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noonesshowmonkey
I was thinking of a bar located in some kind of blue collar neighborhood, in the shadow of a polluted sky and full of downtrodden but salty and hardnosed working men.

Maybe a steel mill (I come from the rust belt)?

Then I asked myself, 'what jobs, especially dangerous working ones, aren't done by drones [and why]?'

I am having a hard time with this. Nearly every one of the big time Mike Rowe Dirty Jobs or Blue Collar jobs can be totally automated with drones. Maybe fixing the drones? Unless there are drones that fix the drones... Oi, my head hurts already.

Ideas?
Mesh
Whatever jobs you want! There are a lot (a LOT) of have-nots who will do anything to get by even if it's for chicken feed and risks their health. And there are a lot of corps, big biz and neighborhood biz, who calculate it's worth their while to (ab)use them for it.

Mesh
TommyTwoToes
With the environment as messed up as it is, and the instability arcoss the world, I think natural resources are probably harder to come by. A recycling plant makes a good industrial site for a lot of Shadowrun. I sort of picture the continuing trend towards disposable cheap products over expensive durable ones as being perpetuated by the corps so there should be a huge amount of detrius availabile to be recycled and used again.

Or a Soy processing plant. Everything is made from soy after all. Soycrete, soysteel, soyglass, laminated soy-like soy-products.
Cube
First of all... Mike Rowe going on a Shadowrun would be incredibly amusing.

Next, I'd expect a lot of jobs are still done by humans.

Think of it like this.

If [Cost of Drone + Cost Of Upkeep] > [What a Desperate Spawl Denizen will work for + Cost of an Appropriate Skillsoft +Difficulty of finding a replacement worker], then the job will be given to a Sprawl Denizen.

A Recycling Plant would be an obvious one. Or a Soy Processing Plant. (For some reason, when I read that, I heard "Yo Dawg, I heard you liked soy, so I put some soy in your soy so you can soy while you soy." in my head... I need to see a doctor about that...)
Summerstorm
Yeah, the whole drone-workers confuse me. Since the 4th edition the low level drones are so dirt cheap... it would be ok to use up a drone per job per year... and still pay less than a worker. Honestly i was thinking about a 50% unemployment rate or more. But somehow that wouldn't really work out i think.

Let's see... say we need a drone for heavy work: an armored, strength enhanced Manservant like drone with a mid-level autosoft is what? 6000 or something. And say you need double the amount of supervisors than for normal worker (every 5 instead of 10 workers). Also a technician fulltime or checkups every month and a programmer for your facility (every 100 workers or so) and parts for maintainance 10% of the value of the drone per year.

You still save thousands of nuyen per year AND worker. Maybe around 12.000 or so? I am thinking normal pay is about 1.500 per month, a bit less than low lifestyle and nearly no taxes or benefits (It is dystopian after all)

I still think that drones shold be a bit more expensive, comlinks and programs too... but shouldn't scale that high afterwards (for enhancements) Ah well
Paul
Depending on how you wanted the feel of your game to be, the limits are virtually endless. Automated vending machines could easily dispense cold brew at the local pub; automated cab services-Ala Total Recall; need a quick shower and a place to doss down-but don't want the hassle of a clerk? "Coffin" hotels are there to fill your need? Want to get all the thrills of illicit sexual encounters with out the risk of physical disease or the discomfort of actually, you know, talking to someone? Hello BTL! All of this comes down to personal preference I think.
kzt
Drones are so crazy cheap there isn't any economic reason to use a person to do low-end work that doesn't require human contact. I think it's all part of the genre sabotage project that is SR4. Like having dirt cheap cloned organs.
Mongoose
Megacorps are smart enough to realize that unemployed people don't buy much of anything. Low level employees live in corporate housing, eat corporate chow, and probably get their spending money in corp script. Drones don't buy nerps, watch trid, or subscribe to virtual gaming.
The corporate court is playing a shell game with the world economy, restricting drone labor in order to keep demand high (by pumping out wages that they recover in sales) and populations sheep like (long hours of work for wages spent on escapist entertainment). If drones starting doing all the jobs, people would demand universal welfare... which would be easy to supply, what with cheap drones to do all the work. And true universal welfare means government control of the economy, which the corp courts abhore.
Genre sabotage? No, I'd say cheap drones + human labor is quite appropriately dystopian.
Cube
QUOTE (Mongoose @ Jun 4 2010, 05:06 PM) *
Megacorps might just be smart enough to realize that unemployed people don't buy much of anything. Low level employees live in corporate housing, eat corporate chow, and probably get their spending money in corp script. Drones don't buy nerps, watch trid, or subscribe to virtual gaming.


Ah, true.

Basic economics. If Drones do all the work, then the Corps' potential consumer base decreases sharply.

I'd expect Drone Work isn't as common as we'd expect.

tagz
What Mongoose said. Also, in the Sixth World your low level corp worker might be considered more disposable then a drone. When a drone kicks the bucket you might be able to salvage some parts but otherwise you just pay out for a new one. With a human you don't pay a year's salary up front for grunt work, it's over time. So any pay, benefits (what benefits?!), etc don't need to be payed. In addition, your corp can make some money off of charging for the funeral, heavily taxing inheritance, and passing debts on to living kin.

I'd say humans would be used as grunt labor in any situation that would put excessive stress on drones, or in situations where judgment is required beyond the scope of a dog-brain. Like sorting garbage. Harmful chemicals and such could put undue wear on drones and their pilot programs might not be able to distinguish types of trash not easily recognized by a program. Better to use a person.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Cube @ Jun 4 2010, 11:11 PM) *
Ah, true.

Basic economics. If Drones do all the work, then the Corps' potential consumer base decreases sharply.

I'd expect Drone Work isn't as common as we'd expect.

B2B is bigger than B2C, and Drones still consume supplies. Drones buy maintenance services, replacement parts, lubricants, energy/fuel, upgrades/mods, paint, software, housing, workshops, and information. Not being sapient does not free them from engaging in the economic system.

The fact that SR4 glosses over the costs does not mean that the costs don't exist. It just means that SR4 is a P&P game instead of a business simulator.
Deadmannumberone
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Jun 4 2010, 03:47 PM) *
B2B is bigger than B2C, and Drones still consume supplies. Drones buy maintenance services, replacement parts, lubricants, energy/fuel, upgrades/mods, paint, software, housing, workshops, and information. Not being sapient does not free them from engaging in the economic system.

The fact that SR4 glosses over the costs does not mean that the costs don't exist. It just means that SR4 is a P&P game instead of a business simulator.


Not being sapient removes them from the service industry, which is nearly 80% profit, while supply industry is rarely more than 20% profit.
Whipstitch
QUOTE (Mongoose @ Jun 4 2010, 05:06 PM) *
Megacorps are smart enough to realize that unemployed people don't buy much of anything. Low level employees live in corporate housing, eat corporate chow, and probably get their spending money in corp script. Drones don't buy nerps, watch trid, or subscribe to virtual gaming.


The term's scrip, actually, but otherwise ya took the words outta my mouth. Anyone who thinks humans would be pushed out by drones completely is underestimating the power of exploitation. Drones if anything give the corporations leverage-- they really could put tons of people out of work if they wanted to, and barring welfare systems, people need jobs and so stacking the deck so your employees actually end up owing you money is very possible.

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt!
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go;
I owe my soul to the company store.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Whipstitch @ Jun 5 2010, 12:09 PM) *
You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt!
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go;
I owe my soul to the company store.


How Very Shadowrun Indeed... Kudos...

Keep the Faith
hobgoblin
the big question is probably this, are the workers sinners or sinless?

if its the former, they probably still can drum up some kind of union or insurance. But if they are the latter, they may be hired or fired on a day by day basis. When the buss pulls up at the designated spot for the morning, you better be ready and willing (no calling in sick or anything of the sort), or to the rear of the line for you. And its the only place within transport ticket range that hires sinless. Oh, and payment is in scrip, not nuyen.
Jaid
yeah, considering 'squatter' lifestyle is 500 per month... (about 6,000 a year) i rather suspect that that is the *maximum* a corp would pay for unskilled labor. if you want to be making even low lifestyle,, let alone 1500 a month, you'd better have some marketable skills that can't just be easily replaced by a drone.

so what kinds of jobs *do* have the potential to earn money? well, anything creative is a good start. of course, if you're not already a corp citizen, you either have to be *REALLY* good, or the people who grew up in the corp, being indoctrinated to be loyal to the corp, will already be doing the 'moderately skilled' tasks. and while this would include art and music (which i suspect would be a *very* competitive field), it would also include designing new products, research/engineering, marketing, etc

people skills would be another area i suspect humans would be a popular choice for workers. after all, nobody likes calling the support line and getting a machine (if you are calling because our product is an inferior POS and you just want to chew someone out, please press 1. if you are calling to attempt to sue us for our product inflicting serious bodily harm, please press 2...) and now you don't have to go all the way across the ocean to find a third world country, for all intents and purposes there's one just a few blocks down the road.

security would be another major area... while this is somewhat included in terms of people skills and creativity, i figure it deserves it's own category. this would be broken down into different areas, of course; drone handler, animal/paranimal trainers, matrix security, security design, security guards (by far one of the biggest employment areas).

these even apply to areas you might not think. if you had a drone watching the till in a stuffer shack, nobody would think twice about putting a few bullets into it. if you put a human watching the till, most people won't shoot it, and even armed robbers will typically use threats of violence rather than progressing straight to violence. in essence, a cashier in 2070 is *actually* a security measure, designed to prevent vandalism and outright destruction of property. same thing with security guards... they'll use drones, for sure, to act as the 'cavalry' so to speak, and they'll have cameras and alarms, but they'll also have real live security guards to back up the electronic systems. not because the guards are more competent than drones (unless they skillwires, i wouldn't be surprised if many guards for non-essential locations are actually *less* competent than a simple doberman drone with a taser weapon mount), but because even in a dystopia, humans hesitate to kill other humans.
kzt
You have to pay low for people expected to interact with paying customers. Do you really want someone who looks and smells like they live in a dumpster making a soyburger for you?

And how many drones can you buy for 6000 nuyen? Which works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
RedFish
I realize the rules don't have... rules for it, but any machine needs both maintenance as well as fuel of some sort to keep going, whereas you don't need to maintain a human employee (in the Shadowverse anyhow) to any meaningful degree in a corporate world where your employees live off of your own products to a large extent.

Soy is cheap, and the corporate housing you provide at a premium is easy to stack on top of each other with cutting edge Shadowrun-tech!
Summerstorm
Na you don't have to. People can throw money together for lifestyle. Just have a family live together, or people have a lifepartner or just roommates makes it cheaper. It was like 50% extra i think, so two people living low style just costs 3000. So you can just provide cheap 10-men working baracks and charge 1500 for food and clothing and such, and pay the dudes 200 in cash a months or so. Everybody wins.

But yeah, drones are still cheaper for everything which needs less than a skill of 4.
RedFish
QUOTE (Summerstorm @ Jun 6 2010, 02:39 AM) *
and pay the dudes 200 in cash a months or so.


Pay? How novel. After I deduce Mr. Blue-collar's food consumption from our corp-sponsored stuffershack, his use of our wireless nodes and local entertainment system, his corp-owned housing and the leasing of our skillwires as well as various other services, I seem to notice that he comes a few nuyen.gif short every month.

How regrettable. On the plus side we provide him with a job so that he can work towards paying off his ever-increasing debts.

Huh? Oh we'll handle the interests on the same account for ease of bookkeeping. How he'll pay the interests? Well, I suppose he will have to work overtime once again today. Shame that.
Bladehate
I always viewed the actual cost of materials as the "cheap" part of buying a drone.

The sheer manhours a dedicated gearhead would pour into his bots to make them function smoothly over time would probably add very significantly to the drone's actual cost of operation.

By comparison, a corp wage tech guy servicing a drone pool of 10-50 is going to be extremely overworked and only able to do the minimum required to keep a drone barely functional. Depending on the size of the drone pool, and the job performed by the drones, 1 guy isn't likely to be enough. Also, there will be a fairly significant need of spare parts etc to keep the drones functional. If the drones operate in any kind of stressful situations, their life expectancy is likely to drop through the floor without extensive (and expensive) maintenance.

In the context of SR, that's not really a problem because a Rigger is assumed to use most of his downtime tinkering with his bots. Hence a significant portion of the drone's expense is absorbed by the rigger character during downtime.

But in the context of a wage environment, the manhours needed to maintain a drone fleet would be pretty significant I should think...
kzt
No, you just use maintenance drones for that. 6,000 nuyen.gif per, so far cheaper than any mechanic.

Like I said, SR4's odd economic structure makes the most sense if you assume that SR4 is really a Cyberpunk genre sabotage project.....
Bladehate
So you're saying that SR4 drone techonology has advanced to the point where drones can build and maintain themselves with minimal human intervention?

That's not quite the setting I recall from the novels, but I haven't really read up on the rigger material yet.
kzt
You'd need a good mechanic somewhere, but all the annoying routine crap is done by the maintenance bots.

I'm not arguing that this makes any sense, I'm arguing that this is what the rules say and furthermore what they imply.
RedFish
So people just assume drones run on air as well? Or did I miss some place in the fluff where the world has invented a new, cheap source of energy that is capable of sustaining an infinite number of drones? That's a serious question, because it's very likely that it's part of the story, but I haven't seen it.

People also need to keep in mind that if you don't care too much about the long-term health of your workers (and why would you if you don't need to worry about job-training and can just reclaim the skill-wires from your dead ex-worker?) there are some rather glaring examples of just how cheaply you can sustain a human being in this day and age.You're paying through the nose for something that some third-world citizen has been payed 10 cents an hour to mass produce, and you're telling me drones run cheaper than that, even if your employee is spending his/her wages on your products exclusively?

Besides, some jobs require an arbitrary judgment to be passed on a product, and looking at the rules for pilot programs, there's a good chance a human would be the better alternative.

In the end though, the whole world of shadowrun requires the ability to abstract away from some of the background. Some people seem to blame 4th edition. While I haven't seen any of the earlier editions, the old mega-corp structure seems to have been there all the time, and even that requires a humongous amount of flexibility in common sense - not to mention the entire idea of shadowrunners itself, which is fanciful at best.
Abstruse
Drones may be able to do a lot of simple jobs, but they still don't have brains. And they still require someone to repair them and program them. And these aren't full AI we're talking about. Even if they are autonomous drones rather than rigger controlled (another expense as the rigger can only control so many), they won't have complex reasoning abilities. A human worker can realize that the trash barrel fell over while he's sweeping the floors and thus put it back up, put the trash back in, then continue sweeping. A drone will just run around it and maybe report the different layout to another system. Anyone who owns a Roomba can tell you that, as nice as it is, you still have to vacuum because the little bastard will miss spots constantly...if he doesn't start whining (beeping incessantly until his battery dies) when his brush gets caught in something like a 2" piece of thread.

Also, a cheap drone can only do so much. You have one to sweep/mop/wax, one to empty the trash, one to replace all the TP/napkins/coffee filters in the breakroom, one to dust, etc. Or you can hire one person to do all those jobs. Sure, drones will replace a lot of the workforce, but not all of it. Even if you have all those different drones replacing people, you'd still have to have a human eye go over it to make sure they don't screw up. So instead of 2 janitors, you'd have 10 drones and 2 supervisors for the janitors.
kzt
Presumably drones run on the same miracle power source that allows you to run a cyberlimb (that is vastly stronger than the original) forever without any external power supply...

Skill wires are grown into the brain, the cost is mostly the nanites that build it in the owners head. There is a reason used cyberware is worth 5% of list, it's because it needs a LOT of work before it's usable.

The problem is that gear costs far too little to make any sense to hire people. A 6K drone does the work of 3+ grunt employees that cost >1500 per month and require 24K in skillwires. And the megas all make the drones they use. So there logically are no unskilled workers in a corp, it's all drones for anything that either doesn't require creativity/intelligence, very high skill, or human interaction. Some way there are no actual organleggers in SR4, it's actually less expensive to get a cloned or type O organ installed by DocWagon than it is to pay an organlegger, a black clinic surgeon and then pay for the drugs you need to take forever. The first is crazy, the second makes logical sense but both are sabotage of the Cyberpunk genre.
RedFish
Fortunately, while I was born in the eighties I am not a child of the eighties, so I have no emotional attachment to the rather campy cyberpunk genre wink.gif

As far as what cyberware runs on, I just imagine that they are rechargeable or run on batteries - both of which would be included in lifestyle cost. The reason you don't have to track fuel for riggers, isn't because they don't need it, it's because that amount of book-keeping isn't conducive to a game that is supposed to be fun I imagine.

It's one of the great things about lifestyle costs - this abstract concept allows you to handwave a variety of things biggrin.gif

If that's how skill-wires work, I don't see how you could get them used in the first place, but I'll take your word for it. Still, lots of jobs require hardly any training at all and thus wouldn't require skill wires. I just don't see why you'd even spend money on developing drones for this, let alone use factory time to produce them, when that's means forgoing the production of more profitable drones or other products.
Abstruse
There's a city-wide grid with recharge stations everywhere for electric vehicles, so why not for cyberware too?

As you guys are seriously underestimating the value of a human brain. There's a reason there's still a lot of human employees even when we have robotics now. See the Roomba example I gave above.

Plus, have you SEEN how creepy those Japanese receptionist droids are? Dead in the middle of the downcurve for artificial realism. Sure, it could be a screen and an agent/sprite/whatever...but still, people like dealing with people. How many times have you screamed "CUSTOMER SERVICE!" to Miss Jane Voicerecognitionbot?
Floyd
QUOTE (Cube @ Jun 4 2010, 08:27 PM) *
First of all... Mike Rowe going on a Shadowrun would be incredibly amusing.

Next, I'd expect a lot of jobs are still done by humans.

Think of it like this.

If [Cost of Drone + Cost Of Upkeep] > [What a Desperate Spawl Denizen will work for + Cost of an Appropriate Skillsoft +Difficulty of finding a replacement worker], then the job will be given to a Sprawl Denizen.

A Recycling Plant would be an obvious one. Or a Soy Processing Plant. (For some reason, when I read that, I heard "Yo Dawg, I heard you liked soy, so I put some soy in your soy so you can soy while you soy." in my head... I need to see a doctor about that...)



I'd have to soy I agree with the person who would soy that drones don't buy anything.
Soy there would have to be a mix of metahuman and drone workers
and you know what that soy:
All soy, and no soy, make soy soy soy soy.
Soy, soy, soy, soy.
FriendoftheDork
AH well I know this is something of a dystopia, but you guys try to outdo each other to the point where it totally breaks suspense of disbelief. Wageslaves are actually pretty well off in this society. Most SINless people envy them. Their loss is in freedom, not lifestyle.

And really, no one will accept to work for a wage that you cannot survive on. If you try, there will be constant rioting, unhappy and disloyal corporate citizens (customers). And it goes against the ultracapitalistic ideals that makes the 6th world. The corps needs alot of people with high income, so that they will strive and work hard to improve their lives and lifestyles. They turn people's natural greed and desire to rise above others to work hard for them, and of course buy status products to show off their success.

Despite this of course, the House always wins. No matter your salary there is always someone else that profit more from your work than you do. And to reap the rewards of your work you will have to bond yourself closer to the Corp. The Corp is mother, the Corp is father wink.gif And if you try to go against it you will be swatted like a fly, nothing more than a defect tool that can be discarded easily.

hobgoblin
sure, the sinner will be payed an acceptable wage (in corp scrip), its the use and abuse of the sinless (the people that according to the system do not exist, and so do have minimal rights at best) thats really the issue.
FriendoftheDork
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Jun 6 2010, 04:36 PM) *
sure, the sinner will be payed an acceptable wage (in corp scrip), its the use and abuse of the sinless (the people that according to the system do not exist, and so do have minimal rights at best) thats really the issue.


When you say SINner I guess you mean corporate citizen.. after all many SINners are not affiliated with a Mega. And I don't think every subsidiary company pays it's employees in crop scrip anyway.. or do you think Stuffer Shack employees in Seattle are paid in Aztech Pesos? Nuyen is the main currency after all.

And well yeah SINless have very few rights, and in the case of actual employment they are likely to be abused horribly. Most of these will probably be squatters though, and won't need large wages and may possibly just work for food or other goods in an act of desperation. Of course any of these can simply run away and disappear just like that unless actually held like real slaves - which is illegal in most jurisdiction even for SINless. Most Megas will not touch SINless anyway, who wants workers who are probably criminal, have nothing to lose, and who can't be monitored as easily? To work for a Megacorp you have to be a SINner of sorts. Certain unscrupulous middle managers might work some magic in the numbers and work the SINless for extra production results though.

The main book asserts though, that to get a job you'll need a SIN. Which is why alot of SINNless resorts to crime instead (and black-market labor is illegal as well).

Most traditional dirty jobs will probably not be held by SINless, but by professionals at probably Low lifestyle, maybe higher. Garbage men can certainly make a living, and so can people in sewage disposal etc. I also think that these people will be few in number and utilizing alot of drones, just like they today utilize mechanical compactors, pumps etc. Drones are notoriously bad at adapting to unexpected problems though, and can only do work they are programmed for.

In cleaning I think drones will be the norm for everyday cleaning, while professional cleaning companies employ people to do specialty cleanup jobs (up to and including wetwork wink.gif )
Abstruse
QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Jun 6 2010, 05:53 PM) *
Most traditional dirty jobs will probably not be held by SINless, but by professionals at probably Low lifestyle, maybe higher. Garbage men can certainly make a living, and so can people in sewage disposal etc. I also think that these people will be few in number and utilizing alot of drones, just like they today utilize mechanical compactors, pumps etc. Drones are notoriously bad at adapting to unexpected problems though, and can only do work they are programmed for.

Garbageman, there's a good example right there. Sure, you'll have a drone to pick up the can and dump it, the truck can be on Gridlink to drive itself, etc. But is the drone going to be programmed with a smart enough AI (for lack of a better word) to tell the difference between a trashcan that needs to be emptied and a trashcan that has a leak that they're trying to throw away? Or recognize that the lump against the dumpster is a bag of trash that fell out (or maybe a homeless person trying to sleep)? There'd be a living, breathing person there.

And don't forget all the equivalent of SINless we have even in modern day. Sure, they're trying to crack down, but that lovely Zagat-rated meal you had last night was probably made by a guy who knows 5 words of English who got here a year ago by cutting through a fence. Nannies, gardeners, unskilled labor, etc. are hired with frequency by legit companies as independent contractors who get a nice, pretty 1099 instead of a W2 at the end of the year...not all of those jobs can be replaced by a programmable tin can.
hobgoblin
that expects that anywhere that have actual trash pickup have homeless people sleeping in the open. I can see the star grabbing anyone sleeping like that and tossing them into the barrens.
FriendoftheDork
QUOTE (Abstruse @ Jun 6 2010, 07:01 PM) *
Garbageman, there's a good example right there. Sure, you'll have a drone to pick up the can and dump it, the truck can be on Gridlink to drive itself, etc. But is the drone going to be programmed with a smart enough AI (for lack of a better word) to tell the difference between a trashcan that needs to be emptied and a trashcan that has a leak that they're trying to throw away? Or recognize that the lump against the dumpster is a bag of trash that fell out (or maybe a homeless person trying to sleep)? There'd be a living, breathing person there.

And don't forget all the equivalent of SINless we have even in modern day. Sure, they're trying to crack down, but that lovely Zagat-rated meal you had last night was probably made by a guy who knows 5 words of English who got here a year ago by cutting through a fence. Nannies, gardeners, unskilled labor, etc. are hired with frequency by legit companies as independent contractors who get a nice, pretty 1099 instead of a W2 at the end of the year...not all of those jobs can be replaced by a programmable tin can.


Yeah we're on the same wavelength. Except where I live we don't have that much illegal immigrants, and those we do have are usually Romani doing organized begging or crime, live anywhere, and certainly don't do any JOBS. And of course in the real world, these people have rights...

We have people doing "black" jobs but those are registered people either native or from Eastern Europe coming to work for pretty good wages and then returning having made themselves a comparable fortune.

But I digress. Point is, drones are not AIs and thus cannot work as well as even somewhat stupid or uneducated humans.
Abstruse
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Jun 6 2010, 06:08 PM) *
that expects that anywhere that have actual trash pickup have homeless people sleeping in the open. I can see the star grabbing anyone sleeping like that and tossing them into the barrens.

Everywhere is going to have trash pick-ups, even the Barrens. Sure, in the Barrens, they may send the dirt-cheap drones out on their own to do it not caring if they miss the bits that fall out because it was overflowing, but the trash still has to be picked up by SOMEone eventually or else it's just going to be a landfill. Literally, not metaphorically. Packaging might biodegrade, but it's not going to do it on asphalt for a very, very long time.
kzt
No, the barren's isn't a bad part of a LA, it's Mogadishu. NOBODY goes there unless they either have no choice or are with a large number of heavily armed friends.

The police want to keep what is in the barrens away from decent people. The police only go into the barrens when someone there goes something to someone in the real world, and when they do it's like the opening of Back Hawk Down, only with heavy armor and CAS available. There is no garbage collection. These is no power service, there is no water service, there are no working sewers, there is no data service. It's hell.
Whipstitch
Yeah, there's a thin outer membrane of the Barrens that'll get just enough police attention to keep small businesses from just being utterly looted, (mostly Touristville in Redmond), but after that, you're on your own, with your own wits and some charm being your best protection.

Abstruse
I'm not saying it's just a bad neighborhood. However, logistically, there HAS to be garbage collection of some sort. Seeing as the Barrens have been the Barrens since at least 2050 (I can't remember the year Redmond got smashed flat off the top of my head, but the Barrens were in the original BBB), there would be 20 years of accumulated filth and refuse from everyone living there. That is just logically impossible that anyone could live there.

Hell, even though police have abandoned a lot of neighborhoods in Detroit, they still pick up the trash eventually.
Whipstitch
Again though, SR4 Seattle isn't Detroit. It features a much more active Mt. Rainier, a populated nuclear wasteland named Glow City (and it's been like that since a meltdown back in the '20s, btw, and some of the people who live there are literally mutants), and a place called the Plastic Jungles in which neo-primitive tribes clash with outsiders and gangs that would steal their crops. Living in shitholes is just what people do in the setting. So, yeah, there's landfills in the Barrens alright, but they're places like the Rat's Nest where people actually just go right ahead and use the garbage as shelter and in some cases worship toxic spirits. They're not exactly official or well-managed. It's likely an ad-hoc system based on spontaneous order if there's really any order to it at all. Someone dumps their trash in an old building and so their neighbor starts piling up their trash there too. That's apparently changing somewhat since apparently the Eta corp is actually setting up a few processing plants in the Barrens, but the fluff indicates that it's a pretty recent thing and until then trash collection city wide was a pretty corrupt biz.
RedFish
The idea that corps want to pay high wages so that their own workers can spend more is completely illogical and one of the reasons the whole mega corp thing doesn't make much sense in the first place. It's just not how an economy would logically work. Somehow you need to get more money in than you pump out, and that line of thought is counter intuitive to that. It'd be way too easy for a much smaller company to just undercut your prices and steal all your customers that aren't directly employed by you.

The reason some of us are painting bleak, dystopian visions of slavelike conditions for the wage slaves is that it's more or less the only way a mega-corp structure makes any sense. Mega corps depict a roman slave economy or the days of the British triangular trade as well as the East Indian companies - few benefit at the expense of the masses. Also, what on earth is the common citizen of the regular country doing? All the production and most of the service industry seems to be in corporate hands, so how can a country have anything but SiNless citizens eroding the very foundation that would make a country?

Argh! One question raises another and I think I'm better off just ignoring most of the fluff wobble.gif
Whipstitch
Well, I never said that the corps would have to pay well, just that there's ways of getting a lot of the wages they do pay out back through things like scrip and trimming costs by providing employee benefits rather than just paying a big fat chunk of nuyen. And unlike a drone you don't really need to pay anything up front to get a live employee. Whether that is enough to make a human a better prospect than a drone or not will depend on the field in question.
RedFish
QUOTE (Whipstitch @ Jun 6 2010, 08:51 PM) *
Well, I never said that the corps would have to pay well, just that there's ways of getting a lot of the wages they do pay out back, and unlike a drone you don't really need to pay anything up front to get a live employee.


Wasn't really aimed at you anyhow smile.gif Just a more general notion.

Point being that there is no reason to pay your employees much more than it costs to produce the stuff they consume. Pay them in corp script, just deduct consumption from their pay, whatever, just don't pay them more than you need to - you'd only be inflating prices with the result that you're hurting your own competitiveness.
kzt
Someone one recently described the MBA classes he'd attended as teaching the wantabe exes that

> 1: A manager can manage anything. Don't get bogged down in the technical
details, just give the orders and the technical apes will work it out.
> 2: The pay of your workers has nothing to do with the quality of work you get
out of them. The cheapest worker who'll take the job is the best worker for the
job.
> 3: You are worth the highest pay possible and if the company wants to do well,
it will pay top dollar for it's executives- you have to pay high wages to get
good executives.
> Anybody see a dichotomy in #2 and #3?
Deadmannumberone
QUOTE (RedFish @ Jun 6 2010, 01:27 PM) *
Also, what on earth is the common citizen of the regular country doing? All the production and most of the service industry seems to be in corporate hands, so how can a country have anything but SiNless citizens eroding the very foundation that would make a country?

Argh! One question raises another and I think I'm better off just ignoring most of the fluff wobble.gif



Most of the nationalized SINners still work for the corps (dual, triple, or even more SINizenships exist quite often). Plus the SINless don't exist, so there is "nothing to erode the beautiful foundation of the glorious nations of the first world."
Abstruse
QUOTE (RedFish @ Jun 6 2010, 09:27 PM) *
The idea that corps want to pay high wages so that their own workers can spend more is completely illogical and one of the reasons the whole mega corp thing doesn't make much sense in the first place. It's just not how an economy would logically work. Somehow you need to get more money in than you pump out, and that line of thought is counter intuitive to that. It'd be way too easy for a much smaller company to just undercut your prices and steal all your customers that aren't directly employed by you.

That's why you blow 50,000 hiring runners to set a bomb in the smaller company or kidnap the exec's daughter so he sells controlling shares. And when the megacorps control the manufacturing, where exactly are these smaller companies getting their goods cheaper to undercut the megacorps?

If you want an example of how it works, look at Walmart. People who work at Walmart typically also shop at Walmart because they get an employee discount and their bonuses for things like attendance or employee of the month are -- shock shock -- Walmart gift cards. They ALMOST allowed their employees to choose to get paid in Walmart gift cards a few years back until the FTC and about ten trillion other government agencies through a massive hissy-fit. Almost all your needs and wants are right there after your shift is over, so why go to another store to buy the same thing and pay more since you get a discount? But non-Walmart employees shop there too, which brings in more money. And say some smaller company tries to undercut Walmart. Well, that's when they have these things called "loss leaders". It's a product that's sold at a loss and heavily advertised to get people in the door. Walmart does this just long enough to drive the other company -- who can't afford to sell it at a loss -- out of business and then they restore the price, probably raised a bit more than it was before the whole thing happened.

"But if everyone's working for the same company, where are these outside people coming from?" Well, Microsoft creates products and sells them in Walmart. They pay their employees. Those employees have to buy groceries and clothes and DVDs and medicine and so on. Same for Kraft and Warner Bros. Then there's city/state/federal employees. And the guy that mows the lawn of the Assistant Store Manager. And the guy that cooks at the 4-star restaurant the shareholder likes to eat at. They all make money and they need to buy things too. The guy who works at the docks supervising the unloading of all the products cheaply manufactured in sweatshops on the other side of the world, his boss, his boss's boss, his boss's boss's boss (who probably owns stock in Walmart as well)...

With the exception of the restaurant, every corporation I listed on there would be considered an A-ranked company if transplanted straight-up to the Shadowrun world. If corporate extraterritoriality existed, they'd be AA or AAA. Time-Warner is Horizon (vertical monopoly in the entertainment industry...they control the manufacture, wholesale, distribution, and consumer outlets (Warner Bros. Studios - Warner Home Video - Time-Warner Cable)). If Kraft bought Walmart or vice versa and moved to Mexico, they would literally be Aztechnology. Even with the footholds Apple has been getting, Microsoft is still the de facto company for operating systems and most office software. A company known for manufacturing military hardware as well as having private "security" assets available for hire...is that Halliburton/Blackwater or Ares? Did you know we're one merger away from having Standard Oil being back together again? This isn't exactly some wild pulled-from-Gibson's-ass thing going on in Shadowrun. There's a chance something close to this sort of economy could actually happen if people don't start paying more attention to globalization and overconsolidation.
Whipstitch
QUOTE (kzt @ Jun 6 2010, 04:02 PM) *
> Anybody see a dichotomy in #2 and #3?


That depends; does a dichotomy look a lot like a fox guarding a henhouse? Because if so I think I spotted one. rotfl.gif
kzt
Nah, wallmart sales were only 405 billion, profits only 24 billion with two million employees. You can't be a major SR corp if you sales are not at least equal to the GDP of Poland. Kraft Food is the 60th or so in the US, it's down around 200 worldwide. So it wouldn't even be close.

The whole basis of the SR corp idea is that "Japanese are going to take over" in the 80s. It's conceptually (as much as there is a concept behind it) on the keiretsu, though they missed that whole system was bank centered, and that you can't do a hostile takeover of a keiretsu.

In reality the zaibatsu from prewar would have been a better model, but logic and rationality has never been a priority of SR developers.....
Abstruse
QUOTE (kzt @ Jun 6 2010, 10:33 PM) *
Nah, wallmart sales were only 405 billion, profits only 24 billion with two million employees. You can't be a major SR corp if you sales are not at least equal to the GDP of Poland. Kraft Food is the 60th or so in the US, it's down around 200 worldwide. So it wouldn't even be close.

The whole basis of the SR corp idea is that "Japanese are going to take over" in the 80s. It's conceptually (as much as there is a concept behind it) on the keiretsu, though they missed that whole system was bank centered, and that you can't do a hostile takeover of a keiretsu.

In reality the zaibatsu from prewar would have been a better model, but logic and rationality has never been a priority of SR developers.....

That's where it came from, but if you notice, they HAVE changed with the times. The Japanese corps aren't the only big boys in the pool anymore like in 2050. Think back to what corporations were like before all the trustbusting under Roosevelt. Think if Kraft (largest consumer food company in the US) and Walmart (largest retail chain in the US) merged. They'd control manufacture, wholesale, distribution, and consumer sales. They could undercut pretty much everyone else in the market, especially if Kraft brands were only sold in Walmart stores. Okay, it works better if we think of Kraft before RJR decided to have a fire sale on their different divisions, but still...they'd be able to price out not only the other chain stores, but also the other manufacturers as well. Those other companies would either go under or get bought up by someone else (possibly by Kraft-Walmart themselves), making Kraft-Walmart even stronger. Maybe it gives them enough leverage to buy out an electronics company like Samsung. They can now undercut prices on electronics too on both sides of the coin. Other companies would have to get into the act...forcing Sony to buy up something like Best Buy or Radio Shack to sell their products at a competitive price since Walmart's only selling Samsung products now. So on and so forth.

Is it likely something like this would happen? Not really...but it's not just something completely random and stupid either.
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