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Comment Re:Missing ingredient: consumers (Score 1) 391

So there's no in-between stage; it just pops into place? I don't know what you are getting at.

There's the difference between our positions - I don't believe we'll hit a post-scarcity world; I think that that every single system humans live in will be subject to the constraints of scarcity.

You, on the other hand, treat it as inevitable. That's why you offered your hypothetical of robots that are able to obsolete human beings - a belief that that endstate will show up.

We're not going to agree on that assumption, but you could offer an argument why that assumption is relevant and reasonable.

Note that Rome faced a similar problem as slaves did and could do most of the "grunt work". There were more citizens than jobs.

Alternatively, rather than Rome running out of jobs, Rome had become spiritually decadent and created a privileged "citizen" class who survived solely on the enslavement of others. It had a system that relied on the growth and maintenance of the slave class keeping up with the population of the "citizen" class. When such did not happen (too many citizens consuming entertainment instead of keeping the slaves in line and productive), the system crashed.

Comment Re:Missing ingredient: consumers (Score 1) 391

Fine, but you are NOT addressing levels in between.

Do tell what fine gradations you can find between a post-scarcity world and a scarcity one. I don't think they exist; you do. Please elaborate.

Consider that we could be considered 1,000 times better off materially than people 1,000 years ago. Variety in food, options in travel and entertainment, and so on.

That's not a linear increase towards post-scarcity; we still have plenty of people who do without, on earth, even in our rich societies. We're still very much operating in "scarcity".

Comment Re:Missing ingredient: consumers (Score 1) 391

Yes it would, we are gradually moving into such a world. It's not an all or nothing thing.

A post scarcity world doesn't need a scarcity world to tell it how to manage things. "Be fair how you give people stuff!" "But everyone already has what they want."

A post scarcity world has nothing useful to tell a scarcity world. "Give everyone more stuff!" "Uh... we don't have stuff to give everyone ... Are you offering?"

Comment Re:Missing ingredient: consumers (Score 1) 391

You didn't appear to address the question.

In a world without scarcity, money is no longer relevant, and worrying about lower/middle class having enough "money to buy stuff" is pointless.

Without scarcity, there is no more buying or selling. Whatever anyone can want, they will have.

And yes, the situation was hypothetical. That's why it was called "hypothetical".

I wasn't complaining about it being hypothetical. I was pointing out this particualr hypothetical won't teach us anything useful about the world we live in.

Comment Re:Two factories (Score 1) 391

It is impossible to have no evidence of negative impact when the low and middle skilled workers are losing hours/pay, but there is no effect on high skilled workers. The math doesn't add up.

Appearances can be deceiving. How many variables are at work in a study of 17 countries over 14 years?

Comment Re:Missing ingredient: consumers (Score 1) 391

He actually has unlimited wants, but almost no demand ability.

What is "demand ability"?

Demand is want. I demand everything, at no cost.

Even though I'll never get that trade, that demand is still there.

Note that you focused on production, not supply. Production is determined (in an efficient economy) by the meeting of supply and demand.

I used "production" as the ability to create something that is of value.

Not all production is valuable, but the ability to produce valuable things (goods) is what leads to trades that allow the consumption of valuable things.

We're talking about robots being more efficient at producing goods in mass, and you think that demand for luxury goods is going to drive the market? And then getting snippy about it?

You don't think iPhones and iWatches are luxury goods? Whether or not they were built by a machine (they are, somewhere), they are luxuries.

Comment Re:Missing ingredient: consumers (Score 1) 391

Let's look at a hypothetical extreme case. Suppose AI got as smart as an average human and easily took over most jobs we know now. You have no idea what capabilities the average human has, or the difficulty of building robots to imitate what Nature gives us for free. Now, under this, how does the middle and lower class get money to buy stuff? (All the wonderful stuff created by the bots.)

In this hypothetical world, scarcity is no longer a constraint, and we don't have to worry about distribution of scarce resources.

As such, any steady-state "solutions" to the hypothetical system have little relation to how things would or should resolve in our world.

Comment Re:I've said it before (Score 1) 391

Massage: No thanks, I don't want to lie there in full knowledge that the lovely girl massaging me is only doing so because she is paid and wouldn't be within a kilometre of me otherwise

Food Service: No thanks, I don't need or want to interact with a human for something so mundane and easily-abstracted.

Etc etc etc: No thanks - I'm quite happy here. I certainly enjoy interacting with humans via the Internet and spend a lot of time in voice chat with people all over the world. That said I couldn't possibly care less if I ever saw another human being in person.

I don't think you should assume everyone else in the world dislikes the presence of other human beings as much as you do.

Do you accept the existence of extroverts and people persons?

Comment Re:Missing ingredient: consumers (Score 1) 391

Yes, yes, everyone gets up and dances until the economy craters due to overproduction and a lack of consumers for said goods. But do let's forget the roaring twenties and associated rampant consumerism and stock market speculation, eh?

What about the roaring twenties?

Do you have a point?

Rather uncommon, which I believe is just the point the original poster made. What was yours?

The original poster claimed that the rich people don't have anything left to spend their money on. That the pinnacle of luxury spending they can make is $500 iPhones ... so now there's nothing else for them to buy.

If he thinks "the rich" are satisfied with $500 iPhones, he has no clue. If you think he has a point there, neither do you.

Comment Re:I've said it before (Score 1) 391

It said exactly what I quoted. The article does contain the text you quoted ... but you skipped much of the important context. Properly quoted below, with relevant context bolded.

Although we do not find evidence of a negative impact of robots on aggregate employment, we see a more nuanced picture when we break jobs and the wage cost down by skill groups. Robots appear to reduce the hours and the wage costs of low-skilled workers, and to a lesser extent middle skilled workers. They have no significant effect on the employment of high-skilled workers. This pattern differs from the effect that recent work has found for ICT, which seems to benefit high-skilled workers at the expense of middle-skilled workers (Autor 2014, Michaels et al. 2014).

In further results, we find that industrial robots increased total factor productivity and wages. At the same time, we find no significant effect of robots on the labour share.

Comment Re:Missing ingredient: consumers (Score 1) 391

Exactly, he has no money with which to turn his demand (desires) into economic activity. A part is missing or broken from the usual cycle.

There's nothing missing at all.

There's no such thing as just "consumption". People consume goods comes by trading one thing of value for something else of value.

Consumers have money to consume things because they are producers first. They traded their time and skills for wages, or used their knowledge to reap returns on investments.

Consumers do not magically pop into existence to throw money at economic goods.

Never heard of luxury goods?

Yes, but that's not enough to drive the entire economy.

Are you kidding me? The vast majority of things that the Western world enjoys are luxury goods by definition.

You will not die from lack of a car, or laptop, or Internet access, or smartphone, or fast food or fine dining, or all the trivialities you enjoy in your day to day life.

Humanity has existed for thousands of years without those goods ever existing - that they are mass produced and available to many individuals first world nations is a giant market of luxury goods.

It takes complete ignorance of what it means to live without to look at the Western world overflowing with luxuries and claim, "can't build an economy on luxury goods".

What are you ranked in the world's income percentiles?

If it's above $34k, you're in the top 1%. It only takes $1.5k to be in the top 50%. Source

Comment Re:Two factories (Score 3, Informative) 391

There is no impact to those employees, but the other factory goes out of business. That is where the jobs get lost and that is what the study does not measure.

Read the article.

Although we do not find evidence of a negative impact of robots on aggregate employment, we see a more nuanced picture when we break jobs and the wage cost down by skill groups. Robots appear to reduce the hours and the wage costs of low-skilled workers, and to a lesser extent middle skilled workers. They have no significant effect on the employment of high-skilled workers. This pattern differs from the effect that recent work has found for ICT, which seems to benefit high-skilled workers at the expense of middle-skilled workers (Autor 2014, Michaels et al. 2014).

Comment Re:Missing ingredient: consumers (Score 0) 391

The bottleneck in the cyber-age economy is consumers, so far.

Utter nonsense.

Demand does not create wealth. Production does. A beggar has unlimited demand for every material good, but nothing he can trade for them.

Nobody has figured out how to get more and bigger spending-consumers. Most of the revenue and profits are log-jammed at the 1%, who don't need 500 iPhones each.

Never heard of luxury goods? Like $17K watches?

If not, you have no business critiquing economic systems.

Comment Re:I've said it before (Score 1) 391

And the benefit of the increased productivity to the workers is...?

What does the freaking article summary say?

industrial robots increase labor productivity, total factor productivity and wages

Does higher wages sound like a benefit to you?

How you get Insightful for failing to RTFA is a mystery. I blame the increased productivity your computer is giving you. You can count that as a benefit of technology.

Comment Re:I've said it before (Score 1) 391

We're not talking about increased productivity. We're talking about longer working hours. Not the same thing.

Reading is hard.

Slashdot article title: "Robots Appear To Raise Productivity Without Causing Total Work Hours To Decline"

Also, "work hours not declining" is not the same thing as "longer working hours".

From the article, they didn't find a significant relationship between automation and hours worked.

When we use our instrument to capture differences in the increased use of robots, we again find that robots increased productivity, and detect no significant effect on hours worked.

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