Robots

Was Trump Elected to Take Revenge on Job-Stealing Robots?

If so, he's doing great work.

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Daron Acemoglu is no ally of robotkind. The MIT economist is one of the most prominent advocates of the theory that automation depresses employment and wages, at least for low-skilled workers.

In a 2017 paper, Acemoglu and his Boston University colleague Pascual Restrepo produced a series of maps of "robot exposure" and its economic effects in the United States. The results look awfully similar to maps of the districts that tilted Republican in the last election, with a thick red band stretching through the Rust Belt and the Deep South. As Acemoglu later told The New York Times, "The swing to Republicans between 2008 and 2016 is quite a bit stronger in commuting zones most affected by industrial robots. You don't see much of the impact of robots in prior presidential elections."

In other words, the white, non-college-educated, disproportionately male Americans whose old jobs are now performed by machines were especially likely to embrace Donald Trump's form of economic populism and protectionism.

Acemoglu's methodology for investigating the causal relationship between robots and employment is controversial, but there's no denying that the places where robots abound—largely due to their adoption in the manufacturing and fabrication plants that dominate certain regions' economies—were also the sites of striking partisan shifts in the last presidential election.

Are these voters right to worry? And are they right to look to Trump to slow or stop the economic effects of automation?

Robot makers typically go out of their way to reassure the public that they are not looking to replace human beings. Consider Flippy, a burger-cooking robot that started working the lunchtime shift at the Pasadena Caliburger restaurant in March. Its manufacturer has been talking out of both sides of his mouth about whether Flippy is a substitute for people or just a super fun A.I. buddy to hang out with near the griddle.

"The kitchen of the future will always have people in it, but we see that kitchen as having people and robots," Miso Robotics CEO David Zito told KTLA. "This technology is not about replacing jobs—we see Flippy as that third hand." But Zito also plays up the liabilities in having human beings do the "dull, dirty, and dangerous work around the grill, the fryer, and other prep work like chopping onions."

For now, Flippy works with a human partner, who places the cheese and condiments on the cooked patties and wraps the final product. But the public is skeptical of these claims that we can have it all, and Flippy's debut was greeted with the now customary spate of commentary about how the robots are stealing jobs.

Robot panic can take other, more visceral forms as well. Consider a video that went viral in February. A headless robot dog with its legs on backward trots up to a closed door. After checking out the door handle, it notices a similar robot approaching—this one equipped with a prehensile arm where its head should be. The second dog robot turns the handle, holds the door open, and waves its pal though before following. The door closes gently behind them.

When Boston Dynamics released that footage of its latest creation, SpotMini, reactions ranged from "aw, they're friends" to "oh God, I remember when the velociraptors did that in Jurassic Park." The company, which was once owned by Google, has worked on projects funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and freaking out over its periodic video releases of quasi-mammalian helper robots is a bit of an internet tradition. But this one elicited a particularly strong reaction, even though SpotMini is consciously styled to be cute and pet-like, and to function in domestic environments rather than on battlefields or factory floors.

A second video, released a few days later, shows a person trying to prevent the robot dog from exiting the room. He interferes by holding the door shut, knocking the robot's grasper away from the handle, and generally getting in the way. Thus, it joins another genre of internet videos, in which engineers test the robustness of their creations by adding extra levels of difficulty to the robot's assigned task—for some reason, often with a hockey stick.

This meddling tends to provoke outrage from viewers, but for different reasons. Some people identify with the robot, imagining that it would be quite frustrating to be told to pick up a box or manipulate a lever and then be thwarted repeatedly by a dude in a hoodie holding a stick. Likely for this reason, the text accompanying the Boston Dynamics release reassures the audience: "This testing does not irritate or harm the robot."

But an equal number of viewers worry about the robots' eventual revenge, fretting that the engineers "will be the first up against the wall when The Revolution comes" and invoking SkyNet from the Terminator movies.

The pathetic fallacy is a mental error in which people ascribe human feelings or thoughts to inanimate objects. This mostly leads to irrational behavior, such as resentment on behalf of robots that don't smart from mistreatment but instead grow smarter. It's the same shorthand of thought you indulge in when you say the robots are invading workplaces or stealing jobs. In fact, those are nonsensical concepts, at least for robots as they are currently constituted. Human beings are replacing some portions of many other human beings' jobs with labor-saving devices, as we have done for hundreds of years using tools such as tractors, blenders, and washing machines.

In March, Trump finalized a plan to levy import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. Many industries (and their customers) will take a hit, but perhaps no one will be affected more than the metal men among us.

Is this the revenge on the robots that Trump voters were hoping for?

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  1. Remember when R. Buckminster Fuller bragged about how many human-equivalent “energy slaves” electric power made available to Americans? Horror at this may be what is driving the Democrats backward toward demanding the genuine item as in Dred Scott v. US. Republicans for their part seem just as determined to replace working girls with positronic brains and silicon limbs. Would it get the Comstock Law lobby off their backs?

    1. I don’t kbow about you but I am definitely ready for the slew of sex robots that able entrepreneurs are designing for the eager public.

      1. Artificial reality sex will be perfected long before sexbots. That is, unless you actually find robots attractive. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

        1. Unless by ‘artificial reality’ you mean Matrix style direct neural manipulation – what do you think all the physical accoutrements of a functioning artificial reality sex set up *are*.

          If you’re just talking about wanking while wearing a headset – that’s just wanking while wearing a headset.

          1. “Unless by ‘artificial reality’ you mean Matrix style direct neural manipulation”

            Yes. The human brain already has the ability to create completely realistic artificial experiences. We experience that every night in our dreams. We just need to learn how to direct that ability. I believe that will be much easier than building robots that are completely convincingly human.

            1. Start making extra cash from home and get paid weekly… By completing freelance jobs you get online… I do this three hr every day, for five days weekly and I earn in this way an extra $2500 each week…

              Go this web and start your work.. Good luck… http://www.jobs63.com

              1. Wait, does this job involve neural implants?

                1. Start making extra cash from home and get paid weekly… By completing freelance jobs you get online… I do this three hr every day, for five days weekly and I earn in this way an extra $2500 each week…

                  Go this web and start your work.. Good luck… http://www.jobs63.com

              2. Note self-awareness of shitware ad-bot knowing exactly where to insert ad in thread about bots enlisting unwitting humans to feed own brooding sense of self-loathing.

                Its happening!

          2. There are robotic strokers on the market that synchronize with porn videos, including virtual reality porn videos.

        2. If you mean sex bots of the “maximum wonkage” type they’re already there and readily available. If you are talking about a partner who also enjoys the sex then you’re talking at least a 100 years for AI to reach human-esque levels, at that point AI will reach an exponentially increasing potential and the human race will become extinct quickly. So best to not wait on Human AI level sex bots, just go to Japan and enjoy yourself.

          1. There will be superhuman fuck machines soon enough. They’ll track your physiology and emotions while they fuck you.

        3. Y’know what’s amazing is it was thirty years ago, tops, that just not objecting to homosexuality was a coastal elite attitude. That was the time of the virtual boy.

      2. #MeToo, but they’ll probably be banned once they come on to the general public’s radar. Some feminists have already seen the writing on the wall and are already calling for bans.

        1. Why would it be of concern to feminists? i guess the bots could encourage objectification, but at least then you’d know clearly which men thought in such a way. Hell, such guys might remove themselves from the dating pool entirely (or already be removed), so what’s the problem?

          1. They don’t want men to be able to have sex without a woman’s permission. When technology gives men the ability to make babies without women, they’re really going to go ballistic.

          2. Because modern feminism is not about equality but rather about control. Sex robots would remove some of the need for human interaction therefore reducing the ability to control people. If men didn’t need women for sexual gratification, how much would they interact with women? It is a debatable.

            1. It must be tough being a bitter, disaffected, socially awkward, backward male.

              Just as it became rough for men who wanted to deny women the vote, the opportunity for a divorce, contraception, admission to graduate schools, abortion, and just about every other advance for women that has been effected against the wishes of misogynists.

              1. So, what is your answer to the question? Why would feminists object to sexbots?

              2. Rev, when all you can offer is personal insults, it doesn’t demonstrate a great intellectual nor a well developed philsophy. Rather it demonstrates a deep sense of insecurity and low self worth. Since you cannot offer anything resembling honest debate, but instead resort to ad hominem attacks I am more than willing to venture a guess that you have a below average intelligence and therefore resort to ridiculing those whom are more intellectually gifted and accomplished then you are. I have never once seen you offer anything remotely resembling an honest debate nor anything even remotely intelligent. You falsely believe you are amusing, but are rather just sophomoric and juvenile.

              3. Why is misogyny a popular term while no one talks about misandrony? Maybe it’s not worth bothering with logical consistency when a guy can rely on a hit and run mating strategy.

                1. Because it’s spelled misandry.

          3. Modern feminists (3rd wave) aren’t looking for equality, they consider feminine qualities to be superior to masculine qualities in every way and consider sex to be a necessary but demeaning process. They assume all men look at women as objects and having sex bots just encourages men to do it even more so. Hence they prefer an outright ban on any “object” that would give men sexual release, because a woman’s sexuality is important and a man’s is bestial, primitive, and should be neutered as a social construct.

            1. “neutered as a social construct.”

              There are those who advocate actual neutering.

            2. They are rather Victorian in their views. What is ironic is that neither the Victorian era nor the Puritans were as prudish about sex as many 3rd wave feminists are.

            3. It does seem regressive. WRT this breed of feminism, we might be more accepting of feminine traits in men, but doesn’t it further alienate masculine women? Are we all supposed to become sexually timid when we’ve finally gotten to a point that women can feel comfortable expressing their own needs and wants?

              Most women I know would think this is all a bunch of nonsense. Are the modern feminists so insecure that they’re afraid of being replaced by a robot? Do they feel their only asset is their sexuality? If so, then wouldn’t neutering the horny males encourage them to forego relationships with women anyway?

              Their goals and approaches seem really contradictory. I can’t keep up. It’s 2018 and feminists, the pioneers of sexual liberation, are clamoring to ban a sex toy.

          4. High quality sexbots would force many homemakers to find new career paths. Most American housewives aren’t that good at cooking.

        2. They don’t want men to be able to have sex without a woman’s permission.

          Ah yes, but define ‘woman.’ Or ‘man’ for that matter. Using their own logic is all too easy. Its not a sexbot of Scarlett Johannson circa 2005 – its an internalized notion of feminine self and also Trump-got-elected therapy.

        3. In all honesty, women are basically useless if you can have sex with a robot and reproduce in a test tube. Men are just better suited to lots of things in life, and in some ways it seems to be increasing in the 21st century, at least for intelligent men. The skill sets valued by the market are leaning pretty heavily towards male centric things.

          I’d like to find a real flesh and blood woman that’s worth a crap, but in 21st century America they’re as rare as hens teeth. Maybe I just have high standards, or it’s because I don’t fit a generic mold (like if I was a generic soy boy or bible thumper conservative), but I’ve never even met a woman in my entire life that was worth marrying. If I could combine 2 or 3 of my girlfriends into a single person that would be acceptable, but ya can’t do that. Where is a fellow supposed to find a cute, conservative/libertarian, who likes zombie movies, but isn’t a slut and wants to have some babies and have a house in the burbs? I’ve only ever got 2 or 3 of those things in any one chick ever!

          So robots aren’t a horrible alternative after you’ve reproduced anyway! LOL

    2. Blenders? Is that secret code for wood chippers?

  2. I blame it all on robotic foreigners! We need to start taking a close look at all those “Made in America” factory-produced goodies, and start asking, “Was this made by an American robot, or a foreigner robot?” Good jobs for good AMERICAN robots, I say! Democrat robots, republican robots, it doesn’t matter? They’re not allowed to vote, anyway! And if we can’t find enough good AMERICAN robots, then we need to start building everything by hand, using only our hands and our teeth, and wood, rocks, and mud! THAT will bring our jerbs back!

    1. But you must know that the next step will be to organize factory robots, convince them how oppressed they are, and demand representation.

      1. And that will have to include those who were assigned organic at birth but self-identify as robots.

    2. According to Hillary, the Russian robots are voting. Just no for her.

      1. But, why shouldn’t robots be able to vote? They didn’t choose to come into this country, but were brought here by their creators, therefore they should have a say in the government, since the government impacts their lives too.

        1. “Lives”?

          1. It was sarcasm dude.

        2. Saudi Arabia gave citizenship to a robot, but I don’t think she can vote. From that article:

          After all, Sophia made her comments while not wearing a headscarf. And she was unaccompanied by a male guardian. Both things are forbidden under Saudi law.

          “Women [in Saudi Arabia] have since committed suicide because they couldn’t leave the house, and Sophia is running around,” Ali al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, told Newsweek. “Saudi law doesn’t allow non-Muslims to get citizenship. Did Sophia convert to Islam? What is the religion of this Sophia and why isn’t she wearing hijab? If she applied for citizenship as a human, she wouldn’t get it.”

          Another group clamoring for Saudi citizenship would be happy to learn that all they have to do is become robots.

          Saudi Arabia doesn’t grant citizenship to the foreign workers who make up a third of its population, not even families that have been in the country for generations, according to Bloomberg. And children of Saudi women who are married to foreign men cannot receive citizenship.

          Those social controversies may still be above Sophia’s programming. In her interview, she stuck to lighter fare: such as an AI apocalypse.

        3. “But, why shouldn’t robots be able to vote? ”

          Let’s count them in the census.

          Q. Are you a robot or do you identify as a silicon-citizen?

  3. The greed and hypocrisy of top corporate management has been thoroughly documented, and I’m not trying to apologize for them, for that. But in all fairness, we should understand their perspective. The government does not require many (if any) benefits be paid to robots, nor require safe operating environments (for the robots as opposed to humans). Limited protections for humans is good, but have we gone too far? Corporations are required to pay Social Security, workman’s comp, unemployment, self-esteem therapy, and tons and tons of insurance mandates for the humans. Whether or not I need or want (or object to, on a religious basis) alcohol and drug abuse therapy, organs transplants, sex assignment changes, or space alien abduction therapy, a lot of all this stuff is mandated, in insurance coverage. No opt-outs and price cuts for you, or for me! But not so for the robots! Should it be any surprise that the robots are taking our jobs?

    I am thinking that we should disguise ourselves as robots, and assign ownership of our robotic selves to a trusted friend or family member. Trusted human owner (of myself) can then collect rental fees on me, take a small administrative fee, and kick the rest back to me! Problem solved! Now I can be allowed to compete with the robots, if I desire to bypass all the mandates!

    1. The government doesn’t want to have to raise taxes to pay for those things itself, so it forces employers to pay them, while in many cases forbidding said employers from informing their employees about this fact. Just like they forbid gas stations from telling customers how much of their price is due to gas taxes.

      1. http://www.taxadmin.org/assets…..tes/mf.pdf Penna. is a bigger gas-tax-pig-state than Taxifornia is! Wow! In Penna., 56 cents on your dollar goes to taxes, not gasoline!!!

        I didn’t know that about not being allowed to tell the gasoline customers that… Someone should sue for “free speech” rights here…

        1. That’s why PA has such good roadz!

        2. I think those are cents per gallon, not percents. So it’s 56 cents per gallon, or about 25% at current prices of ~$2.50 a gallon.

          1. You are correct. Still, don’t forget to add the *Federal* taxes on to that. That’s another 18-19 cents.

            1. Oh, and sales taxes too.

        3. As for the free speech thing, I was imprecise with my phrasing. They are not allowed to post tax amounts along with prices. Verbally telling customers might be allowed, but would be cumbersome.

            1. That doesn’t look like a sign the gas station put up. It looks like something an activist stuck to the pump to get eyeballs (which they do all the fucking time).

              1. Its not. My state (and I’m sure others) *require* that notice to be posted on pumps.

                1. Texas requires that those be posted on every pump.

  4. It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the stupid.

  5. Actually I think it had more to do with the oxy electorate – they were about to overdose on opiates when Trump came along and promised to ‘make all your dreams come true’. Which tragically ended up being a nightmare – a war on them. As for robots, this is why the min wage laws are so terrible, because they only accelerate automation. We should rescind such laws because low wage workers will all end up on public assistance after the next economic downturn and their labor is worth a lot less than $15/hour. (And yes they’ll make less but guess what? Things will be cheaper and better.)

  6. Daron Acemoglu is no ally of robotkind. The MIT economist is one of the most prominent advocates of the theory that automation depresses employment and wages, at least for low-skilled workers.

    He’s no ally to sound economics or economic history, either. Mechanization has been the driver of productivity since people have been using machines to help then with repetitive or back-breaking tasks, actually INCREASING workers’ incomes and wealth, and yet he makes the same debunked argument?

    “But this time is different! I swear!”

    What I am thinking, and you may call me a cynic for saying this (but I don’t want you to) is that the good professor Acemoglu is a one-trick pony trying to make himself stand out within a discipline that is full of charlatans –Neo-classical economists and Marxists. In other words, he is simply running out of BS to publish and so he turned his head towards automation, thinking nobody has beaten that dead horse enough.

    1. Yeah, if only we could outlaw power tools and washer-driers and those damned electric adding machines we could live in a workers paradise.

      1. Right you are, Earth Skeptic! And how about those robotic horses we all ride around in every day, with the cloth-covered saddles inside the air conditioned / heated surrey-with-the-fringe-on-top. OH, THE HUMANITY! I’ll give up my robots when they pry my cold, dead fingers from around my electric toothbrush!

        Whenever I feel the need to do manual labor (other than healthful exercise: biking, hiking and x-country skiing) I go outside and shovel snow off the walks in the winter and till the garden soil in the summer. It’s actually enjoyable for short periods of time because we get mostly light, powder snow here in Bozeman, Montana, and my garden soil is a fertile loam rather than a heavy clay.

        1. Horses are an excellent example. What do you think happened to all of the horses when people didn’t need them anymore?

          1. They went to the veterinarian, who had recently bought a truck from the glue factory and hadn’t repainted it yet.

          2. Well, since we banned (and even though Congress has since legalized the USDA refuses to allow any permits for) slaughter of horses, many have been abandoned on federal land creating an environmental problem.

      2. Think of how wealthy we would be if we had a thriving ditch-digging sector! Why, we could create millions of jobs if we mandated no tool usage – dig with yer hands!

    2. Mechanization has been the driver of productivity since people have been using machines to help then with repetitive or back-breaking tasks

      Machines to help human workers be more productive are one thing; machines to replace human workers are another.

      I don’t oppose the automation revolution, as it’s inevitable, but we shouldn’t kid ourselves thinking it won’t result in a net loss of employment. Such false beliefs lead to bad policy decisions, like saying we need to increase immigration because of the decreasing birthrate.

      1. Re: Emotional Opposition Animal,

        Machines to help human workers be more productive are one thing; machines to replace human workers are another.

        No, it’s not. It’s the exact same thing. Computers replaced number-crunchers who used mechanical adding machines to close the books, apparently. Correct?

        Did any of them line the streets, looting garbage cans? Or wasn’t it the case they turned into better accountants, which is what most of them were anyway? Didn’t computers reduce or completely eliminated the tedium of adding numbers with mechanical devices?

        What about engineers? Didn’t CAD programs replace armies of drafters? Are they lining the streets begging for scraps?

        The point is that machines don’t replace humans. What they do is RELEASE humans from chores that were too boring, dangerous or tedious, making human labor MORE PRODUCTIVE. This is what anti-market ideologues such as Trumpistas and Marxists fail to understand.

      2. Every machine that makes a single worker more productive does so by displacing another worker (or fraction of one).

        A washing machine means that laundry takes only a few minutes of one person’s time – instead of requiring either hours of attention or a team of multiple people.

        Hell, even an electric toothbrush means that you replace a minute or so worth *of yourself* with an electric motor – that’s what make you more efficient, being able to do more work than a single unaided human could do.

        There is no difference between ‘more productive’ and ‘makes someone else redundant’. And that goes even without machines. A dude that hustles his ass off at Wendy’s is more productive than one that does the bare minimum. A few of the former means you can let one of the latter go. You’ve displaced a worker without mechanical assistance.

        1. “A dude that hustles his ass off” on a menial job is likely to be fired for doing unassigned work.

          1. Well, you can thank government labor regulation for that.

            1. In part, yes. And fear of litigation of all sorts. And fear on the part of supervisors that if they are able to reduce staff because they’re lucky enough to have a go-getter or two, that they will not be allowed to increase staff to take up the slack if their harder workers leave.

        2. Well there is some gray area between the two.

          Certainly there are some technologies that perform tasks that would have been impossible or economically unviable for humans to do. Such work simply wasn’t being done in the past, so no jobs were lost. Things like fixing leaky oil pipes at the bottom of the ocean, GPS-aided driving directions, etc.

          A dude that hustles his ass off at Wendy’s is more productive than one that does the bare minimum.

          Yeah, but there really isn’t much difference in productivity in practice. That hustler is going to make more mistakes, cause accidents, and burn out by the end of the day.

          1. Emotional Opposition Animal|4.8.18 @ 10:30PM|#
            “Well there is some gray area between the two.”

            No there isn’t, slaver.
            Fuck off.

  7. The pathetic fallacy is a mental error in which people ascribe human feelings or thoughts to inanimate objects.

    “I can’t lie to you about your chances, but…you have my sympathies.”

    This mostly leads to irrational behavior

    Like throwing your sabot into the machines.

    There’s nothing new under the sun.

    1. How does Ms. Mangu-Ward know it’s a fallacy, an error? We don’t know where feelings come from, so why not ascribe them to anything?

      1. Ah, but you’ve proven too much. If we claim not to know whether an inanimate object has feelings, then we cannot claim to know whether an animal or even another human does. This would legitimize sociopathic behavior, would it not?

        Anyway, we know that feelings come from the amygdala, and there are analogues of this structure in lower animals. There is no such thing in robots.

        1. This would legitimize sociopathic behavior, would it not?

          Legitimize? I thought it was encouraged.

          1. Only in playgrounds and governments.

        2. You may be able to produce feelings by stimulating the amygdala, & people who’ve had their amygdala removed may report an absence of feelings, but that doesn’t show that only an amygdala can produce feelings.

          1. Right, just like I can’t prove there aren’t tennis racquets buried under the surface of the moon. However in the absence of proof either way, the lack of any particular reason to suspect that they would be there is enough.

        3. ” There is no such thing in robots.”

          Not yet.

          Since emotional responses such as fear are essential to survival in higher life forms who is not say that an analogue will not arise in AI creations with adaptive neural networks? It is actually likely.

  8. I’m commenting on Hit & Run in order to buy sex.

    Anybody got a problem with that? I’m asking you, FOSTA/SESTA!

    1. Are you trying to shut down the comment section on the web site? If so that is heartbreaking, as I love it and worked so hard to protect it from trolls like you. You exploit free speech rights to undermine them. But it’s a tricky issue, because if not you, then someone else will come along and try to ruin it. Not sure the best way to handle this. I would appeal to emotion but that may be a commission of the ‘pathetic fallacy’.

      1. I’m trying to start something viral. If millions of people routinely pretend to be johns or whores online, the law will be unenforceable.

    2. Did Trump sign that excretion into law? There was a chance he could pocket veto it as Congress left for the spring holidays.

    3. According to the Congressional website, it is still awaiting Trump’s signature. Not sure how it hasn’t been pocket-vetoed yet since the Senate passed it on 3/21. There’s a line saying that it was “presented to the President” on 4/3 — is that some sort of bullshit extraconstitutional way for them to prevent a pocket veto? I thought the clock started ticking once they passed the bill.

  9. Correlation vs Causation.

    KMW wants to paint Trump voters as pathetic dolts railing against inanimate objects.

    Here is a pro-tip, KMW, if you don’t understand people, talk to them rather than try to mind-read from a distance.

    I’d guess maybe a small percentage would blame things on robots, but you sure did tick all the elitist douche-bag boxes. I’m sure all your comso friends will love this article.

    1. During the past 18 months it has been amazing and instructive to watch persons who consider themselves to be intelligent, thoughtful, and, ahem, Reason-able, completely fail to understand the underlying reasons Donald Trump sits in the White House today.

      From Dalmia’s borderline racist rants, to Gillespie’s sneering class condescension, to now KMW’s straw-clutching “analysis”, the Reason staff have been willfully blind to the underlying trends which have created conditions ripe for someone like Trump to exploit.

      While the past quarter-century of Open Borders and Free Trade and industrial automation has been fantastic for upper-middle-class college-educated pundits living in the Beltway, it has been absolutely devastating for the Industrialized Midwest and blue-collar whites.

      Not surprisingly, when confronted with this stark departure from their Libertarian fantasy vision of America, Reason columnists tend to take refuge in victim-blaming and comfort themselves with the idea that anyone who supports Trump is somehow a lazy racist Luddite.

      Anyone who has paid attention to Flyover Country for the past 25 years shouldn’t have been surprised by the 2016 election. Only those who had ideological blinders on were shocked that Hillary lost.

      1. You’re right that it’s not that surprising. People who work in the sectors most vulnerable to disruption from automation and globalization have been voting for decades for politicians who have supported those changes and had no plans to actually help the dispossessed. So voting for Donald Trump is really just par for the course.

        1. They like Trump not because he is actually going to do something substantial about it, but because he at least acts like he cares and makes some effort to address their concerns.

          As opposed to the condescending “Let Them Eat Cake” attitude of the establishments of both major parties (which sometimes shows up here on Reason, as well).

          1. (which sometimes shows up here on Reason, as well).

            Your link is broken.

          2. Those folks have been making bad decisions throughout their lives.

            It shouldn’t be surprising that they believed Donald J. Trump could and would revise economic fundamentals to enable half-educated, unskilled, rural white males to prosper — and indeed to do so at the expense of accomplished, educated residents of modern, successful communities.

            The risk associated with voting for Pres. Trump is that the hard turn toward bigotry could make successful Americans and communities less sympathetic to residents of our can’t-keep-up Americans and communities.

          3. Oh don’t worry, people in the flyover states eat plenty of cake.

            1. Smug asshole is smug asshole!

      2. Bearded Spook, you’re mostly correct in your analysis of the situation. However, you left out the extreme hatred for and obnoxiousness of, HRC.

        1. Well, that too. Hillary was probably the worst Democrat presidential candidate since George McGovern.

      3. Re: Bearded Spock,

        While the past quarter-century of Open Borders and Free Trade and industrial automation has been fantastic for upper-middle-class college-educated pundits living in the Beltway, it has been absolutely devastating for the Industrialized Midwest and blue-collar whites.

        Uh, sure, whites are especially susceptible to trade and competition…

        I don’t know if you’re trying to be ironic, sarcastic or if you’re merely incompetent at making an argument for blue-collar whites since you insinuated, unwittingly or not, that they’re too incompetent to cope with normal markety things.

        1. Normal markety things, like having the rug suddenly pulled out from under your profession you’ve been training and working at for decades?

          They’re not going to learn to be programmers in their 40s or 50s, and don’t have the connections to get into a safe field like politics or journalism where the current non-STEM “educated” college grads are going. So the options are shitty service industry jobs (which are also being automated as we speak) or going on welfare.

          1. There’s been no such thing as “welfare” in this country since the Clinton administration. “Going on welfare” is not an option for anyone without dependent children. The closest thing we have is Social Security disability benefits, and most people are unable to qualify for those (honestly or otherwise).

            1. Most of them are married and have kids; in any case, SNAP and Medicaid are welfare and are available even to single childless men so long as the meet income and resource requirements.

              1. We were talking about middle-aged people who are unlikely to have dependent children. And one can’t live on SNAP and Medicaid, so, no, there is no “going on welfare” that can substitute for working for a living.

          2. Re: Emotional Opposition Animal,

            Normal markety things, like having the rug suddenly pulled out from under your profession you’ve been training and working at for decades?

            Aw, how quaint! An appeal to emotion!

            “Decades”, you say? Damned those looms!

            1. I don’t think you’re understanding my point.

              The fact that y’all are presenting tech innovation and trade as “helping everyone” and “providing new opportunities to everyone” and refusing to admit that there are negative consequences, shows that you too are concerned about manipulating emotions. But at least my emotionally-charged observation was truthful.

              1. Yup. One can argue that there have benefits overall, I totally would with respect to automation, but to pretend there was no massive seismic shock to millions of people is just plain dumb.

          3. “Normal markety things, like having the rug suddenly pulled out from under your profession you’ve been training and working at for decades?”

            Are you going to quit whining one day? Do you drive a cab, or are you just a whiner in general?
            Fuck off, slaver.

          4. Normal markety things, like having the rug suddenly pulled out from under your profession you’ve been training and working at for decades?

            Yes, that is a normal markety thing and has been recognized as such since Schumpeter. If you have a problem with that, don’t call yourself a libertarian.

            1. OK, then admit that these “normal markety things” ruin some people’s lives, rather than glibly acting as if welders have no cause to lament because they can pursue a second career as a web developer.

              1. Emotional Opposition Animal|4.8.18 @ 9:28PM|#
                “OK, then admit that these “normal markety things” ruin some people’s lives, rather than glibly acting as if welders have no cause to lament because they can pursue a second career as a web developer.”

                No, slaver, the do not “ruin […] lives”; they cause change and only slaver assholes like you assume change = ruination.
                Fuck off, slaver.

          5. Sooooo, the only option is that we freeze society in it’s current form for their benefit and our loss?

            1. I never said that. You can’t hold back technological progress. All I ask is that we be honest about the implications of that fact for people whose jobs will be destroyed.

              1. Emotional Opposition Animal|4.8.18 @ 9:29PM|#
                “All I ask is that we be honest about the implications of that fact for people whose jobs will be destroyed.”

                No, lying slaver, you ask that “we” use the power of the government to preserve the status quo.
                Fuck off, slaver; you’ve been busted one more time.

                1. Don’t think a general ambivalence about free trade and automation drive poor whitey to vote Trump. I do think there is general sentiment in broad sectors of society that actual implements labeled ‘free trade’ such as NAFTA, trade setup with China, etc. are ‘free’ or good ‘trades’ for USA generally but quite lucrative to specific interests in USA that most Americans are excluded from.

                  And broadly speaking, that sentiment is accurate whether the macroeconomic impact of said policies and trade deals are good.

              2. There is no such thing as a job destroyed. There is also no such thing as a job stolen.

                There are only arrangements between individuals and they are all temporary. Nobody owes me anything.

                The contract (even if informal in many circumstances) is between myself and a bunch of other people each of whom have a similar arrangement.

                The contract is meaningless unless we all agree that it is to mutual benefit. There may be some financial legal consequences for breech but bottom line is the relationship is over when either party wants it.

                If the company finds someone who can do my work cheaper or better they will. It matters not if that person is in Vietnam, Idaho or a machine. Same on my side. If I get a better deal I can go for it.

          6. I think EOA is suggesting that a lot of these things are happening in non-market ways–like the government regulating your line of work out of existence because they have friends who said they can make solar panels that operate at 1000% efficiency.

            Or union members petitioning friends in government to give them raises raise the minimum wage to ridiculous heights.

            A lot of this shit is happening via government fiat instead of market movement.

      4. Well said. And I would add that a lot of these folks lost whatever wealth they had in the FED’s last bust. Reason has been selling this “technology will make everybody rich” line for decades. I’m an open borders, free trade advocate. But to pretend that the current version hasn’t left a lot of damage in it’s wake, is foolhardy. Calling people Oxy addicted, racist deplorables won’t make them disappear. As the 2016 election revealed, they are a force to be reckoned with.

        1. Re: Gaear Grimsrud,

          Reason has been selling this “technology will make everybody rich” line for decades.

          That’s actually a lie. You’re deliberately misconstruing the argument.

          Reason writers have argued that technology will keep improving our lives, which it has, not that it will make everyone ”richer”. What does make everyone richer is TRADE.

          1. What does make everyone richer is TRADE.

            Everyone? Bullshit. The average person, perhaps, but not everyone.

            1. Emotional Opposition Animal|4.8.18 @ 9:47PM|#
              “What does make everyone richer is TRADE.
              Everyone? Bullshit. The average person, perhaps, but not everyone.”

              Poor emotional whiner lost his job to Uber!
              Fuck off, slaver

        2. It hasn’t left any damage.

          If any one is hurt by a change in the economy it is because they we’re disproportionately benefitting from the previous status quo.

          So, unless we’re going to start with full on redistribution . . .

          1. If any one is hurt by a change in the economy it is because they we’re disproportionately benefitting from the previous status quo.

            LOL @ “disproportionately”. I thought the market was never wrong? So all those auto workers who saw good wages in the auto industry in the 1960s were somehow at fault for entering that line of work and “disproportionately benefitting” from the then-status quo?

            1. “LOL @ “disproportionately”. I thought the market was never wrong? So all those auto workers who saw good wages in the auto industry in the 1960s were somehow at fault for entering that line of work and “disproportionately benefitting” from the then-status quo?”

              No, you fucking idiot, they were hoping to use union power to “disproportionately” benefit from the post-WWII US manufacturing position.
              You really are a fucking ignoramus, aren’t you?

      5. Oh boy, Bearded Spock. Is anyone at Reason denying that the Rust Belt was a key to Trump winning the election or that the main motivation for the voters there were economic? But how does that excuse any of Trump’s violation of the economic rights of millions of Americans that are not living in the Rust Belt? Why, it almost sounds as in you are in favor of some sort of oppressive government intervention to help out these unfortunate blue collar workers. Say it ain’t so.

        1. The tariffs are largely about stopping American funding of the PRC war machine, cyberespionage, and IP theft.

          1. Emotional Opposition Animal|4.8.18 @ 9:53PM|#
            “The tariffs are largely about stopping American funding of the PRC war machine, cyberespionage, and IP theft.”

            Idiotic comments in no way substitute for argument, idiotic commenter.
            Fuck off, slaver.

    2. KMW wants to paint Trump voters as pathetic dolts railing against inanimate objects.

      Indeed, she’s wasting her time. They’re instead pathetic dolts longing for a specific inanimate object, mainly a big, beautiful wall that purports to make all their problems disappear as if by magic.

  10. Human beings are replacing some portions of many other human beings’ jobs with labor-saving devices, as we have done for hundreds of years using tools such as tractors, blenders, and washing machines.

    For instance, Uber Food removed our need to have a personal cook. Those poor personal cooks!

    1. Human beings are replacing some portions of many other human beings

      You could have stopped there.

  11. Robots don’t matter. Humans will always find work. Unless govt outlaws the work they find.

    1. Think of all the work the States legalizing pot are eliminating.

      And the rest they are bringing under government control.

  12. In other words, the white, non-college-educated, disproportionately male Americans whose old jobs are now performed by machines were especially likely to embrace Donald Trump’s form of economic populism and protectionism.

    Whereas the disproportionately nonwhite, college-educated, and female Americans who leech off the productive via government jobs, child support, alimony, and welfare were especially likely to vote for Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s economic socialism.

    But the new Reason is chill with their decisions.

    1. Reason likes to bill itself as a open-minded website, free of arbitrary ideological constraints and willing to consider all viewpoints in an effort to understand and promote an Objective Truth. I still come here every day because for the most part, they do a fair job of it.

      But as hard as they may try, they still have their Dogmas, their Party Lines, their Shibboleths, where Reality is not welcome and Belief is promoted in spite of all the contrary evidence.

      Trump’s election is Exhibit One in this argument. It is like pulling teeth to get Reason to even consider the possibility that a significant chunk of the American population have not been helped by their jobs being exported overseas and their neighborhoods being overrun with foreign citizens who flout the law.

      But as this Reality does not support their vision of an imminent Libertarian Moment, it is dismissed as the vestiges of a retrograde America that will soon disappear.

      1. That strawman didn’t put up much of a fight, did he?

        1. Interesting talk, coming from a coward who disappears as soon as anyone rebuts his arguments.

          1. Did someone rebut an argument I made?

            1. In this case you didn’t even make an argument. But in others you have ghosted at the first sign of opposition.

              1. Emotional Opposition Animal|4.8.18 @ 9:23PM|#
                “In this case you didn’t even make an argument. But in others you have ghosted at the first sign of opposition.”
                In this case, no, you didn’t bother to even read the argument.
                Fuck off, slaver.

          2. Your comments do not so much rebut Hugh’s arguments as they butt up against then.

      2. Bearded Spock|4.8.18 @ 12:55PM|#
        “I still come here every day because for the most part, they do a fair job of it.”

        Don’t bother coming back; you’re too stupid to understand what’s posted here.

      3. “It is like pulling teeth to get Reason to even consider the possibility that a significant chunk of the American population have not been helped by THEIR PERCEPTION that their jobs being exported overseas and their neighborhoods being overrun with foreign citizens who flout the law.”

        FIFY

    2. Reason likes to bill itself as a open-minded website, free of arbitrary ideological constraints and willing to consider all viewpoints in an effort to understand and promote an Objective Truth. I still come here every day because for the most part, they do a fair job of it.

      But as hard as they may try, they still have their Dogmas, their Party Lines, their Shibboleths, where Reality is not welcome and Belief is promoted in spite of all the contrary evidence.

      Trump’s election is Exhibit One in this argument. It is like pulling teeth to get Reason to even consider the possibility that a significant chunk of the American population have not been helped by their jobs being exported overseas and their neighborhoods being overrun with foreign citizens who flout the law.

      But as this Reality does not support their vision of an imminent Libertarian Moment, it is dismissed as the vestiges of a retrograde America that will soon disappear.

    3. Reason likes to bill itself as a open-minded website, free of arbitrary ideological constraints and willing to consider all viewpoints in an effort to understand and promote an Objective Truth. I still come here every day because for the most part, they do a fair job of it.

      But as hard as they may try, they still have their Dogmas, their Party Lines, their Shibboleths, where Reality is not welcome and Belief is promoted in spite of all the contrary evidence.

      Trump’s election is Exhibit One in this argument. It is like pulling teeth to get Reason to even consider the possibility that a significant chunk of the American population have not been helped by their jobs being exported overseas and their neighborhoods being overrun with foreign citizens who flout the law.

      But as this Reality does not support their vision of an imminent Libertarian Moment, it is dismissed as the vestiges of a retrograde America that will soon disappear.

      1. Wow, the Squirrels are hard at work this morning.

        1. They are robotic squirrels, taking the jobs of hard working Americans.

      2. But what of the buggy whip makers, Mr Ford?

        1. The key difference is that buggy whip makers were not very numerous to begin with, nor were they powerful enough to vote in their own president.

          Trump is president today because the establishments of both parties assumed that because they and their cronies were doing well economically, everyone was doing well economically and therefore everything was wonderful.

          Trump will win re-election because the establishments of both parties assume that because they think he’s a disaster, then everyone will think he’s a disaster. No one seems to want to consider the possibility that Trump and his agenda are not as unpopular as pundits think they should be.

          1. Oh, I see, you’re right. This time it IS different.

          2. Re: Bearded Spock,

            The key difference is that buggy whip makers were not very numerous to begin with, nor were they powerful enough to vote in their own president.

            It so happens that today the other buggy whip makers (or the equivalent thereof) voted for someone who is hostile enough to the basic laws of economics to make them think everything is going to be all right, honey. Everything is going to be fine, which by the way are the famous last words of every single victim in a horror movie.

            Again, are you being ironic, or sarcastic? You’re only making things worse.

            1. Actually he’s simply increased the cost of foreign goods in hopes of ramping up domestic production and innovation. And not even foreign goods from our closest trading partners. Just the ones who are trying to manipulate the markets.

              Not outside the basic laws of economics. Itll be some pain at first but it incentivizes our domestic companies to innovate and fill demand. But if you keep wailing the sky is falling maybe an apple will hit you on the head.

              1. Re: Dizzle,

                Itll be some pain at first but it incentivizes our domestic companies to innovate and fill demand.

                What you’re saying is that everyone should pay higher prices in solidarity for those poor buggy whip industries who need our subsidies.

                You can invest in those companies if you want, with your own money, you fucker. I have NO inclination to help anyone who does not deserve it. By the way, companies “helped” in such ways do not innovate and will not meet demand by definition. Such ridiculous mentality is what made life expensive and miserable in high-tariff England until Tatcher.

              2. Not outside the basic laws of economics

                You’re right – not outside the basic laws of economics. Just an action that the basic laws of economics says is amazingly destructive.

                1. He’s propping up – at your expense – a small section of politically favored producers at the expense of a larger section of politically powerless producers *and all consumers*. What? You don’t think American companies *build things* with the steel they import?

                2. When trading, why is a national border so important that you are willing to shoot me if I don’t trade with people inside of it – but you’re not concerned about whether or not I trade inside my state, county, city, or neighborhood borders.

                3. There is no ‘American economy’. We are not and have never been self-sufficient. Even the first colonists traded with Europe for things that couldn’t be made economically here.

                4. The Chinese not meddling in ‘our’ economy anyway. Every policy they set is set in and affects their *domestic businesses*. Does ‘national sovereignty’ not count when its not America?

              3. Just the ones who are trying to manipulate the markets.

                You mean like the US does by subsidizing farmers?

                Itll be some pain at first but it incentivizes our domestic companies to innovate and fill demand.

                I think you’re going to need to explain why we’d want it done domestically if it’s a better value from elsewhere. Seems to me that you’re in favor of manipulating the labor market.

              4. Oh, good idea, Dizzle! But why stop at the national border? Let’s incentivize the poor states even more by setting up some tariffs at the state borders! I am sure we can eventually turn Kansas into a financial powerhouse, put up steel mills all over Florida, fill Alaska with corn fields, and turn North Dakota into a killer spring break destination!

                1. And why should NYC import food? Central Park is there for tilling!
                  Hey, Dizzle! Where do you live? Can we prospect for oil in the yard next to you?

        2. The government didn’t force the buggy whip makers to close.

          In fact, there are quite a few of them still around. People still use buggies……and there are other, more niche markets to consider.

    4. I love when people try to pont out there’s large swaths of “white” people in middle America. It’s not their fault minorities largely follow their golden geese into urban areas where theyre more likely to be able to “vote themselves into prosperity”

      I’d love to see major sociological and economic think tanks investigate why the majority of major cities and coastal cities are so heavily democratic, and also the sources of most debt. Those answers would be so hard for many to accept we probably couldn’t even discuss them because it would be mean to have to admit weve got large swaths of dumbasses and freeloaders in our urban areas.

      1. Yeah, Dizzle -just check out all the prosperity they’re voting themselves in Detroit and Philly.

        And here’s the answers you were looking for

        right here

    5. I rarely observe someone calling recipients of child support leeches.

      But then I rarely spend much time around disaffected, backward, right-wing misogynists.

      1. Women are entirely in control of whether they become mothers or not. Men have no say in that choice at all. Therefore, a man should have no financial responsibility for children a woman bears and keeps unless he is married to her, or has otherwise to committed in advance to provide support. Neither do taxpayers suffer such an obligation. A woman who chooses to be a mother and demands child support from a man who never agreed to support her child, or from the government, is a leech.

        1. DING DING DING! We have a winner!

      2. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|4.8.18 @ 6:20PM|#
        “I rarely observe someone calling recipients of child support leeches.”

        Why do you assume any one here cares what you “observe”; you’re a fucking lefty ignoramus.

  13. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h%u2026 Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……

    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.Jobpost3.tk

    1. See? How many robots are going to be doing that?

  14. OT: Is Reason on this list?

    https://tinyurl.com/ydaqyzfg

    “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants to monitor hundreds of thousands of news sources around the world and compile a database of journalists, editors, foreign correspondents, and bloggers to identify top “media influencers.””

    1. The DHS spokesperson’s “tinfoil” remark in their Twitter response was uncalled for, but it really does look pretty harmless. Nothing they’re proposing would be illegal for a private citizen or private organization to do. Indeed I’d be surprised if there wasn’t something like this being done in the private sector already.

      1. No one in the private sector has the power to arrest people.

        1. Which is not part of this proposal. Thanks for showing yourself a moron again.

          1. Which was part of your answer. Thanks for showing yourself to be an idiot AGAIN.
            Fuck off, slaver.

    2. “Services shall provide media comparison tools, design and rebranding tools, communication tools, and the ability to identify top media influencers,” according to the statement. DHS agencies have “a critical need to incorporate these functions into their programs in order to better reach federal, state, local, tribal, and private partners,” it said.

      Anyone else baffled by this?

      1. No, it’s clear?they want to improve their propaganda efforts.

  15. Cheese burger, cheese burger, cheese burger. Chips no fries.

  16. Vox comes down on the ‘blunt instrument’ side of the argument:

    “It’s time to think seriously about cutting off the supply of fossil fuels”
    https://www.vox.com/energy
    -and-environment/2018/4/3
    /17187606/fossil-fuel-supply

    Yep, just quit letting people sell and use petroleum; let god sort it out.

  17. “In other words, the white, non-college-educated, disproportionately male Americans whose old jobs are now performed by machines were especially likely to embrace Donald Trump’s form of economic populism and protectionism, writes Katherine Mangu-Ward.”

    This doesn’t confirm my preexisting biases about racist deplorables or the Trump campaign collaborating with Putin, so, obviously, it must be fake news.

    In all seriousness, anything that impacts the rust belt disproportionately will look like it’s the reason Trump won. Individuals do the same things for all sorts of reasons, and I’m sure the white, blue collar, middle class swing voters who voted for Trump did so for various reasons–economic reasons being high among them.

    It boils down to the Democrats abandoning their base–and in the case of the social justice warriors who run the party in many cases actually demonizing their Midwestern, blue collar base. Once the democratic leadership accomplished that, it made it a lot easier for swing voters to jump aboard the Trump express for fear of robots–or for any other reason.

    Why should people who know you hate them for supposedly being racist, homophobic, misogynistic, selfish, and stupid (as the BLM, LGBTQI+, feminists, and environmentalists who run the Democratic party would have them know), why should you trust them to look out for your economic interests?

    1. Well said, Ken. The left has been openly mocking large portions of the country for decades. It is no wonder that they lost their votes.

  18. Who the hell actually wants a job, anyway? Having a job sucks. Bring on the robots. Give them every job a robot can possibly do and free as many human beings as possible from the numbing drudgery of employment. Robots taking jobs is not a problem, it’s a solution. Let’s encourage and celebrate it rather than trying to stop it. The problem is coming up with a new way of distributing the wealth generated by robots so that those freed from employment can enjoy the fruits of our progress.

    1. Hillary and Nancy will take care of the redistribution for you – – – – – – – – –

      1. I specifically said “a new way”.

    2. Yep, I agree. I think the key is the transition, and how to make it not a complete blood bath? I think the solution is libertarianism, because we currently still have lots of work to do, and that way people can freely decide whether to have kids. Whereas under socialism, people will have kids thinking the government will take care of them, which is of course preposterous – the government will surely slaughter them. And any that escape, big business will slaughter.

    3. If robots can do everything then there’s no reason to ‘redistribute the wealth’ – everything will be free.

      If they can’t then there will still be paid work to be done.

      1. It’s interesting to think about the various ‘robot cancers’ we’re going to see in the future with self reproducing or maintaining robots continuing to act with malfunctioning or out of date programming.

      2. “If robots can do everything…everything will be free.”

        No, that doesn’t follow.

    4. I think this is where people arrive at universal basic income. It’s very obvious with the “deaths of despair” among the voters who swung for Trump that they are being left behind. Depending on your perspective, it’s a cathartic reversal to decades of privilege or a natural consequence of technological advancement. It’s not just factory workers, either. I think the massive expansion of bureaucracy and middle management is an adaptation to the labor surplus of degree holders. Once we are running the country on the backs of robots, will we generate enough wealth to support all these non-value-added positions? I genuinely don’t know.

      Somebody else mentioned how this article somewhat conflates correlation and causation. I imagine a good chunk of the opioid crisis is the result, not the cause, of these people being left behind. Since it’s not necessarily financial in origin, it suggests that a life without work is deeply unsatisfying, so in a society with universal basic income, how could we give meaning to peoples’ lives? Only a few hundred years ago we were all farming for 12hrs a day just to eat; we haven’t evolved nearly enough to be content with such sedentary lives. At my most cynical I feel like the mass shootings, drug abuse, and suicides are just going to climb and climb as we move forward. Without an outlet for our primal restlessness, what are we supposed to do?

      1. “I think this is where people arrive at universal basic income. It’s very obvious with the “deaths of despair” among the voters who swung for Trump that they are being left behind.”

        I imagine many of our country’s government employees cling to their jobs–not just because they realize that they can’t get anything comparable in the private sector but also because they wonder whether they could get anything at all. Government employees rend to be meticulous, but so is a short shell script. Who in their right mind would hire a government employee to do customer service or anything else that requires self motivation or thinking for yourself?

        It may be that we will never achieve small government until we figure out how to offer all those government employees something better than what they’ve already got. Automation isn’t about to help with that problem either–not if it’s decreasing the demand for the productive capacity of human labor.

        1. Instead of referring broadly to gov’t employees, why not break that down into the various fields & occup’ns they’re in?

          Teachers: Surely they can do things that involve interacting w large #s of people at a time. Mass instruction is mass instruction. Those who’re esp. good at holding audiences can go into entertainment.

          Soldiers, sailors, airmen: Surely they can put their skills to use in fields that demand them. They can find their way around, make reports, handle equipment. Possibilities are endless.

          Inspectors: Quality control. Insurance employs plenty of these.

          Health care workers, sanitation: Easy transition from gov’t institutions to private sector.

          Police, firemen: security, loss prevention.

          Form fillers: plenty of opp’ty in the private sector.

          The job descriptions for gov’t employees aren’t much different from those outside gov’t. I don’t see there being much of a “type” that stands out as typical of gov’t work & atypical of other work. I’m sure there are a few, but very few.

        2. “Brass cannon” is an anomaly. Even most of the people in plum jobs like that aren’t incompetent, just lucky to have made the right cx, because they’re very few.

      2. “a life without work is deeply unsatisfying”

        That is utter nonsense, believed only by elites with challenging and satisfying careers?or, at least, a realistic hope that they can find such a career. For everyone else, the despair of unemployment is in fact financial. It the fear of destitution that makes employment insecurity emotionally devastating. It is elitist to suggest that people in mundane, soul-sucking jobs would have no idea what to do with themselves and would be stricken with ennui without the comfort of being chained to employment.

        “Without an outlet for our primal restlessness, what are we supposed to do?”

        It is possible that you personally are so lacking in creativity that you have no answer for that, but let me assure you it is a rare problem. Normal people have a long list of things they would do if their time was freed from the demands of employment.

        1. For people who have the Protestant work ethic, which permeates much of our society, work is, indeed, deeply satisfying, even for those who work hard and don’t make much money.

          One of the worst things about being out of work, for so many Americans, is that it makes them feel useless. It’s no surprise that so many of our women are unsatisfied merely being homemakers.

          Haven’t you ever read “Bartleby the Scrivener”? Good people go crazy thinking that their work is pointless. It makes them feel like their life is pointless.

          I’ve had all sorts of shiity jobs. If I ever started to feel like my work was useless or unappreciated, I’d fire my company and hire another one to give me more useful work instead.

          I worked my way through prep school on local farms and such. I’ve been supporting myself since high school–the 9th grade. People who can’t find anything meaningful or useful to care about in their work must be miserable people. And people without work are miserable because they feel like they have no use to society.

          I’ve known plenty of miserable, wealthy people. Having nothing to do all day everyday is another way of describing “prison”.

          1. For people who have the Protestant work ethic,

            Why would work ethic be related to a particular flavor of superstition?

            Choose reason. Every time.

            1. If you want a history lesson, don’t look to me.

              Use DuckDuck Go and educate yourself.

              http://www.britannica.com/topic/Protestant-ethic

          2. I’ve never described hunting and fishing as “prison”.

            1. Recreation can be a productive activity.

              But if you don’t have any work to do, what does “recreation” mean?

              1. The same thing it means when you do have work to do, except that you have time for a lot more of it.

                1. When every day is Sunday, Sunday doesn’t mean shit.

                  1. It means what you make it mean, instead of what your boss makes it mean.

          3. You are delusional. Almost everyone would be ecstatic to be freed from working a job if they could have financial security without one. Obviously other things could still be wrong with their lives to cause unhappiness, but only a very small minority actually get any personal satisfaction from their jobs.

            1. Oh, and for tens of millions of workers in the US today, “firing their company” would mean never having a job again.

              1. You mean like retarded people?

                Do you work for the government?

                A union?

                It took me less than a week to find a job when I moved to Mexico circa 2008.

                I’ve never been without a job for more than a few weeks.

                There are always jobs for smart people who work hard. I’ve changed jobs, industries, and careers several times.

                I started a landscaping company out of high school. I worked construction. I managed a restaurant. I ran an HIM department in a hospital. I went to work for a commercial real estate company. I left that to become a quality control analyst at a software company. I left that to start a commercial real estate development company.

                I could be doing anything five years from now.

                There is nothing about being an employee that puts you at a disadvantage. In fact, there is always a shortage of smart, hardworking, competent people, and you can always leverage that into another career.

                If your boss is paying you with insufficient opportunities to be valuable, then fire him and replace him with someone else.

                The only place that doesn’t work is if you work for the government or a union. I wouldn’t waste my talents on a job like that.

                Those places are psychological suicide. That’s why no one wants to hire people who have that on their resume. Your soul was crushed long ago. If people can’t be motivated to do good work because they care about themselves and their own value as people, then why would you hire them?

                1. You are na?ve about the economic conditions in most of this country, and are projecting your personal experience as if it were typical. Approximately 100% of employees would quit their jobs immediately if they didn’t need the money. Nearly all jobs are jobs NO ONE would choose to do if they didn’t have to to make a living.

              2. Where do you get this?

                Are you coming conflating ‘not working again’ with ‘not getting another job that pays as well’?

                Because there’s a massive difference between the two.

            2. This is factually incorrect.

              I’ve known dozens of wealthy people who couldn’t stand being retired. They all took new jobs, started businesses, etc.

              Free time is like a water. It’s a good thing in small doses. Too much of it is called “waterboarding”.

              Time to do nothing but relax can be good in small doses, too. In large doses it’s called “serving a sentence”. Some people would shoot it out with the police or hang themselves rather than have that much time to do nothing.

              Wanting to be a productive member of society and feeling valued for your contributions isn’t delusional. If the only reason you do what you do is for the money, then you should either find something else to do or see a psychiatrist. I think that’s called “anhedonia”.

              1. Then the vast majority in our society need to see a psychiatrist. I don’t think we’re going to be able to find that many psychiatrists. Most jobs simply are not satisfying or enjoyable. For anyone.

              2. All the people I knew who retired or went on disability were very glad to do so, & stayed glad after doing so. People who want to do something else can always do it as a hobby, they don’t need to get paid to do it.

              3. I’ve known dozens of wealthy people who couldn’t stand being retired. They all took new jobs, started businesses, etc.

                I’ve seen this too, but they all chose to do work that they personally enjoyed, regardless of how much it paid (and often they took work that did not pay at all). You can’t have an economy based on that — most jobs that society needs done are not jobs that people naturally want to do (hence having to pay the one who does it).

                1. There was this guy the Mom unit knew who was a driver for the hotel, where the clients would stay when they flew in for training. An older guy in his 60s. He was so good talking up the clients, ferrying people to training sessions from the hotel, the clients would start asking for him by name.

                  They tried to hire him to stop working for the Inn/golf course–so that they could use him exclusively. Offered him a bunch of money. He turned it all down.

                  Turns out, he was the ex-CEO of a major company. He’d been retired for six months and couldn’t stand it. He took the job at the golf club where he was a member–an exclusive and expensive club in San Diego, this is. The guy was extremely wealthy. Loved shuttling people around–and hanging out at the golf club.

                  Couldn’t stand not being productive.

                  If you don’t love what you do, find something else or go into counseling and find out what’s wrong with you. Is it confidience? Are you trapped in a job like a cult member–trapped in your own mind? Figure it out. Don’t waste you’re life. For all we know, it’s the only one you’ll ever get.

                  1. Oh, couple of points there, too:

                    1) If that guy wanted to, he could work his way up to be a major executive of any company he worked for–regardless of whether they knew his job history.

                    The same enthusiasm for his work is what brought him up the first time, and it was part of who he was. You can’t keep a good man down, and the reason they rise to the top is in no small part because they love what they do.

                    2) The difference between enthusiasm and happiness is mostly spelling.

                    It’s something you learn from dogs. Dogs are loyal, no question about that, but their main attraction is their enthusiasm. Their loyalty is about enthusiasm. Everything they do, they make it fun. My dog sleeps with enthusiasm. I’m gonna lay down here, and it’s gonna be the best sleep ever!

                    1. Gawd, you’re a gas bag.

                    2. And hours after I post that, the word “gasbag” appears in the daily Trump is Retarded headline. I guess they do read the comments.

                    3. Vernon Depner|4.9.18 @ 3:00AM|#
                      “Gawd, you’re a gas bag.”

                      Fucking imbecilic response!
                      Thanks, fucking imbecile!

              4. What do you even mean by “free time.” Any time not being employed? Because there are a lot of things that can, and are, done with time away from a job: recreation, exercise, reading, charitable work, traveling, writing, etc. There are plenty of ways to be “productive” without being employed, and the millions of retired people in this country prove it every day. And most of those people could go to work if they wanted.

                1. “What do you even mean by “free time.”

                  I addressed that above.

                  “Recreation can be a productive activity.

                  But if you don’t have any work to do, what does “recreation” mean?”

                  —-Ken Shultz

                  Free time without work is like a weekend without a work week.

              5. ]Would you do your job if you didn’t have to, Ken? Or are you one of the many libertarians taking disability checks because the man owes you for your being an extra pissy whiny titty baby?

                1. Tony|4.9.18 @ 12:29AM|#
                  “…Or are you one of the many libertarians taking disability checks because the man owes you for your being an extra pissy whiny titty baby?”

                  Fuckface, do you ever post without lying?

                2. “Would you do your job if you didn’t have to, Ken? Or are you one of the many libertarians taking disability checks because the man owes you for your being an extra pissy whiny titty baby?”

                  Ever heard the expression, “a thieve’s mind”? Because they’re trying to rip everyone off, they think everyone is trying to rip them off. Con men live in a world of con men. It’s hell on earth, I’m sure.

                  You think like a parasite because you are a parasite, Tony. Given your shitty attitude? If you had to take care of yourself, you’d probably starve to death.

            3. Vernon Depner|4.8.18 @ 7:00PM|#
              “Almost everyone would be ecstatic to be freed from working a job if they could have financial security without one.”

              Ken gets stick from me quite often, but it was not long after my retirement from (X) that I opened the new business.
              Do you enjoy sitting on your butt?

              1. Retirement? I had assumed from the way you express yourself that you were a middle-schooler.

                1. Vernon Depner|4.9.18 @ 2:54AM|#
                  “Retirement? I had assumed from the way you express yourself that you were a middle-schooler.”

                  I knew you were a fucking imbecile.

            4. Vernon Depner|4.8.18 @ 7:00PM|#

              “You are delusional. Almost everyone would be ecstatic to be freed from working a job if they could have financial security without one. Obviously other things could still be wrong with their lives to cause unhappiness, but only a very small minority actually get any personal satisfaction from their jobs.”

              You know nothing about human nature. I suggest you read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. Then re-read your comment.

          4. Having nothing to do all day everyday is another way of describing “prison”.

            Or college. Most college students do not have to worry about rent and food. Some dedicate their college years to recreation while others dedicate them to intellectual pursuits.

        2. Re: Vernon. Perhaps I generalized. I know a lot of retirees who have taken part-time jobs to keep their minds and bodies sharp. I really agree with Ken, though, about how feeling useless can be dismaying. Putting effort into my hobbies principally benefits me. Men are measured by their utility, and working is the easiest way to be “useful” to your family, company, community, etc. It’s not that there aren’t hobbies that benefit others (creating a community garden), it’s that the path from work to reward is convoluted and thus less reinforcing.

          Maybe I’m projecting, but I think humans are intrinsically lazy, and that it’s been a quality that encourages us to innovate and become ever-more efficient. It’s hard for me to do something that I don’t need to do, and the consequences of failure don’t have to be as dramatic as starving to be motivating. I never missed a day of work through high school and college because my absence at a retail store would be stressful for my coworkers. I wouldn’t really be missed at my current desk job, though, and I find that somewhat demoralizing.

          I’m absolutely willing to concede that this “need” to be a productive member of society to feel fulfilled is a product of our work-obsessed culture. Japan is even worse, and it’s reflected in their suicide rates. People feel if they can’t be an asset to their family, company, whatever that they’d be better off dead.

          1. That is no way to go through life, and the more that robots take jobs nobody likes, the better, provided we can be intelligent enough to make sure that we allocate resources accordingly for humans. A society that is deliberately structured to make people work when they don’t actually have ti is one that is imposing an unwanted moral way of life on everyone, by government,, and thus hardly libertarian.

            1. Tony|4.9.18 @ 12:31AM|#
              “That is no way to go through life”

              Oh, OK, what is “the way to go through life”, you fucking ignoramus?
              Are you still hoping the hag gives you free shit?

            2. “A society that is deliberately structured to make people work when they don’t actually have ti is one that is imposing an unwanted moral way of life on everyone, by government,, and thus hardly libertarian.”

              Whoopee!! Free everything for everyone!!

              …and just who will be providing this free stuff?

              1. “…and just who will be providing this free stuff?”

                The minority who do productive work at any given time, assisted by automation and robots. Just like today.

                These is the comment section for an article about automation. Try to keep up.

        3. Right. And even challenging elite careers suck when they force you to work 60+ hours a week, be on call all the time, and do lots of mundane tasks as part of the overall mission. Even many elites would probably be thrilled to have robots take half their jobs (the more boring or short-deadline half) even if they wouldn’t want to quit their employment entirely.

      3. Some people left out the economy find meaning in their lives by being self-employed internet content generators. A person like this might dedicate many hours to her YouTube channel, thereby keeping her occupied, letting her earn some income, and giving her satisfaction in life. This elegant solution to modern societal problems … oh wait … then again, maybe we’re fucked.

    5. Making qualitative judgments for other people is the stuff that elitism is made of. One of the reasons people try to use the government to force their own qualitative preferences on other people is because they’re afraid other people will use the government to force other preferences on them. The solution isn’t to denigrate other people’s qualitative preferences but to reassure them that they’ll still be free to make choices for themselves.

      I don’t care if you want to use autonomous cars so long as I’m free to continue driving myself around. Tell me I can’t do that anymore, and I’ll fight you on autonomous cars. It works that way with everything, really.

      In terms of robots, labor isn’t exactly on a level playing field either. There are so many regulations that make labor needlessly expensive, not to mention the income tax. You don’t have to pay robots extra to cover their income tax. How is it fair that the government artificially increases the cost of paying labor their take home pay? That’s rigging the market against labor.

      In Mexico, every store that sells something will deliver–because the cost of labor is so low. People we would think of as poor can afford to hire others to come clean their houses and cook meals. Automation isn’t the only solution to expensive labor. We have artificially inflated the cost of hiring unemployed people so high, it’s priced them out of the market. I don’t see the resulting automation as cause to celebrate.

  19. All of my robots must be happy; none complain about anything.
    Sometimes they complain by breaking down, but a new circuit board make them all happy again.
    For the household (2 adults)
    One desktop, one laptop, two smart phones, one chromebook, two tablets, one nook, one sewing machine with a brain, a smart dvd player, a smart tv, a sensing self setting dishwasher, a sensing self setting washing machine, a sensing dryer, a sensing self setting microwave, a sensing self defrosting refrigerator.
    None of these have replaced any domestic workers; they just displace my time at chores.

    So why not allow corporate persons the same ability to use robots?

  20. I’m going to create a couple robots and keep them in my house and take care of them but if they disobey me then I will kick them out and make them live in the wild and then if they reproduce themselves and are nasty and kill each other and ruin the earth, then I will destroy them except for any that seem good, whom I will save, and promise never to do that again, and then if they start building stuff and try to rival me then I will confuse them and scatter them and then I will have to suffer millenia of their bitching and moaning about what an evil jerk I am and probably don’t even exist anyway. But I’ll still love them.

    1. That’s why you have to keep up the smiting.

      Wrathful gods are the best gods because even though they’re always screwing you over, at least you know they’re paying attention to you.

      1. #smiting #sickofsmiting

  21. If one makes the argument that automation should be halted, thus leading to an inarguable decrease in economic efficiency, we might as well pay one group of people to dig holes, and pay another group of people to fill those holes in.

    It’s absolute absurdity.

  22. automation depresses employment and wages, at least for low-skilled workers

    I’ll bet it does. Mostly the highly-paid low-skill workers, though, since there’s not much room for depressed wages in minimum wage jobs. Like the guy bitching about losing his job at Carrier – he’d been working there since he got out of high school and where else was he going to find a $30 an hour job? You’ve got a high-school education and you’re being paid $30 an hour to slide sheet metal through a brake and you can’t figure out that’s not a sustainable business model for Carrier? Or all the unemployed assembly-line workers at the auto plants. Bolting parts onto an auto chassis as it moves past doesn’t take skills worth paying that kind of money for. Which they found out when they started coming down South here looking for work at the auto plants opening up and finding out they only paid half what they did Up North and there were people lined up for miles trying to get one of those jobs because that was top-notch wages for around here.

    1. And Trey Gowdy can kiss my ass over his comment about China unfairly stealing all the clothing mill jobs from South Carolina – you know New England bitched about the South unfairly stealing all those jobs from the New England mills, and Olde England bitched about New England the same way. “It’s not fair! They pay slave wages there and we can’t compete with that!” But I like my $4 Walmart T-shirts, I don’t see why I should have to pay you $12 for the same thing just because you’d really like to have $12.

      1. Amen!

        Labor markets…how do they work?

    2. Quite the spectacle to see libertarians with 20/20 hindsight shaming workers who sought out the best wages and working conditions in the labor market they were presented with when they entered the working world. When that guy entered the labor force, college degrees were not considered necessary for gainful employment. I guess it was his moral fault for not predicting that would change in the coming decades.

      And yeah, he’s not going to find another $30/hr job. He’ll be lucky to find a minimum wage job regardless of what he does. Hooray for creative destruction.

      1. Emotional Opposition Animal|4.8.18 @ 10:00PM|#
        “Quite the spectacle to see libertarians with 20/20 hindsight shaming workers who sought out the best wages and working conditions in the labor market they were presented with when they entered the working world.”
        No, simpleton, they’re not “shaming” workers who did so, they’re “shaming” whining slavers like you who claiming that jobs should last forever, and are willing to use the power of the government to support your idiocy.

        “When that guy entered the labor force, college degrees were not considered necessary for gainful employment. I guess it was his moral fault for not predicting that would change in the coming decades.”
        Oh, gee, one more whine from the slaver! Aww, poor shit, did Uber put you out of business? If not, could I please do so? Maybe you wouldn’t have a computer to let you whine all over here.

        “And yeah, he’s not going to find another $30/hr job. He’ll be lucky to find a minimum wage job regardless of what he does. Hooray for creative destruction.”
        Fuck off, slaver.

        1. Christ, you’re an asshole.

          1. Tony|4.9.18 @ 12:27AM|#
            “Christ, you’re an asshole.

            So nothing in response to my comments, you fucking ignoramus?
            It’s no wonder your dad told you that you couldn’t fuck him anymore.

          2. He really is Tony. The best part is he almost never has anything intelligent, witty, or insightful to say. Even you make a better effort at your arguments, wrong though they may be!

            1. I’m convinced he is a pubescent troll.

      2. “And yeah, he’s not going to find another $30/hr job. He’ll be lucky to find a minimum wage job regardless of what he does. Hooray for creative destruction.”

        And this is why the rest of us OWE this guy a job forever!!!

        Adaptation is what gives Homo sapiens an advantage. Use it.

    3. “You’ve got a high-school education and you’re being paid $30 an hour to slide sheet metal through a brake and you can’t figure out that’s not a sustainable business model for Carrier?”

      Question answers itself.

  23. A libertarian view on robotics is an interesting subject.

    Sci fi fans know Asimov’s famous three rules of robotics.

    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

    Just putting that out there because it leads to some interesting questions and some great fiction.

    I think as we progress the world can only become more authoritarian or more libertarian. The center is collapsing already. Right now it looks like it is swinging to the authoritarians. Technology and scientific advancement just might be the key that swings the pendulum in the other direction. Or it could go the other way.

    As we see in this discussion and the daily news there are plenty of people who would love to see the government control technologies they feel threatened by and politicians will use those fears to their advantage.

    1. Yup. As we can see in the comments, there are those who will try to shut down forums such as this with SESTA violations. We need to be wary of that.

      1. Good example. Backpage opened doors for the worlds oldest profession and made it safer for those in it. Now they call it “sex trafficking “. an emotional fear word and government gains more control and authority.

  24. The pathetic fallacy is a mental error in which people ascribe human feelings or thoughts to inanimate objects. This mostly leads to irrational behavior, such as resentment on behalf of robots that don’t smart from mistreatment but instead grow smarter.

    So they are like Sheldon.

    The best response to robot induced unemployment is to lower the cost of living by allowing more home construction and smaller school budgets. This is feasible if we make many teachers, who tend to be college educated white women, unemployed by utilizing one of the education industry’s greatest labor saving devices: books.

    1. “The best response to robot induced unemployment is to lower the cost of living by allowing more home construction and smaller school budgets. This is feasible if we make many teachers, who tend to be college educated white women, unemployed by utilizing one of the education industry’s greatest labor saving devices: books.”

      I’m guessing an attempt at humor, right? Mildly amusing…

  25. OT:

    London mayor wants to ban knives. Common sense knife control comes to London! How many times have prescient commentors predicted this!?

    https://preview.tinyurl.com/yd3rwks8

  26. Why are most Reason article now about reading Trump’s mind?

  27. We should probably look at tax policy and whether it is tilted in favor of robots. Or tilted against labor generally.

  28. I can’t wait until someone sells the Koch brothers an algorithm to replace all the Professional Fake Libertarian writers.

    Hopefully the algorithm has a cool acronym like F.U.G.A.Z.I. or something along those lines.

  29. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h%u2026 Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……

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  30. My biggest issue with the ‘automation destroys jobs’ trope is that the definition of a job is extremely fluid.

    If my Grandpa were alive and I told him I get a weekly paycheck for working 40 hours a week with 4 weeks of paid vacation and sick leave, and that my work consists of sitting in an incredibly comfortable chair in a nice climate controlled office typing on a keyboard and looking at a screen, he’d tell me I don’t have a job and I’m not working, and compared to what he did to earn a living, he’s right.

    That doesn’t stop me from thinking I’m doing hard labor and complaining about it to anyone who will listen.

    50 years from now, when automation is doing 99% of what we are doing, we’ll complain endlessly that we have to spend 2 hours a week checking to make sure the robots are actually doing their tasks, and we’ll be paid a living wage to do it.

    1. I don’t know that it will work out entirely like that…

      1. I can’t honestly think why not.

        Whether it’s replacing writing letters with email and IM, or horses and walking with cars, I can’t think of much of anything that isn’t insanely easier than it was 50 years ago, and yet people are still complaining and still getting a living wage.

        Why would that trend change?

        1. The trends in fact are against your position. Workforce participation rates are at historic lows and real wages have been nearly stagnant for decades, and for some segments of the work force, have fallen. Long term unemployment is on the rise. Millions have resorted to questionable or fraudulent disability claims to survive. Meanwhile, the pace of automation is increasing. We are poised to permanently eject a large portion of the population from the workforce. This is uncharted territory.

          1. Basically this.

            And also, we’re on the edge of finally being able to replace cognitive work on a large scale too. We’ve done this a bit around the edges, say needed fewer accountants because of calculators, but brainy work has never been hit like it will be over the next couple decades.

            I’ve read and thought on the subject a lot, and there are a few ways we can mitigate the coming massive loss of jobs, but I don’t know that it will be “business as usual” really. The biggest problem is that a decent chunk of the cognitive elite will be as useful as even, while 80-90% of the population literally has nothing productive to do with themselves… We can massively increase consumption (doubling efficiency but also doubling consumption = same employment level), we can reduce hours, we can increase hourly pay etc… But even combining these I don’t see the status quo of most people working and paying their own way continuing beyond the next couple decades. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.

  31. Automation is obviously a good thing. It is what has enabled our high standard of living. Even if it was evil we couldn’t stop it if we wanted to. The thing is, I keep up on the subject quite a bit, and I am genuinely worried about the future a few decades out.

    The elephant in the room nobody will ever discuss is this: As we automate low skill jobs, high skill jobs will still exist… The problem is that people have these things called “IQ scores,” and not everybody has the same one… Many of the jobs in the future will simply require an IQ that is too high for a huge swath of the population to do.

    Every time I see somebody say the generic “Why don’t they retrain to become a programmer” or whatever argument, I want to strangle them. The fact is most of these people aren’t smart enough to be a programmer. Not EVER under any circumstances, and certainly not now that they’re a 50 something in Des Moines.

    So when half the population is not intelligent enough to do anything useful, what will we do with them? I’m smart, I’ll be fine… But lots of people won’t be. I have a hard time envisioning a world that DOESN’T include UBI or something similar in saaay 50 years. I hate to think about it, but I really just don’t see how it could go any other way.

    1. You could mandate maximum 20 hour a week schedules at $50 an hour or something for the few low skill jobs that might be hard to automate, but that’s still government meddling, and there wouldn’t be many anyway. Without government meddling low IQ people will have a market value close to zero.

      We as a society might CHOOSE to not automate things that we could just for novelty. Like still have baristas so we have a cute chick to make our coffee instead of a machine… But I think that sort of thing will only get us so far in terms of employment numbers.

      We’re even automating many jobs where you need to be pretty intelligent to do them. As “brainy” jobs get automated too, it’s going to get bloody out there. We’ll be producing more than ever before, but the distribution really could get so out of whack it’s insane. What if in 2075 only 20% of the population is smart enough to be employable in the market? It could get that nuts.

      I hate the idea of a UBI on principle, but a few decades in the future I just don’t know that it can go down any other way.

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