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Automation and AI will destroy free market capitalism
#11
(04-19-2017, 07:46 PM)Finster Wrote: How did we come to the conclusion that jobs are a central measure of our standard of living in the first place?  The elite is fond of quoting high employment as a measure of its economic policy success, but maybe that's because the elite wants other people to be doing the work.

Is having a job what everyone really wants?  Or is it the things you can buy with your earnings?  If it's the latter, then the job isn't an end, it's a means to an end.  Most people I know that have a job are looking forward to not having a job, but in still having food, shelter, clothing, and hopefully time to enjoy the finer things in life.  They call it retirement.

What exactly is our vision of utopia?  I'm not so sure we should just assume it's a world in which everyone has to work to stay alive.  Children, the elderly and the infirm should have jobs?  Maybe it's a world in which no one would have to work, in which machines would take care of all our material needs.  Maybe that's where all this is really headed ... a future in which the unemployment rate rises to 100% yet no one goes cold or hungry.  In which people are free to spend their time on social, artistic, and spiritual pursuits.  If so, then policies calculated to increase employment are tragically wrong-headed. 

The point here is not so much to answer the question as to ask it ... just assuming everybody wants a job and trying to make sure they have one skips this crucial step.

Even in the StarTrek Universe, where no-one needs to work, people work because it keeps them busy and not bored, gives them purpose in their lives, and instills moral virtues.
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#12
(04-19-2017, 12:36 PM)DaveGillie Wrote:
(04-19-2017, 05:06 AM)cbeatty Wrote: greater production does not automatically mean wider distribution

just like ........

greater wealth does not automatically mean wider wealth distribution
 
sheesssh, like,  MASS production is only for MASSES of people, by definition.

and your last sentence seems absurd, pathetically sad and evil to me,
worrying about increased wealth because somebody ELSE might get more of it than you, sheessh.

Dave, you are in dire need of a dictionary.

(04-19-2017, 02:04 PM)DaveGillie Wrote:
(04-19-2017, 01:19 PM) pid=\5832' Wrote:and WHY do we need "work"? really.
We do need INCOME,

You are half way there; we need goods and services .......... food, clothing, shelter, care, etc.
 

I don't know what people YOU see, but I see a great many on a daily basis.
AND A GREAT MANY do NOT "work to earn money". and they still have food, place to live and medical/retirement.


They are the annointed. The beneficiaries of the current system. Whether it's through ownership, the govt., charity, etc.

Why would they not be able to buy things that are created basically for free? it's just a matter of a FREE Market adjusting price to sales, perhaps you assuming the "free" part of the market being stopped?? Only Government can do that, I too, fear that. BUT the blame will NOT then fall to automation, but to forces making markets inflexable (UNFree).

Just because things are created for free doesn't mean they will be distributed for free. I can't fish your property.

(04-19-2017, 07:46 PM)Finster Wrote: How did we come to the conclusion that jobs are a central measure of our standard of living in the first place?  The elite is fond of quoting high employment as a measure of its economic policy success, but maybe that's because the elite wants other people to be doing the work.
The obvious truth capitalists don't openly discuss. (are you sounding a little Marxist here?)
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#13
This is the sort of thread that keeps me coming back to Taoeconomics. Well done, guys. I intend to post a brilliant argument on this thread as soon as I think of one.
I dream of an America where a chicken can cross the road without having it's motives questioned.
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#14
(04-20-2017, 07:21 AM)ModestProposals Wrote:
(04-19-2017, 07:46 PM)Finster Wrote: How did we come to the conclusion that jobs are a central measure of our standard of living in the first place?  The elite is fond of quoting high employment as a measure of its economic policy success, but maybe that's because the elite wants other people to be doing the work.

Is having a job what everyone really wants?  Or is it the things you can buy with your earnings?  If it's the latter, then the job isn't an end, it's a means to an end.  Most people I know that have a job are looking forward to not having a job, but in still having food, shelter, clothing, and hopefully time to enjoy the finer things in life.  They call it retirement.

What exactly is our vision of utopia?  I'm not so sure we should just assume it's a world in which everyone has to work to stay alive.  Children, the elderly and the infirm should have jobs?  Maybe it's a world in which no one would have to work, in which machines would take care of all our material needs.  Maybe that's where all this is really headed ... a future in which the unemployment rate rises to 100% yet no one goes cold or hungry.  In which people are free to spend their time on social, artistic, and spiritual pursuits.  If so, then policies calculated to increase employment are tragically wrong-headed. 

The point here is not so much to answer the question as to ask it ... just assuming everybody wants a job and trying to make sure they have one skips this crucial step.

Even in the StarTrek Universe, where no-one needs to work, people work because it keeps them busy and not bored, gives them purpose in their lives, and instills moral virtues.

I'd put that under the category of "social, artistic, and spiritual pursuits" ... working because you want to as opposed to because you have to.  At some point whether to call doing something you want to "work" becomes a philosophical question ...

Regardless, the Star Trek universe could be a helpful illustration of a technological utopia where machines provide for material needs and "unemployment" is irrelevant.
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#15
Finster,

I am not conflating quality of life with work. Actually, I would say your quality of life is probably better if you do not have to work.

However, in our current economic reality, unless you have already acquired wealth, work is what determines your social status and wealth, which drive quality of life. Put another way, quality of life is at least partially dependent on wealth, and the best way to acquire wealth, even modest wealth, is through work. If you can inherit it, or earn some other way, then good for you. But for most people, they will need to work in order to survive in our capitalist economy. I don't see there being any other option unless we radically change our economic and political systems, which I suggested with my original post. I don't see how an economy built upon labor for acquiring wealth can work as we become increasingly automated.

(04-20-2017, 05:20 PM)Finster Wrote:
(04-20-2017, 07:21 AM)ModestProposals Wrote:
(04-19-2017, 07:46 PM)Finster Wrote: How did we come to the conclusion that jobs are a central measure of our standard of living in the first place?  The elite is fond of quoting high employment as a measure of its economic policy success, but maybe that's because the elite wants other people to be doing the work.

Is having a job what everyone really wants?  Or is it the things you can buy with your earnings?  If it's the latter, then the job isn't an end, it's a means to an end.  Most people I know that have a job are looking forward to not having a job, but in still having food, shelter, clothing, and hopefully time to enjoy the finer things in life.  They call it retirement.

What exactly is our vision of utopia?  I'm not so sure we should just assume it's a world in which everyone has to work to stay alive.  Children, the elderly and the infirm should have jobs?  Maybe it's a world in which no one would have to work, in which machines would take care of all our material needs.  Maybe that's where all this is really headed ... a future in which the unemployment rate rises to 100% yet no one goes cold or hungry.  In which people are free to spend their time on social, artistic, and spiritual pursuits.  If so, then policies calculated to increase employment are tragically wrong-headed. 

The point here is not so much to answer the question as to ask it ... just assuming everybody wants a job and trying to make sure they have one skips this crucial step.

Even in the StarTrek Universe, where no-one needs to work, people work because it keeps them busy and not bored, gives them purpose in their lives, and instills moral virtues.

I'd put that under the category of "social, artistic, and spiritual pursuits" ... working because you want to as opposed to because you have to.  At some point whether to call doing something you want to "work" becomes a philosophical question ...

Regardless, the Star Trek universe could be a helpful illustration of a technological utopia where machines provide for material needs and "unemployment" is irrelevant.

Yes, that would be nice.
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#16
(04-20-2017, 03:35 PM)cbeatty Wrote:
(04-19-2017, 07:46 PM)Finster Wrote: How did we come to the conclusion that jobs are a central measure of our standard of living in the first place?  The elite is fond of quoting high employment as a measure of its economic policy success, but maybe that's because the elite wants other people to be doing the work.
The obvious truth capitalists don't openly discuss. (are you sounding a little Marxist here?)

If there's such a thing as a libertarian Marxist ... ;-)

Seriously, the cognitive dissonance here is probably due to the popular portrayal of the current US economy as "capitalist".  Sure, it has some features of free market capitalism, but in what free market economy do you have a committee of central planners composed of a banking cartel fixing the price of credit?  This centralized monopolistic enterprise is how you get a politically empowered elite in a position to be enforcing polices targeted to maximum employment in the first place.  Puppeteers pulling government strings to make other people work is hardly what I'd call free market capitalism.

Remember we have a Federal Reserve that has openly pursued policies to kite asset prices.  And since the majority of assets are owned by the rich, this policy makes the rich richer.  Blaming it on capitalism is just a propaganda ploy to dupe voters into supporting yet more government intervention.

I may share some complaints with Marxists, but not their solutions.  Because I don't see the exploding economic inequality as resulting from capitalism, but from government policy that actively transfers wealth to the wealthy from everybody else.
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#17
(04-20-2017, 05:38 PM)Finster Wrote:
(04-20-2017, 03:35 PM)cbeatty Wrote:
(04-19-2017, 07:46 PM)Finster Wrote: How did we come to the conclusion that jobs are a central measure of our standard of living in the first place?  The elite is fond of quoting high employment as a measure of its economic policy success, but maybe that's because the elite wants other people to be doing the work.
The obvious truth capitalists don't openly discuss. (are you sounding a little Marxist here?)

If there's such a thing as a libertarian Marxist ... ;-)

Seriously, the cognitive dissonance here is probably due to the popular portrayal of the current US economy as "capitalist".  Sure, it has some features of free market capitalism, but in what free market economy do you have a committee of central planners composed of a banking cartel fixing the price of credit?  This centralized monopolistic enterprise is how you get a politically empowered elite in a position to be enforcing polices targeted to maximum employment in the first place.  Puppeteers pulling government strings to make other people work is hardly what I'd call free market capitalism.

Remember we have a Federal Reserve that has openly pursued policies to kite asset prices.  And since the majority of assets are owned by the rich, this policy makes the rich richer.  Blaming it on capitalism is just a propaganda ploy to dupe voters into supporting yet more government intervention.

I may share some complaints with Marxists, but not their solutions.  Because I don't see the exploding economic inequality as resulting from capitalism, but from government policy that actively transfers wealth to the wealthy from everybody else.

Be that as is it may, I would propose that it is the select financiers who have figured their way to amassing large fortunes and becoming the ultimate capitalists.
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#18
(04-20-2017, 05:37 PM)tdogg Wrote: Finster,

I am not conflating quality of life with work. Actually, I would say your quality of life is probably better if you do not have to work.

However, in our current economic reality, unless you have already acquired wealth, work is what determines your social status and wealth, which drive quality of life. Put another way, quality of life is at least partially dependent on wealth, and the best way to acquire wealth, even modest wealth, is through work. If you can inherit it, or earn some other way, then good for you. But for most people, they will need to work in order to survive in our capitalist economy. I don't see there being any other option unless we radically change our economic and political systems, which I suggested with my original post. I don't see how an economy built upon labor for acquiring wealth can work as we become increasingly automated.

(04-20-2017, 05:20 PM)Finster Wrote:
(04-20-2017, 07:21 AM)ModestProposals Wrote:
(04-19-2017, 07:46 PM)Finster Wrote: How did we come to the conclusion that jobs are a central measure of our standard of living in the first place?  The elite is fond of quoting high employment as a measure of its economic policy success, but maybe that's because the elite wants other people to be doing the work.

Is having a job what everyone really wants?  Or is it the things you can buy with your earnings?  If it's the latter, then the job isn't an end, it's a means to an end.  Most people I know that have a job are looking forward to not having a job, but in still having food, shelter, clothing, and hopefully time to enjoy the finer things in life.  They call it retirement.

What exactly is our vision of utopia?  I'm not so sure we should just assume it's a world in which everyone has to work to stay alive.  Children, the elderly and the infirm should have jobs?  Maybe it's a world in which no one would have to work, in which machines would take care of all our material needs.  Maybe that's where all this is really headed ... a future in which the unemployment rate rises to 100% yet no one goes cold or hungry.  In which people are free to spend their time on social, artistic, and spiritual pursuits.  If so, then policies calculated to increase employment are tragically wrong-headed. 

The point here is not so much to answer the question as to ask it ... just assuming everybody wants a job and trying to make sure they have one skips this crucial step.

Even in the StarTrek Universe, where no-one needs to work, people work because it keeps them busy and not bored, gives them purpose in their lives, and instills moral virtues.

I'd put that under the category of "social, artistic, and spiritual pursuits" ... working because you want to as opposed to because you have to.  At some point whether to call doing something you want to "work" becomes a philosophical question ...

Regardless, the Star Trek universe could be a helpful illustration of a technological utopia where machines provide for material needs and "unemployment" is irrelevant.

Yes, that would be nice.

No disputing the current reality ... but what would it look like if Star Trek was where we're headed?  As you move from a time where most people have to work to a time where they don't, you'd expect to see a shrinking labor force and more production assumed by machines.  The problem then becomes the transition ... how the unworking can keep the lights on.  If past is prologue, it's already being solved.  When you work, you set aside some of your earnings and buy shares in the machinery with it.  When you have enough machinery, you no longer need to work.  It's called retirement.

If you view the problem as the machinery itself, you leave yourself no path to the future.
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#19
(04-20-2017, 05:37 PM)tdogg Wrote: Finster,

I am not conflating quality of life with work. Actually, I would say your quality of life is probably better if you do not have to work.

However, in our current economic reality, unless you have already acquired wealth, work is what determines your social status and wealth, which drive quality of life. Put another way, quality of life is at least partially dependent on wealth, and the best way to acquire wealth, even modest wealth, is through work. If you can inherit it, or earn some other way, then good for you. But for most people, they will need to work in order to survive in our capitalist economy. I don't see there being any other option unless we radically change our economic and political systems, which I suggested with my original post. I don't see how an economy built upon labor for acquiring wealth can work as we become increasingly automated.

Very insightful post. Of course your life is better if you don't have to work. Work is for beasts of burden. Management of workers, is for owners. I thinks the second paragraph contains the crux of my expressed sentiment, that capitalism is fine in a growing economy, but in a mature economy, concentrated wealth undermines it.
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#20
(04-20-2017, 07:03 PM)cbeatty Wrote:
(04-20-2017, 05:38 PM)Finster Wrote:
(04-20-2017, 03:35 PM)cbeatty Wrote:
(04-19-2017, 07:46 PM)Finster Wrote: How did we come to the conclusion that jobs are a central measure of our standard of living in the first place?  The elite is fond of quoting high employment as a measure of its economic policy success, but maybe that's because the elite wants other people to be doing the work.
The obvious truth capitalists don't openly discuss. (are you sounding a little Marxist here?)

If there's such a thing as a libertarian Marxist ... ;-)

Seriously, the cognitive dissonance here is probably due to the popular portrayal of the current US economy as "capitalist".  Sure, it has some features of free market capitalism, but in what free market economy do you have a committee of central planners composed of a banking cartel fixing the price of credit?  This centralized monopolistic enterprise is how you get a politically empowered elite in a position to be enforcing polices targeted to maximum employment in the first place.  Puppeteers pulling government strings to make other people work is hardly what I'd call free market capitalism.

Remember we have a Federal Reserve that has openly pursued policies to kite asset prices.  And since the majority of assets are owned by the rich, this policy makes the rich richer.  Blaming it on capitalism is just a propaganda ploy to dupe voters into supporting yet more government intervention.

I may share some complaints with Marxists, but not their solutions.  Because I don't see the exploding economic inequality as resulting from capitalism, but from government policy that actively transfers wealth to the wealthy from everybody else.

Be that as is it may, I would propose that it is the select financiers who have figured their way to amassing large fortunes and becoming the ultimate capitalists.

Sure ... via their access to government.  Over a century ago, they convinced Congress to give them a monopoly on issuing the nation's currency.  That evolved further into a monopoly on setting the price of credit.  But on what planet is this free market "capitalism"?
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