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How to get a job in F1


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#1 Greg Locock

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Posted 29 September 2020 - 21:42

ex design engineer gives a fairly frank set of answers

 

https://www.reddit.c...g_some_student/



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#2 mariner

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 10:06

Thanks, Greg, really interesting stuff - and very open too.

 

I am bit surprised at his comment about low pay. MB GP Ltd,the UK company that is the team owner had a turnover in 2019 of £363M and employed 1,016 people for a wages bill of £84M excluding social security and pension costs.

 

So the AVERAGE wage was £83,000 per head.That excludes  Toto Wolf (who seems to earn £6.9M per year) and the other directors.  

 

So although I have to respect his inside knowledge I think the average pay levels in MB GP at Brackley are pretty high, above the auto industry average in EU/USA I would think even allowing for high qualification levels 



#3 Canuck

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 15:14

I think in any sector where the pool of applicants vastly outnumbers the available roles, the employer has the advantage, particularly for entry-level, administrative, and technical roles that aren't specifically related to racing (IT). If you want the experience of working for or feel there's some social cache to saying you work for, an F1 team, you'd be willing to trade compensation, at least until the novelty wore off. If you're one of the individuals that is demonstrably moving the needle for them then I suspect you're in a different compensation bracket all together and the bigger threat you would pose to their success should you go to a different team, the better the retention as well. 

 

I think the average role working for an F1 team would be far more grinding, stressful and relatively thankless than most university students imagine, with a greater percentage of relatively mundane engineering work to do. There are only so many rock stars allowed.



#4 mariner

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 15:48

I am not an engineer but I have worked in a large R+D/engineering unit with about 700 people so not too dissimilar  from the 1,000 at MB GP.

 

 

It wasn't t racing but the competition was Japanese and relentlessy  tough. We tried to get a 50 hour week out of all staff to match the Japanese. 

 

People were motivated and enjoyed the challenge but it had to be run like large corporate unit for that many people to be co ordinated. I imagine that's true in MB GP or Ferrari too so for many people it will be just a job.

 

The days of 20 determined and inspired people doing a GP car are long gone. 

 

Even if you back back way it is clear in Adrian Newey's biography that detail mechanical design was something he seldom got involved in, other people did that etc.



#5 jimjimjeroo

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 16:07

Nows not the time. Expect massive redundancies in the next few years with budget caps

#6 Greg Locock

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 20:46

I've known 3 people who've worked at F1 teams for a reasonable period of time. All 3 were happy enough with normal pay at our place. i suspect the technical rock stars get the big bucks, whereas in the general automotive  industry very very few technical stream guys are at the higher, management equivalent, grades. As he says the travelling roadshow gets the big pay, not the grunts in front of tubes back in the office.



#7 Charlieman

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 11:25

I'm not sure how the PhD premium for starting salaries in engineering works in the UK nowadays, but I suspect that job hunters are still doing all right. There will be some aggressive hunting for desirable job candidates.

 

Many of the engineers at divisions operated by Mercedes-Benz or Renault will be juniors sent for training in a high performance, high stress working environment. Others may be specialists who have limited opportunities elsewhere to pursue their interests. They may not be interested in F1 itself, just wanting to get their hands on sexy kit or marking points on their CVs.

 

Gabe, author of the reddit post, seems to have a bit of a problem adjusting to life in the UK. He makes points about European living standards which are almost comical. That's fine. Difficulties wrt visa and financial status exist, but I am surprised that his employers were unable to help; I know that many UK universities have few problems settling foreign staff. Here in Europe we are different, different within every country and region. Most of us celebrate difference.

 

But it is wet in Europe!



#8 DogEarred

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 15:25

I think in any sector where the pool of applicants vastly outnumbers the available roles, the employer has the advantage, particularly for entry-level, administrative, and technical roles that aren't specifically related to racing (IT). If you want the experience of working for or feel there's some social cache to saying you work for, an F1 team, you'd be willing to trade compensation, at least until the novelty wore off. If you're one of the individuals that is demonstrably moving the needle for them then I suspect you're in a different compensation bracket all together and the bigger threat you would pose to their success should you go to a different team, the better the retention as well. 

 

I think the average role working for an F1 team would be far more grinding, stressful and relatively thankless than most university students imagine, with a greater percentage of relatively mundane engineering work to do. There are only so many rock stars allowed.

 

There is no one simple way to get a job in F1.

If we just talk just about the engineering/design side, the technical structure is basically:-

 

Tech Director

Chief Designer & Chief Aerodynamisist

Section Leaders (eg. Chassis, Suspension & Steering, Engine Installation (rads/coolers/engine auxiliaries/kers) Bodywork, R&D, FEA etc.

 

These people will invariably be experienced, knowledgeable & (apart from the superstars) well paid - in the £70k - £100k bracket, although that may vary these days.

They will have worked their way up, either with the same team or by moving around. You tend to increase your salary though by moving around.

 

After that, there tends to be the 'long term' engineers, who are happy to be in the F1 world & achieve reasonably good salaries they could not achieve elsewhere.

Occasionally, If a candidate is thought the right qualities, he/she might be taken on & allowed to learn quickly, a new role.

 

Below that, the more junior engineers are, as Canuck implies, the grafters - churning out stuff one way or another & gaining experience.

Like any other industry, they will be hoping/working for promotion or more exciting projects. Plenty of them moan about their low salaries & believe they are God's gift...

 

Msc & Phd's are not necessarily the best or only way in but it helps though. Thousands of people apply every year. Some straight from education, some from companies where they have gained some experience.

I have seen with my own eyes, letters from Oxford & Cambridge graduates, offering to work for no pay, in order to gain a foot in!

 

So yes, the teams have the upper hand, paying low salaries & making it difficult to get increments or promotion. Staff are expected to work any hours requested & over the winter period, 7 days per week. You can tell the people who are not driven by the love of F1 by their absence at critical times & believe me, they are the majority! Freelancers are brought in for these occasions, to help out meeting deadlines, then discarded when the season starts. 

 

Nowadays there are regular intakes of 'work experience' students in the summer holidays, who are mentored & given a report for potential employed, at the end of their stay.

I was once given one of these students to 'mentor' & report on. (to my surprise, as I am a freelancer with no high qualifications) 

My guy was a pleasant enough chap but I don't know if he thought he was going to breeze into a job but he turned out not to listen to basic advice, lazy & more interested in sneaking off for coffee & smokes & chatting to his student mates. Not interested at all. My report? - Well I do not consider it my job to inhibit anyone's future, so I gave him a decent report. My guess is though, he is currently nowhere near a F1 racing team!

 

Opportunities tend to come up & are filled as needed by whoever is available, as well as a structured career. Teams are well aware that people move around & are poached & there are unspoken rules about behaviour in these circumstances. People know people & the 'grapevine' is in constant use.



#9 DogEarred

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 15:51

.....or you can do it the DogEarred way. - Unorthodoxly, as with most things in life I have done, it seems.

 

I tried writing to all the teams when I was younger & having no degree, it was pretty obvious that I would not be employed anywhere & gave up.

 

Year 2000, aged about 47 - I had spent my working life in drawing offices, firstly freelance in the oil & gas industry, using CAD since it was introduced in circa 1983. Then on the back of my knowledge of a particular CAD system, I obtained work in the US for about 3 years, doing trucks & locomotives, then another 3 years in Frankfurt, doing components for Opel cars.

 

There was a lull in work in the German design house & they laid us off for a few weeks, so I decided to drive home to London.

At this time, there was a petrol tanker driver's strike in the UK & fuel was almost impossible to come by.

 

As I pulled up outside my flat in London, I took a call from an employment agency, basically saying "If you have enough petrol to get the ******** F1 Team tomorrow, they will give you a  trial"

Well, I kept a second old car & it was full of petrol!!!!

 

Being familiar with their CAD system & having raced for 10 years & followed F1 design since a teenager, I joined the Aero dept. & was able to start producing the simple parts they gave me to do the same day, surprising them, I think. Another guy who was taken on really had no ideas about racing car construction & was let go at the end of the week.

My contract was extended & when that finished, I had the magic F1 team on my cv, which allowed me to stay, with a few interesting exceptions, in the F1 world ever since with 9 differently named teams, retiring last year.

 

So you can say that I got in at the top & have been working my way down ever since.  :rotfl:  :rotfl:

 

You learn a lot by watching & listening to others & if you can add up one and one, you can often get the answer to things you should not know but that's another set of stories...


Edited by DogEarred, 03 October 2020 - 15:55.


#10 Greg Locock

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 21:54

Here's another one

 

https://www.reddit.c...sk_me_anything/



#11 Fat Boy

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 17:25

I wouldn't have a job in F-1 if it was hanging on a Christmas tree. I'd much rather be racing.



#12 Greg Locock

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 21:46

Yeah solar car was enough to put me off doing it as a job. That guy laminating cells onto the body at 4 am? One of them was me, and we had to work the next day, 8am.



#13 Nathan

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 15:45

Thanks, Greg, really interesting stuff - and very open too.

 

I am bit surprised at his comment about low pay. MB GP Ltd,the UK company that is the team owner had a turnover in 2019 of £363M and employed 1,016 people for a wages bill of £84M excluding social security and pension costs.

 

So the AVERAGE wage was £83,000 per head.That excludes  Toto Wolf (who seems to earn £6.9M per year) and the other directors.  

 

 

Why does it exclude Wolff?  I assume it does include Wolff's pay as an officer of the corporation, if so that average gets sliced to the mid 70's.  Between senior sponsorship/marketing staff, finance heads, design heads, there are probably two dozen more of those 1,000 than combine for a few million.

I guess what I'm getting at is, it isn't outlandish for such a large company to see 10-15% of total payroll put into 2-3% of the staff.  That really skews the 'average' and is often why the median is the better stat for such things.



#14 mariner

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 09:38

To answer Nathan's question the wages exclude Wolf as he is director who as " officers" aren't included in wages under UK accounting regulations.

 

There are , obviously, a number of directors on the MB F1 boards , mostly  senior MB guys but only Wolf is paid as a director by the F1 company.



#15 DogEarred

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Posted 18 October 2020 - 10:56

I wouldn't have a job in F-1 if it was hanging on a Christmas tree. I'd much rather be racing.

 

Raises an interesting question in my mind, having done both.

 

When much younger, I spent about 14 years racing karts & small single seaters. It was my passion to the exclusion of a 'normal' life & I used to laugh when I saw interviews with top sportsmen & Olympic athletes boasting about their dedicated regimes & 6 hours per day training. I worked in drawing offices, often doing overtime & for example, driving or travelling a couple of hours per day, then going straight to my garage to work on the car for 2-3 hours, then go out driving a minicab until midnight and beyond. Unless racing, weekends where spent between the garage & mini-cabbing for extra money.

I towed the car on a trailer to races, sleeping in the car when necessary. I mostly had the help of one enthusiastic but bumbling friend. I raced in the highest championships I could, rather than looking for cheap victories at smaller meetings. By my own endeavors plus the benefit a working base in Belgium for 3 years, I got to roam around Europe racing at the old 'Ring, Zandvoort, Francorchamps, Pau, Montlhery & other places.

 

When much older, I spent around 15 years in and around F1, sports cars & LSR vehicles. As for F1, as a contractor, I worked for several teams. I was happy to be there, at the 'top end' of motor sport, albeit at not a high level. I worked to the best of my ability, always wanting the team to do well & taking an interest in all things, going to de-briefs & gathering whatever information I could. The race teams were always good to work for - they did what was necessary to get the cars to the track & were fun to work with.  I used to laugh sometimes, crawling into the offices at 7.00 am on cold, snowy winter days, to be greeted by absolutely nobody else. Gradually a reluctant few might crawl in for a few hours. This is not untypical of the 'dedicated, hardworking supermen' you hear team bosses eulogizing about. (Don't get me wrong - there are indeed a substantial number of those too.) At least I got to work in the area I always wanted to & 'mix it' with some big names.

 

So If I can turn Fat Boy's statement into a question & by a very, very, very small margin:

 

 

I'd rather be racing...   :clap:



#16 gruntguru

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 02:28

I guess what I'm getting at is, it isn't outlandish for such a large company to see 10-15% of total payroll put into 2-3% of the staff.  That really skews the 'average' and is often why the median is the better stat for such things.

 

Wouldn't that be typical for large companies in general?

 

https://ourworldinda...come-inequality

 

Zt2MuHo.png

 

https://www.nytimes....ty-america.html

 

 

The chief executives of large American corporations made about 20 times more than the median worker at those companies in the mid-1960s. By 2018, the gap was some 278 times.


Edited by gruntguru, 20 October 2020 - 02:29.


#17 Greg Locock

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 06:30

The economics of envy rarely add much light to discussions. As a shareholder I vote in some way for the pay of the board. . I don't think it is a good process, to be honest, but it is entirely different to how pay is set for the general workers. So the NYT quote is examining the outcomes of different processes, and lo and behold, they are different. In Australia we are just starting to see a SHORTAGE of directors (for good reasons) so you can expect to see that U shaped curve get more U shaped, not less.



#18 DogEarred

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 07:16

There is of course one certain way to get a job in Formula 1.

Just drive faster than anyone else...

#19 Imperial

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 10:18

I was once offered a job by FOM (talking mid 1990s here) but the salary was absolutely atrocious, I'm not kidding, and as it would have required a home move by myself from the north of England (bearing in mind I was only in my late teens) and somehow having to actually be able to live on said salary (which the maths proved was impossible) the opportunity came and I let it drift on by. I've asked myself a few times if I regret not being able to somehow make it work, as maybe I'd have shot up the FOM ranks, but you can't think that way really and given that FOM had a huge round of redundancies not too many years later it may have been an opportunity taken and bitterly regretted if I'd found myself on the scrap heap already at a young age.

 

Over the next couple of years after that I had a look into a few roles at different places but never went beyond any initial phone-chat/discussion stage and I just left it there after a while, having reached the conclusion that F1 is basically exactly the same as any other type of industry you may wish to work in, that if you don't already live in the local area for the job then you're just wasting your own time looking. From my own limited experiences, that would be the single biggest thing I took away from it. There is, after all, a reason that most of the UK F1 teams recruit graduates of the same few local universities. And our friend here on reddit is proof of that, relating in his first answer that he studied at the University of Oxford - that is one of the few universities they look to.

 

I know the title aims this thread squarely at F1, but it's everywhere. I tried applying to M-Sport (not a huge distance from me) and they never even used to reply to say no thanks, but yes I did even once offer my services on a weekend free of charge to a local touring car team and they weren't interested at all in even bagging themselves some free labour!

 

Conversely, I know someone who has zero interest in any form of motorsport, let alone F1, yet was interviewed for and offered a job by Jaguar F1. He turned the offer down and went to work for an unrelated industry as the pay for the same job was much higher.



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#20 desmo

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 15:02

Any field people are really passionate about working in will probably in the main have crap pay and working conditions.



#21 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 18:18

Any any questioning of it will be the Politics of Envy, apparently. 



#22 Canuck

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 19:40

It does seem like one of the few working (IE without much intervention) examples of pure supply and demand. There are many individuals who think they'd like to work for an F1 team, and there are relatively few roles. When you have a large talent pool to pick from, and a limited amount of competition within that field, it strikes me a obvious that the wages for all but the rock-stars would absolutely be lower, and with higher demand/expectations than a similar role outside of F1. Being able to say "I work for such-and-such F1 team" is part of the compensation package.

 

Conversely, when there is huge demand and very little supply of qualified applicants, wages respond accordingly. It's been some years now, but when Canadian oil drilling activity was hot, anyone who worked on a drilling rig was making 6 figures to start. Long days, away from home for weeks at a time and hard, dangerous work, but well compensated (in numbers at least). Required education to gain rig employment? A couple of safety courses. MWD hands - contractors that bring and operate what is essentially GPS for drill bits, were pulling down $1000/day plus expenses, and were ordinarily referred to as Movie Watching Dudes because as long as the tools worked, there was almost nothing to do.

 

As a cursory thought, non-unionized labour markets are some of the few real-world examples of supply-and-demand as they aren't traded on commodities markets nor repackaged in magical tranches, the supply/demand ratio shapes what the buyer is willing to accept in terms of quality, and the price of it.



#23 Kelpiecross

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 03:48

Any field people are really passionate about working in will probably in the main have crap pay and working conditions.

 

 

 Or if they are really really passionate they will work for no pay.  



#24 Greg Locock

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 04:50

Yep. The pay at Lotus Cars/Engineering was, traditionally, crap. Many of the engineers were Lotus enthusiasts. However when GM took over they had to get bums on seats for a big program and the pay bounced up to relatively normal levels. The relocation package was good, because of course they were after experienced engineers who were somewhat nervous about moving out into the wilds of Norfolk.



#25 gruntguru

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 02:27

The economics of envy rarely add much light to discussions. As a shareholder I vote in some way for the pay of the board. . 

 

Nice throw-away line.

The fact is that at some extreme - income and wealth inequality leads to economic collapse (as in the great depression). The top end don't "spend" the extra money, they "invest" it. The system only works if enough money is being "spent" purchasing the output of production.

 

However bad the current trend might be, automation is going to compound the problem - ever fewer "workers" with purchasing power to consume the stuff.

 

As a "shareholder", you are in the top 1% of incomes worldwide.


Edited by gruntguru, 22 October 2020 - 02:27.


#26 Imperial

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 06:39

, automation is going to compound the problem

 

Frighteningly true, and way off topic this, but watching a TV ad for 'guide dogs for the blind' earlier this week, it struck me that probably within one to two decades there will be some form of drone conducting this task (along with everything else not requiring an emotional decision).



#27 DogEarred

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 08:25

They already have them in Formula 1.



They are called ‘Head of HR’...

#28 desmo

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 14:17

Automation replacing menial jobs is generally a great thing but it's also no excuse for the people who did those to be thrown into poverty—even if that means having to pay some of them them not to do those menial jobs.



#29 gruntguru

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 22:12

You mean they won't all be retrained in IT? Seriously, the first wave of this will be transportation. There are a huge number of people who "drive" something for a living.


Edited by gruntguru, 22 October 2020 - 22:13.


#30 Canuck

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 15:52

Automation replacing menial jobs is generally a great thing but it's also no excuse for the people who did those to be thrown into poverty—even if that means having to pay some of them them not to do those menial jobs.

 

A few years back, I was tasked with closing the plant I managed for a globocorp (who shortly after, ran that entire segment into the ground with mismanagement, took on a partner in a collaboration that was acrimonious at best then quickly dissolved that partnership, walking away virtually empty-handed, but I'm not bitter). Once the staff were all gone, the machines were all moved and the building was empty save for my office, I was paid to do nothing for a number of weeks as they debated whether to package me off or find another role. It was arguably the most tedious, mind-numbing, soul-sucking income I've ever earned. Each day I had to show up to an empty building by myself and find ways to remain occupied for the day. After I'd managed to binge all of the available Top Gear episodes I could find, I resorted to an endless series of internal training courses, most of which served to lower my opinion of the company even further as they outlined among other "best practices", how to hold your customer over the barrel.

 

We're at an interesting period in history for sure. Technology is advancing quickly enough that no industry is safe. Software that writes software, robots that perform mechanical tasks, AI generated video content (although if YouTube is anything to judge by, that content is thus far suitable only for an LSD trip). It will have to up-end our entire notion of what an economy is with massive percentages of the population in the western world suddenly out of work.

 

You don't need to be a shareholder to be in the 1% globally. it seems to me that ~$35,00 USD annually put you in that group.



#31 Greg Locock

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 23:52

Any Australian worker is a shareholder via their super, I decided to ignore that. Admittedly good luck trying to get the super fund to vote at AGMs in accordance with your wishes, that might be a fun one to start a campaign on.

 

The median wealth of Australian adults is $181 000, because of house ownership and super. Hence more than half of adult Australians, and probably almost all of the ones who work, are in the top 10% globally. Any Australian who owns a house (paid off) and has 20 years of super is probably in the top 1%

 

figure 5 https://financialcap...report-2019.pdf



#32 gruntguru

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 04:02

 . . . . The median wealth of Australian adults is $181 000, because of house ownership and super. Hence more than half of adult Australians, and probably almost all of the ones who work, are in the top 10% globally. Any Australian who owns a house (paid off) and has 20 years of super is probably in the top 1%

 

figure 5 https://financialcap...report-2019.pdf

I was surprised to see almost 1% of the world are millionaires - then realised that 47 million is not actually 0.9% of the 2019 world population of 7.7B. More like 0.6%???? Maybe they printed the 6 upside-down.

 

Still - more millionaires than I thought.


Edited by gruntguru, 24 October 2020 - 04:03.


#33 Greg Locock

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 05:48

They used adults not population. Which is weird admittedly, until you realise the reporting problem otherwise.



#34 gruntguru

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 22:41

Ahhh - thanks Greg.



#35 Fat Boy

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 00:42

There is of course one certain way to get a job in Formula 1.

Just drive faster than anyone else...

You can't _really_ be this naive, right?



#36 Fat Boy

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 00:47

Any field people are really passionate about working in will probably in the main have crap pay and working conditions.

No. As it turns out, people don't like morons working on their cars and people who do it well are in short supply. A racing engineer is the same as a racing driver in the respect that any number of people will do your job for free.

 

Professional race teams can't afford free help.



#37 Fat Boy

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 00:56

Raises an interesting question in my mind, having done both.


When much older, I spent around 15 years in and around F1, sports cars & LSR vehicles.

 

So If I can turn Fat Boy's statement into a question & by a very, very, very small margin:

 

I'd rather be racing...   :clap:

I was being a big cheeky (I do that). F-1 is an amazing engineering feat, but it's only racing in the same way that flying a drone from an office building in Nevada is 'going to war'. Being on a team large enough to race successfully in a professional series, yet small enough so everyone can go out for dinner at a reasonably sized restaurant is just about right. Engineer or no, I have to be able to crawl all over the car, not just be OCD about my little 'box'.



#38 Fat Boy

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 01:05

Automation replacing menial jobs is generally a great thing but it's also no excuse for the people who did those to be thrown into poverty—even if that means having to pay some of them them not to do those menial jobs.

Incentivizing meaningless behavior will produce more of it. I'm all for universal basic employment, but universal basic income is a death spiral.



#39 Canuck

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 16:32

Incentivizing meaningless behavior will produce more of it. I'm all for universal basic employment, but universal basic income is a death spiral.

I'm on the fence on this one. The current scenario where so many are now under- or unemployed all together, for indeterminate length, has moderated my position somewhat. Most want to do something besides sit at home or the local watering hole. Most people are finding the extended downtime to be rather crushingly boring and soul-sucking. Yes there will always be people happy to do absolutely nothing and we have a percentage of those people doing nothing now anyway. Granted, some of them are financially independent (or "kept" spouses) but even within those groups, some continue to work.

 

One of my past employers sold his family-owned company for many millions of dollars, making him and his kids independent of anyone else. He went to work for the company that bought his, and continues to work there several years on, one both kids tried to follow the same path but found the large corporate structure more than they could handle particularly given they didn't need to be working at all.  One left to pursue sitting at home and stuffing money up his nose (which isn't that far off what they were doing before), while the other left to become a hair dresser. You can't predict what economic independence will create.

 

Honestly though I can't grok a world where money isn't the river we're all pushed around by. I would guess though that certain roles that couldn't be automated, perhaps plumbing repair or underground mining (as an example) would suddenly become very well compensated in some fashion. The highest-earning jobs - bankers, traders, investors, sales reps - I  imagine they would go out the window all together. A truly non-contributing, useless faction of individuals if ever there was one.



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#40 desmo

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 03:31

Incentivizing meaningless behavior will produce more of it. I'm all for universal basic employment, but universal basic income is a death spiral.

Death spiral in the same way a funded retirement is. The combination of automation and environmental imperatives could or should require (and enable) large numbers of people to exist without traditional employment. If that is a problem, it's only due to our lack of imagination. There is nothing inherently immoral about people not doing traditional "jobs" where they must do as they are told by hierarchical "superiors".



#41 Fat Boy

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 03:50

This isn't the place and we'll never agree anyway. **** it



#42 Canuck

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 19:51

We may never agree, but I always like to see opinions different than my own, especially among people I have common interests with. "Smart" algorithms continue to create echo-chambers for people that don't offer reasonable exchange of perspective or information. We might have wandered OT, but it's an OT I appreciate.

 

I seem to recall reading two different versions of some Scandinavian country's experiment with UBI. One said the program was a hopeless failure, the other said it created opportunities that weren't otherwise available. The truth is likely both.

 

We're seeing an interesting (to me) discussion locally about changing the laws around on-street parking for residential zones. At present there are two kinds - permit and non-permit. There is a group pushing to create a 3rd style - paid permit. The publicly-facing argument is "why should all taxpayers fund the cost of street parking, even if they don't own a car", and weirdly it's coming from the left, which is usually banging on about more taxes for the social good. The real driver however centres around homeowners living around the universities, who see their street parking taken over by students. They'd rather pay a fee for a permit, and those fees go into dedicated parking enforcement and towing to make sure they can continue to park in front of their homes. The argument "we don't like students parking in our neighbourhood" doesn't generate nearly as much support as "it's unfair that people who don't drive have to fund street parking".



#43 gruntguru

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 21:58

Incentivizing meaningless behavior will produce more of it. I'm all for universal basic employment, but universal basic income is a death spiral.

I agree. Unfortunately the problem is coming and a solution is needed. If not UBI we should at least be investigating reduced working hours, job sharing and similar to spread the work around. Unfortunately "business as usual" is easier for the corporate world so it is left to governments who can't see beyond the next election anyway.



#44 Greg Locock

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Posted 29 October 2020 - 22:22

I got into a discussion about funding a true UBI for the USA. I went from being one of those who said nice idea but ridiculous in practice, to thinking there might be something feasible in it. The numbers are huge, obviously, and it would be a big expansion of federal powers. One unintended consequence is that it makes tax minimisation/evasion even more attractive.



#45 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 30 October 2020 - 00:10

Didn't we just run a multi-month UBI experiment, and at the 'toxic' $15/hr wage threshold? 

 

Granted your data is ****ed because you can't figure out how people would have spent their time if they weren't unemployed, because they were also in lockdown or at least heavily restricted. 



#46 Fat Boy

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 17:18

Didn't we just run a multi-month UBI experiment, and at the 'toxic' $15/hr wage threshold? 

 

 

 

Yes. The result was a marked increase in alcoholism and drug use literally within days. I think it would be difficult for anyone to advocate for a UBI after reading Viktor Frankl's _Man's Search for Meaning_. Like I said, I'm in support of 'universal basic employment', but handing out money for the ability to fog a mirror is not a smart move for any number of reasons. The mention of Social Security for the elderly is foolish as the recipients have spent the previous 50 years of life paying _into_ that system.

 

Should anyone choose to prove otherwise, I suggest finding someone homeless in your own community and run the experiment. Give them $1000/month of your own money and report the results.



#47 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 18:36

Are we just randomly giving them money or a support network too? The homeless are an atypical demographic. 

 

You're one of the smarter and more grounded guys here. Are people getting drunk and high because of Free Gubmint Moneh© or because...you know, all the surrounding stress that caused the momentary UBI scenario. 



#48 Fat Boy

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 20:23

Thanks for the compliment, regardless of its validity.

 

I'm not a sociologist or psychologist (although I often play one at the racetrack, lol), but I suspect that substance abuse is skyrocketing because of people's general a lack of purpose which we've introduced as a response to the virus. The virus is still here, but, as people return to work, the trend seems to be reversing. In one poll I saw (not scientific), 40% of respondents said they were drinking more because of boredom, not stress. If one doesn't have some goal in life, the tendency is to flounder. Most of us have been in this situation at some point in our lives. I certainly have, and I found it tough to recover even though I'm pretty damned motivated to do _something_. The structure and self-worth which meaningful employment puts in one's life should not be discounted. The thought that UBI would lead to some golden age of spontaneous philanthropy and art I find extremely unlikely.

 

As automation reduces the need for some jobs, it will undoubtedly make others. These types of disruptions always have in the past. But, if we say this is a novel situation, then we should be able to provide public-works employment which provides income for those who need it and tangible benefits for the entire country.

 

My views are not based in a lack of concern for others. It's precisely this concern which steers my views.



#49 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 20:49

I think you're combing multiple things though. Anyone not working often struggles with identity and routine and etc. The unemployed sometimes have similar issues as the idle rich. What made this all so weird was you couldn't go *do* anything. So we had record paying down of savings because people couldn't spend their 600 bucks a week on anything fun or even going out to eat, so they paid down debt. But I don't think it follows that you can say "If you give people free money they just sit at home and are miserable". If I had guaranteed money and no restrictions I'd have bought a fancy mountain bike and gone on a road trip. 

 

It's a somewhat unprecedented situation, I say somewhat because there are probably similar things somewhere in history. But you have a hugely stressful situation *without* any coping mechanisms. During WW2 London you could at least hang out with people in the bomb shelters. Sexual inhibitions temporarily went out the window. You could go to Church. Lockdown is a weird thing. You can't do a lot of the things you would normally do to handle it, except get drunk or stoned at home. Your family member dies and you can't be there when they pass, can't grieve as a group, etc. It's hard to think of something more perfectly psychologically sadistic. 

 

I think in Real UBI there would be people unhinged through the lack of routine and structure and discipline and etc, but there'd be a lot of people thinking "oh I might volunteer one day a week" or with more free time and less worry would do god knows what. It's probably similar to lotto winners or retired ballplayers. Some people will figure it out, some people will implode. And it's going to have different impacts in different countries and demographics and even regions. I don't think out west or rural Great Lakes states are going to be very idle. They're much more hands on in general. It's also a group that would probably be horrified by the concept of UBI in general. 

 

But if we did it properly we'd take that all into account and figure out how to transition people.

 

I dunno, how do retired people manage? They have an income and not a lot to do. 

 

But I think you're right, people do want to be busy and hopefully they'd find something with *meaning*. If you're a carpenter maybe you'd do more lower fee work for the needy or something. 



#50 Greg Locock

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Posted 02 November 2020 - 22:37

"how do retired people manage? They have an income and not a lot to do. "

 

Made me laugh, that depends entirely on them. My wife is probably not as busy as she was at work, but still has to run a diary and rarely has more than one day a week 'off'.