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Thread: Long-term economics of the pandemic

  1. #41
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    You are missing the point I've been trying to make, so maybe the fault is mine, but in doing so, you are actually giving examples supporting the divide I'm talking about. Thanks.
    my examples (other than there may be health fallouts) support the point that a divide was underway that didn't already exist in very strong form before the pandemic? How? It struck me (not the whole idea struct me but the story made me feel bad buying groceries) before the pandemic when I heard of a retail worker at a high end grocery (it wasn't Whole Foods, not everything is about the evils of Amazon) having to work two full time retail jobs to survive and how brutal they were describing it, and they weren't even describing it for me but to a coworker. I emailed my bf, sad that they weren't paid better. Why that makes you very liberal ANM, you latte left-coast virtue-signaling liberal you, and what kind of income do you need to shop there anyway? Shrug. I have always earned ok money when I work (unemployment is another matter). I yam what I yam.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    my examples (other than there may be health fallouts) support the point that a divide was underway that didn't already exist in very strong form before the pandemic? How?
    Well, your tea ball shopping example is a good one. And, no, I don't think the divide existed in a "very strong form before the pandemic", I think it is growing wider and will continue to grow AFTER the pandemic - again, effecting "long term economics after the pandemic".

    Actually, in re-reading your post, I think maybe there is also a divide in "attitudes" as well. I'll have to think on this more before pursuing it in the thread. Definitely food for thought in these discussions. Thanks to all.
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  3. #43
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    It's obvious there's a risk to grocery workers; isn't that why they got "hazard pay" for about a blink in time?

    And of course we have at least a two-tier economic system. These are issues that will probably only be discussed when AI and autonomous cars and industrial robots take over.

    Most of my friends are still shopping in stores--more judiciously and carefully, one hopes--but they're out there. Me, I'll opt for delivery.

  4. #44
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    Well, your tea ball shopping example is a good one.
    So I shouldn't have bought a tea ball? Ok, point taken, you may be right. There is a limit to how much I am going to ruminate on it in regret it and wear a hair shirt over it though. It was a reward to myself for eh a personal motivation goal, it doesn't matter really.

    And, no, I don't think the divide existed in a "very strong form before the pandemic", I think it is growing wider and will continue to grow AFTER the pandemic - again, effecting "long term economics after the pandemic".
    I suspect this might possibly be a location thing. I think there are parts of the country that don't have quite so extreme income divides, where you can be closer to making it in Lots Of Different jobs, where you can maybe live on retail wages. But that's hasn't been true in decades in expensive urban California (I find ways to make it work and they aren't all decent income although that's necessary, they are things like renting more affordable places etc. and well I'm not supporting dependents). I remember 15-20 years ago when things were different and life was much less harsh (but that was not 1 year ago before the pandemic, it was 15-20). But now the income divides here are extreme and often in your face (just the miles and miles of homeless tent cities alone - it's in your face and also I'm sure behind 4 walls much more than I EVER see). And the homeless were increasing every year before the pandemic. Just the extremes of wealth and poverty. The tall white mansions and little shacks, it's very much 3rd world levels. My boyfriend when looking for jobs has noted how amazing it is that most jobs don't seem to pay a living wage.

    Actually, in re-reading your post, I think maybe there is also a divide in "attitudes" as well. I'll have to think on this more before pursuing it in the thread. Definitely food for thought in these discussions. Thanks to all.
    I just about destroyed my health worrying about being sent back to the office, for reals, until I had to let it go, and adopt an attitude of whatever will be will be, the futures not ours to see, if I get the 'rona I get the 'rona. So I bristle at lectures on how I should be in the office when I can do my work from home, there is no reason I can't. And how bad it is that I'm not being exposed to the 'rona out of some sense of "the equality of the grave" when I don't even remotely live in an equal society anyway, it's not like I lived in "communist utopia" before, it's not like people far richer than me can't shelter it out, whatever fate they sentence office drones to.
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  5. #45
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happystuff View Post
    Well, your tea ball shopping example is a good one. And, no, I don't think the divide existed in a "very strong form before the pandemic", I think it is growing wider and will continue to grow AFTER the pandemic - again, effecting "long term economics after the pandemic".

    Actually, in re-reading your post, I think maybe there is also a divide in "attitudes" as well. I'll have to think on this more before pursuing it in the thread. Definitely food for thought in these discussions. Thanks to all.
    I get your point, happystuff. That is a good example--it's obvious that remote work, remote learning, and remote medicine are going to be business-as-usual. We all who can work, learn and visit doctors from the cozy comfort of our own homes will probably take it all for granted in 2-3 years after the pandemic is over. But then there is the world you describe--the people who support this new way of life. The "ivory tower" will become those who can remain sequestered and still make money. All the other employees will be scanning groceries, stocking shelves, driving deliveries, and being out in the world supporting those who can pick and choose when to leave the house.

    The "ivory tower" folks will seek peace in the outside world, where they can choose to eat in a restaurant or go to the gym; the others will seek peace at home.
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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I get your point, happystuff. That is a good example--it's obvious that remote work, remote learning, and remote medicine are going to be business-as-usual. We all who can work, learn and visit doctors from the cozy comfort of our own homes will probably take it all for granted in 2-3 years after the pandemic is over. But then there is the world you describe--the people who support this new way of life. The "ivory tower" will become those who can remain sequestered and still make money. All the other employees will be scanning groceries, stocking shelves, driving deliveries, and being out in the world supporting those who can pick and choose when to leave the house.

    The "ivory tower" folks will seek peace in the outside world, where they can choose to eat in a restaurant or go to the gym; the others will seek peace at home.
    Thank you for putting the words to my disarrayed thoughts!
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  7. #47
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    But many of those so called ivory tower people pursued education and careers that allow them to work mostly from home. For myself working in human services if I was still working I couldn’t have done my job without meeting with clients. Yes I could have done the paperwork remotely. My friends that are teaching are mostly in the classroom. I know some that have retired or quit. Hard decisions for many.

  8. #48
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    We all who can work, learn and visit doctors from the cozy comfort of our own homes will probably take it all for granted in 2-3 years after the pandemic is over.
    well I don't think we are still going to be working at home in 2-3 years once the pandemic is over, but then neither will there be a pandemic right. We may take it for granted, we forget our traumas to a degree (to a degree we never do). I will forget perhaps how much I worried when they kept talking about sending us back to the office all the time (and never actually did so - not yet anyway!). It will just become another: "most of the things I worry about, never happen anyway" things.

    I think those who think we will all work at home after this, just because we were among those who worked from home in a pandemic, are in fantasy land. I think there are VERY strong social good arguments for public policy to encourage work from home when possible (like less pollution and carbon use from commuting, like a transportation system that actually works because it's not overwhelmed with too many commuters - even those who HAVE to commute to workplaces probably appreciated that part). But that has never been part of policy making before so why should it be now? I wish.

    But long after the pandemic is over the convenience of buying online with no deadly virus I talked about, yea it WILL be there. And your talking the average privileged I suppose working person who just doesn't have much time to shop after doing the mere 40 hours (yea I only work one job), the 30-40 minute 10 mile commute each way etc.. Did I mention I also buy less. Yea people might buy less in the future. But when they do it might be online. I had a hectic life, and I was forced to SLOW DOWN, and I realized, man that life was c-r-a-z-y, and if buying online when I do buy restores sanity, I'm inclined to do it, sorry, maybe I need a longer lecture on how this makes me a terrible person. I still go to the grocery store btw.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  9. #49
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    But many of those so called ivory tower people pursued education and careers that allow them to work mostly from home
    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    . For myself working in human services if I was still working I couldn’t have done my job without meeting with clients. Yes I could have done the paperwork remotely. My friends that are teaching are mostly in the classroom. I know some that have retired or quit. Hard decisions for many.
    There is an assumption that ivory tower people and those outside had equal access to education at the outset which made the difference. Many jobs are now made obsolete by technology, offshoring (think radiologist, accountants, banking services are just a few), marketing, actor, singer or musician are valuable parts of our society and very well-educated but unemployed at present. Logistics from pickup to sales to delivery require education as well but the impact is very uneven. Don't get started on food production from seed to planting to harvesting and delivery all require education but not in the ivory tower grouping.

    I read this type of comment quite often on this site and finally feel compelled to post.

    Not every horse in the race of life had an equal start, equal food, equal safe support, equal training and equal access to opportunity to enter other races to practice life's racing skills. I have been on both sides of the ivory tower, inside and out, so try not to judge either view but to understand another's point of view.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  10. #50
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I think I was using "ivory tower" as a metaphor for anyone who can migrate to work-at-home full time--there is probably a lot of overlap between that group and the conventional "ivory tower" (high income, well-educated, privileged) but I'm assuming that this shift will generate a blurring of those lines. My rural VT neighbor for example works in accounts payable for a VT food industry and they went to work-from-home in the spring and the company announced that change will be permanent. So, I disagree with ANM. I think a lot of job will go back to office buildings, but there will be a pretty significant shift.

    I am basically agreeing with happystuff that there will be a new divide.
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