Tuesday, July 12, 2016
The robots are getting better
The capitalist paradigm in which companies think only about themselves, seeking to increase productivity and reduce costs, is going to work decreasingly well. Replacing well-paid workers with robots means replacing customers with a lot of money with customers with little money. People who are not paid much do not buy much. Robots buy even less.
As time goes on and fewer and fewer people can find work, and particularly the less intelligent, something will have to give. We won’t see it coming. We never see anything coming. Businessmen will observe productivity going up and labor costs going down. What could be wrong with Businessmen do not concern themselves with social questions. Methinks, however, that social questions are about to concern themselves with businessmen.
As standards of living decrease, unrest will come. I will guess that much of Donald Trump’s popularity arises from the sending of factories to China by the corporations that rule America. Now the robots are going to take the remaining jobs. Economists will chatter of this principle and that curve and what Aristotle said about Veblen, but in a free market for labor, robots will win. If we have a high minimum wage, business will automate. If we have a low minimum wage, they will automate, but a few years later.
I agree with many concepts presented in this article. That is why I advocate creating multiple income streams now. Corporations are not your friend. They are not employing you because they like you but because they perceive they need you for a task. When they no longer need you you are gone. When they can replace you with an Indian or Vietnamese you are gone, and when they can replace the Indian with a robot they will do it.
You cannot stop it so you better grab a surfboard and ride the wave. I am not sure how it will all play out but I know having wealth means having options and choices.