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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. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    Tell that to reality... this isn't that could happen... it's something that IS happening. There were promises of self-driving cars decades ago too... guess what... they're here.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. lklundin

    lklundin Active Member

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    Maybe you made some good choices in your life. In that case, good for you. But now it is different.

    Already today, an AI unit with an HD camera can detect skin cancer as reliably as a dermatologist.

    How can a young person today choose to succeed (by taking loans) to study for years, when a highly trained professional can suddenly be outdone by a computer?

    AI will disrupt the job market at all levels, until the point when the AI can program itself better than the programmers who created it.

    We need to think about redistributing the wealth according to something else than hours of labor performed, because labor is going away.

    We have the choice to make the future nicer than ever before, or really, really bad.
     
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  3. tomas

    tomas Only partially psycho

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    Your punch line is reassuring to you, but incorrect. None of those predictions are wrong. Just the timing. It started with industrial revolution and continues with computing revolution. The tipping point happens when we no longer need everyone to work. And I believe we have reached the tipping point. From here, no return.

    Especially with the globally economy run by multinational businesses. In market economy, labor flees to the cheapest place, which is ultimately automation. Anyone who chooses to ignore this is the definition of conservative (conserve what has come before).

    And I completely understand that inclination - it is an important and valuable instinct. The challenge before all of us is deciding when to stop conserving and change our society. If we did it every time someone rings the alarm bell, we would be whipsawed. But it is dangerous to keep conserving at a point where progress has become imperative. My worry is that we acknowledge this shift too late and it results in real class warfare.
     
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  4. ggies07

    ggies07 Supporting Member

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    ooh, that was quite tasty. Loved the last few lines. thanks!
     
  5. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    Past advances displaced workers but deep learning has taken things to a new level... in the past technology advanced sector by sector. Displaced Agricultural workers shifted to manufacturing. Displaced manufacturing workers shifted to the service sector. Industry 4.0 is hitting ALL sectors simultaneously... there's nowhere to 'hide'. Things are accelerating quickly. I'm optimistic about technology... but self-driving cars and <$1/w solar arrived years before I expected...

    The thread poll is sobering... I would expect TMC members to be on average much more 'forward thinking' than the average American. Yet roughly half don't think we'll ever have a UBI. Ok... what's the alternative?
     
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  6. ggies07

    ggies07 Supporting Member

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    I agree with you nwdiver, so what do we do about educating the young ones today? My daughter is 6 and in Montessori school, the education is more well-rounded than public/private school, but how do we guide this generation growing up? Maybe just the basics of each subject as there will be no need to go to college? or focus on special topics after high school?

    In the long term, what's the point of higher education and what subjects should be focused on for young people?
     
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  7. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    as a matter of fact my career was ended by technology, the business evolved, 99.8% of what I did is now done electronically, I made the choice to retire versus adapting to survive the new realities of my world. Many others in my field have adapted and have prospered.
    as for your scenario, it comes down to if you have a strong base in your field you can adapt to whatever happens. someone still needs to build, maintain, interpret and sell the data derived from the AI source.
    the fears you've expressed seem very luddite like to me.
     
  8. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    #108 nwdiver, Feb 8, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
    I actually think higher education is more important now than ever... just not for income (hopefully).

    That's going to be one of our greatest challenges. Being self-motivated. I doubt Elon Musk is motivated much by money anymore... self improvement and working to improve society need to be our primary drives instead of financial gain.

    Sadly... if you want to hedge your bets... I think the occupation with the most job security is probably corrections or law enforcement...

    [​IMG]

    Elon is a lot of things.... luddite ain't one of 'em....
     
  9. ggies07

    ggies07 Supporting Member

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    ah, yes yes, learn to gain knowledge, not money. I guess I'm trying to get at the angle of the education system when AI is doing most things. Public education is run like a business now and what parent would want to spend $XX,XXX for private grade school if in the end it will be for personal gain? Children could learn at home with how advanced our systems will be.......
     
  10. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    higher education is not only academically based, technical skills are now and will be more important than ever. there is a severe shortage of well trained machinists, electricians, plumbers, even high skill auto techs, you remember hands on skills.
    there are way too many extremely well educated but unemployed people because there is no correlation to what academia is turning out and skills required in the marketplace. to use a tired cliche an art history degree certainly is something that is great to have attained, but how can that knowledge be utilized in the job market?
    AI, and other advances will mean a change in the labor force, but there are many other fields that will be needing more well educated/highly trained people to keep things working
     
  11. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    gaining knowledge is great, however most people get a degree not for the love of learning but because it is the ticket to better paying jobs. Public schooling is a sham and something for another thread, let it suffice to say, the product the government k-12 schools is turning out is sub par.
     
  12. ggies07

    ggies07 Supporting Member

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    I think I've answered my own questions after thinking about it in my head and the responses on here - the education system will transform into the Montessori way, where everyone learns to gain knowledge, but on their own time.
     
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  13. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    Communication skills are always the foundation for all businesses. Which in today's environment, means digital communication skills as well as basic language skills. Being able to accurately relay data across the entire organization or team is critical. Mistakes in communication are some of the most expensive quality issues that can befall a company.

    Just like it has always been, colleges and high schools need to focus more on specialization. In the late 1970's a single person could build a computer. Today, it takes teams of specialists each focusing on a single area. Medicine, automotive, consumer goods, agriculture, construction, all fields are being refined into sub-classifications of tasks. This is where the jobs will be.

    We have been using robotic equipment at my lab for 23 years now. One machine can do in 1 hour what it would take a technician 10 or more hours to perform. What happened? We do >10 times the amount of work per hour as we did in the 1990's, and the finished product is cheaper and superior. And the technicians are highly specialized. We have more jobs, not less.
     
  14. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    So why are there fewer manufacturing jobs but output is higher than ever?
     
  15. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    I was being specific to our business. 'Robots' did not put us out of work. Without them we would have vanished.
     
  16. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    Exactly; That doesn't apply to the broader economy. Each worker is now ~4x as productive as they were 10 years ago. Production must equal consumption. To maintain full employment as productivity increases you need 4x as many consumers but now you have 1/4 as many consumers. That's the conundrum. And productivity is increasing exponentially. If we don't find a way to return capital to consumers other than labour we'll end up with enormous production capability but few with enough purchasing power to consume it.
     
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  17. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago when the first SLA machines came out, some thought the next generation of consumer goods would be personalized. Much like you order a car, but more so. Clothes, furniture, appliances, etc. But laser scanners, 3D printers, software, computers were all too expensive back then.

    These kinds of products are more labor intensive. You get a microwave oven that is the exact size, color, shape, and features that you want. Most components are universal or adjustable, but some would be custom.

    Who knows? Something has always come along after the next big jump in technology.
     
  18. nwdiver

    nwdiver Well-Known Member

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    That's the kind of cavalier attitude that really worries me.

    There's an economic train headed right for us and instead of really analyzing our position (which has been done and almost universally concluded we need a paradigm shift) there's the dismissive hand wave. Somewhat like climate change this is one of those things were the earlier we act the less we'll have to act.

    Have you seen this video?
     
  19. mspohr

    mspohr Well-Known Member

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  20. lklundin

    lklundin Active Member

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    Per my previous postings in this thread, I am not opposed to the automation of work and thus not a luddite.

    What I do think is that someone who is near or in retirement can no longer use their lifelong career experience to guide a young person who is about to enter the job market.

    Sitting behind a wheel is the most common profession in 29 US states.[1] I suspect that especially in this forum, people will be very cautious about suggesting any young person to take up this common profession.

    And not only that, but when a large portion of these existing millions of jobs disappear, there is no way that these all people will find new jobs. Rather, they will queue up with the unemployed from closed truck stops and all the other side effects that driverless vehicles will have.

    But mass lay-offs will happen at all levels of society.

    Since the heydays of year 2000 Goldman-Sachs have reduced their number of traders of US cash equities from 600 to just 2 people. Instead they have 200 software engineers supporting their automated trading[2] - and how long before just a few of these 200 software people can oversee the software?

    Lots and lots of way too expensive lawyers and doctors will also need to be let go, supplanted by AI that can process all laws and sentences ever handed out in the blink of an eye - or similarly compare symptoms with all diagnoses ever to have been made in the country.

    It is just a matter of time - and not a lot of it.

    In the Soviet Union I have seen people whose full time job consisted of sitting in a subway station all day long each with the sole task of checking that a given escalator was running. And that terrible abomination of a country prided itself on having eradicated unemployment...

    Work just for the sake of working is not the way to go.

    And with way too few people that can be meaningfully employed several problems arise, also for the fewer and fewer richer and richer:
    1) If a significant portion of society has no work, whose labor should then be taxed to finance the basic needs of society?
    2) If a significant portion of society has no money, who will then buy all the stuff and keep the factories profitable?
    3) If a significant portion of society has no money, whom will they rob or kill next out of desperation and anger?

    These are not simple questions, but they will have to be answered.

    My respect for Elon Musk is heightened by his courage to speak of a Universal Basic Income as a solution to these questions - in the USA of all places.[3]

    [1] Self-driving trucks: what's the future for America's 3.5 million truckers?
    [2] Traders are out, computer engineers are in, as Goldman Sachs goes digital
    [3] Elon Musk thinks universal income is answer to automation taking human jobs
     
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