So who had TV in 1960? Not the poor, I'll tell you that. A phone from the year 2000 is still one hell of a lot better than the phone I had in 1965.
Sure, at some point, what we have today moves out of our economic grasp. But you simply cannot sensibly deny that the standard of living, lifespan, and contentment of the lower levels (not the lowest... that's another problem entirely, a legal one) are continually rising.
Money is a proxy for exchange of work. If the work is being done by automation that does not require exchange, money is not required.
o Mining: automated
o Agriculture: automated
o Livestock industry and/or artificial meats: automated
o Manufacturing: automated
o Ordering: Network based, zero cost
o Network maintenance: automated
o Transport: automated
o Delivery: automated
o Power: Solar and storage based, instead of local fuel-based
So what's left for you to do in this production context?
Consume. That's all. Outside of that, enjoy yourself. Hump a lot (robot partners or real ones.) Consume entertainment. Sleep. Exercise. Pursue hobbies. In a word, enjoy your leisure.
o Firefighting: automated
o Policing: automated
o Emergency response: automated
o Medical care: automated
o Scientific advance: automated
o Travel: automated
And of course:
o Repair of automation: automated
Only things of inherent scarcity would still have value; land, spectrum, that sort of thing. Those are going to be the initial "crunch points" in any transition we attempt to make. There will be others, such as extreme consumption (hand build vehicles like Lambos, huge domiciles, yachts, like that.
Well said. Except for one thing. It's not the government who pays them. They're just like a banker, they're just handling the money as it passes by. (Poorly, but that's another post.) We pay them. So the burgers do indeed cost more, it's just that the cost is hidden by moving the payment to the tax collection step.
Corporations don't vote.
You couldn't be more wrong. Corporations vote through extremely powerful multiplying proxies variously described as bribes, campaign contributions, assurance of later employment and so on, often via extremely powerful channels known as "lobbyists." These votes carry more weight by far than any collection of constituents. You can change the players, that is, vote congress in and out repeatedly, but this does not affect how corporations and the rich control the actual legislative outcomes in any significant way. It just changes who gets the bribes and so forth.
It's like your server changing at McDonald's. New guy or gal, they're now getting the the income the previous employee no longer receives, and they're still telling you "I'll see to it you get a great burger, sir!" but you're still getting the exact same burger. Every time.
Of course, this control isn't actually a voting process, instead they represent a much more direct and effective mechanism of control (direct meting out of money and power and opportunity), but the effect is that your vote and my vote isn't worth a plugged nickel in controlling what legislators do, or don't do. It's just like being outvoted, only much more consistent and effective. The only time your vote appears to matter is when you are voting for the same ideas the rich and the corporations are pushing.
There are very, very few legislators who retire poor. Funny thing, eh? Oligarchy: Look it up, read it, and weep.
Of course they're benefiting from government assistance. When employees cannot survive on low wages, the government makes up the difference, thereby providing business with the continuing ability to pay lower than adequate wages. No health care? Government. Not enough food? Government. Can't pay the rent? Rent assistance. Not enough for day care? Childcare assistance.
And guess who pays for all this? Not walmart or pizza hut or subway... no, we do.
It's a shell game: hiding the actual costs of producing and serving and supplying goods (eg pizza, walmart's merchandise) behind a curtain of indirect government support. If the pizza server and walmart employee earned an adequate wage, this would show up in the price of goods. They don't want that. So instead, your taxes go up, the politicians shrug, and the walmart family is one of the wealthiest in the country, more than a little bit based on those indirect compensation boosts they don't have to pay.
What you're missing is that they think eliminating the need for THEM to be a slave to somebody is a good thing, as long as YOU are a slave to them. Because that, in a nutshell, is the situation that wealth concentration creates.
I should be rich.
You should do what I tell you to do, and I'll reward you miserably for it. Or not at all, if that can be managed.
Ahhhg. Soylent Green was "bad movie all the way down."
Read Harry Harrison's "Make Room, Make Room" so you can (a) have a wonderful read and (b) see what a corrupted, idiotic mess Hollywood made out of a perfectly good story.
Soylent Green is the poster child for the message of a scene in The Majestic. Here's a great summary from the Intertubes:
The movie begins in a Hollywood story meeting in the early 1950’s. Before we see anything we hear a group of studio executives (hilarious vocal cameos by some of Hollywood’s top directors) eviscerating a script by casually throwing in every possible movie cliché. As they call out “How about a dog!” and “The kid should be crippled!” the screenwriter sits there, stunned into silence. Finally, he musters up a diplomatic, “That’s.amazing.”
I, for one, would like to be the first to welcome our new primarily welcoming overlords and underlings.
The problem is that without some form of guidance, we're more likely to end up with the rich enjoying the machines and the rest thrown to the wolves (at least until they overwhelm the rich and kill them or at least threaten to)
We need to ask whether ownership of production will survive a radical change in economic fundamentals.
For things to be valuable, they have to be scarce. Things would no longer be scarce. This implies some kind of change in the economics that isn't accounted for by the idea of owning production.
Further, artificially restricting access to non-scarce items probably won't fly. They'll probably try it, but once these technologies are out of the box, they're almost certain to lose control of them.
Scarcity is "natural" only for things that have inherent hard limits. So property / elbow room, scenic vistas, spectrum, those sorts of things.
Just a few things have to arrive to disrupt the heck out of our present economic structure:
o non-destructive local energy sourcing and storage (from solar, primarily... plenty of that to go around.)
o adequate robotics to provide household maintenance
o custom and template-based production of objects on demand from generalized raw materials
o custom and template-based production of foodstuffs on demand from generalized raw materials
These, taken together, would utterly change the lives and lifestyles of human beings with access.
It'll be interesting to watch, anyway.
Yes, but at that time, we still had a shortage of labor over all. In western society, we very recently doubled the eligible workforce through equal rights. Then with a bit of development in the 3rd world, we have multiplied it many times (but haven't given those workers a chance to become consumers). Now automation is cheap enough that even those very cheap workers are threatened with unemployment.
All you have to know about Enterprise was that Rick Berman is the kind of douchebag that actually got royally pissed when Jeri Ryan's tits got smaller after the birth of her child and in retaliation had her catsuit made so damned small that she said she had trouble breathing in it.
THAT ladies and gentleman explains better than I ever could why later versions of Star Trek sucked, because the head was a fucking dudebro who cared only about tits and ass, like putting Michael Bay in charge of making the Martian Chronicles, no good can come from this.
If you are choosing between "slamming your brakes at the last second" or "running a red light" then you were driving unsafely.***
There is a significant correlation between installing the cameras and shortening the yellow. At the same time, even if the yellow was too short even before the cameras were installed, they increase the risk of accidents since people will no longer be willing to run the very beginning of the red (before traffic the other way starts moving).
That is unmitigated, blinder-driven nonsense.
Art can be an expression of joy; of nothing; of interest; of form; of function... and it can still be art, even *great* art, no matter if some particular critic or consumer finds it unworthy, or not. It can be found in paintings, weapons, carved shells, code, fiction, sexuality, clothing, history, religion, philosophy, architecture, pottery, bonsai, the manner of one's death, kitchen appliances, on stage, in music... and a whole lot of other places... and all of it can arise with -- or without -- struggle. Struggle is not a required foundation, it's just a circumstance that in some part gives rise to some artworks, as can be said for virtually any facet of the experience of life, of the nature of reality, of the nature of fantasy.
Your view of art is so narrow I'm surprised you even admit there is any.
And *I* am a bloody Philistine, lol.