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John Moonstroller

TEDCRED 30+

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Will Consumer efficiency Breed Economic Downturn for the United States?

Lets supposes that for some insensible, social reason, 80 % of our society decided to become more individually self-reliant, more DIY (Do It Yourself).

Instead of buying processed food and eating out, creating your own food becomes a social trend. With knowledge of such things as swaddling a baby or repairing your own plumbing becoming available at the press of a button on individual Ipod devices, how will the economy alter and evolve to deal with ideas of consumer efficiency? Industry seeks automation and consumers seek efficiency.

In today's consumer world, keeping something back for hard times is becoming the norm. Budgeting, once the realm of the seriously employed, home owner is fast finding a niche in applications that can fit on anyone's hand held device and yield results with a few clicks. Can I afford those shoes, those shirts, that special toy? Click, Click, enter an amount and you have your answer. Impulsiveness in consumers is declining.

We see the stock market manipulating money, sometimes (or most times) artificially creating a sense of movement in the economy. After the dust settles, only a hint of real growth appears. Sometimes no growth at all, a negative. We rarely read news about the homeless anymore but a short trip around the internet reveals that they are still there, waiting for change that will put them out of the car into a job and into a real home. “The number of homeless children reached record highs in 2011,[26] 2012,[27] and 2013[28] at about three times their number in 1983”, according to information on Wikipedia.

How will our, more efficient, consumers affect our economy in the United States in the near future? Will we finally fall into the economic ditch that the European Union finds itself? Will the protests in Greece become an American phenomenon? Does efficiency within the consumer base breed economic downturn? Will we, in turn, become even more efficient and what implications does this pose for our economy as a whole?

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    Jun 10 2013: I don't think that there will be a time when everyone supplies and builds ALL of their own products, but it is possible that maybe an economy is forming that is independent of government structure.
    I really wonder what would happen if we just let the economy naturally form itself... Like true supply and demand.
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      Jun 10 2013: It could be. One problem with growing your own food is you grow way too much. I would think that people might start trading, with food, tomatoes for potatoes, etc.

      Have you ever seen the video "Hunger Games"?

      In my opinion, that is where we are headed as a nation. The wealthy will live in protected cities and the rest of us will make do. If we get our of hand, they will gas us every now and then.


      With automation and robotics, they really don't need the rest of us.

      Think about it. Why do they need us, other than to stock the military and protect their interests?
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        Jun 10 2013: Yeah, exactly. Trading and such. There is no reason to make everything for yourself.
        I hope that he world does not end up like that. I do hope and believe that people like us who like to think and learn will be able to avoid wrongful control inflicted by the wealthy, although at this moment in history it doesn't seem to be working out that way in most cases :(
        Good point about how robotics and automation is replacing the need for many working class jobs. But when talking about wealthy people you may ask the same question. What do we need them for anymore either? Is it not the people who use their brains to solve problems instead of their money that will actually have a lasting impact on the world? Yes, it is true that money can be used to have an impact on the world, but the real breakthroughs and discoveries in the history of our world are not necessarily expensive ones.
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          Jun 10 2013: Robots are not seeking low class jobs. They have a robot that does surgery. One day it will be able to operate without Doctor assistance.

          Engineers and scientists, and a few garage mechanics, are developing a 3d food printer that can make food from various simple biological nutrients and amino acids.

          We need wealthy people because we are indebted to them. We owe them money.

          No one spent a lot of money on Albert Einstein other than his parents when they sent him to school, but he invested a lot of his own money. Your point is well taken. He used his time and labor. I agree many discoveries were made in the garage, so to speak, but some required lots of financial support like the DNA data base for example.

          Ultimately, I think the goal is to create machines that make everything we could use or desire. What we will do and how we will socially interact when we reach that goal is anybodies guess. I've read some great SyFy novels about such a world.

          Right now I'm making homemade mayonnaise because I'm on a processed-sugar free diet.

          My favorite mayonnaise has 50 grams of processed sugar in it so I dumped it. I have to make many things because of this diet. Which explains why situations can create an environment where we need to make things ourselves. Processed sugar is in just about everything, like Chinese made products are in every store.

          I think you and I resonate about the world.....

          Good reply.

          Question, what if
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        Jun 11 2013: Very true about robots not only replacing working class jobs.
        Maybe I am just an optimist about the future of the world. Haha
        I have also read a few good sci if novels similar to that.
        If we could only make it so that the wealthy people were people who understood how important monetary investments are in technology and science. Not that there are not some that don't, but there are definitely some very rich people who do not have that in their top priorities.
        I never knew mayonnaise had so much sugar in it. I'm glad I don't even really like mayonnaise very much. I am sure that homemade mayonnaise is much better anyway. Good luck with making it. :)
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          Jun 11 2013: Yes Robots are the rage. The first commercial program I helped to write, took away the jobs of 14 people in the business where I worked.

          The next program I wrote for a small business (where I met my wife), replaced four women working as clerks in her office. She used to think she was going to be replaced and did not like me at all. that was in the 80's.

          The goal of software is to replace as much hardware as possible. So far it's working well. Most wealthy people are not even aware of how their money is being used.

          It would do no good to talk to them. Bill Gates doesn't have a clues what is going on at Microsoft these days. It makes you wonder just who is controlling everything?

          The Mayonnaise I made was good but I use Olive oil. It's heavier and has a distinct taste that not everyone likes. It was delicious and only cost me about 75 cents to make a quart.

          Good luck to you Rachel.
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        Jun 12 2013: Do you think that technology is taking away from the actual amount of jobs or do you think it is just adjusting the distribution of jobs into different fields and also creating new fields in place of obsolete ones?
        It would be nice if instead of trying to make the people who are already wealthy understand, the people who do understand would become wealthy because they understand. That would be quite an idealistic world though.
        I wish that I would have had more opportunities to be driven to learn to program. I am just recently realizing that it is an important skill, but at this point I feel like I might be getting into it too late.
        Sometimes I think that big companies and governments end up in a way where everybody thinks that someone else is in charge. I guess you could say that this is a good way to create teamwork, but I also think that it causes a lot of issues sometimes.
        I have had the store bought kind of olive oil mayonnaise in my mom's awesome egg salad before. I actually like it better than the regular mayonnaise, but I also like the taste of olive oil. 75 cents is cheap and olive oil is good for you, so it sounds like a success.
        Thanks :)
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          Jun 12 2013: I, personally think that if you take programing, starting with Python, at Udacity online college, it will not be too late. The surprising thing about programming is, once you get that feeling of power at the tips of your fingers, there is no going back. The whole world stops turning and doesn't start again until you hit the CR and make it go. It is pure power.

          You might be surprised. I've seen people learrn programming and realize it is the one thing they discover they can relate to. It all start with that one "Hello World" program. I've seen people start learning from scratch, discover they were born for this one thing. I see them again in a couple or three years and they have a plane ticket in their hand, going to some far off land on this planet to start their career. Usually, it is the company that is paying their fare, hotel, and expenses to get them working. As far as they are concerned, if you can understand and write the progams you study in class, you are the type of material they are looking for. They know they can put to work, under some of the greates computer minds on this planet and get up and running.

          I'd go for it if I were you. At least take one class and check it out. What you got to lose?

          When I was in that class, there were over 40,00 people enrolled, all over the world, in that one class. It was fun.

          In addition, another fact. Right now, Intelligent, free thinking computers are still far in the future. With the problems the world has now, they need programmers who can work with the smart computers to accomplish the world. This situation will exist for a long time to come.

          There is a story someplace, where two guys and a computer were able to direct most of the aid associated with the Haitian earthquake. It was phenomenal what they were able to accomplish. This is the situation with the world today, a couple of people and a computer.
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        Jun 12 2013: Thanks for the encouragement! I'm definitely going to check that out. I'm leaving for college in the fall and I have this summer to do whatever, so I'm going to give it a try. I'm majoring in mechanical engineering, but I like to know at least a little bit about a lot of things and I'm sure that programming will come in handy for me in engineering.
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          Jun 12 2013: Well, many of the cad programs today incorporate mod interfaces that are written in Python.
          You can download Draftsight, a 2-d cad program for free. Most of the functions are similar to AutoCad. It's Free. :) If your not already doing it you need to start using a cad program. Sorry for my writing. I'm weaning myself from Pain Meds and my writing is confused. Good Luck.

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