Whither Labor?

It is Labor Day in the US, a day where we celebrate the organized labor movement. Though it wasn’t until 1894 that Labor Day became an official federal holiday, the concept of Labor Day goes back to the middle of the 19th century, when the labor movement really took off in the US.

The labor movement and the industrial economy go hand in hand. One begat the other.

But as globalization has caused the industrial economy to move to lower cost parts of the world, the role of labor in the US economy has declined.

And with automation on the horizon, it begs the issue of where the entire concept of labor is headed.

I don’t have any great answers to this question to be honest. But it is something I think about a lot. And so I will think about it a little bit more today.

Update: My partner has a longer and more thoughtful post on this topic on his blog today.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Peter Barnes

    I think we all feel the connection between our labor and our identity – ‘founder’ being the great contemporary example. Creating a sense of identity in a post-labor society is a challenge and opportunity.

  2. William Mougayar

    Interesting though that international Labor Day for most countries is May 1st. I think Canada and the US are the only countries that celebrate it in September.

    1. jason wright

      in my country it always was 1st May, but in recent years the state and media have attempted to rebrand it as being simply a ‘public holiday’. the political significance of it has been airbrushed out and neutralised. there’s no place for that in ‘modern’ Britain, although Corbyn and Momentum are working hard to change the direction of travel.North America and mass socio economic movements don’t seem to mix too well. i assume it was for political reasons that 1st May is not celebrated where you are.

      1. William Mougayar

        Not sure what the historical truth is. https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…It seems the US was inspired by Canada:”Some maintain that Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor put forward the first proposal in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada.”

        1. jason wright

          a true Marxist socialist would never suggest a day not 1st May. it would be an outrage! 🙂

    2. Guesty McGuesterson

      It is interesting that the event being commemorated ( which occurred on May 4th ) happened in the United States (in Chicago), and the United States doesn’t observe the date in May.

  3. Brandon Burns

    “The Labor Movement… [is a] general term for the collective organization of working people developed to represent and campaign for better working conditions and treatment from their employers.” – WikipediaI think equating the labor movement with manufacturing is a mistake. The day will never come when employers stop overreaching in their efforts to get the most out of their employees, and the day will never come that there won’t be need for a labor movement to protect workers when that happens. No matter the industry. Tech will not upend that.

    1. jason wright

      in my country the ‘labour movement’ has been under attack by the state and its friends for 35 years.

  4. China Startups

    The industrial age turns humans to machines. Now automation will turn machines to humans. It is part of evolution.

    1. Twain Twain

      Hmmn … automation doesn’t turn machines into humans. They REPLACE and try to replicate the mathematical and technical abilities of humans.

  5. jason wright

    ‘labour’ is just a label. people are multifaceted beings. they will thrive.

  6. Tom Labus

    No storm which makes for a much better Labor Day. Enjoy your day!

  7. William Mougayar

    Interesting nuance for those who are jumping on the “labor” label as a moniker that faces automation.The way this holiday is named in other parts of the world is Work, not Labor, e.g. “Fete du travail”. Then we should see it as a celebration of Work (not Labor).

    1. Vasudev Ram

      Yes. Also interesting is the difference in the meaning of travail between French (and possibly the other Romance languages, if that is the right term – I mean ones like French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian) vs. English. I’m mentioning this both because of your comment and because I happened to read some paragraphs of text in French a few days ago, and noticed the word travail used in the context of work or a job, whereas in English it may signify labor but also has the connotation of suffering or hardship (which are not necessarily identical, though there can be some overlap).

  8. Kent Karlsen

    As an entrepreneur I work 1st of May (labor day in Scandinavia). It’s a nice day to do strategy work and think about the great people I work with. History tells us that hard working employees create wealth for share holders world wide. Without workers, finance would not do great. I think workers deserve one day off. Managers, share holders, entrepreneurs and finance people should always reflect how the future should be.Entprepreneurs make an impact when deciding saleries, sales price on products and how we create wealth to share holders. What I see from the last couple of years in Europe, it’s a big opportunity to change old business models from old school managed companies. Changing old business models is very powerful and increase profit a lot. In companies that I help restructuring, we pay good saleries but focus hard on better customer experience (old school got lazy :). We will always need real people. Now there is a discussion of a 30 hours week (instead of 37,5 today). Is that a smart move? I don’t know, but I support minimum wages to have a good life.

  9. Matt Zagaja

    The well of human needs and desires may well be bottomless. I do prey and hope that automation improves the economy that I live in, and sometimes worry it is not happening fast enough.The real gift and curse of technology, the reason we need a labor movement, is that it has significantly lowered the barrier to entry for many jobs. The “skills” moat is drying up, being vacuumed by YouTube and intelligent assistants. Soon augmented and mixed reality headsets like Hololens will empower people without much knowledge or experience to more effectively do things like repair their own automobiles. If workers do not have a union advocating on their behalf then the people with the jobs are the ones willing to accept the worst terms and conditions.

  10. PhilipSugar

    I love the fact that you say I don’t have any great answers. I will think about it.Damn. So many politicians need the guts to say this.Instead we have lawyers or idiots that have a don’t have an answer but state their opinion with absolute strength and conviction.

  11. LIAD

    I don’t know where labour is headed – but I do know the most important side effect will be income volatility.The transition from agricultural to industrial economy caused mass unemployment and impoverishment. It’s effects were so colossal — it birthed the creation of national social security.Our current transition to a digital economy is of a similar magnitude. The nature of work is changing. Future labour markets will bear scant resemblance to existing ones.The rigid employment standards of the past are gone. Full-time jobs, fixed hours and predictable incomes have been replaced. The new normal is flexible employment, no guaranteed hours, volatile paychecks, and most importantly, frequent painful income shocks.Volatile monthly income already affects 90% of US households (JPMorgan Chase Institute).Income volatility forces people to live in a financial twilight zone characterised by reliance on expensive credit, problem debt and monstrous anxiety. People on volatile incomes are more susceptible to health problems and less productive at work. Their children do worse at school.The costs and negative externalities of income volatility are so hated and pervasive a recent Pew study showed 92% of Americans would prefer a lower salary that was stable, rather than a higher one that was volatile!—- automation isn’t the problem, income volatility is. watch this space.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      “watch this space.”… I’m open to falling from gra-a-ace.

  12. awaldstein

    The more experienced I become the more sure I am of things I’m not sure of.Labor unions are one.Raised up in the middle class with one bread winner an organizer for labor in the garment district and one the teachers union they are what made life better.Times have changed. My opinions are as well on this but the unions were core to my own opportunities.

    1. PhilipSugar

      I think like most big organizations, they become corpulent as they grow and non founders who are political animals take over.It’s true for almost all large organizations (sorry, that’s why I love startups)

      1. awaldstein

        Yup agree.But must say, doing more work with larger corps around digital transformation and communications and liking the challenge of moving large ships in different directions.Powerful when it works.

        1. PhilipSugar

          I am finding the joy of being in a skunk works. But I still battle the political animals. It helps when you don’t have to care and people know that. Scares the hell out of the political ones.

    2. laurie kalmanson

      unions were invented because capital and management were unable on their own to offer workers decent lives. if capital and management had treated labor as human beings, unions would never have been necessary.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        It’s a shame.

      2. awaldstein

        and because there was no way to really organize without them.shit ain’t perfect today but our tools to organize, community and drive change are off the charts.

    3. laurie kalmanson

      The Golf LinksThe golf links lie so near the millThat almost every day The laboring children can look outAnd see the men at play.Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn

    4. Kirsten Lambertsen

      My husband’s a teacher in NJ, and from watching the goings-on I can attest that we still need unions.When people say unions are corrupt now, so abolish them, I say that apparently we need to abolish *everything* that organizes humans because it’s all corrupt.Today, our garbage collectors came. My husband ran out to put the can on the street because he never dreamt they’d be picking up on Labor Day. He asked one of them, “I thought you guys had today off?” The man replied, “My boss doesn’t BELIEVE in Labor Day!” The city starting hiring private contractors for garbage collection a year or so ago.I firmly believe we still need unions, even flawed ones. Citing corruption is a straw man.

      1. awaldstein

        You touch on something prime which is where groups meet government and influence touches budget and control.I don’t know enough to comment in specifics but I do know that the dynamics of lobbying for change is always a bit of a mess.Thanks!

  13. JLM

    .Labor, our individual work, is how we define ourselves and the labor movement in the United States fought and won some substantial battles. Like any old soldier, they have a tendency to overstate the significance.Alas, they have now become corrupt organizations which use the dues of their members to fund their own extravagant compensation and to create troughs at which politicians kneel and worship them regardless of the political persuasion of their members.I worked for a non-union/union “double breasted” construction company from high school through college. I was studying civil engineering, so the work was of great interest to me.In those days, the minimum wage was $1.40 going to $1.60 by law. I started at $1.25/hour (the correct wage the year before). While I worked for whichever shop required my labor, the union got me a better wage and, most importantly, training.I was a cement finisher (actually just a cement laborer at first) and the union taught me to finish concrete (work the snot), install forms, lay rebar, edge the concrete, and, in my big break, how to run a powered finishing trowel. [I got selected for the powered trowel because I was big enough to handle it. It was a beast when you were learning and you could wreck a pour in a second if you didn’t do it right.]As a power trowel operator, I got an extra $0.50/hour and when I could run the Three Headed Monster (the power finisher with three heads which was used on huge warehouse floor jobs), I got an extra $1.00/hr.The union business agent (guy we knew from church, solid as a rock) would come by and make sure I had the right tools and working conditions. He made sure I got paid overtime — even when working on the non-union side of the house — and that I got my premium pay.Made sure they fed me when I was working a lot of OT. When they didn’t, he’d go to McDonald’s and get me four cheeseburgers (those little grease spots on a bun, no quarter pounders in those days) and fries.On real big pours, I would report for work at 7:00 AM and work until the concrete was “put to bed” which might be at 2:00 AM the next morning. I got 1.5 X for the first 4 hours over 8 and then 2.0 X for the rest. When the job finished at 2:00 AM, sometimes I slept at the job site (in the project trailer) cause the construction company had to, otherwise, come get me and transport me home.The union business agent made sure I had a sleeping bag and water and a place to clean up.That union taught me a skill, taught me how to work, taught me about working men, and instilled in me the respect and dignity for work, working men, and management. [They taught me to put moisturizer on my hands to keep them from cracking when I was working the snot. Haha, the secret to a great cement finisher is … wait for it … moisturizer.]My union dues were 5% of my gross pay which was a great bargain considering the formal training I received and the better wages they got me. In those days, there were no real benefits that I could use.When I went for training at night (two nights a week), they fed me and gave me beer. I also met some of the hardest working, toughest SOBs on the planet. It was a manly environment and it was a great exemplar on the road to manhood.All good stuff.Today, none of that exists. The union bosses want 15% in dues and they provide no training. They pay themselves huge compensation. They sit on their asses in big, plush offices and they have benefits that are disproportionately greater than their own members — who pick up the tab for all of this. Hell, some unions have their own country clubs for the bosses.They pay off the politicians and the politicians pass “make work” rules and Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rules which drive work in the direction of the unions, thereby perpetuating the crooked scheme.They have killed the goose that laid the golden egg.So, long live the unions I knew. The unions are dead to me.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. JamesHRH

      There you have the death of unions, explained in one post.If you name a community or institution that is in decline, it 100% correlates to poop leadership.

    2. Tom Labus

      I ran a cement mixer for a construction site. You never stopped. One load after another. I had to run hot water on my hands in the morning to “unclaw” them. I was up to four sandwiches from home at the end of the summer. I liked it. No unions in sight

  14. PhilipSugar

    The one suggestion, not answer that I have, and have been beating for twenty years:Don’t decrease taxes.Give a tax credit for every employee that you employee in the U.S. that makes a living wage and is provided medical insurance.Full disclosure: That would help me.

    1. LE

      Give a tax credit for every employee that you employee in the U.S. that makes a living wage and is provided medical insurance.Never going to happen in any substantive way. For one thing trade agreements might prevent that (government subsidy so there are lower prices) and as a second thing you’d have to factor in the loss from companies (um like you) that are already doing that anyway. And more importantly a huge number of large companies. So ok you will say “limit this to companies under ‘x’ employees” well they are already dealing this way because at their size they have to.In other words how many people are a) employees in the US and b) make a living wage and c) are provided medical insurance already?

  15. panterosa,

    Primarily for smaller companies and individuals who sell their services the new balancing act is the work around the work. Usually, people are in business to do the work, and increasing they do less of it.The ratio shifts on how many hours you do the actual work vs. how many hours are required to make that work happen (meet/acquire, sell, bill, ship etc). This ratio is fluid and parts are now automated, but often that does not change the amount of time doing the actual work. It’s not just regulatory drag, it’s a fundamental shift in how many think we ought to work, for whom busy work is the work.

  16. sigmaalgebra

    Most of the world and still much of the US, for the economy and life more generally, is, sorry to say, not pleasant, still too close to Darwin and, in particular, dog eat dog and may he devil take the hind most.For the US, for a child:(1) Have good parents that, starting at birth, do well teaching, do well with education, with emotional, verbal, psychological, social, creative, artistic, empathetic, moral, ethical, religious, athletic, academic, mechanical, rational, quantitative, scientific, technical, romantic, entrepreneurial development.(2) Have several siblings, of both genders, and via them learn more about people, make contacts with more people, etc. E.g., a boy can meet girlfriend candidates by meeting the friends of his younger sisters. From an older brother, get first lessons in riding a bicycle.(3) Have parents who have a good family business, and grow up participating in that business.(4) Get a higher education that will, for life, let one have some strong advantages at the leading edge of new developments and opportunties in the economy. For much of education, both elementary and higher, get this at home via independent study with guidance from parents, older siblings, aunts and uncles, friends of the family, and experts, e.g., good college professors.(5) As a child, work for some people, say, as an intern, and also start some businesses, say, as a sole proprietor entrepreneur. Have parents help with teaching how to do the work of the business, making contacts to get customers, marketing, keeping customers happy, handling customer complaints, etc., even just for grass mowing, other yard work, …, landscaping, landscape architecture.(6) For formal education, try to take shortcuts, that is, get through K-12 in less than 13 years, get a Bachelor’s degree in less than 4 years, and get a Ph.D. in about 2 years. Do this as a result of the independent study and good guidance. Due in part to the rise of computing, the concentration in such education should be technical and, there, likely pure and applied mathematics. The technical material stands to be good for the short term, say, the first 15 years of a career, and the mathematics might be good for the short term and stands to be the best, at least as a foundation, for the long term.(7) Proceed to be successful in the economy, at first working for others and later, definitely, starting own business that will hopefully become own family business for own family.

  17. pointsnfigures

    public sector unions are a bane on the American economy.

  18. Elia Freedman

    Wait! My parents got that all wrong. They thought Labor Day was the day you were supposed to give birth.

  19. iggyfanlo

    The labor movement and the industrial economy go hand in hand. One begat the other.Just as the information economy will beget a consumer data union. The greatest asset (FW: data is the new oil) from information economy is data.

  20. LE

    My dad was a ‘labor organizer’ for a very short time in the 1950’s. His boss at the time (a lighting manufacturer) asked him to bring in the union because they needed a union bug to get some contracts or for some other reason. He made it all happen but when it became time to sign he demurred saying that he was (correctly) management and couldn’t join the union (which left everyone somewhat confused as he told the story).

    1. creative group

      LE:Most are confused on management bringing in the Union. What a business would do for money.

  21. WA

    The road to hell – for many in this context -continues to be paved with optimized intentions. Kopin Tan provides a great Streetwise column in this weeks Barron’s. “A Labor Day Conundrum”.

  22. Pete Griffiths

    It’s a deep problem.It is of course why some are considering a minimum living wage even for the unemployed.

  23. george

    Education is the key, and underscore next generation talent/labor/knowledge skills. In most companies, you either build or buy the capabilities you need to further your goal. Same thing is happening today, a growing portion of talent is supplied through H-1B visas, making up for what’s lacking internally. What does all this-signal? Best talent, lack of talent; probably somewhere in between. Our education system is unfortunately running behind, and alignment through governance is sadly horrible.The meaning of Labor Day is a bit different for me, its about my Wife and Son, their wellbeing and being able to enjoy the moment and less about the possible turbulent times and systems that are powering ahead.

  24. Thor Snilsberg

    The National Labor Museum near Paterson, NJ is fascinating. http://www.labormuseum.net/If you like labor and/or innovation, take a moment to read up on the history of Paterson. It has a great cast of characters starting with Alexander Hamilton and diversity that rivals any American census tract. At one time or another Paterson produced: the most silk in the world (this is the original story of power loom automation that replaced labor), all the sail cloth for the new US Navy, the Colt Revolver that “won the wild west,” steam locomotives, the engine for the Spirit of St. Louis, the most WWII airplane engines, the list goes on….The hotlinks in the list “Why Paterson Matters” will blow your mind, http://www.hamiltonpartners…Of course everyone at CityScience is biased after developing the STEM programs for the newest National Park located in America’s first planned industrial city – Paterson, NJ!

  25. creative group

    LE:a common theme you listed in your lending items out. (Non blood/extended family members)

  26. Anne Libby

    As an MBA student in the 90s, I heard the econ prof say that the minimum wage was “irrelevant” because labor unions, effectively, set the floor…20 years later, here we are.

  27. Twain Twain

    Cartoonists often see what we can’t (yet).

  28. PhilipSugar

    You know I think about this a bunch.I love construction projects. I have a huge one at my house. Over 200 tons of material has been moved and brought in so far.I tip every person $10 a day that is there when I leave and there when I come back.(the bank laughs when I ask for a bunch of tens……they say what are we doing now?)For Labor day they got a $20.I agree with Fred I don’t have a good answer.I want to buy stuff where people get paid a fair wage.But I shop price. I love Amazon. But I don’t love their Labor policies.I don’t want to pay people to not work. I see the results of people that don’t work.I don’t have a good answer.But you know I hope you do well because you are doing good.Godspeed Brother.

  29. LE

    if your primary goal is squeezing out every last drop of profitWell actually if you are in a situation where your competition is highly automated and you are not then you do as well. Because you have to. And even you would admit that there are cases where automation has been a net win. Car manufacturing, printing and publishing to name only a few areas. Where exactly, may I ask, do you draw the line at “squeeze” and simply staying in business. Not to even mention that automation isn’t only about (and I really hate that you said it this way) “squeezing out every last drop of profit” but also about lowering the price that you charge your customer. Right? And eliminating people mistakes.everyone who has health insurance, decent wages, safe working conditions, a cleaner environment and time off–you can thank unions.I don’t know if that’s even factually correct. Businesses offered health insurance to workers independent of the labor movement and what it negotiated for for their workers. And by the use of “everyone” you are talking about a subset of workers. It’s obvious that many workers had decent wages and safe working conditions w/o the help of unions even before there were unions. And also when I had machinery the motivation for providing safety and good working conditions (put in air conditioning for example and always made sure that guards were on the machines as well as other safety devices) was because it was a) common sense and b) osha and c) insurance inspections. But honestly more “a”. I guess what I reject while noting there were poor working conditions is this idea that men are bad by nature. Not doubting that unions improved things for many however also no doubt they got two powerful and greedy. Ever been shaken down at a trade show in the 70’s at the convention center? I saw it happen.Do you have a union? Would you do anything different if there was no organized labor movement when you started your business? (Meaning you were around in the 1900’s or before the heyday of labor. )

  30. awaldstein

    You raise an interesting point I’ve been thinking about.You simply cannot scale and remain artisanal in the food biz. Not possible.But you can continue to be authentic and make an honest product. That’s who I think you are with your company and what you might think about as you iterate your brand.

  31. laurie kalmanson

    replacing cashiers with self checkout … then going back to cashiers; turns out that managing the machines was more effort and cost than managing the peoplehttp://fortune.com/2015/10/…

  32. Vasudev Ram

    Right.Also: Small is Beautiful.https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…(Posted it on A VC a while ago, but since it is relevant to this thread …)Excerpt from the Wikipedia article:[ Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered is a collection of essays by British economist E. F. Schumacher. The phrase “Small Is Beautiful” came from a phrase by his teacher Leopold Kohr.[1] It is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more, in contrast with phrases such as “bigger is better”.First published in 1973, Small Is Beautiful brought Schumacher’s critiques of Western economics to a wider audience during the 1973 energy crisis and emergence of globalization. The Times Literary Supplement ranked Small Is Beautiful among the 100 most influential books published since World War II.[2]]A thing that some people may not realize is that the majority of humans were doing it that way (living and working in small-to-medium-sized communities, though large cities did exist long ago too), for most of human history.https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

  33. PhilipSugar

    I know for a fact they are testing those.

  34. Lawrence Brass

    one worker = one consumerTo work properly, the system needs consumers with functional wallets.Makes me wonder if anyone is working on creating robots than can react to advertising and that have money to spend, to replace all the consumers automation wipes out.That will be a revolution. 😉

  35. Twain Twain

    Yeah, there’s Cafe X which won Launch startup competition so baristas will be out-of-jobs — not just grill cooks.* https://www.youtube.com/wat

  36. JLM

    .Old wine new bottles.Automation has been around for a long time.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  37. Twain Twain

    Exactly, JLM. Cafe X is just a vending machine on steroids.@ccrystle:disqus – I’m the type who goes out of their way to find the artisans and crafters (bakers, baristas and furniture makers). Sure, tech makes a lot of things “convenient” but that’s not the same as “engaging”.And I love chatting with my local bakers, baristas etc. It’s human.

  38. Twain Twain

    Haha, Lawrence. Maybe @wmoug:disqus can help us with allocating Ether to AI so they can then spend on smart contracts and other virtual goods.

  39. LE

    Well correct me if I am wrong but you tipping the workers (in that way) is not so much because you care about them but because a) you want to make them care about your job and b) it makes you feel good to do so. Nothing wrong with that of course. After all you don’t go around all day giving random $10 tips to workers elsewhere, right?Many people for example tip at Starbucks every day. That doesn’t make much sense to me given that my drink now costs $4 and I spend $1200 per year there. I never do that. I do tend to tip in the same situation that you do but typically at the end of the job and it doesn’t even have to do with whether I will ever see the person again. As mentioned I also tip when not using the valet sometimes when I self park mainly in all honesty (in that case) to avoid a guilty feeling and potential evil eye.

  40. LE

    Great so people will not invest money in your business (shareholders) they will invest in the business that makes them the most money so that they can retire and live off their investments. Which is at least one of the reasons that ordinary (even union workers with pension funds) invest money.

  41. sigmaalgebra

    One could argue, I wouldn’t really, but one could, that (A) Amazon just draws from the existing situation of the labor supply and (B) if find that situation distasteful, ugly, inhumane, an open sore on our society, one that won’t heal for decades, fertile ground for horrible social problems, little things like those, and, thus, don’t like it, then do something about it.Maybe blog about it. Make it a political issue. Work for, vote for politicians who are ready, willing, able, and eager to do something good about it. E.g., get the US back to a labor shortage so that, then, workers are appreciated and employers are willing to train for the skills they need. E.g., then even Amazon, that just draws from the existing situation of the labor supply, if like that description, will have to compete for workers.Realize that in the US, if add up all the costs and all the benefits, have to conclude that, for the US as a whole, slavery is too darned expensive. So, here in the US, we should quit trying to create a slave labor underclass.Realize that there is and long has been a really good reason it was standard in US education to have kids sing the National Anthem, recite the US Pledge of Allegiance, take courses in US history and in civics where learn about our Declaration of Independence, our democracy, the Constitution, the three branches of government, our legal system, etc. It’s, right, about US citizenship, making good citizens loyal to and devoted to the US. I am and I trust that so are you, in the next voting booth, on a jury, and in a foxhole.Then, by the same reasoning, having in the US a subculture that does not participate in all that US citizenship is a danger.In particular, no way do we want as one of our political leaders, especially POTUS, someone who cares mostly only about herself and hardly at all about the US and certainly don’t want a POTUS who actually hates the US and uses his office to stick it to the plurality and hurt the country in thousands of ways that do serious damage but do not actually result in impeachment, e.g., import thousands of people that have no real intention or hope of assimilation and too many of whom are ready, willing, able, and eager to be suicidal soldiers of a foreign power out to kill everyone in the US and would deploy a nuke in a major US city as soon as they could get one.For the US, US citizenship and loyalty are big time IMPORTANT. While I am not very clear on just what ended Rome, I am fully clear on some of what can seriously hurt or end the US.Our Constitution has a strong guarantee of freedom of the press. Well, we want that not for more revenue for advertisers or a tool of the rich to buy power and get richer but for better monitoring of our government. So, we want a lot of US loyalty and patriotism from our journalists and not the present usually totally in the tank — ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NYT, WaPo, LAT, The Atlantic, Salon, and more — for the Democrats and a propaganda arm of the Democrat POTUS candidate, giving TLC to her and 24 x 7 slander with distortion, made up nonsense, and outright lies for the Republican candidate. Net, in journalism, we need some patriotism, from some good citizens, from some good fostering of good citizenship.Realize that here in the US we are all in one and the same country, for national security, economic security, good neighborhoods, a good society. Thankfully we are not just 330+ million people, each standing alone against all the rest of the global economy, epidemics, wars, natural disasters, etc.Then notice that if we educate and train a worker and, then, let the international economy destroy that worker’s job and career, have just (A) written off a lot of US investment in education and training and (B) created a serious long term financial liability. Maybe don’t really want to do that? Of course we don’t want to do that. The resulting sick community, with domestic violence, neglect of children, clinical depression, drug abuse, crime, infant mortality, suicide, etc., will be just down the road from where the rest of us live.

  42. laurie kalmanson

    http://petapixel.com/2013/0…Instead of serving as a giant company that distributes your photos widely while also taking a fat slice of the profits, Stocksy is a co-operative that’s owned and operated by the photographers in the community.Its stated purpose is to “create sustainable careers, ownership and a long term professional and equity strategy for our members.”

  43. LE

    Another example of smart capable people spending their time attacking a ‘problem’ that doesn’t need to be solved. If all I cared about was the coffee I wouldn’t go to Starbucks every day. If all Starbucks sold was coffee they wouldn’t be Starbucks. [1] Also with the Starbucks app this already is possible. You just tap a button and your drink is ready when you arrive. Wouldn’t be hard to modify that so no need to tap.[1] Starbucks is:a) a sugar delivery system (it’s not just coffee) b) an environment experience (nice play to be)c) a place to meet people and get free wifi, have meetings etc.The baristas (humans) actually add to this experience. They tend to be friendly and give you a good feeling for being a patron.

  44. LE

    You’re wrong if you think you can make a returnI think you mean “can’t”.Not doubting that there is a niche of people who invest in something with a specific set of impacts that they want to see and are willing to take less profit. But numbers are numbers and more people pay attention to them then don’t. It’s also possible that at a niche level the social companies stand out more than they would if more companies were operating that way and as a result make up for what they are ‘losing’.Just checked domini and found this chart of performance, not exactly beating the market:https://www.domini.com/domi

  45. PhilipSugar

    Many reasons. Your a and b, and c: I do care about them.So the answer is d: all of the aboveI actually worry when they are using the diamond bit chain saw.I went out and gave them ear plugs and masks. I look at the fingers involved and I do worry.

  46. LE

    If that is a brick patio you are doing and you are happy with the contractors let me know I actually have a job like that I want to do.By the way are these people working for a contractor or are you employing them directly?Separately I am wondering what legal liability you have by supplying safety equipment to people working for either you or even someone else. (Even in a nominal way). If something happens I wonder what you might open yourself up to lawsuit wise. Not a reason perhaps not to do it but I would think there could be a potential issue there.I am reminded of a security camera in a parking lot that said “camera not monitored 24×7” because there is some implied obligation once you are down a particular slippery slope. In other words the act of paying attention and having oversight gives you an additional set of responsibility.

  47. JLM

    .Diamond bit concrete saw? I’ve never heard of a diamond bit chainsaw. I want one but I don’t think they exist. I have a diamond bit concrete saw.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  48. PhilipSugar

    You are right. But since it is the same make and model as my STIHL Farm Boss 290 Chain Saw which was discontinued because it was too much of a brute. That is what I call it.If we want to talk about liability LE my wife did lend that to one of the guys.Since I use Yellow chains that is an issue. https://www.stihlusa.com/in

  49. PhilipSugar

    They are doing a great job. That is the ninth pallet they have laid down. (Pool deck as well) 40 Tons of crusher run. 40 Tons of Sand. 20 Tons of brick. 10 Tons of fine sand.I only hire people that have a MHIC: https://www.dllr.state.md.u…I can check them online: https://www.dllr.state.md.u…This is where people that think there should be no government regulations are wrong.They are licensed, bonded, and insured. Handing out safety equipment does not bother me.I saw your post about cameras. I think a huge change is digital cameras, compression, and the internet.I have them front and back. I had and old guy complain about my dog biting them. Said she jumped over the fence. His wife swore about it too. Went to the video tape. He unlocked my gate and was coming to get a picture on the porch. (1839 house in historic town) I called 911, he ran. I filed a formal complaint.

  50. LE

    At the house we bought (built in 1988) when we bought it (roughly 5 years ago) the rear brick deck was collapsed and buckled all over because whoever installed that for the previous owners didn’t lay the base down correctly. Now it has to be removed and redone. We still haven’t done it keep putting it off. Different contractors have different opinions on why it happened and how to prevent it.The camera systems are great. Make sure you have a UPS on the DVR.Also those DVR systems are very insecure. I don’t even open mine up to the outside world just like I still haven’t done that with the alarm systems I installed as well. I could tell that the alarm co installer had no clue how to do it right and I haven’t had the time to dive into it either. And the guy was “the best guy who knows this stuff” (famous last words when the guy who says it doesn’t know what he is doing..)One thing you can do though is to put a computer on the local network, secure that, and then access the DVR from the local lan by way of the computer on the lan remotely (even by screen sharing quick and dirty).Other thing is those DVRs have been known to be setup to broadcast images to random chinese servers as well.If you have audio it might conflict with some wiretapping law possibly.

  51. LE

    my wife did lend that to one of the guys.Oh shit good thing nothing happened teachable moment for sure.Stihl is the brand that runs full page ads in the WSJ print edition talking about how they won’t sell through big box stores. (Showing how advertising is so hard to track sometimes it made an impact on me..)

  52. PhilipSugar

    Yes we did have a talk about that.I was overseas.They said we have to take out this tree to get the pool in. We don’t have a saw. We’ll have to come back.My wife said well my husband uses this saw.They said great. (you can see they know that brand)After they finished they said to her (in broken english)WOW that saw cuts!!When I came home they asked me why??? (my wife didn’t tell me they used my saw)Mmmm. Because you are using a chain they won’t want to sell you. It is AWESOME. But very, very unforgiving.

  53. LE

    That’s another reason you were kicked out of that proofreading job!

  54. JLM

    .I learned something today. Thanks. I want one.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  55. PhilipSugar

    You did concrete. I did tree work. Started using one when I was 12.That is the meanest saw there is. Modified carb with bigger jets and modified exhaust to increase flow to the two cycle engine, chain so aggressive and sharp the wood chips look like you used a plane, and are as long as your finger.My Dad asked me to borrow it. NO. My neighbor asked me to borrow it. NO.

  56. JLM

    .The military used to use Stihl back in the day. I love a Husqvarna Rancher. Do not tell my wife.Chain sawing, power washing. Those are things.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  57. LE

    Interesting though that your wife didn’t intuitively know how you feel about your tools. My wife knows and would never let anyone touch something of mine. Not a shirt, not a computer, not a tool, and she won’t even drive my cars or ever ask for that matter.Kids know that as well. Won’t even let them drag their bikes out of the garage by themselves for fear that they might scratch the car by mistake.

  58. awaldstein

    @JLM:disqusI was a Stihl man all the way.When I was living in N. Central BC in an A frame in the Monashees working on the green chain at night, building stringed instruments and writing during the day, I had to cut a pile of wood the size of the A frame to last the winter.Winter that was 5 months long, hitting 28 below.My back aches thinking of this though I remember this fondly. (Pics of myself in plaid shirts with gum boots and shoulder length hair, ax in hand, will never make it on this string!)

  59. pointsnfigures

    I needed this a few weeks ago. Bought a Husquervarna

  60. PhilipSugar

    No, she can lend them a tool. I don’t mind. I just want it back. My kick ass trimmer??? Ok. A jack for a tire?? Ok.Just not that one.

  61. LE

    Husqvarna best name ever. I love that name. Remember it from when I was in high school with motorcycles.Who says men aren’t different than woman?

  62. PhilipSugar

    Husqvarna has a great following never used one. People tell me Jonsered are great too.You know though??? I see more and more Echo’s being used for both trimmers and saws by commercial guys.You can buy them at Home Depot and the prices are right.

  63. JLM

    .Vive la difference? No?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  64. Donna Brewington White

    Well I do get excited when I hear the word Husqvarna. But on a different note. Did some work for KTM Motorsports, the company that acquired Husqvarna Motorcycles. Had to learn enough about the industry and motocross, etc. to talk to the people I was trying to recruit because I had to find enthusiasts or else they would have a hard time with the culture. Found both a VP Finance and Director of IT but the real test was the Field Sales roles for both KTM & Husqy. Those *guys* [1] were hard core. Surprisingly (shockingly) I was well received. I can’t remember when I had so much fun recruiting. And the side benefit was that for a while I could talk motorcycles at social events. But I was all talk. My husband *forbid* me to get a dirt bike. (In other words, made the convincing argument that there are only two types of riders: those who have fallen and those who have not YET. And everyone I recruited had a story to tell.)[1] I did meet three prospective female candidates during those searches. Only three but they were quite badass. One became a finalist for VP Finance.

  65. LE

    I am done with lending things out to people. Last time my brother in law broke down when leaving our house and I had to drive out to give him a wrench so he could attached the radiator hose in his old piece of shit (that he thinks is fast) revved up Jeep (he had a vette when he met my sister a long time ago). So no big deal but it took a year before I got the wrench back. Not the value it’s just aggravating. And I even have some drill bits and other tools that I brought home from the office so my stepdaughter could use them on a project (with my wife). Last I checked they are sitting in the basement where kids play when they come over. I hate having to keep track of things that I would lend people I have just found tend to be really lame about getting things back. Still never got back the DVD (Enron disaster) that I lent to an old girlfriend’s father over 8 years ago.Then there is the medicine that disappears from the medicine cabinet when the kids need it for something. So when I need it it’s not there. I have to keep a secret stash for anything important I have found. I was raised differently to keep track and not have someone that you borrowed from keep track and ‘worry’. Just a pet peeve.

  66. PhilipSugar

    But I really stepped in it on this comment. STIHL is proudly made in the USA and is only sold through local dealers.

  67. JLM

    .You buy a Husqy for a lifetime. You buy an Echo for a season, if you’re lucky. To make a chain saw work, you have to sharpen that chain and you have to keep it tight and oiled.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  68. PhilipSugar

    Base is the key. I have my wife take pictures. They know I know.The thing is most people just look at the finish when it first gets done.That is actually the least thing. Preparation is 95%. Finishing is the the last 5%

  69. PhilipSugar

    I use Ring.

  70. LE

    I am trying to find the angle for running expensive full page WSJ ads when a) they aren’t a public company and b) hard to believe that that’s a good ad buy for them demographic wise (vs. other options).I am thinking it’s positioning to being bought out or something like that.It’s a German company with plants in the US.

  71. PhilipSugar

    Keep a locked cabinet for stuff you really care about. I do.

  72. JLM

    .Wait until they get old enough to shave and steal all your blades and razors.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  73. laurie kalmanson

    this this this

  74. Vasudev Ram

    >for most of human history.Even in the US – all the frontier communities, and later, small town America.

  75. PhilipSugar

    I don’t mind stealing my razor blades.I mind “borrowing” them using on your legs and putting them back.Then when you use on your face you might as well be using barbed wire.

  76. PhilipSugar

    Yes, I do know they are German. I think they have a large market with people like me who can afford them but really don’t need them.

  77. PhilipSugar

    I name all of my work beasts after women.If you follow me here you know that is not out of disrespect.She is a mean ass bitch of a Jenny (Donkey) and she’ll kick you like one.