{myadvertisements[zone_1]}
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Automation and AI will destroy free market capitalism
#31
(04-22-2017, 09:49 PM)cbeatty Wrote:
(04-22-2017, 06:48 PM)Finster Wrote:
(04-21-2017, 06:42 PM)cbeatty Wrote:
(04-21-2017, 03:33 PM)Finster Wrote: Sure, concentrated capital is a problem, but concentrated government leads to concentrated capital.  I just cited one notorious example of how that happens - the Federal Reserve kiting asset prices.  The wealth gap has been exploding.  Without concentrated government, you wouldn't have near the concentration of capital.  Just connect those last couple of dots and you've nailed the crux of the problem.

does concentrated capital lead to concentrated government?

Do accidents lead to drunk driving?

does concentrated capital lead to concentrated government?

Is this an unfair question?

No, but neither was my answer...  ;-)

As a thinking man, if you've been following my reasoning, it should make perfect sense.  But for the benefit of lurkers who may not have been following along, we can be more explicit.  You're liable to have some concentration of capital regardless, but you're going to have a lot more with concentrated government.

Suppose, for the sake of argument, that concentrated capital led to concentrated government.  Where would that get us?  What would you do about it?  More concentrated government?  That would get you more concentrated capital.  What if it doesn't?  That doesn't lead to a thoughtful policy response, either.  It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the answer to the question just doesn't get you anywhere.

The history of the issue in a nutshell:  Some people agitate for government power expansion in order to remedy perceived deficits in the natural order of things.  Once this concentration of government power is achieved, however, the powerful gain control of it.  What you've done is simply collect the levers of power all in one convenient place for easy manipulation by the powerful.  The result is more concentration of wealth.  This in turn makes it even easier to concentrate still more power in government, because now you've got the wealthy and powerful supporting more government power too.  And now that the rich are getting richer than ever before, the original agitators are even more eager to expand government power as the original 'problem' is now even worse.

 A few generations into what 'should' have been a socialist utopia, you've ratcheted yourself back into feudalism of lords and serfs.  Look around ... see if that isn't what the world is coming to look like ...
Reply
{myadvertisements[zone_3]}
#32
If we start from the axiom that automation progresses to the point where a large part of the workforce becomes redundant, I see a dystopian future, but it is not one of permanently high unemployment.

But rather, as unemployment increases while the cost of providing creature comforts decreases, there will be calls for government to "do something". I see "something" as coming from one of two ways (or a combination thereof):
  1. Benefits increase so that the mere act of existing guarantees you a very comfortable lower middle class lifestyle with no work required on your part. Basically welfare on steroids.
  2. Government creates jobs. Since jobs that actually produce something will be accomplished by relatively few highly skilled individuals, then government will produce the types of jobs in the field where government excels - bureaucracy.
I don't particularly like either of these options.

The first option rewards sloth, and brings about an entire class of people whose entire lifetimes will be spent in recreation and the demand for more. I see this going to either an Idiocracy style future (assuming a majority unmotivated populace), or a Russian-style revolution (assuming a majority motivated populace). Given that the population would be primarily "fat, dumb and happy", I would think that the Idiocracy outcome is more likely. In either case, expect more grumbling about income inequality even though that those with the lower incomes do not need to work at all for the money, so that their wages expressed as the ratio of net benefits divided by effort expended is infinite.

The second option brings totalitarianism where the majority of government jobs will be some combination of enforcing rules, or handing out favours. And anyone who has witnessed what happens when an underachieving person is given the power to give or withhold items of value, or to dole out punishments, this is a very, very bad combination. This will be especially true if you add in the entitlement complex that is so common with government workers. And worse yet when you get such a person who views himself as being forced to work in a job that he would rather not have to do. This will end in some combination of police state or graft state, neither of which will be much fun for people.

A third possible option, the market-supplied option, is not included here. This option is one of all people having part time jobs - given the incredibly high productivity of the average worker, the work week could be reduced to a much smaller number, say ten hours per week. Where I don't think that this will work is that the lazy will not want to work that much, and the hard workers will not want to work that little. This will result in a self-defeating situation which would devolve into one of the other two options.

This is not to say that I think that these outcomes are inevitable so therefore we should avoid such advancements. We started with an axiom, that technological progress would progress to the point at which the majority of workers are redundant. As such, the above argument only holds if the axiom comes true. Negate the axiom, then the consequent does not necessarily follow.

Market forces could step in here to help out, in that the prices charged for these technologies should be based on the nearest competitor - namely human labour. Thus the optimal price for each of these technologies should only displace a few workers - few enough that could theoretically be absorbed into new jobs either through retraining or attrition. At sufficiently high prices, this would be a good case for attrition as new workers slowly take on the new jobs brought on by the new technologies and dwindling old jobs are slowly vacated by retirement or death.
Reply
{myadvertisements[zone_3]}
#33
(04-24-2017, 05:36 PM)Finster Wrote:
(04-22-2017, 09:49 PM)cbeatty Wrote:
(04-22-2017, 06:48 PM)Finster Wrote:
(04-21-2017, 06:42 PM)cbeatty Wrote:
(04-21-2017, 03:33 PM)Finster Wrote: Sure, concentrated capital is a problem, but concentrated government leads to concentrated capital.  I just cited one notorious example of how that happens - the Federal Reserve kiting asset prices.  The wealth gap has been exploding.  Without concentrated government, you wouldn't have near the concentration of capital.  Just connect those last couple of dots and you've nailed the crux of the problem.

does concentrated capital lead to concentrated government?

Do accidents lead to drunk driving?

does concentrated capital lead to concentrated government?

Is this an unfair question?

No, but neither was my answer...  ;-)

As a thinking man, if you've been following my reasoning, it should make perfect sense.  But for the benefit of lurkers who may not have been following along, we can be more explicit.  You're liable to have some concentration of capital regardless, but you're going to have a lot more with concentrated government.

Suppose, for the sake of argument, that concentrated capital led to concentrated government.  Where would that get us?  What would you do about it?  More concentrated government?  That would get you more concentrated capital.  What if it doesn't?  That doesn't lead to a thoughtful policy response, either.  It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the answer to the question just doesn't get you anywhere.

The history of the issue in a nutshell:  Some people agitate for government power expansion in order to remedy perceived deficits in the natural order of things.  Once this concentration of government power is achieved, however, the powerful gain control of it.  What you've done is simply collect the levers of power all in one convenient place for easy manipulation by the powerful.  The result is more concentration of wealth.  This in turn makes it even easier to concentrate still more power in government, because now you've got the wealthy and powerful supporting more government power too.  And now that the rich are getting richer than ever before, the original agitators are even more eager to expand government power as the original 'problem' is now even worse.

 A few generations into what 'should' have been a socialist utopia, you've ratcheted yourself back into feudalism of lords and serfs.  Look around ... see if that isn't what the world is coming to look like ...

I think I am following your reasoning. However, I think it just as plausible that concentrated capital leads to concentrated government, as vice versa.
Reply
{myadvertisements[zone_3]}
#34
(04-26-2017, 04:15 AM)cbeatty Wrote: I think I am following your reasoning. However, I think it just as plausible that concentrated capital leads to concentrated government, as vice versa.

BASIC element of Government is FORCE, you know, guns police ARMY
BASIC element of concentrated capital is CHOICE, you know, "will you do this for money".
which one is more powerful and creates the other?


but sorta like asking what came first, the Chicken of the Egg

and keep in mind, the main way to get concentrated capital (cc) is via Govt,
cc doesn't create too many Governments, influence them, but then, the less power govt has the less even that happens. and MORE influencing govt comes from voting, mass protests, violence, chance, history and war ETC.


and finally, CAVAET: The term "concentrated capital" here (as always with cbeatty, evidently) ONLY refers to "MASSIVELY Concentrated Capital" - not most concentrated capital.
Reply
{myadvertisements[zone_3]}
#35
(04-26-2017, 04:15 AM)cbeatty Wrote: ... However, I think it just as plausible that concentrated capital leads to concentrated government, as vice versa.

But you didn't answer my objections:  If it did, what would you do about it?  If it didn't, likewise?  If you lack facts or reasoning for something and it doesn't make any difference anyway, you're tilting at windmills.  May as well launch that investigation into whether accidents cause drunk driving.

Are you sure there isn't anything relevant left to cover?
Reply
{myadvertisements[zone_3]}
#36
(04-26-2017, 12:23 PM)DaveGillie Wrote:
(04-26-2017, 04:15 AM)cbeatty Wrote: I think I am following your reasoning. However, I think it just as plausible that concentrated capital leads to concentrated government, as vice versa.

BASIC element of Government is FORCE, you know, guns police ARMY
BASIC element of concentrated capital is CHOICE, you know, "will you do this for money".
which one is more powerful and creates the other?


but sorta like asking what came first, the Chicken of the Egg

and keep in mind, the main way to get concentrated capital (cc) is via Govt,
cc doesn't create too many Governments, influence them, but then, the less power govt has the less even that happens. and MORE influencing govt comes from voting, mass protests, violence, chance, history and war ETC.


and finally, CAVAET: The term "concentrated capital" here (as always with cbeatty, evidently) ONLY refers to "MASSIVELY Concentrated Capital" - not most concentrated capital.

Brilliant!  It's vital to distinguish between artificially concentrated wealth and a natural wealth gradient.  A natural wealth gradient isn't optional - it's a necessity.  For if everybody had the same wealth no matter what, there would be no possibility to improve oneself and no incentive to produce anything.

Artificially concentrated wealth, on the other hand, is destructive because it comes from government force.  There is likewise no incentive to produce if one can game the government for advantage.
Reply
{myadvertisements[zone_3]}
#37
(04-21-2017, 11:42 PM)Herring Wrote: I posted this story before, but it must have been before the "wipeout" and re-start of this forum, because it doesn't show up in the search.
So, I'll post it again.
A short story on how the automated future doesn't need to wait until there are robots capable of doing all our jobs:

"Manna", by Marshall Brain
http://marshallbrain.com/manna.htm

Yes, it is happening now...not in some distant future. I think this explains the drop in manufacturing over the last 30 years...increased automation.

I will check out the link. Thanks.

(04-24-2017, 05:36 PM)Finster Wrote:
(04-22-2017, 09:49 PM)cbeatty Wrote:
(04-22-2017, 06:48 PM)Finster Wrote:
(04-21-2017, 06:42 PM)cbeatty Wrote:
(04-21-2017, 03:33 PM)Finster Wrote: Sure, concentrated capital is a problem, but concentrated government leads to concentrated capital.  I just cited one notorious example of how that happens - the Federal Reserve kiting asset prices.  The wealth gap has been exploding.  Without concentrated government, you wouldn't have near the concentration of capital.  Just connect those last couple of dots and you've nailed the crux of the problem.

does concentrated capital lead to concentrated government?

Do accidents lead to drunk driving?

does concentrated capital lead to concentrated government?

Is this an unfair question?

No, but neither was my answer...  ;-)

As a thinking man, if you've been following my reasoning, it should make perfect sense.  But for the benefit of lurkers who may not have been following along, we can be more explicit.  You're liable to have some concentration of capital regardless, but you're going to have a lot more with concentrated government.

Suppose, for the sake of argument, that concentrated capital led to concentrated government.  Where would that get us?  What would you do about it?  More concentrated government?  That would get you more concentrated capital.  What if it doesn't?  That doesn't lead to a thoughtful policy response, either.  It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the answer to the question just doesn't get you anywhere.

The history of the issue in a nutshell:  Some people agitate for government power expansion in order to remedy perceived deficits in the natural order of things.  Once this concentration of government power is achieved, however, the powerful gain control of it.  What you've done is simply collect the levers of power all in one convenient place for easy manipulation by the powerful.  The result is more concentration of wealth.  This in turn makes it even easier to concentrate still more power in government, because now you've got the wealthy and powerful supporting more government power too.  And now that the rich are getting richer than ever before, the original agitators are even more eager to expand government power as the original 'problem' is now even worse.

 A few generations into what 'should' have been a socialist utopia, you've ratcheted yourself back into feudalism of lords and serfs.  Look around ... see if that isn't what the world is coming to look like ...

The solution is not to limit government power so that it cannot be acquired, that just leaves a vacuum. Look at places that do not have a government, they are not better places - to the contrary - they are worse. Parts of Iraq, Syria, and Somalia...In fact, some group will always rise to fill the gap.  Power can exist outside of government and if all you have are a bunch of corporations without any checks, then corporations will have ALL of the power -either way. 

I think what has to happen is the link that allows private wealth to capture government power needs to be a check on private wealth. One way is through a progressive tax rate. Other options are laws that prevent collusion - think removing citizens united so we can start electing politicians that principled and actually want to do what is best for its citizens. There are many other things that can be done but the above would be a huge start. Right now, government and big business are different sides of the same coin and it is one giant revolving door between C-executives, lobbying, and high ranking government politicians. Examples are 
Rex Tillerson -> CEO and now Sec. of State. 
Kerry -> Heinz board and former sec. of state. 
Cheney -> Haliburton CEO and former VP
Rubin -> Goldman Sachs Partner/CEO(?) and former sec. of treasury

And many, many more examples.

This posting mechanism leaves a lot to be desired. Why is it merging my responses.

The first was to Herring, and the second to Finster. Why are both in the same post?

Checking out the Manna post that Herring cited above....Good stuff.

Thanks
Reply
{myadvertisements[zone_3]}
#38
Discussion has gone a bit off track...

Question: If machines can do everything (or most things) humans can do, only better and potentially at lower cost, what will this mean for humanity? For our economic system?

For humanity it can be a good or a bad thing. (see Herring's link to Manna). There is an option for a dystopian future (V, Matrix, Gattaca, Blade Runner, Children of Men) and a utopian future (Star trek, Her).

For our economic system, if people are not working and earning an income, how will markets react? Will people be able to participate in markets? And how so...Will the state take over economics? Will most markets be machine-2-machine?
Reply
{myadvertisements[zone_3]}
#39
(04-27-2017, 01:33 AM)tdogg Wrote:
(04-24-2017, 05:36 PM)Finster Wrote:
(04-22-2017, 09:49 PM)cbeatty Wrote:
(04-22-2017, 06:48 PM)Finster Wrote:
(04-21-2017, 06:42 PM)cbeatty Wrote: does concentrated capital lead to concentrated government?

Do accidents lead to drunk driving?

does concentrated capital lead to concentrated government?

Is this an unfair question?

No, but neither was my answer...  ;-)

As a thinking man, if you've been following my reasoning, it should make perfect sense.  But for the benefit of lurkers who may not have been following along, we can be more explicit.  You're liable to have some concentration of capital regardless, but you're going to have a lot more with concentrated government.

Suppose, for the sake of argument, that concentrated capital led to concentrated government.  Where would that get us?  What would you do about it?  More concentrated government?  That would get you more concentrated capital.  What if it doesn't?  That doesn't lead to a thoughtful policy response, either.  It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the answer to the question just doesn't get you anywhere.

The history of the issue in a nutshell:  Some people agitate for government power expansion in order to remedy perceived deficits in the natural order of things.  Once this concentration of government power is achieved, however, the powerful gain control of it.  What you've done is simply collect the levers of power all in one convenient place for easy manipulation by the powerful.  The result is more concentration of wealth.  This in turn makes it even easier to concentrate still more power in government, because now you've got the wealthy and powerful supporting more government power too.  And now that the rich are getting richer than ever before, the original agitators are even more eager to expand government power as the original 'problem' is now even worse.

 A few generations into what 'should' have been a socialist utopia, you've ratcheted yourself back into feudalism of lords and serfs.  Look around ... see if that isn't what the world is coming to look like ...

The solution is not to limit government power so that it cannot be acquired, that just leaves a vacuum. Look at places that do not have a government, they are not better places - to the contrary - they are worse. Parts of Iraq, Syria, and Somalia...In fact, some group will always rise to fill the gap.  Power can exist outside of government and if all you have are a bunch of corporations without any checks, then corporations will have ALL of the power -either way. 

I think what has to happen is the link that allows private wealth to capture government power needs to be a check on private wealth. One way is through a progressive tax rate. Other options are laws that prevent collusion - think removing citizens united so we can start electing politicians that principled and actually want to do what is best for its citizens. There are many other things that can be done but the above would be a huge start. Right now, government and big business are different sides of the same coin and it is one giant revolving door between C-executives, lobbying, and high ranking government politicians. Examples are 
Rex Tillerson -> CEO and now Sec. of State. 
Kerry -> Heinz board and former sec. of state. 
Cheney -> Haliburton CEO and former VP
Rubin -> Goldman Sachs Partner/CEO(?) and former sec. of treasury

And many, many more examples.

Trouble with that is it's a fantasy that never works out.  It's been tried in the United States for over 150 years and look where it's gotten us.  Whatever power you invest in government to manipulate capital gets co-opted by the powerful.  

(04-27-2017, 01:33 AM)tdogg Wrote: This posting mechanism leaves a lot to be desired. Why is it merging my responses.

The first was to Herring, and the second to Finster. Why are both in the same post?

Checking out the Manna post that Herring cited above....Good stuff.

Thanks

Agreed.  That's happened to me too and it's very annoying.
Reply
{myadvertisements[zone_3]}
#40
Finster, what is the fantasy that never works out? Government power can be limited or increased based on context...That is what good politicians are for - knowing when, how, and where to limit/increase powers. If we collectively just weaken government for the sake of putting concentrated wealth in check, or even eliminate government powers completely, I do not think that limits the power that concentrated wealth can acquire - I just think it will acquire it via a different mechanism.

On a different note: Article discussing automation and manufacturing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/28/upsho....html?_r=0
Reply
{myadvertisements[zone_3]}


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)
{myadvertisements[zone_2]}