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View Diary: America is not Broke! (12 comments)

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  •  These are interesting ideas. (1+ / 0-)
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    happy camper

    Thank you for posting them. You will probably get comments that you find discouraging but don't let it get you down. The major point you are making is that America is not remotely close to broke, and that's definitely the case. We do, however, have a variety of economic problems, and each problem has a number of components.

    For example, we have an unemployment problem. There are those who say that we have structural unemployment, i.e. there are too many unskilled workers in an economy that needs fewer people with more skills than previously. Others think this idea is rubbish, and all that is needed is for the government to spend whatever is necessary to create full employment. My stance is that both camps are right. We have complex factors in our economy that are driving long-term unemployment because the nature of work is about to undergo another huge change as robots invade the workplace as never before. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be employing excess labor to do things robots can't do. The time is coming when work as we know it will disappear. Economists tend to assume that the future will look a lot like the past and that's why they tend to be wrong frequently. In tomorrow's economy, the very nature of how people are paid, why they are paid, and what work actually is, will change beyond recognition. We are just starting on the Decade of the Robot. We aren't prepared for what's going to happen.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 05:25:27 PM PDT

    •  There are always jobs (0+ / 0-)

      There are always and everywhere jobs to be done and people who want to do them.  Think of all the things that need doing from paving the roads, weatherizing homes, to finding new treatments for cancer and going to Mars.  Yes, people need training (BTW, companies are far less willing to train new workers than they used to be, in today's easily off-shored environment, with its transitory workforce).  But training is always necessary, and always will be.
      The point is there is never a shortage of work, there is a shortage of money....in the right places.  There is tons of money in the 5 places I outlined, but it isn't getting into the real economy where it can do some good.  That has to change, and fast.

      •  I saw a cable guided robot (0+ / 0-)

        Tamping down gravel in a trench a few weeks ago. How long until the guy walking alongside is dispensed with? I know it's hard to conceive of this but the new generation of robots on the way will have capabilities you have previously only seen in movies. They never tire. They don't get sick. They can do things at amazing speed. Sure there will always be people working at something but way fewer than before. One robot- and computer-driven warehouse near Boston does with 20 workers in a 30,000 sf facility what 100 did previously in a 500,000 sf facility. The workers drive the forklifts primarily. The computer tells them where to go. How long before the drivers are replaced too?

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:13:44 AM PDT

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