October 26, 2017

"Why Nerds and Nurses Are Taking Over the U.S. Economy."

"A blockbuster report from government economists forecasts the workforce of 2026—a world of robot cashiers, well-paid math nerds, and so (so, so, so) many healthcare workers" (The Atlantic).

42 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Nurses are the serfs of the Health Care Industrial Complex's crony captalists. The physicians Assistants are being added in. Actual MDs are more and more limiting their practices to full paying customers.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

A nerdy nurse is the sweet spot, then. Endorsed.

rhhardin said...

Japan has long been working on nurse robots. The last I heard on Radio Japan in the 90s was that they could take rectal temperatures of the elderly, flipping them over if necessary, and ask where it hurts if they're complaining.

tim in vermont said...

I worked for 35 years in IT. Most of that time was spent making it possible for fewer people to do the same job, whatever that job was. Only once we sort of ended up kicked out of a country for the reason that the workers could see what was happening. How much do you pay a guy that can sit down and accomplish the labor of others throughout time by sitting in his cubical for a few hundred hours typing into a computer? There's people out there turning keystrokes into gold.

rhhardin said...

Japan may have gone to Filipinos, the limiting law being that they have to learn Japanese within two years or they're deported. They mostly wind up deported.

Nonapod said...

I'm not sure why this article as written as if all this was surprising. It's riddled with words like "blockbuster" and "astonishing", but anybody with even the mildest imagination who has been paying attention could draw the same basic inferences and come to the same conclusions.

Healthcare workers becoming more and more important as the boomers age? The decline of standard brick & mortar retail? How is any of this a surprise?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Nerds and nurses, that's not going to end well. Essentially the H.W. story.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Why Nerds and Nurses Are Taking Over the U.S. Economy.

Nurses are taking over, mostly in the home health care arena, because third-parties, such as Medicare, are paying for it.

Nerds are taking over because we provide the most actual value.

You're welcome.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

When I have to visit a friend at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the nurses are now predominantly English speaking Filipinos. They are quite good at what they do. They are intelligent ladies from a Catholic culture where mercy is still featured.

Yancey Ward said...

All that is missing from that is the teaser below it, "You Won't Believe What the Nurses Will Look Like in 2026!"

pacwest said...

We need to figure out how to redistribute the incomes from these nerds and nurses to the rest of us that aren't working.

tim in vermont said...

We need to figure out how to redistribute the incomes from these nerds and nurses to the rest of us that aren't working.

Kurt Vonnegut, in his sane days, wrote a story where the few remaining productive people were allowed to consume less, because overproduction was the main problem, since everything was done by robots. Idle people had quotas of how much stuff they had to consume. The problem was finally solved by creating a pleasure circuit for robots, and programming them to enjoy wearing all of the stuff out that the other robots made.

tim in vermont said...

It is a sad fact that math and rigorous logic are such productive tools, and so people who can use them are highly rewarded, and the ability to learn them will never be handed out equally.

edutcher said...

a world of robot cashiers, well-paid math nerds, and so (so, so, so) many healthcare workers

Robot cashiers because of the $15/hr minimum wage.

Math nerds because computers.

Healthcare workers because Baby Boomers are getting old.

This, I'm sure, panics the crowd at The Atlantic because no more Medicare-enriched doctors voting Democrat and math nerds are people who think.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Meanwhile, everyone I talk to in the building trades: Plumber, Carpenter, Electrician, etc... they cannot find young people who are interested, who will work hard, who are willing to stick with it.
buncha babies raised by helicopter parents, sad video games, and HIllarywood.

anti-de Sitter space said...

"Nerds are taking over because we provide the most actual value."

Y'all are not makin' a dent in hot gal nurse beds. They'd rather hang w/ non-nerd dudes (like me) who have a man-card cause of no math/reading.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Shiloh/PBJ, trying to read what you write is like trying to read used toilet paper.

tim in vermont said...

We get it Peanut Butters, you get laid all the time, you are going to grad school to be an architect because you don't do any math or reading.... We get it.

What are you planning to design? Chicken coops?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Also, Tim, he's rich. And packing big meat. We should all be envious, and, no doubt, ought to agree with his views, because something something mumble jealous.

tim in vermont said...

I do like unreliable narrater type commenters though. I indulge frequently myself:

In mathematics and physics, a de Sitter space is the analog in Minkowski space, or spacetime, of a sphere in ordinary, Euclidean space. The n-dimensional de Sitter space, denoted dSn, is the Lorentzian manifold analog of an n-sphere (with its canonical Riemannian metric); it is maximally symmetric, has constant positive curvature, and is simply connected for n at least 3. De Sitter space and anti-de Sitter space are named after Willem de Sitter (1872–1934), professor of astronomy at Leiden University and director of the Leiden Observatory. Willem de Sitter and Albert Einstein worked in the 1920s in Leiden closely together on the spacetime structure of our universe.

In the language of general relativity, de Sitter space is the maximally symmetric vacuum solution of Einstein's field equations with a positive cosmological constant
Λ\Lambda (corresponding to a positive vacuum energy density and negative pressure). When n = 4 (3 space dimensions plus time), it is a cosmological model for the physical universe; see de Sitter universe.
Wikipedia

anti-de Sitter space said...

TinV,

No, I was motivated by this thing where I dumped cold water on my head to raise money for AdS Association. So, I looked into this AdS, and took it as my name here.

That crazy stuff you wrote is for losers, aka nerds/readers.

Duh.

tim in vermont said...

That crazy stuff you wrote is for losers, aka nerds/readers

Not architects then? They don't have any interest in multi-dimensional geometry.

n.n said...

Medical financing reform in lieu of medical products and services reform, and ignoring health care reform altogether.

As for the nerds, living virtual is a progressive condition.

Robert Cook said...

"We need to figure out how to redistribute the incomes from these nerds and nurses to the rest of us that aren't working."

No. There must a means to redistribute the money the nerds and nurses are making for their employers--(and which is withheld from the nerds and nurses)--to the rest of us who won't be working.

Robert Cook said...

"It is a sad fact that math and rigorous logic are such productive tools, and so people who can use them are highly rewarded, and the ability to learn them will never be handed out equally."

It is also true that America's education system is not devoted to teaching math and rigorous logic to all students equally. In my high school, Logic was taught by one teacher, and it was an AP class available only to the 20-odd seniors with the highest GPAs. There were not several session of the class taught at different times of the day or different days of the week...there was just one session taught.

It seems to me that logic is something that should be taught to all students starting from the very earliest grades.

I also think math--at which I was always bad--requires especially good teachers to get it across to those who don't have innate interest in/aptitude for the subject.

Robert Cook said...

"Robot cashiers because of the $15/hr minimum wage."

Robot cashiers will take over even from workers making only $9.00 or $7.00 or $5.00 per hour, or less. The desire is to reduce payroll expenses to as close to "0" as possible...except for the exorbitant salaries paid to privileged upper management.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

traditionalguy said...When I have to visit a friend at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the nurses are now predominantly English speaking Filipinos. They are quite good at what they do. They are intelligent ladies from a Catholic culture where mercy is still featured.

I spent some time in that hospital recently--there were a larger-than-I-expected number of Caribbean nurses (Trinidad, Jamaica, "the islands"). Emory U. itself has a substantial (I try and avoid saying "robust") Asian population.
Good hospital, by the way. Crowded when I was there, but good staff and nice facilities. Not sure if they have a Yelp page...

anti-de Sitter space said...

"...except for the exorbitant salaries paid to privileged upper management."

Settle down. Nobody wants exorbitant salaries.

That tax rate sux. Other compensation = better.

buwaya said...

This is a very old argument, the nerd part anyway.

This was after all the actual principal point of "The Bell Curve", 1994 Herrnstein & Murray.

PB&J,

I thought you were one of those fellows who amused themselves with differential equations and your current name implies some fascination with cosmological theory.

buwaya said...

"It seems to me that logic is something that should be taught to all students starting from the very earliest grades.

I also think math--at which I was always bad--requires especially good teachers to get it across to those who don't have innate interest in/aptitude for the subject."

It does not actually cost very much to teach these things. Its really all about hiring the teachers to do so, and its not that hard or costly to get them. You will find that the cheapest Middle Schools-High Schools in any given school district are the "academic" ones.

The really expensive teachers and programs are the very specialized remedial and special-ed ones. The US spends the bulk of its public K-12 education funds on bringing up the bottom, which is a Sisyphean task.

The public education system actively discourages tracking kids to where you could put significant numbers in logic or advanced math classes - this is a matter of gradual development from early grades. The most telling example is of course that of Jaime Escalante, whose main sin was creating an informal tracking system in LAUSD, where he worked with a network of middle-school teachers to direct and prep likely kids to accelerated High School math tracks, ultimately to his famous AP Calc classes. I met Escalante once, in Sacramento, where he was likewise not permitted to organize tracking.

US academic failure is not a matter of limited resources. These are greater than world standards by far.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

At our local Fred Meyer, there are robotic kiosks for checkout, but also (recently) human greeters by the entrance to guide you through them. I don't know whether it's an attempt to emulate Walmart, or merely to be helpful, or both.

HoodlumDoodlum, your Caribbean nurses remind me of that recent story about how foreign-born blacks were poaching all the slots intended for American-born blacks. Well, of course they are; they do better work, on average. Plus, they all pay out-of-state tuition, definitionally. (I think the story actually came from Cornell, but the same dynamic applies to public schools.)

Robert Cook, robotic cashiers have the strong disadvantage that they foist yet a little more labor on you, the consumer. (Every single change I've seen in retail in the last thirty years has done that.) On the plus side, they never get surly or mouth off. Not that I ever get that at any grocery store. DMV and USPS, on the other hand ... really, there is something about working for the government that renders surliness endemic.

Yesterday on KALW there was an hour-long program about malls, the decline of. Amusingly, all participants assumed that "mall" = "retail." I've worked retail for more than 30 years, and the only times I've entered a mall were to get lunch, or a few times other things (clothes, an umbrella). Maybe malls are declining because they're not needed? Or because their functions are being supplied in other ways? Fred Meyer, which is a grocery store at one end, a garden-supply shop at the other, and everything from pet food to jewelry to a pharmacy to a clothing store in between, is a sort of mini-mall. At the other end we have huge outlet malls like the one in Vacaville, CA, where all the stores are separate and out in the open. As it is, I use Freddie's almost entirely for groceries, and buy everything else online.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...No. There must a means to redistribute the money the nerds and nurses are making for their employers--(and which is withheld from the nerds and nurses)--to the rest of us who won't be working.

Ok, I laughed. Out loud. An actual LOL! Thanks, man.

Robert Cook said...

"At our local Fred Meyer, there are robotic kiosks for checkout, but also (recently) human greeters by the entrance to guide you through them. I don't know whether it's an attempt to emulate Walmart, or merely to be helpful, or both."

Perhaps the stores are finding that customers like to interact with humans in some way in their shopping experience.

I won't use robot kiosks to check myself out at stores where such devices are available. For one, the use of these things kills jobs. For another, I don't use credit cards to buy food, I use cash. It requires a live human to take cash and make change.

tim in vermont said...

You want to help kids learn math, make sure that they know the multiplication tables thoroughly before you let them move on. It's not expensive, and it makes math easier for the rest of the person's life. I never studied logic until college and I don't think that it hindered me.

tim in vermont said...

I always use a human when I can for checkout.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Robert Cook said...

For one, the use of these things kills jobs.

Speaking of which, how often should one change out their buggy whip?

MadisonMan said...

It requires a live human to take cash and make change.

Not the ones at Sentry in Hilldale.

I use them all the time if there are >2 people in the 15 items of less cashier line, especially if it's an old person -- think 75+, or someone with kids.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

If only it could have been foreseen!

Who would have thunk that unlimited health "care" for a fixed cost would result in increased consumption?

Ye Gods! Hordes of minimally trained, inept, obese novitiates swarming the town in a fleet of subcompact vehicles to take periodic "vital signs" of medicaid recipients - often, if records be scrutinized, at several different locations concurrently.

Gahrie said...

Speaking of which, how often should one change out their buggy whip?

Man...can you imagine the number of horses there would be in our cities if cars had never been invented? Talk about pollution! Think of the millions of gallons of horse piss and tons of horse shit that would be produced daily!

Freeman Hunt said...

I hate grocery self checkout. I'm there to buy things from the store, not to work there.

A local McDonald's has instituted touch screen ordering. It's terrible. Much easier to tell a person who already knows the system what you want than to have to learn the system and enter it yourself. Again, people are coming in to buy things, not to work there.

Caligula said...

How does that saying go? "If an algorithm can do your job then it probably will."

Similarly, if your job can be globally outsourced to the lowest-cost provider then it probably will.