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Author Topic: US Economy thread  (Read 4447 times)

JWags85

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2024, 10:39:38 AM »
The characterization that the left "raises fuel prices to push pawns to buy into green energy" is such nihlistic Stockholm syndrome, its a real bummer for anyone younger than say, 50.  It takes so much subsidizing, white knuckling, and soul-selling to cling to fossil fuels and keep them affordable vs shifting even some of that effort into developing renewable energy that only people who truly spite the young too much to want to make things better could fall for it.

It just goes back to the fundamental issue with all of this.  How does green energy win?  By becoming cheaper, if not on par, with fossil fuels.  This is done through technical innovation and transformative R&D.

Its not going to happen through punitive measures against fossil fuel usage or shaming people.  Because whats done in the US and Europe, no matter how effective, will just get undone elsewhere in the developing world until the aforementioned happens.

As a result, I think there is a huge element of the renewable/green energy push that is just performative nonsense to make people feel good at best, and a racket to make a bunch of money at worse?  Absolutely.  Ask anyone who has had to make a company or process "green" or carbon neutral without a major corporation budget or consultancy.  Its a joke.

That being said, are they opposed by massive fossil fuel lobbying/special interest groups who will oppose clean energy development at any turn?  Absolutely.  And they are insidious.

The answer to all of this is nuclear power, but 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl are overblown bogeymen decades later at the expense of our planet and its future.

Pakuni

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2024, 11:11:15 AM »
It just goes back to the fundamental issue with all of this.  How does green energy win?  By becoming cheaper, if not on par, with fossil fuels.  This is done through technical innovation and transformative R&D.

Its not going to happen through punitive measures against fossil fuel usage or shaming people.  Because whats done in the US and Europe, no matter how effective, will just get undone elsewhere in the developing world until the aforementioned happens.

I think you're right and wrong here.
Completely agree that the long-term solution to less reliance on fossil fuels and greater use of green/sustainable energy is innovation that makes the latter more economical.
However, until we reach a point where the traditional energy options become truly unsustainable or too expensive - and that doesn't seem to be the case anytime in the near future - the incentive for the transformative R&D you speak of is greatly reduced. There may be a carrot, but it's a baby carrot. So, one might argue, there also needs to be a stick.

This may be an imperfect analogy, but it's like the  severely obese person waiting until after they're in cardiac arrest to get serious about diet and exercise. Sure, it's a really effective incentive, but why wait for that inflection point? Right now, we're that fat person who knows that eating fast food in front of the TV (dependence on fossil fuels) is ultimately bad for us, but we keep doing it anyway because it's cheaper and easier than making healthy meals and hitting the gym.


As for shaming people ... meh. Do people really feel shamed when they fill up their SUV?

And I wouldn't go so far as to call Chernobyl an "overblown bogeymen" - there's roughly 4,000 dead people who may beg to differ, if they could - but I agree that the risks of nuclear power are largely overstated. Fortunately, we seem to be turning a corner on that (see: five states, including Illinois, have lifted moratoriums on reactors since 2016).

jesmu84

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2024, 11:22:30 AM »
If we remove subsidies on fossil fuels, how do the costs stack up vs renewables?

Jockey

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2024, 11:30:04 AM »
If we remove subsidies on fossil fuels, how do the costs stack up vs renewables?

100% that it is all about $$$$.

That’s what baffles me about reluctance to convert quicker. I understand that fossil fuel corporations spend big money on bribery, but the future is sustainable energy. That is where the really big money is.

Do we want to let China or another country be on the leading edge? One thing America is definitely not good at - planning for the future.

MU82

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2024, 07:31:35 AM »
Tech companies have been laying off tens of thousands of employees the last year-plus; for the major corporations, much of the reason for the cuts is to increase profits to help share price. Here is a report from the NYT's DealBook newsletter:

Tech giants are set to report quarterly earnings, starting today with Alphabet and Microsoft. Wall Street is expecting good news, including more progress on artificial intelligence.

But the industry has also relied on another strategy to improve financials: layoffs. The cuts aren’t as widespread as last year, when hundreds of thousands of jobs were eliminated. But they’re a reminder that the tech sector is still trying to find its footing after a boom in hiring during the coronavirus pandemic and finding ways to preserve dizzying stock gains.

About 100 companies have cut 25,000 positions this year, according to Layoffs.fyi. By comparison, more than 1,000 companies eliminated about 260,000 last year.

So far this month: Microsoft announced 1,900 cuts in its video game division, including at its recently acquired Activision Blizzard; Google laid off hundreds of employees, including in its engineering ranks and its hardware division; and Amazon said it was laying off hundreds, including 35 percent of the work force at its Twitch unit.

Not all layoffs are the same, The Times notes:

++ For big tech companies, job cuts have been a way to reduce spending on noncore operations and extract the kind of cost savings that Wall Street loves. Now, those cuts are more targeted: In the case of Meta, that means reducing the number of middle managers at Instagram.

++For smaller tech businesses, it’s more a matter of survival. Start-ups have been finding it harder to raise capital as risk-averse venture capitalists keep their wallets closed. In the words of Nabeel Hyatt, a general partner at Spark Capital, these fledgling companies “are just trying to gain runway to survive.”

The cuts will probably continue so long as investors love them. Wall Street has rewarded tech companies that laid off thousands with higher stock prices. Meta’s shares have soared since it embarked on a self-described “year of efficiency” last year that has made it a third slimmer employee-wise. Those cost savings, coupled with a redoubled bet on A.I., has helped push the tech giant’s market value to over $1 trillion.

And venture capitalists have told DealBook that they’re ready to invest in start-ups — but that it helps if those companies have made themselves leaner. That, the investors say, will enable them to operate better in potentially difficult times.


I'll add a personal anecdote:

My SIL is a software engineer who apparently is talented, given his ability to go from one major company to another, always at nice pay raises. Last year, he decided to leave his employer for a much-better-paying job with another company. While he was negotiating with his new soon-to-be-new employer, his soon-to-be-former employer announced several thousand job cuts, including most of his department. As a result of being laid off, he received 8 weeks of severance pay, 3 months of full medical and other benefits. Meanwhile, he finalized his deal with his new company and negotiated a later start date because ... why not ... his previous employer was paying him handsomely to not work. So he got to spend extra time with his kids, and they went on a big family trip. He's very happy at his new employer (not so new, really, it's been almost a year now). He said that all of the people he knew in his department at the previous company who were laid off have found new jobs in the industry, though not all were at higher compensation.

“It’s not how white men fight.” - Tucker Carlson

TSmith34, Inc.

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2024, 08:45:18 AM »
Similarly, and not surprisingly, my friends in tech are all terrified of the short- and long-term ramifications of AI on their job/career prospects. Quite the shoe-on-the-other-foot situation where tech is coming for THIER jobs.
If you think for one second that I am comparing the USA to China you have bumped your hard.

MU82

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2024, 08:51:13 AM »
Similarly, and not surprisingly, my friends in tech are all terrified of the short- and long-term ramifications of AI on their job/career prospects. Quite the shoe-on-the-other-foot situation where tech is coming for THIER jobs.

MY SIL has talked about that, too. He thinks he'll be fine because he actually does some work in AI, but he thinks it could definitely affect some of his friends, as well as the next generation.
“It’s not how white men fight.” - Tucker Carlson

JWags85

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2024, 09:00:09 AM »
Similarly, and not surprisingly, my friends in tech are all terrified of the short- and long-term ramifications of AI on their job/career prospects. Quite the shoe-on-the-other-foot situation where tech is coming for THIER jobs.

I think its a huge issue for "low" level coding/programming in the short term.  But I still think AI is the big bogeyman that people are freaking out over absent actual reasoning/usage, much like "blockchain" over the last few years.

There are absolutely usages and its gonna be a sea change for any number of places, notably in tech.  But I see more and more "using AI" as a buzzword without actually using AI.

Goose

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2024, 09:32:58 AM »
My wife has worked in big Pharma for the past 5-6 years and there are similarities to tech in regard to people moving around to higher paying jobs. Since the middle of last year my wife has seen a good number of her co-workers laid off and few jumping to new jobs. According to her, the hiring and poaching of people has slowed down a great deal. She had recruiters contacting her on a weekly basis for the past few years and she said that is down well over 50%.

IMO, it is largely due to companies being over staffed with high paying jobs and it is an easy target for cost cutting. While Sultan may believe I am a doomsday guy, I think the reality of things is that companies will do whatever is needed to hit profit numbers. I get it completely, but never understood the over staffing part of things.

MU82

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2024, 09:44:36 AM »
My wife has worked in big Pharma for the past 5-6 years and there are similarities to tech in regard to people moving around to higher paying jobs. Since the middle of last year my wife has seen a good number of her co-workers laid off and few jumping to new jobs. According to her, the hiring and poaching of people has slowed down a great deal. She had recruiters contacting her on a weekly basis for the past few years and she said that is down well over 50%.

IMO, it is largely due to companies being over staffed with high paying jobs and it is an easy target for cost cutting. While Sultan may believe I am a doomsday guy, I think the reality of things is that companies will do whatever is needed to hit profit numbers. I get it completely, but never understood the over staffing part of things.

As the economy opened back up after Covid, lots of people - especially (but not only) those over 55 - just completely left the workforce. They hadn't thought they'd retire that early but once they were out of work for months on end, they decided not to go back.

Meanwhile, during the worst of Covid, all the stuff you do at home was selling big-time: computers, laptops, video games, tablets, phones, subscription services. The big tech companies, as well as service companies, didn't have enough employees to meet demand. Same with hospitals and most medical industries. So there was a hiring frenzy.

Then, after the vaccines came out and Covid subsided to the point that people could go on with their lives, the economic recovery was robust (because it was rebounding from such a low level). Restaurants, bars and various "experiential" outfits were brimming with customers - or they would have been if they had enough staff to operate at full capacity. So again, there was a hiring frenzy in those industries.

But because the economy always ebbs and flows - and because it isn't a monolith, due to the bazillion industries and entities that make up the economy - many companies/industries realized they were overstaffed. So that necessitated some layoffs.

Kind of a simplistic view, and probably nothing you didn't know, but that's how I understand the basics of it.
“It’s not how white men fight.” - Tucker Carlson

reinko

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2024, 09:52:49 AM »
I've worked in software sales the last five years, and it's no joke how many companies, and not just the large ones like Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Adobe...I am talking like business with like 50 -100 employees spent like drunken sailors with a fire hose of VC money on increasing their headcounts in late 2020, 2021 and 2022, assuming the astronomical growth could be sustained their solutions saw from the ramifications of COVID.

Before: GROW GROW GROW who cares what is costs
Now: GROW GROW GROW, no VC new money, cut jobs, and have a path to profitability in 18 months
« Last Edit: January 30, 2024, 10:04:47 AM by reinko »

TSmith34, Inc.

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2024, 10:00:58 AM »
I think its a huge issue for "low" level coding/programming in the short term.  But I still think AI is the big bogeyman that people are freaking out over absent actual reasoning/usage, much like "blockchain" over the last few years.

There are absolutely usages and its gonna be a sea change for any number of places, notably in tech.  But I see more and more "using AI" as a buzzword without actually using AI.
I think you are correct re blockchain in terms of being a buzzword, when saying you were a blockchain company added multiples to your valuation. And now every single company is being asked about their AI strategy.

But while blockchain is a useful technology, I think the similarity ends there in terms of impact. AI, while really just sophisticated programming, is already having much wider spread impacts. Coding, copy editing, call centers, all of them are already being impacted. I think the breadth of impact will be quite amazing.

Thinking hopefully, I believe AI has the potential to improve our wildly expensive and inefficient healthcare system, amongst other things.
If you think for one second that I am comparing the USA to China you have bumped your hard.

jesmu84

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2024, 10:15:27 AM »
So far this month: Microsoft announced 1,900 cuts in its video game division, including at its recently acquired Activision Blizzard; Google laid off hundreds of employees, including in its engineering ranks and its hardware division; and Amazon said it was laying off hundreds, including 35 percent of the work force at its Twitch unit.

This was a foretold consequence before the government allowed the merger/takeover

4everwarriors

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2024, 11:41:08 AM »
UPS layin' off 12,000 employees. Oh and da economy iz just hummin' along purfectlee. Huh? Bullchit, aina?
"Give 'Em Hell, Al"

SoCalEagle

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2024, 12:11:47 PM »
So they're laying off 2% of their workforce. And it's January, you know the month after a big holiday that requires a lot of deliveries that are no longer required. 

12,000 out of 536,000.  Meh ....

MU_B

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2024, 12:18:26 PM »
So they're laying off 2% of their workforce. And it's January, you know the month after a big holiday that requires a lot of deliveries that are no longer required. 

12,000 out of 536,000.  Meh ....


It's not warehouse and delivery people getting laid off.  The holiday bump in workers are hired as temporary / part time.  This appears to be office people.


"The positions that would be eliminated this year are not union jobs, according to the Teamsters. The layoffs will instead affect managerial staff, “throughout the world and in all functions,” a statement by UPS said. The moves reflect a “change in the way we work,” Ms. Tomé said, and even if business rebounds, those jobs may not come back. Employees will also be expected to work from the office five days a week, she added."
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/30/business/ups-layoffs-rising-wages-union-contract.html
Willfully misinformed.

Uncle Rico

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #41 on: January 30, 2024, 12:21:55 PM »
UPS layin' off 12,000 employees. Oh and da economy iz just hummin' along purfectlee. Huh? Bullchit, aina?

They should call E Jean Carroll, the woman raped by the Republican front runner.  She can provide some loans
Tis a shame, 'tis a rotton shame, for if ye can enjoy the walkin’ ye can probably enjoy the other times in yer life when ve're in between. And that's most o' the time; wouldn't ye say?

Jockey

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #42 on: January 30, 2024, 12:23:02 PM »
UPS layin' off 12,000 employees. Oh and da economy iz just hummin' along purfectlee. Huh? Bullchit, aina?

Typical post by you.

Why don't you give us a list (it would be a long one) of new jobs created? I'm sure you would have posted about buggy makers who lost their jobs with the invention of the automobile - ignoring the new jobs created.

JWags85

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #43 on: January 30, 2024, 12:24:51 PM »
I think you are correct re blockchain in terms of being a buzzword, when saying you were a blockchain company added multiples to your valuation. And now every single company is being asked about their AI strategy.

But while blockchain is a useful technology, I think the similarity ends there in terms of impact. AI, while really just sophisticated programming, is already having much wider spread impacts. Coding, copy editing, call centers, all of them are already being impacted. I think the breadth of impact will be quite amazing.

Thinking hopefully, I believe AI has the potential to improve our wildly expensive and inefficient healthcare system, amongst other things.

I dont disagree about the future of AI at all.  I was more speaking to the similarity between the 2 in how they are used as buzzwords.  The vast majority of transformative AI right now is not in "sexy" functions.  Its taking care of the brutal slog work and other stuff behind the scenes.  The stuff I'm talking about is people acting like they have some futuristic robot mind powering crazy app functions or other stuff.

For example, I know of a company that created app to combat fraud in the jewelry industry.  Lots of talk in their marketing materials and social media about "AI powered" and "using artificial intelligence" to do XY and Z.  In reality, its simple (and rather buggy) image matching done only if the fonts are exactly the same.  And further, most matches actually have a manual human review as well.  The only true "AI" is a chatbot the interfaces in the app.   Ive seen plenty of other situations similar to this.   Which is a far cry from where AI is gonna save tons of time, money, and human capital and create a ton of value in the near term.

MU82

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2024, 12:25:29 PM »
UPS layin' off 12,000 employees. Oh and da economy iz just hummin' along purfectlee. Huh? Bullchit, aina?

From Business Insider, Jan. 2, 2020:

Job cuts in the US were the highest in four years in 2019 even as the economy maintained a historically low unemployment rate, according to a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Employers announced plans to eliminate 592,556 jobs last year, a 10% rise from 2018 levels.

Layoffs weren't just invented. They have happened in every economy, under every president, under every Congress, ever.

It's not always about your anger, your feelings and your devotion to your cause.
“It’s not how white men fight.” - Tucker Carlson

Pakuni

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2024, 12:25:49 PM »
UPS layin' off 12,000 employees. Oh and da economy iz just hummin' along purfectlee. Huh? Bullchit, aina?

Sucks for those being laid off, but I suspect even you're smart enough to recognize that layoffs at one company are not reflective of the labor market as a whole.
Said labor market added 216,000 jobs last month.

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf


4everwarriors

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2024, 12:52:33 PM »
Typical post by you.

Why don't you give us a list (it would be a long one) of new jobs created? I'm sure you would have posted about buggy makers who lost their jobs with the invention of the automobile - ignoring the new jobs created.



Keep denying and defending anything the BOTUS spits out. The truth hurts, hey?

#economyisnotfine
"Give 'Em Hell, Al"

Uncle Rico

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2024, 12:59:44 PM »


Keep denying and defending anything the BOTUS spits out. The truth hurts, hey?

#economyisnotfine

Could be

#explainsriseindentalcriminals
Tis a shame, 'tis a rotton shame, for if ye can enjoy the walkin’ ye can probably enjoy the other times in yer life when ve're in between. And that's most o' the time; wouldn't ye say?

Goose

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2024, 01:18:38 PM »
82

Is it your SIL or BIL? Just curious.

TSmith34, Inc.

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Re: US Economy thread
« Reply #49 on: January 30, 2024, 01:29:03 PM »
Sucks for those being laid off, but I suspect even you're smart enough to recognize that layoffs at one company are not reflective of the labor market as a whole.
Said labor market added 216,000 jobs last month.

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf
Assumes facts not in evidence. His mind is gone.

This is the guy who insists that Obama is actually running the White House, and simultaneously insists that Biden is both senile AND brilliantly running a global scam to inflate oil prices in order to drive acceptance of green energy. The fact that he believes all three things at once is cognitive dissonance at its finest.

Any facts that conflict with his beliefs are dismissed as fake news.

Sad.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2024, 01:31:05 PM by TSmith34, Inc. »
If you think for one second that I am comparing the USA to China you have bumped your hard.

 

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