beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,

Experience vs statistics

I was trying to understand (again) how some people seem to believe that becoming employed is just a question of trying. It is puzzling because there are more people needing jobs than there are jobs available, and some of the jobs available go to people who already have a job, so there's a lot of people chasing any given job. It seems pretty obvious that trying is not sufficient when there are no jobs.

But the people with the positive thinking keep trying attitude, they have experienced getting a job or seen a person get a job, and it was simples, someone tried until they got a job. That's a lot more vivid than numbers. So to them that is the real thing, because experience.

It just doesn't work when you multiply it up.

Same like I was thinking about poverty and need and suggestions made in comments threads. Like, needing food. People in comments threads seem to think that poor people are being daft to not have enough food. They could just grow their own. But there are a lot more poor people than there are gardens, and to get self sufficiency you need a lot of garden and a lot of storage space on top of that. And you can't move to the country and get more garden, because there's more people with no food than there is places in the country to grow food, even if poor people had the actual option of moving, which experience suggests on the whole we do not. Lots of rules. Like there were people who tried to do the take to the trees and grow your own solution on some abandoned land, but they got moved on. And moved on. And moved on. Because there's no such thing as land nobody else is using already. So it's a theoretically plausible plan to go be a farmer and not be starving any more, except there are not many farmers any more, and the land is already being used, and even if it could work for one person it wouldn't work for all the everyone.

Governments should be in the business of coming up with solutions that work for all the everyone, or else why be in charge of all the everyone? Individuals can figure out their own advantage one at a time. They don't need the government poking them to try harder, self interest does that already. So even if government dudes experience says that trying leads to getting, I don't see why that's relevant when the numbers say actually there's a whole lot more people than there is opportunities to get. Systems need to be set up so they work for the numbers involved. Good plan for one at a time becomes trash plan for all the all at once.

But the other thing that's stupid is that if you look at all the food we make and all the number of people we have, it adds up easily. Everyone could eat. There's plenty of food that exists. It's just it doesn't get to the hungry people. Giant amounts just get thrown away. We do have resource problems, we do have a growing number of people depending on the same amount of food producing land, but the problem isn't as simple as not enough food. There's unevenly distributed food. Also there's land being used for things that are more economically important than food, and then people right next to the land that makes fuel or coffee or whatever else it is are stuck being starving where food could be happening. There's even people that work on farms that starve because they can't afford the food. They put all the growing things effort in, they don't get food out. That's a different problem than just saying not enough food. Something very wonky there. Also there are farming practices that are making long term problems with ecology for short term economic gain. Except it's not always the big moneybags sort of short term gain, sometimes it's the 'food today' sort of short term. So that's a sustainability problem, there's enough food to go around as long as we use stuff up. That's tomorrow's problem. Except when talking food we can't really not eat to save up for later.

This is what I mean by need being irreducible. We can't make a new plan if we need to make a sandwich.

It is confusing having plenty and starvation all mixed together. There needs to be a better plan.

If I was planning a space colony I'd have to decide not just how the food gets grown but how it gets distributed. The transport how, but also the money how. Does the colony just decide everyone gets to eat all the time? Actually since we're talking space, does everyone get to breathe? That air's a limited resource that takes human investment to keep breathable! Actually our air is too, it's just it generally takes so long to mess it up that people don't tend to think about it. Atmosphere in a bubble, limited number of people that can be breathing at once. Is air a right? What do you do if the supply gets tight?

Poor people not necessarily breathing today is a bit too dystopic.
But poor people not eating does tend to lead to that other thing.

Systems large and complicated. I'd need to do proper studying.
But trying harder and thinking positive doesn't help when there simply isn't a chance to be had.

Today on the BBC there's a news thing saying the Work Programme doesn't work for people on ESA cause they need more health stuff than it provides. Hello and welcome to the reality based community!

Comments there are unhelpful too though. Reflex blaming of immigrants. Immigrants plug skills gaps. I keep meeting NHS people that didn't start out around here, doctors and all sorts. I wouldn't want any of them to go home, we need all the help.

Also, I know it's hard getting jobs, but I also know it's hard for me getting an employee. People who need a carer to do the messy bits have even more difficulty. And then there was the thing in the news of the lady who filmed all her people sent from the care agency, and they were late and changed her incontinence pads with the curtains open and couldn't cook even though that's what she needed them for. There's something gone wrong there, if there's people who need to employ someone but no appropriate persons to employ. Time and skills don't seem to be there, and probably that's to do with money. It's hard when the people who need the most time and skills and employees are the people who have the least earning power. There's enough humans to go around, probably, but there's problems in the distribution.

Also a lot of the necessary is kind of stinky. I guess people need substantial incentive to help with the stinky parts.

Doesn't explain my persistent difficulty finding someone to go with me to the pub. Or the library. That's just frustrating.

xposted from Dreamwidth here. comment count unavailable comments. Reply there
Tags: economics, politics
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