Author Topic: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income  (Read 13951 times)

Offline Alan Georges

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Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« on: September 24, 2016, 06:41:32 PM »
NPR presents a glimpse of one possible future, and pimps the whole UBI concept: http://www.npr.org/2016/09/24/495186758/as-our-jobs-are-automated-some-say-well-need-a-guaranteed-basic-income

Jack's talked about the first parts of this (automation & job loss) a lot.  The rest of the linked article feels like "hey, looks like a great excuse to put everybody on welfare!" talk.  Hmmm.  Random thoughts on the matter:
- automation's here and growing, so this trend is only accelerating and we need to figure it out.  Or at least, start mulling over solutions.
- I have no idea on the solutions front.  On a personal level, I'm prototyping out the swamp-rat-in-a-solar-powered-shack concept, but for society at large I've got nothin'.
- I'm guessing that a "work optional, income guaranteed" economy will have a corrosive effect on a lot of people.
- it may be a shift in our way of life on par with the change from hunter-gatherer to agriculture.
- I'm guessing that late hunter-gathers saw the then-new agricultural life as corrosive too.
- UBI is a central planner's dream.  And if you don't fit the planners' schemes, no UBI for you!
(ok, maybe that last was :tinfoily:, but do you trust our gov't to hand out the goodies?  I mean, even at the level we have today, let alone at the proposed UBI scale?)

Anyway, people are thinking about this stuff in all corners of the political map.  Might as well look and see what other people are talking about, if only to know which way to duck.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2016, 07:23:22 PM »
 :popcorn:

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2016, 02:49:09 PM »
My first layoff of two was due to a downturn in the real estate market, which impacted my escrow job.  But then my second layoff in a row was where I was "technologically eliminated" (the kinder, gentler term for when you lose your job due to computers). 


So it is definitely happening, and at a faster pace than before.  But as you say, it has been since the dawn of time.  Buggy makers were probably freaking out about horseless carriages putting them out of work.


I don't know - I think people, including me, need to adapt, not have a secure income no matter how lazy or clueless they are.  I may not make a ton of money, but I always have work.  That's due to a couple of things -
   1. being willing to work whatever job paid the bills and
   2. having a varied work history due to #1


So now I can look around for jobs in retail, bookkeeping, escrow, educational support, construction, utility work, data entry and multi-line phone systems. And now I'm starting to learn Java.  No clue where I'll use it, but I just thought it might come in handy someday.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2016, 03:07:29 PM »
I'm kind of on board with Rita on this one. Over the past 200 years employment went from something like 70% farming down to under 3%. That's a labor revolution. But no one seemed to notice. Frankly a lot of professions have "gone away". Why the phone in your pocket has replaces the encyclopedia industry, photographers, guides, etc. So this stuff goes on all around us.

Is the new wave of automation more disruptive? Maybe. But we've always found ways to be productive.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2016, 03:30:15 PM »
Why the phone in your pocket has replaces the encyclopedia industry, photographers, guides, etc.


Jay can tell you that one.  It's not hard to take a decent photograph with an iPhone, and a lot of people don't notice the difference between that and a professional with a really good camera.  So not only has the technology improved and become cheaper, the quality expectation has gone down significantly.  Semi-decent photographs have become acceptable for most consumers.


His company used to be a manager, a marketing person and at least three full time photographers/videographers.  Now it's just Jay and the boss.  The boss also goes out on shoots, and if they need extra help, they hire independent contractors that they know do good work, but they don't need three people out in the field working full time, and they have enough time on their hands to do their own marketing.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2016, 03:53:39 PM »
Over the past 200 years employment went from something like 70% farming down to under 3%. That's a labor revolution.
That's the worrisome part – 70% in 200 years, about 8 generations, there's time and wiggle room in the economy to adapt.  Now it's everywhere, all at once, squeezed into one or at most two generations.  Interesting times.

Quote
Is the new wave of automation more disruptive? Maybe. But we've always found ways to be productive.
Yeah, we'll sort this one out too.  Not exactly like we've got a choice in the matter.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2016, 05:27:15 PM »

Jay can tell you that one.  It's not hard to take a decent photograph with an iPhone, and a lot of people don't notice the difference between that and a professional with a really good camera.  So not only has the technology improved and become cheaper, the quality expectation has gone down significantly.  Semi-decent photographs have become acceptable for most consumers.


His company used to be a manager, a marketing person and at least three full time photographers/videographers.  Now it's just Jay and the boss.  The boss also goes out on shoots, and if they need extra help, they hire independent contractors that they know do good work, but they don't need three people out in the field working full time, and they have enough time on their hands to do their own marketing.

I've experienced it as well. The Mrs. was a photographer as a teenager and keeps it up as a hobby. People look at her like she's nuts when she pulls out the Nikon DSLR to take some real photos. But her former employer has conference rooms filled with her photos of company locations and local scenery. As much as we destroy the established we appreciate the skill of the artisan.

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2016, 06:16:15 PM »
I guess I have more concern about the opposite of this than this.  Fear of automation leading to job elimination assumes that we continue on this ever-rising trajectory, while at the foundation lies the need for cheap energy.  Sure, we tapped into a crapton of oil in North Dakota and other places with new fracking technology, but this energy didn't come cheap, it came on borrowed money and is now starting to slow production and new production won't be financed because it's costing more to get the oil out of the ground than the current price per barrel.  As the energy folks say, oil above $70/barrel kills economies, oil below $70/barrel kills oil companies.

Without the underpinnings of cheap, easy, abundant energy, this house of cards will fall.  No, probably not straight to the ground.  Yes, it may kick and fight to get back up, again and again, but eventually the middle class won't be able to afford the lifestyles we have grown used to and the economy will shrink leading to, oh, you know, nation state conflict, racial conflict, class conflict, and all those other things we've recently glimpsed.  It's not going to be pretty or orderly or predictable or short term.  It might take 15-50 years to sort itself out to a new economy radically rescaled, not affording luxuries of MRI machines, CAT scans or factories filled with robots to produce toys for the middle class.  Maybe the uber-rich will cling to these technologies, but once you lose the big health insurance companies with millions paying into the system, can you really afford the infrastructure to keep these technologies around for a decade or two?

No, I'm not predicting a return to cavemen, but when it comes to energy, I see more of a community collective; vehicles to move food, a grid that might remain for very expensive energy; enough for light for dinner, but heating with electricity or gas is unlikely to be affordable technology.  Lives will likely be shorter, harder, more hand to mouth and less coordinated with 8:00-5:00 schedules throughout the year and more based around production seasons and winters.  Populations may have to move to where the climate allows a less energy intensive lifestyle or where more abundant energy is easier to produce locally.

So, yeah, not seeing a Universal Basic Income, but not Lord of the Flies, either.

Offline DheereCrossing

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2016, 08:35:19 PM »
I didn't check the npr link above yet, but my first question is where is the UBI coming from?  Who pays for it if 'everyone' is getting a take from the system?  It wouldn't make sense, even goberment sense to give you a welfare check and then expect you to pay something back in an income tax.

I can see a basic UBI/minimum 'sit on your butt' wage, but then those who want to be the business people of the world do what they want to go take that UBI legally from the others.  I guess that then gets taxed and fed back in to the UBI system, etc, etc, blah, blah.

I have a lot of inner anger, and this kind of thinking will get me stirred up again.  I DO need to get some sleep tonight so I'll just leave it at that.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2016, 08:31:35 AM »
It wouldn't make sense, even goberment sense to give you a welfare check and then expect you to pay something back in an income tax.


For the record, when I was laid off three years ago, then I was on unemployment for six months.  They did take standard taxes out of my unemployment check, and we have no state income tax, so it was all federal.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2016, 09:56:09 AM »
If I was the grand master planning, playing a game of "SimCity", "civilization", but in real-life, implementing UBI would be a good strategy.

UBI wouldn't come from no where.  Something would be taxed, but as long as you get the citizenry dependent on the service you provide from the tax, they will continue to pay and support it.

We hear this often in ideology libertarian discussions:  "Who would pay for the fire dept?"
200 years ago emergency services as we know them didn't exist.  Nor did public libraries, public works, etc.

Imagine the typical cubical worker paying 50% of their pay check into taxes for UBI and other services.  If their motivation is to be comfortable and content, maybe that's a win-win.  They live in a comfortable urban apartment.  Have a relatively safe neighborhood and access to amenities they enjoy.  That's how people in China often feel, at least the urban dwellers.  Living that way is for "the greater good", and is a means to preserve their civilization.

None of this is for me, but you need to understand the opposition's view point, if you hope to counter it.

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2017, 07:14:50 PM »
Some of the much-maligned Dept of Motor Vehicle workers may lose their jobs to automation in the future:

DMV Self-Service Terminals to Debut at San Diego County Fair
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/DMV-Self-Service-Terminals-San-Diego-County-Fair-May-2017-424648583.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Quote
Save yourself a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by taking a trip to the San Diego County Fair instead. The DMV will have a self-service kiosk at the fair.

According to the DMV, California residents can renew autos, pickups, motorcycles, coach and park model trailers and commercial vehicles that don’t pay Commercial Vehicle Registration Act fees.


Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2017, 08:43:44 PM »
Another hindrance to employment is people are, understandably, reluctant to move where it takes.

I lived in a small town with a large university. Many locals would not leave town. There were Wal-Mart workers with education degrees.  They could get a teaching job, and federal loan forgiveness, if they went where teachers were needed.

It may be even more distasteful to people, but if you are willing to become an expat there is a LOT of opportunity as well.  If all those humanities majors want jobs in there field, they exist but you might have to move to an odd place in the world.

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2017, 09:22:39 PM »
Some of the much-maligned Dept of Motor Vehicle workers may lose their jobs to automation in the future:

DMV Self-Service Terminals to Debut at San Diego County Fair
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/DMV-Self-Service-Terminals-San-Diego-County-Fair-May-2017-424648583.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

What?  In California you still have to physically go to BMV office or kiosk for tags?  Is this normal in other states?  In Indiana the BMV just sends you an email or letter with fees, you logon onto system to pay, and they mail the tags to you.  Even our driver licenses are renewed online.  I havent set foot in BMV in over a dozen years.  Heck most are only open part time.  We also have lifetime weapon carry permits.  Life is too short to spend it waiting in lines.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2017, 09:32:01 PM »
What?  In California you still have to physically go to BMV office or kiosk for tags? 

No, I do everything online. 

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2017, 12:44:50 AM »
UBI never works in the long run.  If everyone has money than you have more dollars chasing products and prices will rise.  Look at what happened to house prices once ANYONE could get a 0% down mortgage, and oftentimes for more than the real value of the property.  Either the UBI amount stays below real inflation rate and loses purchasing power over the years; OR, it is indexed to inflation and requires more taxes to be collected to support it.  Some european countries tried this but they were getting their national defense taken care of by Uncle Sam's taxpayers.  When we started cutting back our deployments and defense spending in Europe some of the countries started having budget problems (among other factors).  Most of the free ride economies are looking more shabby for the average citizen there, as well as here, thanks to bloated welfare, globalization to get cheapest worldwide labor, and fiat currencies.

Eventually the UBI baseline would become meaningless and anyone that wants to live above "impoverished serf" level would have to get a job, just like they do now. No free lunch, the money comes out of the economy as taxes, which are then bled white by the regulating govt agency in charge of the program, and a fraction of collected taxes makes it way to the unwashed masses who cry for MOAR!  The govt responds by enlarging the oversight agency which bleeds even more from the collected taxes and the unwashed masses cry for MOAR!  Refer to govt "oversight" meddling in health care, education, VA, etc for practical examples.  UBI would be the same but across the board for EVERYONE and would end up being a MOAR gigantic mess.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2017, 01:15:30 AM »
Keep in mind one of the offsets of UBI is it is supposed to replace targeted welfare programs.  If that is in fact done, and the only targeted welfare is private charity, UBI makes a lot more sense.  I still don't support it, but I could see the attractiveness.  No Social Security, no WIC, no EBT, no commodities, no free and reduced lunch, no section 8.  You might hate that UBI exists, but at least it is one thing that you can get easy to understand numbers on.  I don't think the US is mentally capable of accepting non-targeted welfare, the right cant stand the concept and will block it at all cost, the left is obsessed with helping particular groups and individuals and will not be able to stand not having anything to futz with to "make a difference." 

I think it is one of those blind spots in our national psyche, kind of like women in combat arms.  The right hates it, thinks its horrible and will destroy society, they cant let it go.  The left cant just set a standard and let it play out, they feel it necessary to futz with the standards until they get whatever outcomes they think are "right", they cant just let it go.  Meanwhile, in many European nations, they have completely integrated their militaries, they have a tough standard and women are a statistically insignificant part of their combat branches (only a very few of the fittest and most motivated) and those nations have moved on to other things mentally.  The European right hasn't a leg to stand on because the standard in most cases were not changed at all, the European left hasn't a leg to stand on because in most cases there are no caveats at all to women serving, and the European left has a hard time claiming to care about the military that they don't really like anyway.

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2017, 07:50:32 AM »
UBI never works in the long run.  If everyone has money than you have more dollars chasing products and prices will rise.  Look at what happened to house prices once ANYONE could get a 0% down mortgage, and oftentimes for more than the real value of the property.  Either the UBI amount stays below real inflation rate and loses purchasing power over the years; OR, it is indexed to inflation and requires more taxes to be collected to support it.

Infation is caused by an expansion of the money supply without a corresponding increase in production.  The example of lowering interest rates causes an increase in money supply through fractional reserve banking and therefore inflation. A UBI on its own does not necessarily expand the money supply.  in fact, a UBI via a negative income tax is deflational in nature as Chemsoldier points out it replaces less productive wellfare systems and because it eliminates the distortions caused by controlling what benefit receivers spend their money on.  Right now because of the crazy bureaucracy more is spent per welfare recipient than the average income producer makes.



Net, the money for the negative income tax comes directly from the tax system itself.  Sure, politicisns could continue to print money with a negative income tax system but that choice is complely independent of having such a system.

This brings up a good point. The UBI is simply a feature of a tax system.  It isnt the policy itself.  We should be discussing tax/welfare system reform and specifically a negative income tax.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 08:00:59 AM by iam4liberty »

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2017, 08:33:56 AM »
Just a heads-up, the new issue of Reason (July 2017) is all over this topic, with lead articles on automation, UBI, income inequality, etc.  Still reading through it all.

Online iam4liberty

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2017, 09:06:11 AM »
Just a heads-up, the new issue of Reason (July 2017) is all over this topic, with lead articles on automation, UBI, income inequality, etc.  Still reading through it all.

Cool.  For those who dont know, you can get a thirty day free trial of Reason at Amazon.com.

Also, Tim Pool did an interesting interview with some MIT roboticists.  They discussed two things very germaine to this topic.  One is the creation of robots that anyone can teach how to do tasks.  The other was the gamification of work whereby workers would use robots/machines to compete against one another on producing items.  This idea of making work more like a vdeo game is very interesting. 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=XPG0uRGYRb4

Offline Ms. Albatross

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2017, 10:02:35 AM »
No, I do everything online.
So do I. 

But you'd be surprised at how many poor and undereducated people don't have computers or internet access or don't understand how to use it yet.  I work at a school in which many of the student's parents don't have computer, internet or an email address.  Some immigrant parents don't have bank accounts and only deal in cash.  I suppose they could buy money orders and send their payments in by mail but many just choose to go in and do it in person.

Plus there are all the people who wait until the deadline to do their DMV business.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2017, 10:06:24 AM »
Cool.  For those who dont know, you can get a thirty day free trial of Reason at Amazon.com.
In a Totally Unrelated note, pg. 15 of the July issue has a short article on minimalist bootleg camping, "Under the Stars and Under the Radar," that might be of interest here.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2017, 11:39:35 AM »
So do I. 

But you'd be surprised at how many poor and undereducated people don't have computers or internet access or don't understand how to use it yet.  I work at a school in which many of the student's parents don't have computer, internet or an email address.  Some immigrant parents don't have bank accounts and only deal in cash.  I suppose they could buy money orders and send their payments in by mail but many just choose to go in and do it in person.

Plus there are all the people who wait until the deadline to do their DMV business.

And, we will always need some humans there. Mistakes happen, people get sick and miss deadlines, funny recalls come up that they can answer about. For all that we put down the DMV, I must say the people I dealt with there last November were extremely nice, helpful and compassionate. I was even directed to a place to remain seated while "in line" as that long of standing isn't realy possible for me. I was helped with forms, had late fees waived, and a return appointment set for a month later after recall work could be done. No computer can do all of that.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2017, 12:40:13 PM »
No Social Security, no WIC, no EBT, no commodities, no free and reduced lunch, no section 8.  You might hate that UBI exists, but at least it is one thing that you can get easy to understand numbers on.  I don't think the US is mentally capable of accepting non-targeted welfare, the right cant stand the concept and will block it at all cost, the left is obsessed with helping particular groups and individuals and will not be able to stand not having anything to futz with to "make a difference." 

I think it is one of those blind spots in our national psyche...

Nailed it.

I remember Jack talking about supporting the concept in principle, but he was not convinced the government could implement it effectively in the current climate, which I kind of agree with (and then he outlined how he thought it should be handled).

I think we underestimate how many people would choose to work under a UBI program. Sure, there will always be moochers and freeloaders, just like there are now. But, in my experience, most people seem to like the financial freedom and sense of purpose that working gives them. They need something in their life to provide that drive and camaraderie, and the right job does just that. In fact, I would go so far as to say that more people would be happier working with a UBI, because they could spend more time searching for the job they actually want (since they have a safety net) instead of settling for something mediocre just to get the bills paid.

That's my speculation, anyway.


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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2017, 06:40:17 PM »
Millions of people will be unemployed and unemployable in the near future because of automation. Truck and taxi drivers, trains, lawyers, teachers. Airlines too?
The risk is quite high in my city of Las Vegas where it is estimated that as many as 49% of all jobs can be automated.
So what's to become of people.
A whole new class of people will be created, the useless class.
And what do you do to pacify the useless class?
Virtual Reality Video Games fueled by universal basic income.
What a horrible future for mankind.
No need to educate anyone, there won't be jobs for them anyway.
So when the majority of the country is functionally unemployed and useless, how long do you think the working class will go along with supporting them?
When the government sucks their income dry, innovation will cease, why innovate when the govt. just takes it anyway.
The useless class will eventually become too much of a drain on resources and may eventually have to justify their existence much like George Bernard Shaw advocated.
Quote
“A part of eugenic politics would finally land us in an extensive use of the lethal chamber. A great many people would have to be put out of existence simply because it wastes other people’s time to look after them.”

George Bernard Shaw

This isn't Star Trek...

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/08/virtual-reality-religion-robots-sapiens-book
http://www.businessinsider.com/us-cities-with-jobs-at-risk-of-automation-2016-3/#2-las-vegas-nevada-10

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2017, 09:42:51 PM »
Millions of people will be unemployed and unemployable in the near future because of automation. Truck and taxi drivers, trains, lawyers, teachers. Airlines too?
The risk is quite high in my city of Las Vegas where it is estimated that as many as 49% of all jobs can be automated.
So what's to become of people.
A whole new class of people will be created, the useless class.
And what do you do to pacify the useless class?
Virtual Reality Video Games fueled by universal basic income.
What a horrible future for mankind.
No need to educate anyone, there won't be jobs for them anyway.
So when the majority of the country is functionally unemployed and useless, how long do you think the working class will go along with supporting them?
When the government sucks their income dry, innovation will cease, why innovate when the govt. just takes it anyway.
The useless class will eventually become too much of a drain on resources and may eventually have to justify their existence much like George Bernard Shaw advocated.
This isn't Star Trek...

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/08/virtual-reality-religion-robots-sapiens-book
http://www.businessinsider.com/us-cities-with-jobs-at-risk-of-automation-2016-3/#2-las-vegas-nevada-10

The above book I linked to disagrees with your hypothesis.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2017, 10:23:53 PM »
Millions of people will be unemployed and unemployable in the near future because of automation. Truck and taxi drivers, trains, lawyers, teachers. Airlines too?
The risk is quite high in my city of Las Vegas where it is estimated that as many as 49% of all jobs can be automated.
So what's to become of people.
A whole new class of people will be created, the useless class.
And what do you do to pacify the useless class?
Virtual Reality Video Games fueled by universal basic income.
What a horrible future for mankind.
No need to educate anyone, there won't be jobs for them anyway.
So when the majority of the country is functionally unemployed and useless, how long do you think the working class will go along with supporting them?
When the government sucks their income dry, innovation will cease, why innovate when the govt. just takes it anyway.
The useless class will eventually become too much of a drain on resources and may eventually have to justify their existence much like George Bernard Shaw advocated.
This isn't Star Trek...

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/08/virtual-reality-religion-robots-sapiens-book
http://www.businessinsider.com/us-cities-with-jobs-at-risk-of-automation-2016-3/#2-las-vegas-nevada-10

What makes you think they will stay unemployed and unemployable? The economy tends not to work that way. Technological advancement doesn't seem to create massive and persistent unemployment, it does create some stress on the worker.  They may need to retrain, move, reduce lifestyle, etc.  Even that is more possible, computer aided training has made retraining more accessible,  telecommuting has made some jobs where a person doesn't have to move for their work.

We no longer have elevator attendants, telephone operators, nearly as many shoe shiners, the number of domestic servants is radically lower, full service gas is an oddity reserved for a few weird ass protectionist states. There is no end to the work society needs done, people will adapt.  Society will always has loafers and wastrels, but they are discriminated against and society makes them pay in prestige and esteem. The chances that it will be a huge portion of the population is unlikely.  I have been deployed in countries with 30+ percent unemployment. For a country full of unemployed people they seem to work their asses off. I read the same thing about the height of the depression.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 10:31:52 PM by Chemsoldier »

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2017, 02:21:09 PM »
Infation is caused by an expansion of the money supply without a corresponding increase in production.  The example of lowering interest rates causes an increase in money supply through fractional reserve banking and therefore inflation. A UBI on its own does not necessarily expand the money supply.  in fact, a UBI via a negative income tax is deflational in nature as Chemsoldier points out it replaces less productive wellfare systems and because it eliminates the distortions caused by controlling what benefit receivers spend their money on.  Right now because of the crazy bureaucracy more is spent per welfare recipient than the average income producer makes.



Net, the money for the negative income tax comes directly from the tax system itself.  Sure, politicisns could continue to print money with a negative income tax system but that choice is complely independent of having such a system.

This brings up a good point. The UBI is simply a feature of a tax system.  It isnt the policy itself.  We should be discussing tax/welfare system reform and specifically a negative income tax.

I agree that UBI itself is not inflationary.  The point I was trying to make is that we live in a period of planned inflation policy so the UBI will either decline in purchasing power and become less relevant, OR, it will be indexed to inflation and will become an increasing burden. 

Inflation indexed programs either fall behind because politicians reduce the annual increase from the actual inflation rate or they change the way inflation is calculated to artificially reduce/skip the index (both happening these days), or they could actually increase faster because they are only indexed UP and never reduced (in the unlikely event we have deflation).

And just because it is a more efficient welfare payout does not change that fact it IS a welfare payout.  It is still a burden on the economy draining money from the producers to the non-producers.  I highly doubt the masses will stand for Bill Gates (and anyone earning over $xxx,000) receiving a UBI when there are so many more homeless that need it more. Theoretically, there would be overhead cost savings since there would be no need for case management, new laws and regulations, etc.  BUT, in practice, govt managers are paid based not eh size of staff, complexity of programs, and size of budget.  They will find a way to make a UBI program just as complex and bloated as targeted welfare programs.  It is the bureaucrat's creed of survival and promotion: Bigger and more complex!

The states such as Maine and Kansas that implemented work requirements for welfare saw a 75%-90% reduction in welfare recipients.  We don't need UBI, we just need work requirements for the able-bodied (and not caring for dependents) and we would cut any form of welfare spending by a LOT.  I don't see the reason for thinking we need to provide for those unwilling to work.  And there IS work.  It's just that a lot of folks don't want to change or put in the effort.  There are a lot of other cost of living problems such as the medical cartels, Petro dollar fueled spending/printing/inflation, and 0% 50 yr mortgages and 0% 9 yr car loans that drive up prices to many times what they would be normally.  Implementing UBI will not solve those larger and out of control cost of living factors.  We need to cut back on those cost drivers so that a basic standard of living is affordable on a basic income.

There are so many distortions in our economy and govt involvement is usually a large contributing factor.  Below minimum wage for agriculture workers supposedly so food is affordable is one. As mentioned above, the medical cartels and then the resulting govt programs to help pay for the exorbitant costs that govt makes possible through monopolies: Medicare.  Turning to the govt for help (either targeted welfare or UBI) does NOT address the real problems of govt meddling that drives of costs and govt spending beyond production that drives up inflation and is a hidden tax on everyone.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2017, 06:05:23 PM »
The states such as Maine and Kansas that implemented work requirements for welfare saw a 75%-90% reduction in welfare recipients. 

Uh, hold up, are you sure that was a good thing? That a bunch of people didn't just drop out because they COULDN'T work and ended up homeless, or reliant on family/friends?