. My generation was one of the first raised with the “pro-choice” message that children ruin lives, that pregnancy is to be avoided, and that sex is no more important or profound than a handshake with a stranger. My generation and the generations that followed have internalized this view and it expresses itself in our sexual neurosis, self-esteem issues, and self-destructive behavior.

Sex is sacred. It is a gift that two people share and the fact it can create life makes it more wondrous. And while I’m not quite prude enough to insist you should be in love with everyone you bed, I do think ideally you should at least respect and appreciate them. The mainstreaming of sado-masochism and violent pornography makes me feel I may be in the minority with those views. How do you raise healthy adults in a society whose rhetoric implies that most mothers secretly resent children coming into being because it “ruined her life”? And how can we expect to live in a healthy, moral society when one party’s platform involves trying to force the rest of us to pay for people to have unprotected sex with strangers?

That leads me to my third reason: I believe in objective morality. Some things are right and some things are wrong. Liberals seem to always find a way of siding with what is wrong and punishing what is right. Every Halloween we see liberals howl about the indignity of sex offenders — rapists, child molesters, and other degenerates who have committed serious crimes — being banned from handing out candy. They have fought against sex offender registries from their inception, as if a single mother going out on a date doesn’t have the right to easy access to a public record to make sure her date won’t endanger her children. When I hired a summer camp staff for a YMCA, we required applicants to get finger printed to ensure they weren’t criminals. About 25 percent of the applicants never followed through, most likely because they were in fact criminals. But there are liberals who object to the idea that we protect children from criminals.

When he was a state senator, Barack Obama was the sole senator to not vote for a bill that would protect rape victims from having the details of their victimization released publicly. Some would include that in the supposed “war on women,” but for me it’s just another example of how immoral the Left is.


Quantum Soul

Is There More To Life Than Just Biochemistry? Recent Research In Quantum Physics Suggests There Is

The standard medical thinking on near-death experiences (whenever medical professionals can be persuaded to express an opinion on the topic) is that they occur when the vital organs and higher consciousness as shut down and the brain is deprived of sensory input. In a surprising departure from the orthodoxy two respected quantum physics experts now claim their research shows evidence that the soul leaves the nervous system and rejoins the universe.

People who have read and understood Hindu or Buddhist philosophy might find this idea very familiar. The ground-breaking theory recently published by hameroff and Penrose holds that the quantum substances which form the soul are part of the fundamental structure of the universe

The theory holds that when patients have a near death experience their quantum soul is released from the body and re-enters the cosmos, before returning when they are revived or shocked back to life as the research documentation puts it.\par

According to the theory a near-death experience happens when quantum substances which form the soul leave the nervous system and rejoin the universe (the Oneness of Hindu and buddhist belief) from which all things emanate . That such a radical theory has been proposed by two scientists who are eminent in the field of quantum physics and are known in particular for their work on Quantum Entanglements sometimes known as The God Theory indicates a massive change in thinking about the nature of the universe is going on even as those who cling to the orthodoxies of theoretical physics grow more desperate in their attempt to defend failed ideas that have become quasi - religious dogmas to their academic communities.

Dr Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose suggest consciousness is a program for a quantum computer in the brain which can persist in the universe even after death, explaining the perceptions of those who have near-death experiences. It also goes some way towards explaining the success in providing proof of reincarnation claimed by Dr. Ian Stevenson at the University of Virginia ( )

Dr. Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology and the Director of the Centre of Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, has advanced the theory which is based on a quantum theory of consciousness he and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose have developed which holds that the essence of our soul is contained inside structures called microtubules within brain cells. Together they argue that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in these microtubules, a theory which they dubbed orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR).

Thus, the theory goes, the mystical or spiritual part of our beings, our souls (an undeninable and equally until now an unproveable concept) are more than the interaction of neurons in the brain as previous researchers have concluded. They are in fact each individual's interface with the universe itself, are constructed from the very fabric of the universe and each soul may have existed since the beginning of time. The concept is similar to the Buddhist and Hindu belief that consciousness is an integral part of the universe and that it is really all there may be, a position similar to some Western philosophical ideas.

Taking these beliefs as his model Dr Hameroff writes that in a near-death experience the microtubules lose their quantum state, but the information within them is not destroyed. Instead it merely leaves the body and returns to the cosmos.

Now most of this could be classified as biophysics and as such goes over my head but I am very familiar with Hindu and Buddhist ideas of the 'oneness'. And as a fiction writer I have been very engaged by the ideas behind Quantum Entanglements (Quantum Metaphysics) so this work grabbed my attention. Let me say at this point I do not believe this theory to be true or untrue, it is interesting and does offer some potential explanations for previously unanswerable questions.

The subject of ideas about the afterlife and the attititude of the science community to it have been in the news recently when a top brain surgeon , (Dr. Eben Alexander talked about a near death experience ) that convinced him our psyche somehow surives physical death. Dr. Alexander insited that prior to his experience he had been dismissive of the idea of an afterlife. In an interview with Newsweek magazine earlier this month (October 2012) to promote his book Proof Of Heaven ( ), Dr. Alexander says he encountered beings that were more advanced than ourselves, higher forms.

His revelation was met with the usual sneering derision that the orthodox science community always employs against any radical suggestion.

To a non - believer Dr. Alexander's account of his experience is hard to accept as it is too close to the Christmas Card view of what heaven might be like. To be fair to the Doctor says that what he encountered was so far beyond any previous experience it was difficult to describe it in words.

Asked about Near Death experiences Dr Hameroff told the Science Channel's Through the Wormhole documentary: 'Let's say the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing, the microtubules lose their quantum state. The quantum information within the microtubules is not destroyed, it can't be destroyed, it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If the patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says "I had a near death experience".'

He adds: 'If they're not revived, and the patient dies, it's possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul.'

The Orch-OR theory has come in for heavy criticism by more empirically minded thinkers and remains controversial among the scientific community.

MIT physicist Max Tegmark ( ) is just one of the many scientists to have challenged it, in a 2000 paper that is widely cited by opponents.

Nevertheless, Dr Hameroff believes that research in to quantum physics is beginning to validate Orch-Or, with quantum effects recently being shown to support many important biological processes, such as smell, bird navigation and photosynthesis.

RELATED POSTS: (Links to articles on the work of Hamroff and Penrose)\par }

Now Things Are Starting To Make Sense
It is now known that the uprising in Ukraine early this year that saw the elected government, which was cooperating far too well with Russia for the liking of the western powers overthrown and replaced by a US and EU sponsored gaggle of gangsters, thugs and neo - fascists whose task was to

Unemployment falling? The Great Statistical Con Trick
President Barack Hussein Obama in his "State Of The Union" speech earlier this week was the president's claimed that his administration had turned the economy around and was creating millions of 'new jobs' every year. The US Labor Department claims the economy created 292,000 jobs in December alone ... In spite of the US economy having created almost 6 million jobs over the last two years according to official figures, more Americans than ever (93 million according to estimates) are out of work.

Funny How A Few Days Good Weather Brings The Warmageddonists Out
Over the past few scorching hot days I have seen several members of the alomst defunct Warmageddonist society plugging their tired, discredited old "science" and trying to claim that mathematics proves that what is observably not happening is actually happening but only scientists are clever enough to understand that ... Hmm, is that so?

Military Veterans Opinion: Probably A Bomb That Took Down MH-17!

Funny how the left present themselves as the politics of peace and unity but are all out in support of Barack Obama's latest warmongering campaign in Ukraine following the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. I suppose the pacifists enthusiasm for World War Three proves George Orwell was right when he said War is Peace.

America's Dumbest Move Yet: Hijacking A Foreign Bank
The financial markets seem to be getting more volatile, with share prices and currency values fluctuating wildly on the slightest indication of good or bad news. But when central banks start hijacking other banks on the basis of very flimsy evidence from a pariah state, we should befinding somewhere safer for our money

Now Things Are Starting To Make Sense
It is now known that the uprising in Ukraine early this year that saw the elected government, which was cooperating far too well with Russia for the liking of the western powers overthrown and replaced by a US and EU sponsored gaggle of gangsters, thugs and neo - fascists whose task was to

Funny How A Few Days Good Weather Brings The Warmageddonists Out
Over the past few scorching hot days I have seen several members of the alomst defunct Warmageddonist society plugging their tired, discredited old "science" and trying to claim that mathematics proves that what is observably not happening is actually happening but only scientists are clever enough to understand that ... Hmm, is that so?