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Should there be laws restricting the automation of jobs?

Asked by: ramramgeorge
  • To an extent

    Although automation does help drive profits and wealth (along with allowing mass production). There should be some sort of limit that will prevent all jobs from being replaced by the ever-smarted AI within robots we see today. Although some would think such a phenomenon is centuries away, I actually think about the future and try to find a way to prevent humanity from looking like the axiom in Wall-E.

    You see, when ALL jobs be replaced by technology it not only creates massive unemployment, welfare costs, inequality, and collapses the government budget, but humans (if not kept busy somehow) would either go insane or get into some real trouble when they have nothing productive to occupy their minds.

    However, then there is the problem of having too much government interference. Therefore I think it would be best to leave it to the unions to protect jobs from automation across the nation.

  • Oh yes definitely

    How is anyone supposed to survive without government support if technological advances ever take away most or all jobs? Besides that, how are people supposed to socialize OFFline if they wanna, when we all ask each other "where do you work?" right after exchanging names? Something must be done to prevent the end of human employment!

  • But NOT to prevent unemployment, to Prevent Automation from taking over

    Automation means people can get better jobs. The government should help with training and education programs for workers being replaced by machines.

    The real concern with automation is whether or not machines may get minds of their own and decide they don't need us. That is a real risk that needs to be avoided. Hence we will always need human workers who can intervene and prevent a machine that is malfunctioning/rebelling before it can do any serious damage.

  • But NOT to prevent unemployment, to Prevent Automation from taking over

    Automation means people can get better jobs. The government should help with training and education programs for workers being replaced by machines.

    The real concern with automation is whether or not machines may get minds of their own and decide they don't need us. That is a real risk that needs to be avoided. Hence we will always need human workers who can intervene and prevent a machine that is malfunctioning/rebelling before it can do any serious damage.

  • The Economic Argument

    Government intervention creates dead-weight loss. Aside from my almost instinctive "DWL" argument, laws restricting the automation of jobs are a non-binding limit, because there will always be jobs that humans can do better than computers. Robots right now can do rote, repetitive, or dangerous jobs better than humans. In the future, they will be responsible for more intellectual jobs, such as architecture and design. However, in time they may be able to totally replace human effort. People, this is a good thing! Humans won't need to work, or do anything they don't want to.
    Sincerely,
    The Economic Argument

  • Make Work Bias

    One of the major arguments for restricting automation is that it takes jobs away and thus hurts people and the economy. If this were true then humans would have led much better lives before the agricultural revolution and all its associated tool advancements than after and that is simply not the case. Just because there are jobs doesn't mean people are better off, those jobs have to be value adding and as technology and mechanization progress, that leaves resources like time, people, and raw materials open for new innovation and thencreation of new markets in which people can find better lives.

  • Automation reduces the need for human work

    People often prioritize the need to create jobs over the need to create wealth (economists call this make-work bias). If we were to take this idea seriously in the past, most of us would still be farmers, because we would have had to be, as automated tractors reduce farming jobs. Now that we have machines to assist with farming, we can concentrate on different jobs, and (almost) everyone in our society is richer as a result. Increased automation in the future should have the same effect: removing some jobs in the short run, but paving the way for more efficient, higher paying jobs.

  • Oh yes definitely

    How is anyone supposed to survive without government support if technological advances ever take away most or all jobs? Besides that, how are people supposed to socialize OFFline if they wanna, when we all ask each other "where do you work?" right after exchanging names? Something must be done to prevent the end of human employment!

  • Absolute advantages speak for themselves

    If an employee can produce 10 items an hour and a machine can produce 100 items in an hour, the machine has the absolute advantage. Automation leads to a rightward shifted supply curve which will lower the equilibrium price. This means that demand will be higher because all people would have more buying power in the automated market.
    Furthermore, if we look at history, we will find that automation has caused economies to shift from primary sector to secondary sector to tertiary sector and so forth. Right now, the US has most employment in the tertiary, or service, sector. However, when automation makes things more efficient, more jobs will open up in the quaternary, or research, sector. This will lead to growth in technology and innovation, possibly a cure to cancer. Who knows.


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