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Forum Post: Do you believe that new technology will cause mass unemployment?

Posted 6 months ago on March 2, 2019, 7:57 p.m. EST by grapes (5232)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I was reading DKAtoday's comment:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-new-colonization-of-america-landlord-nation/#comment-1077019

and thought of this:

Futurists and economists DISAGREE about whether human societies will face mass unemployment as a few Artificial-Intelligence (AI) workers can take over tasks previously done by many human workers:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TUmyygCMMGA

DKAtoday's comment essentially points to where the economists have gone astray in their predictions that there won't be mass unemployment in the future. The BREAKDOWN occurs at (look at the chart @4:42 of the video) how higher productivity is followed up by business, societal, and human actions leading to lower prices, expansion, and more human consumption producing demand for more employment which mitigates the reduction of jobs due to the higher productivity.

Our current economic system in the U.S. has neutered the generating-new-employment effects of higher productivity which will arrive as human workers are displaced by AI workers which may do tasks faster, better, cheaper, and more reliably.

If we do not revamp our economic system, I believe that there will be mass unemployment, mass misery, mass societal breakdown, mass chaos, and wars.

We must fix this before it hits us squarely.

12 Comments

12 Comments


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[-] 2 points by elf3 (4068) 6 months ago

Currently I personally think landlording is replacing employers. It's more profitable than all other businesses. Government has made the system advantageous to do so with capital gains breaks. Why have a company that employs people and you have to work/ think when you can sit back and collect without lifting a finger and a reduced tax? What's worse is that people are no longer becoming doctors or lawyers in place of landlording, so we will have less doctors and specialists fighting disease and treating people and less lawyers to fight for rights. The problem with this system is it can't last. If there are less and less jobs, how are people going to pay for the housing?

So add that to technology replacing people. And something is fishy about our employment numbers. Something doesn't add up, and it seems worthy of an investigation. This administration constantly touts it but I don't buy it. Of course there are probably less and less investigative employers, opting to landlord instead - so we may never know. At least politicians can multitask at being landlords and politicians - oh wait that explains a lot.

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (2373) from Fredericksburg, TX 6 months ago

The problem with this system is it can't last.

Don't be so short sighted! What a wonderful world it will be when everyone has created a profitable non productive business and no one has to work!

[-] 0 points by grapes (5232) 6 months ago

Work bestows identity and meaning to many people in our present culture. Supplying a Universal Basic Income may be insufficient whether it comes from a profitable business or not. I experimented with "financial freedom" very early on in my adult life (I do recommend early experimentation since it greatly changed my perspective about work without causing much disruption due to the "opportunity cost.") It was great for about a month but then I grew restless. Apparently, it was not good enough for me to be well-fed and well-clothed (my Mom was absolutely wrong on this with her often repeated mantra that being well-fed and well-clothed was sufficient for a kid [like me].) There was some truth to the saying, " Without a vision the people perish." I quickly changed my daily routine to have a goal to work towards. When work becomes unnecessary, no work becomes unacceptable. I think of financial freedom as having the choice of what one works towards and not the absence of work.

The Unabomber seemed to have taken on making mail-bombs as an identity and meaning. Our government's very messed-up MKUltra program (which obviously violated the U.S. citizen's rights) secretly chose him as a "subject" victim of the Harvard-based mind-control experiments. He had his manifesto published for all to read in which he emphasized the importance of meaning.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33800) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 months ago

Work bestows identity and meaning to many people

(edit) That's just sad! Work never defined Me - work was just a means to pay the bills. I always did My best - because that was how I was raised = Do Your Best - & if you can't?, QUIT ! I never had a job I was ashamed of, because it mistreated others, I would never work that kind of job! I never had a job that fulfilled me either! & I never had a job that defined Me - not by My own judgement, nor by the judgement of others!

edit: What does define Me is how I treat others = ALL Others! & I've tried My best every day to treat others as well as I would have others treat Me.

[-] 0 points by grapes (5232) 6 months ago

At a social gathering, have you been asked, "What do you do for a living?" I have been asked exactly this question many times before as a social ice-breaker so I am rather naturally inclined to think that many people (especially managerial and corporate-executive types) consider work as being an important topic of interest.

I think that our present culture is hitched far too tightly for our own good to the concept of work. It's almost as presumptuous and simple-minded as some states' passing laws to enforce one's bathroom usage based on the sex determined at birth by medical practitioners and written onto one's birth certificate.

Work increasingly can be automated. Homo sapiens sapiens will necessarily become obsolete unless we find the replacement(s) for work. My Grandpa went well beyond the necessity of work in the nineteenth and early twentieth century but he didn't stop working. His wife contracted hubris about their wealth and let her son, my Dad, escape schooling, due to his fear of bodily punishments (inflicted upon his classmate but not him) in his school.

Minimal schooling guaranteed my Dad's having a difficult life due to his lack of education as the expected wealth transfer to Dad through inheritance (as Grandma had originally envisaged) never happened due to multiple wars (money and gold {possession of which was outlawed and de facto confiscated by force} didn't survive these,) hyperinflation (land survived this,) revolutions (land ownership largely didn't survive these,) and Grandma's devotion and donations to her worthy cause(s) (though as intangible as what Jesus spoke of as "the treasure in heaven," the only surviving wealth, the goodwill survived; I was frankly moved as I discovered the naming of the important public infrastructure {my "bottom-oriented" sense of what's important might be considered a bit "unconventional" as a chamber pot can be a crowning glory for a favela-bedside bioweapon defense} -- our ancestral people remembered..: once upon a time, there was a family and clan which had an inclination to adopt...) What Dad did inherit was the name and the reputation, all of which being intangible wealth. Dad worked to live but Grandpa worked as a labor of love (paid for public rest stop's free food and beverage refreshments and services; intervened with his godson's hoarding and ordered/indemnified [with land ownership and godfather/godson relationship] for the opening of the godson's warehouse to sell its food in exchange for the rapidly depreciating and nearly useless money during the hyperinflation.) There are more important things to do once working for a living is no longer a necessity.

[-] 0 points by grapes (5232) 6 months ago

You foretold the dismal employment situation of the new-jobs-created-in-February number. On-the-ground view can be faster than the 30,000-feet view. Bravo!

We are turning a corner.

[-] 0 points by grapes (5232) 6 months ago

Landlording requires lawyering so lawyers won't disappear anytime soon, especially if we keep on changing the laws or create new ones. It seems that we push for yet another new law whenever we discover a problem rather than trying to figure out whether an existing but maybe unenforced or simply forgotten law has already covered the domain of the problem. The insurance industry is also a great creator of lawsuits galore to keep the lawyers employed.

One futurist proposed a Universal Basic Income so people can pay for the housing and much more. It's in the same spirit as many existing disparate social programs. It's really about money! Right now, most of these existing social programs have a plethora of regulations, laws, guidelines, reports, overseeing responsibility, etc. to monitor their hitting their targets. Most recipients are mired in tons of paperwork, meetings, interviews, accounting, etc. to ensure compliance with the programs' control. They are also restricted by these controls to move their resources around to help themselves more effectively, efficiently, and economically. Shifting to Universal Basic Income can replace many existing social programs and increase effectiveness, efficiency, and economy. Of course, this will reduce the number of jobs required for administering the existing social programs which is undesirable.

If we really want to increase the number of jobs available, we should install an under-the-toilet-bowl-rim lightfield camera, drug analyzer, and a DNA-sampler in every toilet bowl nationwide. The camera can monitor for the proper state-specific gender/sex utilization of the toilets and the drug analyzer will catch any drug trafficker flushing their illegal drugs down the toilet bowl as law enforcement officers close in on them. The DNA-sampler will sample the feces of every person who defecates there and collect and analyze their DNA sequences and file them into the National Criminal Genome Database for catching criminals on the run. Every toilet bowl should be made to require a validated National Identification Number (which is linked to the birth certificate to determine the sex upon birth) from the user before being unlocked. It's as easy as how Europe does it by collecting a euro from a user of a bathroom. We should hire a bathroom cashier, orderly, and security guard to enforce our various states' bathroom laws (based upon data from the user's birth certificates' neonatal sex determination, under-the-toilet-bowl-rim videos of the genitalia of users, their sex chromosomes' types as determined by the DNA-sampler, video of any sexual activity while within the bathroom stall and the gender identification and sexual determination by themself, their partner, and the various authorities.)

We need at least tens of millions of toilet-bowl security guards nationalwide to monitor the hundreds of millions of toilet bowls in the U.S. Instantaneously we have a severe shortage of people working for the A.S.S. (die amerikanische Staatssicherheit.) Unemployment rate drops to zero, fast and furious!

"Plop, plop! Fizz, fizz! Oh what a relief it is!" The secret to building up a business is, "When there is no headache, go and create some headaches to deal with. When there's no trouble, go and make some troubles for oneself. They will keep one busy. It then becomes a 'business', the more headaches and troubles, the bigger the business is." The Trump Organization is a big business: Make America Great A.S.S.!

We the Homo sapiens sapiens MUST beat the dogs at their own game of checking their K-9 Buttbook social media at street fire hydrants and tree trunks.

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8230) from Phoenix, AZ 6 months ago

One of the fastest growing business is "landlord for stuff" people put their stuff in storage facility then pay the landlord till they run out of money then the landlord throws the stuff away, happens everyday...

[-] 0 points by grapes (5232) 6 months ago

Jesus talked of storing away "treasure in heaven" where there's neither thief nor moth. The only wealth our family had kept intact through the turbulent twentieth century of wars, hyperinflation, and revolutions was the goodwill of our ancestral people, the family's and clan's name, and the reputation among friends and clans.

I remember our family's mementos, placed upon the sill of our shantytown home's window, of a "Hope" shellacked artwork depicting a fisherman setting out with a fishnet in a little boat at dawn, and a nearly empty bottle of what I believe was opium-laced liquor for stopping travelers' diarrhea originally brought back home from abroad as a present for Grandpa (who and Grandma probably didn't use it because Mom told me about the disagreement, near the end of the catastrophic episode of rampant diarrhea, between Grandpa and Grandma about whether to give out the very last spoonfuls of it to the dying people; Grandpa's judgment call was proven correct as it was based upon the empirical evidence presented to him, not upon her fear of their hypothetically catching the disease themselves; I wasn't surprised because Grandpa routinely staked his own fortune on the line after inspecting the shipments of goods and their means of transportation before approving and sending them off -- he won by making successful educated gambles) by Dad who traveled a lot. "And in my heart it will stay." Opium can be a terrible addictive drug but also a great life saver. Dad was not an opiod addict. The bottle's content saved many people's lives since a spoonful of the opium extract was sufficient to soothe a person's innards when they were caught up in the mass diarrhea because the opium-induced mild constipation prevented deaths through the rapid dehydration via diarrhea.

A little bit beyond the highest point of a mountain ridge going down the other side of the mountain, there was a vigorously running and churning mountain stream waterhole where we the neighborhood children picnicked, sang, played, stripped down to our shorts or rolled up the legs of our trousers, waded while searching for crayfish, and caught the fast-darting little striped fish with a handkerchief (all mountain stream fish died at our homes probably due to the lack of oxygen from the turbulent running water of the mountain stream.) Years later, I returned to that same spot. In that mountain stream's cradle area was a huge pile of rubbles and construction debris. No children could play there anymore. What a callous and senseless act it was!

At my Dad's burial at dusk, the man who had just bulldozed the mound of soil onto the hole wherein Dad was lain in his coffin came over towards us two, who had walked away at last but turned around and stood still. He kindly asked, "What can I do for you?" As I tugged at and clutched a bit tighter the soft warm little hand of my young kid in the cold wind blowing, I replied, "Nothing..." and turned away.

"What is there left to say?" At home, Dad tried to teach me to dance the hula while he was holding up the sides of the legs of his big and loose pajamas as he unsurprisingly had no grass skirts @2:30. I giggled because I thought it was so funny-looking, as Mom walked in upon us coming home from a business delivery wondering what we were laughing about. In hula dancing, we "spoke" with our hands' and bodily gestures about the winds, the waves, the beauty of the women, the fluffy shiny white clouds, the swaying coconut and palm trees, the sun-baked warm sand and the beaches, the voluptuous curves of the women, their coming towards us, hugging us tightly, and breathing hotly into our ears with a soft and quiet "I love you!" Aye, Hawai'ī... (The Big Boys' Club's oral high story from many decades ago says that the women dancing the hula purportedly didn't wear any underwears underneath their grass skirts. I think that I am intrigued by Holy Science again -- my ears perked up, ready for bull's shit.)

Aloha! (Hang ¿what? Loose. Birth Order matters -- the latter-born ones can hang looser but they tend to lack responsibilities, restraints, and parental resources [for college], unlike the LOTUS of enlightenment.) -- The ¿what? should be replaced with the kindergartner's feet. While sitting on the backseat of the bicycle, the kindergartner should hang its feet loose, away from the spokes of the spinning bicycle wheel even when a humongous scary truck whooshed by extremely close to the kindergartner riding alongside on the bicycle. Fear must be overcome to avoid the feet being cut up by the spokes.

However, in contrast to the aloha spirit pervasive in the most culturally international state of all fifty states of the U.S.A., the Pearl Harbor Attack's relics and memories were a terrible downer. Our lei which we had bought while walking barefooted in the receding tide in the preceding evening on Waikiki Beach was offered to the U.S.S. Arizona near one of its submerged chimneys visible through the water to the north of the memorial structure. Although it was a bright sunny day with endless blue sky on the nearly all-white memorial structure sitting crosswise east-to-west (towards and close to Ford Island which is to the West) atop the sunken mass grave, the mood was somber.

In the extreme fear we felt when a ¿cobra? that had crawled out of a burial urn in the cemetery of the ¿monastery/nunnery? due to our neighborhood kids' midnight quest for the most powerful black "coffin crickets" for our pokémon championship, we kept our eyes on it as we quickly fled while casting at it the tiny circles of dim light from our homemade newspaper-wrapped-batteries-with-copper-wires-and-a-tiny-incandescent-lightbulb torches/flashlights. "Know what you are getting into, in your midnight quest for where the sun doesn't shine and the ¿monks/nuns? are away fast asleep." It's America, the wild, wild West where the only person sent to jail for "causing" the worldwide financial near-collapse was the powerful Martha Stewart and the penalty for betraying our country by selling it to the greatest bone-china radioactively-toxic world's-richest-(through corruption and the extortion of its businesses, in the same lineage of our JewJerk vampire squid on West Street)-pootinium (is it a Jewman metal?) shit-filled chamber pot balanced precariously atop kneeling Russia's head is only 47 months in jail without remorse.

Justice's sword for traitors must be very sharp and its stabs frequent. Oligarchs must be stabbed to learn their lessons in the hard way. Incineration is a final solution after collecting them into the vacuum cleaner for the World where the scumbags have moved their gold. We start with cleaning our own house. The U.S.A. is the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of Christian people. Jews have Israel to go to. Muslims have Saudi Arabia to move to. Anyone who doesn't want to leave can be baptized to become a Christian at the ¿bidét? in my King-of-kings hall. I'll provide Coca-Cola, drinking water, and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to facilitate the urge. I ran for my eternal life. Remember Adam at Eden. Confess. Choose well -- don't make a mistake again.

Where may you find the people most paranoid and vigilant about the disease germs of contagion? At the Center for Disease Control and Prevention where they collect the most exotic killer germs. The brave ones don't look away from the imminent dangers -- they stare and prepare.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8230) from Phoenix, AZ 2 weeks ago

Yang's math is broken.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 1 week ago

How? Here are some data from Finland's experiment.

I consider increased trust among people and their governments and institutions a positive result. Trust is the foundation of social cohesion which can reduce crimes, increase the likelihood of partnering with other people in business ventures, reduce law enforcement friction, etc.

Finland already has extensive existing social support programs running in parallel with this basic income experiment so its incremental gains are likely not as great as might happen in the U.S. which lacks Finland's extensive social support programs.

MoscowMitch knows how to manufacture U.S. impotence for the consumption of the enemies of the people. By starving anything, one can make it fail so it can be framed as an inherently bad idea. Every country's conditions may be different so we should do a universal basic income sub-experiment as a part of our grand experiment in self governance without a king. I found Finland's program being too isolated in that these people on basic income should be offered connections with Makerspaces, libraries, mentors, and business idea bulletin boards posting business wishes and contacts. The old European laboratories had libraries and restaurants/lodgings for visiting collaborators nearby. They made Europe creative and inventive.

One idea is: with so many repeated hurricane damages, can't we just build hurricane-resistant structures instead of these same old little piggies' huts with the big bad wolf sure to come again huffing and puffing? I remember a munitions' depot's underground storage bunker's conical tower/chimney and the flank-shielded step-down entrance. That reinforced-concrete thing resisted a bulldozer, a backhoe, air drills, but finally succumbed to the startled workers who banged it with sledgehammers (air drills weren't entirely useless because they helped some after the sledgehammers had made some headway) and sawing the steel rebars. I suspect that it might even survive a nuclear-bomb blast, not to mention a mere hurricane. A hurricane-resistant structure is definitely possible.

Another idea is: coffee for peace. During the ongoing Synthetic Opiod Wars (the twenty-first century's equivalent of the nineteenth century's Opium Wars,) get enough free coffee to all of the leaders in Red China clutching their crotches holding off their necessity to go to the bidét. In British Hong Kong, the Brits were kept very much hands-off with their ample supply of tea so God was well pleased. Maybe coffee can work its wonder, too, on the new imperial colonizers of Hong Kong (from its North.) Americans drink coffee far more than tea because of the British-Empire-imposed tea tax (recall "the Boston Tea Party;" the tea trade and its hiccups not only caused the Opium Wars but together with ¿suspected? royal inbreeding, triggered the American Revolution as well!) Tea is, for Americans, "colonial" and troublesome so coffee has to suffice. Maybe Cuba and Venezuela can export coffee to Hong Kong to keep the leaders hovering hands-off near the bidét.

The Danes wouldn't sell Greenland Island but maybe Hong Kong can sell its sparsely populated (we still need to work out how to handle the nonzero number of people already living there; as a first cut, maybe they can just stay put and become permanent residents of the U.S. there) Lantau Island in perpetuity to the U.S. for the fiscal revenue to support the inverted population pyramid's bulge of older Hong Kong people going into retirement. Nancy Pelosi may succeed in coming up with the votes to pass the Hong Kong Democratic and Human Rights Act in order to deter authoritarian violence from erupting. The U.S. Congress is the most powerful branch of the U.S. Government if it has cohesion. I worry about MoscowMitch though, due to his partisanship (which may have been a reaction.) Business interests tend to align with the Reds (be it in Hong Kong's Legislative Council or the Red GOP,) as Vladimir I. Lenin had predicted a long time ago regarding the ropes with which to hang the capitalists -- 5 G's are crowing for execution privilege; one flew to the top of a two-story building.

How did one kill a dove? One held its two nostrils with the index and middle fingers and its beak tightly closed with a thumb while holding its body with the other hand. After a few moments of wing flapping and leg twitching, it was suffocated. MoscowMitch used no knife. Capital control will make all of the "profits" earned in Red China that were and may be accumulated in Hong Kong moot, null and void outside (since everything is owned by the Red totalitarian state! In any case when 2047 comes around, all of Hong Kong's capital, buildings, land, etc., everything there will become Red China's.) The Cuban refugees and their descendants may understand this far better than our native-borns, similarly for the "ich-bin-ein-Hongkonger"s and their descendants.

Hong Kong is orbiting near the event horizon on the accretion disk. The U.S. needs to apply our antitrust law to Red China to determine whether or not it is monopolizing manufacturing, trade, and business, thereby deterring the emergence of smaller competitors to the detriment of the global consumers.

Before dismissing the idea of the basic income altogether, let us get the basic-income experimental data first.

[-] 0 points by grapes (5232) 6 months ago

The robots are coming! They are smarter, better, stronger, faster, and cheaper per-unit-output-product produced so they may very well take over many human workers' jobs. What should we do to avoid the firings or help the people who will be fired?

However, a fire extinguisher is also a binary chemical weapon.