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Could You Soon Lose Your Job to a Robot? [Answer: don't let fearmongers demoralize you]
The Daily Signal ^ | Aug 3, 2014 | James Sherk

Posted on 08/04/2014 7:43:27 AM PDT by PapaNew

Is the increasing automation of our economy a threat to American wages and jobs? Should the American worker fear the rise of the robots? No, not really.

Eighty years ago, John Maynard Keynes warned that society faced “a new disease” of “technological unemployment” in which the “means of economizing the use of labor [were] outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labor.” Much more recently, Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute wrote about how “robot workers could tear America’s social fabric.” Strain worries that machines could eliminate the livelihoods of millions of less-skilled workers.

These fears are misplaced. In reality, technological advances will improve living standards and working conditions for the vast majority of Americans.

Computers have certainly automated many tasks. From travel to banking to manufacturing to retail, machines now perform formerly human tasks quickly and reliably. Technology has eliminated countless jobs in the U.S. and around the world. Even Foxconn, famous for its vast iPhone-assembly lines in Taiwan, plans to install a million robots.

But almost as quickly as technology has eliminated some jobs, it has created new ones. Like developing smartphone apps. Or shuttling Uber passengers. Or moving inventory in Amazon warehouses. Contrary to Keynes’s prediction of 15-hour workweeks, the economy has always found new uses for displaced workers.

Why? Human wants have proved insatiable. Most Americans could work 15 hours a week and make as much as the average Joe in the 1930s did. But few Americans today would accept that standard of living — in a much smaller dwelling with no TV, no air conditioning, and certainly no smartphone. All these “extras” require workers to produce them.

Indeed, automation drives growth in living standards. In order for the average American to consume more, the average worker must produce more. Automation enables businesses to make more goods with less labor, which means more output and higher living standards.

A construction worker who can operate a backhoe will make much more than one using only a shovel. An economy with backhoes will also be able to build a lot more.

In a world with more automation, not only will work still exist, it’ll be safer. Computers have automated many of the more-demanding manual-labor jobs in the economy, and workplace injuries and deaths have fallen steadily as machines took over these more physically dangerous tasks. Labor-saving technology benefits society.

Of course some people will wind up worse off than before. Some whose jobs get automated will have difficulty finding work that pays as much. And higher demand for non-routine skills will put less-skilled workers at a relative disadvantage. But the vast majority of workers will almost certainly come out ahead.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: freedom; freemarketeconomy
Contrary to Keynes’s prediction of 15-hour workweeks, the economy has always found new uses for displaced workers.

Adding my two cents...

Hi Tech and free trade are not the enemy of Americans nor the economy. Free from poverty-creating government interference, the market economy is robust and dynamic and ever-growing. You don't stifle it, you ride it.

The free market economy is freedom in action. We are the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are not the land of slavish government coercion and the home of cowardly government dependency. When did freedom ever not require bravery and risk? But a growing economy means greater wealth and greater opportunity for the average American than anywhere else in the world, as it always has.

Don't let the socialists and collectivists scare you away from your God-given endowments of freedom. Welcome technological advancement and change and embrace the greater opportunities it brings.

1 posted on 08/04/2014 7:43:28 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: PapaNew

“Technological Threat”, the hilarious animation from 1988, which has a strong nod to the great cartoonist Tex Avery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiTgoRR3tbk


2 posted on 08/04/2014 7:49:32 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("Don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative." -Obama, 09-24-11)
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To: PapaNew

In the long run, we all adapt, and will find our places under new economic conditions.

In the short run, there are dislocations. Key examples would be the many industrial workers who lost their jobs due to our exporting industries overseas.

There are plans in the works to cut back employment in places such as fast food, as automatic ordering systems will reduce the need for workers. These people will also have to find something else to do.

I think many people focus on the short term dislocations which happen, and not looking at where we end up in the long term. We hear about people being laid off, but don’t get the follow up of where they end up later on. We hear about communities or “company towns” suffering economically if a factory closes down, but don’t hear about how the community and people there adapt to the new circumstances.


3 posted on 08/04/2014 7:50:01 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego (s)
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To: PapaNew

What if you’re already a robot?


4 posted on 08/04/2014 7:53:54 AM PDT by Darksheare (I don't have a copy. one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: PapaNew

No but I could be the guy making sure the robot that takes your job doesn’t also kill you.

I think things are different this time. Previous technological jumps opened up possibilities, there was always more stuff for people to do. This wave is looking like it’s multiplying force so much there just won’t be more things to do. And it’s really not the robots I see killing jobs, it’s 3D printers, those have the serious potential of rendering the entire supply chain for our basic good obsolete.

We’ll see, but the more we get productivity increases without unemployment decreases the more I’m thinking that these jobs are just plain gone for good.


5 posted on 08/04/2014 7:55:18 AM PDT by discostu (Villains always blink their eyes.)
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To: Darksheare

Then you’ll have a lot of friends.


6 posted on 08/04/2014 7:58:30 AM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: discostu
these jobs are just plain gone for good

Some, yes, but replaced by more and better jobs. Retraining? Possibly, but, again, freedom is all about breaking new ground and pioneering new fields of endeavor.

7 posted on 08/04/2014 8:01:19 AM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: PapaNew

We will all soon look like the population of the ship on Wall-E.


8 posted on 08/04/2014 8:06:25 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: PapaNew

Not necessarily. Technology is a force multiplier, eventually it will multiply to a level where we simply don’t need as many people as we have to provide for all the people we have. If our tech level gets to the point where we have fully problem solving robots and replicators it will take very few people to maintain them, and not much for anybody else to do. There won’t be anything to be retrained in, except how to pass time knowing you’ll never have a job.


9 posted on 08/04/2014 8:08:13 AM PDT by discostu (Villains always blink their eyes.)
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To: PapaNew
“But almost as quickly as technology has eliminated some jobs, it has created new ones. Like developing smartphone apps.”

Half the argument always produces half the answer.

The first missing part of this argument is ratio. In the 1980’s, General Motors had 250,000 employees. We won't need 250,000 smart phone app developers - probably ever. Technology produces better, higher paying jobs - just a lot less of them.

And the second missing part of this argument is supply. That college educated two income couple down the street has already started a college fund for their son, even though he was only born two weeks ago. He may grow up to develop smart phone apps.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, a day laborer just dropped his fifth kid - with his third woman. And he probably has three more to go. And none of them will program smart phones. Ditto for most of the 100,000 or so that have slipped across the boarder in the last two months.

Hi Tech IS a part of this problem, but only as a contributor to the complete lack of personal responsibility that is now considered ‘acceptable’ in our society. Acceptable hell, the current administration all but encourages it.

When the second American revolution begins (hopefully after I am dead) it will largely be over jobs. We will have tons of totally unqualified people, and a much smaller number of Hi tech jobs. And when we simply run out of money to appease them with welfare, the shooting will start.

10 posted on 08/04/2014 8:15:45 AM PDT by I cannot think of a name
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To: discostu

You’re speaking from a fearful outlook that has no basis of historical fact. The expanding economy of the free market and technological advice has always meant MORE, not less, opportunity, leaving the average American better off than the average person anywhere else in the world.


11 posted on 08/04/2014 8:18:13 AM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: I cannot think of a name

Again, as I replied to another, you’re speaking from a fearful outlook that has no basis of historical fact. The expanding economy of the free market and technological advice has always meant MORE, not less, opportunity, leaving the average American better off than the average person anywhere else in the world.

Retraining may be needed for some, but, again, freedom is all about breaking new ground and pioneering new fields of endeavor. In the long run, everyone is better off although there may be inconvenience in the short run. But that’s the price we pay to be free and prosperous.


12 posted on 08/04/2014 8:23:39 AM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: PapaNew
IMO....this article, and your premise, is mostly correct. With the caveat that *if* your job can easily be automated, then you don't make it more cost-effective to do so.

Specifically, I'm thinking the current tempest in a teapot with Fast Food Workers demanding higher wages. $15/hr = $30K/year, or about what it would cost for a single first-level tech to keep a double handful of automated kiosks going.

13 posted on 08/04/2014 8:29:05 AM PDT by wbill
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To: PapaNew

“Again, as I replied to another, you’re speaking from a fearful outlook that has no basis of historical fact.”

No true at all. In fact history is full of such examples. Look into the fall of the Roman Empire for one.

When you live in a desert, you expect there to be no water. When you produce dumbasses, you expect there to be jobs for dumbasses. When you have many more dumbasses than jobs, empires crumble and wars begin.

Here’s a couple of clear indications that will tell you we have chosen to turn away from madness and towards a hi-tech future:

- When having another kid stops being a way to get a raise to a welfare mother.

- When liberalism is banished from our schools and we suddenly put a real emphasis on math and science.

- When we make training available for free, and we banish the “IT”S NOT YOUR FAULT” mentality from society.

When those things happen, hi tech won’t be a contributing threat, but rather a part of a bright future. Till then, keep your marksmanship skills up and your ammo cabinet stocked.


14 posted on 08/04/2014 8:34:48 AM PDT by I cannot think of a name
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To: wbill
*if* your job can easily be automated, then you don't make it more cost-effective to do so

Not sure what you're saying here. Usually if it is automated, it is more cost-effective which multiplied, translates into better living for the average consumer and more job opportunities for the average worker.

15 posted on 08/04/2014 8:37:59 AM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: PapaNew

Raise the minimum wage to $20 and see how fast automation replaces jobs...


16 posted on 08/04/2014 8:39:19 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: PapaNew

Its gonna have to be a robot that is programmed to put up with a lot of jerks.....


17 posted on 08/04/2014 8:39:58 AM PDT by kjam22 (my music video "If My People" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74b20RjILy4)
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"Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish?
Nothing else."

~Epictetus




God bless this site, this Free Republic.
Please click the pic


18 posted on 08/04/2014 8:40:23 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: MrB

Can’t use minimum wage as a gauge of the benefits or harm of automation. There is no good that comes from the government interference of wage and price controls which skews the information and benefits of the free market.


19 posted on 08/04/2014 8:47:49 AM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: kjam22

Who knows, maybe they’ll be robot pimps like the guy in “Paper Chase.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGPahA5WSCw


20 posted on 08/04/2014 8:50:59 AM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: PapaNew
I prefer cyborgs.


21 posted on 08/04/2014 8:56:09 AM PDT by Bratch
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To: Bratch

This chick saddled us with Obama. She’s the one that scuttled her boyfriend Senator’s campaign, which led to Obama winning improbably.


22 posted on 08/04/2014 8:59:59 AM PDT by RinaseaofDs (.)
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To: PapaNew
The expanding economy of the free market and technological advice has always meant MORE, not less, opportunity, leaving the average American better off than the average person anywhere else in the world.

And real estate never goes down. Already there is a percentage of the population that has little to offer the job market that automated machines can't do better, faster, cheaper. These unemployable people are essentially human pets. This percentage will grow. While the overall quality of life will keep improving, the idea there will be a good job in the future for everyone that wants one just isn't so. For the first time in history, machine sensors, brains, and brawn now exceed many human capabilities, and their costs go down about 10% per year while human labor costs go up. What we are witnessing is the rise of the machines.

23 posted on 08/04/2014 9:01:35 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: Bratch

Me too.


24 posted on 08/04/2014 9:03:01 AM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: Reeses

You’re ignoring a few things and historical fact which along with theory contradicts these fears. There has always been a fear that advancement in high tech is a threat to the economy.

But advancement in technology has always been a boon to the economy providing more opportunities. Some examples of what’s being ignored are, somebody has to design, build, and sell these machines. Somebody has to design, build and sell the components. Somebody also has to maintain these automated entities. A whole new supply chain and derivative supply chains up and down are created.


25 posted on 08/04/2014 9:13:06 AM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: RinaseaofDs
“She’s the one that scuttled her boyfriend Senator’s campaign, which led to Obama winning improbably.”

Was it her fault? I thought the divorce papers were sealed, and the Obama campaign were able to get access to them anyway.

26 posted on 08/04/2014 9:22:42 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: PapaNew

I wish! I’m tired of doing the laundry, washing the dishes, vaccuming, mopping, cleaning toilets, making beds, cooking dinner, dusting and picking up after everyone. The robots can’t get here soon enough.


27 posted on 08/04/2014 9:28:32 AM PDT by bgill
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To: PapaNew

nothing fearful in it, and plenty of historical fact. As I said, technology is a force multiplier, that’s simple history, it allows us to get more stuff done with fewer people. The key from the industrial revolution to now is that we’ve been in a position to focus on the more stuff, we’ve dramatically upped the standard of living in our culture because there always seems to be more stuff TO do so there’s something for the displaced people.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, the current wave of technology seems to be focusing on the fewer people. Just look at how it’s already going. We now have strip mining operations that are totally automated, all the machines are running themselves with a small number of human “supervisors” watching from an airport like control tower. Factory farms run similarly, machines do a lot of work providing tons of food to the masses with very few people having to do anything. Cargo ships used to have huge crews, now they autopilot around the world with a couple of people on them who do pretty much nothing except be there to witness if pirates steal something and fill out paperwork on both ends.

3D printers are well on their way to making clothing. Look at how much retail space we dedicate to clothing, think about the supply chain that feeds that beast. What happens to all that when the average American has a printer in their house that will make today’s clothing for us while we’re in the shower?

And remember a situation where we simply don’t need most people to have a job isn’t necessarily worse off. It’s just a different kind of better. All basic needs (which will be a higher standard of living than what we currently call basic needs) will be able to be available with a very small percentage of the population having jobs. It’ll require a serious sea change in our thought process, but this is the future that’s smelling a lot closer than it used to.


28 posted on 08/04/2014 9:34:28 AM PDT by discostu (Villains always blink their eyes.)
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To: discostu
Not necessarily. Technology is a force multiplier, eventually it will multiply to a level where we simply don’t need as many people as we have to provide for all the people we have.

A little example, at the end of 1976 I started managing in a Mcdonald's and had a total hourly crew of 135 on the schedule, when I left in 98 I was doing the same volume of business with a total hourly crew of about 40 on the schedule. All of this was driven by minimum wage increases and reduced profit margins. So if the minimum wage gets pushed up like these idiots want you can be damned sure that the larger operation will rapidly move into further mechanization and all of these uneducated "immigrants" will have even less pay to not raise a family on, so open up your wallets and be a good American taxpayer.

29 posted on 08/04/2014 9:41:38 AM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: Mastador1

Expensive labor makes expensive machines cheaper. I was in McD land when we made the transition from flat grills to clamshells, and the lunch rush grill crew went from 3 or 4 (and sometimes 5) to 2 or 3 and never more than 3. After I left they added staging cabinets which I’m sure reduced it more (3 probably became a rarity). Now I’ve seen there’s machines available (expensive, until labor costs go up) to make it so the only person that will be needed in the grill is somebody to bring it supplies. It’s a natural evolution. Add kiosks up front and pretty soon the whole store will need 1 person at lunch rush just watching to call the repairman if somebody vandalizes the machines.


30 posted on 08/04/2014 9:55:17 AM PDT by discostu (Villains always blink their eyes.)
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To: discostu

Exactly, machines require nor tax or payroll payments, no unemployment, work comp or insurance. And machines never ever demand a wage increase, at least not yet. People think that McD’s are gold mines, once they were, but increased wages, competition and loss leader menu items have sorely reduced the assay value of the ore.


31 posted on 08/04/2014 10:04:53 AM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: Mastador1; discostu
You fellows talking about McDonalds might also remember the drink location. Once upon a time it was behind the counter and refills cost money. Many years ago I read an article that said the decision to move the drink counter outside and let people have free refills was caused by one of the minimum wage increases. When the cost of another employee exceeded the cost of coke syrup, free drinks won!
32 posted on 08/04/2014 10:44:39 AM PDT by I cannot think of a name
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To: I cannot think of a name

The production cost of of any carbonated beverage any where is is miniscule to the outrageous profit margin. The beverage dispensers where moved to the lobby, despite pilferage and very slightly reduced profits so that the cashiers could churn through more transactions without stopping to make a drink, it takes no time at all to put a empty cup on a tray. I was there , I implemented it in my store so I know the real reason.


33 posted on 08/04/2014 11:14:25 AM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: discostu

No, historical fact is that technological advances has never contracted the economy or created fewer opportunities, but has always expanded the economy and opportunities, not to mention befitting the consumer by driving prices lower.

Some examples of what’s being ignored are, somebody has to design, build, and sell these machines. Somebody has to design, build and sell the components. Somebody also has to maintain these automated entities. Entire new supply chains are created and derivative supply chains up and down as well as new markets are created.


34 posted on 08/04/2014 5:35:57 PM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: PapaNew

There are jobs robots can’t fill for a long time - many of which are the blue collar / skilled trades Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame encourages.

The Great Shift Toward Automation and the Future of Employment
http://tamarawilhite.hubpages.com/hub/The-Great-Shift-and-the-Future-of-Employment


35 posted on 08/04/2014 7:19:52 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: I cannot think of a name

The CoDominium series of books was written in the 1960s. The authors looked ahead and saw welfare estates/islands, where 90% or so lived on the dole with free drugs and the government periodically released sterility viruses to control their numbers. The taxpayers worked, and they got to vote.
Part of the government’s solution was to ship a lot of the welfare crowd and revolutionary types off world, building up the colonies with a slave labor / indentured servitude that taught a lot of them to work. But we don’t have interstellar colonies.


36 posted on 08/04/2014 7:22:55 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: tbw2

Yes, and as historical fact and theory both show us, advances in technology always produce whole vistas of new markets, supply chains, and opportunities.


37 posted on 08/04/2014 9:41:43 PM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: PapaNew

I’m not saying it will contract the economy or create fewer opportunities. That’s you staying in a box. Technically speaking in a world where we only need the labor of 10 to 25% of the populace to provide for the basic needs of the populace provide MASSIVE opportunities. Just not for old world style “jobs”. People now have the opportunity to create. Art, science, whatever they feel like. And as for the economy if we get anything close to replicators the economy quite simple doesn’t matter anymore.

It’s a very small number of people needed to design these machines. They, like so much else we have, would be built by other machines. And thanks to the web things already basically sell themselves. The supply chain is much smaller and simpler. Our current economy is built on harvesting raw material, delivering it to somebody that will turn it into a middle product, deliver that to somebody that will turn it into a finished product, then deliver that to the seller. A 3D printer based economy will turn raw material (a much cheaper, easier to get, less labor intensive, probably recycled raw material) turn it into print media and deliver it to our homes. 2/3 of the process (and all the jobs that it includes) just evaporated.

If these technologies continue on the path they look like they’re on we will need to change our basic concept of the relationship between people and stuff and how the former acquire the later. Jobs will quite simple not be necessary or available for most of the population, and yet people without jobs will not be leaches or poor, they will be normal. The big question is does it turn out well like Star Trek or bad like Judge Dredd.


38 posted on 08/05/2014 8:12:53 AM PDT by discostu (Villains always blink their eyes.)
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To: discostu
Well what you describe IS a contracting economy with a steadily decline of opportunity and income for the average person. But that is not the historical record of advancing technology. There have always been nay-sayers and "nattering nabobs of negativity" on the threshold of technological breakthroughs. And their dire prediction have never come to pass.

Your scenario is based on conjecture and sides with negativity and fear of the future in which there are no guarantees except the promise of freedom and the free market economy, which is freedom in action. I'm in the better company of historical fact and economic theory that embraces the freedom. I don't understand people who call themselves "conservatives" who would rather have "guaranteed" results (a socialist illusion if there ever was one) than embrace the risks and rewards of freedom and the free market economy.

Historical fact clearly shows that socialist government guarantees results but doesn't deliver (many ancient and recent examples of that). It also shows that freedom and the free market doesn't guarantee results, only opportunities, requires faith, risk, and bravery, and has always resulted in a happier society but also a more prosperous society. Your world, one that fears freedom, would have socialist governmental guarantees (the only other alternative to freedom and the free market), and the historical record of socialism is poverty and misery.

Think I'll go with fact, sound theory going all the way back to Adam Smith, and a very good track record.

39 posted on 08/05/2014 8:42:01 PM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: PapaNew

No, what I’m describing is a situation where the economy is no longer the driving force behind the distribution of goods in the country. The economy, as it’s been known throughout history, is all about supply imbalance, there’s always too much or not enough of something, raw materials, finished materials, labor. And that imbalance drives the prices of everything, and prices to a certain level drives the supply and demand, which of course effects the prices, etc etc etc. And we call that the economy and it grows and shrinks based on these imbalances. And that’s the big reason why technology always in the past has grown the economy, because it always grew a supply, usually 2 supplies actually, both labor and material.

What we’re looking at with the rise of robots and 3D printers is a world where supply imbalance simply doesn’t matter anymore. They’re going to grow supplies so high that it just doesn’t matter anymore. Good really won’t need to be distributed on the old model anymore. With robots labor eventually becomes infinitely available, just throw more robots at it. With 3D printers finished good basically become infinitely available, yeah you still need to put your print media into it, but so much of that will be recycled goods, it’ll basically be put your old ratty shirt in one side get a new nice shirt out the other.

I’m not naysaying, nor am I negative of fearful. And the fact that you continue to attack me rather than deal with what I’m saying is telling. Stop running straight for the fallacy of well poisoning and look at the FACTS. The FACTS are that we’re on the cusp of MASSIVE changes the basic fabric of how we create and distribute goods in this country. And the old models simply won’t apply anymore. We are entering a world where we quite simply do not need human labor, there will be no use for it. We will have machines that can do everything faster, cheaper, 24/7, never with a sick day.

You aren’t going with fact. You’re going with history and fallacy. And history is nice, but remember the first rule of the stock market: past events do not guarantee future performance. Reality is changing here. Right now in front of you. You can either deal with it or pretend it’s not. But understand that every time you say my position is one of fear not only are you lying (because I’ve now told you multiple times there’s no fear here, so you know it’s not true but you keep saying it), you’re showing you know the facts don’t back you.

Deal with facts. If your position you’ll be able to explain where the new jobs come from when 90% of the stuff in the new American home is printed on their 3D printer. Go ahead, back your position with logic: where are the jobs when the entire retail cycle has just become obsolete? My position is there aren’t any AND that’s OK, it’s not a bad thing because we as a people are freed to enjoy life and be creative. The age of wage slavery ends, that’s REAL freedom.


40 posted on 08/06/2014 8:18:09 AM PDT by discostu (Villains always blink their eyes.)
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To: discostu
With robots labor eventually becomes infinitely available, just throw more robots at it…90% of the stuff in the new American home is printed on their 3D printer.

Seems like a pretty radical assertion - maybe someday, but I see little evidence of that happening tomorrow.

where are the jobs when the entire retail cycle has just become obsolete?

I’ve already said, somebody has to design, build, and sell these machines. Somebody has to design, build and sell the components. Somebody also has to maintain these automated entities. Entire new supply chains are created and derivative supply chains up and down as well as new markets are created.

My position is there aren’t any AND that’s OK, it’s not a bad thing because we as a people are freed to enjoy life and be creative. The age of wage slavery ends, that’s REAL freedom.

Not sure what kind of world you envision. The old supply and demand model of the free market being completely scrapped? Where, then does income come from? Who’s controlling this automation? I’ve said to you that the only known alternative to the free market is socialism and government central planning. What is your viable third alternative? I don't think there is one.

The only good, viable alternative is a hybrid of what we have now. The voluntary free market will probably look different because of greater automation, certain dynamics may be in play in a different way becasue of automation but the free market will still be free and expansive. Maybe less labor needed to accomplish the same income goals, I don't know. But you'll ALWAYS have entrepreneurs and pioneers breaking new ground and building new industries.

41 posted on 08/06/2014 12:10:17 PM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: PapaNew

The distant future comes faster than you think. Remember if you have a smartphone you have more computing power in your pocket than existed on the entire planet when we landed a man on the moon. If you have a non-smartphone you have more computing power in your pocket than it TOOK to land a man on the moon. Technology is a rubberband, it just keeps moving faster. 3D printing was really neat incredibly expensive technology used by only the biggest companies as little as 10 years ago, now you can but one on Amazon for as little as $500. This tech is moving FAST, the future is coming.

And I pointed out that the designing, building and selling is a small fraction of the jobs. What about the other 90%? They’ll be gone, and they won’t come back. Maintaining these entities won’t be that big a deal, especially not if they come down in price. Look what happened to VCR repairmen, they died long before the VCR did because VCRs became too cheap to repair. When your choice is $50 to repair it or $50 to replace with a newer model with new features the repair jobs evaporate. And there won’t be entire new supply chains, there will be dramatically fewer supply chains, as I already pointed out. Raw material to parts to completed will be gone, it’ll raw material to home, except when the raw material is coming from your home. For the first time ever recycling could actually become useful to the masses.

That’s where things get interesting. There’s a new model of reality we’ll have to embrace. The job - money - stuff cycle will simply have to end, because we’ll be able to get stuff without money and we won’t be getting jobs. There will still be some room for money in this world but it won’t be the driving force because it will be so largely unnecessary. There are plenty of known alternatives to the free market, especially when scarcity disappears. It’s serious sea changing technology that has upsides and downsides, and pretending either doesn’t exist is dumb, and insisting anybody that points to the downsides is speaking from fear is pathetic. This IS the reality coming, it’s a reality with very few jobs, but it doesn’t mean mass destitution.


42 posted on 08/06/2014 12:33:32 PM PDT by discostu (Villains always blink their eyes.)
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To: PapaNew

With all due respect the author is a moron. He is dead wrong. I can just see all our high school dropouts and illiterates employed doing what??? In this new tech-robot world he is yakking about. Not to mention the Central American and Mexican invaders flooding the country


43 posted on 08/06/2014 12:41:24 PM PDT by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: discostu

Gotta go back to what we’re talking about here. My original assertion was that high tech automation isn’t a threat to the economy not to the standard of living of the average person, but quite the opposite.

Seemed like you counter that jobs will be permanently lost and I countered that there will be sub and derivative supply chains and managerial and marketing chains that will actually expand. Seem like you denied that.

It felt to me like you were one of the many who was afraid of all this stuff. That’s where the fear thing came in. Maybe you’re not afraid. That’s a good thing. But if you’re not afraid but you deny new opportunities for the average person, then what do you envision that is viable and looks good?

For example, you still haven’t explained how income will be derived and what you are going to do with the pioneers of industry who always be around to create new vista of endeavor.


44 posted on 08/06/2014 1:24:18 PM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: PapaNew

They won’t need to expand, there’s no logical reason why they should. The supply chain will shrink because there’s fewer steps in the manufacturing process. And we’re already seeing how online distribution shrinks both the marketing and managerial chains. Just look at what has gone one with with media distribution thanks to the internet, as physical media goes away people aren’t consuming less media, they just aren’t buying it from Target anymore.

If 3D printing gets to the point of just being able to do clothes, especially if it’s from recycle starter, then a lot of jobs just evaporate. Just look at how much retails space, and the supply chain that feeds it, is taken up by clothes. If people move to getting clothes by having the printer recycle their own old clothes that chain, and all the jobs that go with it, is just gone.

I don’t know how it all lands out. That’s part of what makes it interesting. But we need to understand these are some serious overhauling technologies. I don’t know how income will be derived, I don’t even know if it winds up being necessary anymore. It could be we wind up landing in a mostly socialist world where there is still money used by people who have jobs but the rest of the world just doesn’t have to worry about it. And maybe those that will never get jobs spend their time doing artistic stuff, or maybe they’re just a vast unwashed mob constantly looking for entertainment.

Pioneers of industry don’t have a problem. Heck that’s a situation in which they thrive. Freed from the day to day grind of a job they can just create and invent and 3D printer will make their models. It’s a great world for entrepreneurs. The problems really come in for everybody else, what are we going to do with people who just don’t have those drives and aspirations. The people who don’t invent, and don’t make art, and really are only productive in the current world because they have to be; what are they going to do when they don’t have to be productive?

There’s a reason I pointed to Star Trek and Judge Dredd, these are both fictional worlds that revolve around technology evolving to the point where jobs are basically unnecessary (Trek never really discusses it, but if you pay attention to the back of the the world you can see that replicators have rendered their world a post job world). One is very happy, one is very not. Which way will we bounce? Don’t know. Certainly hope more Trek, there’s a lot fewer atomic wars. One way or the other though there’s no reason to fear it, fearing the basic nature of reality is a waste of time. But it’s good to understand that these are potentially very big changes, cutting down to basic definitions of how we do things.


45 posted on 08/06/2014 1:50:06 PM PDT by discostu (Villains always blink their eyes.)
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To: discostu

I think we were on the same page more than we thought. I’m used to faithless responses of doom because of some of the prospects you suggest. But your outlook I think is a healthy one - nothing to fear, only faith, bravery, and courage like the pioneers of freedom of old.


46 posted on 08/06/2014 5:46:37 PM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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To: PapaNew
But advancement in technology has always been a boon to the economy providing more opportunities.

A new video you might watch: Humans Need Not Apply

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU

The world is simply going to need fewer humans, starting with those on the left side of the bell curve and working its way up.

47 posted on 08/17/2014 3:00:44 PM PDT by Reeses
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To: Reeses

Not impressed. This was a very one-sided video full of charged terms like “worry” and “terrifying” and “what are we going to do about it”.

The ideas expressed in this video may very well be a push for more government control of the economy which has always been and will always be a disaster. This video isn’t balanced and doesn’t show possibilities on the supply side, only dark predictions on the demand side. It is mainly conjecture based on certain one-sided assumptions.

It’s attempt to parallel humans and horses is weak, one sided, and ultimately fails. When horses were replaced by autos, horses became “unemployed” because horses are not economically adaptable. But people are very adaptable and have the intelligence to face an unknown future with imagination and resourcefulness.

There will always be entrepreneurs and trailblazers motivated by the promise of monetary gain though innovation and enterprise. The supply and demand of the free market will determine what jobs humans can do better at lower wages than “bots” as long as government stays out of things like forced minimum wage. The REAL threat to our economic future is not automation or “bots” but government interference.

Fabian Progressive Socialists have said for some time that the world needs fewer humans. Since the late 1800’s they have espoused the idea that a select intellectual “elite” should decide who may live or die. These people believe there are whole groups of people who would be better off dead and THEY are the ones to decide. This video’s dark conjecture forwards these ideas.

But this isn’t the world God created nor intended. He created man to be free and freedom in action is the free market. This film ignores the world that is possible when freedom and the free market is allowed to thrive. Throughout this dark video, they skip over many issues including government forced minimum wage, already a cause of much unemployment.

Maintenance and corollary supply and demand chains created by such automation are completely ignored. The video is conjecture meant to make you afraid and act on those fears. But that is no way to live. Freedom takes bravery and blazing frontiers of technology will open new vistas of opportunity.

More and more of what you hear about the future is conjecture based on fear. But we should live faith-based lives. Faith is substantial evidence of things hoped for that is not yet seen. Fear is also about things not yet seen but it is usually false evidence appearing real.

The future belongs to those of faith and freedom, not slavish fear and dead-end government “solutions.”


48 posted on 08/22/2014 8:24:29 PM PDT by PapaNew (The grace of God & freedom always win the debate over unjust law & government in the forum of ideas)
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