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The End of Work, and therefore of "less government" memes
#41
(01-04-2017, 11:05 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 04:08 AM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 12:57 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 12:56 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 12:41 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: If you want to tax the robots, though, income taxes won't do it, since robots have no income.

The owners typically extract the income. To tax consumption is shakier. Taxing the conspicuous consumption of elites is far trickier than  taxing income.

Taxing the income of the elites is virtually impossible, though.  Buffett pays an effective tax rate of less than one tenth of one percent.

That's a strange statement lol

Of course it's possible, but not with Republicans in power.

It's the Democrats that protect Buffett and Soros, and the investment billionaires in general.

The Democrats had filibuster proof power for a while, and they certainly didn't do anything about that then.

Quote:
Quote:If you want to tax the robots, though, income taxes won't do it, since robots have no income.

Tax the robots! I like it! Hey, robots are taking over, and getting all the good jobs; they should pay their fair share!

That's why I suggested sales tax on what they produce.  If people have other ideas, I'm interested.


A sales tax on taxable costs going into the robot, as on energy, maintenance, office supplies for recording costs, lubricants, etc.? Most states tax such. There is of course  depreciation, a legitimate expense of business. But that is recovery of initial cost.

Robots are literal slaves. They may not earn income for themselves, but they certainly do for their owners. 

OK, here's another analogy. You own a fast horse that wins lots of races. The horse generates $3 million in dollars for its owner and involves $1 million in costs (feeding, veterinary treatment, transportation, the cost of hiring a jockey and a trainer, shelter costs, etc. ... One of the costs may be depreciation, which of course is substantial over the working life of the horse. 

The horse earns money for the owner, and the owner takes the $2 million net. The owner pays income taxes on the $2 million net that the horse generates.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#42
Reviving this thread with some updates on AI and "the end of work as we know it". I always assumed that the robots were still a few decades away. Maybe not.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#43
(01-04-2017, 11:05 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 04:08 AM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 12:57 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 12:56 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(01-04-2017, 12:41 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: If you want to tax the robots, though, income taxes won't do it, since robots have no income.

The owners typically extract the income. To tax consumption is shakier. Taxing the conspicuous consumption of elites is far trickier than  taxing income.

Taxing the income of the elites is virtually impossible, though.  Buffett pays an effective tax rate of less than one tenth of one percent.

That's a strange statement lol

Of course it's possible, but not with Republicans in power.

It's the Democrats that protect Buffett and Soros, and the investment billionaires in general.

The Democrats had filibuster proof power for a while, and they certainly didn't do anything about that then.

Quote:
Quote:If you want to tax the robots, though, income taxes won't do it, since robots have no income.

Tax the robots! I like it! Hey, robots are taking over, and getting all the good jobs; they should pay their fair share!

That's why I suggested sales tax on what they produce.  If people have other ideas, I'm interested.

Sales taxes are regressive taxes on consumers. The point is to tax the producers, i.e. the CEOs and the owners, so they don't derive all the benefit of work-saving devices. This tech advance belongs to all of us, not just the owners.

The Democrats raised taxes on high income earners whenever they could. Bush, Trump, Reagan etc. lowered them.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#44
Taxing the robots? Slave societies other than Nazi Germany have typically taxed slave-owners, and slave-owners recognize the need for such taxes to enforce slavery -- to recapture slaves who flee and to protect against the theft of slaves. Remember that taxation is in part a protection racket to protect people who have something to lose.

Remember: a robot is a literal slave. Ownership of robots may not have the moral offense that human slaves have. Know well that robot is itself akin to the German word Arbeit, with the Arbeiter as a toiler. In the Third Reich the Arbeiter was anything but a free person. The human slave obviously had feelings and desires, and a robot does not have them. One takes the humanity out of someone only by killing or dementing him...  obviously robots have no feeling. 

Slave societies, to put it mildly, were not places of economic opportunity for those not in on the system. There was little room for the sorts of retailing and banking businesses commonplace in truly-free societies. Unemployment was typically high -- what opportunity was there?  Robots exist to substitute for human workers, so what do we do with the unskilled and semi-skilled workers whose jobs vanish?

Sol let us suppose that our cars, clothes, and consumer electronics are made with the labor of robots. It is best that those who use such robots pension the rest of us off. Businesses can have bloated bureaucracies, but those are more waste than anything else. Maybe some of us will revert to artisan-style work, making stuff too ornate, personalized, or delicate for robot labor. Some of us will work managing the robots. Some of us will sell the wares that the robots  make or repair or upgrade them.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#45
Our very real threat to face has to do with the structure of a society that highly values private property, but not the work that created it in the first place. As work is displaced by automation of one form or another, how will we adjust? The assumption has always been that the lowly paid workers would be the first to go, so don't raise the minimum wage, but it looks like much of what we called mid-level white collar work will go first. That's the entry level work of college graduates, primarily. What then? This isn't even on the radar, so it's not an issue for this 4T.

My take is simple: we'll wait until there is no other option, and seize much of the wealth corporations create, which will be a bloody mess. This will be the central issue of the next saeculum -- worldwide! I hope the Millennials are ready to lead. The next 2T will make the last one look like a walk in the park. The 4T to follow will finish the transition to a different world.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#46
(03-07-2021, 10:51 AM)David Horn Wrote: Our very real threat to face has to do with the structure of a society that highly values private property, but not the work that created it in the first place.  As work is displaced by automation of one form or another, how will we adjust?  The assumption has always been that the lowly paid workers would be the first to go, so don't raise the minimum wage, but it looks like much of what we called mid-level white collar work will go first.   That's the entry level work of college graduates, primarily.  What then?  This isn't even on the radar, so it's not an issue for this 4T.

Economic elites depend upon profit, and then they seek to maximize it. At the worst they establish slavery or serfdom. To get maximal profit in a technologically-stagnant society (and don't fool yourself; we may be approaching the end of the line for economic improvement through the enhancement of technology), the economic elites must debase the worker through brutalization of the command-and-control system. Free societies depend upon the dispersal of economic power instead of upon its concentration even if concentration of power is more efficient. Colonial New England may have still been pre-industrial, but it was certainly happier than capitalist orders with brutal management. The small-scale employer might exploit his apprentice badly, but guess who was going to end up with either that business or with a like business in the next town? 

3D printing looks perfect for small-scale manufacturing. Who needs a giant factory to make fishing lures, recorded music or video, or clothing that perfectly fits the person when one can do a one-time run cheaply? Mass manufacturing is good for producing shoddy stuff that itself proves an environmental calamity as it ends up in a landfill quickly. A computer printer is a publishing house (although for 3D printing or printing your own book (or scroll) you may need to pay for some license. Intellectual property will still have some value.

Note well that small businesses (and I look at the operations of the Old-Order Amish near where I live and at those of immigrants who operate mom-and-pop restaurants) cannot afford bureaucracy. Canned software can replace the services of a bookkeeper.  The Old-Order Amish are as capitalist as any people.   

Quote:My take is simple: we'll wait until there is no other option, and seize much of the wealth corporations create, which will be a bloody mess.  This will be the central issue of the next saeculum -- worldwide!  I hope the Millennials are ready to lead. The next 2T will make the last one look like a walk in the park.  The 4T to follow will finish the transition to a different world.

In a 4T the options disappear, and in the end what remains is obvious.  We already see the demise of such high-cost activities as shopping malls, and we may see much the same in cable TV. 

We will need to learn how to live well on less toil. Such may have been the dream of thinkers from Karl Marx on... and by "thinkers" I include novelists such as Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke -- and, yes, Jules Verne, who was just a few years younger than Karl Marx. Such could be a nightmare for those who lack imagination and initiative. If you want to contemplate my nightmare, then just look at a gambling casino in which one can act without imagination or initiative for hours until one is drained of one's bankroll or credit.

I have suggestions: creative activities from painting to gardening; reading and discussing the Great Books; listening critically to great music; civic activities; hiking, camping, boating ... life can get easier, but can easily get too easy. Just don't make life too easy for yourself; we all need some minimum of complexity in life to be fully human. 

As for college graduates looking for meaningful work in corporate bureaucracies, they need consider something else. Teaching will be necessary, and so will sales. Bureaucracy is expensive, and it creates practically nothing. Maybe the college grad of the future will graduate into part-time work at a fast-food place but have after perhaps 20 hours of mind-numbing, soul-crushing, ego-shattering drudgery the chance to dedicate more time to something far more uplifting. The dullard may be happy to pump coins into a slot machine or watch porn.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#47
(03-07-2021, 03:25 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(03-07-2021, 10:51 AM)David Horn Wrote: Our very real threat to face has to do with the structure of a society that highly values private property, but not the work that created it in the first place.  As work is displaced by automation of one form or another, how will we adjust?  The assumption has always been that the lowly paid workers would be the first to go, so don't raise the minimum wage, but it looks like much of what we called mid-level white collar work will go first.   That's the entry level work of college graduates, primarily.  What then?  This isn't even on the radar, so it's not an issue for this 4T.

Economic elites depend upon profit, and then they seek to maximize it. At the worst they establish slavery or serfdom. To get maximal profit in a technologically-stagnant society (and don't fool yourself; we may be approaching the end of the line for economic improvement through the enhancement of technology), the economic elites must debase the worker through brutalization of the command-and-control system. Free societies depend upon the dispersal of economic power instead of upon its concentration even if concentration of power is more efficient. Colonial New England may have still been pre-industrial, but it was certainly happier than capitalist orders with brutal management. The small-scale employer might exploit his apprentice badly, but guess who was going to end up with either that business or with a like business in the next town? 

3D printing looks perfect for small-scale manufacturing. Who needs a giant factory to make fishing lures, recorded music or video, or clothing that perfectly fits the person when one can do a one-time run cheaply? Mass manufacturing is good for producing shoddy stuff that itself proves an environmental calamity as it ends up in a landfill quickly. A computer printer is a publishing house (although for 3D printing or printing your own book (or scroll) you may need to pay for some license. Intellectual property will still have some value.

Note well that small businesses (and I look at the operations of the Old-Order Amish near where I live and at those of immigrants who operate mom-and-pop restaurants) cannot afford bureaucracy. Canned software can replace the services of a bookkeeper.  The Old-Order Amish are as capitalist as any people.   

Quote:My take is simple: we'll wait until there is no other option, and seize much of the wealth corporations create, which will be a bloody mess.  This will be the central issue of the next saeculum -- worldwide!  I hope the Millennials are ready to lead. The next 2T will make the last one look like a walk in the park.  The 4T to follow will finish the transition to a different world.

In a 4T the options disappear, and in the end what remains is obvious.  We already see the demise of such high-cost activities as shopping malls, and we may see much the same in cable TV. 

We will need to learn how to live well on less toil. Such may have been the dream of thinkers from Karl Marx on... and by "thinkers" I include novelists such as Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke -- and, yes, Jules Verne, who was just a few years younger than Karl Marx. Such could be a nightmare for those who lack imagination and initiative. If you want to contemplate my nightmare, then just look at a gambling casino in which one can act without imagination or initiative for hours until one is drained of one's bankroll or credit.

I have suggestions: creative activities from painting to gardening; reading and discussing the Great Books; listening critically to great music; civic activities; hiking, camping, boating ... life can get easier, but can easily get too easy. Just don't make life too easy for yourself; we all need some minimum of complexity in life to be fully human. 

As for college graduates looking for meaningful work in corporate bureaucracies, they need consider something else. Teaching will be necessary, and so will sales. Bureaucracy is expensive, and it creates practically nothing. Maybe the college grad of the future will graduate into part-time work at a fast-food place but have after perhaps 20 hours of mind-numbing, soul-crushing, ego-shattering drudgery the chance to dedicate more time to something far more uplifting. The dullard may be happy to pump coins into a slot machine or watch porn.

Much of what you describe here was forecast some seven decades ago by Kurt Vonnegut in his classic novel “Player Piano”.
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#48
(03-10-2021, 10:10 PM)beechnut79 Wrote: Much of what you describe here was forecast some seven decades ago by Kurt Vonnegut in his classic novel “Player Piano”.

Being a Cassandra is always problematic.  If you prophesy in a serious way, you stand the near-certain risk of being branded a crank.  If, on the other hand, you elect to use narrative fiction, you are unlikely to be considered credible.  Vonnegut chose the second path, and did well as a novelist but not as a prophet.  Only Ayn Rand managed to be a novelist who was also taken seriously, and she truly was a crank.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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