Author Topic: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income  (Read 5612 times)

Online Chemsoldier

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2017, 05:54:13 AM »
Another article on it.  Contrasting variations of the UBI model and how to pay for it.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/30/15712160/basic-income-oecd-aei-replace-welfare-state
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Online LVWood

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2017, 09:12:48 AM »
I can't imagine progressives being in favor of this at all.
It'll never fly with them.
Why you ask?
Smaller government...
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Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2017, 10:17:11 AM »
I think some flavor of "UBI" will be necessary to limit civil unrest.  Not everyone will be happy but consider this:

A) Fast food employee earns $10/hr + minimal benefits
B) Junior attorney earns $100K/year + great benefits

Now let's suppose UBI pays $5/hr cash + comprehensive benefits.  For this discussion "comprehensive" means $0.00 out of pocket for any medical, free utilities including internet, mobile phone and subsidized/free housing.

If person A is fired and replaced with a robot, at the very least their lifestyle while unemployed is a net neutral, but maybe an improvement depending on perspective.

Person B, will likely be less happy, though he wouldn't starve to death.  There are way more people like "A" who need to be placated in order to maintain a civil society.

Offline osubuckeye4

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2017, 10:24:57 AM »
Just like with AI... we're a generation (at least) too early with the talk of a practical and meaningful UBI.


That said, if population and technology keep growing at the exponential rate they have been.. it's only a matter of time before meaningful discussions start to take place.


As is the case with AI though, we're a breakthrough (or a few breakthroughs) away from those talks being on the table in a meaningful fashion.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2017, 07:32:02 PM »
Yes, I am sure it is a good thing.  If you had included the next sentence in my post you would notice that those work requirements were for able bodied persons not caring for dependents.  Even famous Christian saints promoting common living or charity such as the Apostle Paul and Vincent de Paul expected able bodied men to earn their own keep through honest labor, or be turned away. I am surprised so many on this survival forum think a basic living handout is a good thing.  Providing for your self and your family is an honorable and good thing.  Forcing others via the gun barrel of govt to provide for you rather than seeking true charity when needed is not.

It is pie in the sky fantasy to think that recipients and the govt would ever be happy with a "negative tax" UBI that is fair and shared amongst all.  It would be tweaked and corrupted and growing dependence would usher in more demands for expansion and increase.  The income tax started as a small percentage of income with a very large exemption.  Look at it today.  Social Security started as I believe 1% of wages and was intended for emergency safety net, not a full retirement.  Look at it today.  UBI would fall into the same trap because it is fundamentally flawed as forcing some to provide for the failures of others.  The recipients would never be satisfied and the legislators could not keep their hands off it.
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Offline osubuckeye4

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2017, 08:05:37 AM »
Yes, I am sure it is a good thing.  If you had included the next sentence in my post you would notice that those work requirements were for able bodied persons not caring for dependents.  Even famous Christian saints promoting common living or charity such as the Apostle Paul and Vincent de Paul expected able bodied men to earn their own keep through honest labor, or be turned away. I am surprised so many on this survival forum think a basic living handout is a good thing.  Providing for your self and your family is an honorable and good thing.  Forcing others via the gun barrel of govt to provide for you rather than seeking true charity when needed is not.

It is pie in the sky fantasy to think that recipients and the govt would ever be happy with a "negative tax" UBI that is fair and shared amongst all.  It would be tweaked and corrupted and growing dependence would usher in more demands for expansion and increase.  The income tax started as a small percentage of income with a very large exemption.  Look at it today.  Social Security started as I believe 1% of wages and was intended for emergency safety net, not a full retirement.  Look at it today.  UBI would fall into the same trap because it is fundamentally flawed as forcing some to provide for the failures of others.  The recipients would never be satisfied and the legislators could not keep their hands off it.

+1

I tend to lean towards your side on this.

We're still at the point where there are "undesirable" jobs that need to be done... and capitalism is the best system to ensure that those jobs are accomplished and humanities survival is ensured.


If, via some breakthrough or series of breakthroughs, many of those undesirable jobs are automated and the automation is able to provide for the entire population? At that point a UBI might be feasible.

We're not there yet... and we might never get there. All of these talks are incredibly premature, in my opinion.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2017, 06:48:27 PM »
We're still at the point where there are "undesirable" jobs that need to be done... and capitalism is the best system to ensure that those jobs are accomplished and humanities survival is ensured.


If, via some breakthrough or series of breakthroughs, many of those undesirable jobs are automated and the automation is able to provide for the entire population? At that point a UBI might be feasible.

We're not there yet... and we might never get there. All of these talks are incredibly premature, in my opinion.

It seems that there has been talk of elimination of work of the masses ever since industrialization and electric appliances :)  We always think that automating some process will eliminate jobs, yet in fact new jobs are created.  Home appliances were supposed to eliminate the need for housework, yet I don't know of any housewife that has too little to do about the house.  Cars eliminated most of the horse and buggy industry yet more mobility opened up massive amounts of tourism businesses, mechanic shops, and even the "automotive performance" industry, all of which do not require college degrees except in some management positions.

In the end, automation seems to allow us to take on bigger endeavors which require humans to perform new types of tasks, many of which are semi-skilled.  For instance, Amazon is the gold standard for global, near-instantaneous, user-friendly internet retail and shipping efficiency.  Yet, most of that "magic" comes from unskilled workers in fulfillment and sorting facilities with a minimal amount of automation:  lots of legwork (guided by computer); manual picking, packing, and sorting tracked by computer; truck drivers and forklifts and pallet jacks. And lots of cardboard boxes, pallets, and simple conveyor belts and roller tracks.

Robotics is having a dramatic effect on manufacturing. But someone has to install, service and repair those robotics.  Faster manufacturing means more trucks for deliveries, more loading dock work, more warehouse and material movement work.  Robotics can only efficiently replace work that has become well-known, systematic and a rather limited amount of movements.  Most displaced manufacturing or service people do not need to retrain to become mechanical or electrical engineers.  There will be more of those professional positions, but there will still be a need for many more humans to do more tasks that are newer and less defined or localized.

I think it is extremely relevant for a survival forum to consider that survival and success in an increasingly automated world means ADAPTING to new conditions.  Find those areas opening up because of growth through automation or that is not suited to automation.  Get more education for different professions, or learn new skills, or get into new jobs with on-the-job training.  We know the natural cycles of solar activity and geologic processes means our weather will change from tropical to ice age and back again.  Within our life time we may see some smaller variation of this but climate change is inevitable and even a subsistence farmer must adapt to new climate conditions, infestations, soil erosion, water table changes, etc.  The urban and suburban worker needs to have the same attitude that automation has been happening for 100 years or more and we need to keep adapting and not rely on some fantasy that work will be eliminated and some mysterious group of workers will pay for us to sit around contemplating our navels.
There have always been times like this, and there will be again. Will we rise to the challenges or get run over?

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2017, 12:05:35 PM »
Some more insight into the issue: https://theoutline.com/post/1613/iran-introduces-basic-income (link to the original report: http://erf.org.eg/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/1090.pdf).

It seems to have sort of worked in Iran, at least.

I do agree about that the doom-and-gloom about automation is misplaced; we've always found ways to adapt, and we will continue to. However, what's different now is that industrial and societal change is happening at a much faster rate than at any other time in history, and our caveman brains aren't necessarily able to adapt that quickly. To quote Star Trek for a moment, "It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life." That's where the UBI could be helpful, to fill in some of the gaps.

A cultural shift will have to happen in order for this to work, and this blind spot we have about taxes and public services I think is the biggest hurdle. It's popular to think of taxes as "my money", and that's technically true. Where the blind spot comes in is when we see so-called undeserving people (or .gov) doing questionable things with "my money". The way I see it, once it's in the .gov's hands, its not my money anymore. It becomes "our money". Should I have a say in how it gets spent? Absolutely, I mean I contributed after all. But I'm not the only voice, and at the end of the day, I only have so much time and energy to spend on fretting about what gets done with it. Judging other people's choices is usually towards the bottom of my list. I've got better shit to do.

I realize I'm probably in the minority on that, but thought I'd throw that out there and see what I catch.

Offline Betsy4ever

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2017, 12:58:33 PM »

The risk of mass unemployment are hovering over our heads, the most impacted industry are the transportation industry. Wall E movie came to my mind where they rightly depicted future inspirations and majority of the country is functionally unemployed. It fearful to imagine the situation...

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2017, 06:14:26 AM »
We just had a big robot show up at our place. We had some storm damaged trees removed for safety reasons.  The stump remover for the tree service we use is now a robot.  Pretty incredible machine.  So much faster than the "manual" ones and did  a better job.  One thing that was impressive was how it unloaded and loaded itself on the trailer.  That alone saved probably a half hour of work vs a manual one.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2017, 06:39:40 AM »
For those who don't regularly listen to Jack's podcast, he discussed this topic at length with John Pugliano this week: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/pugliano-robots.  There will be no surprises there for people who've followed this thread, but a lot of good content.  Much of the discussion revolved around how this relates to short-ish term investing over the next decade.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2017, 02:05:59 PM »
For those who don't regularly listen to Jack's podcast, he discussed this topic at length with John Pugliano this week: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/pugliano-robots.  There will be no surprises there for people who've followed this thread, but a lot of good content.  Much of the discussion revolved around how this relates to short-ish term investing over the next decade.

That was a great episode.  One thing which I think the podcast did a really good job as was talking about the lucrative opportunities which these changes offer.  They concentrated on the opportunities that the new technology enables.  But it makes me wonder if there aren't equal opportunities to those who figure out how the skills of displaced people could be leveraged.   

For example, I recently read one story that a company created a robot for skyscraper window washing.  Pretty much everyone in the industry is saying that the occupation of 'window washer' will be completely extinct within 10 years.  That is the downside.  But on the plus side it is interesting to think about how we could use the talents of window washers, they are experts at safely erecting scaffolds and working at heights.  Maybe creating an online course to teach window washers how to install solar panels would be saleable. Similarly, it makes me wonder if all of Elon Musk's talk about building underground roads stems from realizing the number of coal mine employees losing their jobs:



There will be a lot of opportunity for people who figure out how to manage this repurposing. 

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2017, 03:59:08 PM »
I agree we should not focus so much on what is being eliminated but how can those workers be used elsewhere or what other jobs will be created.  Many of the replaced workers may backfill in lower skilled jobs as other workers move into the new jobs.  I think it will be a mix depending on individual personalities and skills.  A valuable and transferable skill that can be learned in fast food is not prepping and serving food, but the cheerful and professional customer service with a wide range of customer attitudes.  This could be redirected to call centers, other retail, and sales with the right attitude and opportunity. Few of those fast food kids are going to go into robotics repair or manufacture--some will but not most--but if they are successful there they could also be in many other customer interaction roles.

The difficult thing is to anticipate what other businesses/jobs become practical or more numerous once most fast food service is automated (for instance).  Does the travel/tourist industry increase overall?  Do workers have more time on lunch break or after work to spend elsewhere since they do not stand in line for 15 minutes?  As the automation process unfolds there will be new opportunities to those paying attention to how behavior and needs shift of the consumer and other businesses.
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Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2017, 11:37:24 PM »

There are way more people like "A" who need to be placated in order to maintain a civil society.

So it looks like we may have our first one.  The shooter in the congressional attack was a home inspector who couldnt make  it anymore in the business due to Illinois' dreadful home market.  Early on he got recruited into the Occupy Wall Street movement then the Sanders campaign.   He allegedly went off the rails when no-one would take seriously his proposal for a 73% progressive income tax,   He spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours writing letters to the editor, congress, and president obama as well as posting about it on online forums.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2017, 10:12:17 AM »
So it looks like we may have our first one.  The shooter in the congressional attack was a home inspector who couldnt make  it anymore in the business due to Illinois' dreadful home market.  Early on he got recruited into the Occupy Wall Street movement then the Sanders campaign.   He allegedly went off the rails when no-one would take seriously his proposal for a 73% progressive income tax,   He spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours writing letters to the editor, congress, and president obama as well as posting about it on online forums.

This is actually scary. While a personality flaw might have allowed him to "act" on his frustration, there are plenty of folks who are publicly commenting indirect support for this.
"he had it coming for voting against our healthcare" and similar comments were all over social media. I imagine most would be explained away as humor, but these attitudes can be contagious.

It would not surprise me if some actuarial scientist has estimated the number of discontent people in the USA, and what percentage could "snap". In a business sense, you could place a dollar amount on preventing this stuff. How much damage does a Ferguson-style riot cause? Add in police overtime, residents sheltering at home and not going to Applebees, etc. and civil unrest is REALLY bad for business.

If I was a macro level business tycoon, I'd willingly throw some money into the hat to prevent unrest.

Online LVWood

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #45 on: June 15, 2017, 11:00:29 AM »
So it looks like we may have our first one.  The shooter in the congressional attack was a home inspector who couldnt make  it anymore in the business due to Illinois' dreadful home market.  Early on he got recruited into the Occupy Wall Street movement then the Sanders campaign.   He allegedly went off the rails when no-one would take seriously his proposal for a 73% progressive income tax,   He spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours writing letters to the editor, congress, and president obama as well as posting about it on online forums.
His business failure may have more to do with his personality disorder rather than economics.
He has a history of violence. Hodgkinson was arrested for battery, domestic battery and discharging a firearm, after he physically assaulted his foster daughter and two of her friends.
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Online Chemsoldier

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #46 on: July 14, 2017, 06:40:22 AM »
Reason with an argument against the long term unemployment by automation.

 http://reason.com/archives/2017/07/11/the-myth-of-technological-unem
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Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #47 on: July 14, 2017, 05:22:50 PM »
Reason's always a breath of fresh air.  Thanks for the article.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Automation, Elimination of Jobs, and Universal Basic Income
« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2017, 05:53:48 PM »
Reason with an argument against the long term unemployment by automation.

 http://reason.com/archives/2017/07/11/the-myth-of-technological-unem

Strange argument for Reason to make. The loss of manufacturing jobs have been replaced by a rise in government workers.  These are "make work" jobs.  It is odd that they would consider this a positive trend.