Thursday, May 07, 2015

Why Robots Eliminating Jobs Is a Good Thing

And "basic guaranteed income" is dumber than all hell:


grey enlightenment said... may be right about automation lowering prices for some goods, but on the other hand, despite recent trends in automation, prices for other goods & services like healthcare, education, phone bill, day care, TV & internet bill, have risen when adjusted for inflation. So while a computer is very cheap, the electricity, software, and internet required to make the computer functional will negate the inflation adjusted savings. The quality may be better, and there may be more features, but it won't be cheaper. Microsoft Office is still expensive, 20 years later.

I discuss this further Bifurcated Inflation Gains Traction which shows some charts

What will happens is firms are not going to let their profits fall due to automation and will make up the difference elsewhere, and that will
come from ancillary services. Look at how much entitlement spending has surged in recent decades, despite the promise of lower prices through automation. Automation and robots will make some stuff cheaper, not not nearly enough to create the post-scarcity economy many hope for.

Anonymous said...

Agree with most everything you state. But, if you have an 20 percent high skill and 80 percent service/servant low skill economy. That is a lot of pressure on wages on low skilled. You use the term "In Theory" several times thru out your talk. I hope your correct in your assertions as I have yet to see high tech increase the standard of low wage workers not unless you want a cheap TV or better medical care. But a quality of life consists of a basket of goods and services which in totality the service workers will not be able to afford. If you want to be a surfing instructor a live in a room and bum rides more power to you. But I see an angry underclass on the horizon and a militant police force and gated communities.

Rick said...

Sorry, Cap, but I call bullshit on the notion that automation will ever result in lower prices for goods for the simple reason that lowering prices for any reason other than the pressure to compete goes against the desire to maximize profit. The auto industry is a good example: since the meltdown in '08-'09, the industry shed thousands of employees and rid itself of healthcare costs, yet the price of cars did not decrease unless forced by competitors' sales events.

Anonymous said...

A UBI would be self defeating if it was enough to live on comfortably.Your $35,000/year would result in 95% of the population quitting their jobs, and then where do the tax revenues to finance the UBI come from?

And does anyone believe that unwed mothers would *not* get more money for each little bastard they pump out?

mts1 said...

Too many suppositions. I said the Google Car is one of the most earth-shaking inventions since the cotton gin or assembly line in terms of restructuring work because of its future applications. Not only truck drivers, but pilots, bus/taxi drivers, train engineers, crane operators, forklift drivers, everyone who moves people or things from A to B will be toast. To think it was the last job that couldn't be outsourced overseas to 10 year olds working in squalor with no OSHA or EPA rules. Why have farmers either? A tractor can today be told where to plant that seed via GPS.

We used to have a term for our equipment in the Army: designed by geniuses to be run by idiots. That's extreme, but if we don't handle the design of automation so the average Joe can work on and run it, you'll have jobs for IQ 120+ people and mops for everyone else. Malemployment for 80% of the population cannot end well. Someone better have an answer.

Anonymous said...

Cap, AVG reports a virus trying to upload at the grey enlightenment website.

Anonymous said...

Robots eliminating jobs is a good thing and the more jobs eliminated the better.

What is a bad thing is that those robots are privately owned by private companies who want to make a profit and who needs to sell their robot made products to customers in exchange for money in order to make this profit.

Employees displaced by robots will loose the purchasing power necessary to purchase the robot made products and the companies will not make more profits in the end.

Robots will need to become COMMON property and the profits of robot production will need to be evenly spread to the displaced workers as a whole in order to give them the purchasing power to keep the system going.

I know, that's "evil' marxian and socialism. I should jump off the bridge and kill myself for thinking like that.

You're just a worthless douchebag. You're a worthless human being and you know it.

You keep wanting to have life both ways.

You keep criticizing others but you can't take their criticism. You keep hating other people but you can't stomack their hate.

You want to kill jobs with robots but you want to keep the robot profits private.

You're an asshole.

Anonymous said...

Your robots lowering prices logic is true only to the extend in which the displaced workers find new jobs.

But the truth is that automation is getting so good that it will have a net result of killing more jobs than there are jobs produced.

While it will lower prices in the beginning, prices will not go all the way down to zero.

When the masses will have too little purchasing power, companies will simply cease production, they will not give out their robot made stuff for free.

So in the end, your system will fail and we will need to tax the robot owners in order to redistribute the profits to the unemployed so they can then afford the products made by the robots.

Anonymous said...

Robots eliminating humans would be even better.

Anonymous said...

Robots will make formidable war machines.

Artificial Intelligence will prove itself to be the 21st century's nuclear option.

Anonymous said...

Workers Rights! Healthcare! Safety! Harassment! Family Leave!

"Well, let's automate it so no one has to do the crappy jobs and we won't get sued"


Oh, and Rick, competition is always the only thing that lowers prices. Duh.

grey: If the quality is better and it has more features for the equivalent price then it is cheaper. Open Office is free, though.

Anonymous@8:47: The standard of low wage workers has increased exponentially in the last century through automation.