Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The New Economy

No matter how much we might pursue intellectual pursuits, we are basically animals with animal needs. Food, water and shelter are pretty basic requirements. There are two ways to get these things: wrest them from the environment yourself, or get them from someone else. Here's where it gets a bit sticky. You can get what you need from other people by trading, or maybe by asking nicely, or simply by taking it.

I sawPBS show recently that was talking about how productive the United States really was. For instance, we build more guns and bombs than any other planet in the known universe. Well, yes, how else would we be able to carpet bomb third world countries back into the stone age? You think God just makes those bombs fall out of the sky?

OK, I'm getting a little off track. I'll try and stick to the point, and that was another bit of information that fell out of that show. Yul Kwon quoted some number of billions of dollars invested in American business, which had generated some thousands of jobs. Well, isn't that nice. Then I divided out the investment by the number of jobs and I got $500,000. That means it takes a half million dollar investment in order to provide ONE job.

That's why McDonald's pays minimum wage. It only takes a couple of million dollars to open a McDonald's restaurant, and I'm guessing even a small one probably employs a couple of dozen people. We're looking at maybe $100K investment per employee, a pittance compared to some operations.

Intel (the computer chip manufacturer), for instance, has probably sunk close to $10 billion dollars into their plant at Ronler acres, and I suspect only a couple of thousand people work there. Divide that out and you get  $5 million invested per employee.

$5 million versus $100 thousand. I think that explains why Intel employees are making ten times as much as McDonald's employees.

Jobs are nice, but what people really need is something to do. If they don't have enough to do, they are susceptible to being recruited into a campaign to DO SOMETHING, like get out the vote, or march on Washington for some cause or other, or in much of the world, go to war against your neighbors. After all, providing a third world peasant with an AK-47, a case of ammo and a fifty pound bag of dried beans can't cost more than a few hundred dollars, and look how much havoc you can cause, and the glorious ransoms you can collect.

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