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View Diary: Robots and Free Trade (43 comments)

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  •  Do you think robots will eventually create MOST (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, Eric Nelson

    of what we need?

    I do.  Seems a reasonable conjecture at this point.

    Not all of what we need, but a whole heck of a lot of what we need:  Shoes, shirts, housing, food, medicines, roads, other robots :)

    I'm pretty sure we have the tech right now to significantly reduce the amount of human labor that is currently producing a bunch of basic stuff, what's missing is the infrastructure, it seems to me.

    I'm pretty sure that 2 things are going to need to happen:

    1)  A re-working of our monetary system, and our economic thinking.

    2)  New definitions of what sorts of labor are worthy of monetary compensation.

    3)  Some sort of sharing in the wealth created by "our" robot slaves.

    •  I think we have a much bigger and closer problem (2+ / 0-)
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      katiec, HeyMikey

      The fundamental assumption of the current system of capitalism is that you get paid to work. If you don't work you don't get paid.
        Simple as that.

       So if robots are making everything then we will have no use for most workers. Which means massive unemployment. Thus we have a crisis of not enough demand for the products we can produce.
         Also, without workers, people don't pay taxes.

         The current system of capitalism will collapse before robots are "our slaves".

       However, we have a crisis of capitalism that comes even before this step:
        An even more important concept of capitalism is built upon scarcity. Without scarcity there is no profit.
         Right now, for the first time in the history of capitalism, we can produce more than enough products for every human being on Earth. We have global overproduction.
         The only way that the profit system is still working is because it is now robbing from the declining middle class. Once the middle class is finished then profits vanish and the capitalist system and financial system collapses.

        But that's a diary for another day.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

      by gjohnsit on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 01:42:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Guess that's my point: Capitalism needs (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, AoT, Eric Nelson

        to be rethunk.

        Robots are already our slaves  -- or at least the slaves of those who own them.

      •  Expanding our notion of what sort of labor (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, AoT, Eric Nelson

        is worthy of monetary compensation would help.

        For instance, for some reason if you raise your child at home, it's not work.  If you send your child to an institution (child care facility), it's work.

        There's lots of labor we do everyday that contributes to our economy (material culture) that we don't deem worthy of a money token.

        We also need to be creating a culture that values culture, and those who make it, including the culture of sitting around and thinking about how to make a better culture.

        In other words, re-read the Greeks and take to heart the notion that we labor so we can afford to labor in ways we would prefer :)

        •  I'm with katiec. And Keynes. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          katiec, gjohnsit, AoT, Eric Nelson
          The fundamental assumption of the current system of capitalism is that you get paid to work. If you don't work you don't get paid. Simple as that.
          This is exactly what needs to be rethunk. Because where it has put us is that we're seriously arguing it's a moral duty to create jobs in which people will spend large portions of their lives manufacturing consumer goods, even though we're already awash in largely-superfluous consumer goods. And we're seriously saying people in other countries should starve if they can't manufacture us even more, even cheaper, consumer goods.

          I don't know what the Meaning Of Life is. But I'm pretty sure it's not slaving away manufacturing consumer goods for people who don't need any more consumer goods. That is not why we are granted a few short decades on earth.

          It's time we seriously revisited that bit about the "pursuit of happiness."

          I think the tech-unemployment crisis is pushing us to do exactly that.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 02:17:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Please make sure I get the memo on that diary. nt (0+ / 0-)

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:50:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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