Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Can globalisation help ? (Score 3, Interesting) 219

The big manufacturers sell their products world wide. This means that they need to make them comply with the various standards that exist in different parts of the world. The EU market is about the same size as the USA one. The EU has its own energy standards and labelling, if the EPA Energy Star goes away in the USA they could simply display the EU ones in the USA. USA consumers would quickly learn what it was about, the manufacturers would save costs by not having to have their stuff tested twice; everyone wins. Going for global standards is where we will probably end up sooner or later anyway.

Comment Re:This is retarded conservatism to help 'coal' (Score 5, Informative) 345

The problem is that even if coal is completely deregulated, it's not miners who are going to be doing the extraction. The future of mining is automated. At best this will just give the coal barons a few more years of profit and do dick for the miners.

But it's not even going to be that good. Natural gas is killing coal, so there isn't even going to be a coal industry by the time renewables dominate. This is a classic "buggy whip" problem, in that there ain't gonna be no more horse-drawn carriages, so there ain't gonna be no more buggy whips. Whatever you think of Clinton, she was telling the miners the truth, their jobs are quickly becoming obsolete.

And the same goes for lots of other industries. Manufacturing is rapidly automating, so that even mass repatriation of US industrial capacity is not going to deliver the same level of employment that was there even thirty years ago. There's nothing the US government can do about it, short of outlawing automation and renewables, which would be sheer madness.

Christ, no less than Rick Perry himself has admitted the US needs to stay in the Paris Accord. Even the most pro-oil of pro-oil politicians know full well the jig is up. Oil isn't coming back, and as the price falls away it's impact on the economy diminishes. Coal was the first because it's the most expensive and most obviously harmful, but it applies to all the fossil fuels.

Comment Re:Incorrect (Score 1) 345

Do you have any actual evidence that wind farms have this effect? This strikes me as arguing that NASA shouldn't use gravity assist because it robs a planet of some of its momentum.

In other words, while you're technically correct, the effect is so small as to be irrelevant. But tell you what, if you have evidence that wind farms actually have this large an effect, then provide citations. And no, some blog is not a citation. I mean peer reviewed or primary literature.

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 1) 250

Suicide doesn't seem like an appropriate answer to a stressful job. He probably had problems well beyond Uber's bad HR policy. Loosing a job, your house, your car... isn't the end of the world. Anyone rational enough would realize this. But suicide is usually from problem well beyond external problems which needs to be treated.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 1) 501

The problem still remains that "over-abundance" will only apply to labor. It won't apply to capacity nor to raw resources. We'll have lots of humans with not enough to do, whereas Marxism remains a "classical" economic system which still thinks in terms of scarcity of labor.

I don't think the future is Communist, but neither do I think it is strictly capitalist. I think we're still going to have a fundamentally consumer society, still at its core free market, it's just that labor will no longer be an issue. It will mean adjusting precisely how it is that society as a whole profits from the means of production. And remember that Marxism was always more than merely an economic theory, but was fundamentally a socio-political theory. It was innovative in that it viewed economics as the very core, but it proposed a good deal more than simply "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", and involved revolution, dictatorship and what really does amount to a sort of single party state (because, after all, who needs more than one political movement when Marxism is perfect).

In the end, I expect we'll probably see a shift towards capital gains taxes, higher resource rents, transactional taxes (ie. taxes on the purchase or sale of bonds and shares) and other such mechanisms, and while lots of corporate interests will kick up a mighty storm, but there's little choice in the matter. At some point, robots will do a great deal of the work.

Comment Re: where does all this money come from? (Score 1, Insightful) 501

Just because people pay you for your services doesn't mean you create more than you consume. Perhaps you have some sort of serious illness, which means your health insurance provider may be paying you more than you are paying them. Perhaps you have enough write offs to heavily reduce your actual taxable income, meaning others are actually paying more tax than you.

But do you really pay enough money in taxes that it covers the building of the road past your house, pay for the wages and equipment of the firefighters who may have to put out your fire? There's an entire infrastructure out there that is paid for by the economic output of an entire society, and the idea that somehow anyone, even a billionaire, can claim responsibility for a significant fraction of it is absurd.

Slashdot Top Deals

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984

Working...