Solutions to Automation

Discussion in 'Labor & Employment' started by Guest03, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Taxpayer

    Taxpayer Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    At any given time in history, we've wanted more than we have. Automation doesn't create jobs, peoples needs and wants create them. Automation is just one way of satisfying many of those needs and wants with great efficiency.

    Yea, we'll pay less for people running errands or sweeping floors when we figure out how to get those same things accomplished with zero labor. Just like we pay less for hunters, gathers, bath attendants, potato pickers, and elevator drivers.

    That doesn't mean there are less jobs, it just means more of us are freed up to do the really important ones. The job no one else is doing is always available and it often offers great compensation.



     
  2. AFM

    AFM Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    By education I include training for blue collar work as well which will be very much needed with regard to maintaining and repairing the devices that improve out standard of living. We have two sons - one is an electronic engineer and the other is an HVAC technician. They both make comparable yearly income. Also it is important for us as a nation to provide not only a safety net for those who unfortunately lose their job but also training opportunities to train for the next hopefully more lucrative job. We hear a lot about providing free education or providing as much money as possible to pay for education but not much about why higher education is so expensive and how to reduce that cost. Using computers which can actually identify weaknesses in each individual that can be addressed by the computerized learning program or a human teacher can reduce cost and improve quality.
     
  3. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    That doesn't exactly help the performers if its not putting food on the table.

    ^That is what's known as spin (Or positive thinking if you want to spin the description of spin.....euphemism also applies)
    Yes, automation frees up labor to do other things, and keep in mind that I do not view automation as a bad thing. But it should not be ignored that it also
    reduces that pool of replacement jobs and generally reduces their overall ability to support at the same time.

    Its just like you said...the problem isn't that machines replace people so much as it is the machines replace income...

    Wait.......what?!?....

    -Meta
     
  4. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, the Amish structure of society does not "leave folks behind" as it "progresses",
    but it is not necessary that a truly progressing society such as our own leave people behind either.
    It is certainly possible for all in society to be lifted up simultaneously. And no, that doesn't mean we need to crack that whip,
    and tell people they need to be advancing their skills to meet or exceed the level of efficiency provided by robots.

    Certainly, it is not unreasonable to expect people to update their skills as needs change, but the problem with
    expecting people to produce levels of efficiency which is on par with that provided by technology
    is that human beings are not machines. We can not advance as rapidly as machines do.
    Furthermore, we have certain basic needs which machines do not.

    And when machines finally advance to the point at which any contribution one could have conceivably made has already been automated, if we've still got the system we do now, those who haven't managed to secure a sufficient share of that automation and or the raw natural resources that sustain it, will be plum out of luck.

    It should also be pointed out I think, that one living in a society as ours, can not necessarily choose to be Amish,...though this may be a bit beside the point...
    It is perfectly acceptable,...even advisable, in my view, that society advances.....But it is important that we do so not only technologically,....but structurally as well.

    -Meta
     
  5. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree that the jobs wont exist without there existing needs and wants.
    However, needs and wants are likewise nothing without means to go along with them.
    Take away the means from a set of needs and wants and you are simply left with suffering.
    And those with means who's needs and wants are satisfied by automation, will have no motivation to offer jobs to others.

    As such,...another method of procuring means must eventually be found...

    -Meta
     
  6. Deckel

    Deckel Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Yet youtubers now get people's choice awards. The times have achanged.


    Is the world so much worse off that we do not have television and typewriter repairmen and have surgical robots instead? Evolution is not spin, it is reality. Some people just reach a point in their lives in which they become anti-change. You seem to be squarely there. I would prefer we have a cure for cancer than have chemo nurses personally.


    It is a problem that can be addressed.



    what what chicken butt. America has a forecast problem with low skill labor supply in the future. You apparently have a world view which focuses on a certain type of worker--the one who can make $75K a year running a machine at a factory for 8 hours a day. America's demographics are changing. After the boomers retire and die off, we will have a shortage of workers. The population trends are shifting down with a couple now heading to have less than one child on average. We will be begging for immigrants in 50 years.
     
  7. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    1. People's Choice Awards only go out to a very small percentage of youtubers,...per year.
    2. As far as I know, even then, there are no cash prizes involved. And a trophy cannot be eaten. (seriously, this is starting to sound like that whole "let them eat cake" argument, but worse!)
    3. I think you really need to watch this...especially the last third (Warning: Strong language): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKC6XmsLWVQ

    How exactly is me saying "I do not view automation as a bad thing" being anti-change????
    That sounds like a straw-man argument....

    And easily...we simply need to find the will to do so, no merely on an individual level, but collectively as a society.
    I think that there is general consensus here that the first step is increasing the amount of investment that goes into education and training.

    :blankstare::???:

    Where did you get that from?

    Well, I don't know if that prediction is accurate,...birthrate did drop for a bit back in the 70's, but its been pretty steady since then, not to mention life expectancy is going up, and people are working longer. Though I do agree with the stated results if it does turn out the way you predict. At the same time, it wouldn't hurt to have a plan in case it doesn't....

    -Meta
     
  8. AFM

    AFM Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Actually war spending did start in 1938 in preparation (just in case) and to support our allies in Europe and to China.

    The recession of 1937 can be interpreted in a few differing ways. Economists disagree about the causes of this downturn. Cutting gov spending does not occur instantaneously but signing the undistributed profits tax in 1935 did have an immediate effect on business expansion planning. A few years earlier signing of the Smoot Hawley tarriff bill resulted in the crash of the stock market in 1929. Congress took the teeth out of the law in May 1938.



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recession_of_1937–38


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/08/AR2010070804272.html
     
  9. AFM

    AFM Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    But the national debt in the Great Depression exceeded that of WWI. We got in late but still spent a lot of money defending Europe.

    No, guilt by inclusion. The policies of FDR early in his administration (NRA, AAA, WPA, CCC, Wagner Act) were right out of the Soviet playbook. Remember that the Soviet concept of a centrally planned economy from the "Commanding Heights" of big government was supposedly the future of world governance. This was reinforced by the cooked books of the Soviet economy which claimed to be growing at ~ 15% for the time period from 1928 - 1940. A great many of those who were in the FDR administration at high levels travelled to the Soviet Union in the late 20's to study the Soviet central planning system and 5 year plans.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_Soviet_Union
     
  10. Taxpayer

    Taxpayer Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The Amish do not progress, that's the whole point. Their culture shuns those advances. They are satisfied with simple contributions that give them what they need. And you can choose to be part of the Amish society. Go have a long talk with elder John.

    No one expects people to be as efficient as a machine. Neither do we expect non-Amish society to stop progressing and be less efficient so someone can pretend to contribute by doing what a machine could do better.

    If society can accomplish more with you standing in a corner instead of at a counter asking if anyone wants fries with that, you'll need to step away from the counter. You're living on charity either way, but the charity of pretending you're doing work is getting too expensive.




     
  11. Deckel

    Deckel Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    As well as very few actors, TV shows, movies, etc.

    They probably have good cake at the after parties.

    I skipped to the end in which I was congratulated for my millions of ad revenue dollars and legions of fans, so like I was saying...


    That you seem to take automation to the absurd throughout this thread suggests you really do view it as a negative.

    A
    I think the first step is teaching people how to learn, not what to learn. If not, all that investment is for naught.


    [video=youtube;Sge3isWWf7I]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sge3isWWf7I[/video]



    It is my inference from your over all pattern of taking automation to the extreme and leaving us all unemployed. It will never happen.


    I apologize as I misstated the trend. I said less than 1 when it it is trending toward less than 2 in the US. It is currently above 2 but below the replacement fertility rate. Here is the first article I quickly gathered up though not necessarily the most official looking site, but gets the point across:

    http://www.cmq.org.uk/CMQ/2013/Feb/crisis_of_declining_human_fert il.html
     
  12. Taxpayer

    Taxpayer Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Design the solution, offer your design. If it's a good solution, the means will be made available. If you have no solution to offer, all the means in the world won't change the fact you have nothing to contribute.

    And no, offering to do as you're told or otherwise run errands... that's become too expensive an option. It's not useful anymore.






     
  13. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    The bulk of the spending occurred after the Leand-Lease act, which, as your quote mentions, was passed in 1941.
    There was some preparatory spending in 1940 as well, but exactly how much spending do you suppose occurred in 1939 and 1938 in support of or in preparation for the war???

    If the government is employing a bunch of folks, and all of a sudden decides to stop paying them, then yes...that has an instantaneous effect,
    especially if these people haven't had the chance to build up their savings. What economists tend to agree on, and what I think we can agree on too,
    is that the austerity-based policy changes implemented to take effect in 1937 caused a second recession, and that it was the reversal of those policy changes
    which put the recovery back on track. We can disagree on which change had the bigger effect, but in the end, we should still come out of it with the lesson that austerity during a recession or depression doesn't necessarily make things better.

    -Meta
     
  14. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes. It just goes to show exactly how big of a deal both the Great Depression and WWII were, financially speaking...

    Guilt by inclusion? How exactly is that different from Guilt By Association? Is it simply a matter of sequence or origin?? If FDR also learned that 1+1=2 from a soviet playbook,...would that then mean that 1+1 doesn't equal 2? No of course not....Where FDR got his ideas from really should have no bearing on the matter, as it should be perfectly possible to argue the merits and faults of those ideas regardless. After-all, we've tried them here in the states and have first-hand evidence (as a country) of their efficacy.

    -Meta
     
  15. AFM

    AFM Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    They were complete failures. Some (NRA & AAA) were declared unconstitutional. The WPA did some good but it spawned the new term "boondoggle."

    http://fee.org/freeman/when-the-supreme-court-stopped-economic-fascism-in-america/

    http://fee.org/resources/great-myths-of-the-great-depression-pdf-and-audio/
     
  16. AFM

    AFM Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Military spending began to ramp up starting in 1936. The recession in 1938 resulted in a drop but the rising trend continued in 1939 and 1940, but ofcourse no where near the levels in WWII.

    [​IMG]

    http://ivgnnm.livejournal.com/32788.html

    GDP Growth fell precipitously when the tax on undistributed profits was passed due to companies virtually eliminating investment. An economic growth reversal like that would not have occurred if some people were laid off.

    [​IMG]

    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2008/11/real-gdp-fell-by-293-from-1930-to-1933.html
     
  17. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    That's why I put the word Progress in quotes. ;)
    Though if we're going to be technical here, where they do not progress technologically, they still move along from generation to generation.

    Most Amish societies are actually pretty closed off to outsiders.
    There is that one odd person who every now and then manages to get in, but generally most Amish discourage it.
    At any rate, if every displaced worker were to try to join, I highly doubt it would work out well for anyone,
    as even if the Amish were to allow it, its questionable that what current Amish own now would be enough to support everyone.
    If those joining brought some resources of their own, then it might be a different story,...but then of course, if the displaced had sufficient resources,
    they probably wouldn't be wanting to join the Amish in the first place. One could of course then try to simply declare themselves and all they own Amish,...
    but again, that probably isn't going to work out all to well unless one already independently owns enough resources to be self-sufficient.

    Really?.......Because that's certainly what it sounds like.

    No one is suggesting having people pretend to do work.

    -Meta
     
  18. Taxpayer

    Taxpayer Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Individuals die and are replaced with the next generation, who maintain the society unchanged. Individuals progress to the grave, the society does not progress.

    I'm glad we agree it's possible to join the Amish. Each of us will need to decide individually whether we want to do that or continue in an advancing society that requires progress from each of us.

    ... and to be clear, if enough of us want out, they are free to pool their resource or take advantage of charity or government programs to start their own Amish inspired commune. There was recently a TV show focusing on it and I think the moonies may still be accepting recruits.




     
  19. Taxpayer

    Taxpayer Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Jobs have life cycles. There will come a point where most jobs done now by a man can be done better and more efficiently by some type of zero labor application. When that happens, the only reason for his employer to let John Henry keep being a steel driving man is to pretend John can offer something the machine cannot. We need to be more honest than that.

    We need to tell the fry-guy it's time to step away from the counter and either find a new way to contribute or head over to the welfare line. Because no business can afford to continue to pretend what he has been doing for the last decade is actually work. Even with Obama paying McDonald's to keep him busy.



     
  20. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Such is the entire point of this thread, which specifically asks what we should do when automation makes it so that human labor becomes unnecessary.
    Me answering that question doesn't somehow make me anti-change! That's ridiculous! Especially when I specifically tell you that I'm not anti-change nor anti-automation.
    Its one thing to try to argue that such levels of automation wont ever happen (even though looking at current trends it seems almost inevitable)...
    however, lets not go so far as to turn it into a straw-man argument,...OK? Suggesting that automation will eliminate jobs, is not the same as being against automation/anti-change.

    -Meta
     
  21. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    The means will be made available you say???.....By Who???.....An invisible hand???
    Like I said, those with means who's needs and wants are satisfied by automation, will have no motivation to offer jobs to others, regardless of how good ones design or solution is.

    -Meta
     
  22. Taxpayer

    Taxpayer Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    If society wants something and you have a better way to build it, take the idea to folks who have what you need. Convince them building your idea is worth their means, and that you can deliver. Don't ask to be offered something, offer something. *shrug* It worked for Christopher Columbus.

    Or you can sit on your butt and say you can't do anything because no one has showered you with gold. *shrug*




     
  23. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    If we judged everything based off of how much it was unfairly vilified as opposed to actual merits and drawbacks,
    we'd have a long list of very popular things to add to the chopping block:

    -The Interstate Highway System
    -Social Security
    -Medicare
    -Civil Rights Act and other civil rights legislation/amendments
    -Even the ever popular GI Bill

    just to name a few...

    -Meta
     
  24. Deckel

    Deckel Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Whatever. Human labor will never be obsolete to humans.
     
  25. AFM

    AFM Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Ike was right on highways

    Social Security is going broke (and dragging the national debt with it) - the model is flawed for today's demographics. It needs to be changed to a private accounts system.

    Medicare is going broke (and dragging the national debt with it) - the model is flawed. It needs to be changed to a premium support system.

    Civil Rights and GI Rights - no problem.
     

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