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charlize burstein

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Debate: Technology will eliminate the need for human employees, and the unemployment rate will increase.

Technology is an easier and faster way to get a job done. It is obvious that technology increases the profitability of companies throughout the world. So why would I hire a human rather than purchasing the technology when the costs of them are the same?

Discuss the situation where you are going to choose one of them with equal conditions (conditions means the costs and several types of expenses).

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    Nov 22 2012: Technology would not neccesarily increase the rate of unemployment; it creates a demand for new kind of skills, it is an industry on its own which does not cause shortage of labour but metamorphosis of it.
    Like Krisztian Pinter has stated, we've had this conversation before.
    • Nov 22 2012: "Technology would not neccesarily increase the rate of unemployment; it creates a demand for new kind of skills, it is an industry on its own which does not cause shortage of labour but metamorphosis of it."

      Wrong. We don't have infinite jobs. The 'invisible hand', which I guess you are referring to, will not simply provide new jobs over night. That is physically impossible.
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        Nov 22 2012: wrong. we do have infinite jobs.
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          Nov 22 2012: And because we have them, all unemployed people are lousy beggars, right? Or is it because of the governments? Again? The governments? Maybe there are no unemployed people at all and the whole buzz about it is nothing but another conspiracy theory of those socialists and communists people? Hmm, may be..., may be ... ;o)
        • Nov 22 2012: "wrong. we do have infinite jobs."

          When automation progresses faster than general technology (the capacity to make more using the same amount of natural resources), the only ways to keep employment up are lowering of wages and shortening of working hours. Maybe you assumed those things would happen but I'd be very surprised if you did because the free market would never implement them unless it's ordered by to do so by governments (because it's not very profitable to lower the productivity per employee).
        • Nov 23 2012: Yes, we do have. And we will have. But depending on our social statuses, talents, competence, and quite often sociability, we don't get to choose what we want to do at times. Unemployment rate is not just a mere signal. It reflects particular demands of our society and a sign that says, “Society doesn't need your skill anymore.” And it goes like, "but however there are plenty of jobs out there so, do what you want. Many many opportunities are waiting for ya."

          Is it merely about distributing job opportunities? Or.. maybe because of lack of people’s flexibility?
          I like your comment here—that’s why I gave you a thumbs-up—but despite the way it sounds, telling the unemployed that there are 'Infinite jobs' may sound some kind of sarcasm(even if you don’t mean it).
        • Dec 5 2012: Don't confuse infinite tasks/challenges with paid jobs that make a living. Yes, there is always going to be a lot things left to do if we automate the entire service sector tomorrow, but these tasks or challenges will not give sufficient or if any income to the producers or workers as the whole socioeconomic system is set up to fix/repair/service things constantly, not produce abundance, efficiency and sustainability. Why do you think there's nobody in the "air-business" selling clean air? Because there is an abundance of air. There is simply nothing to sell. And we've reached that paradigm in terms of robotics and automation, where we can produce goods and services in such abundance that money (as an exchange for goods) becomes irrelevant.
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        Dec 5 2012: what is a paid job decided solely on the participating people. if i sing you a song, and you in return help me make my room look cool, it is just as valid economic transaction as an exchange of a loaf of bread for a can of peas. we already have a service based economy, industry and agriculture have shrunk in size. there is no need to produce any physical to participate in the economy.
        • Dec 5 2012: "what is a paid job decided solely on the participating people. if i sing you a song, and you in return help me make my room look cool, it is just as valid economic transaction as an exchange of a loaf of bread for a can of peas."

          Most people still need to pay their bills and their rent. And for that they need to generate an income. Time banks and gift economies are great, but won't meet everybody's needs in the short run and will resort to much more waste and pollution than intelligently managing the production and distribution of goods and services.

          "we already have a service based economy, industry and agriculture have shrunk in size."

          Sure, my point was that with automation and robotics we can produce such abundance of goods and services that an exchange for goods (money and even barter) because irrelevant.
        • Dec 5 2012: "we already have a service based economy"

          It's not that simple: most of today's services sector is actually facilitating industry and so their number is limited by the size of industry. The "pure service" jobs that would have to employ the portion of the population made jobless by automation would have to be a) not in any way, shape of form be linked to industry, b) not consume natural resources and c) not possible for robots to carry out (this condition get harder and harder to meet as robots keep getting more advanced). Your example of a musician fits this "pure service" description, as do athletes, actors and people in the sex industry, but that's about it. Is it realistic that a significant portion of the population will find employment in such fields? I have a hard time believing that.

          I would also like to point out that robots are not made of, nor do they run on, magic pixie dust so the purchasing power per capita of the population will decrease up to a finite value (it converges at 100% automation), this effect will likely cause structurally higher unemployment even if the "pure service" sector explodes, unless someone forces redistribution of wealth (lowering everyone's wages so everyone can still get a wage).

          Finally it's simply unethical to make people perform often degrading, physically demanding and ultimately useless jobs. We should be striving to reduce the hours a person works in their life, that will also enable us to harvest the big advantage of automation: more free time (instead of a loss of purchasing power per working hour we could have an increase) and with all that free time on our hands we won't even miss a huge "pure service" sector because we can entertain ourselves and each other when and how we want to.
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        Dec 5 2012: " they need to generate an income"

        they will. in the service sector, like today.

        "automation and robotics we can produce such abundance"

        automation can push the cost down to any degree, but never to zero. but even if you push the cost of something to zero, it just means that you took out that thing from the economy. but the economy is still there, as there are other things with nonzero cost.

        we've been through this. you claim that there will be no more jobs, because there will be no more jobs. this is not an argument.
        • Dec 5 2012: "they will. in the service sector, like today."

          But what happens when companies automate the entire service sector? Hypothetical or not.

          "automation can push the cost down to any degree, but never to zero. but even if you push the cost of something to zero, it just means that you took out that thing from the economy."

          "Never to zero" or "even if we push the cost to zero"? Please make up your mind :)

          "but the economy is still there, as there are other things with nonzero cost."

          Only if we let it be, but we don't have to and if people start loosing their purchasing power they will revolt and reject the current system all together and demand a new one. We can however, peacefully, evolve from a monetary economic system to an access economic system using technology to produce abundance and sustainability. Not 'redistribution of wealth' or any of that crap from communism and socialism, but access to wealth for everybody. We would all live like Bill Gates or any other generic rich guy who has it all.

          "we've been through this. you claim that there will be no more jobs, because there will be no more jobs. this is not an argument."

          I've never said that. I've said that there will be no jobs left in any given sector which implements automation. That is the argument and you know that. We see this in agriculture and manufacturing and the service sector is also being automated as we speak. This is not my personal opinion, this is fact.
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        Dec 5 2012: there is no entire sector. as i said, the list of jobs is infinite. you can automate as much as you can, you will never get to the end of the list.

        you have problems reading written text? i said you can push down, but never to zero. meditate on it, if you still don't understand. try harder.

        cost is not a matter of letting. cost is just there, like the weather or laws of physics. cost means that we need to put time and effort to make things as we want. automation does not lower purchasing power, it increases it.

        yes, you said. you said that if we are out of jobs that exist today, we will have no more. you did not only say that, but you have repeated that many times.
        • Dec 5 2012: "there is no entire sector. as i said, the list of jobs is infinite. you can automate as much as you can, you will never get to the end of the list."

          Then define 'service sector' to me, as we seemingly have two different definitions of it.

          "you have problems reading written text? i said you can push down, but never to zero. meditate on it, if you still don't understand. try harder."

          Well, in the same sentence you wrote this: "but even if you push the cost of something to zero, it just means that you took out that thing from the economy." Explain that to me.

          "automation does not lower purchasing power, it increases it."

          To those who own the manufacturing industries and service companies yes, but not the workers who loose their jobs.

          "yes, you said. you said that if we are out of jobs that exist today, we will have no more. you did not only say that, but you have repeated that many times."

          Paying jobs that is, not tasks/challenges.
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        Dec 5 2012: why would i define service sector? i was not even using it in the part you are answering to.

        you don't understand the phrase "but even if"?
        • Dec 5 2012: "why would i define service sector?"

          Because more than 70% of all labor is currently in the service sector, therefore making it highly relevant to talk about. So, let's say that the entire service sector were replaced by automation in the course of a couple of years, what would happen to the workers?
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        Dec 5 2012: sigh. service sector is an artificial classification. if you classify anything that is not agriculture and not industry as service sector, it is an infinite list, and can not be replaced. if you come up with a new class, like "experience sector" or "whatnot sector", then after the service jobs are all automatized, we will work in the whatnot sector.

        try to focus: there is an endless list of possible jobs. if you have machines do the first million, we will work on the next million. if you automatize the next million, we will work on the million after that.

        that is the last time i tried to explain that to you. everyone else understands it already, and my patience is over.

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