2040s Here 2015 Blog2040s Here 2015 Blog

Brother Can You Spare a J-O-B? The First Part

 A 2040s are Already Here Work In Process (WIP)

Buddy Can You Spare a J-O-B?

20141215 Uranus 90 Pluto chartandwaveThe current Uranus-Pluto 90 square moved into place as the 2008-2010 Great Recession "officially" ended. Of course, what governments declare and real world experience completely differ; many people feel the recession never ended. This feeling engenders many questions, especially regarding income inequality. While that class issue, effectively raised by the Occupy Movement, still reverberates, parallel concerns loom larger and larger. How does an economy based on consumer spending survive when wages stagnate or, worse, disappear?

Innovations in energy, technology, manufacturing, and health care are undoubtedly important. However, in and of themselves, they will not reestablish the broad-based wage growth and improved job quality needed to generate and sustain middle-class income growth. Nor will they, on their own, permit access to a rising middle class for those now left behind.
A Decade of Flat Wages The Key Barrier to Shared Prosperity and a Rising Middle Class

This dim view of the future piles on what workers see paycheck to paycheck

For virtually the entire period since 1979 (with the one exception being the strong wage growth of the late 1990s), wage growth for most workers has been weak. The median worker saw an increase of just 5% between 1979 and 2012, despite productivity growth of 74.5%—while the 20th percentile worker saw wage erosion of 0.4% and the 80th percentile worker saw wage growth of just 17.5%.” This again notes the break between productivity gains and wage increases.
Show Me the Money: Facing the Dangers and Causes of Stagnant Real Wages

What's worse than a job (or jobs for many) that continually fails to keep up with expenses? No job at all!

Already, robots have been embraced by the industrial sector.
Gone are the days of industrial robots serving a single purpose. In 2012, Rethink Robotics introduced Baxter, a freestanding and mobile robot that can be taught physical tasks. Any regular worker can show Baxter what to do, and it only takes a couple of minutes.
2 billion of today’s jobs could disappear by 2030

It gets worse

Demand for code-writing high-tech workers then becomes limited to those who are needed for general code maintenance like updates and repairs. The rest of the high-tech workers end up going into the service sector, which consequently pushes down wages for employees in that industry. And lower incomes reduce the amount of goods and services that workers are able to buy.
Robots Could Make Even High-Tech Workers Worse Off

This leaves retailers worrying, as we all should, about who can afford to buy their products.

Two-thirds of America’s largest retailers, most of which pay minimum wage, are citing “flat or falling disposable incomes” as a serious risk factor to their business models.
Retailers Cite Low Wages as Major Threat to Business

Sparea J O B ura pluWhere we are now

  • Rising productivity
  • Increasing use of robotics & automation
  • Stagnant wages
  • Declining wealth of middle and working classes
  • Aging populations
  • Current workers with constantly falling disposable income

With economies based on consumer spending, not just in the US, but around the world, something has to give. To use a popular ecological description, current trends are unsustainable. Logical sequencing given suggests society arriving to a place where few work for a living in the tradition of industry and commerce. For what ever reason, extremely consciousand efficient robots will perform the majority of tasks in certain fields; there will be more people than jobs in a world with a still growing population.

A Uranus-Pluto History of Labor Most of this history appears in The Second Part, but readers should know that the history of labor in the modern world and Uranus-Pluto hard aspects are intimately connected. The 1870s Long Depression, 1930s and the Great Recession each coincided with Uranus-Pluto squares. Each marked critical turning points in the struggle between labor and industry Understanding their importance may help us to decide what to do between the current 2010s square and the 2040s opposition.

Expanding the Thought: Wasting Abundance

A few days ago I posted Wasting Abundance.It details how that we are heading toward existential collapse while we enjoy unprecedented abundance. Since, I have expanded the scope:


  • Recognizing AbundanceWasting Abundance

    To leverage abundance, you have to recognize when it appears

  • Defining Abundance

    What is abundance in the post-modern world?

  • Distributing Abundance

    We have abundance, but it is poorly distributed.

  • Abundance History

    How does current abundance compare?

  • Abundance turned against

    Abundance as a class issue

  • What do you do with abundance?

    How do we learn to accept, respect and better distibute abundance?

  • Abundance leads to Abundance
    • Thus it must be respected if it is to be maintained
    • Is there such a thing as too much abundance?

  • The unique history of the United States and abundance

    Unlike most nations, the US began and continues as a bountiful enterprise. That
    fact drives abundance around the world.

Future Fodder

How well we manage our abundance--our problem is too much, not too little--determines how well we survive the 2040s and beyond. I look forward to exploring this more and especially itch to tackle the unique story of US history and abundance.

WIP: Wasting Abundance

Not certain where this will end up. Consider it thinking out loud. That's why these pieces are called Work In Progress (WIP).

Counting Our Blessings

Humans on this planet now consume one-and-half earth equivalents. While we could live more efficiently, efficiency is not the actual problem. In fact, humans are probably too efficient at some things, to the expense of others. In short, we are Wasting Abundance.Wasting Abundance

I anticipate the following retorts:

  • People are starving
  • Abundance?!? I can barely make it to the next paycheck
  • Didn't we just have a recession?

All valid answers that miss a greater point. Shortages and inequality are manufactured. 

What Do We Need?

Read more: WIP: Wasting Abundance

No Ones Fault Everyones Responsibility

Regular readers of The 2040s know we take a strong position on the reality of anthropogenic climate change. It is real. It is here now. Most of it is human caused.Should we blame ourselves? Not really.

Here Now

Stand in the Way of Industrial Revolution?People did not just wake up one day and exclaim “Let's have an industrial revolution!” Onstead, it rose out the 18th Agricultural Revolution and the British putting-out system. It arrived organically and suddenly, even for those who initially profited from it. Once in place the revolution became unstoppable. Some, the Luddites, among others attempted to stop the machines, but industrial momentum remains unabated until today.

Humanity's First Industrial Experience

The Industrial Revolution begun in the 18th Century still percolates around the globe. We cannot really tell if we are in a fourth or fifth stage—the Second Industrial Revolution ranged from about the mid 1860s until World War I—but industry continues to overturn lives in many ways. Sure, industry is quite mature, but its disruptions continue around the world. Automation versus full employment is the latest battle.

An Outer Planet Guide to Industrialism

The Newcomen steam engine began pumping water from mines some time in the year 1712. Across most of that year Uranus was three degrees beyond a conjunction with Pluto, well within tolerance. The next conjunction between these invisible planets appeared in 1850 as the 1848 Revolutions began to die out. In those 139 years (Uranus-Pluto waves vary betwen 111 and 141 years) embryoinc industrialism evolved into a fully transformative force, yet so much more was to come.
Moving backwards, 1599Uranus-Pluto1710 brought Europe from the edge of science—Galileo had already conducted momentum and gravity experiments; Kepler's work circulated but without serious consideration-through the Age of Reason to the dawn of the Enlightenment. The Age of Reason welcomed experimentation that inspired Newcomen's steam engine.
Uranus-Pluto waves, beginning with mid 1450s Uranus-Pluto conjunction, the one closely associated with Gutenberg's Bible. That bible, very ironically, emancipated the written word from the Roman Church. It would lead to the demise of its political influence and toward a global acceptance of secularism. That acceptance is what led to the Industrial Revolution. To best understand how this acceptance transpired down to now, let us track progress through Uranus-Pluto wave themes, 1455-21041455-1597: mechanically printed literature emancipates communication; at the midpoint Copernicus published Revolutions, which posited a heliocentric solar system; the printed word directly relates to the Reformation—Martin Luther's pamphlets both broadcast the means of reform and printing in the vernacular; despite these advances censorship remained
1711-1850: preliminary to First Indusrial Revolution; human capabilities grow from a few steam engines to railroads on almost all continents
1851-1965: industrialism merges with corporatism
Born ConsumersThe world of New Secularism emerged in coincidencee with the Second Industrial Revolution and the Gilded Age. These came as Neptune neared its 495-year conjunction of Pluto in the early 1890s. It is important to know that outer planet transits always have correlations before in and after exactitude. Astrologers generally assume an orb of a few degrees and include extentuating circumstances, particularly trigger effects by other planets. In our case a very pertinent trigger effect appeared between 1882 and 1883 when Saturn conjoined neptune and then Pluto, ten years before their exact conjunction. Essentially, this extended this quadrature alignment ten years forward.
History backs this assertion. The 1880s as a heady time in the United States. The introduction of

Edison's consumer light-bulb and Belll's telephone gets the spotlight, but the exciting history is behind the scenes. Here we get the battle between Tesla and Edison during the effort to bring electricity to consumers. It is here when the groundwork for electrician was laid; when the components to domesticate delivery of power to home and business were invented; most important it is when finance firms grew to figure out how to fund these large-scale initiatives. Telecommunication grids and power grids by their sheer size are out of the scope of even the richest family fortunes. It is a signicant portent that General Electric was incorporated in 1892 when Neptune and Pluto were within a few degrees of one another.

Welcome to the world we live in.When people invest large sums, as did the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, the Carnigies, J.P. Morgan (who initited the merger between Thomson and Edison to create General Electric) they expect large, reliable returns. These returns require consumers. Lots of consumers. Financially driven corporations also bring in economy-of-scale and vertical integration. Thus, this entirely system, recently shedding the final vestiges of European feudalism, was tailor made to create, explout and amass consumers. It was the world everone after the 1892 Neptune-Pluto conjunction was born into. It is also the one whose consequences we will have to deal with.Corporations are highly impersonal. They are typically many steps removed from their ultimate market: consumers. Consumers are numbers, not people. This assessment sounds harsher than our experience. Consumerism comes with benefits, explaining its success. Ultimately, though, consumerism is unsustainable. Its end goal is consumption, which in the end is finite. It is linear, instead of a more preferable circular economy. It is this economy that arose at the beginning of the American Century coincident with the 1890s Neptune-Pluto conjunction.

We Get a Do Over ' "The impact of the French revolution on western civilization -- too early to tell."
Chou en Lai, 1972.You could lament the observations above or use them to plan the next steps. The rise of rampant consumerism grew organically. It came in response to new knowledge systems that first the printing press and then the telegraph inspired. When Gutenberg printed his Bible, Martin Luther his 95 Theses and Copernicus Revolutions hardly expecting them to set the foundation of a new paradigm. Each in their own set the stage for the American, French and Industrial Revolutions. Each of these were ultimate acheivements of Europe's shift to the secular. Each still plays a role in the current status quo. Americans still interpret what their revolution meant; the French Revolution still helps determine the type of governments people choose to honor; the Industrial Revolution perhaps carries the largest impact of all, altering economies and cultures around the globe.
What we can take out of this is the lack of social intention. The American Revolution was mostly an upper-class affair. The Constitution only allowed
menwith land to vote. The French Revolution freed the middle-class. The Industrial Revolution has raised the living standards of many, but it has also created the unsustainable trajectory we now find ourselves in. The point here, however, is not to criticize these revolutions, but to improve them. Instead of accepting results, we get a Do Over. We can make them better fit our time based on what we now know.
Yes, we did not forge the unsustainable path we are on, but only we can fix it.


  • Wasting Abundance (0)

    Don't Know What You Til it's Gone

    Could there be anything worse than wasting abundance? That's what our collective societies do to our planet. Worse than waste, we are turning abundance against ourselves.

    • WIP: Wasting AbundanceWasting Abundance
    • Expanding the Thought ExpandingonWastingAbundance

    Expanding the Thought: Wasting Abundance

  • 2040s Here 2014 Blog (0)