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World & Politics


World events, politics and whatever (especially whatever)
WARNING: Posts may contain offensive content and red wine
09/11/2001 WE REMEMBER
Moderated by: Arch, Famov

"Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams

"Despite the constant negative press covfefe" - Donald Trump

One more: Automation - how it's different this time.
Posted: Posted June 13th by Jet Presto




Saw this the other day and have also been finding myself engaged in more conversations with various strangers at the bar (I reeeeally want to do a political podcast at the bar...) about the subject of automation.

This has come up here a bit throughout the course of the election. I remember once talking about how it didn't make sense to prioritize manufacturing jobs in America because the bulk of them weren't lost to "Mexico or China," but rather, to automation and technological advancement. Factory jobs won't ever return to anywhere near the status that they once were when they were the backbone of the economy for that reason.

But with the advancement of computers, automation does feel like a bigger issue than even then. The video touches upon it, but basically, in the olden days, simple machines were capable of only really performing basic, repetitive, menial tasks. That's what made them replace people on assembly lines and whatnot. But with computers, especially ones designed to learn and adapt to its collection of data, technology is becoming more capable of performing multiple tasks at once.

A good example of how the rise of computer technologies is in, say, the trucking industry. Easy to think of a machine putting lids on jars at a pickling factory or whatever to replace humans, but you can't get a machine to drive a truck across the country! Except now, self-driving vehicles are already starting to enter the fray. It actually isn't hard to imagine a future like that seen briefly in the film Logan with automated self-driving trucks. Alternatively, as we see a growing war emerging between taxis and ride sharing companies like Uber or Lyft, self-driving cars could eventually render both of them useless. Or even just think about what companies like Amazon are looking into with their drone delivery service they've been developing.

I initially figured this was a good time to start putting more focus on the service industry, myself. Can't automate waitstaff, chefs, or bartenders!

Except the technology is emerging that can. I think it was Arby's that, as a fast food chain, was experimenting with self-service machines that would get you your meal without having to deal with staff. And as an employee at a movie theater, I've already seen 35mm projection get replaced by computers (and it's actually getting harder to imagine my job being necessary 10 years down the line...oh god...so glad I just bought a house...) Even things like ticketing: many theaters have automated ticketing stations where you can purchase tickets without dealing with a human. So it has hit the service industry as well.

The concern is that as these technologies become better and better, more jobs become automated, and the fewer jobs that remain will become even more specialized. While automation and technological advances have always been a part of human history and economics, the rise of computer technology-driven automation can actually produce exponentially greater production at substantially fewer jobs, doing even more damage than the initial rise of machine automation in the manufacturing industry.

I've heard this argued as the premise for the basic income argument (although I haven't done any substantial reading into that topic yet). There are a lot of predictions for the future, but I don't actually think it's so ludicrous to imagine a future not that far off in which unemployment begins to really spike.

Has anyone done much digging into this topic? Do you expect to see a dramatic increase in unemployment due to these data-collecting computer technologies that can perform multiple tasks and adapt? Do you think the scenario in the video is too much doom in gloom?

Alternatively, have you come across good resources on the subject? I'm curious to read about it. It feels to me, at least, like a pretty obvious problem coming down the pipeline, even if I'm not sure I think it will happen as soon as others do. (I heard someone say they think self-driving cars will be the norm within five years, which I still think is a bit quicker than I would predict, but it's hard to imagine they won't be the norm at some point in our life times.)

There are 57 Replies

I say don't spend your money at places that use automation in place of jobs. McDonalds is a good example.

Posted June 13th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

seize the automatons of production

Posted June 13th by poptart!
poptart!
 

Seize the automations of production and then destroy them like a true luddite hero!

Also I have mentioned this before here, but it's good to know someone else is taking notice of this.

Posted June 13th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

I am going to wander into McDonalds with a mask on with a sledge hammer and just break the machines and walk out like a boss. Give a rock sign to the employees.

Posted June 13th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

^Real hero

Posted June 13th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

I say don't spend your money at places that use automation in place of jobs. McDonalds is a good example.


I don't disagree that consumers should be conscientious of where they spend their money, but this doesn't seem like a realistic solution. That also won't work for things like the trucking industry, or shipment companies. There isn't a ton of option there, so if you need products shipped to you (as either a consumer or a business), you don't always have much choice. If you have a partnership with a distributor that only uses UPS, and they've changed to using self-driving trucks for trucking, then that's what you have to deal with.

Physically fighting technological progress doesn't really sound like a legitimate or productive solution.


Also I have mentioned this before here, but it's good to know someone else is taking notice of this


Yeah, I can recall some posts. It's something that was on my mind very specifically regarding manufacturing (since that is always a talking point year after year in elections), but having a few more discussions with people and seeing more articles and videos popping up, it's getting increasingly difficult to just ignore it. Given our general inability to use foresight when enacting policy, or even just operate as a society, it's a little frustrating that no one is talking about it on a more meaningful level. Feels a bit like we need to start thinking about ways to deal with this now. (Note: not saying we need to create a cure-all right now. Just seems like we can start planning a bit for possibilities.)

Posted June 13th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

It's a war against poor people Jet. But automated machines don't buy hamburgers at lunch time and they don't earn money so they don't spend money at Walmart. Killing the economy is going to put Walmart and McDonald's out of business because the poor people who shop at both will be broke instead of poor.

Edited June 13th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

Self driving trucks don't stop when they run someone over.

Posted June 13th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

I remember once talking about how it didn't make sense to prioritize manufacturing jobs in America because the bulk of them weren't lost to "Mexico or China," b

I had to stop there. Automation is a job killer yes, it will fuck our system up and force us to revamp yes, but our production WAS sold out to Mexico and China...arguing that it wasn't is the same as arguing that the earth is flat. Its just insane.

Posted June 13th by #85
#85

I'm not arguing that outsourcing labor or increased international trade hasn't hurt. However, research shows that upwards to 88% of production jobs in the United States have been lost to automation and technological updates since it's peak in 1979. Both aspects are sources of concern, but automation is a substantially bigger threat to American jobs, especially since, as I mentioned in my post, automation is now starting to hit jobs that were previously considered "untouchable," like the service industry or transportation and shipping industries - jobs that you literally can't ship overseas.

In terms of manufacturing, competition from foreign markets inherently hurts. And big international corporations do ship a good number of jobs to nations where labor is cheaper. At the same time that the American manufacturing industry has lost 7 million jobs since 1979, it has also been the second most productive. American factories since that time have produced more than double the amount since that '79 peak. American production is second globally only to China. Or take General Motors, who is producing more cars than ever, and yet employs only about a third of the number of workers it had at its height in the '70s. That is a great microcosm of the greater problem that is automation. The American steel industry has seen a loss of about a quarter million jobs, yet production itself surged almost 40%. There are some industries where foreign competition is a bigger threat (textile, for example, is going to lose jobs due to competition, not jobs being shipped). But overall, the numbers indicate American production is actually doing pretty well, and the biggest source of job loss for most production industries is automation. That increased production with decreased jobs also matches pretty neatly with the fact that more companies are investing in robotics.

But this also doesn't account for all of the jobs that will be automated in the future that, currently, can't be shipped overseas nor be outdone by foreign competition. Your meal at the Texas Steakhouse can't be cooked by the Chinese, and your order can't be placed by someone in Mexico, and you can't be driven there by a third party in India. Your packages won't be shipped by someone in Korea. So what happens when we're still losing millions of jobs even without that international competition, and without even a basic need for labor, thus no reason to ship jobs overseas?

Edited June 14th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

I make a point not to use the self-service lines (and I've even had Wal-Mart employees roll their eyes at me about it, ironically enough). But no matter how many people boycott, the companies that implement this are going to stay afloat because their economy-of-scale is the only way a lot of people can sustain a budget.

UBI is the *least* radical solution that will work in the long term. There are others, but they aren't going to be pretty.

Posted June 14th by Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
Pink Peruvian Flying Bear

Do you see UBI (not sure about the abbreviation: sounds like some sort of medical condition...) as something that is inevitably going to be implemented?

Posted June 14th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Let's count the ways that a universal basic income is the worst possible idea.

It's being suggested as a solution to the problem of their not being enough jobs for people to work. Therefore this income would presumably be enough for one person to live on, but perhaps that's not necessarily the case. Regardless, how are we going to pay for it? Will it be with the taxes of people that still have jobs? How are we going to square this expense along with "free" healthcare, college, internet, utilities and every other victory the socialists will have had to see before they'll have conditioned the voting population to be so dependent that they will come to think they deserve free cash every month just for existing? Can I assume we don't care how much it costs, since that seems to be a running theme?

Chickens may or may not have come before eggs, and social decay either begets or is begotten by government policy. What we do know is that dependent classes of people, living for (and not just on) welfare checks, social security disability, and EBT cards, somehow come to the conclusion that they are entitled to this government aid. They don't use it, as intended, to lift themselves out of poverty, or else the ones that do leave these programs in short order. But there is no hope of escaping the universal basic income. It's just money you get so you don't have to work, paid for by "the rich" such that those with money still living in the formerly prosperous nation haven't been impoverished in the name of redistribution.

If automation is the job killer we're expected to believe it will be, then the UBI is the equivalent of treating an open neck would by hacking at it with an axe. It will only exacerbate the problem, and leave you with a population of poor, bored, addicted, and miserable people. No one finds pleasure in endless leisure, and we don't appreciate what we haven't earned.

Edited June 14th by Famov
Famov

Getting rid of money all together may be the solution if it comes to that. However that would open up a can of worms that I don't think most people want to deal with. Though, how do you suggest handling the problem with money existing (since I'm pretty sure you want it to be handled that way) without UBI?

Posted June 14th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

I don't see UBI working period. even with my ethical problems with it aside it would j ust result in an endless loop of inflation. Prices rise to compensate for the UBI which must increase to compensate for the inflated prices and so on and so forth. But being a complete Luddite and declaring a war on technological progress is not the answer either. if machines can do jo bs better then humans and at less cost I'd consider that a win in general jobs have always had to ove and be shifted as technology progresses.. THere's a lot less demand for horses and buggy whips now then there were before but it wasn't hte end of the world then. Honestly, even if the "taking our jerbs" paranoia is justified it's ultimately beneficial to you if you're right. Either you're wrong and it's not a huge world ending deal or you're right and it will be easier for y ou to get what you want in the long run.

Edited June 14th by tnu
tnu

So then what's the ancap solution to this? If people can't get jobs as a result you can't just call that a complete "win". Something has to be done about it.

But being a complete Luddite and declaring a war on technological progress is not the answer either.

That was a joke btw. However I do think that some forms of luddism are harmless and may even be beneficial in the future. It doesn't mean you have to go around destroying everything it just means you'd be opposed to some forms of technology or it's usage in some regards. A reformed form of it if you will.

Posted June 14th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

So then what's the ancap solution to this? If people can't get jobs as a result you can't just call that a complete "win". Something has to be done about it.


I object to the wording personally . I would disagree that "something must be done" so much as "something must happen" but this is the issue people ask what the solution presented by an ideology is when that's not accurate. y ou can ask "my" solution or the solution of any given ancap but ther eis no unilateral or uniformly agreed upon "ancap solution". Ultimately I'm not psychic and thus can't predict "the" solution. I can formulate potential solutions but I'm almost certain that anything I can formulate at the moment would not satisfy you because you'd already be determined to find a problem with it.

Posted June 14th by tnu
tnu

Besides though, the original luddites were actually not opposed to technology in general anyway. They were in a much similar state of things where factory owners started using machinery that would replace them and they'd lose their livelihoods. I think the similarity is clear. Still doesn't mean you have to destroy everything though.

It was more like collective bargaining by riot.

Posted June 14th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

>collective bargaining

>riot

pick one.

Posted June 14th by tnu
tnu

@tnu Well obviously. But I'm asking for your solution since you're here. It was just a tongue-in-cheek way of putting it. I don't think people are a hive mind because they belong to an ideology.

I can formulate potential solutions but I'm almost certain that anything I can formulate at the moment would not satisfy you because you'd already be determined to find a problem with it.

You're too quick to assume that I think negative of you and what you think by default. I wouldn't ask (although others might) if it wasn't for a reason.

Posted June 14th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

Collective bargaining: "negotiation of wages and other conditions of employment by an organized body of employees."

I pick both. Obviously there was discussion on it, but riots had to take place to wake them up. You could call it more aggressive, but sometimes aggression is needed unfortunately.

Posted June 14th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

No one finds pleasure in endless leisure


No one finds pleasure in endless misery either. I obviously don't know the right answer here, but what do you do if automation creates an economy in which - according to some futurist predictions (which may or may not come to be) - you'll get a scenario in which up to a third of the total population can't get jobs because this type of automation isn't creating nearly enough jobs that they're killing? If we start to get into Great Depression levels of unemployment, with people desperately trying to find work and being completely unable to because those jobs don't exist, what, then, is the solution? Do you suppose saying, "Tough luck, but that's how it goes"? Allow growing frustrations over an economy that isn't producing anywhere near enough jobs (and is also consolidating wealth even more so) to fester? Maybe the answer isn't UBI, but if unemployment starts to increase to Great Depression levels, would you be at all any more accepting of regulation (like how states like New Jersey banned self-service gas pumps in an effort to save those jobs)? Or at any rate, if not UBI, we're going to have to be prepared for a big increase in other welfare programs and unemployment funding anyway. Would you support that, should unemployment start to noticeably ride because of automation?

Couldn't we also set a basic income that allows people to live in a manner in which they can afford rent, food, and basic bills without all of the added luxuries that those with jobs would be able to afford? If the basic argument against UBI is ultimately that "people don't find pleasure in endless leisure," would you be concerned that that opinion might spark even more flames from people literally just trying to pay rent?

They don't use it, as intended, to lift themselves out of poverty,


Many can't, because they live in areas with no economic growth. If the idea behind welfare programs is that you use it to "lift yourself out of poverty," then that would also require an economy in which there is actual opportunity. Some predict a level of automation over the next 20-30 years to put as, as I've mentioned, at Great Depression levels of unemployment. That automation is taking away substantially more jobs than that innovation creates. How exactly is one supposed to "lift themselves out of poverty" in a situation wherein there are (and I'm just using random numbers) 50 million Americans looking for work but not even 50,000 jobs being created each month? Do you not see a potential conflict of philosophy versus reality there? If there are legitimately fewer and fewer jobs every year due to automation, and more and more people looking for work because of population growth and more people entering unemployment, then how can the argument continue to be just that "people should work"? Or that they're "not helping themselves." If there are so few jobs, it becomes next to impossible for the bulk of people unemployed.

It's just money you get so you don't have to work, paid for by "the rich"


Do you not see any potential dangers to allowing an increasingly exclusive percentage of Americans that are "the rich" to hoard even more money and wealth being created?

Or, another question: if the biggest reason for giving the wealthy - who have the bulk of money and assets already - these big tax cuts is that they're going to invest that extra money in the economy through the creation of jobs, would you support higher taxes on them when that money is used to invest in automation - something that specifically reduces jobs and kills jobs? My guess is no, but then what is the point of tax breaks for those with wealth if they use it to invest in technology that grants them even more exclusive access to newly created wealth that they then don't have to pass on to literally anyone else, like their staff (because they are constantly trying to shrink their staff and are actively investing in their own profits and not job creation - which is an understandable approach from a business perspective, but from a social and economic long-term one, feels inevitable to create a host of greater problems than we currently have).

If we wind up with a situation where a third of Americans literally cannot find work because the wealthy job creators are simply not creating jobs, what exactly is the alternative for ensuring they have basic needs, like access to healthy foods or rent, or medical expenses?

haven't been impoverished in the name of redistribution.


The flip side to this is that a whole lot of Americans will continue to be impoverished in the name of increased profit margins for those with wealth. If more and more Americans find themselves unemployed and completely unable to find work (and while I don't personally share your value in "working" for someone else to earn literally the basics for what I need to actually survive, I understand it, and I think many do share that and will become increasingly frustrated with an economy and government that does not appear to be helping them at all), so what happens if a third of Americans are unemployed, can't find work, but profit margins for business owners increase, or even stay where they currently are? (

Is there any concern that if that turns out to be the case due to this automation technology, that could become a very volatile scenario?


Posted June 14th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Since I just saw this edit

Either you're wrong and it's not a huge world ending deal or you're right and it will be easier for y ou to get what you want in the long run.

No one thinks that it's an end of the world thing. However it will take jobs, that much IS inevitable. How much though, we don't know for sure. But the way things are going it seems a fairly safe bet that quite a bit of jobs will be lost to automation when people are already unable to get or find jobs.

Something needs to be done about THAT or else there may well be people suffering for it, or even dying for it.

The "paranoia" you speak of is more like a precaution in case it takes a great many jobs and a whole lot of people are literally left without a way to have a sustainable life. However, that happening to even some people is unacceptable which is why a solution is needed.

Edited June 14th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

There will be a lot of suicides if people don't have a purpose. When they can't be men and women anymore.

Posted June 14th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

Don't forget the fact that people literally won't be able to afford things they need to survive. That could also have, ya know, a hand in the deaths.

Posted June 14th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

So why don't we just stop advancing the technology. This discussion always comes up but automation can't happen if we just don't keep advancing that kind of technology. Who benefits from making humans entirely obsolete?

Edited June 14th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

My life was already ruined when I put all my focus into drawing only to find out in grade 12 any idiot with a computer could make better stuff than me and faster. It's no wonder I have no sense of identity.

Posted June 14th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

So why don't we just stop advancing the technology.

Because we've advanced to a point where society just won't have it. We could have reason to believe that our dependency on technology is tending to make people more depraved, less social, colder, self-centered, generally less concerned with health and so on. But it won't stop now. We'll just keep advancing as far as we can go, and while that's not inherently a bad thing we've never been good at effectively preventing the bad effects it can have.

My life was already ruined when I put all my focus into drawing only to find out in grade 12 any idiot with a computer could make better stuff than me and faster. It's no wonder I have no sense of identity.

But even then you could still maybe get a job anywhere else if you need to sustain yourself.

But ya pretty much. And even with computer art some are worried that stuff like SFM is going to invalidate their work. And yet people can still make money off all this! Not enough for it to be consistent or livable probably but money still.

Edited June 14th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

But it's not fulfilling. Right now I work security. I literally just make sire the doors are locked and the rest of my shift is sitting around normally posting here or on Fb. There is no purpose to what I an doing. I only do it because it's the least stressful of all the available shitty jobs. When I was like 15-16 I wanted to do manga or design yugioh cards or have my own anime. I have a lot of talent. But my drawing ability is useless now other than to entertain people who like wathibg people draw

Posted June 14th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

I feel like we are just gonna sit around and wait to expire now.

Posted June 14th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

If we wind up with a situation where a third of Americans literally cannot find work because the wealthy job creators are simply not creating jobs, what exactly is the alternative for ensuring they have basic needs, like access to healthy foods or rent, or medical expenses?

Your argument boils down essentially to this sentiment. Let's say automation puts one third of people out of work, as you suggest: You argue that providing for the needs of people that are not fit to participate in the modern economy is necessary for their own sake and for the sake of social cohesion. Your proposed solution is to create an underclass of bottom feeders whose survival is dependent on the labor of the other two thirds of the population. It solves nothing. Society as we know it will not survive that. I don't know what the solution would necessarily be, assuming our crystal balls prove to be less taken with their own myopia than usual, but universal income is a nonstarter.

Posted June 14th by Famov
Famov

The solution is simple, depopulation and I think the elite 13 families are well on their way to figuring out how to do that. Being poor will be a death sentence. There will only be the rich and the dead.

Edited June 14th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

"Your argument boils down essentially to this sentiment. Let's say automation puts one third of people out of work, as you suggest: You argue that providing for the needs of people that are not fit to participate in the modern economy is necessary for their own sake and for the sake of social cohesion. Your proposed solution is to create an underclass of bottom feeders whose survival is dependent on the labor of the other two thirds of the population."

the solution that you're offering seems to be "let them starve for being dumb stupid poor people"

"providing for the needs of people that are not fit to participate in the modern economy is necessary"

yes, having a job is literally the only thing that gives a human being value, and people who can't find work don't deserve food and shelter

Posted June 14th by poptart!
poptart!
 



Posted June 14th by poptart!
poptart!
 

the solution that you're offering seems to be "let them starve for being dumb stupid poor people"

I didn't offer a solution to the hypothetical problem.

yes, having a job is literally the only thing that gives a human being value, and people who can't find work don't deserve food and shelter

Responsibility gives meaning to our lives. Working to live is the function of any animal. Thankfully we have to work far less than we once did for a far higher quality of life. That is a good thing. What is not good is having no responsibility for your own survival. I don't think you appreciate the psychological effect that having nothing to do has on people, but the evidence is out there for everyone to see: They lead self destructive lives. It's how lottery winners go broke, how pop stars die on fentanyl, and how fatherless boys with inadequate mothers end up joining gangs. There can be no happiness in a life free of responsibility. There can be no appreciation for what you have if you didn't have to actually do anything in order to get it.

Posted June 14th by Famov
Famov

I think I could keep myself occupied as long as the food water shelter and internet kept coming. I am pretty good at entertaining myself. But the thing is, those things won't cone free and there will be no way to earn it.

Posted June 14th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

They'll have to do something like stop restricting hunting and fishing, and let people farm so they don't go hungry.

Posted June 14th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

Do you see UBI (not sure about the abbreviation: sounds like some sort of medical condition...) as something that is inevitably going to be implemented?

It could go a lot of different ways.

We could see Scandinavian-style socialism, but this is only a temporary fix, as full-automation will still render full-employment impossible.

We could see genuine seize-the-means Communism take hold of most of the world, but of course this would be a nightmare scenario during and for a good time after the fact. I'd expect absolutely massive casualties, easily over a billion. We could see a surge in Luddist anarchism, which might kill fewer but would be even worse for the survivors.

As Simba's uncle suggests, pre-emptive prohibitions on automation technology would stop this in its tracks, but it's a futile effort as companies aim to be ever more competitive.

A related point - I have a friend who is white but who was raised in Saudi Arabia, and who does indeed like to talk politics, and this was his take on UBI. He tells me his dad was a defense contractor, and their family would regularly eat dinner with relatives of the royal family. To clarify, this is not an especially big deal, as there are *thousands* of so-called royals; even the very distantly-related members, while not having any real political power, are considered shareholders of, and get paid out regular dividends from, ARAMCO, from the time they're adults to the time they die. So there's a huge population of Saudi Arabians who just straight up never have to work a day in their lives, should they so choose; some of them do business on the side, and some of them just goof off constantly. For some reason, it hasn't collapsed their society yet.

You argue that providing for the needs of people that are not fit to participate in the modern economy is necessary for their own sake and for the sake of social cohesion. Your proposed solution is to create an underclass of bottom feeders whose survival is dependent on the labor of the other two thirds of the population.

We're beyond arguments of morality and good ol' Protestant work ethic here. Unless you're prepared to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels and upon the levers, the automation is coming, and the solution will be to provide for people who have literally been musical-chaired out of the workforce or to let them die in the streets. And even if one is the sort of sociopath who can walk over dead homeless people on the way to their middle-class job every day and lose no sleep, it's not sustainable, because what that is absolutely going to do, once it reaches a certain percentage of unemployment, is force the poor to eat the rich.

In short: pay your guillotine insurance.

Posted June 14th by Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
Pink Peruvian Flying Bear

We could see a surge in Luddist anarchism, which might kill fewer but would be even worse for the survivors.

If that's not an exaggeration anyway. I don't see why people couldn't go the way of the original luddites I mentioned earlier or reform luddism without suddenly trying to make everything lawless while somehow trying to take ALL technology away from people in general. Seems a little silly and would require some apocalyptic event due to technology to revert everyone to mindless cavemen.

Edited June 14th by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

"I didn't offer a solution to the hypothetical problem."

but that's what no solution is, isn't it? if i had to pick between UBI or people starving in the streets, i'm going to go with UBI (even though i'm not a fan of it).

"Responsibility gives meaning to our lives."

1) haha alright too bad no one told that to sartre and camus

2) that's not what i was responding to. you're changing the subject. do people who can't work deserve to starve?

"It's how lottery winners go broke"

lottery winners go broke for more complicated reasons than idle hands.

"how pop stars die on fentanyl"

you don't have to be a pop star to overdose, and plenty of addicts have jobs (before the addiction totally takes over anyway)

"and how fatherless boys with inadequate mothers end up joining gangs."

being fatherless and having a shitty mother probably has more to do with that than the idle hands thing

what you're talking about sounds like a side effect of the unhealthy tendency that some people have to base their entire identity around their job. you might do that, but a lot of us don't. i have plenty of things to do when i'm not at work, and if i was working less, i would be spending a lot more time doing those things.

Edited June 14th by poptart!
poptart!
 

to say that the alternative to UBI is people d ying in the streets simply becaus eyo u can't imagine one is just an appeal to ignorance. It's this "I can't imagine how things would work otherwise therefor I get to force the sy stem I want on people" that drives me up a wall.

Posted June 15th by tnu
tnu

name an alternative then

Posted June 15th by poptart!
poptart!
 

Alright, tnu. I'm 39, clock about a ninety IQ because I grew up in an apartment full of lead paint, and my only skillset is working an assembly line. I've no college degree. Every assembly line in the country is now run by tireless machines. I have no close living relatives. Please tell me how I don't starve.

Posted June 15th by Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
Pink Peruvian Flying Bear

tbh individuals like tnu would be the most affected by automation. I am surprised he hasnt realized that. Let the record show I say that in the most sincere way possible. Sorry if it came out malicious.

Edited June 15th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

We all need to put on anonymous masks and walk around with sledge hammers and break the machines.

Posted June 15th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

If we don't do it soon they will have robots we can't break and we're doomed.

Edited June 15th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

We'll just build robots to break their robots, obv.

Posted June 15th by Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
Pink Peruvian Flying Bear

I was daydreaming about this just the other day.

Imagine a Terminator-like future where robots and AI have advanced to such a point to dominate society. People will slowly be killed off because why wouldn't a robot/AI see humans as the biggest obstacle to proper stewardship of the Earth and its resources, you know? So instead of "skynet" using nuclear weapons to destroy humanity and take over, humans will use nuclear weapons to bring advanced robot society to collapse.

Posted June 15th by Agis in the US
Agis in the US
 

It needs to start now. But people never fear things early enough

Posted June 15th by Red Leaf
Red Leaf

1) haha alright too bad no one told that to sartre and camus

I know what a life with meaning looks like, and I certainly don't require the agreement of French philosophers on the matter.

2) that's not what i was responding to. you're changing the subject. do people who can't work deserve to starve?

It's a false choice. No one deserves to starve and it is not necessarily outside the scope of government to prevent starvation, but somehow the UBI remains a terrible idea.

you don't have to be a pop star to overdose

Of course not. I would have a much softer opinion of recreational drugs were that the case.

what you're talking about sounds like a side effect of the unhealthy tendency that some people have to base their entire identity around their job. you might do that, but a lot of us don't. i have plenty of things to do when i'm not at work, and if i was working less, i would be spending a lot more time doing those things.

I hope you'll forgive me for saying this, but I bet you drink a lot less now that you have good work. In any case I have as evidence all of the people in our society that already don't work. Neighborhoods don't ruin themselves. Blight is the byproduct of young men destroying everything around them, and it doesn't really take all that many to make it happen. Put a third of the population permanently out of work subsisting on government money and we're doomed. My point about fatherless boys wasn't simply that they had nothing to do, but that they had no one to teach them the responsibility of interacting with the surrounding society as anything other than a rampaging primate. Discipline and responsibility are essential to leading a worthwhile existence. Work builds character, and yes I can feel your eyes roll as soon as I say that. But it's true, and we know it's true because we can observe how so many that haven't earned their life end up throwing it away over nothing. It doesn't matter how much money they have.

And as it happens, in order to currently succeed in these United States all it really takes is to graduate from high school, hold down a job and not have children out of wedlock. If you can manage that, you'll almost always have the means to a comfortable living.

We're beyond arguments of morality and good ol' Protestant work ethic here.

Dispensing with morality would make it much easier to implement all sorts of policies. I don't trust your crystal ball, but even if I did I don't accept the proposed solution. It will not ameliorate the friction between those that do and do not work, even if we somehow could afford to provide a decent income to everyone... which we can't even come close to doing, just in case that wasn't obvious. Even granting all of your assumptions up until this point though, a population of people with nothing to do will still destroy the society around them. Neither access to money nor a lack of opportunity will have anything to do with it.

Posted June 15th by Famov
Famov

Wage slavery with no hope of upward mobility and little time to think, reflect and be an actual human is infinitely worse for a person than hedonism.

Posted June 15th by pacman
pacman
 

We all need to put on anonymous masks and walk around with sledge hammers and break the machines.

This is how anonymous needs to behave:



Well, actually, this is how all of humanity needs to behave (even in anonymous online interactions) if we're not going to go extinct. Good luck humanity.

Posted June 15th by pacman
pacman
 

@Famov: Look, man, I'm not Nostradamus and I think this prediction's a pretty obvious one. I just don't see another way that the future shakes out, barring Acts of God. We live in a world that operates according to the markets and the markets have an imperative to constantly increase profits. The surest way to increase profits is by using employees that don't have to be paid - i.e. robots.

Posted June 16th by Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
Pink Peruvian Flying Bear

"No one deserves to starve and it is not necessarily outside the scope of government to prevent starvation, but somehow the UBI remains a terrible idea."

alright, that's fair. it just sounded like you were taking a stance of "can't find work? tough shit u die now lol." sorry to assume. i don't like the idea of UBI either (for totally different reasons).

"I hope you'll forgive me for saying this, but I bet you drink a lot less now that you have good work."

i've actually been drinking more now that i can afford to

"Work builds character, and yes I can feel your eyes roll as soon as I say that."

surprisingly, i don't disagree. i've spent a lot of time digging water lines in southern ohio clay, raking hay, bailing hay, putting up fences, working with cattle, building and painting barns/chicken coops/sheds/even a house, and there's something really rewarding about "tending to your own garden" (is that how voltaire put it?).

basing your entire identity around which pig you work for is what's unhealthy.

"If you can manage that, you'll almost always have the means to a comfortable living."

ah yes that comfortable life of breaking your back for minimum wage to make enough to afford half of a studio apartment

Posted June 17th by poptart!
poptart!
 

also, arguing that UBI is a bad idea because people won't be working doesn't really make sense. the automation of millions of jobs is why people wont be working.

UBI is a bad idea because it's designed to prop up a bloated corpse

Posted June 17th by poptart!
poptart!
 

Minimum wage minimum effort.

Posted June 17th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king

You're correct, this automation is the reason why we need basic income: the most economical measure will always be the one adopted. Amazon is testing drone delivery, which will put mailmen out of jobs if it becomes widespread. This is also why it's so important that we close tax loopholes. The only people who really benefit from these types of economics are those working at the top running businesses.

Posted Thursday by mariomguy
mariomguy
What up, 1-up
Reply to: One more: Automation - how it's different this time.

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