by joemarzen » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:16 pm
by doc_loliday » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:29 pm
by Vox Contra » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:48 pm
by PeteB » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:49 pm
by DBTrek » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:55 pm
doc_loliday wrote:Doc Stranglelove has a plan. Basically, everybody gets a minimum of free food, housing, healthcare and education. Beyond that if you want any luxuries you have to work. Sounds plausible I suppose. What if the job creators all go to a hidden valley in Colorado though. If this is the case, the population simply will have to decrease.
by boethius » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:34 pm
by doc_loliday » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:47 pm
DBTrek wrote:doc_loliday wrote:Doc Stranglelove has a plan. Basically, everybody gets a minimum of free food, housing, healthcare and education. Beyond that if you want any luxuries you have to work. Sounds plausible I suppose. What if the job creators all go to a hidden valley in Colorado though. If this is the case, the population simply will have to decrease.
Does he sterilize the non-workers, or have a magic banana tree that drops all the free food needed for the non-workers?
I assume the magic banana tree also comes with a magic house-building monkey . . . if he's not sterilizing the freeloaders.
by Eustace » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:22 pm
by ScottZ » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:56 pm
by The Mad Zeppelineer » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:05 pm
by The Mad Zeppelineer » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:08 pm
ScottZ wrote: Technology has always strengthened capitalism and increased the demand for workers.
by ScottZ » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:36 pm
manual labor is going to become cheaper with robotics. THAT is inevitable.
by boethius » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:38 am
by The Mad Zeppelineer » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:20 am
ScottZ wrote:Dude, the auto industry is technology. Much of the same technology which makes those scary robots run is the same technology that makes the cars run. Without that technology, there would be no cars to produce.
Also, you wrote...I admit its strangely worded, but I think the sentence is clear...manual labor is going to become cheaper with robotics. THAT is inevitable.
Yeah, manual labor has always been cheaper than robots. That is why Foxcom uses manual labor exclusively to create iPads. I think you might have meant to write 'manual labor is going to become more expensive than robotics.' That may or may not be the case, but if it is, past trends still indicate that capitalism will be strengthened by all technological progress.
The automobile probably put a lot of teamsters out of work (teamsters means wagon drivers, just to be clear), but that effect was temporary as more workers went to factories to make cars and car parts, drive the trucks full of car parts and other goods, started their own mechanic shops, etc. Back in 1902, there were probably a lot of angry guys predicting that the horseless carriage would be the end of something or another.
by Atanamis » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:47 am
The reason we don't employ people in more and more fields is because the costs of production are dropping. We can produce food for far less cost than ever in the past, and the same for manufacturing and other services that become automated. Workers don't HAVE to be as productive in terms of wealth produced if the goods themselves cost less wealth. Today even the homeless have cell phones. Think about that a minute. Cell phones are so cheap that even a person who lives in the street can buy a cheap disposable phone to use. Without technology, whoever could exert the most physical force lived a stark life, and those who could not died if they didn't subserviate themselves to those who could (and often if they did). Comparing life today in any developed country to pre-technology life is simply no comparison, even for the homeless. I'd far rather be homeless in San Francisco today than a peasant in the middle ages or earlier. I'd suggest most people who would say otherwise are ignorant or dishonest.joemarzen wrote:We simply need fewer and fewer humans to do physical labor every year. It won't be long before the consequences of automation really begin to impact white collar jobs as well. For example, a lot of what lawyers and accounts do could be automated already if the correct infrastructure was in place.
We may well reach a point where only a small segment of the population "works" to support the rest. A family might have one person in 10 who can provide productive value, but with the cost of living declined so far that person's income might well be able to support the rest. We might see a shift to shorter work weeks. Until the US government mandated 40 hour work weeks during the Depression, there was a consistent drop in the length of the work week since the industrial revolution. We might see a doubling of the work force if we established 20 hours as a full work week. Specialized degrees are NOT the optimal path of education either. Far better would be a greater focus on intricate trade skills through an apprenticeship process. Before too long, all mass production will be fully automated. The main thing left for manual labor will be individualized customizations that aren't cost effective to build into the automated system. You will see a consolidation of the economy around the people who design the machines, program the machines, and own the machines. There are a lot of things I would expect people to continue to prefer done by other people, even if it would be cheaper to have it done by machine. Populations ARE expected to stabilize and then contract, and that will help. Changes are coming, but to assume they will be disastrous is not necessarily reasonable.joemarzen wrote:This isn't to say there isn't and won't be a lot to do in the world, it's just that there isn't going to be enough profitable stuff for people to do. Reconciling that, redefining what is considered productive and useful human activity will be a revolutionary change for humanity, and it's likely to come in many of our life times. Pushing education isn't going to solve the problem. Among other problems, there will always be a large portion of the population that isn't suited or for whom it isn't practical to to get some sort of specialized degree. What do you do with masses of people that simply have no way of supporting themselves?