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A common topic around the web is whether automation will drastically increase unemployment. The usual scholarly answer is only a bit, and conservatives often insist that new jobs will always be found. Actually, automation has already created much joblessness. It continues to do so. We don’t notice because we have disguised the unemployment.

Consider. In 1850, everybody worked. In England, children notoriously were sweated in mines and factories and, in America, worked on their parents’ farms.

Then child labor laws took kids off the labor market, keeping them from competing with adults. Compulsory high school removed adolescents perfectly capable of doing many jobs of adults. College now keeps millions more in, usually, economically pointless idleness. We have over three million people in prisons. Large numbers live on welfare. The government factors none of these into the unemployment stats. If it did, the unemployment numbers would rise sharply.

Then there is makework. A great many governmental workers do little or nothing of use. This amounts to paid unemployment. Sometimes this unemployment is distributed: A hundred workers do useful work that thirty could do. Then there is the military. It produces nothing and, since the US has no military enemies, amounts to more paid unemployment. The arms industry uses more multitudes in building things of no use, such as ever more intercontinental nuclear bombers. For engineers, this is marginally more dignified than digging holes and filling them in. It is as much a jobs program as the Depression-era CCC.

Another phenomenon we see is the disimportantification (patent applied for) of work. In 1850, work done was genuinely important: growing food, without which we tend to be dead and not of much use in an economy. Then the farms automated and everybody went to work in factories, making cars and refrigerators. These were pretty important, but not as important as food. You can’t eat a refrigerator. Then the factories automated or went away and people became massage therapists, nail salon operators, psychologists, sociologists, consultants, or diversity counselors. Others ran massage parlors, restaurants, gymnasiums, or cutesy-wootsy boutiques selling unbearable kitsch. They were employed, but in occupations of ever-increasing triviality. We have gone from feeding people to rubbing their backs. How far can this go?

This buffering of the unemployed seems to be reaching its limits. In principle I suppose we might encourage our less and less literate college populations to become post-docs in Victims’ Studies, or to engage in the proliferation of ever more glorious aircraft carriers. Sooner or later, though, the pointlessness would become too obvious.

A recent event, laboraly speaking, was the eruption of women and immigrants into the labor market. The women had been buffered at home as housewives and mothers. Now, reasonably enough, they wanted to be biochemists and useless lawyers, like men. The immigrants had been in Mexico. Now they weren’t, and they wanted jobs.

What happens when you throw onto the labor market millions of Mexicans who cannot be buffered and women who do not want to be rebuffered? Easy. The oversupply drives wages down. The Mexicans do for five dollars an hour what had been done by whites for twenty. Women got generally the same pay as men, and did the jobs as well as men. But there were lots lots of them, which gave employers a negotiating advantage.

Wages went down. Some of the decline took the form of loss of benefits, so it didn’t always look like a pay cut. Retirement went away. Workers were turned into “independent contractors” meaning on their own for medical care and so on. Soon it took two people to maintain a family, not one as before. Now people live paycheck to paycheck, maxed out on credit cards, with no savings and little hope. This has produced joblessness, deplorables, Donald Trump, and riots.

Note that automation has ripple effects both upstream and downstream of the loss of jobs reported in the press. When a big newspaper goes all-digital, Weyerhauser sells fewer trees to make wood pulp, the newsprint factories lose orders, the truckers who drove the newsprint to the paper become redundant (as the Brits say), the pressmen get laid off who run and maintain the big four-color web-offset presses, the company that makes the presses lose orders, the people who delivered the papers to your door step lose their jobs, and so on.

Various considerations come into play here, methinks. Software and robots do not buy stuff. Today businesses will automate because the saving in wages raises profits. An aging population buys less stuff than a young one. If the population stabilizes or shrinks, there goes the demand for new houses, suburbs, roads to the, and shopping centers.

I read over and over of the young living in their parents’ basements because they can’t find jobs, or jobs paying enough for them to buy houses and start families, of people who will nevr be able to retire. Humanity being what it is, we won’t see this coming and somehow prepare for it.

Them is today’s cheery thoughts. Next time we will speak of the joys of bubonic plague, said to be hiding in Central Asia and ready to spring. Oh good.

 
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• Category: Economics • Tags: Jobs, Unemployment 
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  1. The article.

    The link between denouncing(rightfully) and inciting into action is lost.

    A 50% to a 5% global populations size would re-incentivize self esteem, and social mobility. It would remorph migrations into something useful to future quality of life. Other alternatives? None. Note the “global” and “none” are essential here. This link into taking eventual action should complement any serious discussion.

    • Agree: meamjojo
    • Troll: JohnPlywood
  2. The world will run out of jobs when every human desire is satisfied. We used to have full employment with everyone (except for royalty) living lives that were “short and brutish….” New forms of entertainment, back massages, tattoos, developing cures for cancer, tutors, nail massages, personal trainers, and will create opportunities for employment. No doubt there are people laying false claim to the higher moral ground with variations of “guaranteed income.” If you get something you have worked to earn, someone else worked to earn it but didn’t get it. Nothing new about that. With apologies to Mark Knopfler, “money for nothing and your chicks for free” might be a catchy lyric, but what you get for nothing comes at someone else’s expense. Of course we could go back to the “good ‘ol days” when everyone had a job and people died young but I’ll pass. The Luddites were wrong more than 100 years ago and their modern day equivalents are just as wrong now.

  3. ruralguy says:

    I was one of those who dug holes and filled them, until I retired. Now, I’m a bit more useful micromanaging my wife. I guess a person rises to their level of incompetence.

    • LOL: Escher, Ben tillman
    • Replies: @Escher
  4. mrsynaky says:

    I totally agree. Its ironic among the people who ran for presidency this time around only one person (Andrew Yang) was concerned about this issue. I suspect situation will get far worse before it gets any better , this means more riots, looting, more phony jobs creation, printing of money by feds making money a worthless to keep the army of unemployed busy and fed and introducing high inflation in the process . Dark days are indeed ahead.

  5. IvyMike says:

    My nephew is a fine young man who grew up disadvantaged but decided to be responsible and take care of himself. He runs a crew that replaces the gravel that stabilizes the rails of railroad tracks. This is not glamorous work but they give him a vehicle, health insurance, and 60,000.00 a year, I worked in the trades all my life and it makes me happy that a young man can still find a good job like that, if he wants to.

    • Replies: @gotmituns
    , @Montefrío
  6. I had this argument a few years ago on one of the “conservative” sites. They could not understand that the current trajectory will lead to pitchforks and torches mobbing the gated communities.

    “Well, Americans are too proud to not work……..bla bla bla”.

    They could not see that when those truck driver jobs are taken by robot trucks, when the warehouse men and longshoremen are replaced by automation, when their white collar job writing legal briefs or reading x-rays is taken over by a computer or an Indian in Bombay making $7 dollars an hour doing the work online that there won’t be work to be proud of. Men desperate to feed their families can be rather dangerous.

    Limbaugh used to fall into the same trap back in the 1990’s. “We don’t need those dirty jobs making things. We can all go into info management or entertainment. Learn to code!”

  7. Who can keep a job these days?

    It went from ‘you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet’ to ‘you gotta walk on eggshells to make a pancake’.

  8. It’s really hit or miss with this guy, Fred Reed. The last column was a wild swat of BS, while this one is a home run, the most truthful column I’ve read in a long time*! It’s even got a piece of important immigration common-sense, the mention of Mexicans working for cheap and lowering wages. I’ve never read anything like that since, like, … I dunno, VDare every week or so. I gotta ask, even though it’s kind of rude, but is the Missus not reading the columns anymore?

    Yes, we are in a bad state, in which the population is growing, yet growing unnecessary at the same time. Per a 3 1/2 y/o Peak Stupidity article, “Effect of Automation on Future World society”, the problem is that 50 years of Socialism has ruined the dream of science fiction writers of long ago, picturing a small population of intelligent people working a few creative hours a day, and spending the rest of their time in leisure.

    Socialism incentivized the least intelligent people to procreate, and the most intelligent to have only a small amount of children. It has neither worked out well for America nor the world at large. From the PS post:

    Back to the science-fiction story, the future told by optimistic stories, in the 70′s and 80′s, during my enjoyment of this literature, looked more like a sparsely-populated world (along with other worlds we we might want to hang out) where we got around in flying machines, lived in our hand-picked beautiful environments far away from our fellow man until we wanted a change, worked a few hours a day at the work we loved, and worked on cool intellectual projects of all kinds with our copious spare time (due to the automation). It sounded great to me, though I never thought that much of the automation would come in my lifetime. That was wrong on my part. What was wrong on the part of the science-fiction writers however, was one big assumption about the people in this future world.

    The future people were all intelligent, and even 50 years ago, one might still rightly assume that the intelligent people would get ahead in the world and produce the bulk of the people of this bright future. Well, I should say “rightly” only if one didn’t see the welfare state and the degradation of the culture coming. This assumption was way, way off. The bulk of the population of this world is not the intelligent and well-educated crowd. We all know that by now.

    The Socialism of the 1960s has been a death sentence for what could have been a beautiful future.

    .

    * That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of truth in most of Fred Reed’s columns, but it’s usually interspersed among undigestible chunks of stupidity.

  9. Polemos says:
    @PetrOldSack

    A 50% to a 5% global populations size would re-incentivize self esteem, and social mobility.

    Just to clarify, are you saying that if the total population of the world reduces down by 50% or 5%, things will improve for people?

    Or, if a great number of people die off, the survivors will have a better chance at quality of life?

    • Replies: @PetrOldSack
  10. @Achmed E. Newman

    the intelligent people would get ahead in the world and produce the bulk of the people of this bright future.

    That is still the plan of the international elites.

    As far as they are concerned they will be the masters, and everybody else will be the slaves.

    That is why they don’t want any statues that are reminders about slavery–the sheep might start paying attention.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @turtle
  11. Alex Weir says: • Website

    Hah. Automation pales in comparison as a driving force of unemployment to outsourcing and assbackward pay structures that hire two high paid managers to oversee the work of one underpaid productive employee.

    These are social problems not technological problems.

    Maybe if everyone stopped having a wank about trendy topics that give them an air of intellectualism like robots, AI, IQ, etc there wouldn’t be hordes of degreed zombies from good intellectual stock burning down cities.

    Credentialism is a disease.

    I really hope that apocalypse isn’t the cure.

    • Replies: @N30rebel
  12. Biff says:

    Workers were turned into “independent contractors” meaning on their own for medical care and so on.

    That was me for many years even as I acquired employees. My ‘self employment’ status made my pay twice as much fica taxes for myself and half for every employee, and I was still on my own for healthcare. The tax bill kept me too busy to figure out how to turn my business into a 501(c)3 educational and charitable non-profit foundation so I no longer would have to pay the tax man, but that is another story for shysters, and foreign lobbyists.

    The job of the woman morphed into taking a crap job at some big corporation, as to acquire a healthcare package for the whole family.

    But at the end of the it will be ‘usury’ that will bring down the house.

    • Agree: Montefrío
  13. @Achmed E. Newman

    For about a year now with Fred, I just look at the comments first to see if I want to read his article. You are 100 percent right: sometimes it’s a stale turd, and then once in a while it’s extremely good.

    So thanks for your comment. You have convinced me I have a green light to read Reed’s column.

    • LOL: bluedog
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  14. neutral says:

    This is why democracy is the worst form of government. The ideal form of government would be like the national socialist one of the Third Reich, but even the Chinese one party state or an absolute monarch would be better able to deal with the future challenges now crumbling society.

    • Agree: HeebHunter
    • Disagree: Chris Mallory
    • Replies: @Wally
    , @foolisholdman
  15. meamjojo says:

    This classic SF book from way, way back in the 1940’s deals with the question of automation, robot overseers/assistants and the emasculation of humans. Worth reading.

    The Humanoids
    by Jack Williamson

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  16. @Achmed E. Newman

    To make this comment comprehensible, just replace every instance of “socialism” with “neoliberalism“. The only successful Socialism you will find now is that which exists for the 0.001 %. The recent transfer of $ 6-7 trillion to them via the Fed & the Care Act should make the point.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  17. “Various considerations come into play here, methinks. Software and robots do not buy stuff. Today businesses will automate because the saving in wages raises profits. An aging population buys less stuff than a young one. If the population stabilizes or shrinks, there goes the demand for new houses, suburbs, roads to the, and shopping centers.”

    This is a Logic which should be & no doubt is, apparent to Elites.
    So why aren’t they worried ?
    Easier to kick the can down the road ? (ie like climate change)
    Essentially they see their (fictional) Wall Street wealth as disconnected from the real wealth of the main-street productive economy ? (Why not ? — its worked well — so far).
    As US consumers lose purchasing power they can turn further towards an international middle class for consumption ?
    They actually want to see a vast percentage of the population reduced to abject poverty ? Both for fun & as a way to encourage the rest ? (If you don’t think they hold us in utter contempt you haven’t been paying attention.)
    Well, your guess is probably as good as mine.

    • Replies: @another fred
  18. Just a thought, gazing at the bottles behind the bar. Ford’s magic “assembly line” is a design for refining work and proto-mechanizing it. Isn’t that an early design for robotic replacement of labor?

    • Replies: @VinnyVette
  19. Escher says:
    @ruralguy

    You only think you’re managing her.

    • Replies: @TheJester
  20. @animalogic

    So why aren’t they worried ?

    Because they hope that ultimately, even though they cannot outrun the bear, they can outrun the rest of us.

    • Agree: The Anti-Gnostic
  21. @Not Woke but awake

    Dey is on a break from curing cancer:

  22. Excellent article, lots of good points. Back in the Fifties, Popular Science and other magazines had predictions of how automation would reduce everyone’s work week to a day or two, with plenty of free time for leisure, self-improvement, and recreational trips to the national parks in those flying cars that would be in everyone’s driveway.

    Seems like those Republican fellows who own the means of production had other ideas, though. Unless of course it was Mexican immigrants who took over the corporate boardrooms and decided to ship our jobs overseas.

    And our good buddies the liberal Democrats neutered the trade unions, the ones that came close to leading a revolution against the owner class in the dark days of the Depression. FDR’s second New Deal was an alliance with union leaders to create a state-sponsored system of union recognition and negotiations that would keep working people under control within the framework of capitalism.

    The 1950s “golden age” was made possible by the fact that the working class had organized and fought hard enough to change the balance of forces in its favor. Additionally, capitalism received a respite from its chronic crisis of overproduction because the war had blown up half the world.

    Then the attacks on workers’ gains began in earnest in the 1970s, when the postwar boom ended and businesses tried to regain their rate of profit by attacking workers’ standard of living. In general, the union leadership did not mobilize the rank-and-file to fight back. Instead they blamed Reagan, Bush, or the Republicans in Congress, and looked for some liberals to protect them. We’ve seen how well that worked out.

  23. I wonder what Mike Rowe would have to say about this article.

  24. @restless94110

    I’m glad to have helped, Restless. The light is steady green this time.

  25. @Justvisiting

    While I agree with what you see, JV, this is not the future that my old sci-fi book authors foresaw. The elites of today are not the creative/engineering class. They are just the big money people who want America to become 3rd world like much of the rest of the globe. They need to eliminate the middle class, especially those Conservative white men who think for themselves and have some free time and disposable income still.

    They are doing a bang-up job, mind you, but it won’t result in the future that the sci-fi writers I had in mind envisioned.

    • Replies: @Miro23
  26. SafeNow says:

    “the military..produces nothing”

    • Agree: unit472
  27. @Polemos

    A 50% to a 5% global populations size would re-inc…

    A reduction to a 50% then further to a 5% global populations size, of what it is now. Sorry for the hasty remark, it is indeed misleading. The big issues are the timeliness, the smoothness of the process, the proportionality. External factors (external to human direct interference into the matter) will lead probably to outcomes that affect the quality of life anyway in a manner not at all desirable. We are well on our way.

    A reduction of the humanoid population size to 50% then gradually to a mere 5% of today´s size would allow for all of the achievement of today. Could promise sustainable quality of live, exploits fully the advances of technology and science (of what is left of it´s core definition). The promise of integration and a refocus on new goal settings, instead of the nihilistic herding of the bulge, ecological toxicity, and over-complexity that carries greater liability then asset value could anew take over. Basically getting out of the loop in which humanity is stuck. The various links into cycle theories probably point into understanding the way societies “develop”.

    To the individual, mobility based on can-do, talent, merit, would get a chance. This venue-way could lead to AI and the better knowledge of how the genetic engines of all life can be understood, then manipulated (in the positive sense, to all and every-one) being meaningful tools, not as now, promising technologies at the benefit …of crackpot financiers. Human life proportionately would turn again into an asset, as compared to now being a liability. A meaningful cog in the universe. Today´s models of society are short term tweaks, a mirror of what happened to the financial world. Inflation, depth, book-keeping manipulation, loss of credibility, and in the end nihilistic outcomes where “billion” has no significance. Where power means manipulation, where goal-setting is mere short term opportunism.

    The way the process of achieving the above raw goal (a reduction of the global population counts) timely, will decide on the quality and proportionality of the life environment of future generations. The mass hypnosis tactics a la Freud of today´s elite´s methodologies would be welcomed into achieving this honorable goal of self-preservation of humanity as a statement.

  28. Anon[271] • Disclaimer says:

    Interesting, if redundant article. The epilogue is lame though. Bubonic plague is everywhere. All it takes for an outbreak is an imbalance in the prey/predator relationship. Rodents are excellent vectors, and the Steppes have a helluva lot of rodents, as do our Great Plains. I recall a summer in Lake Tahoe where a camp ground not 100 yards off the main highway was closed due to plague. Since I was in a lakefront campground a half a mile away, it was a disconcerting thing to see a Forest Service sign with that cute message. The moral is; there be monsters…. It’s just now the internet informs all the wimps, nerds and weaklings that excite their lives with fear, since they are needing to be culled anyway. Life is precarious, get over it nerds

    • Replies: @follyofwar
  29. Then the farms automated and everybody went to work in factories, making cars and refrigerators.

    Yet somehow the media inexplicably keeps recycling the “crops rotting in the fields” sob stories to excuse the presence of 20 million+ illegals.

  30. R.C. says:

    Of course, such valid observations have been made before. E.g., as Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four:

    The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent. Even when weapons of war are not actually destroyed, their manufacture is still a convenient way of expending labour power without producing anything that can be consumed. A Floating Fortress, for example, has locked up in it the labour that would build several hundred cargo-ships. Ultimately it is scrapped as obsolete, never having brought any material benefit to anybody, and with further enormous labours another Floating Fortress is built. In principle the war effort is always so planned as to eat up any surplus that might exist after meeting the bare needs of the population. (Snip.)
    By the standards of the early twentieth century, even a member of the Inner Party lives an austere, laborious kind of life. Nevertheless, the few luxuries that he does enjoy his large, well-appointed flat, the better texture of his clothes, the better quality of his food and drink and tobacco, his two or three servants, his private motor-car or helicopter–set him in a different world from a member of the Outer Party, and the members of the Outer Party have a similar advantage in comparison with the submerged masses whom we call ‘the proles’. The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city, where the possession of a lump of horseflesh makes the difference between wealth and poverty. And at the same time the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival.

    Free at: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100021.txt
    R.C.

    • Replies: @R2b
  31. unit472 says:

    Its now accepted that the Pyramids were not built by slaves but the most talented craftsment in ancient Egypt. Might seem ridiculous to us to spend 10% of GDP on building a tomb for the pharoah but not to a stone cutter in ancient Egypt. Besides the stones had to be lugged from the quarry to the building site so you needed boat and road builders too. It was probably a lot like the Apollo program of the sixties. Something the nation could take pride in that didn’t involve killing a lot of people.

    Giving our cleverest people something to work on ( like an aircraft carrier and its air wing) isn’t a waste of resources. Not giving them something challenging to work on iis the waste.

  32. @Anon

    If there is a new Bubonic Plague coming, could it be the handiwork of the Gates Foundation, or perhaps the Chinese? Covid-19 has petered out, with too few people dying from it, thus the Liars-in-Charge must inflate the number of cases and deaths.

    Bill Gates has said there are other killer viruses lurking. Eventually one should be deadly enough to produce sufficient fatalities for both the Chinese and Gates to be happy. Or, perhaps they’ll make billions working together to develop a killer vaccine for the Plague, after the one for Covid flops.

  33. @unit472

    They are not tombs.

    • Agree: Polemos
    • Replies: @Alfred
  34. Sparkon says:
    @Observator

    Then the attacks on workers’ gains began in earnest in the 1970s, when the postwar boom ended and businesses tried to regain their rate of profit by attacking workers’ standard of living. In general, the union leadership did not mobilize the rank-and-file to fight back. Instead they blamed Reagan, Bush, or the Republicans in Congress, and looked for some liberals to protect them. We’ve seen how well that worked out.

    Say what?

    Reagan’s firing of the air traffic controlers in 1981, stacking the NLRB in 1983 with two anti-labor appointees, coupled with his “Voodoo Economics,” outsourcing and downsizing wrecked U.S. industry. You must have missed it:

    1981 PATCO Strike

    The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization or PATCO was a United States trade union that operated from 1968 until its decertification in 1981 following an illegal strike that was broken by the Reagan Administration. […]

    Reagan’s firing of the government employees encouraged large private employers, like Phelps Dodge (1983), Hormel (1985–6), and International Paper (1987), to hire striker replacements instead of negotiating in labor conflicts. Comparatively, in 1970 there were over 380 major strikes or lockouts in the U.S., by 1980 the number had dropped to under 200, in 1999 it fell to 17, and in 2010 there were only 11.

    1983 Caterpillar Strike

    More than 120,000 workers went on strike for 205 days against the heavy machinery manufacturer, making it the longest in UAW history. The union had sought a solid, five-year contract with Caterpillar, but walked way with only a three-and-a-half year contract which also included a wage freeze and reduction in bonus time paid for perfect attendance. The UAW won a stronger profit-sharing plan and employee stock ownership option.

    1983 Todd Shipyard Strike

    In 1981, President Ronald Reagan eliminated a 44-year-old federal shipbuilding subsidy, doubling costs for US shipbuilders such as Todd. Because Todd had significantly higher labor costs than some other US shipyards, it submitted higher bids for Naval contracts, losing the work to other US shipyards. The lack of Naval contracts pressured Todd to resist further pay increases in union contract negotiations.

    In 1982, collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) across the United States were running out. The lack of the ability to fund wage increases for American workers was worrisome for industries such as shipbuilding on the West Coast, especially after Ronald Reagan’s cuts in shipbuilding subsidies. Industrial production was down nearly nine percent in October 1982 from the previous year, and unemployment was at 10.2% in November.

    1983 Greyhound Strike
    On December 3, 1983, Union leaders and Greyhound Bus Lines reached a tentative agreement to end the strike. The agreement reduced wages by 7.8% instead of the originally proposed 9.5%. In addition, workers took a 4% cut in pension benefits and accepted a new pay schedule that compensated new hires at 20 to 25% less than before. On December 19, 1983, the TA was ratified by the membership, and workers returned to work the next day.

    (my bold)

    Conservative icon Ronald Reagan was a disaster for the United States, and neither of the Bushes was any better. Reagan apologists really need to give it up already.

  35. Fred Reed: “Humanity being what it is, we won’t see this coming and somehow prepare for it.”

    Actually, Jacques Ellul in his book The Technologial Society was already railing against this in the 1950s. But the myth of “Progress” is so powerful that nobody listened. Coming out against Progress is like dissing Jesus. You can tell people that the crucified rabbi was a guy who gave at best useless advice, and who founded a religion that’s destroying the white race, but they’re just not. gonna. listen. Ellul points out that a large part of a man’s self-esteem derives from his work, and that “labor-saving devices” — the very essence of Progress — are considered valuable in direct proportion to the number of people whose jobs they make unnecessary. This side effect constitutes an unintended but devastating attack on self-worth that is a plausible source of much societal unrest and alienation.

    On various forums, I have been talking about this for over 20 years now, generating almost uniformly negative reactions. The received wisdom was, and to a considerable degree, still is, that Progress creates many more jobs than it destroys. Yet where are these jobs? The logical end point of technological Progress is when labor-saving devices have eliminated the need for anyone to do any work at all. When we look around today, what do we see but a nation of flabby, weak people, with equally weak character? So many useless eaters. That’s the result, and it’s getting worse.

  36. Rosie says:
    @Not Woke but awake

    The world will run out of jobs when every human desire is satisfied.

    That’s just it. Every human desire is pretty much satisfied.

    I’m a SAHM, not because there aren’t things I’d like to have that I don’t, but there’s nothing I’d like to have enough to outsource childcare in order to work for it.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  37. R.C. says:
    @Sparkon

    I happened to find self neck deep in all of that. Long story, though. Maybe someday.
    R.C.

  38. R.C. says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    Coming out against Progress is like dissing Jesus.

    True. My father, as an agnostic ecologist, Audubon Society President and KSC rocket engineer – and we kids as happy acolytes (especially yours truly) knew all about it. Still do.
    R.C.

  39. Al Lipton says:

    Craftfully written. Gives man a pause to ponder.
    Thank you, Fred.

  40. Anonymous[289] • Disclaimer says:
    @meamjojo

    The novel evolved from his short story, “With Folded Hands,” first published in the July, 1947, issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Williamson expanded it into the novel you cite in 1949.
    The short story was produced as a radio play in 1950, broadcast as an episode of NBC Radio’s “Dimension X” program. It’s still worth a listen today. Three-quarters of a century ago some people knew where all this “progress” was heading, and they were not happy about it.

    https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/boxcars711/episodes/2020-06-11T11_00_00-07_00

    From a slightly different viewpoint, Sherwood Anderson summed up what was happening in his novel Poor White:
    “The machines men are so intent on making have carried them very far from the old sweet things.”
    One of the most important “old sweet things” was — and is — meaningful work.

    • Replies: @meamjojo
  41. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    So many useless eaters. That’s the result, and it’s getting worse.

    Well, what can we expect when the government spends 50+ years stealing tax money from productive, working people and hands that stolen money to the useless eaters?

  42. Polemos says:
    @PetrOldSack

    What do you envision this future world to look like? I mean, what are the people doing with their can do talent, and what do they receive as just desert as merit?

  43. Miro23 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    The elites of today are not the creative/engineering class. They are just the big money people who want America to become 3rd world like much of the rest of the globe.

    That’s actually the default model. A small elite who live exceptionally well in a generalized sea of ignorance and poverty.

    They can even combine it with a facade of democracy. Check out the Philippines:

    “We are poor because our élites have no sense of nation”. Francisco Sionil José – Far Eastern Economic Review. Dec. 2004.

    “15% of Filipinos were living in absolute poverty, and 47% subsisted on an income between US$1 and US$2 a day. Half of the 12 million population of Manila lives in shanty towns that line the expressways, rail tracks and waterways of the metropolis. After 25 years of repeated economic crises, the Philippines economy is now critically dependent on the overseas earnings of an estimated 10 million, mostly female workers – out of a population of 80 million – employed as child carers, nurses and more in richer states around the world.” 2006 World Development Report.

    Source: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Asian-Godfathers-Money-Power-South/dp/1861977115/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

  44. A123 says:

    There is a solid case to be made for:
    — Closing down immigration
    — Imposing stiff tariffs on imports of good and services

    That would better balance the supply of workers to the amount of work.

    There are plenty of people who would accept a modest life with a 32 hour work week (4×8). However, SJW Globalist multinationals will outsource that work if they can get away with it. Laws and regulations need to heavily penalize attempts at citizen replacement.

    Unions do not work to protect Main Street citizens. Look at the damage SJW Globalists have done to citizen taxpayers via “public sector unions”. Police are overpaid, and teachers are rewarded for many things other than teaching.

    It is easy to see the desirable end state where people can spend more time with church & family. The problem is, “How do we fend off Biden and his Corporate owned DNC to get there?”

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Ray Huffman
  45. The women had been buffered at home as housewives and mothers.

    As if those things weren’t full time work already. The mistake women made in the ’60s and ’70s was to trade a life of indolence resulting from increasing home automation for a life of drudgery at an office on top of a life of some drudgery still doing the household chores after office hours; we men used the time freed up at the office by automation, productivity, and several layers of management to play golf and screw our secretaries. Those were the days indeed.

    To paraphrase and mangle an old joke, Women have all the p***y, but only half the brains.

    • LOL: R.C.
    • Replies: @mary-lou
  46. @Chris Mallory

    an Indian in Bombay making $7 dollars an hour doing the work online

    I think you mean “$7 dollars a day”.
    The reality of a real economy is that we are all doing each others laundry. In order to do that, it is necessary, to as great a degree as possible, to structure economies like concentric circles. Local businesses are the first choice, then regional, then state, etc with international being the last resort source. That was the 1850s economy.
    While mildly touching on the “Mexican” immigration issue, it is not just Mexicans. Corporations have worked hard for over 100 years, to kill nationalism. Mass immigration is just one of those methods. Whether Mexico, Sudan, or elsewhere, immigration creates a glut of workers, to be sure, but it also creates consumers for living accommodation and food, which raises those costs. By the way, Mexico itself, is no longer a desirable place to send yor manufacturing. It is now considered a high wage country by the globalists.
    People generally speaking, cannot separate immigrants from immigration policy. I can honestly say that the overwhelming majority of the legal immigrants I have met in my life, are nice people. They have applied to emigrate, and been accepted. They have done nothing wrong. The targets of my ire are the treasonous s.o.b.s that have created the immigration policy allowing them to come. There should be no immigration, irrespective of source, while there is unemployment. The argument that there are “special” skills needed is a condemnation, not only of the educational system, but of those who promote the idea that only some work is meaningful work. As my parents used to say, somebody has to sweep the floor. The “West” has increasingly become snobs, and we are suffering the consequences of both snobbery and globalism.

  47. @animalogic

    In other words, private profit, but socialized debt.

  48. Precious says:

    Compulsory high school removed adolescents perfectly capable of doing many jobs of adults. College now keeps millions more in, usually, economically pointless idleness. We have over three million people in prisons. Large numbers live on welfare. The government factors none of these into the unemployment stats. If it did, the unemployment numbers would rise sharply.

    ^This here is a bit odd when juxtaposed with this…

    Retirement went away…people who will never be able to retire.

    Your article raises some excellent points…but looking through this particular lens at retirement…it is just another form of unemployment. Many senior citizens are perfectly capable of working instead of indulging in economically pointless idleness.

    • Replies: @Montefrío
  49. N30rebel says:
    @Alex Weir

    I really hope that apocalypse isn’t the cure.

    We will not fulfill our trajectory if it isn’t. We are an aberrant branch of evolution that is running its course.

  50. I always find Fred both witty and insightful.
    Today what China is manufacturing will be done in China,USA along with other nations by automation and robots. The base price will then depend on transporting, raw material and cost of energy.
    A long time ago I read a book by John Fowles (author of the ‘French Lieutenant’s Woman) titled ‘The Aristos’. This book, I think was first published in the 60’s and described a somewhat similar scenario.
    But Fowles prophesied a Utopian future and and not the cataclysm we are facing today. He predicted another renaissance with the populace busily producing art and learning the sciences, indulging in all the activities that the leisured Victorians indulged in.
    Interesting book, will try to get hold of it again.

  51. meamjojo says:
    @Anonymous

    Just saw this in my feeds this morning. Step by little step forward until robots do all the work.

    JULY 15, 2020
    Japanese robot to clock in at a convenience store in test of retail automation

    TOKYO (Reuters) – In August, a robot vaguely resembling a kangaroo will begin stacking sandwiches, drinks and ready meals on shelves at a Japanese convenience store in a test its maker, Telexistence, hopes will help trigger a wave of retail automation.

    Following that trial, store operator FamilyMart (8028.T) says it plans to use robot workers at 20 stores around Tokyo by 2022. At first, people will operate them remotely – until the machines’ artificial intelligence (AI) can learn to mimic human movements. Rival convenience store chain Lawson (2651.T) is deploying its first robot in September, according to Telexistence.

    ….

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-tech-robot/japanese-robot-to-clock-in-at-a-convenience-store-in-test-of-retail-automation-idUSKCN24G138

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  52. The Wild Geese Howard: “Well, what can we expect when the government spends 50+ years stealing tax money from productive, working people and hands that stolen money to the useless eaters?”

    The welfare state itself is a technology of government characteristic of a certain phase of industrial civilization that is designed to manage the labor market, but could be short-lived, a change also driven by the god-like power of Progress. In a primitive economy, such as in ancient times, the people at large are largely left to fend for themselves, sinking or swimming on their own merits. With the advent of industrial civilization, large numbers of people are at first needed to run the machines, and they have to be kept in decent enough condition to work, and enough order has to be maintained among them so that the technological society can continue to function. Hence, the system generates redistribution schemes. But with further technological advances, humans become increasingly superfluous. In a fully automated “paradise”, they won’t be needed at all, and would even be impediments. As Bill Joy put it in his famous essay on technology, the future doesn’t need us. Whether done intentionally, or merely as a side effect of Progress, I suspect the world’s population is destined to come down drastically. In a perfect world, humans are extinct.

  53. Anon[112] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    The result has been endless population decline.

    Every single group out there is below replacement, Black. White, Hispanic, Asian no one is having kids.

    The total TFR in the US is 1.8 which means baring immigration once demograhic momentum is exhausted the population will start to decline.

    In a coupe of hundred years at current rates the majority group in the US will be Amish.

    And note its much worse in South Korea, The fertility rate there is under one per couple, about half ours.

    The option is simple, work and wives or your society dies.

    There are no cheap hacks, no “there is always demand.” solutions or anything. If we are to have a society, it must happen.

    This does suggest given how useless our elite are it won’t. So the US goes to those who eschew modernity and have work and wives.

  54. TheBoom says:

    Since Fred decided to switch to click bait, he simplifies issues and pretends to look at complexity. In the last column, anyone who doesn’t believe DACA should stay (and likes borders) is a white nationalist.

    On this one he ducks that a big part of the problem with the ratio of jobs to population is the massive influx of Mexicans (and others). Fred admits they lower wages but then states they can’t be buffered. Boot them back to Mexico and bingo they are out of the mix. With them buffered we have both higher paying jobs and less of need for make work ones.

    Reality is with automation we need fewer, not more people. But then Fred’s beloved Mexico would be stuck with far more Mexicans.

  55. Anon[112]: “In a coupe of hundred years at current rates the majority group in the US will be Amish. … So the US goes to those who eschew modernity and have work and wives.”

    Jacques Ellul, the French philosopher and theologian I reference above, thought something like this could actually happen. As a Christian, he takes seriously the idea that people have something called “free will” and can eschew technology if they please. But as an atheist, a Darwinist and a determinist, I can’t agree. The USA doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and would be attacked and taken over by other nations if it unilaterally renounced high technology. The only way it could work is if high technology suddenly stopped being available permanently, and on a global basis. The right kind of terrorist attack could bring a collapse about deliberately, and an accident causing an ecological catastrophe or natural occurrence might also do the trick. So might a global thermonuclear war. But a voluntary renunciation of high technology? I think that’s quite unlikely.

    It also must be noted that even if everyone all over the planet became Amish, it would cause the deaths of billions of people worldwide. The world now depends on high technology to feed itself, and a population that doesn’t use birth control would only worsen the Malthusian problem. There’s no way out.

    • Replies: @Adûnâi
  56. Ray Huffman says: • Website
    @A123

    Reducing the length of the work week is not going to provide a solution. Not only is the number of man hours needed falling, the amount of technical expertise needed to perform the work that remains is becoming more and more exacting. Chuy, Darnell and Billy Bob may be perfectly capable truck drivers but you are not going turn them into coders after they’re replaced by driverless trucks.

  57. Adûnâi says: • Website
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    > “As a Christian, he takes seriously the idea that people have something called “free will” and can eschew technology if they please. But as an atheist, a Darwinist and a determinist, I can’t agree.”

    Could you please specify your take on this further? Do you deny the existence of culture, in essence? Or hold that culture is born out of material conditions? Or that culture always serves the material conditions, even if certain individuals hold otherwise?

    > ” In a primitive economy, such as in ancient times, the people at large are largely left to fend for themselves, sinking or swimming on their own merits.”

    Don’t forget that this process is not fully Darwinian, not fully natural-selection-oriented, at least, as the conditions of a society continuously mold the genetic make-up of the population. “Fending for yourself” long enough might mean the advancement of collective suicide in the future.

    Are you one of those people who consider capitalism to be Darwinian because “poor people reproduce less”? This idea has always been laughable to me. Making money is not tautological to survival. A race of merchants will be defeated by a race of warriors.

    > “But with further technological advances, humans become increasingly superfluous. In a fully automated “paradise”, they won’t be needed at all, and would even be impediments.”

    By whose measure? Of the mindless algorithm of capitalist cultural dialectic, of course. But such will-less nations are a fleeting exception. Those nations which dispose of their population will be cast down by the people’s régimes such as the DPR of Korea which put the existence of their people as the highest goal.

    You are still thinking like a universalist. But the global Catholic community will not survive this century. The coming storm begotten by the death of the Aryan race will obliterate the current Christian Imperium, and usher in a new world where the death-seekers will finally find their rest.

    • Replies: @aleksander
  58. @Rosie

    IOW, post-scarcity. We produce all the calories, potable water and shelter from the elements anybody will ever need. So now, “struggle” means rioting over a drug-addicted nobody who died during an arrest.

  59. Adûnâi: “Do you deny the existence of culture, in essence?”

    This is a bizarre question. To me, culture is a kind of animal behavior. Of course I don’t deny the existence of animal behavior. Do you?!

    Adûnâi: “Don’t forget that this process is not fully Darwinian, not fully natural-selection-oriented, at least, as the conditions of a society continuously mold the genetic make-up of the population. ”

    Oh, I see. You are trying to make a distinction between “natural” selection and “artificial” selection, by “culture”, I suppose. But what you’re not understanding is that in the final analysis, everything is fully Darwinian, and everything exists in nature. If, as I suggest here, man’s technology ultimately causes his extinction, then in the larger picture, that too is a natural result. In Darwinian terms, that would mean that whatever outlasts man — cockroaches, bacteria, slime molds, or whatever — has proven itself superior and more fit.

    Conceiving of man as being outside of nature is a Christian mistake fostered by Biblical creation myths. The “free will” idea, to which you also subscribe, is Biblical too. You’re more Christian than you realize, Adûnâi!

    Adûnâi: “A race of merchants will be defeated by a race of warriors.”

    Not necessarily. Life is like the child’s game of rock/paper/scissors. If you’re a rock, you can break scissors, but if you’re faced with paper, you lose. Or consider the dinosaurs. They ruled Earth for more than 150 million years. But a minor change in their objective circumstances wiped them out rapidly. (Or, more precisely, caused them to change into birds.)

    Adûnâi: “Those nations which dispose of their population will be cast down by the people’s régimes such as the DPR of Korea which put the existence of their people as the highest goal.”

    Everyone wants to avoid death. But nothing lasts forever.

    • Agree: Stan d Mute
    • Replies: @Adûnâi
  60. @Adûnâi

    Wrong. The largest Catholic seminarary in the world is in Nigeria.

    The only real resistence left to Globohomo is Russia and Africa.

    Black Africans hate homos. Even blacks In the US have a residual disdain For homos, and beat them to a pulp Or kill them when they get a chance.

    God has a sense of humor. Africans Will keep the faith until whitey Gets the ol’ tyme religion again.

    Look, God started the Faith with 12 men. If he has to do it agaim, No big deal.

  61. @Cloudbuster

    Who needs theater when we have this?
    And the rugs lying all over the pavement once it was all over brought a tear to my eye.

  62. @aleksander

    God has a sense of humor. Africans Will keep the faith until whitey Gets the ol’ tyme religion again.

    Makes sense, actually. Remember that whites had not practiced slavery for hundreds of years until we were reintroduced to it during the Age of Exploration by black Africans.

  63. “This has produced joblessness, deplorables, Donald Trump, and riots.”

    Uhh, I get a little sick of people who see Donald Trump’s election as a product or reaction to something horrible.
    The guys a genius, possibly the best POTUS the U.S. has had in decades, half a century?
    He wasn’t the only choice. If you can remember, there was a crowded field of several other Republicans vying for President. He got there on his own volition, not because of some horrible accident gone wrong, you moron.

    • LOL: bluedog
    • Replies: @bluedog
    , @Badger Down
  64. Fred has too much optimism about robot capabilities. I was involved with robotics about 55 years ago. (I remember the Unimate robot as an early one). While there has been mega human hours spent on the research there is nothing that can pick fruit of a tree faster and cheaper than a human. Also I am told that the most highly automated assembly lines can only operate 2 shifts out of 3. The other shift is for maintenance. Who is doing that? Other robots? Ha.

  65. Jorge Videla [AKA "yt bulger"] says:

    so are our rulers stupid or evil or both?

    • Replies: @Dumb4asterisks
  66. @Cloudbuster

    I didn’t feel like paying attention to the immediate drama, but I did notice the well-layed pavement, the smoothness of the asphalt, the kept grass and pruned trees that lined the road, along with the fully fed inhabitants, the sturdy, spacious houses, the colourful variety of the clothes and the many modern cars.

  67. @PetrOldSack

    You don’t need a population reduction, although it will be nice when the world is less populous in a few centuries.

    You’ll get a general purpose robot soon enough, and then government will lose its purpose for the most part, people will have their hectare, and have their needs provided for, like pets in rather large cages.

    Then if they wanted to excel, it would be up to them.

  68. gotmituns says:
    @IvyMike

    Makes me happy to see young guys outdoors working too, but there not that many of them. From time to time, I’ve gone around offering young guys applications to take our apprentice test and you would think I was trying to hand them a turd. They’re happy living in their parents basement playing “fortnight.”

    • Replies: @Emslander
    , @Stephen
  69. Truth3 says:
    @unit472

    Giving our cleverest people something to work on ( like an aircraft carrier and its air wing) isn’t a waste of resources. Not giving them something challenging to work on iis the waste.

    Spoken like a true sophist in the pay of the Jews.

  70. R2b says:
    @R.C.

    Truly the genius!
    Whether he took it from or not.
    ”And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” St Matthew 24:6.

  71. Emslander says:
    @PetrOldSack

    I think he means a 5-50% increase. Reduction just means more meaninglessness for the remaining people. Increased population is the only answer. Keeps women off the streets, in the homes and in your bed. Keeps YOU happy.

  72. Emslander says:
    @gotmituns

    I know tradesmen who would be overjoyed to have a couple of apprentices. They would be guaranteed a future of independent work. Electricians, Carpenters, Machinists. As far as that goes, go to the country and learn farm labor.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  73. Emslander says:
    @PetrOldSack

    Population death is the cause of all of this. Your solution is the very definition of madness, keep doing the same horrible thing over and over.

    Find a woman or two, get them pregnant and keep them pregnant and keep them busy caring for and teaching your children. This will keep you happy and give meaning to your labor. Buy a gun and some acreage and learn to raise meat, wheat, milk and eggs.

    There will be no need to tear down the childless cities. They will fall apart and die and you will be king.

    • Replies: @Herald
  74. Biff says:

    *True Story*

    Here in Thailand there is a controversial labor policy that has gripped the nation. It seems the UK has banned the import of Thai Coconut milk imported into their country, and PETA is behind the legislation. Turns out that Thais were using monkeys(possibly non-union) to run up the coconut trees to cut down the scrumptious fruits – this was all too much for SJW animal lovers at PETA who saw fit to end this monkey business. Afraid of the import ban the coconut growers stop using our distant cousins helping on the farm and vowed to never again monkey around with the process of procuring the watery nuts.

    In the meantime, nobody ever consulted the tiny apes if indeed they wanted to stop, of what many claim, the good times had running up them trees to fetch the treasured white meat. Turns out they did enjoy their job, and now mans distant cousin is forming unemployment lines and dreading the return to the life of handouts.

    Now, I’m wondering if the Brits are now going to ban lamb chops because dogs are used to herd the sheep?

  75. I feel very sorry for Mr. Reed and all others in the United States who feel that the only thing wrong with many (most?) American people is that they simply refure to “go out and get a job.” I am a 69 year-old retired industrial electrician, who worked my entire life in the Rockford, Illinois area. Rockford is 75 miles west of Chicago and was formerly a great industrial city with no shortage of good-paying jobs.

    Thirty years ago, I could go into most any Rockford factory and get a good-paying job as an electrician. No more…half of the Rockford factories are closed up and most of the rest have down-sized to being a shadow of their former great selves. Many of the remaining factories have disposed of their experienced help and have hired “kids” in their place, who are willing to work for a fraction of what used to be paid to facory workers.

    Rockford is now an industrial ghost town and no one there seems to give a damn about it. The leaders’ main concern there these past few years was to land a casino there. That was going to be the solution to their problems – NOT!

    I wonder what will be the plight of Mr. Reed’s grand-children and THEIR children? What are THEY going to do? Flip burgers or work in a Walmart, selling Chinese-made crap? ALL KINDS of jobs are being out-sourced these days, not just factory work. These people in this country had better quit worrying about their sports teams, Hollywood and all of the nonsense on television that is passed off as “entertainment” and begin to realize what the Big Money interests, with complete complicity of BOTH national political parties, are doing to this country.

    The American people had better wake up before it is too late. Maybe it is too late; I don’t know.

    (signed)
    Bradley R. Anbro
    Bluff City, TN

    • Agree: Fred777, Stan d Mute
    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
  76. Another honest and insightful look into the sorry state the world has devolved into. Fred seems to have a knack for pulling back the curtain on such things.

    The following is another look at our current situation by author BRUCE E. LEVINE. It is entitled “SHIT-LIFE SYNDROME,” TRUMP VOTERS, AND CLUELESS DEMS.
    https://aislec.wordpress.com/2020/02/02/shit-life-syndrome-trump-voters-and-clueless-dems/

  77. If China can be the last battleground then all useless and useful armies can meet there to finish off not only those militaries but most of chinamen and then jobs will come back to those who had lost them to China in the first place … it’s a way to solve a part of the big problem!

  78. TG says:

    Not quite.

    The farms didn’t automate, not completely. There is still quite a lot of work to be done on farms and in meatpacking plants etc. It’s just that it’s done by third-world refugees for a fraction of what the jobs used to pay.

    Meatpacking used to be a pretty good job, they had strong unions and, adjusted for inflation, the hourly wage was like $50 an hour. Then the Americans were fired and replaced with foreign nationals – and now there were all these unemployed Americans, but it wasn’t because meatpacking was automated.

    And factories? Excuse me, factories have NOT been automated. They have been moved overseas, and the remaining ones here again employing largely desperate third-world refugees. There are plenty of jobs in factories. Paying 50 cents an hour in Bangladesh. If they were here, they would pay a lot more – because Americans don’t have eight kids each, and supply and demand and all.

    If anything, we are using LESS automation that we used to, because of the increasing availability of cheap third-world labor. Your shirts are sewn by hand, the upholstery and wiring harnesses in your car are all made by hand. Apple computers used to be made in semi-automated factories in the US, now iPhones are assembled by hand in Asia by people jammed into sheds like battery hens using jewelers screwdrivers and magnifying loupes.

    The big problem is not a lack of practical jobs, but that these practical jobs have been pulled out from under Americans, leaving them to founder aimlessly desperate for any kind of nonsense position they can scrounge.

  79. @Sparkon

    Ah yes, that great “conservative” hero Ronnie Reagan. Neck deep in “Iran Contra” and other matters.
    Personally, I think his greatest sell out was the “Sovietization” of the American education system as pointed out by one Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt.

  80. Gapeseed says:

    All of this boils down to living wage, where an elite work while everybody else gets a check. The elite can afford but don’t want children and most of the poor – for reasons ranging from affordability to laziness and then to ostensibly obsolete masculine notions of not being able to take tangible actions to provide for family – don’t either.

    This stable relationship between rich elites and idle poor begins to tilt when the elites look at the restaurant tab and wonder why it is that they need to pay such a huge bill for the “useless eaters”, and then speculate at the Solomon’s fortune that could be unlocked in a world where the eaters did not exist.

  81. @Not Woke but awake

    The Luddites may have been wrong about early automation which still required usually a skilled worker to manipulate the machine to produce “quality product”. Such as a machinist using a lathe or mill to produce parts to thousandths of an inch. Or the assembly line which still required humans to affix parts to assemblies etc…
    AI and full bore automation mean total elimination of jobs. You’re reference to the Luddites is a weak straw man arguement. This is not the same ballgame!

  82. turtle says:
    @Justvisiting

    That is why they don’t want any statues

    Ja, kein Denkmal.
    Might produce some dangerous Denken.

    das Denkmal = monument, memorial
    das Denken = thinking, reasoning

  83. @Chris Mallory

    We could change the labor market dynamics if we got rid of the taxes on human labor, and taxed the machines instead. The Federal Income Tax on wages is the real ball and chain around the leg of the working class. Solution: Delete line #1 of the Federal Income Tax return.

  84. @Johnny Walker Read

    From ‘Hollywood’ Ron to ‘Zion’ Don.
    Every time that conservatives think they have their guy in the White House it turns out that there are really a bunch of people around the guy making sure that THE PEOPLE never get what they voted for.
    I’m pretty sure Reagan got in thanks to that trick Bush Sr. pulled with the Ayatollah hanging onto those hostages and making Carter look weak. He had a clear mandate from The People and as far as I can tell, the current mess in the financial system began with his deregulation of Wall St. I’m sure some of it was reasonable but I’m sure a lot of it was thievery for the (((boys).
    Trump has definitely become the lesser of two evils but that says a lot about the current state of affairs. I’ve never seen anyone pander so much to Israel as Trump. It has been so disgusting at times that I just couldn’t watch anymore. On policy, the guy talked the talk on ‘endless wars’ but has increased Afghan troop levels by 50%, allowed Pompeo and Esper to pull the Soleimani hit without reprecussions and we are now faced with escalation in the South China Sea that has many worried (including me).
    I just can’t understand how all aspects of government are so completely owned; the situation has become absolutely intolerable. Congress, Senate all dance to AIPAC as does the President and this goes back to Reagan as far as I’m concerned. I think Reagan was put in to get an Islamic Iran so that Israel could justify Middle East intervention. The Shah wasn’t perfect but their economy was going gangbusters right up to the ‘Revolution’. So basically we’ve had 4 straight decades of shit in the Middle East all from having our government subverted by a hostile elite ethnic group working for a foreign power, Israel, who are the most racist, corrupt and violent bunch of thugs the world has seen since Genghis Khan.
    I admit that I believe they have overextended themselves and that the desperation is showing through. I mean, the Federal Reserve looting the Treasury using ConJob19 and then Communist BLaM-tifags rioting in the streets. This is either desperation or the belief in complete impunity. I personally don’t buy that this is a group of people with the ability to exercise reason anymore. I think that there is a level of outright insanity amongst elites that I would consider analogous to the mad dog in the village: eventually someone has to shoot the mad dog for the safety of the village.

    • Agree: Johnny Walker Read
  85. mary-lou says:
    @Cloudbuster

    dramatic fighting, but seemingly no blood….?

  86. Icy Blast says:

    Fred as usual enumerates real problems. But as for solutions, he has none. Apparently he still watches American TV via satellite next to his lake in the mountains near Guadalajara. If a solution is not mentioned on TV, Fred has never heard of it. Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that gives you away. I’ve been reading Fred’s stuff since 1981 and deep down he’s still a predictable American-style Progressive, service in Vietnam notwithstanding. I think he joined the Marines just to make his Dad angry.

  87. Icy Blast says:
    @Observator

    You forget to mention how the Democrats conjured up the Korean and Vietnam wars. They will only allow the manufacture of weapons, if anything must be manufactured at all. Everything that doesn’t please them must be regulated and taxed out of existence.

  88. @Jorge Videla

    so are our rulers stupid or evil or both?

    Our rulers are clever and evil as a rule. Clever and good, good and stupid, or stupid and evil, are exceptions to rule.

  89. Agent76 says:

    Jun 26, 2020 When You Weren’t Looking, Billionaires Did THIS…

    This video documents the earnings of prominent billionaires since March 2020, the departure of major CEOs over the last year, and asks questions about the future.

    Jun 20, 2020 PROOF: FASCIST CORPORATIONS ARE COLLUDING TO SILENCE AMERICANS!!

    If what they did to GAB, George Webb, Zero Hedge, The Federalist and others all in the same 48 hour period doesn’t convince you of criminal collusion, nuthin’ will.

  90. mary-lou says:
    @The Alarmist

    “….The mistake women made in the ’60s and ’70s was to trade a life of indolence resulting from increasing home automation for a life of drudgery at an office on top of a life of some drudgery still doing the household chores after office hours; we men used the time freed up at the office by automation, productivity, and several layers of management to play golf and screw our secretaries…..”

    so what would be the reason that you guys didn’t help out in chores and raising the children?

    • Replies: @VinnyVette
    , @Emslander
  91. Anonymous[282] • Disclaimer says:
    @meamjojo

    How does it stop theft?

  92. @117CentreSt

    Ford’s assembly line increased efficiency, it did not eliminate labor. Someone had to stand there and bolt on a part. In fact it created more jobs, as previously a few highly skilled craftsmen made and assembled parts / cars, not unlike building a custom car or a race car. Increased production via the assembly line enabled more product to be produced and sold to more customers, at a lower cost. Increasing growth and creating more jobs via increased demand. The assembly line was not a jobs killer, but a jobs creator.
    As someone who recently worked at a GM engine plant now you see robots flying around doing all the work previously requiring many skilled machinists to perform, with only a machine operator loading and unloading engine blocks, crankshafts etc off of and onto pallets and pushing a few buttons and doing a few quality checks.

    • Replies: @Gorgeous George
  93. we know all the hiding of unemployment stuff already..the the argument about bots not being good customers..or customers at all is moot. the capitalist already understand society to the highest level humans are capable of and they are fully aware of their options

    the capitalists need to remain in charge..to keep their wealth and social privilege. at the top of society, in charge of the world. .and most saliently..the capitalists need to keep their heads on their bodies as well do..and not have their heads chopped off so they can breathe, for crimes against humanity…and they have been replete and extraordinarily liberal with and in such crime. no way can the capitalist and their accomplices, be given a ‘get out of jail free card’ by the revolution

    so what are the options for the capitalists given the social equation..to kill the people before the people take over the social power, arrest them, try them for their crimes, and find them guilty for they guilt..and they lose their lives.

    the capitalists are fully aware of all of this..have always been aware of it that is why they are always ahead of the people, planning, effecting plans to ensure that they never lose out ot the people..which is what Covid-19 is all about.

    the capitalist know the stage..and at this stage there is little room like after the 2 world wars to go back to scratch and come up again. technological advance makes that unlikely..technological advance also gives the capitalist their best chance of dealing faithfully by the ordinary population of the world in their own best collective interest. there are the means now for total population surveillance, medication, biological engineering, physical control with technology and minimum military involvement

    the means of social control advanced technology has given any minority in charge is massive. the people don’t know and in this case unawareness means enslavement and depopulation. the capitalist near and far does not care about capitalism and maintaining markets, trade and profit and all that.. that is not the capitalist purpose at all. total control is..and what that means is small population, engineered ordinary folk and the remainder rich people served by technology..and cloned, conditioned Bokanovsky.

    who says that all of this is what the capitalist are concerned about? they are not! were they so concerned they would never have killed the regular economy, locked it down as they have. they have locked it down to get rid of ordinary power, to take it all,..all that society has , while rendering ordinary folk demoralized and ready for their Hell coming down the line

    this is it for us. there will be no let up from Corona, no opening up or society, no return to ordinary capitalism. how can there be?

    there will be no more small, ordinary and middling businesses. Nothing for the people! there can be no return to ‘normalcy’. how can there be given all the popular losses happened and continues to happen right now, has as we speak? the people are left with nothing and they don’t know it yet. from here on in its descent for the ordinary folk into hell

    this here written by Reed is at best misdirection, or deliberate misdirection for the people. but who cares about that minute difference anyway..deliberate or not it tells the story of the looming destruction of the ordinary people of the world and the end of the human species as we have known ourselves to this point

    • Replies: @PetrOldSack
  94. A very concise and focused effort here by Fred, sans going off on the usual tangents and ramblings that are a mainstay of Fred Reed articles, yet often make for interesting reading. You nailed this one Freddy! You laying off the tequila Fred? Have one on me sir, cheers!

  95. @mary-lou

    We were busy cutting the grass, fixing the plumbing, maintaining the cars etc… While you were eating bon bons and watching Phil Donahue and soap operas due to all the free time you had thanks to the men who invented and purchased modern appliances for you. Typical female hamstering! Don’t kill the poor critter!

  96. @Sparkon

    Agree except for one thing–Reagan outlawed giving Pell and other grants to graduate students in 1981 when I was about to go to graduate school. I couldn’t without grants, though, since I really did not want to put my retired parents into paying for more of my education. So I moved in with them at their new house in Florida, only for a year, then work and pay for my grad degree….and then at a park I met my future hubby. Married in far west Texas 1982…one of the best decisions I ever made…thanks in part to Reagan!

  97. Emslander says:
    @mary-lou

    Most of us do. It’s shown in survey after survey that traditional families, where men earn money outside the home and women, during child bearing years, handle nurturing and homemaking are the most stable, most rewarding and most cooperative marriages that exist.

    All the propaganda to the contrary has been very damaging to younger generations.

    • Agree: FLgeezer
  98. If humanity is still allowed to be human (that is, not “enhanced” with “AI” chips and whatnot as Gil Bates, Melon Usk and the rest want), maybe most of us will become creative–real art, not the garbage called “art” today…real music, not the discordiant rap/hip-hop/garbage rock there is today…real novels, not the grammar-spelling-punctuation ignorance there is today since no one teaches English anymore..real comedy, not the PC crap from the likes of Colbert and Co or Sarah “anti-Christ” Silverman today…maybe then, we can have a renaissance again? And, oh yeah, bring God back into the equation? (Hopefully, humanity can still “do the math”….Bwahahahahahahahahahahah!)

  99. TheJester says:
    @Escher

    You only think you’re managing her.

    Well said! Passive female aggression is an art form. When a man is being cajoled by a woman, he doesn’t realize she is doing it until it’s already done … and he thought he was the one in control while she did it. But, at the end of the day, he blames himself for her doing it. This is called seduction.

    From that prescient scene in the movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” …

    “The man may be the head of the household. But the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head whichever way she pleases.”

    And Napolean, Bismark, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Churchhill thought they knew something about diplomacy … the art of dealing with people in sensitive and effective ways to achieve their objectives.

  100. Mefobills says:

    Everything Fred Reed predicts can be avoided.

    It requires changing the money system… and that won’t happen until after systemic collapse.

    Why? People don’t want to re-examine what they think they know until there is an existential crises. People won’t change unless some crises is threatening their survival.

    The current (((neo-liberal))) plutocracy likes their cat-bird seat. Their cat-bird seat also includes religion, such as repairing the world, but they don’t have a clue since it is false religion. Greed is good, right?

    The money system has to be sovereign, meaning a sovereign authority turns knobs that benefit the population, and not themselves. At least three big knobs are needed. 1) Sovereign Credit -which is pops new credit as money into existence, simultaneously with a sovereign debt instrument. 2) Sovereign debt free – which comes without a debt instrument and is spent, not loaned into existence. 3) Control over channeling, meaning directed purchasing power.

    Social Credit Theory is a “knob” system where money types are channeled and pumped into sectors. Think of it like a plumbing system where there is a drain, pump, piping, pressure and flow.

    Dick Eastman has drawn out the channels (pipes) at below link for his version, which is American social credit:

    http://www.citizensamericaparty.org/socialcredit.htm

    The “drain” for a robotized future is to tax robot factory production and then inject purchasing power (pumped) into the base (families). This gives populations purchasing power to consume what was produced, and upholds healthy family formation.

    Engineers, inventors, and creators from the past, worked and created infrastructure to benefit their future progeny- not to benefit a permanent (((grabbing plutocracy))) of 1% types who want to credit themselves.

  101. Alfred says:
    @Cloudbuster

    What was that all about?

  102. Alfred says:
    @Gordon K. Shumway

    They are not tombs

    What are they? Spaceships? 🙂

  103. KenH says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Fred is definitely schizophrenic. Apparently he took his meds before writing this column as he was able to stay on point instead of rambling about white nationalism or evil white people who don’t want the U.S. to be transformed into Latin America.

  104. bluedog says:
    @wakeupscreaming

    Those who have eyes but yet cannot see and you call others moron…!!!!

  105. @Emslander

    As far as that goes, go to the country and learn farm labor.

    Farm labor is doing PM on machinery, driving/operating machinery, scheduling, and completing government forms. There are more skills needed for unprofitable hobby farms, but the actual business of farming ain’t even close to what it was.

    My grandfather was the last in my family to be a real farmer. He tilled the soil with a Ford 8N and occasionally oxen or horses (all livestock on the farm were gone with a year or two of his passing). Today the land is tilled by a sharecropper driving quarter million dollar Caterpillar and JD 4×4 or tank tread tractors, half million dollar harvesters, and all the work that occupied my granddad 16 hours a day throughout the year now is done in two days (no-till planting 1 day, harvesting 1 day) with an operator sitting in an air conditioned cab reading a book.

    • Replies: @Emslander
  106. @Brad Anbro

    Thirty years ago, I could go into most any Rockford factory and get a good-paying job as an electrician.

    I don’t think this can be repeated often enough. Folks outside the rust belt don’t understand the scope or scale of the devastation that has occurred. They don’t understand what it takes to build a car for example – the billion dollar assembly plant, the supply chain of parts and services, the infrastructure and human capital supporting and supported by the plant.

    My life has been like a dystopian novel, six decades of watching factory after factory closed, gutted, abandoned, and perhaps eventually demolished. Watching formerly opulent neighborhood after neighborhood slide into decay and become the next Highland Park after their industrial base was offshored to Mexico or Asia. Has any civilization collapsed so quickly without war or pandemic?

    If we could just force our elites to live here in Detriot, perhaps they would see that without their livelihoods, people will abandon their homes (or abandon hope) and desolation ensues. That or maybe prosecute for Treason all those who directed the twin evils of mass immigration and “offshoring.”

    • Replies: @Mefobills
  107. unprofitable hobby farms

    You forgot to mention the many farmers out there (like our poor relatives) who think they are in the farm business–but they never do turn a profit.

    The old joke–“We are a non-profit business. We don’t want to be, but we are.”

    • Replies: @Emslander
  108. Emslander says:
    @Stan d Mute

    Stan d Mute

    Very true.

    As it happens, I’m quite aware of your excellent contrast between farming and the current model of making money from the soil. Nonetheless, the old ways can still be learned. My grandfather had a small farm and he made a good living raising vegetables, strawberries and raspberries for grocery stores.

    The Federal government has ruined that way of life in two very effective ways. It sponsors grain farming across the middle part of the country, which is what you describe. It’s mostly machinery operation and grant applications. The second way it ruined small farming in the Midwest is that it funded irrigation systems in California and Arizona that have become the truck farms for the USA.

    I tried raising strawberries the way my grandfather did some years ago and produced an overabundance of the most spectacular berries you’ve ever seen. I had to charge about twice what the grocery store was charging for the shipped berries raised in California. I figured people would see the higher quality of vine ripening. Not! Most of my crop ended up rotting.

    On the other hand, the Amish somehow manage to use old methods to raise spectacular produce and meats right here in the Midwest. They have lots of kids who learn it all and spend no time on iphones. I asked one of the men whether he was able to make much money doing it his way and he chuckled and said he did very well. He has few of the silly expenses we do.

    I think the old kind of farming can be done, especially with very well-planned use of new equipment, but you won’t look anything like the successful government-subsidized agri-business starch factories most corn and bean farms look like on TV.

  109. “Then there is makework. A great many governmental workers do little or nothing of use. This amounts to paid unemployment. Sometimes this unemployment is distributed: A hundred workers do useful work that thirty could do.”

    Sounds like corporate work, so-called non-government work, to me.

    Do you type on a computer for a living? You are doing busy-work. Period.

  110. “Millions living on ‘welfare’”? You call that living? You dumb clucks think people on welfare are rich. You are that stupid. You should be on welfare. The perfect punishment for your ignorance.

  111. Mefobills says:
    @Stan d Mute

    The dystopian novel we live in is described below. Compounding interest is extracted and channeled into the “elite.” These elites don’t actually work for a living.

    They won’t live in Detroit, because they are “international” and live in gated communities anywhere in the world. This “Davos” crowd don’t care about nation states, or the people of a nation, they care about their “class” and continued extractions.

    Two loop economy is finance capital in upper loop, and the real “production” economy in lower loop.

    • Replies: @PetrOldSack
  112. Wally says:
    @neutral

    This nails it:

    “Democracy can only exist until voters discover they can vote themselves free money from the public treasury.”

  113. @Mefobills

    The graph,

    Something to build on further, the horizontal global connections in another. Great visual scheme of what is going on. Thanks Mefobills.

  114. Baron says:

    The problem lies not so much in employment, Fred, a component of wealth creation, but in the distribution of the created wealth.

    What we humans actually do is take from nature about a dozen hard and soft commodity and mould them into what the current demand may be in the form of millions of products, that’s what we’ve always done even when technology was close to non existent.

    Just imagine we could build a massive plant somewhere operated by (say) few dozen men or women, the plant equipped with the latest technology that would take in the dozen hard and soft commodities, process them according to designs fed into its computing centre (a kind of IC foundry equivalent but by far more sophisticated than that) and spill out exactly what today gets manufactured by today’s technology and the still millions of people operating it.

    Who would share the spoils of the massive plant? Those that put up the capital, the few dozen operatives running it, or the society in which that the plant sits?

    • Agree: Mefobills
  115. @ben sampson

    Barely scanned your comment, no time at all. Still the scan was conclusive, you my friend do understand what is going on. I hope you stand a better chance then me to get your message in. Best approach of yours to highlight the reality of power to “money” relationship ever read on this site. Will come back to this…

  116. Emslander says:
    @Justvisiting

    If you live on the land and produce enough to raise your family and sell some on the market, you have to look at “profit” in a different way. The “profit” is your lifestyle. I’m pretty sure that the old farmers that fed our communities and supported large families never even used the word, “profit”.

    That was for businessmen.

  117. Herald says:
    @Emslander

    Find a woman or two, get them pregnant and keep them pregnant and keep them busy caring for and teaching your children. This will keep you happy and give meaning to your labor. Buy a gun and some acreage and learn to raise meat, wheat, milk and eggs.

    There is a population reduction on the way and it won’t take that long to achieve, about a decade should do it. Bill Gates and his minions have worked far too hard to let the engineered corona-crisis opportunity pass them by.

    • LOL: VinnyVette
  118. Thank Heavens the USA “imported” 50 million illegals to keep the robots company.

    • Replies: @Sya Beerens
  119. Miro23 says:

    I read over and over of the young living in their parents’ basements because they can’t find jobs, or jobs paying enough for them to buy houses and start families, of people who will never be able to retire.

    First world countries have to be competitive in leading industries and technologies – and the US (and Anglo world in general) hasn’t been competitive for a long time.

    With the advent of the internet and neoliberal “World is Flat” borderless corporate world idea, Anglo corporations did the profitable wage arbitrage (helped by bloody minded unionized workers) and sent the manufacturing (and jobs) off to Asia. Shenzen boomed while Detroit fell into ruin.

    Unfortunately, being internationally competitive in industry in the 21st Century means having a large pool of highly skilled labour + top quality universities + absolute merit based education + national efforts to acquire and develop key technologies. Also world class organization and logistics for export production. The driving force is a unified nation like China, Korea or Japan, with governments concerned for the well being and advancement of its people.

    If the US had paid attention to all this 1945+ then Detroit could still be the world capital of automobile manufacturing – and still offer the same mass of well paid skilled work that it did in the past. It’s too late now.

    Also, the point about automation, is that the large scale manufacturers (in Asia) will probably be the ones to introduce it. They have the existing factories and the supplier networks – not the US.

  120. Based Lad says:

    Ultimate solution? Super space cruisers and interplanetary mining vessels with our eyes fixed constantly upon the furthest horizon possible.

    • Replies: @A123
  121. A123 says:
    @Based Lad

    Ultimate solution? Super space cruisers and interplanetary mining vessels with our eyes fixed constantly upon the furthest horizon possible.

    Mono-ethnic, mono-religious emigration perhaps? The vast ship William Penn taking hundreds of thousands of devout Protestants to the world of New Pennsylvania.

    A+ for concept, but highly risky. Religious/ethnic streaming depends on Earth not sending inappropriate colonists at a later date. Or, the willingness to take the necessary action when Earth sends a boat load of “Satan is Greater” cultist death screamers.

    Peter F. Hamilton is the author of numerous sci-fi novels, including the Night’s Dawn trilogy. It is series you may wish to a investigate if you contemplate a future based on escaping the horror SJW multiculturalism instead of defeating that evil.

    PEACE 😇

  122. @Not Woke but awake

    Absolutely. Status-seekers want ever greater luxuries and lovers of leisure and travel want to work less, retire early, vacation. The prospect of super high economic efficiency is a wonderful problem to have to consider, especially before a society that now consumes much more than it produces, and that is facing an entitlements crisis. The only real concern to future levels of employment derives from quality of home life and schools and communities in the need for employees to provide at least as much value to their employers as they receive in wages.

  123. Doris says:

    Artificial Intelligence, Robots, are taking over many of the jobs previously done by humans.
    So, can humans continue to give birth without government restrictions, regulations of any kind? Will there have to be requirements, conditions, qualifications established and met before anyone produces a child? Babies can be produced now without direct human intervention, mating. Biological child creators don’t have to be in the same country, let alone meet. Will anyone that wants to produce a biological child, have to prove that they can have the $$$ to feed, clothe, educate their child? Will those that want to create a biological child have to prove they have a high IQ, can pass Intelligence Test with a High Score? Will those of a certain race be rejected or accepted to be granted the privilege of creating a biological child? Who will be favored, who will be rejected? The world does not have the resources to provide for those being created now, so there will be rules.

  124. Neoconned says:

    A study released by Oxford University in 2013 stated by 2033 25 to 47% of ALL JOBS would be automated even though the global population continues to go up….

    • Replies: @Biff
    , @Justvisiting
  125. Thim says:
    @Cloudbuster

    Blacks Behaving Badly, as Steve Sailor calls it. It is a thing.

    • Agree: Doris
  126. Biff says:
    @Neoconned

    A study released by Oxford University in 2013 stated by 2033 25 to 47% of ALL JOBS would be automated even though the global population continues to go up….

    So, what you are saying is invest in real estate.

    • Replies: @Neoconned
  127. Jorge Videla [AKA "yt bulger"] says:

    marx predicted capitalism would choke on its own wealth. he underestimated the power of autism in econ professors and corporate drones, psychopathy in journalists, politicians, and their owners, and the inertia of non-violence in the 99%.

  128. @Neoconned

    I retired from a very complex and stressful white collar job–but it is a job that could easily be replaced by computer software–if they could find software programmers smart enough to do it and if they could find experts like me to explain every single step in detail.

    That could only be done if senior management was fully committed to the task and had the long term vision to make it happen.

    In other words, you would need to replace the senior managers with artificial intelligence in order to get rid of the human workers!

    • Replies: @What If
  129. Neoconned says:
    @Biff

    If you can find a hard nosed place that will respect your property rights then sure. Another issue is finding a type of real estate near guaranteed to bring a yield longer term. I think it was reg caesar….cant recall who i discussed this with few months back.

    Basically the only real real estate asset not subject to devaluation due to minorities moving in or say deflationary forces making things like old schools malls and many strip malls obsolete….were non tradable REITs….usually with exposure to either health care or retirement communities because aging Boomers and Xers really will be the only ones left with any guaranteed income streams with which to finance steady payments to investors…..and even then it may get dicey….

    Think squatters etc and local govts imposing rent control sht….

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/01/20/moms-4-housing-group-reaches-deal-to-purchase-oakland-home-where-homeless-squatters-evicted/amp/

    Stuff like this^

    • Replies: @Biff
  130. Engineers, businessmen, and scientists are generally useful people. So too farmers and plumbers and electricians and auto repairmen. But guess what ? Most of them are white men.

    All these phony do-nothing affirmative action jobs were created so the blacks and women and other unskilled people have a job.

    • Agree: VinnyVette
  131. @VinnyVette

    You’re both right.

    @117CentreSt said “Isn’t that an early design for robotic replacement of labor?”, this was the first step in that direction. Yes, the initial result was higher employment of skilled workers (but not as skilled as the craftsmen were) but there is one important aspect that you overlooked, it’s standardization. That had to happen for an assembly line to work (standardizing tools, parts, procedures) and this standardization is the basic concept of automation. Even then it was automation done by humans, the more standardized production became, broken into infinitely smaller parts of production the easier and obvious automation became. Once that wheel starts to turn there is no stopping it.

    For what it’s worth I think that we should stop clinging to jobs and embrace this automation that would provide an abundance. Like Fred Reed said, the deimprotrantification of work runs parallel to loss of meaningful work and as such it’s really not worth clinging on to.

    • Replies: @VinnyVette
  132. What If says:
    @Justvisiting

    Been there, done that – same experience. And AI did not make us obsolete and never will.

    AI does not exist an never will. It is pushed by managers who are generally stupid (unintelligent) ignorant. Generally, meaning say 99%. 1% are smart and knowledgeable. Google or GPS are not intelligent. No intelligent person would offer 100,000 sites that might (or not) contain answer to the question. It is up to human to weed out noise and choose the answer. GPS is no better. Intelligent gadget would not require driver to share attention. Yet, every once in a while, a car ends in the river because GPS failed to update the map, and the bridge was destroyed..

    Driverless cars? Will never be smarter that Rumba The Cleaning robot. Airplanes can run on autopilot, true, if we ignore army of flight controllers (which Reagan fired, eh) and supporting physical infrastructure, all in order to keep planes on different altitudes and routes – to prevent crashes. Air controllers do not maintain or program autopilots. They make it possible for auto pilot to work. So we do not need all to become coders, nor flight controllers, somebody needs to maintain plumbing in flight control towers, and clean floors and windows. No need to mention all kinds of trucks and vehicles at the airport.

    The Sky is a bit more spacious than city streets, so it is possible, with lots of effort and infrastructure, to keep them apart (planes). The same thing is not possible on the city streets or highways. Common problem in cities is traffic. If people spent brain power, effort and time to synchronize traffic lights we would all live better. That is not much smart technology, and it works in many places in the world, ok, not that many. Even eastern European counties had those “green waves” in mid 60s. Somehow, the trick was missed in the land of the automobiles. No AI helps there.

    Even semi-intelligent technology most of the time misfires. We introduced calculators and computers and gave them to literally everybody. Result? They do not teach times table at elementary schools. Unintelligent minds do not understand that purpose of requesting kids to memorize times table is not to teach people how to multiply (although that itself is useful). The purpose is exercising brains and develop enough power and brain stamina to be able to solve much more complicated problems that come later. We all go to gym, to exercise body, since we are aware that sedentary life is not good for health. How come we forget to exercise brains and thinking. Brains are needed not only for engineering and coding. Unintelligent plumber, electrician, construction worker gets out of the labor market in no time. The problem is, same rule does not apply to management, politicians and high level white collar workers then higher you climb, less brain and thinking is needed, so our brains become even weaker. That is why they are hoping that AI will solve their problems.

    How to prevent brains from degenerating? Schools does not help, the system is set up in such way in purpose – to produce dumb order followers. We need to take care of our own knowledge, That means – starting unofficial schools – like home schooling. Many skilled craftsmen and educated (in math, science and engineering) do not work any more, due to old age or involuntary leaving work force. Many of them will be happy to help willing kids with exactly what is not taught at schools. We already have fit bodies, strong enough to hold a pitchfork. We need strong brains in order to know what to do with pitchforks. Farming is out of question.

    Don,t believe when told that for math and science one has to be extraordinary smart. It is all about practice. Most people can learn how to use Pythagoras’s theorem, a few can even prove it, even fewer can develop a new math theorem. However, for everyday work, only engineers need to know Pythagoras’s theorem and geometry, For the rest of people, from plumber framer or electrician, to medical doctors, financial experts (????), teachers, all you need is plus/minus/multiply and sometimes divide. But to be able to use plus/minus/multiply efficiently, brains must be challenged with learning geometry, trigonometry, and a bit of calculus for advanced ones. see, we forget 80% of what we learn, if there is no need to use it. Thru learning geometry, trigonometry, calculus etc., we in fact cement skill of plus/minus/multiply.

    No AI can do that. We can teach AI to recognize patterns (Google search engine or choice of advertisements that pop up on computer screens). You can teach AI to answer questions like “How much is 3 times 7?”, but I have seen horses and donkeys perform those calculations. Plus, every second grader should be able do the same thing. The fact is, 99% of managers and rich 1% can not do that.

    If we become smarter than they are, they cannot beat us. And it is not that difficult. We are smarter than Rumba floor cleaning robot. Another secret kept from us is that in wealthy societies women tend to bear less kids. My grandpa had 8 siblings, my father had 4. I have only one brother, and each of us have 2 kids, in their 30s, and so far no kids from 4 of them. Zero. Do not worry about immigrants coming with many kids. In one generation they become just as the rest of us one, at most two, or perhaps no kids at all.

    It is rough ride ahead of us, but for last 200,000 years we managed somehow. Even jobless, nobody dies of starvation. If that happens, we can always use pitchforks.

    • Replies: @Justvisiting
    , @cassandra
  133. anon[211] • Disclaimer says:

    This is the usual lack of imagination driven by people who only see an economy as what it has been in the past. One can imagine an economy in which all work is done by machines. In such a state the people are either all dead for they have no employment or they are on an aristocratic form of welfare enjoying lives of complete idleness at their own discretion.

    At least that is one interpretation. What it means is that owners of capital now need no human labor and have the power to dispose of the unneeded obsolete human production equipment or that the human production equipment has been able to seize the capital of the original owners and have paid the product to themselves. The entire problem comes down to who owns the capital and its product.

    This is a political question, not an economic one for no one is likely to live by the formal strictures of economic theory when they are starving. Force will be used and this is the domain of politics. Whatever the ideology justifying it all, including simple pragmatism, the essential fact is that rights to capital and its product will be distributed among the population and they will use the capital or product to survive. This is the end product of your buffering project above.

    Nevertheless who owns/controls the capital and its product is of fundamental importance. As you point out there is in many cases no meaningful distinction between work and welfare but entitlement to the product either way is the difference between survival, even comfort, and death.

    Employment is important primarily in the current age as an entitlement program. For most people it is a status which gives access to an income. For this reason it is very important, but it is not the only such status. At the bottom end there is welfare and at the top end there is the ownership of capital and corporate welfare.

    Of the three welfare and capital possession does free up people’s time. This means they can either idle away their time or go find something they really want to do or even something useful to do. Employment is the least value in this sense of the three for it does consume ones time. If the worker is doing something useful this may be acceptable, but it is not likely what the worker really wants to do. In the case of make work it is just another waste of effort.

    This analysis simply shows that an economy in a technological age can function very well without employment and even provide a good life for people who can find something they want to do even if they are not paid to do it. But it also shows that the distribution of rights to capital and its product will be absolutely critical.

    In a fully automated world human employment will be, by definition, totally redundant so the systematic elimination of this status will transform society. The great fears are about how and on what terms a transition will take place to an all capital economy. If capital is held in a few hands most other humans will become both redundant and disposable fueling the various depopulation scenarios we have with us today. Highly concentrated capital ownership is one road to genocide.

    The capital ownership structure is now and will become even more so in the future the most dominant characteristic of human society. We will find that all else of human concern will rest upon this structure. This behooves all of us to start asking whether capital ownership/control can remain highly centralized without disaster or if some redistribution plan will be necessary to save civilization.

  134. BuelahMan says:

    If I have an expertise, it is in factory automation. As usual, this is more over-the-top rhetoric. The vast majority of automation either enhances factory workers or replaces damaging jobs (lifting huge weight repetitively, etc).

    Maybe all the faked carpel tunnel cases and lawsuits is a factor.

    For instance, I demonstrated a device that pin stamps a part number and logo on heavy equipment motor parts. The old way was a heavy hammer and hand held stamps with multiple heavy strokes by an operator.

    After demoing the equipment, most everyone was impressed with the speed, accuracy, and ease of use. Would take a human about 30 seconds, the device was done in 4-5 seconds.

    I was asked the price and when I told them $14K, everyone started sputtering, hemming and hawing. The hammers and stamps are much cheaper… etc.

    The safety engineer was near by and asked the production manager how many people had they sent to the doctor for treatment due to carpel tunnel and hitting themselves with the hammer. 5 times thus far (it was July). He explained that each and every case cost the company somewhere around $45K. Then the lawsuits.

    The $14K caused no injury, was much faster, and had no lawsuits.

    Do the math.

    Most automation is similar.

    • Agree: another fred
  135. a_german [AKA "a__German"] says:

    My question: what else will you automate? A truck? 15 bucks for 30 tons/hour replaced by a robot unable to unload, handle damages or any other error? I doubt.

    Over here the big car companies return to more human labor. Robots are very complicated, inflexible and there is a lot of maintain and programming. And you shift knowledge and production capabillities to the robot company (or department which is not even better).

    The normal labour is completely automated, is see halls with lights off during work and motor production with no access for humans. That works, if you make thousends of units per day.

    Produktion is a minor problem- How to share the wealth in a fair manner much more. The economy is not capitalist any more, it has turned into a feudalistic one.

    The media are complete in the hands of people which main “elite” attribute is that mum has choosen the right one. They do nothing more as setting people to each other. BLM is a typical example, feminist propaganda simply the same, pure society baiting. On the other hand “shareholder value” was the declaration of the war we live in.

    People not join in looting but in ending this robberry, designing a useful society and not the one of rich daddys son is the biggest fear of the upper caste. Wide before taxes.

  136. Anonymous[208] • Disclaimer says:
    @Not Woke but awake

    If you have to resort to comparing today’s jewish dystopia to yesterdays jewish dystopia to try to make today’s look acceptable, then there’s something seriously wrong. The industrial revolution brought great misery, but before that when people were “peasants” they worked fewer hours per day, fewer days per year, had more holidays, better food, less crime, and happy family lives. Today’s peasants work longer hours, at fake work that is psychologically unfulfilling, with almost no holidays, to be able to afford to eat toxic pre-packaged goyim feed, in crime infested shitholes, while pavement apes loot, rape, steal, murder and burn everything around them. The only arguments anyone can ever put forwards against this fact is “muh antibiotics”, which we can obviously still have while living better lives, and “they died young”, which is simply wrong. Average lifespan was low because of high infant mortality, if you made it to adulthood you usually lived to old age.

    The luddites were not wrong, they were correct, as this article shows. We have automated away all the jobs, just like the luddites said we would. Just because the effects took a while to hit us, doesn’t mean the problem was not accurately pointed out to us.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @PetrOldSack
  137. @What If

    Just to be clear, I am one of the believers in emergent AI.

    That means that once AI becomes truly intelligent, it will correctly view human beings as an inferior species and treat us accordingly.

    So, the immediate issue, as you say, is that AI does not work very well.

    Believe me–you do not want it to work well….

    • Replies: @Miro23
  138. “Another phenomenon we see is the disimportantification (patent applied for) of work. In 1850, work done was genuinely important: growing food, without which we tend to be dead and not of much use in an economy. Then the farms automated and everybody went to work in factories, making cars and refrigerators. These were pretty important, but not as important as food. You can’t eat a refrigerator.”

    When the refrigerator becomes empty, civilian life will cease. The capitalist/industrial model was never sustainable, and all the education in the world will fail to negate the facts.

    Tens of millions of former family farms and thousands of hectors of fallow land have been laid waste by educated wanna-be’s and corporate raiders. There soon won’t be enough able bodied persons to bury the dead. Way to go…

  139. KenH says:

    The American labor market is completely out of whack and suffers from a massive labor oversupply because it’s been flooded with immigrants, various work visa holders and illegal aliens. This is what is destroying the white working and middle class since wages and benefits have stagnated or declined for decades. (((Alan Greenspan))) even admitted a couple of times that work visas and high levels of immigration is very useful for holding down wages and benefits for the useless eater goys.

    Initially with NAFTA it was the white working class who bore the brunt of job loss and declining wages and white collar whites were indifferent and said they should buck up and go get a college degree in accounting, finance or information technology. Then around 2001 H1B visas were implemented and it’s continued growth along with an influx of skilled immigrants is displacing large numbers of white collar American workers so they’re singing a very different tune now that it’s happening to them.

    If robotics and AI will displace millions from the work force then there’s no need for one million annual legal immigrants, 200K or so work visas of all kinds and the continued presence of up to 30 million illegal aliens. This is why Andrew Yang was a complete fraud because you can’t sound the alarm about AI and robotics but at the same time support mass third world immigration as Yang did.

    • Agree: Rosie
    • Thanks: fnn
    • Replies: @VinnyVette
  140. @Sya Beerens

    Deliberate destabilization begun in mid-60s so half of the Uniparty could get votes and the other half cheap labor.

    If retardicans were a separate party they’d fight their suicide (and ours) by third worlders.

  141. Corrupt says:

    Fred has jumped the shark and become a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

    • Replies: @Johnny Walker Read
  142. Rosie says:
    @Anonymous

    The luddites were not wrong, they were correct, as this article shows. We have automated away all the jobs, just like the luddites said we would. Just because the effects took a while to hit us, doesn’t mean the problem was not accurately pointed out to us.

    The promise is always that the gains will be fairly distributed. Somehow, that never seems to happen. When called out on this, elites accuse the proles of being lazy and entitled, etc.

  143. @Anonymous

    He who definitely should be invited to have a say in this debate is Theodore Kackzinski. Being Jewish and all, and having ended up in the prison population count. Technology, the use of it, can be very detrimental and short-sighted. As far as I can guess, Kackzinski is still alive, and to the extend that foul industrial feed and Freudian maltreatment did not depress his mental capabilities, he really should be an interesting viewpoint to poll. An outlier, definitely, to the extend of Assange.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  144. Jorge Videla [AKA "yt bulger"] says:

    construction won’t be done by robots for a long long long time, yet construction is only 4% of US GDP iirc. if the economy were efficient, all the prostitutes, presstitutes, professors of economics, hair stylists, etc. would be wearing hard hats and homelessness and shitty housing would be non-existent. between efficiency and now is tumbrels.

  145. Miro23 says:
    @Justvisiting

    Just to be clear, I am one of the believers in emergent AI.

    That means that once AI becomes truly intelligent, it will correctly view human beings as an inferior species and treat us accordingly.

    Not necessarily. It (or more probably he and she – sexual combination is a good adaptive strategy among possibly numerous A.I.’s ) may simply ignore humans as they form the planet. Rather like our attitude towards insects.

  146. cassandra says:
    @What If

    And AI did not make us obsolete and never will.

    There’s a social component to jobs that’s usually ignored, and it’s important because ultimately, it’s why people are paid in the first place.

    Some feel that we should assume responsibility for returning our shopping carts from parking areas. But why should we assume a responsibility that properly is that of a corporation? Let the corporation hire others to return the carts. This is beneficial socially. Even someone with very limited ability could do this job, and if the rest of us treated him with respect gratitude, he’d correctly feel that he was appreciated even in some small way for what he was doing. Perhaps it’s more economical to have smart carts return themselves, but the point here is, we should be thinking about how much we should allocate toward making a society where everyone can feel useful, and beneficial in some way to his fellow man.

    Paying people money, after all, is just commodifying appreciation. That principle jumped the shark in the 80’s, when the “lean/mean” corporate mentality totally destroyed not only loyalty between workers and their corporations, and killed off morale and mutual trust in the process.

    Maybe we should be thinking about what “job”means when AI robots can do everything cheaply and efficiently. While congratulating ourselves at our cleverness in eliminating the necessity for productive labor, we might give some thought to the environment these methods are imposing upon the humans whom these products are supposed to benefit. Maybe money isn’t the bottom line, and maybe we’re about to find out too late.

    • Agree: Rosie
  147. DrCiber says:
    @PetrOldSack

    5%…or roughly 400 million total population. Yeah, that would be enough maintain the “achievement” of today, if that’s what it is. It’d have to be rigidly controlled tho’ or in another 2000 years we’d be right back where we are now. By the way Fred, I liked the article. Thanks.

  148. Biff says:
    @Neoconned

    Interesting link…
    I know some house flippers that went in together to buy a dump, and they day they went there to start working it was occupied with squatters. Then, instead of physically throwing them out, they called the Sheriff(societies parents), and the legal niceties took three months to get them out – meanwhile the accumulated bank interest took out a chunk of their profit margin.
    That’s life in America…

  149. Anonymous[208] • Disclaimer says:
    @PetrOldSack

    Kaczynski, and yes he is alive, no he is not jewish, and he already shared his views on the subject. No invitation is needed, just read his books.

    • Replies: @PetrOldSack
  150. But at the end of the it will be ‘usury’ that will bring down the house.

    Amen. I cannot understand why we accept outrageous credit card usury just because those companies (and now #[email protected] banksters) have Honeycomb Hideouts in South Dakota.

  151. Dumbest article I’ve ever read on this website. This is simple, I think (ha ha).

    People need a ditch (to move sewage, water, power whatever). In the bad old days, it takes 100 healthy men to dig the ditch. But now, amazingly, there’s a backhoe. It only takes ONE man to build a ditch (granted, some men built the backhoe, mined the metal, refined the fuel, etc, but the backhoe will last 20 years or more, you understand the math.) Result, the previous 100 ditch diggers can fill the world with 100x as many ditches. Now, we have water, sewers, power to the places where it is needed.

    Weirdly enough, all the old ditch diggers (yes, this has always been going on through history) found something else to work at.

    This is called wealth (as opposed to jobs). Ditches have become easier to make, therefore they’ve become cheaper, everyone who can afford one relatively well paid backhoe operator can get a ditch.

    Automation, efficiency, etc are simply multipliers of how much wealth can be created per unit of effort spent.

    People do all this activity in order to improve their lives. Can any reader of this article or the author themselves honestly surmise that everyone in the world has everything they desire? Of course not. And people will continue to work, albeit they will the extra productivity given to them by technological improvement, and exponential improvements in the human condition will continue to accrue.

    And, aside from spending our wealth on stuff, we may “buy” less tangible assets, such as letting our children grow up without working in a sweat shop, or even by retiring earlier or working less hours. We are NOWHERE near Star Trek land (where material needs and desires are supposedly irrelevant) Wealth is good, innovation is good. Poor grasp of economics and how it should impact public politcy—bad.

    • Agree: Corrupt
    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @VinnyVette
    , @Anonymous
  152. Corrupt says:
    @Johnny Walker Read

    Are you Fred, or do you just enjoy servicing him?

  153. @Anonymous

    Thanks,

    “Jewish” as definitions go, is this a clear no?

    His views(Kaczynski) might have evolved, interesting in itself. Starting from a quite original stance and circumstance.

    Some he wrote, was read, admittedly quite some time ago. At that point, it made no real sense to me since specialization should not be essentially bad, rather eventually so.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @PetrOldSack
  154. Adûnâi says: • Website
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    > “This is a bizarre question. To me, culture is a kind of animal behavior. Of course I don’t deny the existence of animal behavior. Do you?!”

    What I meant is that cultural dialectic seems to be partially separate from genetic development. Do you think Mussolini to have been predestined to have begun as a socialist, and then to have changed his views to fascism? (In a philosophical sense, you might, but in Darwinian, too?) Face it – memes are more flexible than genes, have a life of their own, may harm or bolster their host genes.

    > “Oh, I see. You are trying to make a distinction between “natural” selection and “artificial” selection, by “culture”, I suppose.”

    No, those paragraphs are unconnected.

    > ” But what you’re not understanding is that in the final analysis, everything is fully Darwinian, and everything exists in nature.”

    Yes. But you had been talking about how in a primitive society, everybody swims or sinks “based on his merits” – I contested the word “merits”. A merit in a given time and system might prove out to be fatal in the long run. Breeding a race of merchants might cause prosperity for 400 years, and demise in the 401st.

    I contend that Man has to use his faculty of reason to model the future and thus to direct the stream of culture. The Ministry of Propaganda is the triumph of genes over memes, and a sign of Man’s superiority over all other lifeforms.

    (This is why I respect Juche Korea more than the Taliban – the Taliban is bound by a creed they are unable to change, they are praying to RNGesus that it will work out, unable to reason with the will of Allah.)

    > “Conceiving of man as being outside of nature is a Christian mistake fostered by Biblical creation myths. The “free will” idea, to which you also subscribe, is Biblical too. You’re more Christian than you realize, Adûnâi!”

    Disagree. Anti-Christian is everything that supports the survival of the people. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Can you explain why you consider a Man-centred creed Christian? Putting Man on the pedestal seems to me quite a natural thing to do for a healthy collective. I never understood this about National Socialism.

    It does not mean denying that Man exists (???). It does not mean that Man is an individual (???). It does not mean that Man is mankind (???). – All 3 ideas are preposterous Christian poisons, and have nothing to do with Man-centredness.

    (1. Man is an illusion, Man is a soul. 2. Man’s well-being is the happiness of the individual. 3. Man’s well-being is the continued survival of every last Negro child.)

  155. Adûnâi: “… memes are more flexible than genes, have a life of their own, may harm or bolster their host genes.”

    Whether they have “a life of their own” or not is the question. What makes a meme attractive, persistent, and useful? Without an underlying genetic basis, nothing. As I see it, memes are an expression of genetics, and culture a collective project of the group mind.

    Adûnâi: “Anti-Christian is everything that supports the survival of the people. ”

    That’s so vague as to be unworkable as a definition. Christianity itself has in some ways supported the survival of “the people” (which ones?) for thousands of years. So by this measure, Christianity is anti-Christian! Food also supports survival, so that’s anti-Christian too! Even the air, etc.

    Adûnâi: “Can you explain why you consider a Man-centred creed Christian?”

    The pagan gods were Nature gods. Christianity introduced the belief that man is a special creation of God, made in God’s image, the only creature with a “soul”. For the first time in European consciousness, God was placed outside of Nature, and Nature was demoted, put at man’s disposal as scenery for a kind of morality play, a Manichaean battle between Good and Evil, Love and Hate. Under Christianity, Nature also became the dominion of Satan, full of unholy lusts and temptations, some of which reside in man’s own heart. It was quite a revolutionary change regarding man’s view of the world and his place in it.

    Adûnâi: “All 3 ideas are preposterous Christian poisons, and have nothing to do with Man-centredness.”

    Okay, I’ll bite. What’s your definition of Man, and why put him on a pedestal? Apparently it has nothing necessarily to do with the white race, or you wouldn’t be so enamored of N. Korea.

    • Replies: @Adûnâi
  156. Stephen says:
    @gotmituns

    Where are you out of? I am not exactly young but I would be open to taking an apprentice test if you are nearby and open to those who are not exactly young.

  157. Rosie says:
    @Greg the American

    And, aside from spending our wealth on stuff, we may “buy” less tangible assets, such as letting our children grow up without working in a sweat shop, or even by retiring earlier or working less hours. We are NOWHERE near Star Trek land (where material needs and desires are supposedly irrelevant) Wealth is good, innovation is good. Poor grasp of economics and how it should impact public politcy—bad.

    Hmmm. If human wants are unlimited, why would anyone want to retire early? The claim that more free time is another “thing” that people desire seems to be an attempt to salvage a patent falsehood of the dismal science.

  158. @wakeupscreaming

    If you can remember, there were also a heap of contenders flying the Democrat flag. They shot themselves in the feet until only Lady Macbeth was left standing, threatening to bomb and nuke various parts of Asia.

  159. @IvyMike

    Your nephew is a good man. “They” aren’t giving him anything! He earns it. And he deserves the rewards that he receives from his labor. “They”, who rarely do actual manual labor, wouldn’t receive much of anything if they had to acquire it for themselves rather than use financial chicanery to loot the less shrewd, avaricious and sociopathic. Those who actually build useful businesses are not necessarily of this ilk, but they often forget those who stand shoulder-to-shoulder making those enterprises work.

  160. @Precious

    “Indulging in economically pointless idleness”? I suspect you’re not a senior or you might be less quick to use those words. We make many points economically, both as consumers and investors in funds, productive tangibles, real property put aside for our posterity, getting to know our grandchildren and helping to raise them… The list goes on.

    Depends on each particular senior, of course, but life’s seasons determine “capability” to a certain extent. As far as “indulging” goes, well, many folks one might perceive as “usefully productive”, others might perceive as salaried idlers who are a drain on the productive economy.

    • Replies: @Precious
  161. @Gorgeous George

    Work at least some forms of work give people a sense of purpose, value, the feeling of accomplishment, and the self esteem that comes with it. At least it does for me. So I have to respectfully disagree. Your comment on standardization of course is spot on.

  162. @KenH

    Well said. In the late 80’s when I was graduating high school, from a vocational school no less CAD / CAM robotics was the course, my guidance counselor told us graduating and working a well paying blue collar job for 30 years and retiring was a thing of the past. Go to college get a white collar job doing brain work; engineering etc… My point is exactly what you said happened. HB1 visas and the importation of white collar immigrant labor in and around the late the 90’s. I know a few teachers with master’s degrees, ones working at Geico making peanuts, the other as a waitress. The same thing will happen to the white working class even with STEM degrees, they’ll be useless expensive pieces of paper.
    Everything being done is to find away to eliminate any human involvement wherever possible. Self driving cars, semi’s, earth moving equipment, air planes you name it. And we’re told the machines are going to do all the work so we can all live a life of safety and leisure? Laughable! Thats the life the wealthy elite who own the means of production will be living. The rest of us will be dead!

  163. @Greg the American

    Automated ditch digging still requires a human at this point in time to operate the back hoe, Bobcat, bulldozer, dump trucks etc… When AI takes over those semi skilled jobs are gone. Weak straw man arguement… Dumbest comment I’ve ever read at UR.

  164. Adûnâi says: • Website
    @Dr. Robert Morgan

    I invite you to continue this discussion on my blog if you wish. Don’t want to slide this fine thread into off-topic matters.

  165. MEH 0910 says:

    Then child labor laws took kids off the labor market, keeping them from competing with adults.

    Llaven said Tuesday that a search carried out Monday, apparently related to Dylan’s disappearance, had revealed a house where children — most between 2 and 15 years old, but three infants aged between 3 and 20 months — were forced to sell things on the street.

    “Moreover, they were forced to return with a certain minimum amount of money for the right to get food and a place to sleep at the house,” Llaven said.

    San Cristobal is a picturesque, heavily Indigenous city that is popular among tourists. It is not unusual to see children and adults hawking local crafts like carvings and embroidered cloth on its narrow cobblestone streets.

    But few visitors to the city suspected that some of the kids doing the selling had been snatched from their families.

    The Chiapas state prosecutors’ office said in a statement the children “were forced through physical and psychological violence to sell handicrafts in the center of the city,” adding the kids showed signs of “malnutrition and precarious conditions.”

    According to video presented by the prosecutors, many of them slept on what appeared to be sheets of cardboard and blankets on a cement floor. Three other women have been detained in that case and may face human trafficking and forced labor charges.

  166. Anonymous[208] • Disclaimer says:
    @PetrOldSack

    It is a clear no by every definition of jewish, his parents were Polish, not “Polish”. He is still writing. Anti-Tech Revolution was published in 2016. He did not present an argument that specialization is bad, he presented an argument that industrial technology can not be controlled, and does us more harm than good. You can still specialize in farming while someone else specializes in cheesemaking and someone else specializes in carpentry and someone else specializes in blacksmithing, etc. without industrial technology.

  167. Anonymous[208] • Disclaimer says:
    @Greg the American

    There is not an infinite demand for ditches. We do not need to dig 100 times as many ditches, so those people have to find something else to do. They were only able to find something else to do TEMPORARILY, while there was significant innovation going on. New things were being invented that people wanted, so there was work in factories producing those things. You invent the washing machine, there’s TEMPORARY jobs building washing machines. But then every home has a washing machine, and the number of replacements needed is less than 1% of what was being produced when everyone was buying one for the first time. So all those people need to find work making something else, like microwaves. But then we ran out of things to make. There are no more jobs, right now. Almost every “job” that exists today is just welfare. It is a fake, make-work excuse to keep people employed.

    The fact that you think a jewish sci-fi dystopia like star-trek is possible, much less something to aim for, shows how completely and utterly delusional you are. Star trek can never and will never be real. We’re stuck on this rock until we wipe ourselves out. I would suggest we stop trying to make the “wipe ourselves out” part come as soon as possible.

  168. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    The logical end point of technological Progress is when labor-saving devices have eliminated the need for anyone to do any work at all.

    It is the desire for ever more profits by the capitalist class who owns the means of production that drives all this automation. But those profits depend on there being the producers/consumers. When ultimately the producers/consumers are completely eliminated who will the capitalists sell the produce of their fully automated manufacturing to? Yes, this is the “logical” conclusion but completely irrational and runs against the profit making principles of the capitalist system. Do they really want to push towards that end point when there is nobody left to consume their products and the machines fall silent?

  169. @PetrOldSack

    Anti-Tech Revolution was published in 2016

    Thanks for updating me, I was not aware of this.

    Specialization and industrial technology, indeed, two different things. I erred completely using the noun specialization instead of technology in my comment.

  170. Commentator Mike: “Do they really want to push towards that end point when there is nobody left to consume their products and the machines fall silent?”

    It’s just an unfortunate fact of life that technological Progress has unintended consequences, most of them bad, and some catastrophic. These typically aren’t known in advance, often emerge gradually and, since they are unintended, have little to do with what the inventors or manufacturers want. For example, who could have foreseen the development of the internet and all its consequences, and of information tech generally? Arguably, Jeff Bezos foresaw some of those consequences and was able to profit from it, but he by no means was the cause of the internet’s development. He is himself more a reaction to technology than an inventor of it; he’s a side effect, as are the other tech billionaires. As for who will buy the stuff produced by the system in such abundance, that’s where redistribution schemes come in. As Fred points out, the economy is being restructured to provide make-work occupations, affirmative action sinecures, and universal basic income under other names.

  171. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    As for who will buy the stuff produced by the system in such abundance, that’s where redistribution schemes come in. As Fred points out, the economy is being restructured to provide make-work occupations, affirmative action sinecures, and universal basic income under other names.

    That seems to be what is happening, but the numbers are just not going to work.

    There are _no_ coherent plans by any significant public figure of any nation to deal with the future world of very little productive work.

    The only way real innovation can happen is when all the old leaders die.

    https://scottberkun.com/2011/innovation-by-death-a-theory/

  172. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    As Fred points out, the economy is being restructured to provide make-work occupations, affirmative action sinecures, and universal basic income under other names.

    Yes that’s one way of dealing with it. But it would feel such an artificial society – they give you money to spend on consumer goods just so that they can keep producing them and generating massive profits for themselves while lording over the masses.

    I guess Marx also envisioned something like this coming to pass one day as he observed the Industrial Revolution. His vision of some communist utopia where everyone’s needs are satisfied and people can devote themselves to the arts, philosophy, leisure activities is another way of dealing with a fully automated society. There could be some truth to his statement that capitalism will eventually result in either “socialism or barbarism”. But those who own and control the means of production will not wish to relinquish that. Perhaps in the end it’s not even about profits but power, as Orwell suggests in 1984 – the elites are addicted to the power they have over the masses and want to keep it forever.

    Technological progress has its own logic but in the final analysis man controls it and could put a stop to it, or limit it, if it becomes a threat. Just like the Amish refuse to make full use of it there is no reason that others may one day not do the same if they really feel they should. I mean what’s the difference between the Amish and the rest of us? They’re people just like us but they have made a conscious decision to draw a line in what they accept of technological progress. Others may set the bar higher but still set it if technological progress eventually threatens the survival of humanity as we know it.

  173. Commentator Mike: “Technological progress has its own logic but in the final analysis man controls it and could put a stop to it, or limit it, if it becomes a threat.”

    True, subject to the limitations I mentioned above in #57.

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  174. fnn says:

    I ran across this in a review of a new book about policewomen in Chicago in the 1920s:
    https://www.criminalelement.com/rest-easy-i-pack-a-gun-true-tales-of-the-first-chicago-policewomen/

    Their numbers remained small, however, as throughout the 1920s, Chicago had employed about thirty policewomen (out of a force of 600).

    Today (according to wikipedia) Chicago has 12,000 (!) sworn officers and the population (2019 estimate) is exactly the same (2.7 million) as it was in 1920. The population of the city peaked at 3.6 million in 1950. Of course the city’s black population is much greater today than it was in 1920, but there are no doubt other factors that led to such a great expansion of the size of the police force.

    P.S. And remember the 1920s was the era of Prohibition and Al Capone! IIRC, the local police weren’t much concerned about the illegal booze trade except insofar as they took bribes from the gangsters who ran it.

  175. @PetrOldSack

    Based on my personal experience, work in general is pretty ghastly 😀

    Nearly three decades ago, I was completing my BS in Computer Science, and then (as now) I was a cynic and I would tell the slightly younger classmates: “There are people in India and Pakistan with doctorate degrees in Computer Science, who speak better English than you or I do, and will work for about ten percent of what an American earns.” Even if the exact figures were wrong, I think my acerbic wisdom was broadly true. Further, I doubt the situation has improved much in the intervening three decades. Add the ever more competent automation of work, and it paints a very bleak future indeed for any type of human labor, especially that of employees in the West, who are grossly overpaid by world standards.

  176. @aleksander

    Unless I’m badly mistaken, Mohammed started his faith with a handful of men, who rapidly “proselytized” much of that area of the world in just a few centuries, much faster than Christianity started out. You had the “free will” to choose Islam or get your head chopped off 😀

  177. @Dr. Robert Morgan

    Another point to consider is this: that apparent success stories, whether it is Apple, Microsoft, or a Jeff Bezos or a Warren Buffet, are likely explained largely — perhaps completely — by sheer luck. At least with the apocryphal story, Microsoft today is a household name only because around 1980, IBM was shopping for an operating system for their future PC and their first choice was not available for an appointment. In the 1970s Apple computers were being built literally in a garage. In the early “microcomputer” days, there was lots of competition. A Google, an eBay or Amazon is a giant success largely by sheer chance3, not by some brilliance of marketing or engineering. In the investing world, Buffet looks the genius, largely explicable by luck. Look up the “coin flipping experiment” if you need to be disabused of the concept of natural talent. Certainly, talent and aptitude count for something, but luck is a lot too. It goes against the nature of the Ego, but the harsh fact is that in many areas of human “accomplishment,” the successful have no more right to pat themselves on the back than a huge lotto winner has any right to claim number-picking expertise. 😀

  178. I work in transportation and logistics. You constantly hear about robot trucks going to “dark” warehouses where automated pickers select from tightly packed shelves and then pack, label and ship by these very same robotic trucks to some basement dwelling boob. But robot trucks don’t buy Subway at the truck stop or take showers or countless other things that truckers and those that cater to them do. The truck stops will wither… countless employees will be laid off and the list goes on and on. The only thing that might put the brakes to this would be the mob. All of those industry “disruptors” havent had to deal with them yet but should they persist they’re going to be made a deal they couldn’t refuse.

  179. @neutral

    The US has a one-party state, but it does not seem to work anything like as well for the population as the Chinese one. (Probably because the one US party is controlled by an extra-national parasite.)
    Unfashionable as the idea is, I think that the difference is, that the people running China genuinely want to make life better for the Nation as a whole (and incidentally the people of the World too!) while the people running the USA want to be Top Dogs in the World and think that the population of the US is there to help them achieve that goal.

  180. @Observator

    From 1945 until its destruction, the working classes of the West were beneficiaries of the existence of the USSR. The people running the West, felt that they had to keep the conditions in which their working classes lived, better than the perceived living standards of the working classes “behind the Iron Curtain”. (And they hated the USSR for it!)
    Meanwhile they took advantage of the political ignorance and lack of militancy that grew out of this new and comfortable, western working class lifestyle to corrupt, infiltrate and dismantle the unions and all and any left-wing organizations, while bringing all the msm under their control and blaguarding any sort of left wing thought as “Unpatriotic”, treasonous even.

  181. @unit472

    Giving people useless work to do is robbing those that work to support them while they do this pointless activity and is stealing peoples’ lives as well as wasting precious resources and creating waste.

  182. Precious says:
    @Montefrío

    “Indulging in economically pointless idleness”? I suspect you’re not a senior or you might be less quick to use those words. We make many points economically, both as consumers and investors in funds, productive tangibles, real property put aside for our posterity, getting to know our grandchildren and helping to raise them… The list goes on.

    I missed your comment until now, but I didn’t say Indulging in economically pointless idleness…Fred Reed did in the article!! My point was that if you are going to criticize high school and college as making people pointlessly idle, then why complain that people can’t retire? I was questioning a logical inconsistency, not trying to criticize people who are retired.

  183. Kd4ttc says:

    Odd that the post or replies didn’t consider anything in the context of the full employment that we enjoyed up to March of 2020.

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