The Great Debate Again: Jobs vs. Automation

Again from Aaron:

The Luddite Fallacy has a long history of being a fallacy. There are new jobs replacing obsolete ones. And in other instances, automation and jobs can coexist. In the first instance, every major brand has Facebook page and these brands hire people to answer questions and delete spam from the pages – a job that just six years ago didn’t exist. Although food stores and some fast food restaurants have ordering kiosks and self-checkouts, they still have roughly the same number of regular employees, so the machines and employees coexist instead of the machines taking all of the jobs. Also, there are new jobs to help customers use the machines, and jobs to fix the machines, install them, etc.

The question that inevitably arises is, ‘If everything is automated/ without a middle class, who is going to buy stuff? Won’t the economy fail?’

As I explain earlier, however, in spite of the hollowing out of the middle an the un-participatory nature of the post-2008 economy, I’m still bullish on stocks and the US economy, since, in accordance to the Pareto Principle, the top 20% (the cognitive and financial elite) are compensating for any weakness in the middle, along with strong overseas growth and the booming foreign middle class.

The richest consume the most; the poorest the least:

Booming foreign consumption, especially the Chinese luxury consumer:

In an economy that otherwise feels stagnant, high-IQ tech like Google and Facebook and intellectual property exporters like Disney is where the growth is. Consequentially, due to the contributions of an elite few, stocks, consumer spending, and profits & earnings will keep rising even if many people are left out:

We’ll also see an acceleration of the trend of salaried jobs being replaced by freelance/gig jobs that may not be counted in the official labor statistics.

After accounting for new technologies and overgenerous entitlement spending, and in spite of stagnant real wages, America’s poor are much better off than they were generations ago, and much better off than the poor everywhere else, which is probably why so immigrants come here. Also, in a free market, capitalists want their goods to be accessible provided they can make a profit; they have nothing to gain by keeping all the cool technologies to an elite few.

Also, skilled labor should remain in demand. Maybe this is an argument for making STEM education free, since these are the people who create the most economic value.

Sterilization/mandatory birth control in exchange for welfare…also a good idea, especially considering the hereditary component of poverty and IQ scores; otherwise, the generational poverty cycle perpetuates.

Related:

The Great Debate: Automation, Jobs, Wealth Inequality, Basic Income, Post Scarcity

Sorry Middle Class, You’re Just Not That Important Anymore

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