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When will we have a Basic Minimum Income?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by nwdiver, Nov 4, 2016.

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When will we (The US) have a Basic Minimum income?

  1. Never. Have you seen Elysium? Yeah... get ready.

    76 vote(s)
    53.9%
  2. ~5 years

    5 vote(s)
    3.5%
  3. ~10 years

    6 vote(s)
    4.3%
  4. ~20 years

    27 vote(s)
    19.1%
  5. ~40 years

    17 vote(s)
    12.1%
  6. >100 years

    10 vote(s)
    7.1%
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  1. bhzmark

    bhzmark Supporting Member

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  2. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    what a load of nonsense, can automation install an electrical outlet in your home? who will maintain the "robots".
    one thing that can be agreed upon is that the workplace is evolving and those who have minimal skills will be left behind.
     
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  3. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    Automation was going to kill off mankind in the 1700's.

    I, for one, welcome our new overlords, but I'm not setting an extra place at the dinner table quite yet.
     
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  4. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29, M3P 80k

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    I hate graphs like this. The reason being that the scales are incommensurate. The one on the right (red) starts at zero and the data has nearly a factor of 10 change. The left (blue) scale doesn't start at zero and the data changes less than a factor of 10. I much prefer the normalized one that I saw somewhere (I think upthread).
     
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  5. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    #26 nwdiver, Dec 1, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
    Did you watch the video in the OP? You don't need 'ALL' jobs to be replaced before you start encountering significant problems. During the great depression unemployment peaked at ~25%. Industry 4.0 could easily push us past ~40% in the next 10 years. We've had automation for >60 years and claims like this have come and gone without significant effect but as the video in the OP explained... machine learning is a challenge to employment we've never encountered before. Have you ever seen an Amazon fulfillment center? No one programed those robots to co-ordinate like that... the system learned. Much like autopilot wasn't programmed with how to drive... it was programmed to learn how to drive. Machine learning is why Industry 4.0 is so much different than automation has been in the past.

    As tempting as it would be to simply say 'Sink or Swim!' to those 'left behind' the reasons to NOT do that go beyond empathy. Production requires consumption... reducing consumers only makes the problem worse. AND... when you don't know how you'll pay for your next dinner you tend to stop caring about less immediate threats like climate change.... and you'll vote that way.

    This isn't an entirely alien concept to the US. We've been paying farmers to not farm for decades. It's time we start entertaining the idea of paying workers not to work for similar reasons.
     
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  6. PAULL

    PAULL Member

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    Relevant, for people who have not heard of Peter Joseph or Jacque Fresco or Buckminster Fuller:

    Lots of great ideas come from these people.
    Evolution is inevitable.
    I think Elon is selling the world into energy independence, which is the beginning of the end of the current federal reserve bank slavery paradigm.
     
  7. Carl

    Carl Supporting Member

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    #28 Carl, Dec 1, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
    True, but if you level all scaling il still means (if we can believe the source, no idea what that source is...) that, since the mid-70's, employment would have been reduced by 40%, while production would have climbed 35% during the same period.

    Consumption, obviously, will have more than exponentially climbed as well.

    I suppose there is, somewhere, a limit to consumption compensating for productivity growth: perhaps tomorrow consumption may still offset that rise of productivity, when every Chinese of African family will have the opportunity to buy a colour TV, four smartphones, ànd a Tesla (note that that evolution of consumption may still take a few decennia, and would obviously be good for the whole world, and in first instance for the third world...), but ultimately there is probably no market for all families on Earth buying 17 television sets, seven Tesla's, or three smartphones for each family member. And then there will be a tendency to the four-day working week, the three-day working week, etc. And/or a basic minimum income (which perhaps would also make sense today, independently of growth of productivity, as a straightforward form of social security, but that's another question - Finland is experimenting with it, I invite OP and others who are interested to look into that).

    For this evolution of consumption sustaining rise of productiveness to be long-term, we need to make Africa/China/etc. "great again". The U.S., after WWII, had that very intelligent reflex of wanting to immediately make Europe and Japan "great again", so that Europe and Japan could become consumers of U.S. products. I'm quite sure the Marshall Plan (the U.S. pumping money into the economies of the countries which had lost the war - instead of bleeding such countries, as had always been the custom before WWII) was the best idea ever in "making America great again". If, tomorrow, the U.S. and Europe become obsessed with protecting their home markets/employment, and literrally and figuratively building walls "against" other economies, then obviously global consumption will not rise and hence not be able to offset the rise in U.S. or European productivity, and instead of creating new Chinese or African consumers to sustain our employment, we will simply have our employment taken over by robots, without new consumers.

    Politicians in both Europe and the U.S. should probably have the courage to explain to their voters that we should actually be encouraging jobs in China and Africa to enrich them, and that today that is probably the best remedy against the surge of robotic productivity in the U.S. and Europe. I am not optimistic, however.

    EDIT: for example, there are now around 2 billion smartphones in the world. That leaves another 5 billion potential consumers...
     
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  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    Consider installation of an outlet.
    Almost every part of the job can be done by somebody with no electrical skill.
    The key job of the electrician is make sure that connections are safe. Automate creation of safe connections, and you'll cut the need for expert labor.

    The more capable the machine, the fewer the hours of skilled time required.
    The more reliable the machine, the fewer hours of maintenance required.
    The smarter the machine, the less skill the operator requires.

    And if you have capable robots, why wouldn't you have robots performance maintenance? Disassemble, unplug old part, plug-in new part, assemble.

    Combine better AI and better robots and you squeeze the two remaining areas where humans are most expensive.
     
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  9. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    90% of the office jobs from the 1960's were replaced by capital. Trivia, the word Computer meant somebody who ran a mechanical adding machine. Word Processor was a human that could run a dedicated word processing device.

    First the mainframe, then mini's, calculators, WP's, then desktops, we should have eliminated nearly all the desk jobs by now. And computer trading algorithms should have eliminated stock brokers. Digital banking and ATM's should have eliminated bank jobs.

    You can do 10x the work today in 8 hours if your work involved manual handling of paper.

    And yes, we subsidize people for working or not working today.
     
  10. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    Just as AI and robots start to take over, climate change will be killing off a lot of people. Nature has a way of balancing things out.
     
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  11. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    It's a ratio. 1 job for 10 people... fewer people still means 90% with no means of income.
     
  12. tomas

    tomas Only partially psycho

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    Whether the number is 90% or something less, a significant majority of people will not need to work. And @kort677 is not making the effort to think this through. It's not about scoffing at the people who don't attain the skills to get the few jobs, it is about conceiving a new sociology where workers and non workers have a place. It is a tough problem, and I don't believe minimum income even begins to address the implications.
     
  13. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    Well... for sure it isn't a complete solution... but ensuring automation won't kick millions into poverty while also ensuring there will be viable demand for our bounty from automation IS a beginning
     
  14. Bangor Bob

    Bangor Bob Member

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    When? Today. Sort of.

    It seems in rural America, at least, that once "the plant" shuts down that a lot of former workers end up on disability until they're eligible for Social Security. It's not an ideal solution, certainly.

    I saw something recently that the Canadian province of Ontario was going to do a basic income experiment, but haven't looked into the details.

    The "self-reliant American" puritan work ethic is going to take quite the kick to the 'nads in the coming decades (arguably it already has). We'll need something productive to do with our time. Community and national service? Maybe. There are a lot of people who need a little help, and a lot of other people who could help them with the right nudges and support system.
     
  15. bhzmark

    bhzmark Supporting Member

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  16. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    a new society where the workers fund the ones who won't work? no thanks
     
  17. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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    Developed civil societies have long recognized the social and economic benefits of providing a safety net for those who cannot work (through disability, lack of opportunities, problems with the economy, etc.). These have consisted of unemployment compensation, food stamps, AFDC, housing assistance, health coverage, etc. Some persist in equating the need for these programs to character flaws in the recipients but many people realize that the inability to support oneself and family is usually a system failure, not a personal failure.
    The universal basic income plan is merely an evolution of these programs which while providing greater coverage for society's failures also streamlines the process to greatly reduce the bureaucracy and waste of the current patchwork of programs. By providing everyone a basic income with minimal bureaucracy you get universal coverage. It's much more efficient. Any excess distributed to those with sufficient income can be easily recovered through the existing tax system.
    There will always be those who are prejudiced against the disadvantaged who have been passed over for opportunities because of race, religion, region, disability or any number of other reasons but hopefully these people will learn compassion. (Unfortunately, I think the US has taken a giant step backwards with the election of a fascist government but this too shall pass.)
     
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  18. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    Well... if you trend this out we don't have many options...

    A- An ugly economic collapse due to a lack of consumers with consumption shackled to employment. The few workers we would have won't be working for long if there's no market for their product.

    B- We artificially create consumers to keep some base level of productivity

    C- We legally limit Automation and place Tariffs on imports

    IMO Option B is by far the least terrible option... I'd rather not see a future where we have virtually unlimited resources that are artificially constrained by an obsolete financial paradigm.
     
  19. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Not posting at TMC after 9/17/2018

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    Then what's your alternative, and what is your reply to the points raised by myself and others here?

    I wrote out my argument in detail earlier. Why won't you do us the same favor, instead of these one-liners that basically say nothing.
     
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