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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: The end of labor—protecting workers from robots (140 comments)

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  •  I agree that the distribution of wealth (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, basquebob, dclawyer06, mike101, koNko

    needs to be much more equitable - that wages need to be higher and people's personal wealth needs to start increasing again. Both wages and wealth have declined since the 1970s, no matter which party governs.

    But ...

    Economic gains due to productivity gains used to go at least  partially to labor, because productivity was improved by employees working harder and smarter. Except today, it's capital investment in automation and product design that drives nearly all productivity improvement, even in the service sector.

    Rather than demanding that productivity gains go to labor, you need to come up with a justification for why they should go to labor rather than to the capital the produces and pays for the gains. That means coming up with a new economic paradigm for how our society operates that justifies redistributing income and wealth.

    I'm all in favor of that happening, but I don't know how you change our culture to accept it, when most of our political leadership is already drifting in the opposite direction.

    In Soviet Russia, you rob bank. In America, bank robs you.

    by badger on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 09:21:19 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  We also need to start thinking of an economy... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, basquebob, mike101, koNko, Simplify

      which will not depend upon consumption from wages. Because I'd wager that, in 40 years, most jobs of today can and will be done by computers/machines.

      Name a job and 9 times outta 10 it's one that can be done competently by a machine. Or will within a few years.

      I'd include surgeon, nurse, lawyer and judge in that statement.

      •  There's another issue (0+ / 0-)

        Most of the projections for human population plateau out and then start to decline. They may vary on when that plateau will be reached and what number it will be, but they all agree that will happen.

        Then economies will have to really start dealing with something they never have before: inevitable contraction. What happens when expansion of your economy is impossible because there are literally no more new customers, and the ones that are there already have what they need/want? How does an economy work then?

    •  It's a small planet. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrsgoo, Simplify, JeffW, mike101

      We seem to have accepted who ever gets there first owns it all.  The raw materials of Our planet need to be made available to all humans.  We The People.  Not My Corporation.
      Capital investment is a shibboleth for greed and mayhem.
      The same workers who created the industrial revolution created automation and product design and robots and capital investment.  They drove on the roads I helped pay for, drank the water I helped pay to clean, lived safely because my father fought for them, printed ideas on someone elses machines and paper etc.  They don't deserve 93% of my labor or this planets resources.
      Please don't fall for their misdirection and distortions.

      What percentage we deserve is up for negotiation, but let's not start by saying the independent, inventors of things did it by themselves.  

      We All stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.  And the unborn of our planet deserve a chance to create and advance  civilization w/o the concept that they don't deserve a first class education so they too can do great things for future generations.

      How? Instead of focusing on distractions, focus on who is causing and benefiting from the darkness.  Focus on how to shine the spotlight on the few dozen sociopath billionaires like the Koch's, Simmons', Peterson's, Walton's, de Vos' etc.  

      Instead of reacting to the fires they start w/their billions, focus on them personally.  Who are they talking too? Where are they today?  Why do the Koch's have over four hundred 'small businesses.
      How can Linda and Pete Peterson ... Paul Blumenthal reports...
      "According to a review of tax documents from 2007 through 2011, Peterson has personally contributed at least $458 million to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to cast Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and government spending as in a state of crisis, in desperate need of dramatic cuts. "
      That's the real problem...spending half a billion dollars by one man to turn us into wage slaves and the Koch family has contributed even more and that's only two families.
      It's not by accident or serendipity we are under siege.

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