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Automation Laws to support Higher Wages

alaro45

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Will states like California (and the rest of the West coast) eventually get to the point of banning the act of replacing workers with robotics and computer automation?
 

Lutherf

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Why would you want to do that? Wouldn't it be preferable to encourage people to seek employment that can't be performed by a robot?
 

alaro45

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Society will never escape the problem of a vast unskilled labor surplus.

Generating enough "good citizens" who can be trained to do jobs requiring intellect is complex. In the history of civilization, there may be 3 examples of it -- it being an acceptably small poor class -- and every one of those examples can probably be disputed.

So far, liberal states where the desire for a "living wage" is front and center, they have decided to change wages for unskilled work and not change people, themselves.

I predict this will continue but with the rise of technology, I am wondering what these states will do when faced with the proposition of an entirely automated car wash... Wait, sorry I mean restaurant. No way in hell car washes would ever be fully automated; just plain science fiction, there.
 

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Will states like California (and the rest of the West coast) eventually get to the point of banning the act of replacing workers with robotics and computer automation?

I think they will have no other choice.

and it will have to be far beyond just california, it will have to be a concerted global effort.
 

Ntharotep

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Will states like California (and the rest of the West coast) eventually get to the point of banning the act of replacing workers with robotics and computer automation?
This is tantamount to saying "Let's never evolve further or invent things ever again".
Why would anyone want that?
 

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Will states like California (and the rest of the West coast) eventually get to the point of banning the act of replacing workers with robotics and computer automation?

No. The companies driving robotics & automation are all based on the West Coast.
 

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I think they will have no other choice. and it will have to be far beyond just california, it will have to be a concerted global effort.

Why? What is desirable about prohibiting automation?
 

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Will states like California (and the rest of the West coast) eventually get to the point of banning the act of replacing workers with robotics and computer automation?

No, it is too problematic to scope that without harming innovation and technology applications.
 

Lutherf

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No, it is too problematic to scope that without harming innovation and technology applications.

We would have to ban abacuses and slide rules because it would just be too easy to do math. Hell, maybe we'd have to start chopping off fingers and toes just so people really had to team up to accomplish stuff like tying their shoes and eating.
 

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We would have to ban abacuses and slide rules because it would just be too easy to do math. Hell, maybe we'd have to start chopping off fingers and toes just so people really had to team up to accomplish stuff like tying their shoes and eating.

Ban lawnmowers and make everyone cut their grass with their teeth.
 

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Will states like California (and the rest of the West coast) eventually get to the point of banning the act of replacing workers with robotics and computer automation?

I dont know, it's possible. I mean New Jersey and Oregon have laws that prevent someone from pumping their own gas in order to keep the gas jockey jobs going. It's a stupid law and government mandated inefficiency, but it exists.

I think an anti-automation law is highly unlikely, and we shoukdnt have them. It's 2016 not 1960. Jobs that can be done by robots should be done by robots and humans should focus on bigger things. We don't need further government mandated inefficiencies.
 

OrphanSlug

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We would have to ban abacuses and slide rules because it would just be too easy to do math. Hell, maybe we'd have to start chopping off fingers and toes just so people really had to team up to accomplish stuff like tying their shoes and eating.

Sort of.

We could argue that long before robotics in the OP sense, technological improvements already created downward pressure on the need for raw labor to complete repetitive tasks. So many applications come to mind. Kiosks in any application (Fast Food ordering, to self check out at the grocery, to airline ticket conformation systems) all confirm we are already down this path for various models of business. Going further back the auto-industry faced downward pressure on labor needs with various robotic applications (no matter if we are talking about building or moving product.) Computers and technological advancements pretty much took all the shouting and screaming traders off the floor of the various equity and commodity exchanges (now they are all in offices screaming at each other where the order originates.) Runners and end of day account settlement process are all automated, no human touches an equity order ticket. 40 years ago 100s of jobs existed just to ensure a single trade occurred, now they are all gone. Just a few examples, there are plenty more.

So it makes the OP question a little silly, how would a line be established *now* given how many other facets of our economic model & labor market has already seen automation, robotics, and raw technology gains replace a job.

Good luck making that distinction.
 
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Fearandloathing

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Will states like California (and the rest of the West coast) eventually get to the point of banning the act of replacing workers with robotics and computer automation?



Luddites were followers of an ignorant slob named Ned Ludd, who went about smashing new fangled stocking frames, spinning frames and power looms in the late 18th century and early 20th. The same thinking led to an idea to continue to produce buggy whips long after the automobile became widely accessible.

Rather than force the economy to pay them more, use tax money to train them more. The US is a net importer of tech savvy graduates, mostly to China, Japan and India. There's a lot of jobs around, you just need a degree.

None of this is new, we all knew when Clinton signed the NAFTA accord, the US and Canada were going to have to step up their high end education game; one of us did.
 

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Will states like California (and the rest of the West coast) eventually get to the point of banning the act of replacing workers with robotics and computer automation?

It's a silly argument. Automation is coming regardless of the minimum wage, so long as consumers will bear being served by machinery rather than people. It's inevitable as the relevant technology gets cheaper and better.

Red herring.
 

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Will states like California (and the rest of the West coast) eventually get to the point of banning the act of replacing workers with robotics and computer automation?

Um, no?
 

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Sort of.

We could argue that long before robotics in the OP sense, technological improvements already created downward pressure on the need for raw labor to complete repetitive tasks. So many applications come to mind. Kiosks in any application (Fast Food ordering, to self check out at the grocery, to airline ticket conformation systems) all confirm we are already down this path for various models of business. Going further back the auto-industry faced downward pressure on labor needs with various robotic applications (no matter if we are talking about building or moving product.) Computers and technological advancements pretty much took all the shouting and screaming traders off the floor of the various equity and commodity exchanges (now they are all in offices screaming at each other where the order originates.) Runners and end of day account settlement process are all automated, no human touches an equity order ticket. 40 years ago 100s of jobs existed just to ensure a single trade occurred, now they are all gone. Just a few examples, there are plenty more.

So it makes the OP question a little silly, how would a line be established *now* given how many other facets of our economic model & labor market has already seen automation, robotics, and raw technology gains replace a job.

Good luck making that distinction.

The OP may want to consider that in the era prior to automation the low employee on the totem pole was, in a lot of cases, a slave or a child laborer.
 

alaro45

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So it makes the OP question a little silly, how would a line be established *now* given how many other facets of our economic model & labor market has already seen automation, robotics, and raw technology gains replace a job.

Good luck making that distinction.

Although people inferred wrongly about me from my asking the question, I completely agree that there is not a distinction based in reality.

It seems like there is a very clear political distinction. Furthermore, the governments today greatly differ from those that oversaw all the examples you listed.

The political distinction is that we are getting to the point where automation is beginning to "interact with the consumer." Politically speaking, everyone knows that the American electorate is a big fat turd that is apathetic to 99% of important issues. They don't care about travel agents or stock traders because these careers are not "seen."

However, bank tellers, cashiers, and wait-staff are seen. The public will notice when their banks are 100% ATMs and their Taco Bell is nothing but touch screen menus and car wash looking machinery in the kitchen.

My question is whether the silly leftists running some states will try and use those very noticeable changes to protect unskilled laborers. My question is based off the fact that it seems more silly to argue that minimum wage should be a livable wage when its only paid to first-job teens or horrific workers and yet, these leftists are passing $15/hr (by 2020) wage restrictions.
 

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Although people inferred wrongly about me from my asking the question, I completely agree that there is not a distinction based in reality.

It seems like there is a very clear political distinction. Furthermore, the governments today greatly differ from those that oversaw all the examples you listed.

The political distinction is that we are getting to the point where automation is beginning to "interact with the consumer." Politically speaking, everyone knows that the American electorate is a big fat turd that is apathetic to 99% of important issues. They don't care about travel agents or stock traders because these careers are not "seen."

However, bank tellers, cashiers, and wait-staff are seen. The public will notice when their banks are 100% ATMs and their Taco Bell is nothing but touch screen menus and car wash looking machinery in the kitchen.

My question is whether the silly leftists running some states will try and use those very noticeable changes to protect unskilled laborers. My question is based off the fact that it seems more silly to argue that minimum wage should be a livable wage when its only paid to first-job teens or horrific workers and yet, these leftists are passing $15/hr (by 2020) wage restrictions.

Silly leftists? Christie runs NJ and they have laws protecting unskilled labor.
 

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Although people inferred wrongly about me from my asking the question, I completely agree that there is not a distinction based in reality.

It seems like there is a very clear political distinction. Furthermore, the governments today greatly differ from those that oversaw all the examples you listed.

The political distinction is that we are getting to the point where automation is beginning to "interact with the consumer." Politically speaking, everyone knows that the American electorate is a big fat turd that is apathetic to 99% of important issues. They don't care about travel agents or stock traders because these careers are not "seen."

However, bank tellers, cashiers, and wait-staff are seen. The public will notice when their banks are 100% ATMs and their Taco Bell is nothing but touch screen menus and car wash looking machinery in the kitchen.

My question is whether the silly leftists running some states will try and use those very noticeable changes to protect unskilled laborers. My question is based off the fact that it seems more silly to argue that minimum wage should be a livable wage when its only paid to first-job teens or horrific workers and yet, these leftists are passing $15/hr (by 2020) wage restrictions.

The bigger point here is even if the "leftists" were not push for $15 minimum wages we are already down this road, and the idea of automation through technology and robotics has touched quite a few job types and professions all along the way. Repetition jobs have already been lost, many of them we might not want back. I would even go so far as to say the idea crosses just about all income quintiles but the top earners, in looking for efficiency and expansion of output in just about every product and service it can be applied to.

On a pure socioeconomic theory level, with more technology comes more jobs in design of that technology. But I would agree that only goes so far.

Ultimately what we are talking about here is these efforts are pushing humanity to a point of having to reevaluate models of social and economic structure. It is a simple concept but painfully difficult to apply, but if enough people cannot have jobs to support themselves then we push the economic model to one that is not designed around labor based input to living standards.

Before everyone screams "OMG! socialistic utopia... PANIC!," this is a conversation we will eventually have to have. Market leaning economics only works in the long term if you have a sizable percentage of the market actually in the labor force. You reduce the labor force enough then the economic model has to shift to something... even if we have not entirely defined what that looks like yet.

But for the purposes of this thread, it will be extremely difficult to craft legislation to slow down the number of jobs lost to technological advancements just to avoid that conversation.
 

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Will states like California (and the rest of the West coast) eventually get to the point of banning the act of replacing workers with robotics and computer automation?

Problem is automation is inevitable, and the jobs are never lost, but they shift elsewhere. Heck even in the middle ages they had these problems, it was not long before 100 men partitioning trees into boards was replaced by a water run sawmill. It was not long before windmills replaced hundreds of women using mortar and pestle to make flour.

With every new innovation comes a new challenge, all this new automated equipment needs maintenance, and programing, and still needs human oversight for planning, developement, and quality assurance. What is gone are the days where slave labor factories of women sewing shirts was the norm, because they had to keep costs low enough to sell them, and wages extremely low and labor extremely high.
 

EMNofSeattle

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Why? What is desirable about prohibiting automation?

Not prohibiting, regulating.

The tech industry is creating a situation where almost no jobs are safe from automation, which will make a small class of people insanely wealthy at the expense of society, I think requiring the private sector the bear the costs of their breakthroughs is not unreasonable.
 

EMNofSeattle

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I dont know, it's possible. I mean New Jersey and Oregon have laws that prevent someone from pumping their own gas in order to keep the gas jockey jobs going. It's a stupid law and government mandated inefficiency, but it exists.

I think an anti-automation law is highly unlikely, and we shoukdnt have them. It's 2016 not 1960. Jobs that can be done by robots should be done by robots and humans should focus on bigger things. We don't need further government mandated inefficiencies.

Stupid law? I like having my gas pumped.
 

beerftw

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We would have to ban abacuses and slide rules because it would just be too easy to do math. Hell, maybe we'd have to start chopping off fingers and toes just so people really had to team up to accomplish stuff like tying their shoes and eating.

Reminds me about reading about the early computer age, where many typewriter makers sought to ban or delay computers because they would end jobs. I am sure long before that printing press companies lobbies against typewriters for the same reason.

The first fully usuable electric car produced long before gas engines, was destroyed by railroad workers, in fear electric cars would eliminate steam locomotive jobs. It has been a mess of people refusing to adapt to the times, and fearfull of any progress. But I guess if you are content staying in the same technological state forever to ensure your job will never require new learning, you would be for these things.
 

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My question is whether the silly leftists running some states will try and use those very noticeable changes to protect unskilled laborers.

There's three quite extraordinary pieces of dogma which always come up every single time automation is discussed.

First, that it only affects 'unskilled labourers' - that it can be solved simply by getting more education. That was true a hundred years ago, but not in the 21st century. It's not necessary for machines to do 100% of a given job title to threaten the sector; if they can do 'only' half of the work, in most cases that will mean that only half as many humans will be employed to do what's left. Take doctors for example: A lot of the most delicate surgery is already being done by machines. We've already got vending-machine type height, weight and blood pressure devices littered around shopping malls; how long before all the basic "turn your head and cough" diagnostic routine of your local GP are added to the mix? Computers can stay up to date on all the voluminous medical literature far more easily and accurately than any human doctor can. There'll always be doctors for the foreseeable future, but that doesn't mean there'll be enough work for the same number.

Second - and even more baffling - is the magical thinking that there's some natural or economic law dictating that new jobs will be invented in sufficient quantity to replace any lost to automation. Yes, technology opens up new possibilities, but often the numbers employed by those possibilities are relatively small. In 2014 most if not all of the top 25 occupations in the US were already around 50 years ago and more. Mobile app designers do not feature prominently on the list. Even IT jobs in general don't make the top twenty-five; software developers (#26), computer support specialists (#32) and computer systems analysts (#34) combined account for fewer jobs than general and operations managers at #5. And yet projections range from 35% to 47% of current jobs at risk from automation in the next few decades. Declaring that somehow that won't be an issue because of 'new opportunities' is magical thinking at its finest.

But the most amazing thing is the supposition that human workers can or should be made to compete with machines; that keeping wages low or reducing them even further is somehow a solution. Yet the obvious fact is that in all cases where something can be done by machines, they will always eventually be better at it than horses and humans; stronger, faster, smarter, more durable, more accurate and reliable. Again, it may not be the case that 100% of such work is done by machines - some seasonal fruit-picking is still done by hand, after all - but as unemployment puts downward pressure on wages ultimately it would affect all workers, and humans couldn't possibly hope to win. At best, keeping steady wages or lowering them might slow the process by five or ten years, but it's obviously not a long-term solution.

That is a proposition that virtually all the benefits from humanity's thousands of years of scientific technological progress should accrue to the tiny handful of people who don't have to work for their living, while everyone else competes against the machines and against each other in a desperate race to the bottom.

###

Are there any real solutions? Banning automation is obviously absurd. So far the two I've seen which might be plausible are:

A) An otherwise-unconditional low income supplement or negative income tax replacing most conditional or means-tested welfare. That would mean that even large numbers of unemployed people can still live, and still contribute their economic demand to the country rather than facing the recession and depression which would otherwise result from mass unemployment. That might be part of a solution, but rather than a something-for-nothing scheme I'm more partial towards...

B) Further reducing standard working weeks so that a smaller amount of work is still carried out by 95+% of the population. A century ago an average working week was over 50 hours; if that were still the case today unemployment rates would be around 20%! If low employment rates are likely to be an ongoing problem in the future, which they obviously are, an obvious part of the solution should be to continue on the same trend we've already started. Instead of a standard 40 hour week, bring it gradually down so that in twenty years a 21 hour working week covers those 47% of jobs lost to automation.
 
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There's three quite extraordinary pieces of dogma which always come up every single time automation is discussed.


You might want to consider a third way which that machines will be used by small business and that small business what ever it is will become more specialized and niche oriented. That handmade and personal service will become much more valued than they are now. It means a much larger percentage of the populous becomes entrepreneurs and investors because they have no other choice if they want to better their lives.

Something else to ponder. If machines take over a vast majority of work and people cannot for the most part make a living then robots that produce things for sale are virtually pointless because you cant sell broke people stuff.

Another thing to remember is resources are limited by a number of factors which means that production is limited to the efficient acquisition of resources to feed said production.
 
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