Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Mar 2017 20:46 UTC
In the News

Who is winning the race for jobs between robots and humans? Last year, two leading economists described a future in which humans come out ahead. But now they’ve declared a different winner: the robots.

The industry most affected by automation is manufacturing. For every robot per thousand workers, up to six workers lost their jobs and wages fell by as much as three-fourths of a percent, according to a new paper by the economists, Daron Acemoglu of M.I.T. and Pascual Restrepo of Boston University. It appears to be the first study to quantify large, direct, negative effects of robots.

These effects are only "negative" effects because of the way our society currently works. Nobody is going to stop automation, but automation is going to make our capitalist systems wholly and deeply untenable. Those countries who recognise and adapt to this fact the earliest, will be the ones coming out on top once the dust settles.

Countries that look backwards and thereby artificially stunt their economic growth by investing in wholly outdated and destructive industries... Well. Good luck.

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Comment by p13.
by p13. on Wed 29th Mar 2017 08:06 UTC
p13.
Member since:
2005-07-10

The main reason why people seem to think automation will spell doom for work opportunity is that people still seem to think that manual labor is the be-all end-all occupation for the majority of the population.

I don't think so.
Services are where it's at.

Now it's time to watch governments actually do their jobs and co-ordinate the arrival of AI and high-level automation. It is simply unavoidable.
Now governments around the world get a chance to actually do something useful for their population.
Although, it is pretty much guaranteed that most will fail.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by p13.
by Alfman on Wed 29th Mar 2017 14:03 in reply to "Comment by p13."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

p13,

The main reason why people seem to think automation will spell doom for work opportunity is that people still seem to think that manual labor is the be-all end-all occupation for the majority of the population.

I don't think so.
Services are where it's at.


I don't disagree with you that as a result in the loss of manufacturing jobs, people have to turn to whatever service jobs are available. However the fastest growing service jobs are also very low wage.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/elder-scare-low-pay-afflicts-americas-f...
The fastest-growing occupation in the U.S. is also among the lowest paid.

The aging of America's baby boomers has led to a surge in demand for home care workers to look after the nation's elderly, as well as the disabled and chronically ill. The work is as essential as it is poorly paid. Home health aides do everything from checking a client's vital signs and administering medications to looking after people's dietary needs and even operating life-sustaining equipment, such as ventilators.

Working poor

Despite the growing need for home health services, in 2012 (the latest year for which data is available) the median annual wage for the country's nearly 2 million so-called direct care workers was about $10 an hour, or less than $21,000 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The money can be even worse, industry data show, since many people in the field are paid a part-timer's hours despite putting in a full work week.

Among the factors combining to keep a lid on pay, experts say: a large pool of low-skilled workers, most of whom are minority women; weak union representation; and federal laws that exclude home health personnel from the wage protections common in other professions.



This has been going on for years already. It's one thing for a secondary family income to be low, but if job cuts due to automation leads to both breadwinners scrounging for whatever low paying service jobs that are available, then this is going to be responsible for some serious economic hardships.


Now it's time to watch governments actually do their jobs and co-ordinate the arrival of AI and high-level automation. It is simply unavoidable. Now governments around the world get a chance to actually do something useful for their population.
Although, it is pretty much guaranteed that most will fail.


I agree that there's a lot that could be done, but all to often we are impeded by government being run for corporate interests, which is the exact opposite of how it should be. Governments ought to protect the interests of the people first and foremost. Having government under the influence of corporations is extremely harmful because it allows the most powerful entities in the private world to control our public policy as well without regards for the people.

Edited 2017-03-29 14:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by p13.
by dionicio on Wed 29th Mar 2017 16:19 in reply to "Comment by p13."
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

'Services are where it's at". Allow me to exemplify:

International prostitution, organ traffic, personal gardeners and 'massagers', 'sommelier' porno. Hunger games, on global media distribution. Lovely cared, 'human handled', $1K non GM melons agriculture.

Going to be great. At which side you will end: 0.01% or 99.99% ? Wish you good luck.

Reply Parent Score: 2