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The death of capitalism

slo1
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9/3/2012 3:32:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
When one considers automation and long term repercussions.

1. Human functions will continue to be automated to reduce costs, a function of capitalism.
2. The automation will include maintenance and the design of future automation.
3. When the level of automation becomes at a point when jobs are lost but no jobs are gained from the advancement of technology....

That is when capitalism no long works. Since there will be no jobs there can be no consumer and it means other economic systems will be necessary.

To really think the above through, one has to consider what can and will one day be automated.
A. Customer service - talk to robots will be much less aggravating.
B. Surgery - Who needs a Dr. to leave a sponge in when robots are more dependable.
C. IT can be better managed by automation, who will be able to spot problems and be proactive rather than reactive. Imagine automation deciding it needs new hardware, orders, it and, a robot in a control center installs it.

Those are just some ways we are going end up eliminating a majority of paying jobs. How can capitalism live in the future when there will not be away for the masses to join the system because there are no jobs? What can't be automated?
Lordknukle
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9/3/2012 4:04:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This isn't capitalism; this is technological advancement. Even if we were in a socialistic system, this problem would remain exactly the same.

At 9/3/2012 3:32:54 PM, slo1 wrote:
When one considers automation and long term repercussions.

1. Human functions will continue to be automated to reduce costs, a function of capitalism.

Some functions, yes. On the other hand, with a whole new technological sector opening up, many new jobs will be available. 50 years ago, people were scared about computers replacing all human jobs. As it turned out, a new and brobdignagian sector was opened up just because of this new technology.

2. The automation will include maintenance and the design of future automation.

Unlikely, unless an automaton will be able to function independently, which is just a Sci-Fi dream.

3. When the level of automation becomes at a point when jobs are lost but no jobs are gained from the advancement of technology....

No reason for that to happen.

That is when capitalism no long works. Since there will be no jobs there can be no consumer and it means other economic systems will be necessary.

Your beef isn't with the economic system; your beef is with the technology. Unless you purposefully stagnate technology, no system is going to address this "problem."

On the other hand, this "problem" will create many many more jobs as a whole new industry opens up for robotics and automatons.

To really think the above through, one has to consider what can and will one day be automated.
A. Customer service - talk to robots will be much less aggravating.

They do that now.

B. Surgery - Who needs a Dr. to leave a sponge in when robots are more dependable.

Yeah....no.

C. IT can be better managed by automation, who will be able to spot problems and be proactive rather than reactive. Imagine automation deciding it needs new hardware, orders, it and, a robot in a control center installs it.

Maybe, but the technology required for that would create massive amounts of jobs for its development and sustainability. Not to mention that it is incredibly complex and likely not to happen within the next 100 years.

Those are just some ways we are going end up eliminating a majority of paying jobs. How can capitalism live in the future when there will not be away for the masses to join the system because there are no jobs? What can't be automated?

The real death of capitalism is when the oil runs out. Technological growth is a positive product of capitalism.
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Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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9/3/2012 8:49:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/3/2012 3:32:54 PM, slo1 wrote:
When one considers automation and long term repercussions.

1. Human functions will continue to be automated to reduce costs, a function of capitalism.
2. The automation will include maintenance and the design of future automation.
3. When the level of automation becomes at a point when jobs are lost but no jobs are gained from the advancement of technology....

This is called the 'Curse of Machinery Fallacy'. It has existed since the advent of capitalism, so what you are saying is nothing new. It is based on the false assumption that there are a set number of jobs available, then if technology replaces those jobs, unemployment will be widespread, and society would collapse.

Note: Some jobs will be lost to the automation/technology as it progresses; however, that is because those people are no longer employed efficiently. The same thing was said about hosiery machines when the Luddites rioted in the streets and threatened inventors with violence. The result of the machinery making clothing: increasing numbers of people were employed in those industries where their labor was used more productively. Of the people who spent years learning skills for which there was no longer employment; they had to feel some suffering, but they could be employed in other industries now, because clothing that used to cost $10 say, now cost $4, which saves the consumers money that could now be spent elsewhere.

That is when capitalism no long works. Since there will be no jobs there can be no consumer and it means other economic systems will be necessary.

Full production is what we want, not full employment. If technology and automation operate at such high levels, people will have to work less time to buy the same amount of goods. Instead of working 1,000 hours to pay for a car, they now work 10 hours to pay for a car. As a result, people can spend more time on leisure activities, education, and traveling.

To really think the above through, one has to consider what can and will one day be automated.
A. Customer service - talk to robots will be much less aggravating.
B. Surgery - Who needs a Dr. to leave a sponge in when robots are more dependable.
C. IT can be better managed by automation, who will be able to spot problems and be proactive rather than reactive. Imagine automation deciding it needs new hardware, orders, it and, a robot in a control center installs it.

That would be awesome.

Those are just some ways we are going end up eliminating a majority of paying jobs. How can capitalism live in the future when there will not be away for the masses to join the system because there are no jobs? What can't be automated?

A few questions for you:
Who will design, build, repair, distribute, market, sell, and program these technological marvels?
If technology decreased jobs, why has the past 100 years seen explosive technological growth (decreasing jobs in your view) and explosive population growth (more competition in your view), while simultaneously maintaining the same levels of unemployment as before?
Do you think increasing production is bad?
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Wallstreetatheist
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9/3/2012 8:51:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
After the "Full production is what we want, not full employment" add: this is what makes living standards rise.
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LaissezFaire
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9/3/2012 10:06:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
It's usually not true that more technology means less employment, but this could eventually be the case. With artificial intelligence, robots would be able to do any task humans can do. We would need people to create these robots at first, but eventually, there will be intelligent robots that can create other intelligent robots, and there will be no more need for human labor.

But this would be a good thing. We don't *need* jobs if we have robots that do all our work. No one would have to work, and production would become so cheap that everyone alive would be far richer than we can even imagine. We would live in a futuristic Garden of Eden, where no one wants for anything.
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slo1
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9/4/2012 8:14:33 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/3/2012 8:49:07 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
At 9/3/2012 3:32:54 PM, slo1 wrote:
When one considers automation and long term repercussions.

1. Human functions will continue to be automated to reduce costs, a function of capitalism.
2. The automation will include maintenance and the design of future automation.
3. When the level of automation becomes at a point when jobs are lost but no jobs are gained from the advancement of technology....

This is called the 'Curse of Machinery Fallacy'. It has existed since the advent of capitalism, so what you are saying is nothing new. It is based on the false assumption that there are a set number of jobs available, then if technology replaces those jobs, unemployment will be widespread, and society would collapse.

Note: Some jobs will be lost to the automation/technology as it progresses; however, that is because those people are no longer employed efficiently. The same thing was said about hosiery machines when the Luddites rioted in the streets and threatened inventors with violence. The result of the machinery making clothing: increasing numbers of people were employed in those industries where their labor was used more productively. Of the people who spent years learning skills for which there was no longer employment; they had to feel some suffering, but they could be employed in other industries now, because clothing that used to cost $10 say, now cost $4, which saves the consumers money that could now be spent elsewhere.

That is when capitalism no long works. Since there will be no jobs there can be no consumer and it means other economic systems will be necessary.

Full production is what we want, not full employment. If technology and automation operate at such high levels, people will have to work less time to buy the same amount of goods. Instead of working 1,000 hours to pay for a car, they now work 10 hours to pay for a car. As a result, people can spend more time on leisure activities, education, and traveling.

To really think the above through, one has to consider what can and will one day be automated.
A. Customer service - talk to robots will be much less aggravating.
B. Surgery - Who needs a Dr. to leave a sponge in when robots are more dependable.
C. IT can be better managed by automation, who will be able to spot problems and be proactive rather than reactive. Imagine automation deciding it needs new hardware, orders, it and, a robot in a control center installs it.

That would be awesome.

Those are just some ways we are going end up eliminating a majority of paying jobs. How can capitalism live in the future when there will not be away for the masses to join the system because there are no jobs? What can't be automated?

A few questions for you:
Who will design, build, repair, distribute, market, sell, and program these technological marvels?
If technology decreased jobs, why has the past 100 years seen explosive technological growth (decreasing jobs in your view) and explosive population growth (more competition in your view), while simultaneously maintaining the same levels of unemployment as before?
Do you think increasing production is bad?

I think what we have here is a lack of imagination here. The word on the street is that when computing gets to the quantum level, it will have enough power to begin automating areas that traditionally thought as in the human realm. There is even the belief that it will be more productive to use computers for scientific work than scientists.

The jobs created from creating new technology can only be a temporary until automation takes over those roles.

Look, this not nothing that is going to happen tomorrow, but we already have a car that drives itself, the Google car. We have cars that parks itself. There are fully automated factories that require human intervention once every two weeks. Computers are used to solve extremely complex modeling and math problems that humans could not hope to solve. There are computers that day trade and make fractions of pennies on trades of 100 to 1000 shares and they dominate the current market. There are bots on the net having written conversations with people with the people thinking the bots are live people. There is no reason to expect that the level of automation will extend far beyond where it is.

The best thing about this is that it will be Capitalism that creates the continued productivity that will eventually create the most productive function by creating automation to create and sustain automation.

So to answer your question, do I think increased productivity is bad, I answer, "no". To answer the question of who will market, sell, distribute...." the answer of course is "automation".

I would ask why would you pay a person to market your product when you could use a type of system which not only can be creative but can measure the effectiveness of campaigns, and, oh by the way, it does it without complaint without needing raises, and breaks. Also, it depends upon where in the stage of this evolution it is. At some point marketing is a dinosaur relic of capitalism. It will not be needed once automation can run a majority of the economy.

The drop of jobs in manufacturing is astounding. The only reason today there is not more fully automated systems is that the capital involved getting to full automation is prohibitive. Luckily, the technology boom has created more opportunity in the forms of jobs and helped increased disposable income. What happens when the costs come down? When the service sector gets automated? When computers can program better than people in the US or India? When computers can design better programming languages than people can? When computers can negotiate with other parties more effectively because they don't have emotions?

The question for you and others is, "Why do you have so little faith in our ability to create technology and in capitalism to not believe that at some point we will have automation that is self sustaining, meaning it creates new automation and sustains existing automation?"
slo1
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9/4/2012 8:26:09 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/3/2012 4:04:37 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
This isn't capitalism; this is technological advancement. Even if we were in a socialistic system, this problem would remain exactly the same.

At 9/3/2012 3:32:54 PM, slo1 wrote:
When one considers automation and long term repercussions.

1. Human functions will continue to be automated to reduce costs, a function of capitalism.

Some functions, yes. On the other hand, with a whole new technological sector opening up, many new jobs will be available. 50 years ago, people were scared about computers replacing all human jobs. As it turned out, a new and brobdignagian sector was opened up just because of this new technology.

2. The automation will include maintenance and the design of future automation.

Unlikely, unless an automaton will be able to function independently, which is just a Sci-Fi dream.

3. When the level of automation becomes at a point when jobs are lost but no jobs are gained from the advancement of technology....

No reason for that to happen.

There is a reason. It is call capitalism. There are mountains of people investing in new technology to make systems more efficient so they can create profit. There is no reason to assume capitalism will not drive us to a point where we can automate a majority of jobs in america.


That is when capitalism no long works. Since there will be no jobs there can be no consumer and it means other economic systems will be necessary.

Your beef isn't with the economic system; your beef is with the technology. Unless you purposefully stagnate technology, no system is going to address this "problem."


The problem is not the technology. The problem will happen when the level of automation exists that it causes a decline in jobs for humans. Less disposable income causes depressions. One must have consumers to have a capital system. When automation hits a critical mass, it causes a need for a new social economic system as it is not sustainable because disposable income dries up and goes away.
On the other hand, this "problem" will create many many more jobs as a whole new industry opens up for robotics and automatons.

To really think the above through, one has to consider what can and will one day be automated.
A. Customer service - talk to robots will be much less aggravating.

They do that now.

Yes there is a level of automation. Voice recognition, etc, but it is not yet fully sophisticated to eliminate humans from its entirety. There are some interesting technologies that allow one human to deal with 4 or 5 people at the same time as the computer handles the conversation and patches them to a person when needed. I've never experienced it though.
B. Surgery - Who needs a Dr. to leave a sponge in when robots are more dependable.

Yeah....no.

It is always easy to say a level of technology is unattainable or will not be adopted, but there is nothing that would stop this as not in our capability.

C. IT can be better managed by automation, who will be able to spot problems and be proactive rather than reactive. Imagine automation deciding it needs new hardware, orders, it and, a robot in a control center installs it.

Maybe, but the technology required for that would create massive amounts of jobs for its development and sustainability. Not to mention that it is incredibly complex and likely not to happen within the next 100 years.

Those jobs to develop and sustain could be automated. Look at programming. It has become a commodity and riddled with low quality results. It will be automated.

Those are just some ways we are going end up eliminating a majority of paying jobs. How can capitalism live in the future when there will not be away for the masses to join the system because there are no jobs? What can't be automated?

The real death of capitalism is when the oil runs out. Technological growth is a positive product of capitalism.

The beauty of capitalism is that it can live when oil runs out as there will be much profit to be made finding an energy source that works for the world. It however, can not survive when disposable income is slashed because people don't have jobs.
slo1
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9/4/2012 8:31:08 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/3/2012 8:51:24 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
After the "Full production is what we want, not full employment" add: this is what makes living standards rise.

full production only works because there is a proportionate amount of humans who reap the benefit of that production. That creates disposable income and demand. Reduce that ratio to create larger haves and have nots and that is when revolution starts to happen. Automation has the power down the road to decrease the number of participants involved in production.
TombLikeBomb
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9/9/2012 10:12:47 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Luddism was answered by Marx over a century ago. The unemployment problem is no worse now than it was then, though automation has increased manyfold. Capitalism is an unfortunate result of evolution, same as males headbutting eachother for mates. To call it obsolete is to suggest, falsely, that it was ever sensible.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
Wallstreetatheist
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9/9/2012 11:09:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Humans will always desire the service of other humans above robots for certain tasks. Period.
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FREEDO
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9/10/2012 5:16:06 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
You know, I've seen this issue presented over and over again in various places. I even read a book devoted to the whole subject. And NO ONE ever seems to come up with the really obvious solution.

They only seems to offer up things that downplay it like "we will always use people for certain things". But frankly, I think such answers are compleeetely unappreciative of the dramatic change this means for the economy.

And when people do come to grips with it, their only conclusion seems to be that it results in an inevitable Socialist revolution. But I actually think that's just as silly.

There is one thing that all the incentives would point to in arising out of such a scenario. And I just can't seem to explain why no one thinks of it. That answer is increased business ownership. The whole thing is so simple that it really makes all the huge hype about the issue seem quite ridiculous. When the jobs run out, people will start buying capital as the primary way to make an income instead. This is definitely a dramatic change in our economy. At all points up until then we would have replied on human labor as the primary means of advancement in the world. This would mark a turning point in history where brains triumphs over brawns in the role of our economy. But it's no literal revolution and there would be no need to collectivize industry that results out of it, though any old arguments would still remain.

You can in-fact see that we've been on the road to this ever since the industrial revolution. The average unemployment rate has consistently gone up over the decades. In pre-industrial revolution times, the unemployment rate very rarely went above 3%. It was so low that it wasn't even a political issue. Likewise, with this fall in labor, there has also been a consistent rise of business ownership.

The future will belong to a new breed of Capitalism where the Communistic dream of abolishing the bourgeoisie is finally recognized, but through a completely different means; making everybody one.
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slo1
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9/10/2012 5:07:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/10/2012 5:16:06 AM, FREEDO wrote:
You know, I've seen this issue presented over and over again in various places. I even read a book devoted to the whole subject. And NO ONE ever seems to come up with the really obvious solution.

They only seems to offer up things that downplay it like "we will always use people for certain things". But frankly, I think such answers are compleeetely unappreciative of the dramatic change this means for the economy.

And when people do come to grips with it, their only conclusion seems to be that it results in an inevitable Socialist revolution. But I actually think that's just as silly.

There is one thing that all the incentives would point to in arising out of such a scenario. And I just can't seem to explain why no one thinks of it. That answer is increased business ownership. The whole thing is so simple that it really makes all the huge hype about the issue seem quite ridiculous. When the jobs run out, people will start buying capital as the primary way to make an income instead. This is definitely a dramatic change in our economy. At all points up until then we would have replied on human labor as the primary means of advancement in the world. This would mark a turning point in history where brains triumphs over brawns in the role of our economy. But it's no literal revolution and there would be no need to collectivize industry that results out of it, though any old arguments would still remain.

You can in-fact see that we've been on the road to this ever since the industrial revolution. The average unemployment rate has consistently gone up over the decades. In pre-industrial revolution times, the unemployment rate very rarely went above 3%. It was so low that it wasn't even a political issue. Likewise, with this fall in labor, there has also been a consistent rise of business ownership.

The future will belong to a new breed of Capitalism where the Communistic dream of abolishing the bourgeoisie is finally recognized, but through a completely different means; making everybody one.

I think you are on to something, but I'm not entirely convinced that everyone will be able to buy in to a business. As you pointed out this revolution is slow and with our current economic systems while it allows most to participate it still pushes more of the pie to the current owners of business. In other terms we can expect poverty to increase in the long term.

When technology reaches the point where we can reduce technical jobs via automation it is too late to bring everyone in the fold without some sort of socialism.